Will Real Madrid be Peace-ing off early?
A concerned La Liga Loca can only hope that the Reverend Sun Myung Moon hasnÃ¢ÂÂt been keeping his all-seeing eye on any football related shenanigans in Spain over the past weekend from his giant palace of light (where the blog imagines him to be living).
Otherwise he may be one unhappy Messianic bunny. For those already confused by MondayÃ¢ÂÂs meander, the good Reverend is the head of the Unification Church - or the Moonies, as they are often called - who are the organisers of the most peculiar Peace Cup jamboree currently taking place in a very sweaty Madrid and Andalusia. Ã¢ÂÂWe are creating the peaceful world we have been dreaming of,Ã¢ÂÂ declares the Peace CupÃ¢ÂÂs official website - a website that also includes a section where you can pick up a Ã¢ÂÂsolidarity T-shirtÃ¢ÂÂ for a cheeky 10 euros.
This perhaps demonstrates that the ReverendÃ¢ÂÂs prediction from his own site that Ã¢ÂÂthis present materialistic age will soon yield to a new age of spirituality,Ã¢ÂÂ still has some way to go. The reason why Mr Moon may not be completely happy with his tournament so far is that the good people of Spain have been turning their noses up at the whole concept of world peace, football and all that jazz by wisely staying away in their droves. Just 300 turned up for the clash between Liga de Quito against Al-Attihad in Jerez. Only 2000 bothered to come and watch Sevilla get kicked out of the tournament on Sunday night.
While Real Madrid - a club who managed to pack 70,000 fans into the Bernabeu to watch someone put a football shirt on - could only tempt about half that number to watch their icon kick do needless stepovers.
Part of this reason must be the fact that Sunday nightÃ¢ÂÂs game kicked off at the ludicrous time of half-past-ten at night.
And the fans who were there were treated to perhaps the worst football song ever recorded before the players of Madrid and Al-Attihad trundled onto the pitch. Twice. It was an abysmal mix of flamenco and inane Spanish pop, and concerned the world gathering in Seville in the name of peace.
For those wondering, the finest football song in la Liga - in the blog's humble opinion - is GetafeÃ¢ÂÂs match-opening number, surely the theme tune to Ã¢ÂÂItÃ¢ÂÂs a Knock OutÃ¢ÂÂ should the programme ever come back from the dead. Being a pre-season friendly the match was quite naturally a total waste of time and mindnumblingly dull. However, the Madrid fans got to boo their players off the pitch after a 1-1 draw - a game where the home side were spared defeat after Manaf Aboshgair and Hicham Aboucherouane missed two second-half sitters for the opposition.La Liga Loca probed Jerzy Dudek thoroughly after the match to see if the Madrid Ã¢ÂÂkeeper for the night agreed with the blogÃ¢ÂÂs frequent moan that Spanish football is played at the same time as people should be tucked up in bed. Ã¢ÂÂItÃ¢ÂÂs very late for the supporters,Ã¢ÂÂ agreed the yawning Polish legend. Ã¢ÂÂThey should be playing the game at least an hour earlier.Ã¢ÂÂAs well as the poor crowds, the other concern the Peace Cup organisers must have is holding the tournament in the highly hedonistic land of Spain. After all, the Reverend Moon himself said in a speech in January 2008 that Ã¢ÂÂthose who drink and smoke cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven. The fish of heaven may spit on them.Ã¢ÂÂ
Bad news for Sergio Ramos for starters. And very bad news indeed for the folks down in Andalusia, where drinking and smoking tends to be obligatory, rather than an optional pastime. While BarcelonaÃ¢ÂÂs Ã¢ÂÂBÃ¢ÂÂ and Ã¢ÂÂCÃ¢ÂÂ teams classily oozed their way through their friendly games against Spurs and Al Ahly over the weekend, MadriduÃ¢ÂÂs bloated squad has yet to click. AS-man, TomÃÂ¡s Roncero, writes on Monday that Ã¢ÂÂif Pellegrini was an astronaut and called Armstrong, then he would be calling Valdano Houston and telling him he had a problem.Ã¢ÂÂÃ¢ÂÂMadrid have got to improve a lot,Ã¢ÂÂ warned the paperÃ¢ÂÂs editor, Alfredo RelaÃÂ±o, Ã¢ÂÂbecause if they donÃ¢ÂÂt...Ã¢ÂÂMarca, on the other hand, prefer not to talk about the unmentionable performance of Sunday night and spend a large chunk of MondayÃ¢ÂÂs edition moaning about a long list of targets, including:
The person responsible for playing the Danish national anthem during Alberto ContadorÃ¢ÂÂs podium session after winning the Tour de France...
The judges at the World Swimming Championships for not giving the Spanish synchronised swimming team a bunch of gold medals...
The gentleman who installed Fernando AlonsoÃ¢ÂÂs wonky wheel...
... and Franz Beckenbauer for no good reason at all. If Real Madrid fail to beat Liga de Quito on Tuesday night, then Marca will have something to complain about, once again, as that will be the first tournament failure for Real Madrid of the season. The first of how many is the big, mischievous question for the day.