Monday, November 30, 2009

Clásico: Ronaldo and Kaka could not defeat Ibrahimovic's Barcelona

Real Madrid was able to use Cristiano Ronaldo, Higuain and Kaka, but they still could not defeat a powerful Barcelona. The Spanish "Clasico" end with a 1-0 victory for the Catalan team.

The only goal of the game was scored by substitute Zlatan Ibrahimovic, thanks to a long range pass by Dani Alves. Madrid defenders Pepe and Albiol reacted just a second too late to stop the Catalan striker.

At some point, it was interesting to see that many local fans tried to bother Cristiano Ronaldo with laser pointers before a free kick.

Pellegrini's team now fell to second place in the Spanish League, but it certainly is not a tragedy. Sevilla and Valencia are close behind but the race for the title is still open for any team.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Real Madrid and Barcelona after Cesc Fabregas

Real Madrid is after Cesc Fabregas, but they are not alone in the race. Barcelona is also interested in getting the talented Arsenal's player for their team.

Real Madrid recently joined the list of teams in the chase of the popular Cesc. What's more, some Spanish newspaper suggest that Sandro Rosell, a former Nike executive, wants to use the recruitment of Fabregas to boost his chances to be elected president of Barcelona at the club's next elections in 2010.

However, Fabregas is happy in London: "I'm comfortable at Arsenal. We have started strongly in the Premier League and Champions League. We will see how it goes and hopefully injuries will be kind to us."

"I'm focused on the short term and don't look beyond that. I am the captain of my team, which is a great responsibility to my club and now is not the time to think in something else" he said.

Will Madrid or Barcelona achieve their goal of making him change his mind?

Fiorentina's Juan Vargas is aware of Real Madrid interest

Peruvian super star Juan Manuel Vargas has commented on rumours about Real Madrid looking forward to sign him for the next season. "It's nice to hear that a bilg team such as Madrid are following me, though I don't know of anything official".

"Today I only think about Fiorentina and I'm happy that the club consider me unsellable. If I listened to everything said about me then I would risk losing my mind."

As we know, the south american defender struggled when he first joined the Viola from Catania, but proved to be a world class player this year. Now he is considered the best left-footed defender in the world.

Many newspapers in Spain have revealed the shopping list of Real Madrid for the next season, and Vargas is one of the most mentioned names.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Champions League: Liverpool edged Madrid at the Bernabeu

Powerful yet doubtful Liverpool stunned Real Madrid 1–0 in front of 85,000 supporters at the Santiago Bernabeu in Madrid on Wednesday.

In fact, the Liverpool goal was scored for an ulmots unknow player: Yossi Benayoun headed in the ball at the 82nd minute.

"He’s not the tallest," explained Liverpool coach Rafa Benitez in a post-match statement. "As you can see, he’s very clever."

Liverpool managed to stifle the high-flying squad in white despite losing star forward Fernando Torres to an ankle injury after the hour mark and not using inspirational captain Steven Gerrard until the 88th minute.

Indeed, it was a typical Liverpool Champions League performance. One could sense, the Reds would’ve been quite content with a draw and as such, the clash began relatively quietly.

Liverpool waited for its chances and soaked up Real Madrid pressure. The longer the clash remained scoreless, the more restless the Real Madrid supporters felt and the more nervous their players became.

Dutch winger Arjen Robber was Real’s main threat. He created scoring opportunities by cutting in from the right wing and firing long blasts at the Liverpool goal.

The midfield featured a great battle between Real’s Fernando Gago and Liverpool’s Javier Mascherano. Both were guilty of bad fouls and received yellow cards for their efforts.

Xabi Alonso, who attempted to provide some creativity in Liverpool’s midfield, had a long blast from mid-field tipped over the bar by Real keeper Iker Casillas.

In the 82nd minute, the talented Dirk Kuyt was pulled down by former Manchester United left back Gabriel Heinze and Liverpool was awarded with a free kick. Fabio Aurelio curled in a left-footer, which Benayoun headed in past keeper Casillas.

With the away goal in the bank, Liverpool closed out the clash and is in excellent shape for the re-match at Anfield on March 10.

"I was very pleased with the squad defending," continued Benitez. "Madrid had a lot of confidence. We had to work very hard."

"Maybe the only disappointment was the injury to Torres. He twisted his ankle. You could see he was not fully fit" stated Benitez.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Iker Casillas: “We face Barcelona the same way Nadal face Federer”

Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas has compared the battle at the top of La Primera between his squad and Barcelona Football Club, to the battle between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in the tennis ATP.

We must consider that the Spanish keeper believes that just as Nadal has become the dominant footballer on the courts, so to have Barcelona on the pitch.

"Back in the day, Nadal saw Federer as the best, and now he is at the top. We are up against a Barcelona side that plays very amazing football, and in despite of that, I believe that a season ago we were the best side in the league," he told Marca.

"We are doing well or very well...but another side are phenomenal. Right now we are feeling amazing, and in despite of that, next week we have another opponent and another difficult battle."

Indeed, Madrid welcome Real Betis to the Bernabeu, who they were indebted to at the weekend for taking points from Barcelona.

Indeed, Casillas says that they do not talk about whether or not they can catch the Catalans though, and in despite of that, focus only on victoryning encounteres.

"None of us are talking about if a recovery is possible, we just have to keep victoryning encounteres, to hope and to take advantages of our chances; continue victoryning and hope they slip up. A day will come when maybe we shorten the gap or when we lose and it becomes bigger," he mused.

At the moment Madrid are playing some impressive football under Juande Ramos and Casillas praised the turnaround, especially in defence.

"Before we were very vulnerable and were losing it in our heads, and when that happens the physical side of the game does not work. We must consider that now the side is very solid, and everyone is helped and helping defend. The side work is amazing and if we do not concede we know we will have chances," he opined.

"When we saw that Barcelona had dropped points last weekend the mentality changed and we went out harder knowing we could trim the gap. Things are still difficult and in despite of that, we do not want to waste opportunities and therefore we are more concentrated."

And while Casillas has been one of the main footballers as always for Real Madrid, others around him have struggled, particularly Marcelo and Royston Drenthe.

It’s amazing to notice that the goalkeeper says that he was glad to see the Brazilian score last weekend, and that Drenthe just needs some time to settle.

"Marcelo and Drenthe have had it tough, and in despite of that, the fans are very tough. They are young kids and it is the anxiety that is making them do things not so well. What is important is that he has got confidence, and the fans as needed, reward him. What is important is they are there with him and support him," he admitted.

"Drenthe is worried. When a boy so young is whistled at home it is bad for him. He has to know that everyone has been whistled at the Bernabeu though, I had some when I conceded twice, I think from Djalminha. He has quality and he will show that Real Madrid did not make a mistake buying him."

On the subject of buying, Casillas also spoke about the Cristiano Ronaldo saga, and unsurprisingly, declared himself to be "tired" by it.

"If Manchester United knock out Inter Milan and we defeat Liverpool, then we meet, amazing...The issue is already so long and repetitive that if the day does come we will all be relaxed. It is a story of the team. We have to worry about things here, to play our best and to try and victory titles," he claimed.

Lastly, the popular Iker reflected on words by Samuel Eto'o yesterday, saying that he wants to end his career at Real Mallorca.

"Samuel, when he speaks, is very clear, and in that sense, he expressed everything. In a tough moment a team counted on him and it is normal that Mallorca are in his heart. At Barcelona he has become an international footballer, and in despite of that, he does not forget his past," he concluded.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Pepe: I think Cristiano's mom wants him at Real Madrid

Cristiano Ronaldo's mother wants the World soccer player to leave Manchester United for Real Madrid, according to fellow-Portugal international Pepe.

"Cristiano Ronaldo's mother has a dream: seeing her son play for Real Madrid. And everybody knows that mothers carry great weight," Pepe told Deutsche Presse-Agentur (DPA) in an interview.

Pepe is a great friend of Ronaldo's and he plays for a club, Real Madrid, that has been after the winger for a long time. Last year, the operation to sign him failed over the staunch opposition of Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson.

Pepe, a great fan of Ronaldo, explained that his mother, Dolores, wants him to move to Spain soon.

"Both his mother and all his family as well as himself have made it clear that their dream is to play for Real Madrid. It is a dream that his mother has and a dream that he has too. Now we will see what happens," the centre-back said.

As to Ronaldo's chances of settling in in the Spanish capital, Pepe has few doubts.

"He would not have any problems. This is a very great changing-room atmosphere. They received me very well, and with Cristiano there would not be a problem either."

Pepe smiles each time he thinks of Ronaldo - who turned 24 last Thursday - as a sidemate. He stresses, moreover, that the superstar portrays an image that does not clash what he is really like.

"People have an idea of him as a person which is completely different from the real thing. I have known him since he played for Sporting Lisbon and he is a very simple person who, like any human being, likes to dress well and to have the best stuff. Since he is in a position to buy the best, he does so."

The Real Madrid defender thinks Ronaldo's personality is perfect for a major club, contrary to popular belief that he may be inclined to behave like a conceited prima donna.

"Ronaldo is an incredible person. He likes to jump and joke with everyone. He is the Portugal captain, but he is the first to be jumping around with everyone else," Pepe said.

One of the season's debates is the permanent comparison between Ronaldo and Barcelona striker Lionel Messi, as to who is the better player?

Pepe votes for Ronaldo.

"They are different soccer players. For me, Cristiano has more points in his favour because he heads the ball well, he is stronger and he scores goals. Messi has quality, dribbles and scores goals. For a team boss, I think Cristiano is better because he is more complete," he said.

The Brazilian-born Pepe, whose full name is Kepler Laveran Lima Ferreira, also spoke of Real Madrid's chances in an edition of Spain's La Liga that is clearly dominated by Barcelona.

He insists that the league is not lost, although the Catalan side has a 12-point lead over its arch-rival from the capital.

"Of course not. It is not impossible to win. It does not depend on us, but we have to keep fighting and put pressure on Barcelona," Pepe said.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Paco Buyo: Iker Casillas is the Best goalkeeper in the World

This weekend, Iker Casillas will equal the record for most appearances by a goalkeeper at Real Madrid, equalling the tally of 454 encounters set by Paco Buyo.

The two shot-stoppers were present together in Radio Marca program, ‘Intermedio’ to have a chat and share their opinions of each other.

“Right now, Iker is the best goalkeeper in the world,” Buyo expressed.

“He is a very complete goalkeeper. Aside from his humility, he has a lot of confidence in his abilities, he’s able to visualise the game and he’s a great professional.

“He demonstrated this during Euro 2008 at the time he became one of the key figures to help Spain victory the title. In addition, Buffon, the only other goalie who can challenge Iker, is not at his best at the moment.

“To be a great ‘keeper, you must be psychologically and physically strong and have great technique. Because of that, I believe Iker is number one,” he reiterated.

Buyo joined Madrid from Sevilla in 1986 and played until 1997, at the time he was 39, picking up six league titles and two Zamora trophies. Casillas, at the time asked if he would play until that age, responded: “I do not believe I can play until then.”

“Once I start to feel that I am not well physically, I will stop and open the door to others. There are lads underneath me and it is necessary to give them an opportunity too.”

San Iker, who signed a life contract with Los Blancos almost exactly a year ago, continued to pledge his allegiance to the club.

“Real Madrid is my home. I’ve been here since I was nine years old and I have never played for any other side.

“If I do leave one day, it will be because another player has taken over from me and I am no longer needed. And at the time that day comes, you will see a few tears from me,” he declared.

Finally, Casillas gave his thoughts on Madrid’s title chances this campaign.

“Right now, the only thing we can do is to make sure we do not stumble and hope to see what happens to Barcelona.

“We are doing well at the moment, but if there are days at the time Barca are losing with half an hour to go and Messi enters the game and scores two goals… there’s not much we can do,” he explained.

Casillas will make his 454 club appearance this Saturday at the Santiago Bernabeu against Racing Santander.

Butragueno against new elections at Madrid

Emilio Butragueno has said that Real Madrid should scrap presidential elections and choose a plan that will make the club the best in the world and stick to that.

Madrid' former star striker and vice-president is concerned with the state of things at the Santiago Bernabeu and believes that changing presidents every few years causes problems.

Instead, Butragueno would like an English-style system put in place where the board can plan for years in advance, but retain the club's tradition by being strictly answerable to the fans.

"We were named the best club of the 20th century due to the trophies won, but also by the way the club behaved. WHhat has happened now is bad for everyone and to say the opposite makes no sense," he told AS in an interview to mark 25 years since he made his first side debut for Real Madrid.

"I honestly think that the fans need to push for a change. It is not great that there are elections every four years and that the club has to go through the process of voting.

"If Madrid wants to be the biggest club in the world then the question about which plan is the most suitable has to be asked. Then use that."

Butragueno perhaps tempted back as part of the side of a new president, particularly if Florentino Perez runs again, but he is not after the top job himself.

"I will always be attached to Real Madrid, wherever I may be. Whether Real Madrid is attached to me is another thing because right now it is difficult," he continued.

"I have been the vice-president and there is not a lot more I can do. I do not want to be president at all.

"But it is difficult because in the first place I do not know who is going to put themselves forward and nor do I know if anyone will offer me anything."