‘It Ain’t Half Cold Mum’ in La Liga

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La Liga Loca woke up this frosty Wednesday morning feeling very excited indeed.

Penelope had left nice and early for her film set, leaving the blog to lie back and contemplate the upcoming experience of going to a game of football without the inconvenience of supporters in the stadium.

And as Barcelona are playing away this evening, La Liga Loca isn’t talking about a trip to the Camp Nou.

Incidentally, the Catalan club managed its second best attendance of the season against Getafe, so a big pat on the back to all 386 culé crazies who braved the elements to cheer on the Dream Boys.

The blog is off to the Vicente Calderón where, those very naughty boys, Atlético Madrid are being bent over Michel Platini’s institutional knee and playing a match behind closed doors - aside from the 15,000 ‘journalists’ who will no doubt materialise to watch this clash against Dutch giants PSV.

An empty Vicente Calderon prepares to welcome tonight's teams

There has been much pondering in the press on what it will be like to play a game in front of rows and rows of empty seats - Pep Guardiola will be able to offer advice, no doubt - but La Liga Loca imagines that Javier Aguirre will probably enjoy being spared the traditional experience of being booed by the rojiblanco faithful after 23 minutes if the score is still 0-0.

Champions League ever present, Raúl García - a man once told that he was ‘too ugly to play for Real Madrid’ by Guti and David Beckham - has previous experience in playing a European clash behind closed doors when in action for Osasuna away at Trabzonspor.

“At first, you think you are just training as there’s no-one in the stands,” recalled the marauding midfielder.

A win for Atlético would see them through to the next round of the Champions League - a feat that their beloved city neighbours managed on Tuesday night in Minsk.

A battered and bruised Real Madrid did the business against BATE with a 1-0 win in a frosty encounter, when the praiseworthy (Brazilian-born) Pepe dispelled the ‘South Americans can’t play in cold weather’ myth by facing the freezing conditions in a short-sleeved shirt.

Marca grumble on Wednesday that the performance was not exactly brilliant but that the qualification was key. However, AS won’t let such defeatist talk interfere with their editorial goal of camping inside Madrid’s posterior passages.

Saviour Raúl nets the only goal in Minsk 

As a cheeky moment of fun, La Liga Loca will let you, the dear reader, decide which banner was spread across Wednesday’s edition.

a) Madrid still rubbish, but through.
b) About frickin’ time Raúl did something useful.

Wednesday also witnessed another reason why this crazy, messed up world is doomed to end in plague and pestilence with only cockroaches and Paco Chaparro destined to be the only survivors.

Norwegian club, Rosenborg have published a series of ‘Spanish classes’ on their website ahead of the UEFA Cup visit of Valencia on Thursday night.

The online lessons feature the Norwegian club’s Uruguayan player, Alejandro Lago reading a series of supposedly useful phrases which has sent both Marca and AS into a bit of a culture-clashing tizz.

As well as branding the visitors as a bunch of ‘nancy-boys’ (to put it very, very politely and in a Windsor Davies voice), Lago also reads out a statement branding Valencia’s forward line, including David ‘Lah-de-Dah' Villa as “little girls who don’t like the cold.”

"SHUT UP!!!" 

And speaking of little girls, Bojan Krkic could well see some action tonight against Sporting Lisbon, providing he can pull himself together in time for the clash.

To help the culé cry-baby through the game, UEFA has given the sobbing striker permission to take a box of tissues with him onto the field.

Incidentally, Ever Banega had a similar request turned down. Typical double standards from Europe’s governing body.

To help the more simple-minded Sport readers through the high concepts of the Champions League clash, the paper has dedicated a section of Wednesday’s edition to explaining why it’s important for Barça to win the match.

The Catalan crazy daily had published five reasons why it’s essential for Barcelona to finish top of the group - a list that includes the bonus of picking up 600,000 euro prize money and the freedom of not having to worry about the competition until February.

Its final point notes that a victory against their Portuguese opponents will ensure that the rest of Europe still consider Barça to be the best club in the competition.

On Thursday, Sport will continue this easy reading, cut-out-and-keep guide to life for its readers by explaining why drinking bleach is bad for you and how staring at the sun for hours on end is ill-advised.

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