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SHARES
12 August 2008
Once upon a time, La Liga Loca came across a poor desperate soul who used to work for Marca. And very ashamed he was about it, too. This now ex-Madrid propaganda spouting minion revealed what most people have suspected all along - that the paper just makes stuff up.
SHARES
11 August 2008
With three, long, painful weeks to go to the start of the footie season, the Spanish sporty press have gone Olympic Games crazy. And frankly Mr Shankly, who can blame them? Instead of filling their front covers with the wholly tedious and mercifully short-lived Robinho-to-Chelsea story on Monday, it's a fencer biting into a bronze medal - an odd trophy-eating craze that Rafa Nadal appears to have started.How much coverage afforded to an EPO'd up Spanish cyclist being the first to fail a drugs test - fancy that - will be interesting to see in Tuesday's press. A lot more than any football stories considering there is next to nothing going on. A bit of a problem for a footie-based blog for the world's greatest, most famous and most tingling football magazine. So it's back to the Olympics.
SHARES
11 August 2008
Stood amongst the spectacular fireworks of the Olympic opening ceremony was one Lionel Messi.
SHARES
9 August 2008
On August 4, Gerard Houllier did something he is very good at: he lectured people.
SHARES
8 August 2008
It isn't often you see a Spanish club president out on a training field - except if it's to rip his manager a new one or if there are free biscuits going. Most are too wheezy and sleazy to beat a path from either the boardroom buffet or restaurant to take part in any kind of energetic action. The only time that the multi-chinned Deportivo head honcho, Augusto Lendoiro, ever breaks into a sweat is when looking at his club's account books.Nevertheless, this week Valladolid's Carlos Suárez was pictured in Marca joining in the pre-season fun with the rest of the squad - without the aid of nurses too. But that's because this particular president is not your typical stuffed shirt. With a vague resemblance to nut-job Queens of the Stone Age singer Josh Homme, Suárez, at the age of just 40, is one of the youngest big-wigs in the Spanish game - by a good 60 years or so.
SHARES
8 August 2008
It was too good to last: a summer of silence from Jose Mourinho.Just when we thought that the moody one had gone all soft under the warm Italian skies, there he is putting the verbal boot into Claudio Ranieri.The Juventus boss had started the mischief making - first with a quip that Chelsea would have sold Frank Lampard to the Turin club rather Inter, then a barbed attack on the Mourinho ego.Speaking after a pre-season defeat to Hamburg last Sunday, Ranieri compared his reaction to a setback to that of the new Nerazzurri boss.“Unlike Mourinho, I don’t need to win to be sure of what I am doing,” he claimed.
SHARES
7 August 2008
This job is seldom dull. Here’s some of the communications I’ve had in the last 24 hours. 1) A phone call from a British lad in a Greek prison serving 14 years for allegedly drug running. He’s a Manchester United fan and wants me to send him some posters for his cell. Like I have posters of United players. 2) A call to say that ‘Mad For It’ is now number one in Amazon’s football best-sellers chart. I celebrated by making a brew and turning my office fan up from ‘1’ to ‘2’ to stop me dying in the Spanish heat. I’ve been promoting the book all week, doing interviews with media outlets as diverse as The Jewish Telegraph and TalkSport.3) News from a friend about her first date with a boy recently. “We went to a bar and both went to the toilet at the same time,” she said. “But he came back ages after me which is unusual for a lad. After finally returning, he apologised and told me that he’d really needed a shit but that there wasn’t any toilet paper. So he used his vest instead.” They’ve not seen each other since. 4) A call to from the editor of a Surf/Style magazine commissioning a 4,000-word essay on the hero that is Eric Cantona. Turns out that the said editor was born in the same Brazilian city as my girlfriend. He wants the piece to have “an element of overwrought grandeur.”5) A phone call from the former Manchester United and England defender Paul Parker. He’s in Barcelona in a few days and his son wants to visit the Camp Nou.
SHARES
7 August 2008
Two themes have dominated the news agenda in Spain over the past few weeks. One has been the weather. The other has been Cristiano Ronaldo. The first is nothing unusual. Every summer, with the thudding inevitability of an Atlético Madrid Champions League defeat, television companies dispatch reporters to the beach to confirm that it is, indeed, very hot. And everyday men in white coats pop up to share gems of summer wisdom with the watching masses such as the brilliant advice of drinking water when you are thirsty or avoiding standing in the sun like an eejit for hours on end when it is particularly hot.
SHARES
7 August 2008
That’s life (that’s life), that’s what all the people sayYou’re ridin’ high in April, shot down in May.Fast-forward two months to July in the lyrics of the 1966 classic “That’s Life”, immortalized by Frank Sinatra, and you’ll have almost have Flamengo’s story so far in the Brazilian Championship... including the shot down bit.In June, Flamengo were riding high, topping the table with a seven-point lead. Coach Caio Jr, who turned down a millionaire offer from Qatar, was celebrated as a club hero, a genious of the race. It couldn’t get better. So...Come July and the Rio de Janeiro side hit a major slump. Flamengo dropped from first to sixth, losing four games, drawing two and winning none. And as if that misery wasn’t enough, they faced an unexpected threat on Wednesday during training at Gávea.

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