Ronaldo joins Barcelona! Vinicius for the Ballon d’Or! Spain’s prank stories on ‘Dia de los Inocentes’

The Christmas festivities may be over for another year, but Spanish football fans were treated to a sensational last season giveaway on Tuesday as they scoured the morning headlines. Catalonia Sports Daily Mundo Deportivo brought the news of a potentially seismic transfer amid speculation that Manchester United striker and former Real Madrid icon Cristiano Ronaldo is so desperate to return to La Liga that he has secretly offered its services in Barcelona.

It’s a story of such overwhelming magnitude that anyone reading it would find it hard to believe it was possible – and they would be right.

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According to the report, Ronaldo made contact with Barca head coach Xavi a few days ago after contacting him through mutual friend Gerard Pique, and is in the process of finalizing the deal with his agent Jorge Mendes in time for the January transfer window to open. Barca president Joan Laporta is also eager to rekindle his long-standing ambition to sign Ronaldo, having first tried to lure the Portuguese forward to Camp Nou in 2003 during his first stint in power.

It is claimed that Xavi asked Pique if Ronaldo understands the kind of complex position game he is trying to instill at Barca. Pique has confirmed that his former United team-mate is already studying the writings of Laureano Ruiz, the former Barca coach who wrote the book ‘The Authentic Barca Method’, and that he is ready to adapt his style of play accordingly. .

Additionally, in his role as go-between, Pique also reportedly promised to find Ronaldo a suitable home in the area and even asked ex-teammate Lionel Messi if he would consider renting out his vacant house in the affluent suburb of Castelldefels. . Ronaldo is delighted to stay in Messi’s mansion alongside the Paris Saint-Germain forward’s seven Ballon d’Ors (he has only won five himself). « If he takes care of them and doesn’t take any, there is no problem letting him rent the house, » Messi reportedly told Pique.

The player wants to give up Champions League football to play the knockout stage of the Europa League with Barca this season, if only because it means he will have the chance to lift a trophy that his rival longtime Messi has never won before. Mundo Deportivo add that, should Ronaldo’s shock transfer to Barca occur, he would take the squad number currently held by Luuk de Jong and become ‘CR17’.

And so, with the wheels moving, we look forward to the truly astonishing sight of Cristiano Ronaldo unveiled at Camp Nou in just a few days, holding his new Blaugrana shirt up for the world to see. Or at least we would if we weren’t so familiar with the Spanish holiday calendar and the need to treat almost all reporting in the national press on December 28 with the utmost skepticism.

This is because December 28 is  » El Dia de Los Inocentes (The Day of the Holy Innocents) which is essentially the Spanish equivalent of April Fool’s Day – a day to revel in the simple joy of pranks, jokes and japes. Alas, Ronaldo’s superb transfer to Barca was just a humorous ruse devised by sports bureau Mundo Deportivo to momentarily deceive any unsuspecting and / or naive reader.

As if the very idea that Real Madrid’s all-time top scorer is ready to join his former club’s big rivals, who are in debt of € 1.4 billion, just months after Manchester returned United weren’t amazing enough on their own, there were several clues to the story itself. The signing, on the one hand, attributes the ‘exclusive’ story to a Portugal-based writer named ‘Inocencio dos Santos’, while the text describes as’ a signing that more than one club member considered a joke. « .

Mundo Deportivo wasn’t the only place you could find pranks on Tuesday. Jota Jordi, based in Barcelona, ​​collaborator of the Spanish television program “El Chiringuito”, tweeted to wish all his followers a happy  » Dia de los Inocentes » with a photoshopped image of Real Madrid’s Vinicius Junior winning the Ballon d’Or.

Elsewhere, Spain’s Ciudad de Logrono handball team have announced that due to unexpected “maintenance work” in their home arena, they would temporarily share the stadium used by the local football team, UD Third level logrones.

Last year fans of Leganes, a Spanish second division club, woke up to learn that the club’s giant cucumber-shaped mascot Super Pepino would leave after his ‘release clause’ was allegedly triggered by a unnamed LaLiga club.

The hoax was a not-so-subtle nod to the controversial departure of Martin Braithwaite, who was cleared to join Barcelona on an emergency move in February 2020, leaving Leganes unable to sign a replacement as they headed towards relegation.

While in 2019, the most notable inocentada led Manchester City fans to read the shocking announcement in an official statement from Real Sociedad that their club had loaned Martin Odegaard, even though the Norwegian midfielder was already at The Real on loan from Real Madrid at the time.

It’s all a festive pleasure. Don’t forget to set a reminder for December 28 next year and take all the amazing football news you read from Spain that day with a big pinch of salt.

Wait, what’s the big news today about a Spanish club? Debt-ridden Barcelona have finalized the signing of Ferran Torres from Manchester City, for a transfer fee of € 55million? Yeah sure guys. Good try. Pull the other.

ESPN’s Sam Marsden contributed to this report

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