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Shakira, a 21st century Di Stéfano and Vanilla Ice's haircut

Should Atlético Madrid lose to Valencia on Saturday and Quique Sánchez Flores be given the elbow, then it will blooming well serve the Rojiblanco manager right for opening up a can of stinky, wriggly worms at the weekend when he commented that Leo Messi was an Alfredo Di Stéfano for the new century.

Real Madrid immediately responded with Jorge Valdano claiming that Ronaldo was Spartacus after his brace against Real Sociedad a day later, an assertion backed by the cover of Monday and Tuesday's edition of Marca, a paper that has Ronaldo claiming that âÂÂitâÂÂs an honour to be compared with Di Stéfano,â before confessing that thought the old fella wheeled in to attend all the clubâÂÂs official functions was FlorentinoâÂÂs Dad.

The Catalan papers have responded quite huffily - you can tell itâÂÂs an thumb-twiddling international week - with SportâÂÂs headline on Tuesday wailing pathetically that âÂÂThey are going for Messi!âÂÂ

âÂÂMourinho says he gets tackled less! Valdano says Ronaldo is the new Di Stéfano! Cristiano is obsessed with Messi!â whines the front cover, referring to the Madrid managerâÂÂs recent suggestion that little Leo gets an easy time of it from opposition defenders. Perhaps aside from Tomás Ujfalusi, we would suggest...

However, despite what the paperâÂÂs lead claims, Josep María Casanovas writes that Barça donâÂÂt care much for the Di Stéfano comparisons anyway - whilst giving Madrid a firm kick in the knackers for good measure.

âÂÂDi Stéfano lead a Madrid in white and black that had all the favour of the eraâÂÂs authoritarian Francoism. Messi, thanks to TV, has become a world star that collects titles and awakens passions.âÂÂ

The Messi v Ronaldo âÂÂwhoâÂÂs got the biggest wangerâ contest continues in the Madrid press with both Marca and AS pointing out that cold, hard, statistics prove that the latter is fouled more than the former. However neither organ could be bothered to discover the root cause of this, especially as Ronaldo was only the seventh most fouled player in la Primera, with José Callejón topping that list, probably in retaliation for the Espanyol midfielderâÂÂs beloved Vanilla Ice tribute haircut.


"Please stop fouling me - I've got an appointment with my stylist tomorrow!"

Those readers who hadnâÂÂt lopped their own arms off, âÂÂ127 Hoursâ style, to prevent them from turning more pages to read such nonsense would have missed some actual news tucked away in the middle of TuesdayâÂÂs editions - the Spanish top-flightâÂÂs fifth managerial casualty of the season.

New Racing owner, Ahsan Ali Syed, has decided to clear Miguel Angel PortugalâÂÂs desk with the Cantabrian side having failed to win a league game since 12th November, managing just 17 goals all season - a record that leaves Racing in 16th.

The sacking also came a day after criticism of his tactics came from one of his own players, with AS reporting midfielder ColsaâÂÂs complaints that, âÂÂI canâÂÂt move on the pitch, Lacen and I are alone against four guys.âÂÂ

At a press conference on Tuesday, Portugal bid farewell after a 15-month spell in charge in Santander and revealed that âÂÂIâÂÂve never met with señor Ali. I suppose there was a business analysis of the clubâÂÂs situation and this analysis decided that another manager should continue this evolution and thatâÂÂs it.âÂÂ

Apparently, the former coach was not the only one who has had no contact with his big boss, as none of the footballers have either. âÂÂWeâÂÂve still not met him, heâÂÂs not been down to see us. ItâÂÂs important that he comes and chats to us,â hinted goalkeeper, Toño.

In more frivolous news, Mundo Deportivo, have plastered their front page with a photo that Gerard Piqué posted to his Facebook and Twitter account which shows the defender with a group of friends but also nestled nicely behind Shakira whilst celebrating his 24th birthday after SaturdayâÂÂs win against Atlético.

âÂÂImpacto!â yells TuesdayâÂÂs front cover with the paper reporting that Piqué has used the photo to âÂÂoutâ his relationship with the booty-shakinâ beauty - an action that will surely result in LLLâÂÂs next trip to see Barcelona involving security and a distraught blog shouting âÂÂsheâÂÂs too good for you!â whilst being thrown out of the stadium.