The question arose time and again over the summer during the Gareth Bale saga: did Florentino Perez really have the money to cough up? Is that why it stalled for so long?
Some astonishing claims have been made by Dutch MPs Gert Wilders and MEP Dirk Jan Eppink, who are apparently convinced the whole deal was financed by Spanish bank Bankia – who in theory should be in no position to finance such a deal, having just been bailed out last summer.
Irked by the prospect of the European taxpayer paying for the deal through the slipstream, they’re demanding a thorough investigation.
While these are mere unfounded allegations for the time being, it’s worth bearing in mind that the purchases of Cristiano Ronaldo and Kaka’ in 2009 were indeed financed by Caja Espana, and this is readily admitted and accepted at the Casa Blanca.
Bankia have dismissed the claims, assuring they had no involvement in the deal, and were never even contacted by Real Madrid.
Below are the accusatory tweets made by Mr Dirk Jan Eppink and his proposal for an investigation.
It seems Carlo Ancelotti’s come up with a novel Solomonian solution to his goalkeeper pickle, but it’s one more often seen at juvenile rather than professional level.
In order to keep everyone happy, Marca claim Ancelotti has told Iker he’ll get his chance this season, in the Champions League!
According to Marca, Ancelotti has decided Diego Lopez will continue in goal for La Liga, while Casillas, who he believes is currently behind in terms of form and condition, will play the Champions League.
The decision just doesn’t really hold up to logic though: the Champions League is the elite competition, and Madrid’s opponents – Juve, Galatasaray, and Copenhagen, – are far superior to most of the La Liga fodder the notional number 1 Diego Lopez will be facing.
As Marca reminds its readers, though, Madrid have history of alternating between keepers, as in 2001 for example, when they won the Champions League with Casillas finishing in goal, while Cesar had played most of the season.
The key difference between then and now, though, is that it wasn’t a pre-arranged strategy like this one, which just stinks of politicking and putting off the eventual decision.
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The Hipsters have dreamed of it, FIFA gamer @MattHDGamer did it: he’s created a Team of Beards on FIFA 13.
Matt’s facial hair XI is:
Al Otaibi, Pique, Cassani, Charles, Tzavellas, Samaras, Nocerino, Biondini, Mata, Vagner Love, Lopez
Now that’s a dapper team! No Pirlo though…
Watch Matt talk through the selection process behind his Team of Beards and how they play on the clip below.
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In the context of Man United’s infamously disastrous transfer window, the extension of mercurial winger Nani with the club has been met with a lukewarm reaction by United fans and bemused football fans in general.
While Nani has had his moments at Old Trafford, he’s only played an average of 15 games a season, of which he’s invariably blown hot and cold.
Quite simply, he’s never quite won over the Stretford End, so a new deal taking a player who’s not even first choice through to the age of 32 has left many bewildered.
Manager Moyes commented on the new deal. “I’m really pleased Nani has re-signed for the next five years. He has great ability and experience and beyond his 26 years.”
Nani himself said: “Playing at United has been a fantastic experience for me,” he said. “When I came to the club, I never imagined the success we have enjoyed. Training every day with top players who want to win trophies every year is a great motivation to me.
Below are the best tweets on the mixed reaction to Nani’s new United deal.
Costa Rica didn’t take too kindly to having to play through THAT Denver snowstorm last March.
Didn’t take kindly at all.
Los Tics are doing all they can to exact revenge on ‘Los Gringos’ for what they felt was unfair play, by essentially making their stay a living hell, as reported by Deadspin.
Firstly, the Costa Rican authorities made sure the US didn’t get priority at immigration, meaning Team USA had to pass through public immigration like common men, while having abuse hurled at them by feral Costa Ricans (US defender Omar Gonzalez Instagramed a vid with the funny caption, ‘The Costa Ricans are so happy we landed safely).
Below are tweets outlining the rest of the special treatment being reserved for the USMNT ahead of Friday’s showdown.
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Robin van Persie has moved to deny yesterday’s reports that he’s unhappy with new United manager David Moyes, via the Dutch media.
He told Der Telegraaf: ”It’s great working with the new manager David Moyes.
‘I’m happy with the style of Moyes. He does his own training sessions; he’s close with the players and prepares us with his staff very well for the next opponent. That keeps us in shape.
‘There is a very good atmosphere at the club. The title last year has given us more hunger for more.”
OK, but the story was complete cobblers, why such a sanitised and sinewy statement? Why not completely laugh off the notion that ‘a friend’ would go to the media behind his back?
A Sky Sports News report on the story and van Persie’s statement can be seen on the clip below.
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