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SHARES
2 April 2008
First there was fear and loathing, now we have chaos and violence. It has been one of the saddest couple of weeks in Argentine football for years.
SHARES
1 April 2008
It seems that Bernd Schuster is not the only manager in Madrid to have an uncontrollable evil dark side, as Javier Aguirre does, too. While the alter-ego of the man at the helm of Real Madrid has taken to getting up in the night, logging onto his website to criticise his own managerial decisions, Atlético's Mexican man of mayhem has been much more public in his polemical pronunciations.By day, Aguirre is a smiling, joshing and japing mild-mannered manager. But come match day, he turns into a potty-mouthed, X-Rated video on legs. The former Osasuna coach first showed signs of this bi-polar behaviour against Real Zaragoza, early last month, when he reportedly yelled "you're going down to the second!" - but with extra naughty words - to Zaragoza team doctor Jesus Villanueva, as he passed by the rojiblanco bench. "I didn't know who he was", confessed a contrite coach after the game. "I thought he was the ball collector".
SHARES
Marco Gabbiadini
1 April 2008
"Running a hotel must be every woman’s dream because there’s always something that needs decorating."
SHARES
31 March 2008
Good DayVillarrealThe big debate in Spain - aside from whether the country's Eurovision entry 'Rodolfo Chikilicuatre' is a national disgrace or one of the wonders of the world - is whether Villarreal possess the footballing tackle to go for the league title.La Liga Loca stands alone - again - and thinks that they do. Earlier in the season, the Yellow Submarine were akin to Gonzalo Higuaín in front of goal when faced with the prospect of going top, but as Sunday night at the Bernabeu showed, anything is possible. Now that Villarreal's place in the Champions League is safely secured, the blog feels that this may give the players the powerful porridge needed to give the league title a good old go. Real Madrid's DefenceWhilst most plaudits in the Madrid press have gone to Raul for his cracking effort against Sevilla, the unheralded heroes of the hour for Real Madrid were the side's back three (Marcelo doesn't count).Fabio Cannavaro has turned from donkey to Don in the space of seven days, with his control over Kanouté and Fabiano, but Gabriel Heinze was the pick of the bunch after scoring his first goal for the club and for a string of outstanding interventions and barnstorming blocks.With eight games still to play and Real Madrid set to lose to Mallorca, next weekend, the league title is far from won. But Sunday's 3-1 victory was the team's best performance for some time and a big old thump on the table, as El Mundo claims. Racing SantanderMarcelino's men have reacted to their Copa del Rey knock out against Getafe with two straight wins. Racing's success this season has been built on a tight as a Catalan back five - the team has kept 16 clean sheets - and goals coming from all areas of the pitch, with 11 separate league scorers. Ivan Boldado's cheeky reverse flick that grabbed the third in their 3-0 pounding of the pathetic Pericos reflected the ingenuity and downright cheekiness of a Racing side that are only out of the Champions League places on goal difference. AlmeríaIf past seasons are to be believed, then Almeria have hauled themselves over the threshold of survival with their 2-1 win over Levante. And it will be of great relief to Unai Emery and co as the side had failed to win any of their last five games. Whatever happens to the club, this season, whether they try to take on Espanyol or opt for an Aston Villa style mental holiday, one of the highlights of the year will be Emery explaining on a white board how his side were going to beat Real Madrid. And then doing so. Chapeau. Dani GüizaScored his 16th and 17th goals of the season for Mallorca, on Sunday afternoon, ensuring that he remains the top Spanish Primera striker and will still be picked ahead of Raul for his country. Which is always funny.But Gregorio Manzano's claim that the forward will score 20, this season, may well lead to dazzling Dani heading to England this summer. And if you are to believe Getafe's Angel Torres' claims that his forward used to ring him at four in the morning when completely lost, it's a spell that may not go well. ValladolidApparently, Valladolid are the side which has made the most crosses, this season. 1004 to be exact. The trouble is that most of them have been missing their two front men - Llorente and Víctor - of late with the front pair only managing three goals in the team's previous nine outings.But this drought ended on Sunday with an unbelievably important double against visiting Zaragoza in Valladolid's so crucial it hurts 2-1 win. XiscoThe Arizmendi affect strikes again. The second worst striker in the league bagged a hat trick for Deportivo on Sunday. But all with his head. Which makes the blog continue its suspicions that the forward possesses Toblerone-shaped feet. EduAs well as scoring his traditional 'ball from the left header', the brilliant Betis striker bagged an absolute corker to beat Barcelona. The victory also owed a great deal to David Odonkor who finally looked like the fastest player in Europe (100m in 10.80 seconds, apparently) and the footballer who was half decent for Germany in the World Cup. Betis looked dead and buried in the first half but showed they possessed as much bottle as their fans to claw their way back to win a very famous victory. Bad DayThe Men in SuitsSo Betis got their way, in the end, after stalling for 10 days and played their match in the de Lopera stadium. And AS, for one, were not impressed with the way the Spanish footballing authorities handled the whole affair. "The decision was made some 30 hours before the game. A new record", wrote Alfredo Relaño. "It's a dark world stuffed with influences, jealousies, changes in criteria and jurisprudence for all tastes", continued the paper's editor on the state of the game in Spain.BarcelonaThere's a lot of things to do on a pleasant Sunday morning in Barcelona. Take a trip on the terrifying cable-car over the harbour. Get pick-pocketed. But 200 locals decided to turn up at Barça's training session to yell all manner of insults at the players. "Millionaire Mercenaries!". "Less screwing and more playing!", were a couple of the gems hurled and two taunts that have never been laid at La Liga Loca's door. One particularly angry man even scrawled a message in biro on a piece of A4 thinking that Marquez and co had X-Men style super vision.It looks like the Saturday night Barça disaster was a bridge too far for both the fans and hacks of the Catalan club. "Disgraceful!" "That's Enough!" wrote Mundo Deportivo. "Intolerable! Unacceptable! Impotent!" screamed Sport, a paper who still found space amongst its rants to flog its Barcelona travel bag. Maybe Frank Rijkaard will buy one.GetafeA not-dressed-for-the-cold-and-rain La Liga Loca headed down to the Coliseum, on Sunday, to watch a match that even victorious coach, Ziganda, admitted was "not great". But he was still happy after seeing his side scrap their way to a 2-0 win. It's a second league defeat in a row for Getafe who clearly have their minds elsewhere. "With 48 games in their legs, the Madrid team has the right to save energy", opined El Pais. But not until they have broken the 42 point barrier, perhaps. Atlético MadridLast week, La Liga Loca wrote that the rojiblancos had suddenly grown a pair. Looks like it dropped off, just as quickly. Valencia"Koeman Stay!" "Koeman Out!" were just two of the cries heard in Mestalla over the past 10 days with the fans not knowing if they are coming or going. Rather like the players who were rolled over 3-0 by visiting Mallorca. "We left a lamentable image", complained the Dutch coach. "The players were playing for themselves, not the team", he continued pointing a big old finger at David Villa who walked from the pitch, after being substituted without acknowleging the oncoming Joaquín.EspanyolDespite another defeat for Espanyol, Paul from Barcelona, seems surprisingly chirpy - perhaps after his Sunday morning trip to the Camp Nou training ground. "Well the performance wasn't as bad as the scoreline suggests but it was still awful. Should have had a couple of penalties and had a perfectly good goal disallowed for God knows what. But Racing seemed to get the run of the ball and here lies the problem. Nothing is going our way at the moment.Points for discussion:
SHARES
31 March 2008
Ever wondered what happened to Roberto Baggio?
SHARES
28 March 2008
Saturday
SHARES
28 March 2008
Roberto Donadoni has claimed he isn’t concerned about the rumours that Marcello Lippi will be back in charge of Italy after Euro 2008.
SHARES
27 March 2008
In Brazil, when something is done just to keep up appearances, we use the expression para inglês ver – “so the Englishman can see it”.
SHARES
27 March 2008
It was a downbeat reaction from the dailies to Italy’s defeat in Spain on Wednesday.La Gazzetta dello Sport claimed it was a step backwards in Roberto Donadoni’s preparations for Euro 2008 and felt that the coach had failed to get the best out of his side which they claimed: “lacked invention.”Press invention is something Donadoni is getting used to and he is becoming somewhat weary of a growing campaign to have him ousted and Marcello Lippi returned to his rightful place as the custodian of the country’s hopes for the 2010 World Cup qualifying campaign.Even Azzurri team manager Gigi Riva was jumping on the pro-Lippi bandwagon when he let it slip on purpose that he wouldn’t be surprised if the old cigar chomper was reinstated when things fell apart in Austria and Switzerland.There have been reports that Donadoni turned down a new contract last week after the federation demanded a get-out clause if the team did not reach the semi-finals of the competition at least.
SHARES
27 March 2008
So, Spain beat Italy - dirty, boring, cynical, successful Italy - in Elche. 1-0 thanks to a fantastic volley from David Villa. And it could not have gone better. Which is a roundabout way of saying it could not have gone much worse.  Let La Liga Loca explain: some time soon after the hour, some of the fans - the ones that were still awake - starting chanted for “Raúl”, the beatified yet still absent striker and national icon who has become a stick with which to beat coach Luis Aragonés and the national team.

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