Mourinho: UEFA forgives him a match suspension

The Appeals Committee of UEFA has reduced the fine imposed on Mourinho. In the initial penalty, the coach of Real Madrid could not manage the team for four games, with a fifth conditional on Mourinho's behavior during a trial period of three years.

Mourinho and his lawyer at the UEFA heeadquarters
Mourinho and Dupont at Nyon

After hearing the arguments of the Portuguese and the lawyers of the Real Madrid over six hours, UEFA has decided to reduce the penalty from four to three games. As Mourinho has already met one (it was in the semifinal round of the Champions League 2010-2011) in case of good behavior he would be suspended only two. Of course, retains the imposed fine of 50,000 euros to Mourinho and the 20,000 to the white team.

The Control and Disciplinary Committee imposed the penalty on the Real coach for his controversial remarks at the press conference after the first leg semifinal of the Champions League against FC Barcelona on April 27. In that match, Mourinho was sent off for protesting the Pepe's red card and at the press conference complained of arbitration mistakes in favor of FC Barcelona and said he would feel shame winning the Champions League as they won in 2009: "The scandal of Stamford Bridge".

These words were rated as "very serious" by the Control and Disciplinary Committee of UEFA considering that Mourinho inveighed against "the fairness of the competition", so they decided to punish the Portuguese coach: Five games and 50,000 euros fine. As well UEFA punishes the club with 20,000 euros fine for "improper conduct of their fans during the game". Real Madrid announced the same day that UEFA announced the punishment, it would appeal to the Appeals Committee and UEFA summoned the Portuguese and the legal team of Real Madrid for yesterday.

The Portuguese reached the UEFA headquarters at 08:50 am, accompanied by the Belgian lawyer Jean-Louis Dupont, the director of legal services of Real Madrid, Javier Lopez Farre, and a white club's lawyer, Alvaro Garcia Alaman, to support his defense. Mourinho's arguments and their lawyers were heard by the Appeals Committee chairman, Swiss Michel Wuilleret, two members of it, the French Patricia Moyersen and German Goetz Eilers, and the UEFA disciplinary inspector, the Swiss Jean-Samuel Leuba.

After six hours of declaration, white coach and his lawyers left the UEFA headquarters in Nyon without knowing the resolution of the Committee and without making any statement to the press. If Mourinho is not satisfied with the resolution, the white coach can still appeal to TAS (Tribunal Arbitral du Sport) within ten days.


Higuain and Di Maria: To China with the team

Higuain and Di Maria deplete their holidays after the Copa America. Both have enjoyed two weeks after being eliminated in the quarter-final against Uruguay. Gago, the other Real Madrid player who participated in the tournament (Garay already went to Benfica) stays in Argentina to recover from his injury.

Higuain and Di Maria will play for Real Madrid in China
Higuain and Di Maria

Fernando Gago knows that has no place in Jose Mourinho's team and is looking for a way out. The club has given a deadline of August 7 to find destination. He seems to look kindly return to Boca Juniors, the club he left to join Real Madrid.

Higuain and Di Maria will meet again with his teammates who are getting in shape since July 11. The idea is to train slowly with the team and can play minutes in one of the two friendlies matches to dispute in China. Despite being disconnected, Higuain and Di Maria both have followed the evolution of their peers and are aware of the good image showed in the four games played so far.

Left midfielder has many possibilities to be starter if does not come Neymar. Callejon is looking good in the preseason, but he knows Mourinho is pleased with him and the confidence remains intact after his last good season. Meanwhile, Higuain will discuss a position with Benzema. Former River Plate player will face the best version of French. Karim seems more connected than ever and is showing with goals. There will be fighting for the '9'.

Hugo Sanchez: Sports Heritage of Humanity

Hugo Sanchez was yesterday elected as Sports Heritage of Humanity. The former Real Madrid player made a 40-man shortlist chosen by 327,500 people in 72 countries. The list is similar to those from the field of material, immaterial or natural cultural heritage of humainity, and was created by the International Bureau of Capital Cultures with the intention of "acknowledging the importance of preserving the reality of sport throughout the world".

The award rewards "excellence in sport and fair play" and wishes to contribute "in coming up with things to make supporters of rival teams come together, to offer ethical and charitable values, and to set an example for children and young people to follow".

Hugo Sanchez played seven years at Real Madrid, winning the Pichichi Trophy and the league title in his first season at the club. He won four other league titles and three Phichi trophies, a UEFA Cup, a Copa del Rey, two Spanish Super Cups and a Golden Boot award.

The election campaign of the players 'Sports Heritage of Humanity' in Argentina, Brazil and Mexico has lasted four months. Along with Real Madrid player, have also been elected Leo Messi (Argentina) and Edson Arantes do Nascimento 'Pele' (Brazil).

Hugo Sanchez as Real Madrid player
Hugo Sanchez


Benzema: "I hope to stay here for many years"

Great preformance by Benzema in Germany
Benzemas scored two goals against Hertha Berlin

Double against Hertha and you look better...
Yes, teammates passed me many balls. I scored two goals. Everything went well. I'm very happy with the start of the preseason. I'm working very hard.

What did you make this summer to get better?
Work hard. I feel better about my body, with much more confidence.

Do you feel starter?
I work for that. Inside my head is to be one of the best strikers but we are in preseason. I feel great and I'm fighting to become Real Madrid's starting striker.

What does Mourinho talk to you?
It's a great coach for me. He always tells me to work, not stop.

And Zidane?
It's special to me to have Zidane so close because he helps me. He speaks my language and gives me confidence.

Spanish Super Cup approaches. Is it necessary to strike first to Barcelona?
We have to take things slowly and not think about the Spanish Super Cup just yet. We must only focus on our next preseason match. I don't know if this is the best squad in Real Madrid history, but we're a very good team and we hope to fight for all titles.

Were you at some point outside the club?
I have not seen myself outside of Real Madrid. The coach and the club have faith in me and that's very important to me. I will always work hard in order to play. I hope to stay here for many years.

Friendly Match (4): Hertha Berlin 1 - 3 Real Madrid

Real Madrid would have to play all the friendlies matches in the Berlin Olympic Stadium, which smells like history from a distance and having the shape of 'Lord' Stadium. In this legendary context played one of the two best teams in the world his fourth preseason game. And won. Not only because Hertha, newly promoted to the Bundesliga, offered little resistance, unable to recover a ball or to make a counterattack with efficacy after initial goal, but because Real Madrid has plenty of everything to beat almost everyone. Took the field with the best of what's left (Khedira was at the bench in the first half and the new Kaka, who still looks too much like old Kaka) and it was enough. The new signings played well, Cristiano Ronaldo scores and defends more than ever, and even Benzema seems to have a gear more.

Hertha Berlin vs Real Madrid
Hertha Berlin vs Real Madrid

The match began with a pair of forgetfulness and Marcelo with Carvalho fell into the trap laid by Ramos, Ebert and Lasogga for the first goal. The central defender was removed from the goal area and Marcelo came late to shot of Ebert. But RealMadrid accelerated and three minutes later, the referee not noted a penalty on Callejon. From that moment, there was only a team on the field. Real seized the ball and with speed preseason, was creating chances and becoming too powerful for Hertha.

The team was attentive to the recovery, tactical positions and gives the impression that, with respect to last season, has become even more compact. On and off the field: solid, harmonious in the movements, with unanimous message, coordinated in the way they sit on the bench or celebrate good plays. Mourinho is happy: the club, the team and the staff, all rowing in the same direction.

And the team is still overwhelming. Benzema had three dangerous ventures in attack that were eventually rewarded: the first was a shot that missed the mark by drifting to the right, the second was a shot from right outside the box that hit the crossbar, and the third ended up forcing the locals to bring him down 25 meters away from the goal (29'). Cristiano Ronaldo took the free-kick and sent the ball to the back of the net through the top left corner of the goal. Four minutes after the the equaliser, Benzema received the ball inside the box from Callejon and defeated Kraft with his right foot.

Khedira came on in the second half and proved to be completely recovered from his recent injury. The German midfielder pressurised Mijatovic in attack, stole the ball from him and assisted Benzema to score in an empty goal. Not content with scoring two goals, the French striker starred in the best effort of the match on the 55-minute mark after he controlled a divided ball, dribbled past a defender with a self-pass, and saw Cristiano who didn't get in time for a fourth strike.

And new ones are and play well. Callejon moved boldly and will evolve into the perfect piece of lace: a great defender when the team does not have the ball, a partner at the front, as demonstrated in assisting Benzema and pleased with his role as player number 13 or 14. Meanwhile, Coentrao plays simple, has the field in the head and is two in one: midfielder and left defender. And yesterday Varane played as right back defender. The Frenchman has played on the center, on the right, on the left and can play as midfielder. Total: everything goes according to plan.


Stadium: Berlin Olympic Stadium
Attendance: 74,000
Goals:1-0, m.18: Ebert. 1-1, m.29: Cristiano Ronaldo. 1-2, m.32: Benzema. 1-3, m.47: Benzema


Mesut Özil: "The aim is to win all the titles"

Özil at Valdebebas after training session
Mesut Özil at the press room

Mesut Özil adressed the media at the press room of the sports city of Valdebebas and said: "The aim this season is to win all the titles. We are stronger than last year", commented Real Madrid midfielder.

Real Madrid player stressed the importance of mate Kaka, questioned for his performances in preseason games and said: "Kaka and I have a very good personal relationship. He is a very important player to us. He helps the team considerably and he and all of us are aware of his enormous potential. I have a very good relationship with him and we need him".

He also talked about Khedira and Sahin, two good friends in the locker room: "Sahin and Khedira are important to the team. Nuri's been unlucky with his injury, but I'm sure they'll both be back on 14 August and I'll feel very happy for them".

He also referred to the situation of players like Pedro Leon and Royston Drenthe, who trained alone yesterday because the coaching staff does not want them in the template for next season: "It's sad, but personally I think we will be happy to find a solution as soon as possible. The best thing for the players and the club is to find a solution and I am convinced that they will do", he said.

In addition, he declined to talk about the first official game that Real Madrid will have to play against Barcelona in the Supercopa of Spain in the month of August: "Rather than on the Spanish Super Cup, we'd rather concentrate on the work we're doing in the preseason and on recovering all our injured players". Although he said the goals for this year: "This team is more mature. We felt strong in the games we've already played. We have the potential to defeat anyone and our objective is to win many titles. We will fight for them all".

Finally, neither spoke about the feelings that he has wearing the shirt with the number ten: "We are in the preseason. So far I have worn the number ten shirt. On that I do not want to say anything, you will see the number that I will take".

Cristiano and Özil are the attractions in Berlin

This afternoon, in a stadium full of history and stories with the maximum expectation, Real Madrid will play its fourth exhibition game this preseason 2011-2012. In the past, these matches were lost in the television programming between cartoons and Westerns. Or were not broadcasted. In the new era of closed clubs, the clubs understood as inaccessible bunkers, is presented as an opportunity to explore possibilities or find out the new players who have more chances to play in the future. As said the coach of Hertha, Babbel: "We face this match as a celebration of football". He also said he hoped his players, newly promoted to Bundesliga, "do not shit in their pants" forgetting that this is a friendly in which things are tested and the result is not important.

Hertha Berlin vs Real Madrid

It will, in a full stadium, the fourth friendly match of Mourinho's team that after working yesterday in a double session, has travel to Berlin in the morning and returns home after the meeting. Ramos, Sahin and Granero are out, and the presence of Cristiano Ronaldo ensures goals (four in three games, his best preseason). Real Madrid won three so far with more lights (the trick of Coentrao as a pivot in midfield, Callejon scoring, high performance by Varane) than shadows (doubts about Kaka, who only played at high level against LA Galaxy). Özil and Khedira (already recovered) return to Germany and will play at home.

For Hertha Berlin, the match is like a showcase to raise a few euros, but they play on Sunday a German Cup match against the Meuselwitz, an amateur team, a one-match knockout round, his first official appointment after recovering the top category and illusion.

Indeed, the summer friendlies have become a lucrative business for intermediaries and clubs. This has been organized by TSP, which works with both teams (were responsible for other four Real Madrid's travels to Germany) and, as usual, bears all costs of the event (hotel, travel), but takes all income (box office, television). Real Madrid takes a million euros and Hertha a good piece. A well-paid holiday, then.


Lombilla: "Gago's desire is to return to Boca Juniors"

Marcelo Lombilla, the representative of Fernando Gago, Real Madrid's Argentine midfielder, has acknowledged that "the dream" of footballer, ruled out by Jose Mourinho for this season, is to return to the template of Boca Juniors, from which came five years ago to play for Real Madrid.

Marcelo Lombilla. Fernando Gago's agent

"Fernando's desire is to return to Boca. So we'll try. Look how eager is Fernando that I can not still believe that he's going to give up so much money", said to the Argentine daily 'Olé'. The agent also stressed that he called Joseph Beraldi, vice president of group 'Boca Juniors' and reiterated that "the desire of Gago is playing at least a year in Boca". "Now we have to negotiate with Real Madrid", he said.

As indicated by the sports newspaper, the player wants to stay in his homeland recovering from the hamstring injury he suffered in the Copa America against Uruguay in the quarterfinals and enjoy the honeymoon with tennis player Gisela Dulko, with who will marry this Tuesday.

The midfielder left Boca Juniors, during the winter market of the season 2006-2007, where he won five titles, to play for Real Madrid. With Fabio Capello and Bernd Schuster won two consecutive league but in the last two seasons has not played too much for Manuel Pellegrini or Jose Mourinho.

Cristiano Ronaldo: UEFA Best Player 2010/11 nominee

Cristiano Ronaldo is in the three-man nominee list for the UEFA Best Player in Europe 2010/11 award. A jury made up of 53 sports journalists will vote for the winner, who will be announced on August 25 in Monaco. Xavi Hernandez, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are in the running for the inaugural UEFA Best Player in Europe Award after the shortlist was announced today.

Cristiano Ronaldo

According to UEFA, "the award aims to recognise the best player, irrespective of his nationality, who has played for a football club within the territory of a UEFA member national association during the season to which the award relates. Players will be judged for their performance during the 2010/11 season in all competitions, both domestically and internationally, at either club or national team level".

Cristiano Ronaldo scored 53 goals with Real Madrid (40 in La Liga, 6 in the Champions League, 7 in the Copa del Rey), and three with the Portuguese national team. He won the Golden Boot award thanks to his tally in the Spanish league, with which he broke the record previously held by Zarra and Hugo Sanchez. Also, his goal in the Copa del Rey final gave the team the title.

As explained by UEFA,: "A jury of 53 sports journalists representing each of the UEFA member associations whittled down the 2010/11 long list to FC Barcelona pair Xavi and Messi and Real Madrid CF's Ronaldo. The journalists will vote live, via an electronic voting system, during the UEFA Champions League group stage draw, which takes place in Monaco, to determine the winner amongst the three nominees".

Positions four to ten are already fixed after each journalist provided a list of their three best-ranked players, with the first player receiving five points, the second three points and the third one point:

  • 4 Andres Iniesta (ESP) – FC Barcelona (33 points)
  • 5 Falcao (COL) – FC Porto (17)
  • 6 Wayne Rooney (ENG) – Manchester United FC (15)
  • 7 Nemanja Vidic (SRB) – Manchester United FC (5)
  • 8 Zlatan Ibrahimovic (SWE) – AC Milan (4)
  • 9 Gerard Pique (ESP) – FC Barcelona (4)
  • 10 Manuel Neuer (GER) – FC Schalke 04 (3)


Squad: Raul Albiol (18)

Raul Albiol

Albiol was born in Villamarchante, Valencia. Playing football was his favorite pastime as a child and Valencia quickly took notice and enrolled Albiol in their academy. On 24 September 2003, Rafa Benitez gave Albiol the chance to debut with the first team in a UEFA Cup match against AIK Solna.

Although his natural position was as a defensive midfielder, Albiol was changed to a center-back by then Valencia coach Quique Sanchez Flores and the moved suited the player to perfection. Tall, fast and strong, Albiol is really known for is his ability to move the ball forward and to play it safely with the midfielders; a skill he surely acquired during his days as a midfielder. Albiol also dominates the aerial game, making him a potential threat during set-pieces and the perfect player to clear balls crossed into the box.

Raul Albiol’s international debut took place on 13 October 2007 against Denmark. Once June rolled around, the Madridista was called up by the national team coach to participate in the European Championship, which he won alongside Real Madrid teammates Iker Casillas and Sergio Ramos. Albiol also made the cut for the 2010 World Cup of South Africa and went on to win the title, making history with the rest of his team-mates.

  • Place of Birth: Villamarchante, Valencia
  • Date of Birth: 09/04/1985
  • Position: Defender
  • Weight: 82 kg
  • Height: 189.9 cm
  • Nationality: Spanish
  • La Liga (Spanish League): 2003/04, 2011/12
  • Copa del Rey (Spanish Cup): 2007/08, 2010/11
  • Spanish Super Cup: 2012
  • UEFA Cup: 2004
  • Under-19 European Championship: 2004
  • European Championship: 2008, 2012
  • Bronze Medal: Confederations Cup 2009
  • World Cup: 2010

Squad: Raphael Varane (2)

Raphael Varane

Raphael Varane earned the admiration of all European football in his first year in the elite when he was just 18 years old. His impressive height allows him to dominate the aerial game; his versatility makes him a solid defender or central midfielder; and his speed, sense of anticipation, dribbling skills and maturity turned him into one of the most important players on his previous side.

Varane was formed at the academy of Lens, one of the most prolific in France in recent years. Hailing by family from Martinique (his father was born in Le Morne-Rouge), the defender played 23 league games with Lens in the 2010/11 season, 22 of them as a starter. Varane made his debut with a 2-0 victory over Montpellier on 6 November 2010. Three weeks later, he earned a starting position under coach Jean-Guy Wallemme and kept it when Laszlo Boloni replaced him.

Raphael Varane made his international debut with France's Under-18s against Denmark, scoring the last goal in a 24 August friendly (2-0). After a second match with the team he was promoted to the Under-21 side.

  • Place of Birth: Lille, France
  • Date of Birth: 04/25/1993
  • Position: Defender
  • Weight: 76 kg
  • Height: 191 cm
  • Nationality: French
  • La Liga (Spanish League): 2011/12
  • Spanish Super Cup: 2012

Kaka disappoints in U.S.A.

Kaka starts to run out of credit with the Madrid fans. The Brazilian started strong in the first friendly game against Los Angeles Galaxy, leaving promising sensations in the 45 minutes he was on the pitch, but lost momentum in the two following the American tour. Against Chivas Guadalajara was unnoticed and replaced in 47 minutes. Against the Philadelphia Union was even a substitute. Mourinho allowed him to play the full second half and Kaka had a disappointing performance.

Kaka had a ba performance against Philadephia Union

A performance that is still not commensurate with his star status and his high salary (nine million net, like Cristiano, the highest of the template). Kaka still does not shine in Madrid and runs out excuses because it's his first preseason without physical problems that difficult his performance. In 2009, his first year in white team, pubis problem affected him, the same that he suffered the last months in Milan. He spent the summer of 2010 with Brazil in the World Cup where he played injured, went on vacation and returned to go through the operating room for knee surgery.

Mourinho wanted to see the good side last June: "This summer he will rest. He had no preseason for four years. Our belief and hope is that Kaka can make a difference". But after three friendly matches, the Brazilian has not given signs of improvement. Still, Chelsea and Milan do not lose sight of Kaka. Berlusconi and Abramovich want the player in their squads but the main obstacle remains the high salary of footballer.


Squad: Pepe (3)


Kleper Laveran Lima Ferreira ‘Pepe’ was born on 26 February 1983 in Maceió, Brazil. He began his football career with a local neighborhood team and put the finishing touches on his development with Corinthians Alagoano. At the age of 18 he signed for the Portugal’s CS Marítimo B squad on the island of Madeira. Although he had difficulty adjusting to island of life, Pepe made fast progress, which happened to match the attention of European football giant, Porto, who he signed for in 2004.

Pepe has been considered by many as the perfect 21st century centre-back. He is said to have scissors attached to his legs because he cuts off absolutely everything, but he also exhibits uncanny technique, perfect tactical prowess, great placement, strength, intelligence, a dominant aerial game…

Performances like that displayed in Real Madrid’s 0-1 victory in the Camp Nou in 2007/08 only confirm Pepe’s status among the world’s best. His perfect match, and perhaps the best of his blossoming career, garnished him Man of the Match honours.

  • Place of Birth: Maceió, Brazil
  • Date of Birth: 02/26/1986
  • Position: Defender
  • Weight: 81 kg
  • Height: 187.1 cm
  • Nationality: Portuguese/Brazilian
  • La Liga (Spanish League): 2007/08, 2011/12
  • Copa del Rey (Spanish Cup): 2010/11
  • Spanish Super Cup: 2008, 2012
  • Portuguese League: 2005/06, 2006/07
  • Super Cup Cândido de Oliveira: 2006
  • Cup of Portugal: 2005/06
  • Intercontinental Cup: 2004

Squad: Sergio Ramos (4)

Sergio Ramos

Sergio Ramos was trained in Sevilla’s youth system and made his first team debut at the age of 17 and under the tutelage of manager Joaquín Caparrós. The Andalusian has always stood out for his grit, determination, and self-confidence and is well on track to becoming the most prolific Spanish defender of all time -UEFA named him Newcomer of the 2004/05 Liga-. Real Madrid saw Ramos as the perfect centre-back to fill the hole left by Fernando Hierro and signed him in 2005.

Since his arrival in the Spanish capital, Sergio has been an example of hard work, dedication, and potential. Once on the pitch, he showcases drive, leadership, excellent defensive skills, great speed, a powerful shot, and a phenomenal goal-scoring instinct. Ramos joined the Club as a centre-back but established himself as a right-back during the 2006/07 and 2007/08 campaign; his amazing versatility makes him a great asset for any coach.

Sergio Ramos is a key figure on the team, a leader and a captain. The defender from Seville is also a regular on the Spanish national team. At 19, he became the youngest man to make his debut with Spain in 55 years. He made history with Spain again by being in the second squad to win the European Championship in 2008 (Spain previously won the title in 1964) and by helping the team win its first ever World Cup trophy in South Africa 2010.

  • Place of Birth: Seville, Spain
  • Date of Birth: 03/30/1986
  • Position: Defender
  • Weight: 81 kg
  • Height: 183.2 cm
  • Nationality: Spanish
  • La Liga (Spanish League): 2006/07, 2007/08, 2011/12
  • Copa del Rey (Spanish Cup): 2010/11
  • Spanish Super Cup: 2008, 2012
  • European Championship: 2008, 2012
  • Bronze Medal, Confederations Cup: 2009
  • World Cup: 2010
  • Under-19 European Championship: 2004

Friendly Match (3): Philadelphia Union 1 - 2 Real Madrid

Real Madrid put an end to their 2011 US tour with another victory. They defeated Philadelphia Union 1-2 in a near-packed Lincoln Financial Field (57,305 spectators). Callejon and Ozil scored for the Whites in the opening ten minutes. Real Madrid have scored nine goals and conceded only two during their stay in the US.

Özil during tha game against Philadelphia Union
Philadelphia Union vs Real Madrid: Özil

Xabi Alonso reappeared today after missing the match against Chivas. The midfielder served an amazing 30 meter pass to Callejon in the opening minutes and defender Williams failed to clear the ball, leaving it readily available for Real's new signing to score with his right foot.

Philadelphia Union were pressurising in attack, but their mistakes in defence proved costly. Just minutes later, Colombian centre back Valdes lost the ball to Benzema near the goal. The Frenchman then assisted Ozil, who defeated keeper Mondragon with a powerful shot (10').

The American side did not give up and put Casillas to the test on a couple of occasions. After half-time Mourinho made Marcelo, Kaka, Coentrao, Cristiano Ronaldo and Jesus step onto the pitch. Half-way through the second part the coach replaced the latter with Mejias, who was the only goalkeeper who had yet to play with the first team in the USA. Unfortunately, the young keeper was defeated by a perfect lobbed shot from Farfan on the 78-minute mark.

Real Madrid has made a good impression in the US, defeating the Western and Eastern Conference leaders and historic Mexican side Chivas Guadalajara. They will face Hertha Berlin and Leicester City in Europe this week before leaving for China on Sunday.


Stadium: Lincoln Financial Field
Attendance: 57,305
Goals: 0-1 (1'): Callejon. 0-2 (10'): Özil. 1-2 (72'): Farfan
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