Kang In Lee in action against Ghana. | Majorca Daily Bulletin reporter

Real Mallorca have returned to training after their 13-day mini break. Missing still on World Cup duty are Kang In Lee and Pedrag Rajkovic.

Before we restart our 2022/23 campaign on Friday, December 30, 5pm away at Getafe, three friendlies have been arranged. The first is against local side Constancia on Wednesday 7th at 6pm in Inca. Then on Saturday 10th at 5pm it’s German Bundesliga team Mainz 05 in Son Bibiloni followed by another “amistoso” against Italian Serie A club Bologna, again in Son Bibiloni on December 14 at 6pm. They are currently (as are Mallorca) lying 11th in their respective leagues. On December 20 at 9pm we play a Copa del Rey game in the Basque country against Real Union de Irun.

Real Mallorca’s 21-year-old South Korean attacking midfielder Kang In Lee was the game changer for his country in their 2-3 defeat to Ghana on Monday. Brought off the bench in the 57th minute, the “Black Stars” were 0-2 up. Within 30 seconds of his introduction, Kang In Lee won the ball and put over a perfect cross for South Korea’s striker Cho Gue Sung to nod in from close range. Kang In Lee continued to impress with his in-swinging corner kicks and he saw a free kick whistle past the Ghanaian goal with the ’keeper beaten. After the final whistle he was awarded two stars by World Soccer magazine’s website.

The South Korean starlet is producing some of his best football at Real Mallorca and has already scored two goals and provided three assists, becoming a key piece in our tactical jigsaw. Mallorca coach Javier Aguirre said before the break “Kang is playing with a freer mind with a lot less pressure than he had previous seasons where he played second fiddle at Valencia. I believe he’s the most talented player in the squad and he’s lethal in one on one situations.”

He has a strong on-field understanding with Kosovan-born hit-man Vedat Muriqi and his dribbling skills and lightning pace are qualities that complement the aggressive style of Muriqi’s and their partnership has racked up 78% of our goals scored tally. Interviewed for Radio Marca in Qatar on Tuesday, he reiterated his desire to stay on at Mallorca where he is happy and enjoying his football, and wants to see out his contract until 2025.

RCD Mallorca plans to offer a long renewal to their coach Javier Aguirre whose contract runs out next June. The idea is for the 63-year-old Mexican to extend until 2025 but the club haven’t ruled out the possibility of extending the deal until 2026.

President Andy Kohlberg is very satisfied with the job Aguirre’s doing and the coach feels comfortable here and highly valued on the island. The club are convinced Aguirre is the man to lead Mallorca for the next few campaigns and they like the way he manages the dressing room, plus the fans are definitely (for the moment !) on his side. No deal is expected until our La Liga place is cemented for next season.

Real Mallorca’s owners are in the process of selling their other main sporting entity and one of the USA’s major sporting clubs, NBA side Phoenix Suns, after major shareholder Robert Sarver was fined 10 million dollars and banned for a year after a racism and misogyny scandal. It’s thought that Sarver could make around 1.8 billion dollars from any transaction.

He bought the Suns for 401 million dollars back in 2004 and Forbes business magazine now value the franchise at 1.8 billion dollars.

When news broke about the Suns being on the market earlier this year, shock waves went through RCD Mallorca as all concerned with the club went through days of uncertainty and silence. Then came heartening news that whatever happened to the Phoenix deal, the situation with Real Mallorca would not be affected.

The message from Arizona was “Everything will remain the same because our commitment for the project in Mallorca is long term.”

Sarver hasn’t been seen in the Son Moix since September last year, leaving the running of the club to his friend and now president of Real Mallorca, Andy Kohlberg. His visits to Mallorca are a lot more frequent and he bought one of the most expensive houses in Palma in Plaza Juan Carlos I.

Sarver, overcome by the pressure experienced in recent months, has thrown in the towel and has put his major shareholding up for grabs. When the Americans bought RCD Mallorca for 20 million euros from then-owner Utz Claassen, they were determined to fulfill their promise to remove the athletic track and move the fans on all sides nearer to the pitch. After years of faffing around since the Son Moix opened in 1999, several of the local owners were committed to transforming the stadium into a proper football ground but NONE kept their word.

Now the situation has changed completely, not only have the owners paid off all the debts, they’ve dug into their own pockets to finalise the new Son Moix. The Sol stand is mighty impressive and that money came from a UK investment fund company CVC.

The owners have now made a personal commitment that should see the rest of the ground totally revamped over the next two to three years. There are three more phases still to go and pictures of how the stadium will look when finished are amazing.

Since the current owners took over in 2016, they’ve pumped more than 65 million euros into a club that was almost out of business only a few years beforehand. Real Mallorca were in full bankruptcy, now the team are back where they belong, at the top table of Spanish football. Presently the floodlights have been dismantled and new ones are being set up. Also a new generator is to be installed that will kick in if there is a sudden power cut. Work will start on the North End in the near future.

AND FINALLY, a woman was panicking when her dog got into trouble whilst swimming in the sea. A passing German with dwarfism saw this and went into action. He brought the dog back to the shore and resuscitated it. The woman was so grateful. She blurted out “Are you a little vet ?” He replied “Vet? I’m f**king soaked !”