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SHARES
19 March 2008
Two young fans killed in seperate incidents, bringing the total number of football violence related deaths to 224.
SHARES
18 March 2008
Further evidence that Diego Maradona may still be as high as a kite was produced on Tuesday, with Marca revealing that the rotund rebel has recommended that Bernd Schuster be the next manager of Boca Juniors. Delirious Diego is under the impression that a man who reacts to pressure as a club president does to a tax return, would be ideally suited to a league where they are likely to set fire to his moustache, should he lose a match. "Schuster is tactically perfect, as he was as a player", cooed his former Barcelona team-mate admiringly, before he watched the German coach stick Mahamadou Diarra at left back, on Saturday night. Unfortunately, for Maradona's marvelous dream to come true, barmy Bernd may have to be tranquilised and shipped to Argentina, over the summer, as he is continuing to crack up in entertaining style. At Friday's press conference, the Teutonic titan lost what little of the plot he still possessed when asked about de Guzmán's now tedious 'no sex for a year' promise. "You think the Real Madrid press room is the right place for such questions?", blasted Bernd at the cowering hack. Schuster then defended his recent record by announcing that, "if you look at other big teams and the career of their managers, you see that in no case do they win titles in their first season". Apart from Fabio Capello. Or Jose Mourinho. Marca have interviewed Djair da Cunha, father and agent of Werder Bremen striker, Diego. Having failed to get any assurance that the Brazilian is desperate to play for the greatest club in the world, the despairing journalistic minion asked, "won't he like the sun of Spain more than the cold of Germany?" - which is about as in depth as Predrag Mijatovic gets when signing a player. More fun and games at Barcelona, with the club's medical team denying that there is anything wrong with Ronaldinho, despite Frank Rijkaard's constant claims. "There is no tendon or muscle injury", fumed an irate official declaration from the desperate doctors. With this ringing in his ears, Ronaldinho took to the training pitches, on Monday, to prove to all his doubters that he was ready and willing to lead his side to the Copa del Rey final - but then thought better off it by retiring after nine exhausting minutes. AS is reporting suspicions that Giovani may also be a work-shy malingerer. Barcelona advised over the weekend that the Mexican had a fractured bone in his foot, but one of the guests on Catalan talk show 'El Rondo' advised that, "it hasn't stopped him dancing away with his girlfriend". A double dumping is on the cards in Valencia, this week, with sporting director, Miguel Angel Ruiz, also on the brink of being moved out of Mestalla. For those struggling to keep up, Ruiz was brought in last summer to replace Amedeo Carboni and work alongside Quique Sánchez Flores. But Soler then replaced Quique with Koeman. And then sacked himself, to be replaced with Agustin Morera. Unsurprisingly, AS are reporting that Valencia no longer have the money to fire Ronald Koeman, something they have on Friday's 'to-do' list. David Villa for one couldn't give two hoots for any of this managerial malarkey. "It's not my problem. I'm not worried", sniffed the striker when questioned on his boss' precarious position. Sevilla president, José Marie Del Nido, travelled to Manchester on Monday - coincidentally, the city where most of his players will end up, next season. Del Nido was there to hand over the UEFA cup to Michel Platini. "Only those who have won things have to give them back," assured the Frenchman as he wrestled the trophy out of the clutches of the weeping Sevilla bigwig. Fans of Hércules of the Galician third division are no longer taunting all and sundry after January's 3-0 thrashing of local rivals, Cecebre. And that's because the game never took place.
SHARES
18 March 2008
If the Argentine fabulist Jorge Luis Borges had ever dropped into the pub next to Nuneaton Borough’s old Manor Park ground on matchday and I had attempted to regale him over a pint of Pedigree with a potted history of our rivalry with Bedworth United, he would probably have likened this longstanding derby in an obscure, moist part of the West Midlands to “two bald men fighting over a comb”.
SHARES
17 March 2008
Manchester La Fianna equalised ten minutes into the second half on Saturday. It hadn’t gone well before then.
SHARES
17 March 2008
Good Day Villarreal Another cracking finish from Nihat, his first league strike since 19th January, means that the smart money is on the Yellow Submarine to overhaul Barcelona and grab second spot. The really smart money may be on Villarreal winning the title, such is the ineptitude of the two terrible teams above them.  Deportivo It has been a while since La Liga Loca has cast a beady blogging eye over Deportivo but it was vaguely impressed by what it saw. Felipe on the left was the best of the bunch, but Lafita and Wilhelmsson were a constant threat to poor old Miguel Torres - a player having to look after the right flank on his own. La Liga Loca suspects that all will be ok in La Coruña. Even with the hapless Xisco in the side. Luis Fabiano A copy and paste effort from last week and the week before that and the week before that. 22 league goals, 1 in the cup and 5 in the Champions League means that if Luis Fabiano is still at Sevilla next season - and that is where he should stay - then Fernando Alonso will stop whining for five minutes. Espanyol Controversy in Montjuic! A clear foul on Arango by Torrejón went unpunished...and lead to Espanyol's late winner. And rumble-stopping Paul from Barcelona was there to see it all... "I arrived 5 minutes in to find Espanyol looking like they meant business. Going close twice early on. Then a long ball was nodded on to Guiza who tucked it away 0-1. Mallorca then dominated for the next 30 mins. Man of the match Zabaleta should have got a yellow for a horror tackle but it's Spain, so the ref was useless, he got away with it. Espanyol piled forward and should have had two penalties until Luis Garcia was hacked down and he thought 'hey third time lucky'. Luis Buried it 1-1. To be fair either team could have won it. They both went for the win. Mallorca missed, Stand-in keeper Lafuente stopped two efforts that should have been goals. The first was save of the season, a header tipped acrobatically over and the second a brave dive at the feet of some bloke who really should have scored. Zabaleta led the charge, a great cross from Angel (insert your own religious joke) and Luis Garcia headed in at the far post 89 mins 2-1. Still there was time to nearly gift Mallorca an equaliser. But luck prevailed and 3 hard won points were in the bag. 1) A draw would have been fairer but hey, Peter Stringfellow likes Mallorca so no sympathy at all.
SHARES
17 March 2008
Romans generally like their food piping hot but there is one dish best they like served cold: revenge.
SHARES
14 March 2008
It features in every '646 things to do before you become worm food' list. It is on the itinerary of every visit to Latin America. Machu Piccu. Tick. Guinea pig for lunch. Tick. Football game in Buenos Aires. Tick.
SHARES
14 March 2008
SaturdayRecreativo (18th) v Murcia (19th)Almost everything that comes out of his mouth is objectionable, but it still gives La Liga Loca a warm and fuzzy feeling to have Javier Clemente back in the football fold. Like the mad shouting man of Malasaña who has gone AWOL, the blog missed Javier's rantings more than it thought it would.After a stint with Serbia and a flirtation with Iran, the basket case from Barakaldo has now been charged with the futile task of saving Murcia from relegation. And mouthing off to the press, of course.Clemente thinks that Primera's current campaign is a lot of old toss - alarmingly, an opinion the blog has to agree with. "This is a horrible season. We are seeing two teams who can win the league despite having poor campaigns", opined Javier, who also found time to have a pop at a group of Murcia fans who, with some time to kill, turned up to training on Wednesday to yell at the players. "They should shut up, even though things aren't going well". Quite. Home win.Deportivo (16th) v Real Madrid (1st)The Nicolas Cage story has more legs that a mutated millipede. Although Julian de Guzmán's, 'I'll not have a shag for a year, if I score", promise was diverting for a while, it is Ramón's Calderón's farcical fawning of a Nicolas Cage impersonator at last week's Roma match, that is still making more waves than Maniche falling off a gondola.Marca ran a interview with Paolo Calabresi, the Con Air con man, with the Italian confessing that, "the ambassador of Mexico invited me to his country, this summer."It seems the only person at the Bernabeu to recognise the Leaving Las Vegas liar was Totti. The Italian striker spotted Calabresi and cried, 'Señor Cage!' before winking, revealed the genius joker.The rampant reporting of the spoof has got Marca into all sorts of trouble according to elconfidencial.com who write that Ramón Calderón personally called media outlets to put a lid on the embarrassing affair with the threat of cutting off exclusives to those ignoring his request.Marca opted to put the prankster on the front cover with Roberto Gomez accusing the Bernabeu bigwig of having turned into a "frivolous, distant, rancourous and vengeful person." Draw.Betis (15th) v Athletic (13th)If things weren't already bad enough for battered old Betis - Lucifer as their owner and a stadium that will collapse at the backfiring of a bus. Now, it's the threat of something that would strike fear into the heart of any football fan - the arrival of Pascal Cygan.Villarreal have finally come to the conclusion that the defender is a calamity and will be offloading him in the summer. To the city of Seville, it seems."The manager told me that Betis have asked about me, but I know nothing", confessed the one man French farce.Valencia (9th) v Sevilla (6th)In many ways, it's quite lucky that it's off the field antics that makes the headlines in Valencia, these days. The alternative is no better. This week, Juan Bautista Soler stepped down as president at a press conference where he read a statement in the same disdainful, uninterested manner as he might read a vegetarian menu.Soler cited ill health and the disappearance of his favourite vol-au-vents from board meetings as the reason for his resignation, although he will still be looking after the affairs of the club, as the majority shareholder.The new puppet president is best business buddy, Agustín Morera, who called for unity at the club, which is as much use as La Liga Loca calling for the sun not to rise. Or Fernando Gago to score a goal."We have to improve our image, from the first person who picks up the phone", declared Morera, with Soler's lips barely moving. Away win.SundayVillarreal (3rd) v Zaragoza (14th)Despite being unbelievably inconsistent, Villarreal are having quite a good season. And this is mainly down to their ability not to get caught up in all the trivial, referee-insulting, shirt-changing, manager-sacking crap just about every other club in Spain's top flight loses itself in.This week's most exciting story from the Yellow Submarine involves a plan to increase the stadium capacity to 3,200 in time for next year's expected Champions League campaign. Home win.Getafe (10th) v Racing Santander (5th)If La Liga Loca didn't already get enough strange looks because of its recent drunken experiment with Botox and a marker pen, it would get down on its knees Wayne's World style and do a 'we're not worthy!' bow to Getafe.A cracking performance on Wednesday night saw an injury-hit side go through to the UEFA quarters against Benfica - with a peach of a goal from Juan Angel Albín."Gavilan was offside and I saw the keeper was moving forward", revealed the Uruguayan striker. "Pato told me that Quim (stop sniggering) comes off his line a lot". Draw.Espanyol (7th) v Mallorca (11th)Mallorca have launched a brand new incentive scheme to get their previously flagging footballers to do some work, for once. It appears that if you fail to pull your weight down at the Ono Estadi, then it's off to Siberia with you.That's what has happened to Guillermo Pereya who has been flogged to Lokomotiv Moscow (and yes, La Liga Loca knows that Moscow is not in Siberia). And a similar fate almost befell Dani Güiza when he rejected an offer from Rubin of Kazakhstan.Considering Mallorca won their last match, 7-1, it's a tactic that may well be working. Home win.Valladolid (17th) v Osasuna (12th)It's another thrilling edition of News from Sweden, today, with those randy Scandies ramping up for the Eurovision Song Contest. In attempt to counter the truly abysmal Spanish entry - which Juan Carlos Valerón admits to having as his ringtone, something deserving a hefty boot to the knee - the Swedes have lined up some impressive talent. This particular entry from Christer Sjögren is La Liga Loca's favourite. Home win.Almería (8th) Barcelona (2nd)La Liga Loca would like to write an insightful piece on why Thierry Henry has cited missing his daughter as a reason for his disappointing performances, this season. But it can't.That's because the person next to the blog in its cafe is on frickin' Skype being talked through how to load photos onto his frickin' Facebook profile. He may well be adding one of him with a teaspoon where his eyeball used to be, before too long. Draw.Atlético Madrid (4th) v Levante (20th)The memories of this particular encounter from last season are still too raw for the blog to return to the Calderón for another dose. The 1-0 stinker still produces an involuntary shudder from anyone who was unlucky enough to be there that day.This year's fun-packed football-fest is between two of the biggest whiners of the league, with both clubs constantly complaining about slights against them by the man in the middle."We only ask respect from the referees", bleated Levante's Alex Geijo - a similar plea being given by all and sundry at Atlético. Home win.You can catch Tim Stannard on Real Madrid TV's 'Extra Time' at 22.05 GMT on Sky Digital channel 446 - and repeated over the weekend.

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