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SHARES
10 September 2010
Saturday
SHARES
9 September 2010
La Gazzetta dello Sport has just printed a handy guide for anyone wishing to browse through the salaries of each and every current Serie A player gathered from Italy’s biggest-selling sports paper’s own sources.
SHARES
8 September 2010
See. Even when La Liga Loca is completely wrong, it’s right. While the blog was suggesting that the Argentina v Spain friendly was the flounciest of flimflams, something to tune into if there was nothing better to do of a Tuesday night, a channel-filler during the normal 35 minute blocks of adverts on TV and a chance to swoon at Santi Cazorla’s little hamster face, the Spanish press was happily hyping the game into something that resembled a meaningful game of football. “The final that never was!” yelled Marca on Tuesday, rubbing its metaphorical hands in glee at the prospect of a match between South African sensations and South African saps. But after a Monumental spanking for Spain so severe that it would have brought tears even to Wayne Rooney’s eyes, Marca has now downgraded the clash from ‘The Final That Never Was!’ to ‘The Match That Didn’t Mean That Much Anyway. No. Honestly. You Know. Friendlies and Stuff (Sniff).’“It was too much punishment,” complained Wednesday’s not caring, but caring really front page which dismissed Spain's 4-1 pummeling by claiming; “the game was a friendly for la Roja but it was a final for Argentina,” - a notion that even a blog as behind-the-times and more than a little...slow...as LLL stablemate Argie Bargy came to realise the day before.Vicente Del Bosque’s third defeat as Spanish manager was one that will have taught the team - the same team who ARE EUROPEAN AND WORLD CHAMPIONS AND DON’T NEED ONE, YOU KNUCKLEHEADS - a lesson, tutted the paper’s editorial. “Everyone will be waiting for us in every game, whether it is a friendly or not,” wrote Marca climbing onto its high horse, giving it a smack on the arse with a photo of Cristiano Ronaldo and riding off into the sunset. Considering that Del Bosque’s job over the past few months was to win the World Cup and start the 2012 European Championship qualification process with a victory  over Liechtenstein - a task that he’s achieved - LLL feels that the paper is being more than a tad harsh. AS are leaning in that direction too with Alfredo Relaño wondering whether what was basically an exercise to win the Argentinean vote in the 2018 World Cup poll was worth the Tuesday afternoon tonking. “It wasn’t worth giving away our prestige,” sighed the paper’s editor. The match was very much a win-win situation for the Barcelona-barmy press with ten of the club’s players in action in the encounter meaning that their writers were able to adopt a very Dennis Law playing for both sides attitude to the game. Considering the Barcelona born and bred, hometown hero David Villa failed to find the scoresheet for the visitors, both main papers chose to pay tribute to Gonzalo Higuaín and his lovely goal. Not really. Heck, not even the pro-Real Madrid press went for that crazy option. Instead it was Leo Messi who was seen as the King of the Hill. “Monumental Messi!” said the pot-banging Sport, who also accused Spain of not taking the game as seriously as the Argentineans did. “The difference was huge, an abyss,” ranted Josep María Casanovas - a scolding that could swiftly be curtailed by a “show us yer medals” response from Del Bosque’s boys. Mundo Deportivo also went for the Messi-madness option with their declaration of “Mucho Messi!” before shuffling off and returning to its normal business of flogging official Barcelona adult nappies. What was a big, juicy clash against Argentina will be quickly be reduced to the merest of blips with the Spanish press moving their gaze back to la Liga and the normal old nonsense. Indeed, Marca are off the mark first with their cooing that Real Madrid’s record €450m budget for the new season sees the club as a glorious "money-making machine." It’s like Tuesday never really happened, really.
SHARES
8 September 2010
Ridvan Dilmen is not only one of the greatest footballers in Turkish history; he is also one of the only pundits who actually knows anything about football.
SHARES
8 September 2010
FFT.com contributor Carl Burkitt thinks the former Boro boss could be just the man for Southampton...
SHARES
7 September 2010
Argentina are now the proud scorers of the best goal in World Cup history – for two sports.
SHARES
7 September 2010
The Ukrainian Premier-Liha isn’t just about the Dynamo Kyiv/Shakhtar Donetsk cartel, even if it has been absolutely aaaaages since anyone has broken their duopoly on the top two spots (Chornomorets Odessa were runners-up in the 1995/96 season, to save you a trip to Wikipedialand).
SHARES
7 September 2010
La Liga Loca was going to waffle on about Spain’s clash with Argentina on Tuesday night. Then the blog suddenly remembered that it didn’t really give a hooping hoot about international football.
SHARES
6 September 2010
The blog is not happy. The new season began four weeks ago but TD, like a drunk teenager with jet lag, is still struggling to get to grips with the four day ‘weekend’ fixture schedule.
SHARES
6 September 2010
It must be tough being David Villa at times. Not just because of the hours spent every morning to get that tiny under-lip beard the Barça striker sports just so. Whilst everyone causes such a frenzied fuss and kerfuffle about fellow products of La Masia like Messi, Iniesta and Piqué, the poor poppet is forced to show strangers photographs of his scamp-faced younger self alongside Carles Puyol to prove that he really is Camp Nou born and bred. Well, that’s not entirely true. In the same way that Christopher Lambert had to pass off his terrible attempt at a Scottish accent in 'Highlander', the Asturian also comes from “lots of different places” having begun at Sporting and moved to Zaragoza and then Valencia. To be fair, David Villa is as ‘Barcelonian’ as humility and modesty. But you’d never know that judging by the way Villa has been adopted by the Barcelona press - in the ‘entire professional back-story rewritten’ sense of the word. It was the Barça pure-blood who lead Spain to World Cup glory and Mundo Deportivo is back in business, this week, by praising Villa to the high heavens over his reception in Argentina where he has really “energised” the locals with his Catalan greatness.Villa is in the Falklands-fancying part of the world to take part in a friendly on Tuesday and either beat or equal Raúl’s goal-scoring record for Spain with a single strike. Naturally, this being the polemic-loving nature of la Primera, which of the two potential outcomes you believe depends on whether you are an evil-doing Real Madrid follower or a decent, hard-working Barcelona supporter, according to Mundo Deportivo, anyway.The former (a group Marca are part of) feel Villa is still one behind the former Madrid captain on 43 goals - that strike coming in Friday’s 4-0 win against Liechtenstein - because they have awarded the first effort in pre-World Cup friendly against Poland as an own-goal for the on-rushing defender, Dudka (judge for yourself here). This group include the Spanish FA, a pro-Raúl, pro-Real Madrid organisation that has been “contaminated” by the debate, claim Mundo Deportivo.  Groups that the paper would consider right-thinking souls who give Villa 44 goals include UEFA and this is causing no end of problems for stat-loving hacks and managed to set off an inter-FFT squabble during the World Cup. Aside from Villa’s newly-discovered Barcelona roots, the other news from the Catalan capital was Joan ‘Joan’ Laporta defending himself from claims made in the Madrid papers that he and his board were less than frugal with their expense accounts during his seven years in charge of the Camp Nou club. In reality, this is quite an important issue as the institution's money is the members' money and ideally should not be splurged on booze, trinkets and private jets by snout-guzzling fat cats - an accusation leveled at Laporta. Joan comes into the debate already in a bit of a sticky situation having admitted what every culé knew - and a reason for his candidate’s election defeat - in that he was using the publicity generated by Barça to launch his own political career. “If I could have taken more advantage of [the club] I would have,” admitted Laporta in August. In a TV interview over the weekend, the former Barcelona president responded to allegations that €400,000 had been spent on private jets in a year, €600,000 had been given to the Catalan FA and jewelry and watches worth €420,000 had been given to his players by blaming a conspiracy by the “Spanish media cavern” - a familiar theme for the former King of Cataluyna. Laporta argued that the allegations detailed in an audit ordered by Sandro Rosell - that was somehow leaked to the Madrid press - were designed to “defame me...what can’t be deleted is everything Barcelona won in these seven years.”The Cataluyna-loving crazy defended his decision to spend cash on watches for already filthy rich and well-paid footballers by claiming that the victory rewards were part of a strategy to “make like comfortable for the players.”Meanwhile, former VP Alfons Godall, pointed out that “the president of Barcelona can’t travel in tourist class nor on a bus nor on a 10-journey pass on the metro.” Especially not when someone else is paying, eh Alfons?

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