Lago Junior selected for the Ivory Coast squad

Lago Junior selected for the Ivory Coast squad.

02-10-2020Carlos Gil-Roig

After a week when I was reminded that Covid precautions being taken by football teams in Germany involved Eintracht Frankfurt disinfecting their balls at half time – no wonder the infection rate in the UK is so high; they were only told to wash their hands! – Real Mallorca play fellow holiday islanders Tenerife in Match Day Four of this season’s La Liga SmartBank. As per usual, the game (which kicks off at 18:15) will be played behind closed doors in a soul-less Son Moix.

Local fans will be hoping for a better performance from Real Mallorca after last Sunday’s lacklustre 1-0 win in Palma against Sabadell. We already have the upper hand over Tenerife, beating them 2-0 in a pre-season stroll in Murcia. Tenerife seem to have problems when it comes to playing in Palma.

Over the years we’ve played them 27 times, winning 18 with two draws and Tenerife have won on only seven visits. The last time we played each other in a league game was in October 2018 when we won 4-1. Of that side Reina, Raillo, Valjent, Salva Sevilla, Lago Junior and Dani Rodriguez are still here. Tomorrow’s Mallorca line-up shouldn’t differ too much from the one that won last Sunday.

With the transfer window in Spain set to close on Monday night at midnight, there was still no outcome to the seemingly never-ending Ante Budimir transfer saga. It’s reported on Twitter that Valladolid no longer want him, saying the price Mallorca are asking for him (14 million euros) is too high. Valladolid shouldn’t be strapped for cash, after all they sold their highly rated centre-back Mohammed Salusi to Southampton last month for 12 million euros.

The sight of Budimir sitting in the stand with his mask on watching the Sabadell game was like a red rag to a bull for Mallorca fans, with his team suffering from an alarming lack of punch up front the stand in strikers, Abdon Prats and Alex Alegria don’t look good enough to lead the line.

Budimir has been hoping that Mallorca would sell him on the cheap to Valladolid who didn’t come back with an improved offer. He’s carried on a crusade of not feeling up to play for Mallorca despite them renewing his contract in June last year for the next four seasons which included a vastly superior financial package.

Since then the player had entered a downward spiral that has left him ostracised by both payers and fans alike. Indeed one of his teammates, Joan Sastre, had a pop at Budimir during a press meeting on Thursday when he hinted that we all have to see out our commitments to the club and we don’t need this diversion at the start of the season.
There’s now an increasingly plausible possibility that come midnight on Monday, Budimir remains a Mallorca player. What we don’t know is what his attitude will be if he stays. The fans certainly are in no mood to forgive and forget. Consequently, the sports management at the club have activated the mechanisms to incorporate a new striker whether Budimir goes or not. They can’t let this situation drag on any longer. With that in mind, the club are said to be closing in on Anderlecht’s 22-year-old Ghanaian international Mohammed Dauda. He’s dropped down the pecking order with the Belgian side and has been out on loan recently at Dutch side Vitesse Arnhem and Danish 2nd division outfit Esberg.
There’s only one slight snag with him, as he’s one of nine Anderlecht players who’ve been tested positive for Covid-19 and he’s in isolation for two weeks, although he appears to be asymptomatic. Included in the list of quarantiners at Anderlecht is ex Real Mallorca German goalkeeper Timon Wellenreuther who was brought here by our German owner, Utz Claassen, before becoming an ever-present in 2015/16.

Real Mallorca completed the signing of Argentinian left back Braian Cufre on Monday. The 22-year-old played over 50 games for Argentian first division side Velez Sarsfield and comes with a huge reputation as “one for the future.” We now have a case of “overbooking” at left back as this Braian joins another Brian (Olivan) and the youngster Ivan Bravo.

Mallorca play away at Lugo on Monday, October 12, KO 4 pm (a fiesta day). We’ll be missing five players who’ve been called up by their respective countries, including Lago Junior who’s been called up for the Ivory Coast squad for the first time. Enhorabuena Lago!

AND FINALLY
Little Johnny sees his Daddy’s car going past the school playground and watches as it drives into the woods. Curious, he follows the car and sees Daddy and Auntie Sharon kissing. Johnny can’t wait to get home and tell his mother what he saw.

“Mummy, Mummy, I was in the playground and Daddy and…” Mummy tells Johnny to slow down but she still wants to hear the story. So Johnny starts again “I was in the playground and I say Daddy’s car go into the woods with Auntie Sharon. I went to look and Daddy gave Auntie Sharon a big kiss then he helped her take off her jeans, then Auntie Sharon helped Daddy take off his jeans, then Auntie Sharon laid down on the back seat, then Daddy….” At this point Mummy stops him again.

“Johnny, this is such a good story, let’s save the rest of it for supper time. I want to see the look on Daddy’s face when you tell it again tonight.” At the table later, Mummy asks Johnny to tell his story.

He describes the car going into the woods, the undressing, laying down on the back seat and “Then Daddy and Auntie Sharon did that same thing Mummy and Uncle Steve used to do when Daddy was away in Dubai.”

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