Those of you who, for some reason, follow me on Twitter will be aware that I have been wrestling with a giant squid of a post about the Cristiano Ronaldo transfer. Frankly, it was too big to contain on this piece of webspace, so I was left with two choices: construct a gigantic underground vault and seal it inside, perhaps for for future generations to discover and analyse as an invaluable artefact of our times; or give it to someone else to post. And as the construction industry in this country has collapsed, I chose door no. 2. The post is now live at The Run of Play. Do read it. You'll hate me by the end of it, but it's for your own good.
While I'm here, have some links.
Speaking of Ronaldo, The Award Winning Dirty Tackle has the inside scoop on his contract demands.
The most interesting football story of the moment, for all sorts of reasons, is North Korea's qualification for the World Cup. Pitch Invasion looks back at their fascinating appearance at the 1966 edition of the tournament. (By the way, do subscribe to Pitch Invasion if you haven't already; every post there is worth your time.)
Shamrock Rovers are set to play Real Madrid in a friendly next month, but Dundalk have gone one better by securing a game against Barcelona. Well, kind of: it's a "Barcelona XI", managed by Luis Enrique, not the blessed Pep.
Finally, Fake Player Mania has hit the summer transfer window, with the Mirror telling us Middlesbrough were on the trail the 18-year-old Serb hotshot Rajko Purovic. That's the 18-year-old Serb hotshot Rajko Purovic who doesn't exist, if you're wondering. 101 Great Goals has the lowdown.
Really, though, where's the craft? I mean, a picture of Mickey Mouse on the profile of Purovic's (now deleted) Wikipedia entry? To quote myself:
...my tastes in non-existent footballers are quite rarefied these days. I'm not going to be interested in this one until someone points out an allusion to a story in Slavic mythology or something.And to quote Mark:
I'm looking forward to the day when we can pick an XI from fake players erroneously reported as being real in national newspapers.Won't be long now...