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SHARES
20 January 2009
It was a wonderfully choreographed piece of theatre that would have done Barack Obama proud.On a wet and windy Monday night in Milan, Silvio Berlusconi strolled out of his two-up, two-down to announce to the thoroughly soaked and sodden members of the press that “Kaka is staying with us. Money isn’t everything.“The negotiations were closed by myself and Kaka so all I can say is, long live Kaka.” A little earlier in downtown Milan, the player had given the game away somewhat when he appeared in the window of his humble abode to wave his number 22 shirt at the fans gathered below, and give the general impression of a man who had dodged a long prison sentence.
SHARES
20 January 2009
To celebrate the end of the first half of the latest campaign of craziness in La Liga, the blog has decided to display a thumping lack of originality and imagination with an alternative XI of the season so far. A ‘best-of’ would be a fairly simple task - Barcelona with maybe David Villa squeezed in. And Raúl, of course.But the blog wants to take a time-out to salute the little guy of La Liga - no, not Xavi - by naming a sensational side of unsung heroes that would probably finish mid-table but have caught the blog’s beady eye over the past five months. There are bigger, better and more deserving cases, no doubt - and La Liga Loca would love to hear all about them. But for now...Goalkeeper - Renan (Valencia)By no means the best keeper in La Liga this season - or even in the top five - but deserving of a spot between the sticks simply because he has been, well, fairly anonymous. No great foul-ups, no wavy tentacles. Just solid goalkeeping over all 19 games. And that’s no mean feat considering the dramas over the past few years with Cañizares and Hildebrand.
SHARES
19 January 2009
Three times the size of Paris and still growing, Sao Paulo overwhelms with its sheer scale - the picture at the front of this month’s FourFourTwo only shows a fraction of the urban sprawl.
SHARES
19 January 2009
GOOD DAY
SHARES
19 January 2009
AC Milan have been acting all innocent in the Ricky Kaka saga but according to a Serie Aaaaargh! source close to the club, they in fact officially informed the player on Friday that they were ready to listen to Manchester City’s mind-blowing offer.Needless to say, Kaka was somewhat thrown by Milan’s willingness to contemplate allowing him to leave, regardless of the transfer fee.The Serie Aaaaargh! source then related that a “heated” conversation with papa Kaka - who runs his affairs - confirmed junior’s worst fears, but “hey, look on the bright side, think of all that lovely loot” was the pay-off line.
SHARES
16 January 2009
New year, same old story.
SHARES
16 January 2009
To quote Bob Dylan, “money doesn’t talk, it swears.”No doubt the air has been turned blue around the AC Milan headquarters in the last few days as the runaway train that is Kaka to Manchester City gathers speed.Silvio Berlusconip’s right-hand man, Adriano Galliani, who usually can’t pass a microphone without offering a sound-bite, has been sneaking in and out of the backdoor at the club’s base.
SHARES
16 January 2009
SaturdayBarcelona (1st) vs Deportivo (7th)Joan Laporta’s dastardly plan to expand his evil empire from Catalunya to the rest of the globe had been going rather well. Football fans all over the world are throwing petals before the fancy feet of the Barcelona players and toppling statues of their former rulers. Everyone - except FIFA, and the French - were declaring that Messi was the real top dog of the global game. “I’m a man of the people,” declared Laporta, fooling no one. “Those who truly enjoy football chose Messi.” But, this week, there was the slightest of speed bumps in Laporta’s footballing fast line - the news that Barça will have to 'cup ‘em and cough' and shell out 57 million euro to a TV company. The cash is income that Sogecable say is due from the club’s international matches between 2003 to 2008. ‘Not so’, say Barcelona who will fight the judicial decision that sent the club’s bean counters barking. But that’s not where the festival of fines ended for the Catalan club.
SHARES
16 January 2009
Bricks and brothels
SHARES
15 January 2009
Wheee! Slice! Argh!Wheee! Slice! Argh!That, dear readers, is the sound of two more men falling on their swords.Baa! Hack! Argh!Baa! Hack! Argh!The sound, more to the point, of two more sacrificial lambs being slaughtered. Two sacrificial lambs by the name of Mariano Rodríguez de Barutell, known as “Nanín”, and Luis Bárcena.Not sacrificial lambs that La Liga Loca feels especially sorry for – especially not poor little rich boy Nanín - but sacrificial lambs nonetheless. You see, last night Bárcena and Nanín were sacked from their posts at Real Madrid by (the still) president Ramón Calderón. The guilty men in the scandal uncovered by Marca. The men who have paid the price so that Calderón doesn’t have to. Rather like Fabio Capello, in fact. Or Bernd Schuster. Now, for those of you a little behind, here’s what’s happened so far…(You might want to adopt a deep cinema-style voice here.)Previously on Castle Greyskull … Unpopular president Ramón Calderón – already accused of, well, too many things for La Liga Loca to recap, especially without the help of our lawyer Lionel Hutz - panics that he might not get the accounts and a few other bits and bobs of business approved by the members’ assembly on December 7. He is terrified, nay petrified, of the dark shadow of a certain Florentino Pérez.Calderón scrapes through the members’ assembly. During aforementioned assembly, members of the Ultra Sur - one of whom, a gift for the media, could not have been any more of a cartoon bad guy if he joined the Ant Hill Mob - spend the assembly shouting “anti-Madridistas sons of bitches” at those who oppose him and o“Presidente! Presidente!” at Calderón himself.There are lots of accusations and angry words, lots of shouting and pushing and other generally un-edifying shenanigans going on. Votes are cast by a show of hands (as they always have been). Votes are counted in the pretty little heads of the stewardesses (as they always have been). Some members are denied access to the arena to watch events unfold. Accusations are made that the club laid on busses to get the Ultras there. Calderón denies it.“What are busses?” he says.* Just over a month later, Marca breaks the story that Calderón “robbed” the assembly. It alleges that Calderón infiltrated the assembly with people loyal to him to make sure he got through the vote. Bárcena, director of members and the man responsible for organising the assembly, says he will investigate and take the necessary actions.The next day, Marca publishes a follow up. It includes photos of the men who shouldn’t have been there: some because they are not compromisarios (members with a voice and vote for the assembly), some because they are but shouldn’t be (because their form wasn’t completed correctly or because they have not been members long enough to qualify), and one because he is an Atlético Madrid season ticket holder. Strategically placed, all are aggressive during the assembly.

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