Monchi madness and Forlan’s fame

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One of La Liga Loca’s proudest moments was when, armed only with Dick Cheney’s ‘Torture for Dummies’ and a hairdryer, it managed to get a former Marca writer to admit that the paper did indeed make almost all of its stories up.

The squealing scribe ‘fessed up that every summer a whiteboard would be wheeled into the paper’s editorial room, names of players would be written on it and front-page stories would then be written linking the unfortunate footballers to the various clubs in Madrid.

More sympathetic, sunny-thinking folk would note that the paper still has to sell copies in the slow season and would argue that there’s nothing wrong with a bit of idle speculation in what is an entertainment industry.

Others of the tinfoil beanie hat persuasion would rant that the whole process is planned and hatched in the dark, drizzly dungeons of Castle Greyskull.

Indeed, the conspiracy-nutjobs will be having a fine time of it at the moment as the Florentino Pérez presidential run has caused every paper in Spain to leap on the bandwagon and get down and dirty with stories aimed at destabilising rivals.

Sevilla have been hit by one such rumour, with stories floating around that president non-elect Pérez has his eyes on Monchi as his sporting director, come June. Meanwhile, AS meanwhile report that Jorge Valdano would be returning to the role he left in 2004.

José Maria del Nido, Sevilla president, denied in the local press that Pérez - an honourable man, close personal friend, etc - would ever do such a thing. “I’ve convinced he won’t come for Monchi,” declared the club’s godfather.

Meanwhile, Monchi himself shrugged off the rumours and moved into third-person crazyman form to claim that “while José Maria del Nido wants me at Sevilla, Monchi will be at Sevilla.”

Monchi also predicted that his club were not far off winning the league title. “We are very near to finding the perfect solution,” claimed the sporting director remarking that there would be very little transfer activity from Sevilla this summer.

Villarreal are another victim of more mucky messiness than Jacqui Smith’s expenses claim, with Barcelona based Sport linking their rival’s manager, Manuel Pellegrini, with the post of Real Madrid manager.

AS, meanwhile, are covering all bases with one writer claiming that Carlo Ancelotti is Pérez’ first choice, while another backs Sport’s claims by saying that Pellegrini would be Jorge Valdano’s choice, should Valdano be selected by Pérez, should Pérez win and should Pérez decide to run for presidency, of course.

Mundo Deportivo are busying themselves with a response to the entertaining argument from Víctor Valdés’ agent, Gines Carvajal, that his client should earn just as much as Iker Casillas.

As is the paper’s normal routine, it leads with a story detailing Barcelona’s unhappiness with Carvajal’s complaints - without giving any quotes or substantiation to their claims, naturally.

And to make an extra point, MD is also running a poll asking Barça fans to select their favourite alternative to Valdés once the keeper leaves the club in the summer. The current top of the goalkeeping pops is Villarreal’s flavour of the month, Diego López.

Meanwhile, over in the Atlético’s wonderful world, Diego Forlán has shown that he has some hidden off-the-pitch talents.

Although the striker is currently on international duty with Uruguay, it has been revealed in the Swedish press that the former Manchester United man has also dabbled in the world of popular music. And Shakira. But not in that way.

Sometimes songwriter for the Colombian hip-shaker, Olaf Priol, claims that Forlán plays a notable musical role in one of her biggest selling records, ‘Whenever, Wherever’.

“Shakira and Diego were both in Miami and met through a mutual friend,” recalled the one-time Roxette member.

“They were in the recording studio, Diego was messing around with some pan pipes which he knows how to play. He ended up appearing on the record,” chuckled Oriol on the Atlético man’s claim to musical fame.

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