The Gallic airwaves were crackling with polemic after Zlatan Ibrahimovic hit out at Paris Saint-Germain fans for jeering the team during their far from convincing 1-0 home win over Rennes.
No radio station cranked up the rhetoric more than Radio Monte Carlo, where Daniel Riolo, the presenter of the After Foot show, took his life into his hands by savaging, the Swedish international diva: ” Zlatan has to be reminded who he is. He’s an extraordinary player, but he’s never made history at any club he’s been at.
“When he says that PSG didn’t exist before him, he’s beinginsulting. If I was a director there, I’d hand out a punishment. I hope real PSG fans whistle him. He shouldn’t be talking about the club like that. ”
Thumped 4-1 at Wolfsburg, then held 1-1 at home by Schalke, Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich have not exactly fizzed out of the starting blocks in 2015 and to further stir the critical pot, Barcelona daily, Sport, insist that Allianz Arena boss, Pep Guardiola is seriously contemplating heading for the exit at the end of the season.
Citing reports of Guardiola talking about his time at Bayern in the past tense while at a supporter club function and the club’s apparent lack of urgency in contract renewal negotiations – the current one expiring in June 2016 – Sport correspondent, Robert Wulff claims that Pep and the Bavarian giants are engaged in something of a power struggle, Pep looking for more influence in the sporting department, while the top brass resist.
” The coach (Guardiola), who was disgusted when some expressed doubts about the signing of Xabi Alonso, has no control over signings for the youth scheme or the content of training sessions for the reserves or juniors and for months has been waiting for a reply for his request for closer collaboration, ” writes Wulff. ” (He) thinks that the internal culture at Bayern runs counter to the way he works and that if, 18 months after arriving, his ideas have yet to be accepted, they never will. ”
Chelsea’s decision to pay Fiorentina £28 million for flying Colombian winger Juan Cuadrado had his compatriots at leading Bogota newspaper, El Tiempo, proudly singing the praises of the former Independiente Medellin wide-man: ” He’s become a sensation for his attacking play on the right-wing. He’s very quick and can dodge defenders, two crucial elements for a coach like Mourinho, who especially likes to his team to make ground on the flanks.
” We shouldn’t forget either that he topped the assists table at the last World Cup and also has experience as a right-back. With his speed in transition, he’s a lethal weapon on the break. ”
One of the highlights of the coverage of the African Cup of Nations has been the florid judgements of Radio France International pundit, Joseph-Antoine Bell and his thoughts on Cameroon’s early exit were as full of panache as his goalkeeping used to be for the Indomitable Lions and Marseille.
“In spite of the big washing up operation which took place after the World Cup in Brazil, our team still has the look of a flea market about it,” he said. “The coach (Volker Finke) could not pulverise the bad mentalities and wasn’t helped in this task by out-of-control senior players. Finke displayed a lamentable intellectual powerlessness and this left him in a terrible spot. ”
While many observers of the Bundesliga scene were mightily impressed by the ambition shown by Wolfsburg in splashing out £32 million euros on German world champion forward, Andre Schürrle, there were some voices of bewilderment to be heard. The German top-flight is renowned for its balanced budget ways and for Eintracht Frankfurt chairman, Heribert Bruchhagen, the VW-backed club were guilty of financial gambling.
” We must not get carried away, ” Bruchhagen declared on the German Sky programme, Fußball Talkshow. ” Thirty-two million for Schürrle – where will it end ? Over a three-year contract, the entire package comes to around 50 million. I can understand the deal, but to me, it seems a little scary. ”
The extremely distasteful banner unfurled by Standard Liege fans at a home game with Anderlecht – depicting the severed head of midfielder Steven Defour, who used to feature for Standard but now plays for the visitors – continues to provoke outrage in Belgium.
“In the eyes of many, the typical football supporter is an imbecile full of beer and hate. Standard’s ultras have lived up to that view, ” wrote Anthony Planus in an opinion piece in Sport/Foot Magazine.