Mourinho: "The match against Levante is the most important"

Jose Mourinho at press conference

The team is on a dynamic upward ...
"I'm happy. We've had difficult games and I believe the team is returning to top form. I rather liked our performance against Espanyol because my men showcased disciplined and played to the limit of their strength. That's what I'm interested in at this stage in which everything is at stake for us."

If you do not lose the match against Levante, you will be nine years without a fall at home. The last time was in Beira Mar in 2002. How do you remember that day and how did you get that record?
"I don't do anything to keep my undefeated home record. If we happen to be drawing the game with 15 minutes to go tomorrow, I will not try to keep that result in order to keep my record. I want to win the match. I don't want to think about records. It means nothing to me next to the points we can take at home because these may produce titles. That's what matters."

What is your opinion about Olympique Lyonnais?
"We'll talk about the match against Olympique Lyonnais when the time comes. I will make two changes to my lineup tomorrow, but they won't be very important. The main structure and quality of the team will remain. Albiol will take Pepe's place, but this isn't new. I'm just trying to protect a player who hasn't played for a month. I will use Sergio, Albiol, Carvalho and Marcelo in defence. I'm making changes without really changing anything at all. Cristiano Ronaldo will also play. I don't think it's necessary for him to rest because he's strong and very important to us. I will give him time off when I think he should rest."

There are one hundred days of the season. Are the most important of your career?
"I regard the match against Levante as the most important in my career simply because it is the next one. These next few days are always the most important in every season because everything's at stake. My career has been too long, so it isn't right to say the next few months will be the most important in it."

"Levante are a dangerous team. We've faced them three times this season and they've only lost against us once. They are having a good run and they recently defeated Villarreal. They are out of the relegation zone, they are dangerous and they are having a happy streak. Caicedo is a threat. He, Stuani and Jorda are dangerous on goal. They shoot well and they're also good at heading the ball in."

After the setbacks of Barcelona, do you think can cut five points before the "Classic"?
"Are normal setbacks. Draw a game away is usual. Also losing in the Champions League. I am not elated to think that starting a losing streak of Barcelona."

Do you prefer to play before Barcelona to press?
"I do not care because what I want, Spanish League does not give it to me. It's good for Barcelona because it will have an extra day to rest. I would have liked to play on Friday, as the Lyon. Sevilla played on Thursday and will do again on Sunday, while Porto has no match. In Germany, France and Italy protect their teams. I would have liked to play against Deportivo on Sunday, but the match is scheduled to the next Saturday. I would have preferred to play against Malaga on Wednesday and it will be on Thursday. They do not fool me."

What about rotations?
"We will make two or three very important changes. We think Carvalho to rest, but Pepe is more than a month without playing and Carvalho is easier to recover from Saturday toTuesday."

Cristiano has played 90 minutes in ten games in a row...
"He will play eleven against Levante. I see no need. He is very strong, look against Espanyol. He ended up doing 50 meter races."

Do you consider Sergio Ramos as a substitute?
"To me, Sergio is no substitute. With all the defense at my disposal, I have my four central defenses and he passes to be one of the three side defenses."

Why you do not leave Pedro Leon go on loan to Chelsea?
"Because when a player is transferred, he must go to be the holder. If he's going to be a replacement, I do not allow it."

Preview: Real Madrid vs Levante

Real Madrid declares the "Hundred Days War"

Real Madrid and Levante shields

According to what Jose Mourinho told at press conference, for the Real Madrid begins the countdown to one hundred key days that will culminate on 28 May in the Champions League final. The accuracy of the data (there was not rounding; one hundred days left yesterday for that exact date) full of reasons to anyone who thinks that his head has calculated millimeter season, including winks and rudeness.

In that flight plan, and the Lyon just around the corner (Tuesday, 20:45), the coach used his speech to the media to complain about the national schedule (little consideration with teams which compete in Europe) and to announce rotations. On the changes he just discovered, the rest of Pepe, presumably to stress his importance; Albiol will be the relieve. We have to guess the other news; We bet on Kaka and Benzema to replace Özil and Adebayor respectively. Cristiano, as the coach said, does not rest because he does not tire. Curious wonder.

The rival, because there is, the Levante of Luis Garcia. It should be noted that this team was dead in sporting terms. It had problems to score agoal (Caicedo is fixing the problem) and the referees as enemies. But a miracle has happened. Three wins in three games (Getafe, Villarreal and Almeria) and two points above the relegation places. Seeing is believing.

Its visit to the Bernabeu Stadium is marked by history. Especially for the 8-0, December 23, in Cup competition (three goals from Benzema and Cristiano), but you must also remember the tie in the league (0-0) and the Levante's victory in the 2nd Leg of that Cup round (2-0). That is, a team of several faces, three, at least.

The expectation is that Luis Garcia, chastened by experience, play today with a five-defense and set up a single player as striker, Caicedo (80 kilos of rock). The ecuadorian and Valdo, a former Real Madrid player, have been handed all Levante's goals in the last three team victories.

To the Real Madrid fans who imagine a peaceful match, it must be remembered that today begins another war. The last one: the "Hundred Days War".


Corinthians wants to sign Kaka

Corinthians wants to sign Kaka to overcome the Ronaldo and Roberto Carlos lows. Its intention is to counter the signings of Ronaldinho (Flamengo) and Rivaldo (Sao Paulo).

Kaka in Real Madrid jersey

According to the newspaper "Folha de Sao Paulo", the team is sending an official representative to Madrid to know the opinion of the player and to begin negotiations with Real Madrid if it was possible. Corinthians needs to give a bombshell after the sudden departure of its two biggest stars, Ronaldo and Roberto Carlos, because the team's early elimination in "Copa Libertadores", against the modest Deportes Tolima from Colombia.

The price is the fundamental problem that has the signing of Kaka. Real Madrid paid 67 million for him. The player signed for six years with ten million annual salary. He still has four years to accomplish. The operation, between the cost of transfer and the salary of the player, would cost at least 70 million euros for Corinthians, an amount that does not seem to reach the Brazilian team.

According to Brazilian media, the player has thanked the interest of Corinthians, but thinks it is difficult to leave Madrid at the moment. Kaka has left behind a pubic bone injury and a knee problem and has come back into Mourinho's plans, who would ultimately have to approve this operation.

But even with these drawbacks, Corinthians is determined to make an offer to Kaka at the slightest opportunity. For the Brazilian club is a strategic move that will help restore its image, damaged by the elimination in Copa Libertadores and the media signings of its direct competitors, Sao Paulo and Flamengo. In Brazil is said that Corinthians would pay him the salary (ten million euros) that Kaka earns in Real Madrid.

Mourinho: "God must think I am a nice guy"

Mourinho was in a radio broadcast in Spain and went through Real Madrid's present, placing emphasis on the situation of Pepe: "Is the renewal and extension of contract with Pepe critical for you?". Direct and forceful response from the Portuguese: "Yes".

Madrid coach was realistic about goals: "We can win all three, as we can not win any. Although not winning any competition would be a little hard" He clarified that hopes to win a title: "The natural tendency is to win something and initiating a series of victories" And he made a note: "I expect a lot more of my team next year".

Mourinho in spanish radio broadcast
Jose Mourinho

Mourinho spoke about the possibility of winning the Champions: "It is no coincidence that Porto and Inter won in my second season when the team was done. But we have the same chance of winning this year than other teams".

He did not dodge the issue of continuity: "If they do not throw me ... I signed four years and I have the intention of complying. Recently I said that if we were happy there was no reason not to follow. The truth is that I am happier in the last month. I see the club in the same direction as me. We are working with more empathy, because empathy has always been good with Florentino Pérez and José Ángel Sánchez (executive director)".

He analyzed the reason for this change in his situation: "The club understands me better. I always say it is easy to work with me because I am organized. But I have the feeling that it is not easy to work with me because of my character. My relationship with President is good and I share many ideas with José Ángel.

He did not mention Valdano until was asked: "He will work at the club because they are happy with him. There is no problem working in the club with him. In Valdebebas I have the power I have to have. There is no need for another person to do that work with us. The ideal structure for a club is that the coach reports directly to the President and the economist and executive director as José Angel. He described as normal his relationship with Valdano.

In relation to his players he explained the absence of Canales and Pedro León: "I try to summon all. A young player must not turn back, must fight". He explained that they have ahead people like Cristiano and Özil and compared their situation with Adam: "Adam always works as he goes to play on Sunday and knows that it is not, so he played well against Espanyol". Mourinho gave no importance to the substitution of Ramos: "I like to talk about positive aspects. Arbeloa's performances were good. There is no problem with Sergio". In addition, he spoke about the continuity of Adebayor in June: "Real Madrid has a privileged position with him. He is a player I like".

"Would Raúl play a lot this year with you?". "No doubt" he replied. And finally, he emphasized what he thinks God thinks of him: "He must think I am a nice guy, otherwise would not give me so much".


Claude Puel: "Real Madrid has improved on the physical"

The Lyon coach, Claude Puel, said Wednesday that Real Madrid, his next opponent in the Champions League, has improved this season thanks to its players work hard in all facets of the game: "I respect Real Madrid for its quality and especially since this season has improved on the physical and have players who sacrifice more" said the coach in a press conference less than a week to the match between the two teams at the Gerland Stadium in the first leg of last 16.

Puel on press conference
Claude Puel

Claude Puel attended last Sunday match between Real Madrid and Espanyol in Barcelona, and was impressed by the provision of the white set: "They should have left with nine players for the Espanyol have any choice, because even with ten looked like they were outnumbered", he joked Puel.

The coach added that: "Real Madrid is a team with six players making a lot of work and four that provide show". The coach appeared in front of the media, relaxed and confident he can make an upset in a tournament where the favorite does not always win as it was demonstrated by the matches where Valencia and Milan were surprised by the Shalke 04 and Tottenham, respectively.

"We're back to pointing out the difficulties that teams playing at home faced this season.The hierarchy is not imposed, which opens prospects for the rest of the world" he said with a big smile, referring to Real Madrid.

Florentino Pérez inaugurated a social-sports school in Riyadh

The Real Madrid president, Florentino Pérez, was very pleased in Riyadh for the next birth of the first social-sports school of the Real Madrid Foundation in Saudi Arabia: "Real Madrid is a football legend, which gives us the unique ability to cross borders in search of charitable causes that can help those most in need", white president said during the presentation.

Perez holds a Real Madrid jersey during the presentation of the Riyadh academy

This was the last stop of the Real Madrid Foundation after inaugurating, two days after, a social-sports school in Adu Dhabi (UAE), without forgetting that the Real Madrid Foundation is already present in 32 countries with the operation of 68 sports academys.

"Our target is not to develop players, but rather to help children develop in other aspects of life and to learn and spread the values of Madridismo. Talent, the ability to overcome adversity, respect for rivals, teamwork, hard work, solidarity..." he emphasized.

So Pérez is clear that these "schools can improve the quality of life of about thirty thousand children around the world". "Our goal is to reach 500 schools spread throughout the world", said the president in comments reported by the club's website.

"Thank you all for sharing this challenge with us and thank you to Saudi Arabia, which is already in Real Madrid's heart. We also want to be leaders in charitable causes. We will never forget our goal of making the world a more fair place", he finished.

During his stay in Riyadh, Florentino Perez visited the Prince Salman Bin Abdul-AzizAl-Saud, Governor of Riyadh, at the Government Palace where they spoke about the objectives that both the Real Madrid Foundation as the Prince Salman search through the creation of the first social-sports school in Riyadh. The agreement was signed on 7 February at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium.

The Riad future school expects nearly 300 children and will serve as a starting point for an alliance of present and future.


The world in love with Cristiano's girlfriend

Irina Shayk, Cristiano Ronaldo's girlfriend, has made the leap to stardom thanks to 'Sports Illustrated'. The Russian model is the big star and front page of the famous 'Swinsuit 2011', undoubtedly one of the most desired reports of the year. With this cover Irina has become the world swimsuit queen.

Cristiano Ronaldo's girlfriend Swimsuit 2011
Irina Shayk
You can watch the "making of" here.

Adebayor: "Cesc would be a great signing for Real Madrid"

The Real Madrid player, Emmanuel Adebayor, has admitted that Cesc Fabregas "would be a huge boost to the white team". "I was with him 3 and a half years, is a great player and I would be happy if he came" said the Togolese in the presentation of his new boots.

Adebayor during a press conference
Emmanuel Adebayor

The striker has said he sees his team as the favorite to win the Champions 2011: "It's not easy to win because there are teams like Barcelona and Tottenham". "We will win the Champions League" he said in Spanish.

On the relationship with coach Jose Mourinho, Adebayor has said he has his confidence: "It's always good to have the confidence of the mister, it has been clear to me and says all he wants I do. He wants I give 100% and to enjoy" he said. Although he was in the starting lineup on Sunday, the striker does not see himself as starter: "I just think about playing football. I will not bother anyone, I had the opportunity to start and work hard to help. It is not important how many goals I will score" said the white player.

The Togolese has acknowledged he is very happy in his new club: "I'm happy, the city is fantastic, the club and the players have made it easy for me. Casillas speak English with me, Ramos tries and I have a good friend as Lass. I was born happy and live happily" he underlined. The white forward has not clarified his future: "I'm happy. I love playing for Madrid and have 4 or 5 months to enjoy the club and decide".

The former Manchester City said he has a good relationship with Benzema despite fighting for the same position: "We train hard to be prepared. You have to sacrifice for the team as did Di Maria against Espanyol. We have good relationship and is the coach who decides".

About the match that Arsenal, his former club, will play tonight against Barcelona, Adebayor has opted for the English side: "The two play very well and have very good players like Xavi,Nasri ... There will be 22 great players on the field. In football you do not know what can happen but I love Arsenal because it helped me grow. I have many friends there and bet on them."

Finally, the Real Madrid striker has said he never wanted compare himself with Raul: "I never compare myself to Raul who is a symbol of football. When I was with Morientes at Monaco, I asked him a T-shirt from Raul and I have it in Togo. It is a fantastic player. I do not know if I could get to be like him." he concluded.

Mourinho: Almost nine years unbeaten at home

If Real Madrid wins or draws against Levante, Mourinho will connect 148 consecutive matches without losing at home. His balance so far is as follows: 122 wins and 25 draws. Portuguese does not know defeat at home since February 23, 2002, when he lost, coaching Oporto, against Beira Mar (2-3) with nine players on the field. The match against Levante is special because Mourinho could add nine years unbeaten at home.

The white team has played 11 games this season at the Bernabeu Stadium and has won all with a record of 35 goals scored and only six against. Mourinho continues now in Madrid the path of success achieved in Porto, Chelsea and Inter.

Jose Mourinho holds Ballon d'Or trophy with his hands
Jose Mourinho

A statistic that justifies the large number of awards that Jose Mourinho has earned during his coaching career:
  • UEFA Coach of the year (4): 2002/03, 2003/04, 2004/2005 and 2009/2010.
  • World Soccer Magazine Coach of the year (3): 2003/04, 2004/05 y 2009/2010.
  • FA Premier League Coach ot the year (2): 2004/05 y 2005/06.
  • FA Premier League Coach of the month (3): November 2004, January 2005 and March 2007.
  • IFFHS Coach of the year (3): 2004, 2005 y 2010.
  • Serie A (Italy) Coach of the year (2): 2008/09 y 2009/2010.
  • Onze Prize Coach of the year (2): 2004/2005 y 2009/2010.
  • Ballon d'Or Coach of the year (1): 2010


Interview: Raúl

Raul has returned to Spain. He plays today with his team, Shalke 04, against Valencia. Faced with dozens of journalists, talked about the match, the Spanish League and Real Madrid.

Raul at press conference with Shalke 04 jersey

You were greeted at the airport in Valencia with applause, is this a special journey?
"It is a special game. This is the first time I return to Spain after eight months. I am very pleased with the reception. People show me affection and I thank it. A Champions League knockout tie is always special, and more against a great team like Valencia at a great stadium like Mestalla. I'm looking forward to playing and hope to get a good result."

How do you expect will Mestalla fans receive you? You have not been much loved in her visits with Real Madrid?
"That's not my problem. I come to play a game, to enjoy a Champions League tie and try to do my best for my team. The rest does not worry me."

Would you have preferred to face Real Madrid? Do you think like Emery that Real Madrid and Barcelona are favorites for the Champions League?
"The draw has been in this way and must be accepted. I wished they had not been a Spanish team, but here we are. The Madrid and Barcelona are the strongest, but here there are always surprises, not rule out Chelsea, Manchester or Inter. Schalke at the moment, step by step and think about Valencia."

Raul and the Champions League have always gone hand in hand. If next year Schalke does not play Champions League, would you consider a way out?
"At present and for a year and a half Raul and Schalke go together."

What differences do you see between the Liga and the Bundesliga? In Spain the league is only about two, Barcelona and Real Madrid.
"They are different competitions. In the Bundesliga the latter can beat the leader, is a more physical game. I'm having a great time and I'm enjoying it. In the stadium there is always a great atmosphere and being a great experience. I know other methods, another way of playing and living football. I'm trying to get everything good. I hope to be two years and even longer if the body holds."

What is your relationship with Real Madrid?
"I have spent 16 years at the club. I do not leave and forget about it. I am following Madrid, and Real Madrid will always be in my heart. But I am all about Schalke now, my head is here and I will give everything for this club."

Do you believe Madrid can win the Liga?
"Of course, but if Barcelona continues playing like that, it will be difficult for the title to escape them. That is another history."


League (Day 23): Marcelo and Pepe reactions


Marcelo celebrates his goal against Espanyol

Real have won a victory in a very difficult field. Do you imagine that it would be so difficult?
"We knew it would be very complicated but we did not hope an expulsion so soon. All played our hardest and we reverse the situation. It is a very important victory to keep fighting for the league."

Team demonstrated an extraordinary character to win a match that started badly for you ...
"This is a great family and we are all fighting together to win. Whenever we get the three points."

You scored your first goal this season. This puts team back in the fight for the League.
"I am delighted to score and can help the team. But more important was the victory and catching up to Barcelona."

With the effort you made to defeat Espanyol has become clear that Real Madrid is not physically ill, as some say ...
"People talk about what they want, but we work hard to get this win and so we will continue until the end of the season. We are very excited about these three points and to achieve a new victory."


What adifficult game to play again!
"It is a reward to me to be in the starting eleven. It was a chance not to disappoint the coach. I've worked hard for this. I am very happy with the job I did today and with the efforts my team-mates made. Espanyol have very good players and it was hard for us to score. It was a tense and complicated game, so we are very happy with this victory."

What did you think when you saw the Barcelona match in Gijon?
"We faced up to the challenge. We are working to catch up with Barcelona. We still have to face them at home and, if we win, we will be closer to winning the title. If we continue to concentrate this hard, to showcase maturity and working this well, we will catch up with Barcelona."

Did Casillas touch Callejon in the play of the expulsion?
"The play is very fast. It is an interpretation of the referee and we are there to play. I do not know well, but the good thing is that we react."

Are you going to renew for Real Madrid?"I will not discuss this issue. At the moment I can only say I am happy in Madrid and people treat me very well. I will do everything possible to stay."

Valdano said after the game that your renewal is progressing well...
"Good to hear that (laughs). I have to do my work on the field."

Any offer of Barcelona?
"I am a Real player and it is a lack of respect for the people of Madrid. I'm happy at Madrid."

League (Day 23): Mourinho reactions

Mourinho coaching at the side of the field

Does Real return to restore confidence in the League after reaching five points behind Barcelona?
"My players' sacrifice and performance were fantastic. This is an important victory, earned against a strong opponent that has a very good home record. We even lost our goalkeeper and made another make his debut in La Liga. This also forced us to take off an important player like Di Maria, who can always hurt opponents with his speed, and to have only two real substitutions. Too many things were against us and I guess the whole country thought we wouldn't win, but we did and even deserved to do so with more goals."

Had you trained the option to keep a player down?
"My players read the game very well. I spoke to Xabi after the red card and they all understood what I wanted. We didn't experience problems against a very good team that has fast forwards who always play on the verge of an offside."

Barcelona has no rest this week...
"I'm nobody in Spanish football, but I would like to express an opinion: French, German, Italian and Portuguese teams have three days off when they have to play a European match. I ask for this to happen here, not just for Real Madrid, but for Spanish football as a whole. Teams in other countries have this advantage and we don't."

The advantage of Barcelona is enough?
"I will not change my discourse now that we are two points closer. Barcelona have a five-point lead and I would like to be in that situation. If I were Barcelona, I would feel comfortable with such a lead. If mathematics say it is possible for us to win we'll have to believe in that. When I was leading the table in other championships, I used to be asked if I felt any pressure, and I didn't because I depended on myself. Pressure comes from lagging behind because you cannot afford to make mistakes."

How do you rate the game that Pepe and Adebayor have made?
"Pepe played a fantastic game and Adebayor did the work of three players. They all did sacrifices. Adan had an unexpected debut and was fantastic. He looked like a veteran. I wish to congratulate Antonio and all the goalkeepers that train with us. I also wish to congratulate our goalkeeper coach, who does real miracles and who, with all due respect to all goalkeeper coaches, I regard as the best in the world."

Do you still like Mateu Lahoz after this game?
"The referee may have been wrong to send off Casillas and for not awarding us a penalty, but I like the intesnity and high level of play he allows. I obviously don't like to lose players, but he is a great referee who has a right to make mistakes, if he made mistakes that is. He doesn't like divers and my team has none. That's why I like him."

What do you think about the comments of Joan Gaspart (former Barcelona president) who said you earned 60 euros in Barcelona?
"No comments. I was poor in Portugal and came to Barcelona to remain poor."

Spanish League: Day 23


Marcelo celebrates his goal against Espanyol with all his teammates
Team celebrates Marcelo's goal

Real Madrid always returns. Also this time, hooked up to the best of its tradition, after a tremendous match where everything done was heroic. Soaking the shirt to polish it, inviting the fans to believe in miracles, beatingbest Espanyol in a decade. And with ten men for 88 minutes, many of whom played for two (Marcelo, Cristiano, Xabi and Pepe), shot 20 times.

Florentino Perez came two minutes before the break and a Cup less. One misfortune after another. Because swallowed the defeat of basketball and missed a first half o value and fight, with Real Madrid that does not surrender, all nerve and heart, as it is said in its anthem.

Iker Casillas was sent of for marginally kicking Callejon on his right foot as he tried to clear the ball right outside the box. Other teams would have deflated following such a decision, but Real Madrid pulled rank and doubled their efforts to win.

Di Maria had to come off for goalkeeper Antonio Adan, who made his First Division debut tonight. Khedira soon had two chances to score the opener. Marcelo would net the only strike in the evening from a fantastic shot near the left post, after being assisted by Ronaldo (24'). Adebayor then had a chance to seal the match on the 39-minute mark, but his lobbed shot hit the crossbar.

After the break, Madrid became a cheaper and more tired. Oxygen tanks would have admitted at times. Especially when Callejón hung a goal on three occasions. But it also had an answer. Cristiano accelerator was not available to the defense of Pochettino.

The Whites continued to have most of the chances on goal in the game. Adebayor came close to netting a second strike twice more, but Kameni defeated him on both counts. Espanyol didn't have many chances, but Adan proved to be a solid keeper, clearing all the shots that were on target.

Real Madrid made a great impression and took three very important points that keep them five points behind the leaders. They will now concentrate on defeating Levante next week at the Bernabeu.


Stadium: Cornella-El Prat
Attendance: 40,240
Goals: 0-1 min.24 Marcelo


Karanka: "Every game is vital for us"

Aitor Karanka in press conference
Aitor Karanka

Are you addressing the match as a final?
"Every game is vital for us, especially now that we are eight points behind the leaders. Our match against Espanyol is just another game we'll have to win because they are all important."

Do you have decided on the lineup?
"We have been talking about this all week, but we're not going to say it to the players before the match."

Among the potential players may be Pepe?
"The coach has already said how important Pepe is to the team. He's been training all week and is ready to help."

Do Adebayor and Karim put you in problems?
"We are delighted about the arrival of Emmanuel. He's done a lot in very little time and that's good for all of us. He has bonded wonderfully well with the squad and he's always smiling. Benzema was playing marvelously well before he arrived. Competition is bringing out the best in them, and that is obviously good for the team."

It is a problem for players to play with the national teams on Wednesday?
"We are happy because all our internationals returned in good form and are ready to play. Our men are proud to play for their countries and they have to represent them when needed."

It seems that Mourinho is more interested for the Champions than the League with this trip to Lyon...
"Our coach has a different working method. He is used to going to see a game of a future opponent, but he knows tomorrow's match is currently the most important fixture for us, and he will be there. It may seem surprising over here, but he's used to doing this. He is happy with the staff that helps him to prepare for games and to analyse rivals. Even our players are surprised by the amount of information they receive on opponents."

Preview: Espanyol vs Real Madrid

Espanyol and Real Madrid shields

When Mourinho arrived at Saint-Étienne to see Olympique Lyon, a gesture interpreted as early surrender, it was discovered that Barcelona is not immortal, that Madrid is still incumbent upon the league, that Sporting with the starters is better without them and that Preciado (Sporting coach) is not a friend of Guardiola as the Portuguese suspected. So Espanyol - Real Madrid has become important match because Madrid back again to see the Barça. Today may be five points behind leader. Is it about football that can take anyone by surprise.

In Real Madrid, Pepe goes back. Good news: "With him the team has better pressing, he creates more danger, recovers better... " said Mourinho. But Madrid will need more to stay alive. Kaka will be back on the bench. Benzema and Adebayor do not fit in the starter team. Emmanuel will win if Mou checks accounts. Togo player scores a goal per hour and has speed of sound in the game. Benzema scores a goal per 149 minutes and is one of the 13 affected by the FIFA virus, which leaves low energies.

Espanyol have won eight of their 10 home games in the championship this season and aspire to qualify to play in a European competition next year. Real Madrid were the first side to win an official game at Cornella-El Prat just over a year ago. The venue will be packed, but the Madridistas have proven to pull rank in the face of adversity. Mourinho has included the recently recovered Dudek on his squad list, as well as Sergio Ramos, who was suspended last week.

Espanyol are having a solid season and are currently comfortably placed in Europa League qualifying positions. Sergio Garcia and Joan Verdu have recovered from gastroenteritis in time for the game. Baena, who missed last week's game due to an injury, will also make it. But Espanyol will not be the best possible. Dídac and Victor departed for Italy (to make money) and Osvaldo, De la Peña and David Garcia are broken. The result; two consecutive defeats.

The duel comes after a summit about abuse and the dangers of football, to find out who was hitted more and with worse intentions. The discussion was between Cristiano and Messi, but Callejón (Espanyol striker) finished winning. Today the statistic will move little because the referee is Mateu Lahoz who sometimes swallows the whistle. That's going to Mourinho and not raise too many complaints in Pochettino. At least the day before.
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