Spanish media mock Real Madrid after cup shock (News Feature)
By Duncan Shaw Oct 28, 2009, 10:24 GMT
Madrid - The Spanish press poured ridicule on Real Madrid Wednesday after its expensively assembled team slumped to a 4-0 cup defeat to third-division part-timers Alcoron.
Tuesday's away defeat in the King's Cup was on the front pages of practically every newspaper in the country, with some calling for coach Manuel Pellegrini to be sacked.
New president Florentino Perez spent 256 million euros (342 million dollars) on eight new players ahead of the season, and although Real were missing some of the signings there were plenty of big-name players on view in the astonishing defeat.
Cristiano Ronaldo and Gonzalo Higuain may have been absent while Pellegrini also decided to rest Kaka and Lassana Diarra, but only one player in the starting line-up (Esteban Granero) was not a full international.
Sports daily Madrid called the defeat a 'historic disgrace' and called for Pellegrini, who has only been in the job for five months, to go.
An online poll taken by Marca showed that 83 per cent of readers believed the defeat in Alcorcon was the 'biggest ridicule in the history of Real Madrid,' ahead of Real's 6-2 meltdown at home against deadly rivals Barcelona last May.
Alcorcon, an unfashionable industrial suburb to the south of Madrid, play in the regional third division. Their players are part-timers who work or study by day and train by night.
Rival daily AS called the thrashing 'The Ridicule of the Century', and 69 per cent of readers voted for Pellegrini to be sacked.
Prestigious daily El Pais said Real players were 'apathetic and indolent', and that Pellegrini 'seems to have lost control of them.'
Radio station Cadena SER even hinted that the players might have been 'making Pellegrini's bed', in other words deliberately losing in order for the Chilean coach to be sacked.
Pellegrini annoyed the players by insisting on a two-day training camp before the match, instead of giving them a two-day holiday following Saturday's 0-0 draw away to Sporting Gijon.
Radio station Cadena COPE, meanwhile, reminded its listeners on Thursday morning that 'player power' has caused many a Real Madrid coach to be ousted over the years - and could also get rid of Pellegrini.
Catalan papers Mundo Deportivo and Sport, as expected, seem to be revelling in Real's debacle, and both carried the headline 'Humiliated.'
Both papers give almost as much space to Real's hammering as they do to Barcelona's cup tie away to third division Cultural Leonesa on Wednesday.
Practically every newspaper throughout Spain quotes Real captain Raul and general director Jorge Valdano asking forgiveness from the Real fans, as well as Pellegrini admitted that he suffered 'great shame' sitting on th bench in Alcorcon.
Valdano made it cleat that Pellegrini will not be sacked for now, but also hinted at changes if the situation did not improve.
Real are already three points behind Barcelona in La Liga.
The second leg of the cup tie will be played in Real's Estadio Bernabeu on November 10. Whether Pellegrini lasts that long is another question.
A poor performamce and result at home to Getafe on Saturday or away to AC Milan in the Champions League next Tuesday could spell the end for the hapless Chilean.