Juventus managed Max Allegri is hoping that his side avoid Real Madrid and their La Liga rivals Barcelona during the quarter-final stage of the Champions League. The Bianconeri progressed into the last eight of the elite competition after they picked up a hard-earned 4-3 aggregate win over Tottenham Hotspur, which included a 2-1 triumph at the Wembley Stadium.
The Turin giants have followed it with a 2-0 home win over Udinese, which took them to the top of the Serie A, and Allegri is now hoping for some good news during Friday’s Champions League draw at the UEFA headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland. He said: “I hope to avoid both Barcelona and Real Madrid,” said Allegri after a 2-0 home win against Udinese on Sunday sent Juve top of Serie A. I think Madrid are the favourites to win the competition. They’re focusing solely on the Champions League and there’s nobody else that deals with games in this competition like they do.”
Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane has urged Cristiano Ronaldo to focus on Saturday’s El Clasico versus Barcelona as contract discussions could be delayed until after the winter break. The Portugal international is deemed to be unsettled at the European champions after overseeing the likes of Lionel Messi and Neymar earn bumper deals at Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain respectively.
Speaking in the lead-up to the Barca clash, Zidane stressed that Ronaldo is fully fit for the encounter, and he expects the Portugal international to maintain his focus on the fixture. Meanwhile, the Frenchman added that the 32-year-old deserves every bit of respect from the Bernabeu giants, and he is prepared to discuss a suitable extension after the turn of the year.
Chelsea great Frank Lampard sees no difference in Eden Hazard’s attitude despite the constant speculation linking him with a move to Real Madrid. The Belgium international has been closely monitored by the European champions over the past month after he admitted that he would like to work under Zinedine Zidane in the future.
Speaking on BT Sport, Lampard insists that Chelsea will have no issues keeping hold of their talisman, so long as he keeps performing at the same level, he said: “If you are Eden Hazard or any top player in the world, the talk of Real Madrid and Barcelona will always hang over you whether it’s spoken about out loud in the newspaper or whether it is just a fact they go after the best players in the world.
Real Madrid finally ended their poor run of form at the Santiago Bernabeu by getting a 2-0 victory over Espanyol during the weekend.
The club had drawn the first three matches of the season at home and this was the worst start to a home campaign for the club in almost 2 decades. There was a lot of negativity surrounding this match and it was only amplified by the absence of Gareth Bale due to a fresh injury. However, Real Madrid were able to get a comfortable victory thanks to a brace from Isco. After the match, manager Zinedine Zidane praised the midfielder for his performances.
Isco’s future at Real Madrid had been under a major doubt for several months, but he recently signed a new contract after finally establishing himself as a regular first-team place at the club. In Zinedine Zidane’s first few months as the manager, Isco was largely on the bench. He has been used in a central midfield role of late and Isco has found excellent form in this position. The 25-year-old was able to get his first goals of the La Liga season in this victory over Espanyol. (more…)
Real Madrid have been able to agree a three-year contract with manager Zinedine Zidane, who has not instant and immense success to the club in a very short spell.
After being appointed as the replacement for Rafa Benitez – likely on a temporary basis, Zidane has gone on to achieve incredible success in the last 18 months. He won the Champions League in just a few months after being appointed as the manager. After having experienced incredible success as a player and a widely being regarded as one of the greatest in the world, Zidane has set about carving out a space for himself in the managerial world.
He helped Real Madrid end a five-year wait for the league title by beating Barcelona to the La Liga last season. This was also immediately followed by another Champions League success. This success, though, was even bigger as it helped Madrid become the first club to retain the title in the modern era. Zidane also became the first manager to lift the Champions League honour in back-to-back campaigns. (more…)
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.