Javi Lopez, part-time goalkeeper?

What happens when your goalkeeper gets a red card and you don’t have any subs left? One the the most entertaining events in soccer: a field player hops in goal.

When Espanyol keeper Kiko Casilla was sent off against Barcelona in the 83rd minute, Javi Lopez stepped up to the challenge. He probably felt guilty for the penalty kick he gave up earlier in the match that gave Barcelona a 1-0 lead, and decided to take one for the team. Literally.

Usually, this field-player-in-goal scenario goes one of two ways.

1) Hilariously awful goalkeeping
2) Incredible save by someone who has no business doing it

Today, Lopez did the latter.

Cat-like reflexes. But, while Lopez’s impressive goalkeeping skills kept Barcelona from striking again, 10-man Espanyol couldn’t find the equalizer. Still, he can add this gem to his highlight reel.


Eto’o was close to Arsenal move

Today’s newspapers report that Samuel Eto’o was ‘hours away’ from a move to Arsenal in 2000. At the time Eto’o was looking for a move away from Real Madrid after already being loaned out to Leganes and Espanyol in previous seasons. The Cameroonian came within a whisker of joining Arsenal and is now playing for their Premier League rivals Chelsea.

For this story and the rest of today’s transfer gossip, click here.


Mor please! Mexico defender wanted across Europe

Espanyol defender Hector Moreno is starring to attract the attention of several clubs in Europe. The Mexico international is reportedly being monitored by Premier League clubs Swansea and Cardiff, but Rubin Kazan has stolen a march with a bid that could see him playing in Russia next season. We’ve got the latest on Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo in today’s edition of Paper Chase. Just click here.


Fabio Coentrao’s mistake on Saturday is almost too good to be true.

Coentrao took his place on the Real Madrid bench for the match against Espanyol, and on most days, there would be nothing unusual with that. But on Saturday, he wasn’t in the match-day squad.

Goalkeeper Iker Casillas gives Coentrao a double take, but even after he explains the situation to the Portugal defender it just doesn’t seem to sink in that he is not supposed to be there. Even Jose Mourinho gets a good laugh out of his blunder, and let’s face it, smiles have been in short supply at Madrid lately.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s reaction says all you need to know about what he thinks about Coentrao — even he knows his close friend isn’t too bright sometimes.


Report: Adil Rami sustained injuries performing Gangnam Style dance


According to multiple reports, Valencia’s defender Adil Rami sustained injuries dancing to Gangnam Style at a charity concert earlier this month. The French player reportedly suffered blisters which caused him to miss training sessions and Valencia’s match against La Liga side Espanyol last week.

Valencia supporters were not pleased with the news, going so far as demanding that Rami return his salary to the club. ‘It’s a joke – he has let his teammates down and should give back the money,’ wrote one angry Valencia fan on a web forum.

It remains to be seen which is more embarrassing: the fact Rami injured himself dancing or the fact that he was caught rocking to Psy’s internet sensation.

Here is footage of Rami’s infamous dance and injury: