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A Voice in the Wilderness: Sid Lowe

24 Aug

Madrid and Barcelona, whose stranglehold on the league and other clubs is absolute, have no intention of redistributing talent, wealth or opportunity. There is no concept of the league as the product; the LFP is a loose, disparate collection of clubs with wildly different interests, each looking out for their own in which two clubs beat the rest every time.

Perennial State-of-La-Liga mourner Sid Lowe reaches the saddest realization of his career, which is the ominous curtain that we at nosrslr have never dared pull back: the LFP does not market La Liga; it markets the Big Two. How else to explain the constant catering to the Big Two when it comes to TV scheduling – not to mention the week-in/week-out suddenness of schedule finalizing? Let the lesser clubs squeal and starve all the day: Mother LFP only has two teets.


Neymar and the Night

6 Aug

In some small way, flirting (coqueteo) extends the self into a space where all potential outcomes are entertained.  Even the impossible may be suspended there between lock-eyed strangers.  Neymar and Real Madrid have been ordering each other one Old Fashioned after another from opposite ends of the bar all night, but it seems like the Brazilian has been playing them for fools in the Bernabeú, or at least that’s how Marca is taking the very notion of Barça catching the eye of the Brazilian starlet.

Whimsical as a fairy, Mr. Mohawk is only just getting settled in his newly run bath water, and Maybe, Just Maybe he thinks he’d like to soak in his position of international drool elicitor for an evening.  Real must be quite naive to think he’s going to drop his early twenties on a longterm relationship with the world’s premier practitioner of the “Love-em-and-leave-em” strategy of signing big names.  Rather than sack up with Mr. He Likes Me, Neymar has set his eyes on the new set of pectorals that has entered the club.  It’s the overtly muscle-shirted Real Madrid versus the subtle Gin and Tonic-ness of Barça.

Real Muscle is immediately uncomfortable and watches their boy-turned-siren’s eyes flash a hello across the room.  He must have forgotten who bought his last drink.  The possibilities entertained fall as dreams waking to day for Real, but realizing his own muscle-shirted-ness may one day heal him.  Barça sidesteps passed the crowd, eyes narrowing.  He stands now before The Boy, buttressed by ex-girlfriends or never-quite-second-basers, and lets his presence alone do the talking.  “I am Barcelona,” he needs not voice.

In the bathroom later, the girls will warn him: he’s way too into himself.  You don’t want that kind of man.

It’s last call and The Boy cringes when he sees Lil’ Santos, still underage, peer through the blinds of the front window.  What to choose?  Nineteen years and a whole soul yet to lose.  Soon, all that’s left is the salvage title.

The Saddest There Ever Was: Sergio Ramos

27 Apr

It’s been six years since little 19 year-old Sergio Ramos left his hometown team of Sevilla for the brighter lights of Real Madrid’s Bernabéu.  In six years he’s won two league titles with Los Merengues and a King’s Cup.  With the Spanish national side, he’s reached the highest of conceivable highs: 2008 Euro Champs and 2010 World Champs.

Nonetheless, it appears that if Real Madrid and the Spanish national side (more particularly) have one glaring weakness, it is found in the right back-ing ways of the Sevillano.  We at nosrslsr must admit our bias and outright disdain for the guy, who owns the rights to the world “chulo.”  “Chulo” can be several things to the Spanish, but for our purposes it translates roughly as “douche” (and, as follows, “chulería” comes out “douchiness” or “douchery,” if you will).  It’s the kind of word applied to a certain style of machoism, where one’s boyish looks and long locks make one’s chest protrude ever-so-slightly, while lips purse in self-satisfaction and confidence knowing no one can touch your all-world splendor.  It’s flabbergasting that, given his incessant chulo-parading, he’s claimed to be one of the humbler Real players…and then posed nude to prove it…?

Who could possibly win in a humble-off with this guy?

Unfortunately for Sergio, he often falls short of his self image.  Earlier this year, after going down several goals to Barcelona, Sergio’s dented chulería lashed out at the ankles of the Diminutive One, Leo Messi.  Here’s how to try it at home!  See if you can look your chulo-self in the mirror afterwards, we dare you!  Step one:

Hack ankles!! Chulo blood rages!!

Step two:

Seeing red (card)!! RED CHULO BLOOD BOILS!!

Step three:

Total Chulo Meltdown!! RAWRGGAHHRRR!!

For a different ending, take this evening’s clip-clopping back and forth after that little rodent Leo Messi, who plowed furrows around poor Sergio in the Bernabéu, leaving behind the seeds from which plenty of Ramos’s failings (let’s call them RamosFracasos®) grew.

Ramos's sad face after Messi's goal

Chulería Meltdown Alert

New TV Show: "Chulo Boiling Points"

Ramos comes up short on Messi's second :(

In an incident from two summers ago, Ramos’s self-assurance cost his team a chance at a comeback against the mighty USA FC.  One of the deepest bruisings of the most muscly chulería.  Not Safe for Prides:

Sergio Ramos, we :( you.  Sorry :(.

Age-old Question: How Many Suffixes is Too Many Suffixes

5 Apr

Manolito Adebayor scored the first two goals in Real Madrid’s romp over Tottenham at the Bernabéu.  The crowd went nuts and, although just days prior they called him the worst player of the weekend in their loss to Sporting, Marca bowed low before the Togo international.  Never short on hyperbole, Marca rolled out their strongest suffix-editors, tacking on two  ‘azo’ suffixes in four words of their headline.  In fact, if its more liberal use would have made any sense at all, we have no doubt that the headline would read:


[“azo” is a suffix-superlative, something akin to “-est” or just the adjective “awesome” in English, so the headline might read “The Awesome Team of Awesome Manuel”]

One thing we’d like to point out here in this portada is that, while the team that spawned a thousand AZOs was celebrating Di María’s 3-0 goal, someone was feeling a little left out.  You see, it’s become clear over a couple of seasons of watching Mr. CR7 in the Bernabéu that he’s a bit of a loner.  Not only do his teammates seem to not celebrate his goals as happily, but he also seems to take little joy in watching others do what he is perfectly capable of doing – and with more flair.  This aloofness is most apparent when Real Madrid are playing quite well without Cristiano having tallied a goal; his frustration seems much greater when those around him succeed apart from or, as is often the case, in spite of him.  This photo isn’t necessarily proof that this phenomenon is a Real Truth™, but it does make us wonder just how frustrated he was in that moment that tomorrow’s cover would not read:


Who thinks about $$$ when you’ve got bad decisions to make!?

31 Mar

Sid Lowe’s newest article on La Liga stands as yet another surgical entry point into La Liga’s recent years.  Lowe continues to pull apart the fleshy exterior of La Liga, clamping it down and leaving the innards bear.  After his three part series on La Liga’s TV revenue sharing debate earlier this year, in which Lowe opined about the fate of La Liga in a thesis-dense explanation of his position, we are once again confronted with an occasionally disputed fact (mostly by their fans): Barcelona spends tons of money on players.  Sid’s article brings to light the reality that, gosh, Barcelona actually spend a ton of money on players they didn’t plant and water themselves.  Barcelona and fans like to conclude that, since they’ve spent less than Real Madrid has in recent years, they are not a big money-spending club.  They’re not incorrect that Real Madrid spent/spend more than them, but spending less than RM does not an angelic club make.

Check it.

Mirror, Mirror

2 Mar

“Mirror, mirror on the wall / Who in the land is fairest of all?”

“You, my queen, are the fairest of all.”








Whenever José Mourinho feels down he goes home.  When the graceful flittings of his sideline ballet go unnoticed, and long after all hands raised in protest have fallen, Mourinho goes to a cozy place.  The man who loves the game more than anyone, whose heart’s crescendo-ing palpitations at the magic of Messi, Cristiano and Arjen Robben’s cuts in from the wing, faithfully returns to his niche.

“Who am I,” he demands more than asks of the ornate mirror that hangs in his salón.  “You are José Mourinho,” he says aloud to himself, but in the way a ventriloquist will with the most minimal mouth movements.  In this most deliberate and playful gesture, with his disbelief suspended as if viewing Cervantes’s Pedro de Urdemalas, the coach conspires to fool himself – yet he is quite content to be fooled.  Needing no more elaboration than the simple confirmation of his name, José Mourinho makes his way to the Bernabéu for the daily round of press.

Having to face Manuel Pellegrini this week, Real Madrid’s most recent ex-boyfriend, Mourinho prefers to not defend his honor when faced with the possibly better-off Chilean.  Instead, he is generous: “Estoy de acuerdo en que hizo un campeonato muy bueno la temporada pasada. Espero que el estadio lo reciba bien, porque hizo un buen trabajo y la puerta de mi vestuario está abierto para él si quiere venir a saludar a sus jugadores.” [“I recognize that he had a very good year last season.  I hope the public receives him well, because he did good work.  The locker room is open to him if he wants to chat with his players.”]

He can feel it as the words rise from his larynx: this brief brush with benevolence is causing fierce heartburn swells in his throat, and so José pauses momentarily.  A question from the peasants rings in his ear: “Will she dump you just like she dumped him?”  His throat returns the echo of the harmless joke with instantaneous, involuntary bile, “Lo mismo no puede pasar, ¿sabes por qué? Porque si el Madrid me echa no voy a entrenar al Málaga. Iré a un club grande en Inglaterra o en Italia, no al Málaga.” [“The same thing cannot happen to me, know why?  Because if Real Madrid dump me I will not be coaching in Málaga.  I will go to a big club in England or in Italy, not to Málaga.”]

Content that he has made his point, but sensing a heightened state of self-awareness, José eyes his reflection in the nearest camera lens coyly.










“Who am I,” he hears himself say – now completely involuntarily.

The room complies as a hundred flashing bulbs erupt, capturing the face they will reflect onto the front page tomorrow: “You are José Mourinho,” rings the chorus of blinding lights.

No, Srslr: STFU

25 Feb

Here’s the homepage of, the internet base for publishing whatever comes out of the writers’ orifices at their Madrid HQ. Here we see the trainers of the two biggest teams in Spain, the teams given all of the money, all the pride of place, all the consideration, complaining about how tough it is being them. Mourinho is mad because he can’t just set his team’s schedule as he sees fit; Pep wants you to know that Mou has more prestige than him, and when he loses he will be criticized. The horror for these guys and their privileged, pampered, protected, pompous piece of shit sporting/business hybrid international operations entities!!!


Enough already. Just shut up. No one cares. Would you like more favorable calls in games? Would you like the league to be further and then completely weakened so that you get 36 Liga cakewalks a year? Would you like the most marketing? How about first pick of the world market of elite players? Would you like unlimited resources and unlimited spending? Want to be so financed that you’re completely protected from your own poor signings and wasteful spending? How are your bloated payroll and laughably overloaded rosters treating you? Can we get you some more prestige? Would you like fries with that? Can we get you anything else while we work on writing some rules requiring everyone to forfeit games against you?


Will that be all?