Back to life, back to reality in La Liga

La Liga Loca is breathing a big old sigh of relief, today. It’s a terrific Tuesday filled with peace and goodwill to everyone. Even Deportivo. But not Betis, mind.

Not only have Penelope and her sister left the penthouse after an exhausting weekend, but the Bernd Schuster sacking story has fizzled away to nothing like an Atlético Madrid season and the derby is finally over.

Reporting proper, grown-up, breaking news involves hard work, dedication and professionalism - not exactly the blog’s greatest strengths.

However, life has returned to relative normality in La Liga. And this means that your daily dose of footballing diphtheria can now return to its much-favoured state... irrelevant and out of touch.

With these two adjectives in mind, what better place to begin today’s tidings than with Marca’s 70th anniversary back-slapping bash - a gala evening attended by King Juan Carlos no less, proving that royalty cannot always swan about at the tax payer’s expense and do as they please.

The group photo of the event showed Spanish sport and its reporting at its finest - a snapshot featuring 65 men in dark suits and just seven women. Five, if you don’t count the Queen nor, Community of Madrid leader, Esperanza Aguirre, who the blog doubts even qualifies as human.

Attempting to upstage his and her Maj during this celebration of smugness were Ramón Calderón and Joan Laporta with Marca gushing that they “showed that the ‘good feeling’ between them is never hidden and last night was no exception.”

La Liga Loca has just one plea for this presidential pair. Get a room. Please. It will hurl itself out of a window - or just hurl - if it catches sight of more of their mutual complementing, ‘we share the same tailor’, ‘oh you must come to my golf club dinner’ faux chumminess.

And not to mention the way the dullard duo greet each other in the classic Spanish alpha male style - with both hands grasping the other one’s shoulders. As both Calderón and Laporta have egos the size of Portugal, it’s as if they are about to attempt a fox-trot, every time they embrace.

The blog calls on them to start behaving in a more suitable manner, as with Betis and Sevilla, whose directors often try and throw each other down stairs when the two parties come across each other.

La Liga Loca
moves away from Madrid now to Mestalla and the news that the permanently irate Iván Helguera is now an ex-Valencia player. And it’s not due to the club’s overburdened bean counters wanting to reduce the headcount, but down to the defender’s contract being terminated for ‘sporting reasons’.

The ex-Madridista has always been a bit of moaning Minnie and was often thought to be the source of those “dissenting voices in the dressing room” stories during the Galactico meltdown.

Angry Iván was at it again last week when he decided to vent his spleen over being a non-starter for Unai Emery, by rewriting one of his manager’s motivational speeches on the dressing room white-board.

The big man in Mestalla is blessed with many attributes, but a sense of humour is not one of them. So after telling the players that ‘the bell is my signal, not yours’ and that he could stand there all day if necessary, Helguera finally owned up to the naughtiness and found himself packing his bags hours later.

The fallout continues from the worst clash in La Liga since Royston Drenthe last trusted his GPS with the news that, Sporting goalkeeper, Iván Cuéllar is out for at least the next four months with a broken ankle after his dreadful mid-air collision with Athletic’s Carlos Gupegui on Sunday evening.

The Basque midfielder also suffered severely, having had his nose broken and subsequently operated on on Monday.

Finally, if you are looking for some Christmas cheer then head to the freezing wastelands of Valladolid, where it’s jingle bells all the way after the side won 13 points of the last 15.

“The team is continuously feeling good, happy, ambitious and focussed,” hummed Néstor Cannobio, possibly the smuggest man in Spain.

After the editor of Marca, perhaps.

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