Belfast Telegraph

Friday 25 April 2014

Billy on the Box: The Berna-flu

Real Madrid v Barcelona — the biggest club game in the world. Or so they would have you believe. I think you’ll find Larne against Killymoon Rangers occupies that lofty spot.

Fabio Capello clearly had second thoughts too as the England boss was scheduled to join Mark Bolton on the Sky sofa but started coughing and spluttering and suddenly concerns of Italian Flu sweeping the world took hold.

“Fabio was here up until half an hour ago but was feeling a little under the weather, so we decided it best to send him home and told him to put his feet up,” said nurse Mark. Aww bless.

“He was on the other side of London watching Tottenham v West Brom and I can tell from 34 years of personal experience as a fan, watching the Albion can make anyone ill.” Suddenly it all makes sense.

Meanwhile there was a huge amount of time-wasting as behind the scenes everyone remotely Spanish, had ever drank San Miguel or eaten an omelette was called.

I half expected us to return from Madrid to find a small man with a moustache and a white apron sitting going ‘que?’

Indeed Andrew Sachs did get a call but he thought it was Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand playing silly beggars again, so it was Plan B — Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink. Of course, who else?

He played a massive 34 games in Spain and by this stage Mark was so far by himself he couldn’t even remember Gerry Armstrong’s name, handing over to Jeremy and Rob Palmer.

Onto the match and what a game, Barca were brilliant, Madrid were real rubbish and Rob was clearly coming down with Fabio flu.

“There’s bodies everywhere to try to step over, it’s like a load of landmines,” he blurted, and I wasn’t sure if he meant at the Bernabeu or back in the studio.

It could well have been Real’s players laying with their legs in the air such was the hammering they were suffering.

It was magical stuff from Pep Guardiola’s men, well given he’s the spit of Rentaghost’s Mr Claypole, he was always going to have the last laugh.

“What can you say about Barcelona, dream team, perfect team, Pep Guardiola has created a monster, an all-encompassing monster that have driven all over Real Madrid,” Rob rambled on as Fabio reached for the Lemsip.

There was another game this week of similar magnitude, the Women’s FA Cup Final, between Arsenal and Sunderland, the latter featuring the wonderfully named Jordan Nobbs.

Sometimes you don’t have to make this nonsense up.