After another dismal performance previewing the Copa Libertadores quarter-finals Ã¢ÂÂ with three misses out of four Ã¢ÂÂ I humbly excused myself from trying to forecast the tournament's semi-finals.IÃ¢ÂÂm sure you, faithful reader, noticed it and even though this silence spared you a good crack at my expense IÃ¢ÂÂm confident you understood and supported my decision. Thank you.The good news is that during this break I saved enough energy for one last oracular blog before the final. So donÃ¢ÂÂt forget to return here on June 25 on the eve of the first leg when IÃ¢ÂÂll announce the upcoming Libertadores champ. Just donÃ¢ÂÂt let your bookie know.Anyway, back to business.LDU have sealed their ticket to the final. The Ecuatorians advanced on away goals after a goalless draw in the second-leg Ã¢ÂÂ after tieing the first game 1-1 Ã¢ÂÂ against America in Quito.
Jose Mourinho did not disappoint and compelling stuff it was too.As charm offensives go he was pretty irresistible, wooing the massed ranks of press and television crews with an excellent command of Italian and relaxed style of a man sitting at the top table of world football.They had come to hail the new saviour of Italian football and while the local hacks were all deferential in their long-winded questions, the man from the Guardian played the perfect fall-guy.A no-nonsense Ã¢ÂÂare you going to raid Chelsea for players?Ã¢ÂÂ was met with a Ã¢ÂÂdo you think I am going to answer that?Ã¢ÂÂ Adding: Ã¢ÂÂI am not an idiot.Ã¢ÂÂHowever, to the gasps and hoots of the locals the pay-off line was delivered in local Milanese dialect. Ã¢ÂÂNon sono una pirla.Ã¢ÂÂ Ã¢ÂÂPirlaÃ¢ÂÂ meaning Ã¢ÂÂidiotÃ¢ÂÂ or something a touch stronger.Certainly Mourinho and Inter are nobodyÃ¢ÂÂs fools and this was a well choreographed affair.
When RamÃÂ³n CalderÃÂ³n 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. CalderÃÂ³n'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'.