La Liga Review's round up of what's being made up in the Spanish football papers sees Ronaldinho's brother announce, then deny, that the player will exercise FIFA clause 17 to fight for his right to party; an 'act of Terrorism' inflicted upon Betis; Real Madrid targeting Benzema, Poulsen and Alves. And could there really be someone Xavi at Chelsea?
Marca leads with a story revealing Schuster's shopping list for next season. According to the paper, Schuster claims that Calderon has given him his word that he will be the coach of Real Madrid next season: even if the German doesn't win La Liga this time around. Well that settles it then, after all, who could doubt the word of Ramon 'Kaka - Fabregas' Calderon?
Consequently, Marca claims that it knows who the testy Teuton wants to sign in the summer.
Benzema: "Is the manager's favourite but the number 9 will be the most difficult to sign."
Huntelaar: "A cheaper alternative should Benzema fail."
Poulsen: "An all terrain midfielder to accompany Guti or Gago."
Quaresma: "The right winger that Madrid currently lacks."
Mario Gomez: "A young forward, obtainable and one for the future."
Dani Alves: "Would make the right back position his own and allow Ramos to move in to the centre."
Madrid's second favourite football comic AS focuses entirely upon the race for the La Liga title and carries a photo of Gonzalo Higuaín proclaiming "We've nine finals left to play". In an interview with the Real Madrid midfielder, AS quotes him as saying "The Bernabeu could do with cheering up." Maybe that Germanic little ray of sunshine in the dugout could show everyone how it's done.
AS also informs us that "Everyone in Spain: players, fans and the press, all believe that we can win the European Championship this summer." When it says 'everyone', the paper is obviously excluding the millions who just know that Spain will get beaten in the quarter finals and those north of the river Ebro who simply couldn't care less.
The other story that seems to be getting increasingly more acrimonious involves Real Betis and the Spanish FA's decision that the club will have to play Saturday's game against Barcelona at the Vicente Calderon. Following the bottle throwing incident in Seville a fortnight ago, Real Betis had been told that they faced a two match stadium ban from their home ground. However, once again showing their complete inability to organise a football league, the football league organisers have left it as late as today (Friday) to confirm where Saturdays game against Barcelona should be played.
That's right, Barcelona. Playing in Madrid. At the Vicente Calderon. A week after the Atletico fans were in Seville stabbing people or getting beaten up for the benefit of YouTube.
Real Betis have hardly taken their punishment with good grace, however, and the comments coming out of the Ruiz de Lopera have been getting increasingly more extreme. AS reports that a lawyer, speaking on behalf of Betis, had this to say about the decision: "We are talking about a very serious incident in Madrid. For the first time in the history of football we will have fans from four teams, all of whom, are absolute rivals, meeting up in the same city. It is an act of terrorism because terrorism is what happens when you put the lives of others in danger. It is corruption taken to the extreme."
On the other side of the great divide it's all gone a bit bland with both SPORT and Mundo Deportivo on some kind of PR initiative in Barcelona.
SPORT's front page tells us just how fabulous Xavi and Iniesta are: "The pair are two great players for Barcelona and on Wednesday , as Luis Aragones the national coach testified, they are finally getting the recognition that they deserve. It's no accident that they have played more minutes for Barcelona than any other players, apart from Valdes. They have also kept the team afloat in recent weeks, scoring seven goals between them in 12 games." This, from a paper that yesterday told us that Barcelona desperately lacks anyone who can score from midfield.
The paper later decides on its website that Xavi is going to Chelsea, or is it Deco? SPORT isn't really sure so it covers itself by suggesting that Abrahamovic likes a lot of Barcelona players.
The other story that makes the front page is the never ending Ronaldinho saga. Apparently, the player's brother and agent told a Portuguese language website that "He would use Article 17, the FIFA ruling on transfers, that will allow Ronaldinho to break his contract with the club and leave for considerably less than his 125 million euros buy out clause. He could leave for as little as 16 million euros."
However, Mundo Deportivo reports that Ronnie's brother told Catalan radio late last night that "I said no such thing I merely responded to the question 'are you aware of this Article 17 legislation?". The agent also states that "Ronnie is not the only one to blame for his current situation and I'm sure that if Barcelona win something then the whole thing will get better." Words that will surely go down well.
MD's front page is otherwise a PR job and is dominated by excerpts and 'startling revelations' from Charly Rexach's new book. The book apparently reveals that "Ronaldinho's time is up," and that Charly would like to see Pep Guardiola given a chance to manage Barcelona. The former Barcelona player and coach Charly Rexach also claims that Johan Cruyff's comments about the club are just "interfering by a former Barcelona player and coach," and really not very helpful.