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The Hoddle of Coffee: Tottenham Hotspur news and links for Tuesday, March 5

Julia Roberts is in the middle of a feud.

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Tottenham Hotspur Training And Press Conference Photo by Maja Hitij/Getty Images

Hi, all!

I just love it when I have artsy photographs to use for the lead art.

Ramble of the Day

Who doesn’t love a proper and sometimes petty feud? There’s always drama and entertainment, with a nice sprinkle of comedy just at the right times. Take, for example, the classic feud between Vin Diesel and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, stars of the Fast and Furious franchise. At the heart of it is the issue of knowing where you came from; people are forced to take sides; and, naturally, something someone says makes you laugh.

The Real Madrid and Barcelona rivalry is similar. There’s a more obvious issue of superiority at the center of this feud, and some of the battles are legitimate while others are clearly not. Sometimes we take sides, sometimes we don’t, but we always pay attention for the next entertaining installment. One could consider the recent matches between the two teams the last entertaining installment, but they’ve added another layer to their rivalry. Latest in the battle to recruit as many followers as possible enters...Academy award winner Julia Roberts.

Here’s what we know, based on the one Real Madrid video and the one Barcelona article shown in the tweet. Roberts went to Madrid first for a Clásico sometime during the Zinedine Zidane era, since the manager appears in the video as one of the many people who want a photograph with the actress. There’s nothing too special about the video; Roberts is plenty excited, takes pictures with footballers — as do her husband and three children, seemingly takes a picture of Gareth Bale’s locker, and ends up on the Santiago Bernabéu pitch. It’s probably a normal stadium tour plus the photographs with footballers plus video cameras following you around for content on their website.

Eventually, Roberts follows this up with a trip to Pasadena’s Rose Bowl in July 2018 to see Barcelona play Tottenham in preseason. She was a guest of the club, and was likely this at the Bernabéu, and came with her husband and only two of her children. Barcelona explains why: “Their daughter, Hazel — an avowed Barça fan — was unable to attend.” This might check out in the Real Madrid video, since Hazel doesn’t exactly seem excited to be photographed with Real Madrid players, but she could also be making her normal resting face. Roberts got an invite to the Camp Nou, and the article ends with some facts about her: “Roberts is known to be a fan of Barça — especially Leo Messi — and women’s soccer.” The women’s soccer thing is easily confirmed — she and Ellen DeGeneres once participated in a campaign for the National Women’s Soccer League — but the Barcelona/Messi thing is interesting because I bet Real Madrid would claim the opposite.

I’m envisioning a world in which the two teams battle as fiercely for the heart of Roberts (and family) as much as they would for points on the line in a given Clásico. They continue to throw experiences at her, and this might end with one of the teams offering one of her children, if they play football, a trial with the academy team of their level. Barcelona would win this if it turns out her daughter is the footballer of the family, since Real Madrid is the only major team in Europe without a women’s side. There’s a theory we haven’t considered yet, though:

I really hope Julia Roberts is using her fame to hustle for tickets to the biggest events in teh sport.

tl;dr: Julia Roberts, a football hustler?

Links of the Day

Bolton Wanderers had to close its training ground on Monday because there was no food or drink for players and staff.

FIFA has recommended that VAR be used at June’s Women’s World Cup ahead of a vote next week.

West Ham’s Robert Snodgrass has been charged by the FA after allegedly abusing anti-doping officials.

Today’s longer read: Brendan O’Connor on the idea of a club as a brand and the story of Europe’s super clubs for The Baffler