Sunday, December 25, 2005

Alfredo Di Stefano had a Heart Attack

Real Madrid former player, Alfredo Di Stefano, spent his 79th Christmas in intensive care because of a heart attack he teo days ago.

"His condition os better and he is conscious," stated Dr. Victoria de la Cueva of the Sagunto hospital near Valencia. "He is aware of what is going on, is stable and breathing well on his own."

She told us he was transferred to a special unit in a Valencia hospital Sunday. Di Stefano had the attack shortly after midnight Friday.

Di Stefano played for Real Madrid many years ago. There is no doubt he ranks high among the most accomplished soccer players of all time: Lots of people would place him highest for his soccer intelligence, his leadership, his versatility, but comparison with Pelé, Johan Cruyff, Diego Maradona and George Best are a matter of conjecture, governed by generation.

One of the first visitors to his bedside yesterday, the Real Madrid president, Florentino Pérez, noticed that Di Stefano was lucid. "We talked about everything," Pérez said. "He told me one must address life with a bit of philosophy."

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Real Madrid - Arsenal: Champions League Review

English club Arsenal FC and Real Madrid will meet for the first time in an official club competition after being paired in one of the most mouthwatering of the last-16 ties.

Arsenal was their group winners in the previous stage. Now the English team will welcome the nine-time European champions to Highbury for the second leg on 8 March, after the first leg in Spain on 21 February. Arsenal are in their last year at the historic north London venue that has been their home since 1913, and all connected with the club are hoping for a fitting send-off.

Arsenal vice-chairman David Dein stated: "It's a really good draw for Arsenal and one of the ties of the round. We have never met previously in this competition and obviously they are a club with such a great history that we will enjoy meeting them. A lot of our boys are French and with the final being in Paris they are even more focused on getting there and I think they will fancy their chances against Real Madrid. But it is a nice draw for the club especially in our final year at Highbury."

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Beckham likes new coach Lopez Caro

English Captain David Beckham is happy with the use of wingers in the Real Madrid's new play system following the appointment of coach Juan Roman Lopez Caro.

Vanderlei Luxemburgo used to be criticised because he didn't use wingers in his formation and Beckham admits he likes this change.

"I enjoy playing with wingers a lot. The new trainer is very fine, although all this has been a change for us in the last two weeks," said Beckham.

"Now everything is very meaningful for the team. We are working in a very hard and serious way. We must win games and this already is happening.

"I feel comfortable playing on the right and the centre and to participate in all the games. So I am happy whenever and wherever I could play.

"I find the new coach a good professional. However, I have not yet spoken with the coach. I just know him from what we have done during training.

"In three seasons and with so many trainers it has been a little hard for me. It is not normal and I am not accustomed to it. Now, our coach is Lopez Caro, he is really smart and a very special person."

Keane signed for Celtic and dismissed Madrid

Former Manchester United Captain, Roy Keane signed up with Scotish Celtic on Thursday on an 18-month contract, spurning Real Madrid and other team to finish his career in Scotland.

The 34-year-old midfielder stated that he made his decision on Wednesday while walking his dog. He rejected offers from Madrid, Everton and Bolton — despite tha fact that the Premier League clubs are close to his home in northwest England.

“I gave every team an option, I spoke to many managers,” the Irish midfielder said. “I think it was important to take my time. It’s an all new challenge. I thought this was the best move for me ... and I’m very happy with my decision.”

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Arrigo Sacchi to leave Real Madrid

On Monday, after coach Vanderlei Luxemburgo was fired, Real Madrid stated that football director Arrigo Sacchi was about to resign.

However, the club suggested that Sacchi's imminent departure was not linked with Luxemburgo's dismissal.

Real Madrid claimed that the 59-year-old Italian had informed the board of his decision two weeks before its 3-0 defeat against FC Barcelona on Nov. 19. Sacchi was described as being "very happy" in the job and wanted to complete a year in his role before leaving.

Luxemburgo no longer Madrid's Coach

Vanderlei Luxemburgo is no longer Real Madrid's coach. The Brazilian manager was sacked on Sunday only 11 months after taking charge of the galactic team.

Luxemburgo, who was Real's fifth coach in two and a half years, was fired following an emergency board meeting at the club's Santiago Bernabeu stadium.

"The board has decided that coach Luxemburgo will not continue on the head of the first team," club vice-president Emilio Butragueno told a news conference.

"It wasn't an easy decision, but the board thinks that we had reached a point where we needed a change.

"The squad were not living up to expectations and that worried both us and the fans and that was the fundamental reason for our decision, which was unanimous."

The announcement came a day after Real's lacklustre 1-0 victory over Getafe, but the detonating factor was a humiliating 3-0 home defeat by arch-rivals Barcelona two weeks ago.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Ronaldo scores as Beckham is sent off in Madrid's Victory

Brazilian striker Ronaldo scored and David Beckham was ejected in Real Madrid's 1-0 win over Getafe on Saturday. Ronnie was returning from injury after appearing in only one of Madrid's previous nine games. He struck in the 18th minute at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium to lift Madrid into fourth place in the standings.

Beckham got the red card in the 57th minute for a tackle on Getafe's Ivan "Riki" Sanchez-Rico. The midfielder, wearing a black armband in honor of George Best, exchanged angry words with Getafe coach Bernd Schuster before he exited through the players' tunnel.

Guti, standing in for Raul as Real skipper, fed Ronaldo, who played a wonderful one-two with Zinedine Zidane before bearing down on goal and scoring with the aid of a post.

Getafe almost equalised two minutes before half-time when Mariano Perna's well-struck free kick bought a fine save out of Iker Casillas.

Seven minutes after the interval, the impressive Pernia hit a first-time volley from a deep cross which Casillas had to beat out before the ball was cleared.

David Beckham was ejected for this foul. The England captain could not believe it and the replays suggested that there was little malicious intent in the tackle.

However, it was Beckham's fourth dismissal as a Real player, though one decision was overturned on appeal earlier this season.

The England captain was only sent off once with Manchester United.

He is the only England player to have been sent off twice after red cards against Argentina in 1998 and Austria in October.

Beckham and Getafe coach Bernd Schuster then became embroiled in a slanging match on the touchline before the England captain was ushered down the players' tunnel.

Getafe then almost snatched the equaliser they deserved in the first minute of stoppage-time when Riki tried his luck from outside the penalty area, but the ball curled wide of the post.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Arsene Wenger responses to rumours

Arsene Wenger claims he won't leave Arsenal despite interest from Real Madrid president Florentino Perez.

Rumours about Madrid coach Wanderley Luxemburgo's future has grown since the 3-0 loss to Barcelona, and Perez told a radio interview he was a fan of Wenger.

"Jose Mourinho and Fabio Capello are two of the world's best trainers but I have another name for you, Wenger. I like him very much," said Perez.

Wenger responded: "That's nice of him but until 2008 I have glue on my seat."

Gunners striker Thierry Henry has also been linked with a move to the Bernabeu.

Arsenal's record goal-scorer is out of contract in 2007 and has refused to discuss a new deal until the new year.

David Beckham would love Henry join him at the club, but Wenger is keen to see his fellow Frenchman stay at Arsenal.

"For me, Thierry Henry is the best striker in the world so we would prefer to keep him here," said Wenger.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Luxemburgo has the support of Madrid's board

Real Madrid said on Thursday there was "no suggestion of Luxemburgo's dismissal" after a board meeting, which was held a day after fans protested during its home Champions League game with Lyon.

"The board has shown its backing to the brazilian coach and full confidence in the first-team squad," the club said.

The board meeting was scheduled before Madrid's 3-0 home defeat against rival FC Barcelona last weekend and not as a response to the team's current difficulties.

Club president Florentino Perez was reported to have discussed Luxemburgo's future with him immediately after the 1-1 draw with Lyon. This led to suggestions that the Brazilian would be fired if Madrid loses its next league game at Real Sociedad on Sunday.

Supporters jeered Luxemburgo when he replaced David Beckham with Michel Salgado in the 79th minute of Wednesday's game at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium.

Beck and Ronaldo may miss game against R. Sociedad

Brazilian Ronaldo Nazario and english David Beckham are both doubtful for Real Madrid's league match against Real Sociedad on Sunday. The fear is confirmed since they missed training on Friday.

Ronaldo was unable to participate in the session because of continued problems with his left ankle.

Midfielder Beckham received treatment for the back pain that led to his substitution in the 1-1 Champions League draw against Olympique Lyon on Wednesday.

A final decision on the availability of both players will be made on Saturday morning, the Primera Liga club said.

Real have been plagued by injury problems this season and club captain Raul is out of action for at least four months after sustaining a serious knee injury during his side's 3-0 defeat at home to Barcelona.

Real are in fourth place in the Primera Liga, four points adrift of arch-rivals Barcelona.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Raul Gonzalez seriously injured

Spanish striker and Madrid's cap. Raul Gonzalez has a serious injury in his left knee. This happened in the match against Barcelona and could have Raul out of the squad for three months. Doctors hope he can walk again this week.

This is really his most serious injury in his career. Raul is suffering from a tear in his external meniscus and a partial tear of his anterior cruciate ligament, as well as damage to his knee cap.

Sports daily Marca said Raul could be out for three months, possibly even missing next year's World Cup in Germany, and that he is yet to decide whether to have surgery.

Madrid has other injury concerns with Ronaldo (left ankle), Jonathan Woodgate (left leg) and Thomas Gravesen (right knee).

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Barcelona defeated Real Madrid 3-0

Real Madrid was affected by injuries that decreased the performance of the team. In the other hand, Samuel Eto´o and Ronaldinho (with two goals) showed a great level and won the Classic in favour of Barcelona. Zidane and Ronaldo recent recoveries cost them dearly against a rival who saw the Madrid fans applauding the actions of Ronaldinho. Also, Raúl was replaced by Guti in the second half due to an injury in his right knee.

Ronaldinho Gaucho gave football classes and scored two goals, as Samuel Eto'o made another one at Santiago Bernabeu stadium. With this result Barcelona moved into first place on goal difference over Osasuna, which played a 0-0 draw at Getafe, after 12 of 38 games. Real Madrid is four points off the lead in third place. Now Madrid has to prepare to face Olympique de Lyon for the Champions.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Beckham will play against Barcelona

David Beckham had a back problem, but he will still be able to play against Barcelona in the spanish derby on Saturday. The english midfielder has been told that his back pain is a result of the unique way that he twists his body to strike a ball in the past and has admitted to having had pain-killing injections before and after certain matches.

With the squad already having suffered several injuries to key players in recent weeks, the absence of the influential midfielder would have been a big blow for the team.

The former Manchester United star assured reporters that he does not think that the injury will be enough to stop him from lining up against Barça however.

"It’s my back, but I don’t think it will be a problem," Beckham said at Madrid’s Valdebebas training ground.

The club were also keen to stress that Beckham was likely to play as they took the unusual step of making an official annoucnement on their website.

"Beckham retired from the training game against Real Madrid C with muscular problems, which an investigation has shown is lumbago," read the message. "This will not stop him playing at the Bernabeu on Saturday."

Ronaldo also expressed his relief at having been given the green light to face his former club after missing the last month with an ankle injury.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Saturday Classic Derby: Real Madrid vs. Barcelona

This Saturday Real Madrid and Barcelona will meet again, in the most expected match in spanish football. Real Madrid will be able to use Ronaldo, Ivan Helguera, Zinedine Zidane and Julio Baptista, since they recoreved from their injuries; but not of unlucky Mark van Bommel, Thomas Gravesen - now only a secondary actor, or poor Jonathan Woodgate.

Even though the favorites to win the game is the blaugrana squad, Real Madrid has what it takes to beat a team that is playing a really good football, commanded by Deco, Ronaldinho and Eto'o.

Ronaldo has not played since tearing ankle ligaments during Madrid's 3-0 win over Atletico Madrid on Oct. 15, while Baptista tore left knee ligaments four days later in the 4-1 win over Rosenborg in the Champions League.

Real Madrid has improved after a faltering start to lie third in the Primera standings with 21 points from 11 games, a point and a place behind Barcelona.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Real Madrid 2005/2006 Squad

1 Íker Casillas GK
13 Diego López GK
-----------------------
2 Míchel Salgado
3 Roberto Carlos
4 Sergio Ramos
5 Zinédine Zidane
6 Iván Helguera
7 Raúl González
8 Júlio Baptista
9 Ronaldo
10 Robinho
12 Pablo García
14 Guti
15 Raúl Bravo
16 Thomas Gravesen
18 Jonathan Woodgate
20 Óscar Miñambres
21 Carlos Diogo
22 Francisco Pavón
23 David Beckham
24 Álvaro Mejía
27 Roberto Soldado
28 Rubén De la Red

Real Madrid C.F. history

Real Madrid CF, the XXth Century's Best Club according to FIFA, was founded on March 6, 1902, and it has the greatest ond most glorious history of Spanish and European Football. The first name of the club was "Sociedad Madrid CF", and it was allowed to use the title Real (royal) after King Alfonso XIII of Spain gave the club an official blessing in June 1920.

At the 50's decade, Real Madrid began to consistently perform as one of the strongest teams in Spain and Europe. Real Madrid's success has been based on the mix of fantasy football, team spirit and majesty. It has won the European Cup nine times, more than any other club, winning the first five of them with the legendary team of Alfredo di Stefano, Gento and Ferenc Puskas. Real Madrid has also dominated the Spanish League competition, winning a record number of 29 editions. The rivalry between Real Madrid and FC Barcelona is legendary. This rivalry started during the government of the totalitarian Francisco Franco, when FC Barcelona supporters claimed that Real Madrid was the Government's team, although, the Real Madrid supporters have always said that the Club that won more General Franco Cups (nowadays King's Cup) was FC Barcelona and Real Madrid itself has always tried to be apolitical during his history. Real Madrid was awarded by FIFA as the "World's best football club of the XXth century History" in 2001.

In recent years, Real Madrid have become famous for signing some of the world's best footballers, giving the club a new nickname of Los galácticos (the galactics). Although the club had a fine tradition of producing local star footballers including Pirri (José Martínez), Francisco Gento, Raúl, Fernando Hierro, and even importing stars from all over the globe including Roberto Carlos, Davor Suker, Clarence Seedorf and Steve McManaman, this trend of signing the biggest, and arguably the most marketable stars available became club policy shortly after Euro 2000 with the world record €60m acquisition of Portuguese playmaker Luis Figo from FC Barcelona, who had risen to prominence with some influential displays in the tournament. He was joined the following year by then two-time FIFA World Player of the Year Zinédine Zidane from the Italian side Juventus, again for a world record fee—this time approximately €71m. The following season, they purchased Ronaldo, top scorer in the 2002 World Cup, for around €39m from Internazionale.

In the summer of 2003, their target was David Beckham, captain of the English national side, who signed from Manchester United for approximately €36m. Cynics argued that this particular development had as much to do with finance as football, with the Beckham brand ensuring increased revenue from merchandising (Club president Florentino Perez has admitted that Beckham "pays us his own salary, and that of Zidane") However, Beckham made a good start with Madrid, despite their relative underachievement in the 2003/2004 season (winning the Spanish Super Cup and finishing fourth in La Liga). This poor display led to the sacking of coach Carlos Queiróz, who had also made the trip to Madrid from Manchester United in 2003 after leaving his position as assistant manager at the English club. The pressure to win trophies means that managers who fail to deliver are sacked, resulting in a high turnover of managers. John Toshack was twice manager of the club. Recent seasons have also seen the arrival and departure of several other coaches appointments including: Vicente Del Bosque, José Antonio Camacho and Mariano García Remón. Real Madrid have recently turned to the services of successful Brazilian coach Vanderlei Luxemburgo in a bid to restore stability and discipline within the locker room.

Real's main target in the 2004 offseason was Patrick Vieira; the club made an offer of €35 million (£23.1 million) to FA Premier League champions Arsenal for his services. Arsenal rejected Real's overtures, and Real instead made two surprise signings, of english striker Michael Owen (€12m) and Jonathan Woodgate (€20m), who did not play for the club until the 2005-2006 season due to a left thigh injury. For 2005, Real reportedly tabled a bid of €70m for Sweden and Juventus star Zlatan Ibrahimovic, which Juve rejected; however, the "bid" proved to be a publicity stunt instigated by his agent instead of Real. Later in the 2005 close season, Real acquired young Brazilian superstar Robinho for a fee of $30m. In August 2005, Real Madrid signed Julio Baptista, a Brazilian midfield player from Sevilla who, with the signing of Carlos Diogo and Pablo Garcia strengthens the squad for 2005/06 season. On the last summer day available for signing new players for 2005-2006 season, Real Madrid signed Sevilla's defender Sergio Ramos for about €25m, paying the penalty contract clause he had with Sevilla.