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SHARES
13 August 2008
Twelve fun-filled months in the life of Atlético Madrid manager Javier Aguirre are about to be stomped on and squashed into 180 minutes of frenetic football. On Wednesday night, the rojiblancos kick off part one of their terrifying tussle against Schalke in the Champions league qualifying round. For Aguirre, it's been an unforgettable year of dodging the sack, being booed, receiving insults from his players and needlessly gobbing off at Villarreal's club doctor, thinking he was a lowly kitman.  After dragging themselves into fourth last season, wheezing and panting like an Olympic marathon runner, Atlético now need to barge their way past their battling Bundesliga opponents in order to return to the glories of the Champions League after a 4165 day absence.
SHARES
13 August 2008
Where better to begin a renaissance than Florence and where better to cock a snoop at your old employers than scoring in the Champions League.Welcome back Alberto Gilardino, previously second fiddle at AC Milan but now set to hit the high notes at Fiorentina.OK, he only scored against a pretty ordinary and dull Slavia Prague side but what the heck, it’s been an age since we have witnessed those trademark violin-mining playing celebrations.
SHARES
12 August 2008
So glamorous is my job that I had to work 12 hours on Saturday and Sunday, a situation which improved markedly on Monday as Paul Parker (ex-Manchester United and England full-back) came to Barcelona and I met him for something to eat.
SHARES
12 August 2008
Once upon a time, La Liga Loca came across a poor desperate soul who used to work for Marca. And very ashamed he was about it, too. This now ex-Madrid propaganda spouting minion revealed what most people have suspected all along - that the paper just makes stuff up.
SHARES
11 August 2008
With three, long, painful weeks to go to the start of the footie season, the Spanish sporty press have gone Olympic Games crazy. And frankly Mr Shankly, who can blame them? Instead of filling their front covers with the wholly tedious and mercifully short-lived Robinho-to-Chelsea story on Monday, it's a fencer biting into a bronze medal - an odd trophy-eating craze that Rafa Nadal appears to have started.How much coverage afforded to an EPO'd up Spanish cyclist being the first to fail a drugs test - fancy that - will be interesting to see in Tuesday's press. A lot more than any football stories considering there is next to nothing going on. A bit of a problem for a footie-based blog for the world's greatest, most famous and most tingling football magazine. So it's back to the Olympics.
SHARES
11 August 2008
Stood amongst the spectacular fireworks of the Olympic opening ceremony was one Lionel Messi.
SHARES
9 August 2008
On August 4, Gerard Houllier did something he is very good at: he lectured people.
SHARES
8 August 2008
It isn't often you see a Spanish club president out on a training field - except if it's to rip his manager a new one or if there are free biscuits going. Most are too wheezy and sleazy to beat a path from either the boardroom buffet or restaurant to take part in any kind of energetic action. The only time that the multi-chinned Deportivo head honcho, Augusto Lendoiro, ever breaks into a sweat is when looking at his club's account books.Nevertheless, this week Valladolid's Carlos Suárez was pictured in Marca joining in the pre-season fun with the rest of the squad - without the aid of nurses too. But that's because this particular president is not your typical stuffed shirt. With a vague resemblance to nut-job Queens of the Stone Age singer Josh Homme, Suárez, at the age of just 40, is one of the youngest big-wigs in the Spanish game - by a good 60 years or so.
SHARES
8 August 2008
It was too good to last: a summer of silence from Jose Mourinho.Just when we thought that the moody one had gone all soft under the warm Italian skies, there he is putting the verbal boot into Claudio Ranieri.The Juventus boss had started the mischief making - first with a quip that Chelsea would have sold Frank Lampard to the Turin club rather Inter, then a barbed attack on the Mourinho ego.Speaking after a pre-season defeat to Hamburg last Sunday, Ranieri compared his reaction to a setback to that of the new Nerazzurri boss.“Unlike Mourinho, I don’t need to win to be sure of what I am doing,” he claimed.

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