Madrid's millions and Barça's battle

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Aside from Guti's outrageous attempt at a dive on Sunday night there's nothing quite so foolish in football as counting the rapidly rising price of your chickens before they are hatched.

But that's exactly what Real Madrid appear to be doing at the moment.

Instead of the grand debate in the Spanish press being centred on the dreadful refereeing, the lack of organisation from top to bottom and the safety implications of Pepe's tiny head, it's focused on whether Barcelona should give the glorious Whites a welcoming passage of honour if they manage to win the league before their Bernabeu date on May 7.

Personally, La Liga Loca thinks that both sets of players should be frogmarched out onto the pitch wearing dunce caps and be made to beg forgiveness for the football they have both served up this season.

Guard of honour: Something Real can soon expect off Barcelona? 

Not that a sea-food obsessed Tomas Roncero in his new sparkly AS blog would agree as he tries to explain away the matches against Mallorca and Murcia.

"I don't understand such scepticism in certain sections of madridismo. Eating caviar everyday is counter-productive. A good squid sandwich teaches us from time to time to know where we are going and where we come from."

Ramón Calderón left his lair in Castle Greyskull on Sunday to announce his devious plans for world domination to a gaggle of supporters groups.

Firstly, the Real Madrid big cheese confirmed that Rubén de la Red, Javi Garcia and Esteban Granero would be returning to the club over the summer to join the first team squad. 'Cos that went so well for Roberto Soldado.

On a roll, Calderón then ensured that all potential transfer targets would have an extra 20 zeros added to their fee by claiming that "because we have all this money we can bring in who we want" - except Cristiano Ronaldo of course, despite Marca's claims on Tuesday that Pedja Mijatovic told a L'Equipe journo that "we want him to be the emblematic face of Real Madrid."

As a finale, Calderón caused further fuss and a minor stock market crash on Monday by confirming that Real Madrid were still in the red but that "Telefonica has a debt of a billion euros and no one doubts they are a solvent company."

Over in Joan Laporta's kingdom of Catalunya, all the talk is of who will be replacing Frankie Rijkaard this summer.

Sport splash the news on their front page that the Barcelona beauty contest will be between Michael Laudrup and Pep Guardiola, with the Getafe boss currently thrashing his rival in a poll 69% to 31% - a poll La Liga Loca was forced to vote in. And a poll without Oleguer as a choice, unfortunately.

Laudrup: Leading the race to succeed Rijkaard as Barca boss 

The annual derby day dummy-spitting and toy-tossing contest between the presidents of Barcelona and Espanyol has began in earnest with chain-smoking Perico president, Daniel Sánchez Llibre turning down the chance of an entertaining evening with Laporta at the traditional pre match dinner.

Tuesday should see the first round of verbals between the two warring parties, but considering neither have a great deal to boast about this season it may be an unusually quiet week.

On Sunday after Levante's 1-0 win over Betis Gianni di Biasi promised that "we have six matches left and we are going to try and play with the same concentration and spirit."

All except Mustapha Riga apparently, who is suspected of having faked his injury which saw him miss out at the Ruiz de Lopera stadium.

Considering the striker hasn't been paid all season, punishment options may well be restricted to either being forced to watch Antena 3's football coverage or listening to Spain's Eurovision entry until the end of time.