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.”