The Spanish media are in uproar over what appears cast-iron proof that Real Madrid vice-captain Guti refused to play as a substitute for Los Blanco’s in their narrow win over Malaga last weekend in La Liga.
Bad-blood has quickly polarised coach Juande Ramos and the pretty-boy of Madrid after the former Tottenham boss had chosen to drop Guti in recent weeks after a string of below-standard performances. And matters now appear to have reached the point of no return after TV cameras caught Guti talking to his fellow teammates on the Real bench, flatly refusing to play.
According to reports, Ramos signalled over to Guti that the midfielder was to get a five minute run-out at the end of the match on Saturday night. But rather than do as he was told, Guti was caught refusing orders to Javi Garcia and Javier Saviola on the bench.
Guti was caught saying: “Today, I am not going to go out [onto the pitch]. Javi, you are going to be the first one in. With this result [Madrid were leading 1-nil], Juande is going to remove a centre-forward and send in a central midfielder, which is not going to be me.”
As Guti predicted, Javi Garcia was introduced to replace Klaas-Jan Huntelaar in the 65th minute. And with the seconds running down Real’s physio Jordi Garcia turned to Guti and ordered him to put on his playing kit. The 32-year-old, acting like a stubborn child, point-blank refused to strip off with TV cameras catching Michel Salgado looking stunned by his colleagueâ€™s response.
Guti’s days at the Bernabeu now seem numbered.
A Spanish news report, including footage of Guti’s activities on the Real bench, can be seen here.
Turning to the league leaders, it was another satisfactory weekend in Catalonia as Barca eeked out a 1-nil win over Valladolid.
As usual for Barca, Andres Iniesta lined up in the centre of midfield alongside Xavi, with the number eight looking to be creative and pull the strings. Despite not having his most influential game of the season, Iniesta looked fresh after his international break with Spain. In truth however, Iniesta failed on several occasions to score, despite a handful of golden opportunities.
Highlights of Andres Iniesta’s performance against Valladolid can be seen here.
After being beaten up in Bolivia, Leo Messi was handed a place on the bench by coach Pep Guardiola with the pocket-dynamo given 30 minutes to shine on Saturday. By that point Barca had already cemented their lead through Eto’o, allowing Messi to take a greater backseat than we are used to seeing for the world’s best player.
While Messi showed some good touches, he did not produce the magic which has been in full view for most of this season.
Highlights of Leo Messi’s performance against Valladolid can be seen here.
Lastly, Persian football fans are able to smile from ear to ear this Monday having watched Iranian star Masoud Shojaei tear Atletico Madrid to pieces in a brilliant performance on Sunday night. Shojaei scored one, assisted another and helped create a third during Osasuna’s first away win of the season.
Highlights of Masoud Shojaei’s performance against Atletico can be seen here.