Barça backtracking and Reyes' revelations

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Barcelona's fairly useful 1-0 win over Schalke 04, in Gelsenkirchen, means that the Catalan press continues to go through more ups and downs than Lindsay Lohan on a pogo stick.

It's with a tangible air of disappointment that Sport cover Tuesday night's Champions League victory. And that's not surprising considering their director, Jose Luis Carazo, is an objectionable old fart forever pontificating on La Liga Loca's television on where things in the Kingdom of Catalunya are going wrong.

And he insists on wearing those stripy shirts with white collars, once favoured by David Mellor and city types currently screwing over the world economy. (Takes deep breath).

"Everyone is guilty! From the players to the president", screamed Josep Mª Casanovas like a big girl, over the weekend, after the defeat to Betis. "Barcelona showed they have the squad to cover all contingencies", he wrote on Wednesday, having downed a bottle of chill pills and done a faster U-turn than Maniche spotting a ice cream van staffed by strippers.
"The victory doesn't mean that the club have left the woods", grumbled Mundo Deportivo's Francesc Aguilar, another pundit it took 0.0056 seconds for La Liga Loca to take a dislike to after he popped up on La Sexta, on Sunday night.

El Pais write that "Barcelona come alive again in Germany" - which works better in Spanish, to be fair - whilst AS were typically underwhelmed by the whole affair and gave Thierry Henry zero points for his performance, which, let's not forget, produced an assist for Bojan's goal.

Henry: Zero points for performance despite assisting goal 

A blog round of applause must go to the 200 hardy fans who bothered to make the trip to Germany to support their side - probably less than the amount the likes of Lincoln City take away to play Darlington on a wet Wednesday night.

Marca report that Pedja Mijatovic has travelled to Italy to secure the signings of Daniele Biasi and Alberti Aquilani. And with the paper also reporting that Rubén de la Red and Esteban Granero will be returning to the club, over the summer, it could be a bit of a crowded midfield next summer.

Interestingly - or not - Guti has yet to put pen to paper on his much publicised contract renewal.

Real Madrid are continuing to leave the paper in the journalistic dog house for their rampant reporting of Nicholas Cage-gate and the recent accusations that Ramón Calderón and co may be up to more postal vote funny business.

They have allowed AS's top dogs to interview Bernd Schuster with the only comments of interest being that a) Schuster thinks that Cristiano Ronaldo is the best player in the world, b) it would be hard to sign him, and c) he thinks Barcelona miss Messi.

José Antonio Reyes has responded to accusations that he called Javier Aguirre a very bad name by flatly denying them.

"In my life, I've never lacked respect for any trainer or any teammate", he pleaded.

The misfit midfielder then went onto blame off the field problems surrounding his family for his poor performances this season. Considering Reyes brings most of the city of Seville with him, wherever he plays, La Liga Loca is inclined to believe him.

At his Real Madrid presentation, last season, the rojiblanco write-off took to the field with his parents, uncle, aunt, girlfriend, girlfriend's brother, some mates, the local newsagent...

Reyes: Missing his uncle, aunt, girlfriend, girlfriend's brother...

Getafe's David Belenguer is especially looking forward to Thursday night's UEFA cup clash with Bayern Munich, as it is the chance for the defender to meet one of his heroes, Franz Beckenbauer.

"I was known as Beckenbauer when I was at Real Madrid," he recalled, "that's what I was called when I played mini games with Michel, Butragueño and Hierro".

AS have plastered the revelation on Wednesday's front page that a statistical analysis has predicted that Spain will get knocked out in the quarter finals of Euro 2008 - a forecast a penguin could make, one would have thought.

The calculations were made by UBS's super computer, although La Liga Loca wonders if it was the same one that led the financial firm to their $37 billion write down, as reported, on Wednesday.

UBS predict the Spanish to crash to their customary defeat at the hands of Switzerland and for the Czech Republic to beat Italy in the final. Which explains a lot about the UBS's current predicament.