The pre-season round of friendly matches is now in full swing, and with only three weeks to go to kick off, managers are starting to get an idea of their new squads. Real Madrid's gruelling tour of Asia ended with their fourth victory in a row, 1-2 against Thailand in Bangkok, and the players can finally look forrward to coming home. The Spanish internationals amongst them have at least been spared another long trip, as Spain's friendly international against Mexico in the USA has now been called off.
Maybe friendly is not quite the right word though, and the red cards have been flashing as referees also get their pre-season training in. Sevilla's Darío Silva and his new manager Caparrós were both sent off in the Colombino trophy match against Málaga, and no less than four red cards were shown the day before when hosts Recreativo met Panathinaikos. Roma were left with nine men in their game against Atlético Madrid in Mexico, and Espanyol also had two players sent off in their first match in Portugal. Must be the heat? (10.08.03)