Young guns and old bikes star in la Liga
La Liga Loca is not sure how long it has to complete todayÃ¢ÂÂs entry.
You see, it made a bit of a boo-boo this morning, and suspects that the tÃ¢ÂÂinternet police will be bursting in through its (already open) windows Minority Report-style at any moment. However, it may be lucky and find that they too are taking their August break along with the rest of Spain. All the blog was trying to do was catch ThursdayÃ¢ÂÂs Europa League pre-pre-pre-pre qualifying action between JoaquÃÂn CaparrÃÂ³sÃ¢ÂÂ merry men and their Swiss rivals. It appears that La Liga LocaÃ¢ÂÂs request to gaze at Ã¢ÂÂAthletic Young BoysÃ¢ÂÂ on YouTube may well have been misinterpreted. Had the blog managed to catch the Wandkorf action, it would have seen the Basque club saving their separatist skins thanks to a strike from the clubÃ¢ÂÂs youngest ever goal-scorer. Athletic were going into the match against Young Boys 1-0 down after a disaster in San MamÃÂ©s last week.
However, a 2-1 victory sees them through to yet another qualifying game, this time against Norway's Tromso. And the northern side owe everything to the 16-year-old Iker Muniain for the winning goal, after he came on as a second-half substitute and scored two minutes later. Ã¢ÂÂWeÃ¢ÂÂre back to showing that weÃ¢ÂÂre a group of winners,Ã¢ÂÂ boasted JoaquÃÂn CaparrÃÂ³s about a team that qualified for the tournament as Copa del Rey losers. The rest of the Spanish contingent will be joining Athletic in further Europa League action with Valencia playing Norwegian side, Stabaek, in another play-off round and Villarreal - a side slumming it in the contest this year - taking on Dutch outfit NAC.In the grown up Champions League, AtlÃÂ©tico Madrid will probably be feeling fairly pleased with themselves having been drawn against Panathinaikos in their pre-qualifying clash.
The first tie is in Greece and the second back at the Vicente CalderÃÂ³n. However, Abel Resino, has done his duty by promising that the game Ã¢ÂÂisnÃ¢ÂÂt going to be easy.Ã¢ÂÂBut, as ever, itÃ¢ÂÂs impossible to tell what will happen with the Spanish side who are Ã¢ÂÂalone in the universe,Ã¢ÂÂ according to club president Enrique Cerezo, who told French magazine Ã¢ÂÂSo FootÃ¢ÂÂ that Ã¢ÂÂweÃ¢ÂÂre capable of winning the hardest game and losing the easiest.Ã¢ÂÂLa LigaÃ¢ÂÂs big two are currently on North American shores with Barcelona having given Freddie LjungbergÃ¢ÂÂs Seattle Sounders a 4-0 tonking in a match that included two fine strikes from Leo Messi. However, the highlight - and perhaps the biggest disappointment of the trip so far - was the squadÃ¢ÂÂs special visit to the Microsoft headquarters, a visit made by all but three of the Barcelona players. But rather than having any interest whatsoever in Bill GatesÃ¢ÂÂ world-conquering company, Marca giggles that the footballers were instead expecting a freebie in the shape of a brand-new, state-of-the-art games console.
Instead they all received a pen. La Liga Loca can only imagine that only about three of the Barcelona squad will know what to do with it. Real Madrid are in action in the early hours (Spanish time) of Saturday morning against Toronto.
But the blog couldnÃ¢ÂÂt give two hoots as the tabloid titillating of Cristiano Ronaldo is set to start in earnest a few hours earlier with his publicity-shy ex, Nereira Gallardo, revealing all about their relationship on a Ã¢ÂÂprensa rosaÃ¢ÂÂ Spanish TV show. RonaldoÃ¢ÂÂs former fling is currently big news in Spain, having been very publicly blanked by MadridÃ¢ÂÂs Mr Loverman as he came out of a nightclub in Mallorca - a nightclub she was desperately trying to get into along with an army of photographers, no doubt. Ã¢ÂÂStuff KakÃÂ¡ and coÃ¢ÂÂ is the message from the blog.
This is where the big fun is to be had this pre-season, as La Liga Loca joins the rest of the countryÃ¢ÂÂs tabloid press popcorned-up in the gutter and splashing about in the sleaze.