By Tim Stannard
Despite futile protestations of "being on holiday" 22 suitcases sees Xavi Hernandez tied to a return to the Camp Nou
Not since a World Cup-winning captain brought his daily belongings along for an interview in a tattered plastic bag rather than a top-notch Versace clutch has the luggage situation of a footballer piqued Sports Burst's interest.
But those of Xavi Hernandez certainly did. And Sports Burst was not alone.
At the same time as Ronald Koeman's bags are also in the news - and the notion that the Dutchman will soon be packing them - Xavi Hernandez turned up at Barcelona's airport on Monday with 22 suitcases. Ostensibly they are for himself and his family who are spending a month in his home city in a break from his coaching duties in Qatar with Al Sadd. And they clearly prepared for every eventuality in terms of Catalan climate. Either that, or there's no access to a washing machine or laundromat during that time.
"I don't know anything! It's true, I'm on vacation" said Xavi doth protesting too much to inquisitive media at Barcelona's airport.
But this uncanny coincidence is being seen a proof positive by some of a preparatory move by Xavi to take over at the Camp Nou once Ronald Koeman clears out his own belongings as early as next week.
Catch Ronald Koeman's (probable) last game in charge at Barcelona on Saturday as part of our LaLiga finale coverage starting on beIN SPORTS on Saturday at 11AM ET / 8AM PT.
Ronaldo's cars leave town
Luggage of a very different kind is also making the news with Cristiano Ronaldo - but as it's the CR7 world, it's not suitcases we are talking about here, but luxury cars that are on the move. While most of us struggle with the logistics of moving our fleet around the world when moving house, Ronaldo seems to have no such trouble and simply hires a fleet of trucks to start transporting his trinkets to Lisbon on his behalf.
This is being seen as a fairly strong indicator that Ronaldo does not intend to see out his final contracted year at Juventus, a team that might miss out on Champions League soccer next season due to finishing fifth but might also be kicked out of Serie A due to the club's support of the European Super League.
The question though is whether those cars will remain in Lisbon to accompany the player on a move back to Sporting CP, or if they will then trundle to Paris this summer.
Allegri lined up in event of a ZZ Stop
Moving neatly on from someone who might leave Juventus in the future to someone who left Juventus in the past - Massmiliano Allegri.
The Italian coach has been in stealth mode for two years since leaving the Old Lady but might return to action next season with Real Madrid. Coach Zizou is expected to bounce out of Real Madrid for a second time in his career and Italian paper, La Gazzetta dello Sport, reports that Allegri is the number one choice as a swift replacement and could join up on a two-year deal.
Zidane is expected to announce his departure from Real Madrid on Saturday after his team a) retain the LaLiga title with a dramatic flourish on the final day of action or b) watch Atletico Madrid win the title instead.
Catch Real Madrid vs. Villarreal live on beIN SPORTS with the build-up of the LaLiga finale beginning at 11AM ET / 8AM PT.
River Plate rocked by COVID cases
From the flimsy and flippant to the all-to-serious real world problems at River Plate. The Argentinean side are set to play Colombian outfit, Independiente Santa Fe, in the Copa Libertadores on Wednesday in a matchday 5 encounter.
But a dreadful outbreak of COVID-19 in the camp sees 20 players testing positive including all four of the squad's goalkeepers, and Coach Marcelo Gallardo himself. The club are set to appeal to CONMEBOL to have the game postponed, but a fairly tough line on such situations along with River having an allowed squad of 50 players for the Copa Libertadores means that the game is likely to still go ahead.
The two other teams in River Plate's group will be in action today live on beIN SPORTS with Fluminense hosting Junior and that's a chance to see wonderkid, Kayky in action. The 17-year-old has already been snapped up by Manchester City, who see the Brazilian forward as the next big thing from South America.
A match-up between the reigning Copa Liberadores champions, Palmeiras, and the Copa Sudamericana champions, Defensa Y Justicia, gets our exclusive coverage underway today from 6:05PM ET / 3:05PM PT followed by Fluminense against Junior.