PALMA. FUTBOL. Jagoba Arrasate fue presentado ayer como nuevo entrenador del Mallorca en un acto en que resaltó la «confianza» que ha recibido por parte de la entidad. Alfonso Díaz, Jagoba Arrasate y Pablo Ortells, en Son Moix. MAS FOTOS EN LA CARPETA DEL 128-06-2024 | P. BOTA


After a week when in England doctors hailed the new method of identifying childhood obesity to replace BMI (body mass index) – it’s called a mirror! – Real Mallorca will have the footballing world’s eyes on the Son Moix during the third week in August when La Liga 24/25 kicks off with the mighty Real Madrid playing in Palma. The stadium is sure to be a sellout as it will see the first Primera game for the much-heralded striker Kylian Mbappe. The fixture is guaranteed to be one of the great attractions of the summer.

In the club offices, things couldn’t be better. Not only will there be a record ticket sale but the game will mean that season ticket renewals will be accelerated for a game that traditionally attracts the most spectators in the Son Moix. It’s also, along with the Barcelona game (scheduled for January 11, 2025) the main reason people buy season tickets. The club hope to make the 2024/25 season ticket campaign official next week and there are indications of a price increase.

Incidentally, another Real Madrid “Galáctico” made his Real Madrid debut in the Son Moix 21 years ago, David Beckham. He played in the first leg of the 2003 Spanish Super Cup in Palma, a game Mallorca won 2-1 with goals from Arnold Bruggink (pen) and Samuel Eto’o. We lost the away leg in the Bernabeu 3-0.

The August 18 game will be a proper baptism of fire for new Basque coach, 46-year-old Jagoba Arrasate, who has signed a three-year deal after spending six years in Pamplona at Osasuna. Ironically our first away fixture sees us pitted against Osasuna, now coached by ex Mallorca boss Vicente Moreno. Starting on August 18, the 2024-25 season finishes on May 21, 2025. Mallorca’s fixture list (“Calendario”) will be altered by their participation in the Spanish Super Cup that will once again be controversially held in Riyadh (Saudi Arabia) from January 8 to 12.

Besides missing a La Liga game, Mallorca will see their entrance into the Copa del Rey delayed along with Real Madrid, Barcelona and Athletic Club Bilbao who are exempt from the first two rounds. There will be four midweek games throughout the season, and the Christmas break will take place between December 22 and January 12. News is to follow about the club’s pre-season which will start between July 7 and 9. The first week will see the players training in the Son Bibiloni before heading for cooler climes somewhere in Central Europe, e.g. Austria, where some friendly games are expected to be arranged. There’s also the likelihood of the City of Palma Cup being reinstated a week before the season starts, against a team from outside Spain, after last Summer’s match was cancelled because of the new ground being built.

As usual, transfer rumours have taken centre stage with no movement expected in the market until the end of June. News broke in the week that Real Mallorca were on the verge of a spectacular signing. German national team player, 35-year-old Mats Hummels was about to land himself a move to the island after refusing to renew his contract at Champions League runners-up Borussia Dortmund. A German media report said that Hummels, who owns a property in the south-west of Mallorca, didn’t care about taking “a lot less money and just wanted to live in peace!!” However at the press conference presenting Arrasate on Tuesday, director of football Pablo Ortells categorically denied there had been any contact with any party representing the interests of Mats Hummels.

At the press conference Arrasate gave a glimpse of some things that will happen over the next few weeks, saying “We are clear about who and what we need to sign. I like the squad, last year it was designed to play in one way and this year players may arrive to play in another.” Asked about the length of his contract, Arrasate explained “In the end what we coaches need is a project and I’m delighted that Mallorca has shown the commitment and confidence in me to build something that excites me.” He also said he had been given messages of support from our last three managers, Javier Aguirre, Luis Garcia Plaza and Vicente Moreno.

Away from playing football, one of Real Mallorca’s favourite sons, Dani Rodriguez, is to tie the knot with his partner of ten years, the model Cristina Palavra in Palma Cathedral on Saturday, June 29, at 4.30pm. Dani recently signed up for another year at the club and I’m sure many Mallorquinistas wish the happy couple much happiness for the future.

A frog goes into a bank in the USA to ask for a loan. He sees the teller’s name is Patty Whack. “Miss Whack,” says the frog, “I’d like to get a $30,000 loan to take a vacation.” Patty looks at the frog in disbelief and asks his name. The frog tells her “My name is Kermit Jagger. My dad is Mick Jagger and he knows your bank manager.” Patty then explains that he will need to secure the loan with some collateral. The frog produces a tiny porcelain elephant about an inch tall, bright pink and perfectly formed. Very confused, Patty goes to see the bank manager in the back office. She tells him “There’s a frog outside called Kermit Jagger who claims to know you and wants to borrow 30 grand and wants to use this as collateral.” She holds up the pink elephant and asks “What in God’s name is this?” The bank manager looks back at her and says “It’s a knick-knack, Patty Whack, give the frog a loan, his old man’s a Rolling Stone!!”