A sideways look at Spanish football
At the start of the season, journalists lucky enough to be working for Marca and AS had three stock questions they would ask Real Madrid’s footballers whenever they saw them: Would you like to win the Champions League? Would you like to win La Liga? Would you like to win the Copa del Rey?
The players in turn would give three stock answers: Yes. Yes. The Copa del what?
Thanks to the mighty Alcorcón and a French side described by Guti as “not one of the great teams of Europe”, hacks may simply be probing their subjects on the state of the weather come the middle of May, if the defeat of Lyon eventually sends morale-sapped Madrid into a nose-dive.
The pressure of five years of knockout failure, the quest for La Décima, insane summer spending and the failure to score an away goal at Stade Gerland had already given the Real Madrid players the biggest of willies ahead of Wednesday’s tie.
But the knowledge that the final was being held in the Santiago Bernabeu could well have pushed the footballers to the limit. This extra fear factor was like an arachnophobe finding a tarantula their tights.
After the early goal from Cristiano Ronaldo, Madrid looked calm and confident and on the way to racking up an Arsenal-sized score against their Gallic opponents.
But when the second never came, passes went astray (or were never made) and chances were missed, tempting Lyon into their second half revival that sent the home side crashing out of the Champions League in the last 16 for the sixth time in a row.
Within minutes of a tearful Gonzalo Higuaín trudging off the pitch and Guti attacking his teammates for being too individualistic on live television, Marca had set out its journalistic stall with the paper’s website leading with “Goodbye Champions, Goodbye Pellegrini.”
It was a theme that was developed in the following morning’s edition with the somewhat rude instruction for the Third-Choice Chilean to “Leave!” on the front cover.
The paper – and unofficial mouthpiece for Florentino Pérez – has been calling for the Madrid manager’s head now for months and Wednesday’s knockout disaster sees them ramping up the campaign to dizzying levels, with Roberto Gómez noting that “Madrid will not be in the final at the Bernabeu, but it is the final for Pellegrini.”
Marca’s Thursday editorial echoes these thoughts by announcing that Madrid "need to start looking for a coach for next season. Last night must never happen again."
The paper’s other traditional target is Gonzalo Higuaín, on the simple grounds that he was a Ramón Calderón signing and is popular with the fans. There have been renewed attacks on the Argentinian striker, who comes third from bottom of their midweek list of doom.
“It would be unfair to make him fully responsible for the defeat but had he been more on target then things could have turned out differently,” tutted Marca.
AS are a little less political in their post-match protesting and simply call the knockout to Lyon a “catastrophe” on their front cover. “This is the disaster that never ends,” sobs the next page.
The maddest of Madridistas, Tomás Roncero, mopes over the club having thrown their enormous summer spending into the bin and vents his righteous spleen in Kaká’s direction. “A footballer who cost €68m cannot behave like a trainee who’s on probation,” rants Roncero about the Brazilian God-botherer.
Over in the offices of Barcelona-based Sport and Mundo Deportivo, the aroma may be getting a little unpleasant as their journalists appear to have wet themselves over Real Madrid’s latest mishap.
“The Great Failure KO,” yells Sport, using bold white letters on a sombre black background.
“Isn’t football great!” beams Josep Maria Casanovas, having the time of his life in his Catalan column. “Florentino Pérez spent the worst night of his life watching his big dream turn to s**t.”
“The faces of Ronaldo and co heading back to the dressing rooms were those of losers, of failures,” continues Casanovas, evidently warming to his theme.
Mundo Deportivo spent some quality time turning global sports headlines about Real Madrid’s defeat into a cackling collage and finger-point that “football doesn’t have a price.”
“Once again they crash out in the last 16 because no one in Europe allows themselves to be intimidated by ‘Villaratos’ or other ridiculous inventions,” writes Santi Nolla, the paper’s director.
In the yin and yang nature of football in Spain, what has been a genuine, all-out, abandon-ship disaster for one club has turned out very nicely indeed for another.
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I said this elsewhere a few hours ago, and it bears repeating: one can't even use MARCA as toilet paper, it's already too full of s***.
remember that real was the most successful team the world. in 1998, 2000 - real won the champions league in 2001 they won la liga. then that fool peres came in with his galatico policy in late 2000. what happend then was real only 2 trophies under peres that was the champions league in 2002, in 2003 they won la liga and they came out the ... See Moresemi finals of the champions league when they lost 2 monaco. what did that fool peres do he buys becham n fires the coach who had won the 2 championsl league titles in 2000 and 2002 mr vicente del bosque who is the current spanish coach. peres distoyed the team how does he fire a oach who had won 2 liga titles and2 champions league titiles. after 3 more years without titles that b*st*rd ran away from real madird in 2006. after he resiged in 2006 , real madrid won 2 ligas titles in 2007 and 2008. now this b*st*rd peres is back with that clown valdano they sell arjen robben who was real best player in the last two seasons. this guy is the reason why real r no longer the greatest team in the world. he doesnt understand soccer all he does is hire n fire coaches, buys n sells players instead of leavin the coach 2 do his work. that why man u n arseanl r good teams cuz they keep coaches not like peres who behaves like a mob star
Thoroughly enjoyed the game last night. Something heartwarming about it.
Tim, you obviously missed MD's first headline effort immediately after the final whistle "Galactic Euro Guillotine" - obviously the trainee was quickly fired and they changed the headline to "Goodbye to the tenth"
Glad to see that despite Marca's post match web headline - "Adios Pellegrini" - the accompanying poll had about 68% backing the current manager. Marca's attempts to remove Manuel Pellegrini have been pathetic, as has everything else about the paper in recent years.
While success in the league is by in large dependent on the quality and depth of your side, categories which put Madrid in a favorable position to lift the trophy, the Champions League requires group cohesion, resilience and experience. An 8-month project including 6-8 new starters and a new manager should never be realistically expected to win the Champions League, even if player for player that team has the best talent.
Sommething that keeps surprising me is this...
Why keep VDV on the bench?
Is it b'cos he was bought by Calderon (a t***, btw)?
What does he have to do to get in the team?...
1. Grow hair like Granero.ANd look like a pirate?
2. Be stupid and lazy AND blonde(in the American sense of the word) like Guti?
3. Or be Spansih?... His mum is Spanish. Right?
He deserves a starting spot...
Ther's a lot of other problems with Real. Admittedly
Maybe just maybe the PR people can gently coach the players to answer more humbly when asked the 3 q's Tim cites in his article, obviously by spring and it's just q's about the weather then they can just adlib.
I've read so many articles and blogs about us arrogant prepotent RM fans that it's disgusting. These papers don't represent the man in the street as the Pellegrini vote on Marca's site shows.
We all turned on by big names sure, but the majority (this view is based on an extensive study of the guys in our local) want balance and stability. We don't want a 90k CR9 if we don't get a decent LB we don't Kaká if we lose Robben ( bitter irony how he scored the last minute wonder goal for Bayern). Everybody (well prior to the first leg) thought we'd get through to next round but never thought with such a new project would be able to win despite all the propaganda. Anyway if you Madrid bashers are compelled to have a go at me the arrogant narrow minded glory hunting RM fan, please please please don't start on the Fascist loving, Franco funded trip, it so gets on my ***
Alex Ferguson must find Real Madrid absolutely hilarious.
Repeat once every 3 years:
Takes a truck load of money off them for a great player. Then watch them them buy everyone else's best players for silly amounts.
Destroy those other teams in the CL who have lost easily their best players.
Watch Real still be rubbish (annual rather than triennial) in the CL while working on his Whiskey Nose in the bar at Old Trafford.
Smirk to yourself and give David Gill a cheeky wink.
I suspect thats how it went.
maspringekeunpapeldechurros, +1. Thank you.
I don't mind Pérez's project, and I know with this kind of cash outlay people will always keep an eye on results. But I think most Madrid fans (the real ones, not the arrogant gloryhunting blah blah blahs) did not have as high expectations as so much of the press made things out to be. Pérez himself said at the start of the season it would not be considered a failure if Madrid did not win anything. So we can thank bad PR and the Madridista "press" for all the ink that's being spilled right now.
I could guess exactly who the scapegoats would be - Pellegrini, Casillas and Higuain. And I was proved right. (I've just seen pics of Iker's press conference.)
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