The elimination of Spain from the World Cup means that players can get back to planning their future. Pernía has already confirmed that he will be moving to Atlético Madrid, but many of the squad are on the shopping list of several clubs, especially after their good performance in the early stages of the competition. Fernando Torres is attracting the most attention, with big bids reported from Manchester United and AC Milan, and Marcos Senna is reportedly also in Manchester United's sights.
Others are waiting though for news of Sunday's presidential elections at Real Madrid, with Cesc, Joaquín, Reyes, Pablo and now Iniesta all apparently tied up with one or other of the five candidates. The last few days have been frantic, with five virtual realities all taking place at the same time, five Real Madrid's being lined up with five different managers, technical staff, legal structures etc., etc. Rumours have been flying around of votes being cast by people who died many years ago, postal votes (now banned by a local judge) flooding in all signed with the same hand writing and freebies being handed out to club members as the candidates fight to get their vote. But everything ends on Sunday, and the first past the post gets it. So by next week all should know their future, and things will hopefully get back to "normal" (why does the acronym "SNAFU" spring to mind right now?). (30.06.06)
PS. Ramón Calderón polled the highest number of votes, although he has still not been proclaimed winner pending a legal decision about the validity or not of postal ballots. If Calderón does get the green light, he has promised to bring Cesc, Robben and Kaká, with Fabio Capello as his coach and Pedja Mijatovic as sporting director. (03.07.06)