Spanish media yet to catch Eurocopa fever

Although there are still some lingering questions regarding Spain's Euro 2012 side - which of the three striking options will fill David Villa’s boots, who will have the pleasure of standing alongside showbiz luvvie and friend of Brangelina, Gerard Piqué, at the back, etc - the biggest debate in Spanish football has actually been resolved this week.

This was, of course, the all important issue of whether the players will be allowed to use social media when they are not supposed to be sleeping, eating, training, making pee-pee into a cup for UEFA or perhaps even playing the odd game of football.

But Tuesday’s papers blasted the excellent news that the world can instantly hear the thoughts of Alvaro Arbeloa or catch an exclusive look at Sergio Ramos’s new hair-do (LLL approves, for the record), after an intervention from Iker Casillas, who played a true captain’s role by telling Spanish football’s fuddy-duddy bosses that it’s probably easier to just allow their footballers to spend Sunday night tweeting “shame couldn’t beat Italy! Gave big effort! Animo!”, than try to police such internet emissions after the event.

The morning of the kick-off to the big Euro jamboree sees Spain’s four main sports papers heading off in three different directions. The front cover of AS reports on a lecture from spooky-eyed UEFA referee coordinator, Pierluigi Collina, who has told Spain’s players that “referees are not your enemies.” The Italian then added, “well, aside from you Sergio Biscuits. We’ve been watching you, sunshine.”

But on a considerably more sombre note, the paper’s inside pages lead with the death of Manuel Preciado, a tragic event to which Marca has dedicated Friday’s front page. “Manolo was a fighter in life and in football,” said the paper’s editorial. “A tireless fighter, a born optimist, a vibrant man, a lover of football, a good friend. One of a kind. Rest in peace.”

Over in the Catalan capital, Mundo Deportivo also has an image of the former Sporting boss on the front cover, with the banner, “Goodbye Friend.” Sport are steering clear of Euro 2012 coverage, by claiming to know the details of Jordi Alba’s future Barcelona contract, with tentative talks for a move for the Valencia fullback reportedly underway. The paper claims the transfer will cost €12 million, with the wee defender picking up €3 million a year in a five season deal.

LLL suggests Sport may want to pay more attention to Tito Villanova’s contract, with the supposed next Barça boss yet to sign it, with both parties reportedly still to agree on economic terms.

Everyone will no doubt fall into line by the time Spain kick off against Italy on Sunday, but until that moment there’s plenty of time for chat about all and sundry before the European Champions begin the defence of their title.