Real Madrid vs Real Sociedad: Player's List

Jose Mourinho has provided today the list of players summoned to the league match which will face tomorrow Real Madrid vs Real Sociedad at the Bernabeu. Pepe is not named although he has trained at the same rate as the group has not overcome his discomfort. Sergio Ramos is not included because he complies penalty nor Pedro León by technical decision.

Sergio Canales is returning to the list. Also, Sami Khedira seems to have recovered from the knee injury he suffered in the match against Sevilla and has been cited by the Portuguese coach.

So, the squad is: Casillas, Carvalho, Gago, Adebayor, Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaka, Benzema, Lass, Granero, Marcelo, Adán, Xabi Alonso, Canales, Arbeloa, Albiol, Garay, Di Maria, Özil, Khedira and Mejías.

Players training in Valdebebas sports city
Real Madrid training


The other match (2). Mourinho vs Valdano

Mourinho gave an interview a few days ago to the newspaper O Jogo in which he analyzes his stay at Real Madrid, both sporting and institutional. About the club, the Portuguese said: "Real Madrid is not structured for the scale it has. It suffers functional deficits of empathy. In a club all must work for the same purpose. When I speak of empathy I do not mean the meaning of the word, but another kind of empathy, a functional has to exist for the success of a large company, a great club". In this line, added: "In football, I've always won my battles against the foreign enemy. I do not know if I can win the others".

Mourinho in a restaurant answering to a journalist
Jose Mourinho

Asked directly about his relationship with Valdano, Mourinho was specific: "I have no hidden war with anyone. What I have to say, I say. The others? You would have to ask them".

O Jogo was also interested in the label of "provocative" that some have laid him. Real coach replied gravely: "I am not provocative, is the world that is hypocritical. I'm sad to see people who are unable to be true and choose to hide behind political correctness".

Another issue was the status of team sports and their struggle with Barcelona. Mourinho praised red-blue team: "Barcelona plays hard, but Madrid also. They play better because they have seven points and they thrashed 5-0 Real Madrid. But our team has a good season. We compete against a finished product of many years of work with the same idea". In addition, the Portuguese refused dependence on Cristiano Ronaldo: "Last year, Higuain and he scored the same goals, but now is not Higuain. It is not anyone's fault".

On the other hand, Jorge Valdano tries to cool tempers and after the signing of a striker it looks like he will move away from team sports environment. After the last match against Sevilla answered to journalists.

Valdano in a hall of Santiago Bernabeu Stadium
Jorge Valdano

Finally Mourinho has the striker wanted and Adebayor starts scoring goal...
"All the club has a striker, not just Mourinho. It was a target since we knew the diagnosis of Higuain. We took a bit, but finally comes a player who likes to the coach".

How is your relationship with Mourinho after the coach has said in recent days about you?
"In my responsibility is important not to create more tension than there is in these moments. It's something I do for the job. And then see how the coach is comfortable. He talks about how he talks easier with Florentino and I feel natural and we accept it. We need to create working conditions and autonomy for him because he has a great desire for autonomy and independence and the club is willing to give it. The enemies are the enemies, and sometimes very fierce like Sevilla, and that is where we have to focus energies".

Will you take a step aside to solve your differences?
We have to take a step back and make him feel more comfortable and we will give him that comfort. It's about everyone working freely. We have to create those conditions for the team. The Real Madrid does not want a situation which causes discomfort to the social mass.

Pepe gets tired of waiting and assumes he will not renew

Mourinho has grown tired of repeating that: "Real Madrid needs to Pepe and Pepe needs at Real Madrid". However, the Portuguese coach's words seem to have fallen on deaf ears. According to Spanish newspapers, Madrid will not renew the contract of Pepe. The club does not accept his wage demands and he assumes he will leave Madrid in 2012, unless the club has a good deal next summer and decides to sell.

Pepe at the airport with a travel bag on his shoulder

After a year of talks, the renewal of Pepe has reached an impasse in which none of the parties is willing to reach an agreement. The club offered the defense, who currently is one of the players with the lowest salary of teamplate (1.8 million), raising his salary to 3.5 million. Pepe does not understand that the club does not assess that he accepted a low salary by how expensive the transfer (30 million) and earns less than other players of lower rank.

Before this offer, the player made a first counteroffer of 5 million euros which was quickly rejected by Real Madrid. A few weeks ago Jorge Mendes, Pepe's agent, reported that the defense lowered his claims to 4 million euros per season. In the latter approach by the player the difference between Madrid and what he wanted was only half a million euros. However, the club refused to increase its initial proposal. Thus, Portuguese defense assumes he will leave the team, although Mourinho continues to press: "With Pepe team played better".


Cup Semifinals (2nd Leg): Casillas and Adebayor reactions


Iker casillas attending press conference after Sevilla match
Iker Casillas

Iker Casillas has recognized the special joy of reaching the Cup final because RealMadrid has made a historic debt to the competition: "Real Madrid cannot afford to be 17 years without winning the Spanish Cup. We now it's going to be tough but we're there".

The goalkeeper recognizes that the month of January has been tough but does not believe the team is feeling the fatigue: "Has been a month complicated but I hope that when we play the Cup final we also stay alive in other competitions. We had a road more difficult, with Atletico and Sevilla, the two teams that played the last final. In League we've had tough games both in and outside the Bernabeu. But we have good numbers and we are in the final of Spanish Cup. The punishment was not to get the three points of Pamplona which were fundamental".

Real Madrid captain has also insisted that the team does not throw the league despite the seven-point gap separating them from Barcelona: "We do not give up because we have been educated in this way by those who have worn this shirt. Seven points are a good head for Barcelona but not definitive. Now we are going to fight in League and Champions. The next target is the Real Sociedad, three points on Sunday".


Adebayor in press conference after score his first goal with Real Madrid
Emmanuel Adebayor

"It was a very special match for me. It's a dream come true to play in the team of my dreams with all our fans at the Santiago Bernabeu. Also I was able to score a goal. I am very happy".

"I am here to play all that I am supposed to play. I will try to play the best I can, whether it's 15 or 20 minutes. I get to play with great footballers like Ronaldo, Kaka, Ozil, Khedira... I think Benzema played great. He had several chances. He didn't score, but that's football. He is a great player and he will score many goals to get the team targets".

"There are two competitions very important to us. There is still a lot of time before the final, so we must now focus on the League and the European Cup. We will be facing Barcelona, one of the best teams in the world. It will be a tough final, but we will have our chances".

Cup Semifinals (2nd Leg): Mourinho reactions

With calm tone, José Mourinho analyzed away from the controversy this time, Real Madrid win over Sevilla: "It took us a lot to get to this final, and because of the difficulty of our path to reach it, I truly believe we deserve it. We played nine straight matches in January and we played well in all of them. Now we should forget a Cup that has hurt us, because it has taken us reaching the last game. We deserve it because the way we had. In two weeks we had to play two games against Sevilla and two against Atletico".

Mourinho during the match against Sevilla in Spanish Cup Semifinal
Jose Mourinho

"We didn't want to speculate with the outcome and we tried to score from the very first minute. We tried and tried but weren't able to score. Sevilla had to play riskier football in the second half and we managed to score. The goal provided some much needed relief. I am very happy with the way the team has grown. They have managed these ties well and overcome a lot of difficulties. Although they took their toll, I think we have gained some very valuable experience".

"We have taken this competition very seriously since the first match because we want to return this club to a prestigious place in it. The players played very hard to get here. We can't wait to play and win the final. There are no favorites in finals. History says so. Many times the least likely team is the one who walks away with the title".

About the lack of relay to the starter players he said: "It's a lot easier to be a reporter than a coach. A coach is asked to rotate his players, but if they don't work then he takes the blame. If he doesn't, the team gets tired and it's also his fault. It's a lot easier to comment than it is to say. I cannot expect young or injured players to be on the top of their game with a simple "click." I also have players who I simply have a lot of trouble resting because of how important they are to me and the team".

"Adebayor saw his dream come true. He scored the first ball he touched at home, and it wasn't easy. It's good for him and his confidence. It's fantastic for the confidence of any footballer who scores in his first match in the Bernabeu".

"Benzema played a great match. He moved well, he lost his markers, he passed well... Cristiano, once again, worked for the team. He is the player he is. He didn't score, but he worked hard for his teammates and he will be right there again come Sunday. We have two very good forwards, and we hope that we get Higuain back for the end of the season. We also want Morata here starting on day one next season. He is doing what he needs to be doing with Castilla".

Mourinho complained about the date of the final, 20 April: "It's a strange time, because if Barcelona and Real are in Champions, will be busy when others European teams will think only in the quarterfinals of the Champions. But it is better to be in the Cup final than not to be".

And he ended valuing Pandiani attack against Cristiano Ronaldo: "He had his minutes of fame and should pay for that advertising. He's smart and has not done, but is expensive. Cristiano knows what happened to him and should continue".


Spanish Cup: Semifinals (2nd Leg)


Mourinho arrived at Real Madrid seven months ago to put the team back where it belongs. Tonight, he led his men to victory and placed the team in the Copa del Rey final, where it will face eternal foe Barcelona.

Adebayor and Ozil togheter in the pitch after the second goal against Sevilla
Adebayor and Özil celebrate second goal 

Real Madrid has come to a Cup final seven years later, but the title is still looking away. By rival waiting in the final by the distrust generated by team, so hungry for titles like football. Latest Mourinho team appearances have raised doubts, as well as the game now also has not been the air, that imposing physique that helped him topple rivals not so long ago. Team is depleted and to manage in this situation will require all the talent to be able to offer his coach and the players. The 2-0 did not reflect the true distance that existed between the Real Madrid and Sevilla which did not deserve much punishment at the Bernabeu. But because the goals do not deserve, become, it might say that Madrid won to be in the final. Özil and Adebayor Invited this time.

Real Madrid also has something good; does not need to play well to win or to qualify, as in this case. It was expected Sevilla would take risks to come back from the 1-0 score from the first leg, but they didn't. Manzano's men waited for Real Madrid in defence, hoping to surprise them with counterattacks. At the Bernabeu Sevilla was better, a team that left the tournament with astrange feeling, the impression it could have done more and the doubt about Negredo's goal (min.11) disallowed for an offside more than questionable. Beat Casillas after an excellent pass from Zokora.

Mourinho's boys looked to score from the very start and had a clear chance through Benzema on the 4-minute mark, but the Frenchman's shot (following a Di Maria attempt that hit one of the posts) was off target. Cristiano Ronaldo desperately tried to net a strike, but Javi Varas cleared his shot in the 33rd minute.

The second half was consumed in the usual calm nervous at the Bernabeu. Real Madrid dominated the bout and Sevilla was controlling the match, which continued pouring in fault Navas and Cáceres the only two pieces out of place in the table. That was until the last 20 minutes when Manzano took his team to step forward and gave the space that had refused to Madrid. The visiting goalkeeper had to use his feet to clear a shot from Di Maria on the 68-minute mark. Several minutes later, Khedira served a sensational pass to Ozil, who controlled the ball, entered the box, dribbled past Varas and gently placed the ball inside the goal (81').

Adebayor sealed the match with a fantastic strike on his Bernabeu debut. The Togolese player took the pitch in the final minutes of the game and scored, the 5000 goal of Madrid at home, in injury time by finishinjg off a great cross from Lass. Real Madrid and all Madridismo now prepare to face Barcelona in the 20 April final.


Stadium: Santiago Bernabeu
Attendance: 63,000
Goals: 1-0, m.81: Özil. 2-0, m.92: Adebayor.


Preview: Real Madrid vs Sevilla

Three months since kicking off their Spanish Cup run, Real Madrid are only one step away from the coveted final. There is no margin for error for either side during the ninety minutes that remain.

Real Madrid and Sevilla shields

Despite their lackluster 0-0 draw against Real Murcia to open the competition, it was evident the Whites wanted this competition… And badly. The same can be said for Jose Mourinho. “I won the Cup in Portugal, England and Italy and now I want to win it in Spain” declared the Madridista boss.

Over the last few months, Real Madrid have left Murcia, Levante and Atletico by the wayside and they are close to doing the same with Sevilla. Heading into Wednesday’s match with a 0-1 advantage produced at the Sanchez Pizjuan, things bode well for Real, who have always gone on to win Copa ties after leading the first leg by said score line.

With Marcelo fully recovered from the flu, Mourinho will have every healthy player available to play. Only Pepe and Higuain remain injured and out of action. Jose Mourinho left out of the squad for the Cup match against Sevilla, Fernando Gago and Pedro León for fighting after a workout. It happened during the training session on Monday.

The current Cup champions are forced to play until the last gasp. They understand how difficult it will be to turn around a 0-1 deficit, especially in a stadium that hasn’t allowed any team to leave with points in tow all season.

Gregorio Manzano has brought his entire squad to the Spanish capital, including newcomers Medel and Rakitic. Only the injured Guarente, Dragoutinovic and Kone remained behind, while Palop must watch from the stands while serving a one-match suspension.

Mou: "Real Madrid is not used to play every three days"

"It's been years since Real Madrid played their last Spanish Cup final and we are just one game away from reaching this season's. It will be very difficult because our score in the first leg leaves the knockout stage rather open. My men looked very excited about reaching the final after our match in Sevilla. We will get there if we win or draw tomorrow. I expect the Bernabeu crowd to express its wish to reach the final and to help the team achieve this wish. It will be difficult because, as I said, the score is now very open. The team needs the support of its fans and I expect the Bernabeu crowd to help it reach the final".

Mourinho left the press conference of the match against Sevilla
José Mourinho

"We've played nine games in one month, which is difficult for players who aren't used to this. This team has been eliminated from the Spanish Cup in the first or second rounds in previous years, and it's left the Champions League in the Last 16 in the previous six or seven campaigns. These players are only used to playing in La Liga".

"My men have to get used to this. I expect them to do better next year and even better the following season. Our goal is to fight to the end to win every competition. The problem of playing a game every two days is not of a physical nature, but rather psychological. It is a bit hard. These players are men. A man is a creature of habit, and a player is a man. Therefore, a player is a creature of habit".

"We've been playing at a high level for a period of time and we are currently finding it harder to do so".

"I don't like to talk about men who aren't playing at the moment, but I have to say the team performs at a higher level with Pepe. He isn't afraid of leaving open spaces behind him. He pressurises more, makes more steals and recovers the ball better in attack. I am very satisfied with my defenders, but Pepe's skills allow him to change the team's style".

"We are scoring fewer goals right now, but this is absolutely normal. We face teams that don't play mid-week games and who only prepare to face us".

"Cristiano Ronaldo is an essential player to us. I will be the last person to mention to him he hasn't scored a goal provided he gives his all for the team. Cristiano is having a fantastic season and he will score again, but I don't know if he will do so on Sunday or next week".



Pepe thinks about Chelsea

Chelsea will make a summer offer for Real Madrid defender Pepe. Chelsea is aware of the 27-year-old’s current situation, and if Pepe has not renewed before the end of the season, the English Premier League club will try to recruit him.

Pepe is immersed in the process of renewal, but the efforts do not end up to get a good deal. The contract ends in 2012 and he initially had planned to fulfill his contract with Real Madrid. By knowing the interest of Chelsea to have his services for next season, the defense has decided to study the proposal.

The English club managed yesterday the signing of David Luiz from Benfica for 35 million euros. But for the next season, Roman Abramovich, owner of Chelsea, also wants to gain the services of Pepe.

Pepe was related to Barcelona few months ago, the main rival of the white team, although it seems like a strategy for the Portuguese player's managers. The defense player moved to the capital of Spain for a fee of €30m from Porto in 2007.

Pepe is training in Valdebebas Sports City

Fatigue decreases the success of Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo accumulates 338 minutes without managing to score a goal. The latter was achieved in Spanish Cup against Atletico on 20 January. In League he did not score since Jananuary 9, with his hat-trick against Villarreal. These figures are not usual in the crack of Madeira.

Cristiano Ronaldo fatigued during a match
Cristiano Ronaldo

This month has seven goals, five of them got in the first two games of the year with Getafe and Villarreal. The other two goals were scored to Atletico in Spanish Cup. In summary, he has played without scoring in four (Almeria, Mallorca, Sevilla, Copa,and Osasuna) of the eight January games.

The problem is that Cristiano began to feel the tiredness in your legs and so his lack of success in the second half of last month. Seven is the Real Madrid player who has played more minutes in an underutilized teamplate. In total 2,886 this season, surpassing even Casillas (2880). The second field player with more minutes, Marcelo (2553) has participated 333 minutes less than the Portuguese.

Mourinho has full confidence in him and there are no circumstances or results that make go out his star of the starting team. Cristiano has played 30 complete games and has started 32 of the 34 games Real Madrid has played. Only he did not play in the second leg of Cup against Levante (2-0). The other game that he was not starting, against Murcia. The Portuguese played the entire second half although the team was winning 2-0 at the break.

Of the 32 games he played as a starter, Mourinho only relieved him from two games; in the first leg of the Cup against Murcia on 69 minutes and against Auxerre in the Champions League, on 72 minutes. A total of 3,060 official minutes played with Real Madrid. Cristiano has lost only 174, has been on the pitch for 94% of minutes available.

On goals, is the third worst run without scoring since joining Madrid. The worse was the beginning of this year where he accumulated 388 minutes without managing to score.The second was in the 09-10 season, when he did not score in 345 minutes.

Now, his contribution to the game has not decreased; in the last three league matches has not dropped his average shots (7.5 per game), but fatigue has hindered his success.Cristiano still remains the top scorer in the league with 22 goals, one more than Messi, and leads the Golden Boot. In the month of February, with less games, the Portuguese can rest and recharge his batteries for return to his best level. Real Madrid will need him to break the evil spell of Champions.


League (Day 21): Mourinho reactions

Mourinho finishes the press conference of the match against Osasuna
José Mourinho

"We lost three points that we didn't deserve to lose, but based on the way the opponent played, they also deserved a positive outcome. The referee did a great job. My players couldn't have played out of this world based on the conditions".

"We didn't concede goals against Atletico, Sevilla or Mallorca. The team is playing well. One goal isn't reason to get dramatic, but we usually need to score. We had our chances. Benzema, Cristiano... But we didn't take care of business. Give credit to the opponent as well. I would rather lose like this. The opponent worked very hard for this outcome; my team did not give the match away".

"This is our second defeat in La Liga and we are in a very difficult situation with respect to the first place team. I don't like to lose when you give the match away by not playing, not fighting or not being committed or focused. That is not the case. Tonight the other team played its heart out and had a week to prepare for the match. They played to the brink. Tomorrow is a new day. There will be another match and we will be there".

"Osasuna are a tough team and the crowd was fantastic. I don't think many teams win here. It's a small venue where you really feel the heat, and Osasuna is a defensive team that also plays well in attack. We had scoring chances, but we didn't finish. It is always a lot harder on small fields like this and when the opponent scores first. Congratulations to Osasuna".

"In Spain it is quite common to see balls disappear or two to be thrown onto the pitch so that the referee must stop the game. The fans new things were tough from a psychological standpoint, but I am not mad. My players did everything they could until the end, which is why I am not concerned. I have nothing negative to say about my team".

League (Day 21): Casillas reactions

The captain and Real Madrid goalkeeper, Iker Casillas, admitted that after the defeat against Osasuna (1-0) in the "Reyno de Navarra" which makes the whites seven points behind Barcelona, is a "setback" but remains confident his peers.

Casillas shot the ball during Osasuna-Madrid match
Iker Casillas 

"It's an important difference, but salvageable. It is clear that we have taken a step backwards, but that does not mean all is lost. We will keep working, trying to get the games ahead, and waiting for a lost of Barcelona that allows us to approach" said the Real Madrid goalkeeper.

So, after the defeat he thinks in the comeback plan: "We will keep working and trying to win games so that the difference in the standings with Barcelona was reduced" said the Real Madrid captain.

Regarding the game against Osasuna, Iker Casillas explained how he saw the match: "We have come to the rival goal frequently and had several clear chances. But sometimes the ball does not want to go in and whatever you do, does not do it".

Spanish League: Day 21


Real Madrid were unable to bring January to a close with a win. A single goal by Camuñas on 62’ handed the Whites their second defeat on the season, but there is no time to lament as the team is one step away from its first "Copa del Rey" final in seven years. The Bernabeu welcomes Sevilla on Wednesday.

Adebayor disappointment after the defeat in Pamplona

Osasuna took to the pitch in high gear and never gave Real Madrid any breathing room. With a tremendous physical effort, the "Reds" kept Real off-balance and uncomfortable. Pandiani nearly scored the first goal of the night but his header sailed over Casillas’ crossbar. Real’s best chance came on 34’, but Benzema’s shot was cleared by Ricardo. Osasuna took their foot off the gas as the first half wound down and the Whites managed to combine and create chances. Cristiano could have given Real the lead on 41’ but the keeper made another outstanding save.

Not much changed after the restart with Osasuna pouring on the pressure on the final third of the pitch. Spurred on by the home crowd, the hosts grew more confident and saw their effort rewarded on 62’. Aranda found Camuñas between two Madridista defenders and the Madrid native beat Casillas with a shot off the post. Real Madrid had over half an hour to respond and turn things around.

Mourinho made a triple change with Kaka, Xabi Alonso and Adebayor coming off the bench in search of much needed offense. Real Madrid controlled possession of the ball and created plenty of chances, but none found the back of the net. Benzema came close to equalizing on 73’ but his header was off target. Adebayor also had a try but Ricardo had little trouble trapping the header. Minutes ticked off, the equalizer was nowhere to be found and Osasuna held on for the 1-0 win.

It's dramatic that a simple catarrh of Xabi Alonso leave the team lost for an hour. The first pass of the transition and the long play that expands and stretches the field for Real Madrid is out of reach to Khedira and Lass. Half an hour was not enough to avoid catastrophe, but the team was another, larger and more dominant with him. Real need to photocopy him in the summer market.

Madrid takes refuge in arithmetic. But it is difficult a second edition of that glorious Capello comeback. In the privacy team does not find where the Barcelona will lost eight points. The body does not give background for this race and seems tha team is passing to the short sprints with the appearance of consolation: Champions and Spanish Cup.


Stadium: Reyno de Navarra
Attendance: 17,131
Goals: 1-0. Min 62, Camuñas.
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