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SHARES
4 June 2008
When Ramón Calderón pledged last week that his personal goal for next season was to open his presidential trap an awful lot less, La Liga Loca's face fell faster than Jesus Navas being handed a suitcase and a round-the-world airline ticket. That's because every time the Real Madrid president opens his gob something ludicrous, pointless or FIFA sanction-inviting inevitably tumbles out. And that's a comedy gold mine for this deeply unimaginative blog to tap. Calderón's latest crazy plan is to retire Raul's number seven shirt when the striker hangs up his boots. But only as a mark of respect, of course, and not as a cheap populist gesture proving once again that the Bernabeu bigwig simply doesn't get 'it'.
SHARES
3 June 2008
River Plate have extended their lead over Estudiantes after a comfortable home win against mid-table Colon, despite playing most of the game with 10 men.
SHARES
3 June 2008
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SHARES
2 June 2008
Today is Republic Day in Italy – a chance to commemorate the birth of a new nation and, more importantly, a Monday off for everyone.Everyone expect those Inter minions who have to organise the press conference to finally unveil Jose Mourinho.It’s the biggest draw not only in Milan but all over the country. Like Juventus, Inter have fans the length and breath of the peninsula and they can’t wait for the Special One to take over if a straw poll of those enjoying the bank holiday weekend in the sunshine on the island of Lipari is anything to go by.Situated off the northern coast of Sicily, Lipari is the largest of the Aeolian Islands - as far away from the hustle and pollution of Milan as you can get, but just as Nerazzurri mad.There are only about 9,000 inhabitants on this idyllic retreat but a large portion proclaim their love for the black and blues and are all for the changes afoot away up in the misty, damp north.In the bars around the pretty harbour of Marina Corta on Sunday morning the general consensus was that Roberto Mancini had been the favoured son who fell out with dad because he couldn’t grow up and dad had to find a man for a man’s job.All very macho and Sicilian but, lo and behold, didn’t Massimo Moratti come out with pretty much the same thing when he gave a quick sound bite to the press later that afternoon.“I like Mourinho because of his professionalism and his experience, and with him in charge there will be less suffering and success will be much easier,” were his exact words.However, the inference was that Mancini had not been professional: telling the world he was resigning; or experienced: all that in-fighting with the players.“Mourinho will whip them into shape,” seemed to be the party line from the die-hards. There was a time in Italy, not so long ago, when footballers were truly revered but that’s no more, especially for the old codgers who you feel wouldn’t be too dismayed if a certain Mr. Mussolini was still around.Maybe a change of demographic would yield some sympathy for Mancio and certainly for the young generation there were mixed feelings at his departure.“He’s won us the last two titles and he’s stuck it to Juventus,” was one comment on his lasting legacy. However, it was forwards and onwards and whether their new heroes would be Deco, Lampard and Eto’o.It took the female folk to get right to the heart of the matter as they gazed on those smouldering eyes and grey locks, in a Saturday edition of Gazzetta dello Sport, at the Portuguese chap on a photo op with Moratti in Paris.“He looks like someone who knows what he wants and knows how to get it,” was the gist of their longing.Maybe dear old Massimo had been thinking the very same thing.
SHARES
2 June 2008
If there are two men in Spain who definitely need to join Guti and Raul for a spot of R&R it's the Chuckle Brothers of La Liga, Ramón Calderón and Joan Laporta. Not that the comedy duo have worked particularly hard over the past nine months and deserve to be smeared in oil by busty beach babes. Instead, its because the paranoid presidential pair appear to be 'doing a Marcelino' and going a little bit doolally.Just a few weeks ago, the King of Catalunya was gibbering away in a TV interview about people "behind me" who were out to get him. But now it's Ramón Calderón's turn to come over all Mulder in an interview with Marca where he advised that the shadowy football figure of Florentino Pérez was the root cause of his recent institutional rumblings.
SHARES
30 May 2008
After weeks of placid quietude, Edmundo has had another outburst. After missing a crucial penalty kick in the Copa do Brasil semi-final, our very own Animal shaved his head and announced his retirement on Thursday. I don’t remember what I had for lunch yesterday. But I do remember Edmundo’s performance at penalty kicks. Below par, to say it with the due respect the former Brazilian international deserves.So I couldn’t believe it when I saw him walking up to the penalty spot once again – this time in the Vasco vs Sport shootout on Wednesday.He had just netted Vasco’s second goal - in the 91st minute - which tied the aggregate score and took the game to penalties. So, even if his team didn’t go through, the 37-year-old was going to be praised for getting them that far.But things seldom end well with Edmundo. As he strolled up to the spot you could see what the fans were thinking. “No, not him! Please no.” In other words: you could see the train wreck around the corner, but couldn’t warn the driver.The Animal then punted the ball on to the Copacabana and Sport got their ticket to face Corinthians in the final – more about this game next week – by winning the shootout 5-4. Oh, and last year Edmundo had also caused Palmeiras' elimination from the same Copa do Brasil by missing a penalty in the shootout against minnows Ipatinga.
SHARES
30 May 2008
On Thursday, a smugger looking version of Seinfeld’s George Costanza banged on the drawbridge doors of the Kingdom of Catalunya carrying a very large box indeed. It wasn’t elevenses being delivered to the Barça board, but 9,473 signatures which will trigger a supporter’s referendum on the future of Lord Laporta’s reign.
SHARES
30 May 2008
Every year, usually about this time, football goes barking mad.
SHARES
29 May 2008
With two games to go the domestic league is wide open, with six teams within six points of each other. But however important it is to Argentine football fans for their team to win the championship, each would gladly lose the title to their arch rivals on the last day of the season 20 times over in exchange for a Copa Libertadores in their dusty cabinets.

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