Why the England game was secondary in Spain
SpainÃ¢ÂÂs superb 29-match unbeaten run began some two years ago with a 1-0 win over England, and continued last night with what was a fairly comfortable 2-0 victory at a sprightly SÃÂ¡nchez PizjuÃÂ¡n in Seville.
However, the win over the Ã¢ÂÂprossÃ¢ÂÂ Ã¢ÂÂ La Liga Loca has yet to hear a rational explanation as to why the English team is called this Ã¢ÂÂ is of secondary importance to most sections of the Spanish media, who have other far meatier matters on their minds. Like flogging, fawning and frivolity.
Or, as in SportÃ¢ÂÂs case, ignoring it completely and focusing on more magic from Leo Messi in ArgentinaÃ¢ÂÂs win over France.
Barca's Messi runs Real's Diarra ragged
The omniscient overlords of TV had decreed that the game should kick-off at the ludicrous time of 10pm, thus ensuring that both children and wimps that require more than three hours sleep a night would almost certainly miss out on the entertaining action.
Still, it beats the brilliant brainstorm from the barmy bigwig who scheduled last yearÃ¢ÂÂs Copa Del Rey final on a Wednesday night at 10pm, meaning that had extra-time and penalties been required, then there would have been 55,000 people piling out of the Vicente CalderÃÂ³n trying to board the same night bus.
WednesdayÃ¢ÂÂs showpiece match featuring SpainÃ¢ÂÂs national team was broadcast, quite rightly, on His MajestyÃ¢ÂÂs national channel TVE1.
Sadly, this did not prevent an advertisement for a tyre manufacturer being read out by the commentator Ã¢ÂÂ along with an intrusive action-blocking banner Ã¢ÂÂ in the opening seconds of the game. Or SMS competitions. Or any other grubby tat that the channel wanted to flog.
"Look, a fantastic pile of tyres, brought to you by our friends at...
But the most anger-inducing point of all about the event was the constant plugs for the stationÃ¢ÂÂs own TV shows. At very inopportune moments.
Ã¢ÂÂIniesta to Xavi... Villa is making a run! ThereÃ¢ÂÂs danger here! At this point weÃ¢ÂÂd like to thank you, the viewer, for making xxxxx the top rated show on Spanish television! With you alongside us, weÃ¢ÂÂre moving forward to a golden future... Oh. ThereÃ¢ÂÂs been a goal. Bugger.Ã¢ÂÂ
Unfortunately, these unforgivable irritants were not picked up on by either Marca or AS. Indeed the former praised the Ã¢ÂÂthe brillianceÃ¢ÂÂ of the channelÃ¢ÂÂs sporting programmes that evening, while AS lauded its Ã¢ÂÂexhaustiveÃ¢ÂÂ coverage.
...what? goal? Villa? Bugger. GOOOOOAAAAALLLLLL"
By sheer coincidence, both papers noted that their respective (and respected, of course) editors were invited onto a TVE discussion show to chew over the game and published pictures of them looking very pleased with themselves indeed.
MarcaÃ¢ÂÂs Roberto GÃÂ³mez was given another opportunity to list all the very distinguished and very lovely people he met in the VIP area in SevillaÃ¢ÂÂs stadium. And, amazingly, they all seemed to work for SpainÃ¢ÂÂs opposition conservative party or be outrageous blaggers with prestigious medical clinics in Menorca.
Over in AS, the ever-entertaining Tomas Roncero was in full gibberish mode with a column that is completely incomprehensible until the final line when he declares that Ã¢ÂÂhistory owes us a World Cup! You can place a bet now.Ã¢ÂÂ
ItÃ¢ÂÂs at times like these when a Tic-Tac advert and a missed goal looks like BAFTA-winning broadcasting.