Spain in denial over Torres tantrum

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Fernando Torres is finally starting to show that he may well be the one true heir to Raul's super striking throne.

Not in the scoring a gazillion goals for Spain stakes, but in the pouty, sulky, staring from the bench way.

Having been pulled off by Luis Aragones midway through Tuesday's 4-1 win over the Kremlin calamities of Russia, the Liverpool forward could be seen with furious frown fully activated and his quivering lower lip almost scraping the floor.

But Torres was not angry at his manager for subbing him for the 22nd time in 33 games. Oh no. He was angry with himself.

"Luis was six metres from me, so we were not close and I would never make a gesture to a coach," said feisty Fernando on Thursday, denying stories that he and Luis had a bit of a bust up after the game. 

And this is the main theme of the Spanish press as the La Furia Roja prepares to take on some senior citizens from Sweden on Saturday night. That and the footballing bomb shell of Big Phil Scolari taking over at Chelsea - an event which has every paper scrambling furiously like Maniche after an ice-cream van to make up stories about big money offers for Deco, Ronaldinho, Pepe and Robinho.

Torres adopts the sulk position on the subs bench 

AS are still hammering away at the Cristiano Ronaldo soap opera and managed the impressive feat of linking the story that the Portuguese winger decided to take a relaxing boat trip on his day off to mean that he is definitely moving to the Bernabeu once his Alpine adventure is over.

Over in the footballing micro climate of Catalunya, Sport and Mundo Deportivo have given up on any attempt at proper work and are doing the journalistic equivalent of a dog running after passing cars by printing an assortment of front covers with different flavour of the minute footballers on them.

The likes of Moutinho and Karim Benzema have appeared on recent editions but their current fetish is with David Villa, who they have just discovered is a fairly decent player and would probably be a good signing for Barcelona.

But this will happen over Valencia's dead body says club president, Agustin Morera who hopes that "Villa can finish his career here."

Also trying to beat back the tide of inevitability King Canute style are Mallorca fans who have launched a Dani Güiza must stay campaign by putting up posters around the Ono Estadi.

Unless the pitiful pleadings are accompanied by thick wads of cash, their admirable efforts are likely to be as successful as Guti trying to open a childproof bottle of aspirin.

Joaquín - brest-fed until he was seven, La Liga Loca will never grow tired of that fact - looks like he is heading out of the Mestalla door unless he receives a bit of TLC some time soon.

"I only want to feel liked, important and happy," sighed the milk-loving Lothario earlier this week.

"I felt alone last year without the support of the board and management against the injustice with which Koeman was treating me."

Joaquin: Just wants mum to come and make it all better 

Over in Castle Greyskull, Ramón Calderón has joined his paranoid presidential comrade at the Camp Nou by donning a silver foil beanie hat and saying that Florentino Perez is out to get him.

"They have tapped my telephones, two people have been following me around and they have looked at my bank accounts," claimed Calderón at a press breakfast. "I feel sorry for the obsession of the ex president."

One of those stalkers may well be Marca's Roberto Gómez who is still furnishing his readers with every detail of his trip to Austria. And all the very, very important people he has met there - including Calderón and the Atlético Madrid president.

"Cerezo and Calderón have been friends for a long time...and were almost besieged by Spanish fans who did not stop having photos taken with the presidents of Atlético and Real Madrid."

After asking the gawking Gómez standing next to them to bugger off out of the frame first, perhaps.