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
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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.