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.