Professional football is like a bubble.
Outside it you will meet every laissez-faire form of it; Street football, beach soccer, indoor futsal, you name them. Inside it though houses a different kind of animal mainly bothering on corporate culture.
And as with cultures, they tend to they evolve. This is based on the constant need to improve rules of engagement and the overall well being of all stake and shareholders.
Real Madrid on Saturday ran out winners in Cardiff denying Juventus the chance to lift the trophy for the third time in their history and at the same time condemning them to a 7th champions League final loss.
Sadly for the corporate soul of the beautiful game, a certain Madrid player called Sergio Ramos made mockery of the rules and regulation tablet of soccer’s governing councils.
It is one thing to cook up antics during a do or die football match in a bid to entrap anybody silly enough to be controlled by his emotions. But when leading 3-1 with 6 minutes to go?Absolutely not. Ramos’s theatrics that lead to the sending off of Juan Cuadrado on Saturday was absolutely diabolical. (more…)
Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane has refused to confirm whether Gareth Bale will earn a starting spot for the Champions League final against Juventus on Saturday.
The Wales international has already declared himself fit for the clash at the Principality Stadium, and he will be hoping to put up a strong display in front of his home fans in Cardiff.Bale has not featured for the European champions since his calf problem in the El Clasico in April, and the former Spurs man admits that he may have rushed his return following a surgery in November.
During the Welshman’s absence, Isco managed to shine in the Los Blancos shirt, and his influence was key to the club’s first La Liga triumph since the 2011-12 season.When asked about Bale’s potential inclusion in the starting XI, Zidane remained coy hinting that he may make a late decision on who starts on the right side of the attack.
“I’m not going to tell you who’s going to play tomorrow,” Zidane told PA Sport. “Isco and Bale are two players who can also play together; in the long run, anything can happen (more…)
Reports making the rounds in Spain have it that Real boss Zinedine Zidane is set to get a new deal from the club.
The club’s chair Florentino Perez is reportedly okay with the performance of the club’s former player turn coach.
Real Madrid are keen on winning their first La Liga title in five years as they sit three points above an embattled Barcelona team with a game in hand. Zidane’s current deal would lapse at the end of next season but Perez wants to begin talks as he is impressed with his achievement.
In Zidane’s tenure, Real have won the Champions League, the Super Cup and the FIFA world Club Cup. Zidane supervised a resurgence that saw Madrid finish a point behind Barcelona last year despite all the slip ups all along.
Real Madrid have a 2-1 advantage over Bayern Munich after getting a victory in Germany. They are expected to wrap up the victory with the return leg at the Santiago Bernabeu on Tuesday. Bayern have a depleted defence with Jerome Boateng and Mats Hummels recovering from injuries.
Javi Martinez who was sent off in the first leg would miss the clash as well; leaving a second-rate defence at best for Real’s strikers. Upfront Robert Lewandowski only just returned to the team and he might struggle as he has not gotten full match fitness.
Zidane rested seven players in the game against Sporting Gijon, where Isco played brilliant football to give them victory. Zidane is leaving no stone unturned as he seeks a semi-final spot in the continental tie.
Zidane has continually ignored comments over his future as he continues to plan for the current and next season. The manager would be the second man of recent to get a contract extension since Jose Mourinho.
DarijoSrna believes compatriot Mateo Kovacic will eventually replace his Real Madrid Luka Modric as ‘being the best midfielder in the world’.
The 22-year-old Kovacic has taken an increasingly prominent role at the Bernabeu this season while the Shakhtar Donestk full-back believes Croatian captain Modric.
“I am sure he [Kovacic] will succeed Modric as he has incredible talent,” Srna told Marca.
“I adore him. Although he has improved a lot, we have not yet seen all he can give. But we will. He is the future of Madrid. He needs time as just three years ago he left Dinamo Zagreb to play at Inter and then Real Madrid.
“Although he is my friend, [Modric] is the best midfielder in the world at the moment.
Srna believes that Modric is clearly the best in the world and not just one of the best. He thinks Modric has been improving through the years and he is at his best currently. Since arriving, Modric has done nothing but keep improving and Madrid are going to face serious problems without the Croatian international.
“I have no doubt, I do not say he is one of the best, I am sure that he is the best. Luka is improving with the years, I believe he is at his best now. Since he arrived he has been improving with the team. Madrid are having a great run of results, but without Luka they would have problems.
Srna also spoke about Rakitic stating that the Barca star has shown his quality numerous times and even scored a goal in the Champions League final. He insists that Rakitic will work hard to get back to his utmost best.
Next up for Real Madrid is a trip to Osasuna on Saturday as they look to extend their lead at the summit of the Spanish League.
Real Madrid’s Norwegian teen sensation, Martin Odegaard was once one of the hottest properties in world football.
Joining Dutch side, Heerenveen on loan, we look whether the 18 year-old’s development might now begin to fulfill his huge potential.
Odegaard had the footballing world at his feet when he was signed by the Blaugrana in 2015. The precocious playmaker had been scouted by Europe’s topmost clubs, after he was inducted into Norway’s nation team at the age of 15, and he arrived in the Spanish capital to a backdrop of frenzied hype and expectation.
There was too much media attention for such a young player after just making 15 starts for boyhood club Stromgodset in the Norwegian first tier. However, after months of speculation around his future, the money-spinning move to Madrid was seen as the first big step to greatness. The starlet certainly pushed all the right buttons at his unveiling, described the moves as “a dream come true” and lauding Cristiano Ronaldo as his favourite player.
Look back at those dizzying starts, it is fair to say things have not quite gone as planned. Odegaard trained with Real’s senior squad from the start, but could not break into the team easily with just two first-team appearances to his name. He has now begun a new chapter of his career on loan at the Dutch Eredivisie.
The 18-month loan deal opens up an opportunity to showcase his talent in top flight football to the player haven spent last two years in Madrid’s Castilla B team in the third tier. He made his debut as a late substitute in Saturdays 2-0 win over Ado den Haag, and he will be hoping for a first start when they take-on PSV Einghoven this weekend.
Hopefully, his development in the Dutch League could see him force his way back to spotlight at the end of his year-long loan deal.
Current Newcastle coach Rafa Benitez as at February last year was in charge of Real Madrid.
The Spaniard who by the way started his career at the Bernabeu before his sojourn to Valencia, Liverpool, Napoli, Inter, Chelsea and back home replaced his not so-good-a-friend Jose Mourinho after the Portuguese “mutually” parted ways with Florentino Perez’s club.
The Spaniard came to the club with real intent to make the Galacticos better after Mourinho’s tumultuous reign. It only took six months for club officials to realize the experiment was flawed with the 4-0 defeat to eternal rivals Barcelona at the Santiago Bernabeu cutting the string of patience tying Perez’s hand from pressing the red button earlier.
Names like Klopp and Ancellotti- the guy that landed them the La Decima it took them years to seek – was expected to be flashed on the front pages of dailies across town instead Perez upgraded Zinedine Zidane- who was then serving as assistant coach – to the hot seat. Reactionary gasps of “what the hell?” predictably followed the announcement till fans had concluded that it won’t be so bad for the French man to see out an already derailed campaign as they expected a high profile coach in the summer.
Well somehow, after a slow start, Zinedine Zidane whipped his men into the best of shapes and they would go onto finish one point behind La Liga champions Barcelona who had a much higher gap no thanks to Benitez. It didn’t end there. The caretaker coach led the Whites to an 11th UEFA Champions League title. It was ecstatic and euphoric and almost poetic since Zidane was a former player who lifted a similar trophy as a player with an outrageous volley against Bayern Leverkusen in 2002.
Still, the lull of doubt didn’t go away. Roberto Di Matteo did the same for Chelsea in May 2012 and by December that year his inexperience exposed him and made his Champions League journey look like an act of sheer serendipity.
That’s why question marks hung over Zidane even after delivering the most prized trophy in European football. In a move that astonished lot of people, Florentino Perez decided to formally name Zidane head coach. Who could blame him as non-sentimental as Perez can be, firing a man who delivered such goods is a road that even the steeliest of all men will decline to travel.
Some ultras even concluded by revitalizing the theory of Perez’s special likeness towards the Frenchman after all it was rumoured that Zidane’s position as assistant coach – a post Ancellotti offered him – under Benitez despite Ancellotti’s dismissal was a bid to serve as the king’s eyes and ears.
Well records will by now be singing “to each other his own” as Zidane’s performance has spurn see-saw of opinions where one side is questioning if tactical and technical sophistication’s importance aren’t overrated after all while others declared the Frenchman as lucky, pointing at his having a pool of many golden fishes and a slightly easy run-off on route to the UCL tittle.
For whatever accusations the former Juve player do face, it will be unfair to write off the calm, organization, positive atmosphere and new sense of resilience – a gospel currently spearheaded by skipper Sergio Ramos – as luck. If anything, it’ll safe to say that he made his own luck. A careful observation of the current squad reveals a spirit of togetherness and close knit brotherhood, qualities that are sometimes even more important than just having a sea of talents and it sure as hell takes more than luck to figure out a way to fit such talents into a workable machine.
Real Madrid and Athletic Madrid are scheduled to face off on November 19 in what is expected to be one of the most exciting and thrilling matches so far in this season.
When both of those clubs compete against each other, it’s always extremely contested and disputed.
Throughout the entire history of this rivalry, Real Madrid has had the edge with 85 victories out of the 158 matches that they have played against each other while Athletic Madrid has only been able to win 39 times.
Even though Real Madrid has historically enjoyed having the upper hand, they have a fairly big problem with Toni Kroos sustaining an injury that will be leaving him out of the playing grounds for an undetermined period of time but it’s expected to be a long time after breaking one his bones in his right foot.
One of the other key midfielders of Real Madrid is Luka Modric and the Croatian has only just recently been able to get back on the pitch as he was recently struggling with a muscular injury that he picked up.
Real Madrid recently released an update concerning some of their players that have been suffering with physical problems as the Spanish club stated:
“Real Madrid players completed their second session of the week four days ahead of Saturday’s game at the Vicente Calderon. Karim Benzema, Casemiro and Pepe trained separately from their teammates, whilst Gareth Bale and Mateo Kovacic trained indoors. Sergio Ramos and Modric once again trained with the group.”
Zinedine Zidane also stated that he was worried about his squad but that he will do whatever he can with whichever players are ready at his disposal for their upcoming match against Athletic Madrid.
Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale are a few of the other players that were in doubt as to whether or not they would be able to play against their rivals, it has recently been confirmed that both of them should be in good shape for the match unless another unfortunate emerges in the next few days.
Real Madrid recently returned from match at the weekend with Real Betis where they routed their underdog opponents.
The Madrid players, on Monday, took to the training pitch in order to prepare for their upcoming Champions League group stage tie against Legia Warsaw billed for Tuesday.
Real Madrid would play host to their opponents at the Spanish Capital, in a game that would be their third in Group F.
On the Champions League Group F table, Zinedine Zidane’s men sit in second position under Borussia Dortmund. This came on the heels of a point secured by the team during their 2-2 draw against Dortmund in Germany.
Also, in their first-round opening game played against Lisbon, goals from Ronaldo and Alvaro Morata ensured that Real Madrid came from being the underdog to winning the match against Lisbon with a one goal margin.
During their training today, Morata took some pictures and uploaded on his Instagram profile which showed Los Blancos getting prepared for their next game against Warsaw. The picture had the likes of Marcelo, Karim Benzema, star striker Cristiano Ronaldo and other members of the team as well.
Their 6-1 win over Betis last weekend is yet their biggest win so far since this season, thereby pushing them to the top of the La Liga table. This feat was made possible by goals from Raphael Varane, Karim Benzema, Marcelo, Ronaldo and a brace from Isco. Recall that in their last three games, Real Madrid had come away with three consecutive draws in the league. This victory put an end to the draws.
All the players on the pitch were all in a jovial mood, especially Ronaldo who was in a chirpy mood all through. Zidane was equally on the training pitch with his men and hopes they would be fully revitalized before their return to Europe on Tuesday.
Real Madrid has been banned by the FIFA from signing new players until January 2018 for allegedly breaching the rules of transfer of foreign players aged under-18.
The Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane has stated that this is a stupid decision and that the team will be making an appeal to this ruling.
It is believed that Zinedine Zidane’s sons are among the players that have been wrongfully transferred, and this is what caused the FIFA to ban Real Madrid. The manager said that he could not understand all the fuss about this issue. He said that his sons were born in Madrid and that given that he is a former player of the team it is natural that they want to play for the Real Madrid’s youth team. He said that is the most absurd decision that he has ever seen and that the team is going to fight it.
Speaking about the new season, Zinedine Zidane said that he is confident and that the team will be able to mount a serious challenge for the title. He said that Real Madrid would also be doing everything they can in order to win the Champions League. He believes that he has a strong squad to cater for the domestic competition as well as the Champions League.
Indeed, Real Madrid has only signed one player this season. Alvaro Morata was signed from Juventus, but the Spanish side failed to bring Paul Pogba into the team as the latter prefer to return to his former club Manchester United.
Zidane said that this is not a big issue as he believes that he has quality players in the team and that his squad is more than enough to compete in the various competitions that Real Madrid will be participating in.
Reigning UEFA Champions League champions Real Madrid have opted to keep the future of their star players locked down to the Santiago Berbabeu until probably the end of their careers, according to reports.
Madrid have been quiet this summer in the transfer market, with President Florentino Perez and coach Zinedine Zidane confessing that the team needs no improvement aside the return of Alvaro Morata from Juventus.
Cristiano Ronaldo joined the club back in 2009 from Manchester United for a world record transfer fee, and remains the face of the club. Gareth Bale’s deal broke Ronaldo’s record when Real got him from Tottenham in 2013. He is believed to be Ronaldo’s replacement after retirement, but the new deals do not suggest that
Bale is the second highest paid player at Real Madrid, taking £9.44 million annually. Ronaldo leads with his impressive wages of £14.59 million, but Bale’s terms would see an increase with the new deal. Madrid is also extending the deal of youngster Martin Odegaard until 2021. He was set to go on loan with Rennes the leading contender until they changed their mind. They claim they do not want issue due to the rules on underage signings, despite FIFA extant laws allowing the transfer of players above 16 years to move within the European Union. Bundesliga clubs couldn’t match the wages required, and there were no bids from the Premier League so Madrid decided to keep him.