Mahamadou Diarra transfered to AS Monaco

The midfielder Mahamadou Diarra has signed a contract that will bind to the end of this season with AS Monaco. French team reached an agreement with Real Madrid for transfer, this Thursday.

Diarra smiles after his move to AS Monaco
Mahamadou Diarra

The midfielder, 29, faces a new journey "very happy" with the illusion of "to remain competitive" and "to continue playing football" after not having had too many opportunities in recent seasons at the club.

"I know that my arrival may be good for the team and colleagues and I hope that the ASMonaco can get the targets of the season" said the footballer after signing the contract, hoping to help the club achieve salvation because AS Monaco is second last.

After four and a half seasons at Real Madrid, Diarra will now have a new destination, but will remain the dorsal ''6'' on his back. In the beginning he comes with the confidence of his new coach who has been defined him as "a leader of men".

"The group needed a guy like him, with great personality and experience. We have great hopes in him and he will be a good reference for the younger ones" praised Laurent Banide.

Official Announcement (realmadrid.com):
Real Madrid C. F. and Monaco FC have reached a deal for the transfer of Mahamadou Diarra. It is contingent upon the player passing a medical checkup as well as the contract signed with his new club.

Interview: Emmanuel Adebayor

Emmanuel Adebayor at press conference as new Real Madrid player
Emmanuel Adebayor

How much does it mean to you to join Real Madrid?
To be honest, it’s like a dream come true. I was born in Africa and started playing football there, and I never dreamed I could play for Real Madrid. I dreamed I could end up playing in Europe, and I did, playing for Metz, Monaco, Manchester City… And now I’m at the biggest club in the world, so this is a dream come true. I’m very happy and very grateful.

What made you swap Manchester City for Real Madrid?
I had a tough season after the attack on my national team’s bus. This traumatized me a little bit because it wasn’t an easy experience. For a few minutes I was between life and death. It was difficult for me to finish the season in good shape. The manager has a view of football for the present campaign that doesn’t involve me anymore, and Real Madrid came for me. I can’t ask for more than that. I wasn’t playing for Manchester City and said to myself I had to come here. It was a difficult time for me, but I felt more relaxed when I signed my contract. I am very happy and look forward to playing for Real Madrid.

You must be happy to have a truly new year start for you in 2011 after what happened in 2010.
Of course. 2010 had a terrible start for me due to the terrorist attack and now I’ve got a 2011 contract with Real Madrid and I’m sitting at the Santiago Bernabeu, so I can just say I am very happy and very grateful. This year has had a great start for me and I hope it ends well too. I wish we win many trophies and that I score successful goals and achieve many successful things. That’s what I came here for. Don’t get me wrong, I know it’s not going to be easy, but I will work hard and do everything it takes to be part of the history of Real Madrid.


Cup Semifinals (1st Leg): Albiol, Ramos & Carvalho reactions


The ‘ghost goal’ key player explained from his point of view the move: "The goal clearance was a very fast play. I threw myself on the ground and saw the ball on the goal-line. I don't believe it went in. It all happened very fast, which leaves room for doubt, but I really think it didn't go in".

About the game and the chances of reaching the final: "I am happy with the victory. We've taken an important step, but we still have to play another 90 minutes and Sevilla are a complicated opponent. We enjoyed ourselves tonight. We think about the possibility of reaching the final".

Raúl Albiol at press conference after the match against Sevilla in Spanish Cup semifinal
Raúl Albiol


Sergio Ramos was very angry with the non-sporting incidents that happened during the match: “If something was wrong at the match, it was the hit to Casillas with a bottle. I'm happy for people who have tried to stop the insults against me. Those are acts that litter the game. It is not the first time this happens, we hope will be the last”.

The White defense was very pleased with the match made by Real Madrid and the result so beneficial: "We earned a very important victory in a complicated match. We concentrated hard and controlled the game. Sevilla tried to set their own pace to the clash but we managed to make them feel uncomfortable". "We earned a good result, but the tie hasn't been decided yet. We have yet to play the return leg at the Bernabeu and we will have to watch out for Sevilla because they can complicate things for us".

About Karim Benzema: "Benzema's goal wasn't a great surprise to us because we all know he is a great player. He has great quality and we hope he continues to score goals to help the team win more games".


The veteran Portuguese defender said that Real Madrid made a big away game, which is very important in two-legged ties: "We played well and we won. That's what matters, especially away from home". "We want to play the final, but we have to wait for that. There is still one game left for us to play at our stadium. That's where we'll have to seal our pass".

About the ‘ghost goal’: "It all happened very fast and I don't actually know if the ball went in or not. If I was pressed to choose, I'd say it didn't completely go over the line".

Cup Semifinals (1st Leg): Iker Casillas reactions

The match ended in the Sánchez Pizjuán Stadium with a bottle throw to Iker Casillas who was shot after a bottle brushed his head before. The goalkeeper of Real Madrid ended up lying on the pitch, but eventually recovered.

Iker Casillas drops himself to the pithc after a bottle hit on his head

A ball boy took the bottle and ran to hide, with the complaints of the components of the bench at Real Madrid. Goalkeeper said after the match: "A vandal who is always here threw me a bottle. I think this does not detract from a splendid crowd which comes always to help Sevilla as much as possible. He was a stupid who can create a problem to the good fans" said Casillas.

"I'm not saying anything, but if the TV cameras have captured it, will be taken legal actions" said the Real Madrid player who received two shots. The first did not hit him, but the second fell on his head.

About the match, Casillas preferred to appear cautious despite victory: "The tie is not decided. It is an optimal result because we have not conceded a goal and scored one. We should not relax because Sevilla is very good and has important players" he added.

Finally, the Real Madrid captain referred to the 'ghost goal' by Luis Fabiano which was not granted by the referee at the end of the first part: "The ball almost enters, but not entered. If it has not entered, it is clear" Casillas concluded.

Cup Semifinals (1st Leg): Cristiano Ronaldo reactions


Cristiano Ronaldo before a freekick shot against Sevilla
Cristiano Ronaldo
How was the match?
We knew it would be complicated, but the team has been good and we scored a goal. Now we play at home and have a good lead, but not definitive.

Was a nice game?
There have been many fouls, long stopped. I am sure the fans did not like the match. I do not like it, was ugly. The arbitration was good.

What about the video that Sevilla made in Portuguese language?
Very good, it motivated us a lot.

Have you seen the bottles throw at Casillas?
I have not seen that. Has he been assaulted? Well I think it is wrong. It's a shame.

Is the tie was resolved with the 0-1?
We could score more than one goal, I could do it, but a 0-1 result is fine too. They should continue to face painting things because it motivates us a lot.

What about Adebayor?
I like, I think he is a very good player.

It seems more likely that the final will be Real Madrid-Barça. Do you have desire for revenge?
Certainly, it is going to be Real Madrid-Barcelona. We will win at home and go to the final. The two best teams in Spain have to be in the final. We're not going to want revenge, it will be nice.

Spanish Cup: Semifinals (1st Leg)


The match filled a video library; from the paintings of war with the stimulating effect on the eve to the launch of bottles against Casillas at the end, the fabulous play of the goal from Benzema and the most controversy action, the ‘ghost goal’ of Luis Fabiano. But the final assembly portrayed that Real Madrid was better, with more football and poise, and Sevilla drew little benefit from its warrior burning.

Cristiano, Özil, Palop and Alexis fighting for a ball
Real Madrid defeated Sevilla 0-1

Mourinho lined up Lass instead of Di Maria to level his team's chances against Sevilla's physical strength in midfield. Real Madrid kept Zokora and Romaric in check, and smothered Kanoute. Sevilla had the initiative at the start, but the Madridistas soon pulled rank and started to control the game.

And on 17 minutes appeared Benzema who knows no winter or summer. Play with the same emotion, little, in Ecuador and at the North Pole. And that frozen blood helps him in games like yesterday, in which the public really softens the mood of all but not his. His goal came out of nowhere, a single one-two with Özil in the right wing. The Frenchman raced, eliminated Alexis with a braking, and dribbled Escudé to finish with a left shot. That wonder signed with Adebayor resting at a hotel in Madrid unhooked Sevilla fans, the beginning of the end.

Sevilla started to feel the pressure of losing the match and played a hasty game. Mourinho's men showcased impeccable tactical discipline and hardly suffered in defense. The two midfielders band of Sevilla, Navas and Perotti, did not appear. The first is a world away from his best version. Arbeloa took two plays to take the measure and let him in nothing. Argentina's player never surpassed Sergio Ramos, unbeatable yesterday as lateral. Ramos felt at home. Luis Fabiano entered and left the match and Kanoute was rarely there.

Then, when Real Madrid was trying to sleep the match, during injury time, Luis Fabiano defeated Casillas and shot on target, but the ball was cleared in extremis by Albiol just on the goal-line (46'). The referee decided not to allow the strike despite Sevillas' protests. Truth be told, analyzing the shot from every angle does not help to clear if the ball went in or not.

Thanks to the ‘ghost goal’ Sevilla reminded the previous stimulus and the game had more spines and fewer solutions. They hit more than it suited them and a Real Madrid wiser used the open spaces left by the locals, especially since the entry of Di Maria and Marcelo, for lethal counterattacks through Carvalho (from a header) and Cristiano Ronaldo. The latter defeated Palop in a one-on-one, but the ball stayed behind him as he moved forward. Then, Özil was a little too confident as he tried to kick it into the goal because Alexis had enough time to clear his shot practically on the goal-line (79').

Sadly, as soon as the match ended, someone from the crowd threw a plastic bottle on the pitch and hit Casillas. The goalkeeper fell on the ground and had to be attended. Fortunately, nothing serious happened, but this should not go unpunished. It was a disgraceful end to a good match.


Stadium: Sánchez Pizjuán
Attendance: 40,000
Goals: 0-1, M.17: Benzema.


Aitor Karanka: "Sevilla is heating up the match"

Aitor Karanka at press conference
Aitor Karanka

Aitor Karanka explained why he replaced Mourinho in the news conference before the match of Sevilla. He was clear; the order is to cool the atmosphere because the white club has not liked anything the announcement by the Sevilla, where there are multiple players with war paint, and a phrase in Portuguese, dedicated to Mourinho: "The coach does not want to participate what is being said. Nobody likes to be told so many things. He does not like being punished for out to defend the club. He wants to search normalcy and club has decided I talk to you. We do not want to feed more what is arriving from Sevilla. Here, anything that says the coach serves to punish him and, if you look objectively, are objective things".

There is outrage among the coaching staff at Real Madrid: "Sevilla has warmed up the game. The TV spot with war face painting and a comment in Portuguese is to heat the meeting. The Committees will have to see if it is punishable or not, as has been done with Mourinho .We are in the semis and just want to play a game. We look forward to reach the final".

Players will also envelop coach, as recognized Karanka: "The teamplate knows the coach it has and if anything we have, is that we are all stuck in the same boat. We are supporting Mourinho. We know it will be a tough match. It is a semifinal and Sevilla have caught the measure to this competition, but we will not go to a war".

The assistant coach said that Mourinho is happy in Madrid and has fully charged batteries: "I'm with him every day and every day I see him more comfortable, wanting to win and very excited to reach Cup final. He's delighted to be here and get the targets".

About a possible ban on Valdano to keep out the dressing room, he was clear: "I cannot answer. If there is anyone who cannot ban Valdano, it is me. What we all are trying is that the relationship with the club was good and the entire club rowing in the same direction".

Believes that there are no players who are tired: "When you make a template, you think you're going to use all of them, but there have been long and untimely injuries. The lack of time to train led to seek proper training and it has been working. At no time team is feeling tired and I'm sure we'll play all the competitions until the end and whoever plays, will do well"

Preview: Sevilla vs Real Madrid (Spanish Cup)

The days before the meeting have been a war of words and today's match will be hot on the pitch. Sevilla wants to make clear that comes to the date as a favorite, both for its current status as title holder, and the fact that, despite being far from the expected level, is listed clearly on the rise since the start of the new year.

In addition the Sevilla still remembers the controversial semifinal of the 2003-04 season, when Jorge Valdano down to the referee locker room at halftime in a playoff that whites won with more difficulty.

Kaka and Raúl crestfallen after Real Madrid defeat against Sevilla in 2009-2010 season
Sevilla vs Real Madrid 2010 (2-1)

For its part, Real Madrid is not showing its best play in recent weeks. Not surprisingly, on Sunday team suffered a lot to keep their unbeaten status in the Santiago Bernabeu. It was able to overcome Mallorca only by the minimum.

Under these conditions, to leave the Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium alive, Real Madrid should try to cool the mood of Sevilla and that is only possible if the ball is in feet of the white team. Xabi Alonso has to appear to tune and move the ball from side to side. Of his performance depends a lot on target for Real Madrid tonight. The worst thing would be that team rolled out with a succession of moves in their own area. Xabi, supported by Khedira and Marcelo in the midfield and Özil ahead, has to absorb the thrust of Sevilla.

Luis Fabiano and Kanoute are going well at the air. Kanoute goes flying into the far corner and win the jumps with ease. Albiol and Carvalho must be very attentive to bother them on the jump and the second play they can generate. Besides, Casillas should be awake and courageous in the ball crossed from the band and distribute wisely when he has the ball in his hands.

Arbeloa and Ramos cannot have distractions; have to measure their movements to avoid giving the band at Capel and Navas. The two players of Sevilla manufacture goal plays from their bands for completion in the area. If Ramos loses the site without benefit runs, it would not recommend to the Real Madrid. In the other side, Navas is going to get tested Arbeloa again and again. Marcelo has to support him in the zone.

Finally, it will be a great game and a great semifinal, no doubt. Maybe we'll see some football and some rugby, but at this stage of the competition ... There is only one possibility, to win.


Emmanuel Adebayor is the Real Madrid's '9'

Few players of 26 years may have a sports and vital file so studded such as Emmanuel Adebayor (Lomé, Togo, 26 February 1984). With 17 years he played in the Metz and in January last year, announced the end of his international playing career. It occurred after save his life during an armed attack to the bus of the Togo national team. A miracle. They played an African Cup match in Angola.

"We were just players who wanted to play a game" said Adebayor. Possibly, the same reason that leads him to leave Manchester City to play for Real Madrid. In the City he played very little.

Emmanuel Adebayor in Manchester City jersey

The 'Citizens' have not enjoyed the Adebayor that was a star of European football in the teamplate of Arsenal. Manchester City paid 30 million euros in 2009 for a player who two seasons earlier, scored 30 goals in the shirt of the Gunners. In the Emirates, under the tutelage of Arsene Wenger and joined by talented players like Cesc, Van Persie and Walcott, became proof of the clinical eye of his mentor, who pulled him out of Monaco –he was part of his staff when French team played the Champions League final against Mourinho's Porto- by just 3.5 million euros.

In London, Adebayor not only left samples of their quality. Also began to glimpse a volcanic nature that Arsenal always put in the background, after his goals (46 in 104 games). Mourinho knows him because he lived in first person a Carling Cup final in which 'Manu' was sent off for attacking Frank Lampard. The Portuguese coach was not in Chelsea when Adebayor hit his partner Bendtner in a match against Tottenham (Carling - January 2008), nor when he was sent off for getting involved with Alvaro Arbeloa (2008-09). Neither in his latest trouble, again with a partner, Kolo Toure, a few weeks ago.

His quality always redeemed him. Therefore, at the end of that season 08-09, Barcelona was interested in him. Spanish team could not compete with petrodollars from the City in which he arrived as a great star before a transfer 10 times more than his purchase by the Arsenal. In his first game against his former team, he was accused of kicking Van Persie’s face, and Adebayor, who left London angry, ran through the field to celebrate a goal against the noses of his former supporters.

His numbers were good until the incident of the African Nations Cup. After that, he took his time before returning to England. Carlos Tevez took the striker position to become the leader of the 'Citizens' and the checkbook of Sheikh Al Mansour did the rest: in summer Balotelli arrived at Manchester City; a few days ago Dzeko (30 million head).

Adebayor is young, but he knows when it's time to go. Real Madrid is a great opportunity to become, first and foremost a footballer.

The official Announcement: "Real Madrid C. F. and Manchester City FC have reached a deal that will see Emmanuel Adebayor play on loan for the former club. The player will remain at Real Madrid until the end of the current season, at which point the Club hold a unilateral option to purchase the player" (realmadrid.com)

Real Madrid could sign Kun Aguero this summer

According to information published in a relevant sports radio program in Spain, Real Madrid would be willing to pay the contract buyout clause of the Argentine player who plays for Atletico, next June. The white club will pay 45 million euros as is stipulated in the player's contract after the recent renovation with Atletico Madrid. 

Kun Agüero in Atletico jersey running for a ball
Kun Aguero

The Argentine player would be willing to leave the team following a poor season and because of the probable sale of Diego Forlan in the summer. The absence of a competitive and consolidated project can help to the out of the red-white star as happened with Fernando Torres.

Atletico was forced to reduce the contract buyout a few months ago to sell the player without damaging the image of club’s managers. It would show as a purchase of other equipment and not as a sale of Atletico. The fact is that, as Atletico’s president (Enrique Cerezo) said: "If we sell to Kun Aguero, fans will burn us the stadium".

On other hand, the program indicated that if the club chaired by Florentino Perez manages to sell the Frenchman Karim Benzema, also will pay Fernando Llorente’s buyout clause, the international Bilbao’s striker.

We must wait for summer to confirm the report. Or not?

The other match. Mourinho vs Valdano

Mou does not want the presence of Valdano neither in locker rooms nor in Valdebebas. 

Mourinho and Valdano talking about a training
Mourinho and Valdano

Mourinho continues to put pressure on relations with Jorge Valdano. On Sunday, he threw a dart at Valdano saying: "I just reported to Florentino Perez and Jose Angel Sanchez" He has now gone further. Apparently he has prohibited that Jorge Valdano goes down to the locker room before and after games. It was a Valdano’s practice since being in the club. On Sunday some player saw him in the hallways, but not in the locker room.

Mourinho neither wants Valdano goes to Valdebebas training. The general director was just going to the Sports City at the start of the season and at peak times, but now the Portuguese has forbidden it. Pardeza, the manager, is moving to Valdebebas to know how the template is.

On this occasion Florentino Perez has a problem. Mourinho has told his players that if he stays in June, Valdano is the one that would leave the club. If Valdano does not leave, he will not stay in any case. It is a full-fledged defiance that Mourinho has thrown to the president and the president will have to resolve upon termination of the official competition.

Florentino supported the figure of the general director on 20 December: "Valdano represents the club's image as best as possible" That was not enough; the tension has increased and is a front to solve. Valdano said Wednesday that he had "zero problems with Mourinh". The Portuguese does not feel the same


League (Day 20): Mourinho reactions

Mourinho wanted to assess the match of Real Madrid in accordance with Mallorca. White coach emphasized the tactical command of the opposing team and noted the longer it took to prepare the meeting: "We earned an important and difficult victory against a well prepared opponent. Mallorca played with an intensity we couldn't have due to our exhaustion. They had all week to prepare for the match and could rest. You cannot compare the preparation both sides had. Mallorca also happens to be a good team with a good coach, and they are also organized. The important thing is we are currently in the Champions League Last 16, in second place in League, and in the Spanish Cup semifinals".

Mourinho thinking about his team at press conference
Jose Mourinho

Asked by the fatigue of the team he said: "Derbies against Atletico Madrid aren't friendlies and they are not easy to play, so my men feel physically and emotionally tired. The opponent's quality and the fact that we faced them in a Spanish Cup quarterfinal means both legs were difficult encounters. Nobody wanted to lose. Playing two derbies in one week took its toll on us".

And he justified his tactical decision and substitutions in the starting lineup of the meeting, according to the crucial match in Sevilla on Wednesday. "I decided to use a different lineup because we will play a very important game on Wednesday. I cannot replace all men and I know there are consequences to making changes on my starting lineup".

"My decisions were risky, but I allowed the midfielders who will play in Sevilla to rest tonight. Khedira is injured, but he will play on Wednesday. At least, I will have managed to have a physically fitter midfield on Wednesday. I wanted to avoid being in a difficult situation by half-time against Mallorca. The 0-0 score was good because we knew we were going to make changes to the lineup in the second half. The double substitution helped the team make an immediate improvement".

On the fans' support coach: "If the fans support the team it means they support its coach, because I am the team. I don't like, and I don't need, the support of individuals. I am grateful for it, but I don't need it. I need the fans to be with the team, and they are. I cannot expect them to be incredibly happy tonight, but it is very complicated to play nine games in January at a very high level. The team still has its limitations, but it continues to win, which is what really matters".

League (Day 20): Players reactions


Sergio Ramos excited after victory against Mallorca
Sergio Ramos
Sergio Ramos highlighted the importance of the three points earned against Real Mallorca over bad game shown: "We didn't play our best football, but we took three vital points at home, where we cannot afford to fail. The lineup changed tonight, but the coach knows his men and when to use a rotation system. It's been a long time since we last reached the Spanish Cup semifinals and we will try to reach the final".

Sergio Ramos showed his joy that the author of the winning goal against Real Mallorca is marked by the Frenchman Karim Benzema and said he needs the support of peers: "I am glad for Benzema. He needs our support. We hope that the goal will motivate him to continue to grow as a footballer, because I think he has a tremendous illusion". 


Iker Casillas recognizes Mallorca put white team in difficulties: "It's a good team and we all know that at the Bernabeu they coming to complicate us but I think we moved the ball well but we had some layoffs".

"I believe we've been doing well in January so far, save for our draw against Almeria. We've given excellent home performances, such as in our match against Villarreal, and away, like in our clash in Getafe. We have to play many games this month and it isn't easy to withstand having to perform every Wednesday and Sunday. Our opponents at the Bernabeu give 150%, but it's something we have to get used to. We try to do our best in every game".

"This is a new team, with a new coach and a very young squad; and it's been subjected to the highest demands from the very start. We have to be at the top, fighting to win three titles. I believe we are doing an excellent job in the Champions League and in the Copa, and playing rather well in La Liga".

"We look to protect Karim. He will make all the front pages and news reports tomorrow. We all appreciate him because he is a noble person who wouldn't even hurt a fly. We should all just talk about football. Benzema is another player on the squad and he scored a lovely goal tonight. It will do him a world of good. He should be left alone to do his job. A lot has been asked of him since he arrived. He is very young and has to take things slowly".

The match against Sevilla promises to be hard: "Our match against Sevilla will be difficult. Their fans are very supportive and put a lot of pressure on opponents. Sevilla are a very good team, but they aren't doing as well as people thought they would in La Liga. The semifinals will be very exciting. We have to try to score a goal in Sevilla".


Marcelo concentrated during a match
Marcelo thinks the match against Mallorca is part of the past. The left defense is fully focused on Wednesday's semifinal against Sevilla: "We didn't play at a great level, but the most important thing is we took three points. Our match in Sevilla will also be difficult and we must now rest and concentrate on it. We will have to regard that game as a final in order to earn a good result".

About Karim Benzema: "We have a lot of faith in Benzema and we are very happy with his goal, which allowed us to win." 


"What we all want is to win games. We didn't play well tonight, but we won, which is what matters. We all concentrate hard to win our games. No Real Madrid player feels tired and I also think Mourinho is in good form. We must respect Sevilla on Wednesday. We will have to play at our usual level to win and reach the final".

"I am very happy for Benzema. His goal was important because it made him happy and gave us three points".

Spanish League: Day 20


Real Madrid goes low on gasoline. The rotations do not work and Mourinho acknowledges that the team is physically demanding hard hit after January: "We note the emotional and physical fatigue and the Cup competition in which we come later"

Cristiano Ronaldo, Di Maria, Özil, Xabi Alonso, Marcelo, Sergio Ramos, Carvalho,Casillas ... The list of untouchables for Mou is so broad that there is little rest for the eight players who do not rotate. And when the Portuguese coach gives the alternative players like Kaka, Granero and Gago, the experiment is short as happened against Mallorca at the Bernabeu.

"I decided to change some players because we will play a big game on Wednesday in Sevilla and I know I cannot make eleven changes because the team is suffering" said Mourinho.

The coach used a rotation system, leaving Xabi Alonso and Ozil on the bench in favour of Gago, Kaka and Granero due to the exhaustion the Spanish Cup is inflicting on the team. The starting lineup logically suffered from the changes and didn't look comfortable on the pitch. Mallorca didn't experience much of a threat and even dared to venture in attack on occasion: Nsue hit one of the posts on the 13-minute mark. Real Madrid kept possession throughout most of the first half, but had no chances on goal.

Ozil and Alonso came on for Gago and Kaka in the second half and the team changed its attitude immediately. Ozil added his speed and vision to the team's game, while Alonso helped it keep possession longer and make faster counterattacks. Nevertheless, minutes still went by without any goals scored and the crowd started to seem nervous.

That's when Benzema pulled rank. He controlled the ball outside the box, stepped inside and, following a quick move to take aim, scored the winner (60'). As soon as this happened, Mourinho made Lass come on for Granero. Mallorca kept trying to score, leaving open spaces the Whites could easily use to counterattack.

Benzema and Cristiano celebrate the goal of the Frenchman
Benzema scored the goal of the match

Cristiano Ronaldo nearly netted a second strike from a free-kick, but his shot was just off target. The Portuguese forward had a chance minutes later from a header, but he sent the ball to the crossbar. Webo and Nsue kept trying to score an equaliser for the visitors, and Benzema nearly scored again, but his shot was saved by keeper Aouate. Iker Casillas was also forced to make a decisive save to clear a shot by Webo just before the end.

Tirelessly and without changes, the performance of Real Madrid has been decreasing in recent games. The draw in Almeria and the victories by the minimum in the Cup derby and against Mallorca have denoted the Real Madrid's physical slump. Team has lost freshness.

And there is still the worst. First, the battle of Pizjuán on Wednesday, then another even tougher into enemy territory, the "Reyno de Navarra". Mourinho pressed to his men: the first final of the season and stay alive in the league are at stake. Almost nothing.


Stadium: Santiago Bernabeu
Attendance: 75,000
Goals: 1-0, m.61: Benzema.


Preview: Real Madrid vs Mallorca

From now on, every game is related to the previous one and is connected to the next. While the hangover of the derby still not turned off , Real Madrid receives Mallorca which has spent the week preparing for the meeting. And the appointment to the host comes four days before the Cup semi-final in Sevilla, nothing less. Effort that will add to the above and that will connect with those who are to come, more terrible. To put it bluntly: if Madrid is not metered, will burst.

Cristiano Ronaldo faces two Mallorca defenders

Under these conditions, the alignment of today will be very significant as it will reveal the coach's thinking about it. In beginning, anything suggests more fundamental changes that next; Benzema is expected to return to the eleven (now or ever), Gago will relieve the injured Khedira and the defense will reset by the return of Marcelo to the side. Just that. Di Maria and Özil, to quote the most exhausted and the most fragile (and poet) will continue to add minutes and efforts. No objection, except fear. If Mourinho does not move the bench against Real Mallorca at the Bernabeu, it is impossible to imagine that he will do it.

The position of the visitor became known at Laudrup press conference. To punctuate spaces should be reduced to the Madrid attackers, Mallorca should pressure Xabi Alonso and do all that for 90 minutes. And besides, playing without complexes. It is a complicated task for an expedition with nine players who have never set foot in the Bernabeu.

There will be recalled that Mallorca, three points of difference European places, is presented after being thrashed by Atletico (3-0). But the data could lead to false conclusions. In the first round, the team tied 0-0 with the Real Madrid and 1-1 in the Camp Nou which shows what rivals inspire Laudrup

Without De Guzman (suspended) and Marti (injured) Tejera and Brazilian Joao Victor will take command of Mallorca. The latter was recommended by Rivaldo to Serra Ferrer (Mallorca Geneal Manager) like Ratinho, starter by the absence of Cendrós.

One thing is certain: today there will be enthusiasm, talent and a few pairs of tired legs.
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