A sideways look at Spanish football
Ideally, La Liga Loca should be passing on to pastures new two days after the Clásico, by bringing its loyal and beloved readers the latest gossip from Getafe or the rumblings at Racing. But the Spanish media is still fixated by the 5-0 humping of Real Madrid by Pep’s Dream Boys...which means LLL is too.
Some 48 hours after Monday’s game, Marca is still very much in denial, rocking backwards and forwards mumbling ‘no, no, no, no’ to itself, maniacally dribbling down the front of its Real Madrid romper suit.
The paper has yet to reach the ‘acceptance’, ‘looking for answers’ or even the ‘Manuel Pellegrini is to blame’ stage of its recovery, and continues to attack match referee Iturralde González for failing to give Ronaldo a penalty in the first half - and send Víctor Váldes off for good measure - and for allowing Barça’s third goal which it claims was offside.
And to prove its point, the paper has printed a picture of David Villa on the wrong side of Pepe during the build up to the goal. The tiny flaw in their argument though is that Marca’s photo was taken when the ball had already left Leo Messi’s boot.
Wednesday’s Marca also moans that Monday’s man in the middle is clearly a culé sympathiser, having never awarded a penalty against the Catalan club in the Camp Nou, and notes with suspicion that the Dream Boys have won most of their games with Iturralde in charge. Logic that’s hard to argue with, to be sure...
The occassional moments of unchecked dissent that slipped into Tuesday’s edition have been stamped out with Roberto Gómez - who had blasted his disgust at the ‘ridicule’ and ‘disgrace’ of the defeat - now thoroughly mind-wiped and reading from the same hymn sheet as his colleagues by claiming that “this Madrid is still very much alive and there’s a long way to go. The result was painful but what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger.”
The paper’s other big issue is the fines handed out by UEFA to José Mourinho, Sergio Ramos, Xabi Alonso, Jerzy Dudek and Iker Casillas, as well as Real Madrid as an institution, for what they consider to have been caddish naughtiness of the worst kind in the yellow card carnival against Ajax, last Tuesday.
“Unfair and money-grabbing” yells Marca, which is probably quite pleased to have something else to talk about right about now. “It’s a strike against a manager with charisma and a succulent fine to fill their coffers,” whines Wednesday’s editorial, suddenly comprehending UEFA’s general purpose about 10 years after the rest of the world.
AS drummed up an awards ceremony - quite possibly with a day’s notice - to act as a decoy from Madrid’s humiliation with 18 pages dedicated to pictures of plump, jowly men hugging other plump jowly, men. And not much more.
Over in Barcelona and the two main papers are still in full, tackle out, basking mode. Mundo Deportivo hammers its ‘little hand’ theme to death with every, single, frackin’ page filled with photos of random people putting their hand up to the paper’s cameras and smiling smugly. Even more than usual for Barcelona fans. And that’s saying something.
Sport even find time for words to go with their pretty pictures from Monday’s victory. “The international press falls before the best team in the world,” sighs the Barça-barmy comic.
Inside, Josep María Casanovas is clearly a writer who likes to kick a man when he’s down by attacking José Mourinho’s ego-centric ways. “He’s one of those coaches that when the side wins, it’s him, when they lose, it’s the team that lost.”
The lunacy before, during and post Clásico has been so extreme that the blog has come to the only conclusion possible. That Barcelona will lose against Osasuna on Saturday, Real Madrid will be victorious over Valencia to go back to the top of the table and the whole insane cycle will start all over again. And again. And again. And again...
Well they should move on... got a country on the verge of bankruptcy, if that isn't sobering enough
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