Spanish Football News Round-up
La Liga Review looks at the front pages of Spain's four leading sports dailies, before carting them off to the recycling bin where they belong. Amongst a whole bunch of made up stuff that passes as news, we have Mourinho lined up for the Manager's role at Barcelona, Fabiano signing for Real Madrid, a statue in honour of Laudrup and Barcelona signing Ribery, Benzema, Alves and just about everyone else in Europe...
Desperate to alleviate the mood amongst the near suicidal Barcelona fans as they endure their 114th 'crisis' of the season, the Catalans favourite comic looks ahead to a brighter future: one in which Daniel Alves, Frank Ribery, Luis Fabiano and Karim Benzema will all be wearing the famous Blaugrana shirt of FC Barcelona.
The paper reveals that the FC Barcelona technical director, Txiki Begiristain, has targeted the above players as possible recruits for next season and that he will start the operation as soon as Barcelona's Champions League campaign is finished. SPORT claims that Begiristain will inform the Barcelona board of the identity of these players later today, but that the paper is able to reveal them to us now as they have been 'leaked by a major european manager' exclusively to the paper.
Turn over to page 2, however, and SPORT covers all of its bases by claiming that the following players are also on the list: Dani Jarque, Garay, Frank Lampard, Xabi Alonso, Willy Sagnol, Philipp Lahm, Martín Cáceres, Diego, Luka Modric, Didier Drogba, Diego Capel, and Keita - so basically anyone who SPORT can name. Needless to say, if one of them does actually sign, then it was brought to you first and exclusivley by SPORT! (And La Liga Review of course)
El Mundo Deportivo
The other Barcelona based sports paper devotes its front pages exclusively to Jose Mourinho.
MD claims that a tipping point has been reached within the Barcelona board that means the majority of its members now favour a move for Mourinho to succeed Frank Rijkaard. The paper states that a growing number of the Barcelona board are so disenfranchised with the lack of commitment being shown by the current squad, that the 'special one' is in fact the 'only one' who can get them going again.
The paper insists that the only person who really beleives that Rijkaard has not 'reached the end of a cycle' is Joan Laporta, and that the President "has blind faith in Rijkaard, so strong is his desire to finish his presidency with the same manager with which he started."
MD believes that Mourinho favours a move to Barcelona over any other, and has put Inter Milan on hold, as he waits for the call from the Camp Nou. However, as Mourinho informed us at his press conference in Valencia las week…he will not wait forever.
AS gets its Real Madrid worshipping priorities right by largely ignoring Getafe's progress through to the quarter finals of the UEFA cup at the expense of Benfica.
Instead the Madrid based comic offers us a front page that celebrates improved contract offers for Pepe, Robinho and Ramos: "A shield of Gold!" , apparently, in reference to these new deals that will protect the club from Milan's reported interest in the trio.
You get the feeling that whoever follows Calderon in to the Presidential hot seat is going to be kept very busy working out what to with all of these players that have been given gold-plated lifelong contracts. Sergio Ramos is quoted as saying "I want to retire here!" - and who wouldn't with Uncle Ramon (best mates with Nicolas Cage) Calderon managing your pension plan.
The paper does acknowledge Getafe's European adventure and heaps praise upon "EuroGeta's" undoubted star: Ruben de la Red. The attacking midfielder stole the show with a fine performance as a central defender - so desperate is Getafe's injury crisis.
Michael Laudrup is doing such a fine job that he is currently being linked with the Managerial positions at Chelsea, Barcelona and Real Madrid. The man in demand, in true footballing fashion, is just focused on the next game, and tells AS " What concerns me is that we recover some players ahead of the very important games that we have coming up. We only had 14 players plus two more from the reserves. We have come out very well here but we cannot live like that."
Spain's biggest selling sports paper also dedicated its front page to Real Madrid this morning, announcing that Real Madrid will be able to sign Luis Fabiano for a bargain €11m euros. The Brazilian Sevilla striker has been the focus of numerous reports linking him with Madrid over the last week and with the player's release clause set at such a low amount, it is hardly surprising that this seasons Pichichi is the man in demand.
The cut price availability of Fabiano is all to do with who actually owns the player: with Sevilla able to stake only half a claim on the player's full registration - the rest belonging to Global Soccer Investments.
Getafe do get a mention on Marca's front page, and the paper reckons that the side "Deserves a statue erected in their honour!". While reaching the quarter finals of the UEFA cup is a laudable achievement; You have to wonder what they will deserve if they actually win the thing.
Unfortunately for Ramon Calderon, Marca continues to run more salt in to the Nicolas Cage shaped wound on the pompous presi's backside: the paper quotes the Italian look alike as he looks back at his trip to the Bernabeu, stating " I've never been given so many presents in my life!"