Calderon vs Perez II: the truth is out there
There is a reason why Real Madrid presented Klaas-Jan Huntelaar at the Santiago BernabÃÂ©u on Thursday, hurriedly crow-barring him in before the weekend.
And itÃ¢ÂÂs nothing to do with Ruud van NistelrooyÃ¢ÂÂs dodgy knee, RaÃÂºlÃ¢ÂÂs creeping age, or the fact that this weekendÃ¢ÂÂs yet another bank holiday for the country that boasts more of them than anywhere else in the world.
ItÃ¢ÂÂs nothing to do MÃÂchelÃ¢ÂÂs untimely resignation, storming out the BernabÃÂ©u slamming the door and flicking the Vs president RamÃÂ³n CalderonÃ¢ÂÂs way.
And itÃ¢ÂÂs nothing to do with the injury crisis that threatens to engulf the club, as footballers drop like flies buzzing absent-mindedly into this particularly sad womanÃ¢ÂÂs living room.
(And, no, La Liga Loca couldnÃ¢ÂÂt believe it either: you mean you actually took the time to write a review of a tin of Raid? Jesus. H. Christ.)
ItÃ¢ÂÂs nothing to do with the huge clash between Real Madrid and Sevilla coming up on Sunday. Or the huge clash between Real Madrid and Barcelona, or the one between Real Madrid and Valencia or even the one between Real Madrid and Villarreal.
But it is everything to do with another colossal clash on the horizon: the one between CalderÃÂ³n and the membersÃ¢ÂÂ assembly this weekend.
Poor old CalderÃÂ³n is supposed to be running a football club, instead heÃ¢ÂÂs running scared. Of another defeat Ã¢ÂÂ on the pitch and, especially, off it.
This weekend, the members are supposed to approve the clubÃ¢ÂÂs accounts. Much more likely Ã¢ÂÂ and this is what petrifies the poor presidente Ã¢ÂÂ is that they will put on the greatest show of disapproval since precious Princess Potato came home and told her Daddy, King Edward, that she was going to marry John Motson.
Ã¢ÂÂAbsolutely not! I forbid it! No daughter of mine is marrying John Motson! Why, heÃ¢ÂÂs just a commentator!Ã¢ÂÂ
Much more likely is that they will reject the accounts. And shout nasty things, like Ã¢ÂÂResign! Resign!Ã¢ÂÂ They might even push for a motion of censorship.
Which is why CalderÃÂ³n needed a signing Ã¢ÂÂ something, anything, to win them over. Some good news amidst all the doom and gloom. And quick.
Trouble is, it won't work. Never mind a pat on the back for buying the man who has scored a seriously impressive 79 goals in 97 games in Holland, CalderÃÂ³nÃ¢ÂÂs much more likely to get a kicking.
Perhaps not so much because his reign has been awful Ã¢ÂÂ although itÃ¢ÂÂs quickly going that way. Or even because heÃ¢ÂÂs done lots of stupid things and puts his foot in his mouth so often itÃ¢ÂÂs a wonder he hasnÃ¢ÂÂt got athleteÃ¢ÂÂs tongue. More, as La Liga Loca has pointed out before, because of the man lurking in the shadows.
The man that CalderÃÂ³n is genuinely scared of.
Scared? No, terrified.
Absolutely completely and utterly bloody bricking it.
Just look at his reaction at the slightest mention of Florentino PÃÂ©rezÃ¢ÂÂs name. Every time the former president rears his head, CalderÃÂ³n loses his. ItÃ¢ÂÂs not just anger or hatred flowing through him, itÃ¢ÂÂs fear. Fear that PÃÂ©rez will pinch his presidency.
Every time PÃÂ©rez appears, so does Captain Paranoia, leaping onto CalderÃÂ³nÃ¢ÂÂs shoulder and whispering in his ear: Ã¢ÂÂHeÃ¢ÂÂs coming for you. Your days as president are over. Over, I says, over! Mwah-ha-ha!Ã¢ÂÂ
Just take the hot funk he fell into when PÃÂ©rez appeared on the front of the Spanish press posing for a photo with Zidane and Ronaldo. A photo showing a former president and two former players. No big deal, you might think. But youÃ¢ÂÂre not CalderÃÂ³n.
Ã¢ÂÂItÃ¢ÂÂs pathetic,Ã¢ÂÂ he cried. Ã¢ÂÂI would have liked to have seen him rear his head when things were going well, not just doing it now to try to take advantage of our tough times.Ã¢ÂÂ
Ã¢ÂÂIn fact,Ã¢ÂÂ he added, Ã¢ÂÂnever mind Ronaldo and Zidane, what about the other players? Everyone sees the photos of him presenting Zidane or Ronaldo, but I would like to see the photos of him handing Madrid shirts to Jonathan Woodgate or Antonio Cassano!Ã¢ÂÂ
By doing his nut, frothing at the mouth like a rabid dog, CalderÃÂ³n only revealed his own weakness. No one could understand why he didnÃ¢ÂÂt just keep his gob shut. No one could understand why no one in his entourage didnÃ¢ÂÂt tell him to just keep his big gob shut.
But you had to admit it was quite a good come back: itÃ¢ÂÂs all well and good banging on about Zizou but what about the rubbish PÃÂ©rez bought too, eh? What about them?
What about Cassano? Fat, lazy Cassano, the man who, by his own admission, loves a night of snacks and shagging but football? Forget it. The man who did nothing at Madrid, except put so many notches on his bed post the bloody thing collapsed. The man who took plenty of cash back to Italy but barely a footballing memory worthy of the name. What about him, eh?
It was a good come back, alright. Only there was something not quite right about it. And it wasnÃ¢ÂÂt the fact that he accused Cassano Ã¢ÂÂ quite possibly slanderously Ã¢ÂÂ of Ã¢ÂÂfomenting prostitution in MadridÃ¢ÂÂ. It was something else, something nagging away at the back of La Liga LocaÃ¢ÂÂs tiny little mind. Something it couldnÃ¢ÂÂt quiet put its finger on.
Ã¢ÂÂI would like to see the photos of him handing Madrid shirts to Jonathan Woodgate or Antonio Cassano!Ã¢ÂÂ
Even though La Liga Loca feels a little sorry for CalderÃÂ³n, even though La Liga Loca is convinced that just because heÃ¢ÂÂs paranoid doesnÃ¢ÂÂt mean that theyÃ¢ÂÂre not out to get him, and even though La Liga Loca doesnÃ¢ÂÂt much trust PÃÂ©rez either, there was something not right about his little attack, about the choice repartee. Something that just didnÃ¢ÂÂt ring true.
But try as it might Ã¢ÂÂ and, boy, did it try - La Liga Loca just couldnÃ¢ÂÂt locate that nagging doubt.
Until, that is, today. Until, in amongst its papers, underneath the plates and the three-week old mugs of tea growing mould, La Liga Loca found something. A photo it knew was there somewhere. A photo in Don BalÃÂ³n magazine. A photo that confirmed what La Liga Loca always suspected, what it thought it remembered but, what with the onset of senility, it couldnÃ¢ÂÂt be sure about.
A photo that shows that no matter how hard you try, you wonÃ¢ÂÂt ever be able to hang Florentino for handing a Real Madrid shirt to Cassano, standing proudly alongside beaming his head off as the Italian waves an XXL No.19 at the worldÃ¢ÂÂs media. Because Florentino wasnÃ¢ÂÂt there that day, was he RamÃÂ³n? Someone else, though, was.
Can you remember who, RamÃÂ³n? Go on, think back. January 4th 2006. The Santiago BernabÃÂ©u. Cassano. Italian bloke. Bad skin. Bit of a belly
Still no good? Here, maybe this photo will jog your memory: