Bluster, boasts and baloney in la Liga

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The footie agenda in Spain for this week is supposedly dominated by the increasingly curious Copa del Rey and its quarter-final stages.

But as neither Real Madrid nor Barcelona are playing any part in it any more, there is little or no interest in the wider media in what is now considered a tinpot competition several rungs beneath the Zenith Data Systems trophy.

And this has the papers affiliated to the two teams with some thumb-twiddling time on their hands and five or so front pages to fill.

So it’s no surprise that the agendas of the Big Four have been tedious, tiresome and ludicrous in the extreme.

Over in Catalunya, the common themes in BarçaWorld have been Sport noting on their front page that Leo Messi has scored more goals than Cristiano Ronaldo in 2010 - an awful lot of research going into that news story - and the impending departure (or not) of Pep Guardiola.

Wednesday’s Mundo Deportivo desperately screams “Stay!!!” at the Barcelona coach as its headline whilst rolling around the floor in tears in the manner of Maniche after a pizza delivery.

However, there was brighter news for the poor dearies with news from Wednesday afternoon that Pep would be hanging on for another year with the Dream Boys, but that he won’t be putting pen to paper until the new president takes over, leaving him plenty of time to change his increasingly frazzled mind.

NEWS, Wed Jan 20: Guardiola agrees Barcelona extension

“He’s not signing for any incoming president,” writes an admiring Miguel Rico, “he’s signing for and with Barcelona.”


Over in Capital City, AS began the week very badly indeed but seem to have taken this as a challenge to get even worse.

Monday’s lead story claimed that Guti will be starting Sunday’s clash against Málaga with no evidence whatsoever to back their claim up aside from the contention that “Madrid don’t have a better solution than Guti.”

And La Liga Loca suspects that AS could well be right if Manuel Pellegrini is on the hunt for a bone-idle, prancing, bottling, utter ninny of a midfielder for the weekend’s encounter and Fernando Gago happens to be unavailable.

The sports daily upped their game in the desperation stakes on Wednesday with an interview taken from Champions magazine (also available in all good newsagents. Along with FourFourTwo) with Cesc Fabregas that gives no indication whatsoever that the midfielder intends joining Real Madrid.

But this has not prevented AS from claiming that “Cesc opens the door.”

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Still, the paper is at least attempting a half-hearted stab at a news story - all be it in the manner of a five-year-old shovelling a sprout around their plate - and that’s a darn sight more than Marca are doing this week.

The local rag has taken advantage of the lull in activity with daily blasts of propaganda poo-poo on how great Florentino Pérez is.

Monday through to Wednesday’s editions have been dominated by the results of a poll ordered by the paper where 800 Real Madrid members had to put down their What Range Rover? catalogues for a few moments to answer a series of questions as to whether the club president could be considered "god-like" or merely "brilliant."

And the main staggering news from the survey is that everyone thinks that the Florentino is really, really, really, really great. In fact, 87.5 percent would vote for him if a new election were to be held today.

"The other 12.5 percent said what? Exterminate them."

La Liga Loca suggests that this is because no other candidates would be able to afford to stand in it, nor have they got Marca constantly claiming that the sun shines out of their trapdoor.

However, the paper’s editorial on Tuesday smirks that the result is “a clear signal that things are going well... the president has fulfilled his duties in an outstanding manner.”

Wednesday’s front story is the stunning fact that 96 percent of those Madridistas polled think that paying €96 million for Cristiano Ronaldo was well worth the money.

No results on the Kaká question, mind, as far as La Liga Loca could see.

But then again, that would actually be something worth reading.

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