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SHARES
12 March 2008
In this 'buy coffee, sell tea', dog-eat-dog, 'I drink your milkshake' world there is nothing more exasperating than the Spanish 'abuela' or grandmother. With her strange bouffant hair, fur coat and hatred of humanity, she is a frightening combination of Yeti, prop forward and Harpy. The 'abuela' can make your life a misery if you happen to be in a bit of hurry. And may the gods of Olympus help you if you happen to be married to one of their daughters. Pop in to grab a couple of plums at your local greengrocer and there she'll be, bickering with the owner and sniffing every strawberry. Go to a cafe and there she'll be, barking orders at waitresses and overpowering you with a scent that is a mixture of Estée Lauder and carpet cleaner. Everyday is a slow day for the 'abuela'. Which is why she will appreciate Wednesday in Spain, where diddly squat is going on. Nada. Nothing. In Barcelona, 'Sport' have done what they always do on such a day. And that's run an internet poll and publish it as news. Last week's question of 'does Andres Iniesta cover his nose to hunt seals?' has been replaced with 'which attacking trio would you like to see ambling about the pitch against Almería?' The reply from the Catalan paper's work-dodging readership was Bojan, Eto'o and Iniesta. 'Marca' have gone for interviewing the Italian comedian who did the least successful impersonation of Nicolas Cage since Beth Ditto broke onto the set of Con Air. And the mamma-mia-ing chirpy chappy talked about his experience on the Real Madrid presidential balcony confessing that he had never been given such a large amount of free stuff in his life. Rojiblanco president and all round figure of fun, Enrique Cerezo, decided to attend a footballing forum where the topic of discussion was "Atlético Madrid and its Circumstances". Despite being rewarded with a half an hour lecture on football management in the 21st century - although what Cerezo knows about that could be written on Guti's acorn-sized brain - the audience of rojiblanco fans were left unimpressed. "If I had closed my eyes, I wouldn't have known whether he was speaking about Atlético Madrid or Corte Inglés (a department store)", admitted one audience member. Espanyol's leadership are spending the week contemplating how to boost their flagging European campaign and what action to take against Raul Tamudo for getting himself sent off after Saturday's Real Madrid match had finished. Actually, that's a big fat lie. Espanyol's leadership are spending the week deciding whether to have the Catalan flag on their shirts, next season. And that's exactly why only Barcelona and Getafe are the only Spanish clubs left in Europe, this season. And it could be one less, on Thursday morning, if Getafe fail to hang onto their 2-1 lead over Benfica, on Wednesday night. Noises from Valencia suggest that Ronald Koeman will be kicked out of Mestalla, should he fail to deliver a Copa del Rey final to his beleaguered bosses. The Dutch coach took over with the club in 4th and four points off the top. They are now ninth and twenty-six off the top with Koeman having managed just 15 points from the past 48. A fine performance, indeed, and well worth the 3 million euro pay off he'll get, should his booty be binned.
SHARES
12 March 2008
Italy is a country that has little time to pick over the bones of the dead.
SHARES
12 March 2008
Early this year, Fluminense managed to sign three fantastic strikers for their return to the Copa Libertadores. Two of them, to the fans delight, were snapped up at the peak of their form from under the noses of their cross-town arch-rivals: Leandro Amaral from Vasco da Gama, and Dodô from Botafogo.
SHARES
11 March 2008
I was reading The Sunday Times on the metro to the Camp Nou ahead of Barca’s title-denting defeat to a very well-organised Villarreal side. The excellent team spirit among the Villarreal players was evident the night before in Barcelona’s Hilton hotel.
SHARES
11 March 2008
Buenos Aires is a wonderful city.
SHARES
11 March 2008
After several days spent wandering the gold-paved streets of Hove pondering the conundrum of how some herbs and melted cheese stuffed in a focaccia can cost seven pounds frickin' fifty, La Liga Loca has returned poorer but no wiser to sunny Spain.
SHARES
11 March 2008
Inter held an intimate birthday party for 600 on Sunday to celebrate the club’s centenary.
SHARES
10 March 2008
Football hostilities – on and off the pitch - in the Colombian city of Cali reached a new low on Saturday night as a mass riot during the heated derby match between America de Cali and Deportivo Cali forced the game’s abandonment.
SHARES
10 March 2008
"Capello’s style wasn’t right for Real. We won but we didn’t win beautifully. The fans pay to see a spectacle..."
SHARES
7 March 2008
Think raffles, bring-and-buy sales, and prize draws are pretty rubbish ways for football clubs to make cash? Well, here’s a fund-raiser that really is shit.Over 3,000 people turned up at the home of Galician side Amoeiro Club de Fútbol, braving the rain to watch, breath bated, hearts racing, as a cow strolled round the pitch. Each and every one of them waiting in eager anticipation for Rubia - for that is the cow’s name - to, well, take a dump.In the end, it didn’t take long. Just eight minutes, in fact. And when Rubia did drop one, a roar went up - and an excited shriek of delight. Not surprising, really: for the owner of the shriek had just become the proud owner of a Seat Leon Sportline 1.9 TDI.  You see, the president of Amoeiro Ángel Cid came up with the ingenious idea of raising money by dividing his club’s A Penafita pitch into 6,000 virtual squares, all marked out by a GPS system to define their exact location. Punters would be invited to “buy” a piece of the pitch at 10 Euros a go. And then, at 12.30, a cow would be let loose on the pitch.Whoever owned the plot where the cow took a dump would win the car. “La caca de una vaca vale on coche", ran the poetic slogan: a cow’s crap is worth a car. For the luckily owner of plot number 4279, that is exactly what it was worth.For the lucky members of Amoeiro, it was also worth the future of a football club. Somehow Amoeiro sold every single plot on the pitch - which is lucky or they’d have had to encourage poor Rubia to keep on chewing the cud and keep on crapping until they found a winner - and created quite a stir.There are fewer people in the village than the 3,000 who turned up, while bids came in from all over Spain and beyond. Even the 20,000 Euro cost of the car and the fee to the local council for a spot of bovine bovver didn’t prevent them from making over 30,000 Euros, saving the club. And making Rubia something of a media star: a fat cow producing nothing but shit earning fame and fortune.Now where have we seen that one before?

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