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Gremio 'game test' Viagra, Becks makes debut

This was the week in which Rafa ranted, David Beckham made his debut for Milan, a Brazilian doctor planned to "game test" Viagra at Gremio and Sir Isaac Newton settled a dispute between Portsmouth and Tottenham Hotpsur.

Rafa's rant - Friday, January 9

There was really only one story on Friday and that was the pre-prepared dossier of allegations that Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez levelled at Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson as the Spaniard took leave of his senses.

During what was expected to be a run of the mill pre-match press conference grizzled hacks were left open mouthed as 'Rafa's rant' accused Ferguson of receiving preferential treatment from referees and the FA, amongst other things.

The Spaniard's only provocation appeared to be that "Mister Ferguson has been talking too much about Liverpool" and this he seemed to think excused shuffling his papers to deliver an unprecedented diatribe against one of his colleagues.

The truth or falsehood of the allegations became irrelevant as the media focused on the question of whether Benitez's baffling actions indicated he had lost the plot well before any serious mind games had even begun.

Under the added pressure Benitez brought upon his Premier League leaders they drew 0-0 at Stoke City the following day and United crushed title rivals Chelsea 3-0 at Old Trafford. "Mister Ferguson" must have been laughing his head off.

Ronaldo crashes on debut - Saturday, January 10

Given that Cristiano Ronaldo escaped his high-speed car crash in a tunnel in Manchester with barely a hair out of place it was okay to raise a smile when Manchester United colleague Fábio da Silva revealed it was the first time the World Player of the Year's £200,000 Ferrari 599 GTB had been out of the garage.

Fabio told Globosport that Ronaldo had been boasting about his 205mph sports car in the dressing room and was planning to take it out for a debut spin.

"Cristiano had mentioned to people that he was going to take the car out of the garage, as he had bought it a few days ago, but had not driven it," Fábio said.

"That is when the accident happened. Everything is alright, but we were scared."

Ronaldo was back in training at Carrington the same day but he might not be able to get new car insurance quite so easily.

Beckham makes Milan bow - Sunday, January 11

AC Milan's Pato and Roma's Mirko Vucinic might have scored a brace apiece in Sunday's heavyweight clash in Serie A but the 2-2 draw was all about David Beckham, who made his long awaited debut.

"Golden Balls" played 89 minutes of the match in an attacking Milan formation "the likes of which had never been seen before", according to Gazzetta dello Sport. The Englishman lined up along side Andrea Pirlo and Clarence Seedorf in midfield, with Pato, Ronaldinho and Kaka in attack. Holding midfielders Mathieu Flamini and Massimo Ambrosini were relegated to the bench.

The former Manchester United and Real Madrid star enjoyed what was described as a satisfying debut, providing lots of crosses but "generally a bit low to tell the truth" and it was his lack of mobility that was exploited by Roma's impressive John Arne Riise. (You did read that right.)

However, Milan's failure to win was not down the Beckham but more the responsibility of Brazilian duo Kakà and Ronaldinho, who "weren't much interested in getting involved and were always off the pace".

Marca causes chaos in Madrid - Monday, January 12

Real Madrid publicity machine Marca rocked Spanish football when the newspaper accused Los Blancos' president Ramón Calderón of fixing votes during the club's general assembly last month.

The Spanish daily reported that Calderon and members of the team that helped win him Madrid's presidential election in 2006 "snuck through people who did not have the right to vote" on matters such as the approval of the club's accounts and budgets.

The revelations gave rise to calls for the increasingly unpopular Calderon to quit and prompted a media siege at the Bernabeu.

The Real chief responded by insisting that the allegations were "a dirty trick" with "no truth whatsoever". He added that the media furore had put him in no mood to run for re-election in 2010; but insisted he would not quit.

Two Real Madrid officials, named as Mariano Rodriguez Barrutel and Luis Barcena, later resigned over the allegations.

Gremio to "game test" Viagra - Tuesday, January 13

According to Gremio's club doctor the miracle sex drug Viagra could help football players perform better at altitude and wants the Brazilian club to put his theory to the test.

Club medic Alarico Endres claims that he had his Eureka moment whilst reading a magazine "which wasn't a medical one".

"Viagra increases and improves the blood circulation," explained Endres. "It therefore can improve the performances of players at high altitude."

At the moment it is only a theory but one that is expected to be "game tested" during the Copa Libertadores, in particular when the matches are played above 2,500 metres in Bolivia.

Soccernet predicts a high scoring game with Gremio's rampaging players benefiting from improved penetration in the box ... Sorry. Couldn't help it.

Quite how they are going to conceal the medically intended effect of the drug is still unknown.

Man City make world record Kaka bid - Wednesday, January 14

Fed up of chasing West Ham United part-timers Craig Bellamy and Scott Parker Manchester City decided to add a sprinkling of glamour to their transfer dealings and launched a £100 million world record bid for AC Milan hero Kaka.

Amazingly the Serie A star did not snap off the metaphorical hand of City's billionaire owners when they offered weekly wages of £500,000 and instead said he wanted to stay in Italy and 'grow old at Milan.'

According to football legend this was once called 'loyalty' and used to be fairly common. But bid backers The Abu Dhabi United Group for Development and Investment don't seem to believe in such old myths and City manager Mark Hughes confirmed that "negotiations are still taking place."

Presumably those negotiations will involve throwing even more money in the direction of the San Siro.

James: Newton's law of motion explains vitriol - Thursday, January 15

As the author of the most influential book in the history of science, Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica, and theologian of the Universal Law of Gravitation, Sir Isaac Newton is not often used to explain an uncomfortable relationship between two football clubs.

But Portsmouth goalkeeper David James invoked the English physicist's third law of motion to explain the animosity which has developed between Tottenham Hotpsur and Portsmouth fans.

Eleven Spurs supporters were arrested for abusing Pompey defender Sol Campbell when the two teams previously met and with ex-Portsmouth manager Harry Redknapp and former striker Jermain Defoe set for a quick reunion with their old club at White Hart Lane on Sunday a hostile atmosphere is expected.

But 38-year-old James believes that copping a bit of abuse is normal and part of the game.

"As long as it is not racist or homophobic, give stick, give stick," James said. "It is football. You can't all be happy chaps going around saying everyone's wonderful. You pay your way, you are entitled to your opinion."

'As Isaac Newton said, there is an equal and opposite reaction to every action,' pseud James concluded.


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