On Saturday night, Guti gave a textbook example why so many of the Bernabéu faithful loathe him, why he's had so few chances to play for the national side, even though he's arguably one of the most talented men on the pitch. His vision, his skill; he brings fantasía to Real Madrid's play, something in short supply in Capello's designs. But, after 88 minutes, with Real 3-1 up and the game pretty much in the bag, Guti got himself sent off by elbowing Racing's Vitolo in the face at the same time as he was fouling him. It's not the first time he's done something like that. Nobody, not even he knows why he does it.
El Mundo decided that this was somehow linked to Guti's protracted contract renewal negotiations. There had been leaks that the discussions had stalled because Real Madrid had put an offer of 4.5 million euros for a further two years on the table and Guti wanted 5.1; a "mere" difference of 300,000 euros a year. This was his way of showing his displeasure at the club's undervaluing of his services (after all, Ramón Calderón had said after he took office that they would renew him "for life").
Of course, anyone who has followed Guti's career knows this was all so much bobbins; as I said, he just does these things from time to time. Just like he sometimes "disappears" from the pitch, as if he can't be bothered with this football lark. To add insult to injury, it looks like El Mundo's "journalists" will have to eat their words as it was announced on Monday afternoon that Guti had just agreed to a two-year extension to his contract (to run until 2010) for a 13% salary increase.
So we have four more years of his year-round bouts of March Madness to look forward to...