Obama and Pep - Separated at birth

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When Samuel Eto’o slotted his easy-peasy penalty past, Deportivo midfielder, Juan Rodríguez for his side’s fifth on Saturday night, the glucose solution in the juddering jar at the offices of Sport started to boil and bubble.

“Oh no,” panicked the editor of the Barcelona-barmy daily as he watched the grey, shrivelled brain suspended in the gloopy fluid start to spark and shake.

This definitely meant toil and trouble for the nuttiest of newspapers.

The Catalan club hitting the record-breaking 50 point barrier was too just much for the One True Consciousness to take.

The single-shared brain shared by the newspaper’s somnambulant staff had to be taken off-line.

“What are we to do for the rest of the week?” wondered Sport’s superiors as they waited for the One True Consciousness to cool down.

That was until one jiggling journalist leapt onto his desk and started going all 2001 - Space Odyssey on a colleague by beating him around the head with a copy of La Vanguardia whilst shrieking ‘Obama, Obama!’

And so was born the paper’s Inauguration Day special - an edition that attempted to link the destinies of the 44st American president with Pep blinking Guardiola.  

“Yes we can!” yelled Tuesday’s headline as Sport morphed a photo of Barack into Pep in four fantastic phases and compared the tasks facing these two famous figures.

The former has to prevent the world’s economy collapsing, plug a pensions gap, bring in universal health care, save the car industry, oversee an orderly withdraw from Iraq, respond to a Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan and try to solve a giant frackin’ mess in the Middle East.

The other has to negotiate a testing tie against Numancia and try to look a little bit less like Freddie Mercury.

Pep: Trying his damnedest not to be like Freddie... honest

To help build their - let’s face it, insane - case, Sport have quoted some of the world’s biggest figures to talk about the challenges that lie ahead for the presidential pair.

“The arrival of Obama will produce positive changes in the relations between Russia and the US,” opined scary Russian PM, Vladimir Putin.

“I love the feeling of ambition that he transmits to the group,” purred full-back Dani Alves.

Sadly the paper failed to publish Robert Mugabe’s thoughts on whether Mártin Cáceres should be loaned out or Bojan’s musings on whether the carrot or stick should be used to disarm a nuclear North Korea.

One man who was not to be outdone by this Barça-based, president-linked lunacy was Marca’s Roberto Gómez, who refers back to one of his most famous phrases in his latest infantile effort.

“When Ramón Calderón arrived at Real Madrid, I baptised my friend as ‘the new Kennedy’ of Spanish football,” writes Gómez in Wednesday’s edition, carelessly forgetting that he waited over a year to do it in case Florentino Perez ever came back.

“The ex-American president was assassinated in Dallas and Calderón ‘died’ at the Assembly on the December 7,” continued Gómez in a fatuous phrase that, in an ideal world, would see his fat arse being thrown out of Marca’s front door.

To put this into some perspective, Gómez is comparing the tragic death of a president who could have changed the face of the modern world with the downfall of a clueless Spanish lawyer who genuinely thought an Italian actor with broken English was Nicholas Cage.

But returning to all things Barça, and Pep Guardiola has woken up on Wednesday knowing that he faces the fearsome challenge of a trip to the Montjuic to take on Espanyol in the first round of the Copa de Rey Quarter-Finals at the family-friendly kick-off time of 10pm.

The referee for what what could be a very malicious match-up was set to be Pérez Burrull, but he has been sidelined for a month after his penalty-missing performance at the Bernabeu on Sunday night.

Espanyol have also decided to freshen things up for the crucial encounter by firing Mané after six lethargic league outings and appointing their third coach of the season.

The lucky man in charge when Iniesta et al come trundling out of the tunnel is former playing hero Mauricio Pochettino - an Argentine who was, until Tuesday, assistant coach of the club’s women’s team.

“I call on the support of everyone,” said Poche as he flicked through a cushion catalogue. “My passion and enthusiasm will be at the service of the club 24/7.”

Or at least for the next fortnight until the trigger finger of, club president, Dániel Sánchez Llibre gets a little itchy once again.

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