MourinhoÃ¢ÂÂs ear muffs, ZaragozaÃ¢ÂÂs fear of ghosts and BanegaÃ¢ÂÂs tough break
The sign at La Liga LocaÃ¢ÂÂs bus stop showed the temperature in Madrid to be -3 early on Tuesday morning. However, it didnÃ¢ÂÂt feel that cold to the blog, despite the fact that it was wearing its favourite Dalmatian puppy fur-coat and sheepskin ear muffs.
So this is why LLL has no beef with fuss being made in the Madrid media about how chilly itÃ¢ÂÂs going to be in the Russian capital for TuesdayÃ¢ÂÂs Champions League clash between Real Madrid and CSKA Moscow. Ã¢ÂÂItÃ¢ÂÂs freezing!Ã¢ÂÂ complained a reporter for Spanish Television channel TVE1.
Ã¢ÂÂMinus six but it will feel like minus 12!Ã¢ÂÂ proclaimed AS. Ã¢ÂÂMinus 10 but will feel like minus 15!Ã¢ÂÂ yelled Marca.
To be fair to AS, the paperÃ¢ÂÂs editorial does note that the temperatures wonÃ¢ÂÂt feel that bad for the footballers. Ã¢ÂÂIt will will almost feel bearable after the cold snap weÃ¢ÂÂve had in SpainÃ¢ÂÂ noted editor, Alfredo RelaÃÂ±o. However, you do get the impression that the likes of Marca would prefer it if the Madrid players were wrapped up in scarves, sporting mittens on a piece of string and were being handed cups of hot cocoa during the match by a handy helper with not much else to do. Nuri Sahin perhaps.
Although the cold may make things a little trickier - especially for Iker Casillas - the fact CSKA Moscow have not played a competitive game since December 7 due to the winter break will certainly help the visitors Ã¢ÂÂPutinÃ¢ÂÂ a decent performance (awful, just awful - ed). But then again, aside from three BarÃÂ§a games, the standard of opposition in la Liga has been so bad this year that neither has Real Madrid, perhaps.
On the domestic front, the final match of Round 24 of la Liga was completed on Monday evening, with an away win for Betis ending ZaragozaÃ¢ÂÂs mini-revival, which had consisted of one victory. This now leaves Zaragoza at the bottom-of-the-table, 11 points from safety, but manager Manolo JimÃÂ©nez has more spooky concerns. Ã¢ÂÂFear and ghosts are dominating us,Ã¢ÂÂ revealed the Zaragoza coach after MondayÃ¢ÂÂs defeat.
Ever BanegaÃ¢ÂÂs doctor also spoke to the press on Monday to stop any more sniggering over a horrendous, painful and probably quite terrifying accident that saw the Valencia midfielder having his ankle crushed by his own car on Sunday. Ã¢ÂÂIt was a break more usual with a motorcyclist than a footballer,Ã¢ÂÂ observed Enrique Gastaldi after the hour-and-a-half operation on BanegaÃ¢ÂÂs broken ankle, an injury that will see the Argentinean out of action for at least six months.