Spain celebrate super night out in Zurich for la Liga
At around eight oÃ¢ÂÂclock on Monday evening Swiss time, there was only one place to be if you were anybody in the world of football: Zurich.
Unfortunately, considering La Liga Loca is a complete nobody in the world of football, while the Ballon dÃ¢ÂÂOr award was being handed out in the warmth of a convention centre, the blog was doing its local duties by sitting in freezing stands beside a chimney belching out toxic fumes, as a brilliant Rayo Vallecano beat a truly awful Getafe. Ã¢ÂÂThe worst game in the year-and-a-half IÃ¢ÂÂve been here,Ã¢ÂÂ was the verdict of unimpressed Getafe boss Luis GarcÃÂa.
Nevertheless, LLL did manage to catch all the shocks and surprises before the main gong was handed out Ã¢ÂÂ Leo MessiÃ¢ÂÂs magnificent suit, Sergio RamosÃ¢ÂÂs latest squeeze, Gerard PiquÃÂ© in the team of the year and the questionably selected unflattering photograph of JosÃÂ© Mourinho.
At the time of the award ceremony, the Real Madrid manager was busy watching his son train for his local team Ã¢ÂÂ a story which made the front cover of AS in a whopping dig at Mourinho, who had claimed he would be absent because he was preparing for WednesdayÃ¢ÂÂs clash with Celta Vigo.
Although LLL thinks that the whole concept of handing out individual prizes for a team event is a bit wonky, the blog would have given the Ballon dÃ¢ÂÂOr to Iker Casillas on the grounds that it has a soft spot for goalkeepers, the footballer captained his club and country to fantastic years and he really, really gets on his managerÃ¢ÂÂs wick, which has to be a plus point that even Barcelona fans would buy into.
Instead, Messi made sure his polka-dot outfit got a good airing with his fourth prize in a row and the general agreement in the Spanish press that the Argentinian was a deserved recipient. Ã¢ÂÂFour and all those to come,Ã¢ÂÂ wrote AS editor Alfredo RelaÃÂ±o. Ã¢ÂÂThere hasnÃ¢ÂÂt been anyone the same.Ã¢ÂÂ Ã¢ÂÂGolden Messi!Ã¢ÂÂ says the front cover of Mundo Deportivo, with Sport reminding everyone that Messi is now Ã¢ÂÂthe best in history.Ã¢ÂÂ
"No, Cristiano probably couldn't pull this look off..."
Marca is chuffed about the awards' dominance by the homeland, with the front cover blasting Ã¢ÂÂSpainÃ¢ÂÂ Ã¢ÂÂ in English, after a Spanish coach, Barcelona player picked up the big metaphorical gongs, and 11 la Liga footballers made the World XI team. On the one hand, it could be argued that Real Madrid and Barcelona, who contributed ten of the side, do not represent the absolute basket case of a mess that the rest of the league is in. Then again, thereÃ¢ÂÂs not a single footballer from the fancy-pants Premier League in sight. Indeed, there was only one England-based player in the Ballon dÃ¢ÂÂOr top ten - Robin Van Persie.
It was lovely to see Vicente Del Bosque picking up another award and being a little bit cheeky in his speech, which took a small dig (although one he has since played down) at a notable absentee from the ceremony. Ã¢ÂÂEveryone who is here wants to win, but we are also obliged to defend football and take care of it by offering our best personal conduct,Ã¢ÂÂ noted the Spain boss.
Although Marca are rather curiously already offering up a poll on who will win the next Ballon dÃ¢ÂÂOr, which is just around the corner in twelve monthÃ¢ÂÂs time, Spain is now focussing on the Copa del Rey, with the second leg of the last 16 ties taking place this week.
Osasuna are set for a miserable night in Mestalla, with the Pamplona club 2-0 down to Valencia, although itÃ¢ÂÂs the home side coach, Ernesto Valverde who doesnÃ¢ÂÂt seem to be looking forward to the affair. Ã¢ÂÂThese games are the worst," he lamented. "We have little to win and a lot to lose.Ã¢ÂÂ
Meanwhile, MÃÂ¡laga are involved in a fun evening against third tier Eibar, although should go through after a 1-1 draw in the Basque Country just before Christmas.