Deadline deals: Betis buoyant, Racing ripped
La Liga Loca read with some astonishment this week that moo-cows tend to stand in a north to south direction. It seems that the ability to sense the EarthÃ¢ÂÂs magnetic poles is embedded into their tiny, Guti-like brains.
By coincidence, the ability to sense the mystical wonders of our Gaian home has also been displayed by another set of cud-chewing, methane-producing dumb animals: football club presidents.
Noticing that the financial world is teetering on the brink of doom, the bailiff-dodging bigwigs of the game in Spain have abstained from the traditional summer splurge on average to rubbish footballers.
El Pais and their fancy-pants long words report that Ã¢ÂÂ¬538 million was spanked on players in 2007. But this year that figure is down to just 264 million. And most of that was blown by Barcelona.
Keita, Hleb, Laporta, Alves, Guardiola, Pique
Marca, for one, thinks that this is a crying shame and that Spanish football should start hitching up its skirt to attract the advances of those who have rampaged and robbed their way to billionaire status and now fancy a footballing plaything to ruin.
Ã¢ÂÂSpanish clubs have a clear disadvantageÃ¢ÂÂ, writes WednesdayÃ¢ÂÂs editorial. Ã¢ÂÂThe television wars, the absence of guaranteed investors and the lack of professionalism from the clubs has produced the worst recipe for a league which, for the most part, has been a ruined businessÃ¢ÂÂ.
Poppycock, say we. The majority of La LigaÃ¢ÂÂs clubs may be run by con-men, crooks and incompetents, but they're our con-men, crooks and incompetents. And we wouldnÃ¢ÂÂt have it any other way.
Away from the Godzilla-like Manchester City smashing their way through the transfer market like a nuclear-fuelled lizard of destruction with their Robinho-robbing ways, deadline day was a fairly quiet affair in La Liga with fax machines barely bothered.
Real Betis pulled a cheeky move by bringing Sergio GarcÃÂa to the city of Seville for Ã¢ÂÂ¬10 million, possibly saving his rapidly disappearing international career in the process. The former Zaragoza man continues his fight for truth, justice and the American Way at a side that last season were only marginally better than his old mob Ã¢ÂÂ and they were relegated. Leaving the Betis back door is Brazilian striker Rafael Sobis, who has smelt the odour of big bucks in the air and joined UAE side Al-Jazira for Ã¢ÂÂ¬6.8 million. But GarcÃÂa is the big, bouncing cherry on top of the Betis cake, says Darth Manuel Ruis de Lopera, who told cowering reporters that the club now has Ã¢ÂÂthe best squad in its historyÃ¢ÂÂ.
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's Garcia
Poor old Racing Santander were very much bruised and battered amid the rough and tumble of deadline day. The Cantabrian club lost the rather useful Jorge LÃÂ³pez to Zaragoza, when the Segunda-dwellers triggered his Ã¢ÂÂ¬3 million buy-out clause, then failed in a bid to bring striker Nikola Zigic back to El Sardinero on a loan deal.
Despite being told by Unai Emery that he was not part of his plans this season, Zigic preferred the option of parking his lanky frame in the Mestalla stands for the rest of the year. He may well be taking the seat occupied by JoaquÃÂn on Saturday night. The waste-of-space winger was left out of ValenciaÃ¢ÂÂs squad that mauled Mallorca and has denied reports that he refused to play to avoid a transfer scuppering injury.
Espanyol picked up three players over the weekend, including Steve Finnan, who is going to have to invest heavily in sunblock over the next couple of months. The other deadly duo to join the Irishman in Montjuic are the former Celta left winger NenÃÂ©, who joins on loan from Monaco, and Nicolas Pareja from Anderlecht.
The bloomin' awful Xisco seems to have as much luck in life as he does in front of goal by being shipped out to Newcastle United Ã¢ÂÂ a club who may well have changed their manager in the time between the former Deportivo striker stocking up on ham in Duty Free and boarding the plane to England.
Xisco (left): "To Newcastle, ho!"
The legend that is Monchi had a pre-menstrual moment on Tuesday when it was suggested that divin' Diego Capel started from the bench against Racing on Sunday, to keep him fresh and injury free for a possible transfer to either Spurs or Real Madrid.
Ã¢ÂÂItÃ¢ÂÂs absurd and the fruits of a perverted mindÃ¢ÂÂ, ranted the slightly overreacting Sevilla sporting director.
Sport mischievously muse on whether the club are refusing to play him in order to force the winger into signing a new contract. And thatÃ¢ÂÂs an allegation that probably puts the writer in the Ã¢ÂÂAnimal Farm fanÃ¢ÂÂ category on MonchiÃ¢ÂÂs sliding scale of depravity.
"The gang's all (still) here!"
Alongside the players who did move is the news of the players who Ã¢ÂÂ like Rafael SobisÃ¢ÂÂs career Ã¢ÂÂ went absolutely nowhere.
Villarreal fought back the lovestruck advances of just about everyone and hung on to Diego Lopez, Marcos Senna, Giuseppe Rossi, Santi Cazorla and Nihat.
And Deportivo failed to shift still-feuding goalkeepers Dudu Aouate and Gustavo MunÃÂºa. Ã¢ÂÂYouÃ¢ÂÂll have to ask them or the club,Ã¢ÂÂ shrugged manager Miguel Angel Lotina, when quizzed on why the pair will continue to darken his Depor doorstep.
Finally, a big pat on the back to Sport, who are the first paper to kick off a new round of transfer rumours by reporting that Manchester CityÃ¢ÂÂs new owners are big fans of Thierry Henry and will swoop for him in January. We can't imagine City will have much trouble achieving their goal.