Monday, March 01, 2004 Europe: The breast to the Bernabeu: "Luis Figo, so the story goes, fancies a couple of years at Old Trafford, a move which would leave the right-hand lane clear for the young pup Joaquin. This may well be the case, for Joaquin is an excellent player with characteristics not a mile removed from those of the Portuguese winger. He has a certain distance to travel as yet before he can claim Figo's greatness, but if he does sign for Madrid then he would do well to keep some of the family secrets out of the newspapers.

According to the potted biography of the player that appeared in the papers this weekend (a sure sign that he probably is on his way to the Bernabeu) he was breast-fed by his mother (who else?) up to the ripe old age of six. More graphically the narrative informed us of the fact that when Joaquin started to play competitively at this very age, he would forego the half-time oranges (plenty of those in Seville) for a quick tweak of the maternal paps, apparently unconcerned as to the reaction this would often provoke among his team-mates."

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