Barcelona natives getting restless

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While January's presentation of poor old Julien Faubert attracted around 70 people and a couple of pigeons, Cristiano Ronaldo is expected to get a whopping full-house crowd of 80,000 turning up for his coronation on Monday night, a total equalling the number who welcomed Maradona to Napoli.

And knowing what a shy and retiring, limelight-dodging gentleman the former United man is, Cristiano will no doubt be horrified by the prospect of the hysterical, pant-wetting adulation he is about to receive.

And not just from La Liga Loca.

For the Barcelona press, Ronaldo continues to carry the mark of the Antichrist with legions of photographers from the city attempting to take pictures of his scalp as proof. 

But for the increasingly merry Madridista brigade, the midfielder is the second coming and his arrival gives the likes of Marca and AS the chance to wave a middle finger in Catalunya’s direction and ‘nah-nah nah nah-nah’ to their heart’s content. 

At least until the season starts, that is, when the pair discover that getting all these players to work together - and more importantly with Raúl - may not be so much fun.

After suffering a month of snooty sulking from Sport and Mundo Deportivo, the Madrid papers have used Cristiano’s coronation as a chance to hit back at Barcelona with some Loadsamoney taunting towards the Catalan club, suggesting that the league and European champions are more than 400 million Euros in debt, despite the record-breaking year the club just enjoyed.

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Although the likes of AS are happily ignoring the fact that Madrid themselves may now have an overdraft of several billion Euros, there is some truth to the story that Barça are not going to be able to splash the cash this season.

But it’s not just the Madrid press writing that the treble-winning campaign seems a very long time ago

The Barcelona-based natives are getting very restless indeed with Sport’s headline on Monday demanding “Signings now!” having realised that there are only a limited number of weeks that the paper can run titles such as “Villa’s coming!” “No really, he is!” and “Sod it, he’s not coming at all, is he?”

Mundo Deportivo has followed a similar theme with Xavi Muñoz grumbling that “although it’s better to sign nothing than sign badly, there does seem to be some impatience with the culés.”

Over the weekend, AS ran what appeared to be a doodoo-stirring story of a whopping fallout between Pep Guardiola and president Joan Laporta. “The relations between the pair are non-existent,” trumpeted the sports daily, failing miserably to hide its glee.

This being AS, the immediate instinct was to ignore the story completely assuming it was total nonsense. But then Monday’s Barcelona papers followed the same line with Sport’s Lluís Mascaró telling readers that he “understands that Pep Guardiola is not ‘triple-calm’ with Joan Laporta.”

The reason for their reported - and potentially non-existent - bust-up is Laporta’s inability to move Mad Sammy Eto’o out of the club, something that is apparently greatly desired by Pep. But that's easier said than done as the Cameroon striker seems quite happy to sit on the remainder of his current deal, which would see him go for free next summer.

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Pep also instructed his bosses at the end of the last campaign to bring him Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Franck Ribery, something that has yet to happen so far. 

However, despite the current gloom on the east coast, one historic event did take place at the Camp Nou last week. The stadium’s noise level went above the normal 15 decibel average. In fact, the U2 concert upset the peace-loving neighbours so much that the local council has decided to fine all those involved.

So by hosting Bono, Barcelona briefly had an attention-seeking, egomaniacal paparazzi-magnet. On Monday night, it's Real Madrid's turn.

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