Latest Features

SHARES
17 March 2008
Romans generally like their food piping hot but there is one dish best they like served cold: revenge.
SHARES
14 March 2008
It features in every '646 things to do before you become worm food' list. It is on the itinerary of every visit to Latin America. Machu Piccu. Tick. Guinea pig for lunch. Tick. Football game in Buenos Aires. Tick.
SHARES
14 March 2008
SaturdayRecreativo (18th) v Murcia (19th)Almost everything that comes out of his mouth is objectionable, but it still gives La Liga Loca a warm and fuzzy feeling to have Javier Clemente back in the football fold. Like the mad shouting man of Malasaña who has gone AWOL, the blog missed Javier's rantings more than it thought it would.After a stint with Serbia and a flirtation with Iran, the basket case from Barakaldo has now been charged with the futile task of saving Murcia from relegation. And mouthing off to the press, of course.Clemente thinks that Primera's current campaign is a lot of old toss - alarmingly, an opinion the blog has to agree with. "This is a horrible season. We are seeing two teams who can win the league despite having poor campaigns", opined Javier, who also found time to have a pop at a group of Murcia fans who, with some time to kill, turned up to training on Wednesday to yell at the players. "They should shut up, even though things aren't going well". Quite. Home win.Deportivo (16th) v Real Madrid (1st)The Nicolas Cage story has more legs that a mutated millipede. Although Julian de Guzmán's, 'I'll not have a shag for a year, if I score", promise was diverting for a while, it is Ramón's Calderón's farcical fawning of a Nicolas Cage impersonator at last week's Roma match, that is still making more waves than Maniche falling off a gondola.Marca ran a interview with Paolo Calabresi, the Con Air con man, with the Italian confessing that, "the ambassador of Mexico invited me to his country, this summer."It seems the only person at the Bernabeu to recognise the Leaving Las Vegas liar was Totti. The Italian striker spotted Calabresi and cried, 'Señor Cage!' before winking, revealed the genius joker.The rampant reporting of the spoof has got Marca into all sorts of trouble according to elconfidencial.com who write that Ramón Calderón personally called media outlets to put a lid on the embarrassing affair with the threat of cutting off exclusives to those ignoring his request.Marca opted to put the prankster on the front cover with Roberto Gomez accusing the Bernabeu bigwig of having turned into a "frivolous, distant, rancourous and vengeful person." Draw.Betis (15th) v Athletic (13th)If things weren't already bad enough for battered old Betis - Lucifer as their owner and a stadium that will collapse at the backfiring of a bus. Now, it's the threat of something that would strike fear into the heart of any football fan - the arrival of Pascal Cygan.Villarreal have finally come to the conclusion that the defender is a calamity and will be offloading him in the summer. To the city of Seville, it seems."The manager told me that Betis have asked about me, but I know nothing", confessed the one man French farce.Valencia (9th) v Sevilla (6th)In many ways, it's quite lucky that it's off the field antics that makes the headlines in Valencia, these days. The alternative is no better. This week, Juan Bautista Soler stepped down as president at a press conference where he read a statement in the same disdainful, uninterested manner as he might read a vegetarian menu.Soler cited ill health and the disappearance of his favourite vol-au-vents from board meetings as the reason for his resignation, although he will still be looking after the affairs of the club, as the majority shareholder.The new puppet president is best business buddy, Agustín Morera, who called for unity at the club, which is as much use as La Liga Loca calling for the sun not to rise. Or Fernando Gago to score a goal."We have to improve our image, from the first person who picks up the phone", declared Morera, with Soler's lips barely moving. Away win.SundayVillarreal (3rd) v Zaragoza (14th)Despite being unbelievably inconsistent, Villarreal are having quite a good season. And this is mainly down to their ability not to get caught up in all the trivial, referee-insulting, shirt-changing, manager-sacking crap just about every other club in Spain's top flight loses itself in.This week's most exciting story from the Yellow Submarine involves a plan to increase the stadium capacity to 3,200 in time for next year's expected Champions League campaign. Home win.Getafe (10th) v Racing Santander (5th)If La Liga Loca didn't already get enough strange looks because of its recent drunken experiment with Botox and a marker pen, it would get down on its knees Wayne's World style and do a 'we're not worthy!' bow to Getafe.A cracking performance on Wednesday night saw an injury-hit side go through to the UEFA quarters against Benfica - with a peach of a goal from Juan Angel Albín."Gavilan was offside and I saw the keeper was moving forward", revealed the Uruguayan striker. "Pato told me that Quim (stop sniggering) comes off his line a lot". Draw.Espanyol (7th) v Mallorca (11th)Mallorca have launched a brand new incentive scheme to get their previously flagging footballers to do some work, for once. It appears that if you fail to pull your weight down at the Ono Estadi, then it's off to Siberia with you.That's what has happened to Guillermo Pereya who has been flogged to Lokomotiv Moscow (and yes, La Liga Loca knows that Moscow is not in Siberia). And a similar fate almost befell Dani Güiza when he rejected an offer from Rubin of Kazakhstan.Considering Mallorca won their last match, 7-1, it's a tactic that may well be working. Home win.Valladolid (17th) v Osasuna (12th)It's another thrilling edition of News from Sweden, today, with those randy Scandies ramping up for the Eurovision Song Contest. In attempt to counter the truly abysmal Spanish entry - which Juan Carlos Valerón admits to having as his ringtone, something deserving a hefty boot to the knee - the Swedes have lined up some impressive talent. This particular entry from Christer Sjögren is La Liga Loca's favourite. Home win.Almería (8th) Barcelona (2nd)La Liga Loca would like to write an insightful piece on why Thierry Henry has cited missing his daughter as a reason for his disappointing performances, this season. But it can't.That's because the person next to the blog in its cafe is on frickin' Skype being talked through how to load photos onto his frickin' Facebook profile. He may well be adding one of him with a teaspoon where his eyeball used to be, before too long. Draw.Atlético Madrid (4th) v Levante (20th)The memories of this particular encounter from last season are still too raw for the blog to return to the Calderón for another dose. The 1-0 stinker still produces an involuntary shudder from anyone who was unlucky enough to be there that day.This year's fun-packed football-fest is between two of the biggest whiners of the league, with both clubs constantly complaining about slights against them by the man in the middle."We only ask respect from the referees", bleated Levante's Alex Geijo - a similar plea being given by all and sundry at Atlético. Home win.You can catch Tim Stannard on Real Madrid TV's 'Extra Time' at 22.05 GMT on Sky Digital channel 446 - and repeated over the weekend.
SHARES
14 March 2008
Manchester La Fianna are flying. We’ve won nine on the bounce and risen to the top of the 24-team Barcelona International Football League with eight games to play.
SHARES
14 March 2008
In the end it was a cry for help rather than a full-blown attempt at professional suicide.
SHARES
13 March 2008
Before every La Liga game last Sunday, a minute’s silence was held in memory of Isaías Carrasco, the PSOE councillor from Mondragón who was shot three times and killed by ETA as the Basque terrorist group sought to disrupt the run-in to the Spanish general elections. The silence was impeccably observed everywhere. Everywhere, that is, except for two places: Osasuna’s Reyno de Navarra stadium, where they instead opted (as is the club’s tradition) for applause, and Athletic Bilbao’s San Mamés, where the response of some radical fans turned a minute’s silence into sixteen seconds of quiet punctured with shouts and abuse. The failure to complete a minute’s silence at San Mamés has inevitably brought criticism of a club that has often been seen - and seen itself - as the footballing expression of Basque nationalism. It has been attacked as another example of the institution being tacit, implicit supporters of ETA. And yet there is another way of looking at it. Athletic have long-since claimed that it is their policy not to hold a minute’s silence for anyone. The claim is not quite true --  in 1978 there was a minute’s silence for the etarra José Miguel Beñarán and in 1984 Real Sociedad and Athletic Bilbao together carried a Basque flag onto the pitch after the assassination of the leader of the Basque separatist party Herri Batasuna, Santiago Brourard.
SHARES
12 March 2008
In this 'buy coffee, sell tea', dog-eat-dog, 'I drink your milkshake' world there is nothing more exasperating than the Spanish 'abuela' or grandmother. With her strange bouffant hair, fur coat and hatred of humanity, she is a frightening combination of Yeti, prop forward and Harpy. The 'abuela' can make your life a misery if you happen to be in a bit of hurry. And may the gods of Olympus help you if you happen to be married to one of their daughters. Pop in to grab a couple of plums at your local greengrocer and there she'll be, bickering with the owner and sniffing every strawberry. Go to a cafe and there she'll be, barking orders at waitresses and overpowering you with a scent that is a mixture of Estée Lauder and carpet cleaner. Everyday is a slow day for the 'abuela'. Which is why she will appreciate Wednesday in Spain, where diddly squat is going on. Nada. Nothing. In Barcelona, 'Sport' have done what they always do on such a day. And that's run an internet poll and publish it as news. Last week's question of 'does Andres Iniesta cover his nose to hunt seals?' has been replaced with 'which attacking trio would you like to see ambling about the pitch against Almería?' The reply from the Catalan paper's work-dodging readership was Bojan, Eto'o and Iniesta. 'Marca' have gone for interviewing the Italian comedian who did the least successful impersonation of Nicolas Cage since Beth Ditto broke onto the set of Con Air. And the mamma-mia-ing chirpy chappy talked about his experience on the Real Madrid presidential balcony confessing that he had never been given such a large amount of free stuff in his life. Rojiblanco president and all round figure of fun, Enrique Cerezo, decided to attend a footballing forum where the topic of discussion was "Atlético Madrid and its Circumstances". Despite being rewarded with a half an hour lecture on football management in the 21st century - although what Cerezo knows about that could be written on Guti's acorn-sized brain - the audience of rojiblanco fans were left unimpressed. "If I had closed my eyes, I wouldn't have known whether he was speaking about Atlético Madrid or Corte Inglés (a department store)", admitted one audience member. Espanyol's leadership are spending the week contemplating how to boost their flagging European campaign and what action to take against Raul Tamudo for getting himself sent off after Saturday's Real Madrid match had finished. Actually, that's a big fat lie. Espanyol's leadership are spending the week deciding whether to have the Catalan flag on their shirts, next season. And that's exactly why only Barcelona and Getafe are the only Spanish clubs left in Europe, this season. And it could be one less, on Thursday morning, if Getafe fail to hang onto their 2-1 lead over Benfica, on Wednesday night. Noises from Valencia suggest that Ronald Koeman will be kicked out of Mestalla, should he fail to deliver a Copa del Rey final to his beleaguered bosses. The Dutch coach took over with the club in 4th and four points off the top. They are now ninth and twenty-six off the top with Koeman having managed just 15 points from the past 48. A fine performance, indeed, and well worth the 3 million euro pay off he'll get, should his booty be binned.
SHARES
12 March 2008
Italy is a country that has little time to pick over the bones of the dead.
SHARES
12 March 2008
Early this year, Fluminense managed to sign three fantastic strikers for their return to the Copa Libertadores. Two of them, to the fans delight, were snapped up at the peak of their form from under the noses of their cross-town arch-rivals: Leandro Amaral from Vasco da Gama, and Dodô from Botafogo.

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