Panic on the streets of Barcelona

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Through no fault of its own, on Monday afternoon La Liga Loca had to spend 20 minutes of its short human life listening to a Spanish sports talk radio station.

It was 20 minutes of a group of very, very, very angry men yelling “Barça are the best!" "No, Madrid are the best!” at each other without a break for breath.

As far as the blog is aware they are all still there, screaming the same exhortations in an increasingly desperate, deranged fashion, while pure adrenaline is injected directly into their scrotums.

The whole affair was enough for the brain-bruised blog to wish nothing but doom and disaster for both clubs in the Champions League this week.

However, as such an eventuality would be very bad for business - a very important concept, indeed - that mad moment soon passed.

Tuesday’s press in Spain’s twin cities of silliness is dominated by Barcelona’s big date with Jose Mourinho’s Inter Milan.

And, in one particular paper called Marca, by Raúl still being great.

It’s Marca who have got their panties in the biggest of bunches on the front cover, as the paper is unsure of the physical state of Leo Messi.

“But they said he was injured?” yells the headline next to a picture of the Argentinian kicking a ball during Monday’s practice.

The paper’s editorial then takes great exception to the notion that Pep Guardiola may not want to give full disclosure on the fitness status of his star player ahead of a fairly crucial clash.

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“Why do they want to sell us injuries when they’re aren’t any?” whines a truly dumb-ass column that doesn’t attempt to answer its own question.

Mourinho - who seems to be in fine form this week - doesn’t appear to give two hoots about who turns up at the Camp Nou on Tuesday night.

“If Messi plays, we have Chivu. If Iniesta plays, we have Chivu. If Pedrito plays, we have Chivu,” said the Inter boss cheerfully.

AS are leading their line on the return of Mad Sammy Eto’o to the Camp Nou, Tuesday’s headline declaring that “Eto’o is playing for Madrid once again,” referring to the striker’s very early years before he was kicked out of Castle Greyskull.

AS editor Alfredo Relaño seems to have his fingers crossed for the perfect storm of a Rubin Kazan victory and a Barça defeat as “what really scares Madrid is Barcelona winning the Champions League in the Bernabeu.”

The dual concern for the Barcelona press is to get culés to turn up at the Camp Nou for the Champions League clash and raise the usual noise level in the stadium to above that of a group of gossiping mice.

Their campaign began on Monday with Joan Vehils wearing the cheerleader costume for the day, declaring that “we must have confidence in this manager and in these players that gave us our best season in our history.”

“There will be 100,000 Messis,” continues the columnist, leaving a very disturbing image indeed in La Liga Loca’s tiny mind.

On Tuesday, the miniskirt and pom-poms were hosed down and passed on to Sport's Josep María Casanovas, who issues the following maxim: “Barcelona fans, fear is for cowards!”

The columnist then hits a familiar theme by insulting the visitors from across the Med: “Mourinho’s strategy will be to bore Barça with their Italian anti-football.”

The front page of the paper has the rallying cry of “Together, we’ll win!” and demands that “every Barcelona player, at every moment, must feel supported, be cheered and feel loved by the public.”

If all that isn’t enough to make any neutrals reading the blog long for a devastatingly beautiful 10-0 victory for Inter, then nothing will.

Mundo Deportivo have taken to squealing like little girls about the Madridista press, who are “overseeing the usual ritual intimidation against the only side that has ever won a Treble in [Spain’s] history.”

The blog has a feeling that Lluís Foix, who penned the above complaint, may be referring to AS scribe Tomas Guasch dusting down and reactivating his Barcelona “sh*tting themselvesometer,” which he claimed hit “over 100 million sh*t-hertz” on Sunday night.

Barcelona will be hoping that their players show more backbone than their press.

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