Benfica 5 - 2 Real Madrid (Friendly)

Real Madrid were beaten by Benfica in their second test of the pre-season. The Whites, who got to the break with the match all square, felt the impact of their absent players and from their limited two-week preparation. They were playing against a much slicker team that arrived at the game with five friendlies behind them and almost the entirety of their squad available. Nevertheless, the fitness showed as Real Madrid made it to the break with the scoreboard even and in the way that they played stretching their opponents was reflected in Callejón’s two goals. Benzema, Kaká and Coentrão played their first minutes of the pre-season. The next match for Mourinho’s players will take place in Los Angeles against the LA Galaxy.

Benfica 5 - 2 Real Madrid

Benfica and Real Madrid put on a good spectacle in tribute to Eusebio. True to the unpredictable scenarios of the pre-season, there were four goals scored in just 22 minutes. The first strike was by the home side four minutes after the referee blew the starting whistle. The youth academy player Javi García, who headed in unopposed from a free kick taken by Martins, put his side ahead against his former team. Benfica, much better-oiled and with four more games behind them than Real Madrid, imposed their home team advantage and longer preparation time. Until Real Madrid showed off one of its greatest assets, stretching the play, to turn the marker on two almost consecutive occasions in which Callejón played a key role. For the first goal the youth academy player squad received a precise pass from Di María, which took the scores level in the stadium Da Luz (18'). For the second, two minutes later he got in front of his markers and latched onto a through ball from Higuaín before beating Artur one-on-one.

Benfica reacted quickly. They scored three minutes later in a play very similar to that which opened the scoring. Martins once again crossed in a wide free kick and this time was the Belgian Witsel who head in to beat Adan (22'). The match was all square again the game again showed Mourinho to have been right. "The match against Benfica will be tough. In midfield forward we have many players, but we have no one at the back because they are on holidays" said the coach in the press conference prior to the clash. Both teams had chances to take the lead again before the break. Cardozo, in the goalmouth, had the clearest, but his shot went high when he had already beaten Adán (31'). Minutes before Callejón had another, but the clear shove from Maxi Pereira in the area prevented him his getting the shot away (24 '). The Whites’ midfielder, who was looking for his hat-trick, appealed to the officials.

Mourinho opted to put out the same men after the break that had started the game. And, as happened in the first half, it was Benfica who unbalanced scoreline. This time with a measure of good luck. Enzo Pérez, who came on to the field at the restart, crossed the ball and the curl that he put on the ball took Adán by surprise with the ball ended in the back of the net (53 '). They were the home team’s best minutes and Witsel reinforced that it with a some great play that ending in Martins getting the fourth (58'). The Whites’ coach brought on Coentrão and Benzema for Kaká and Iván (62'). The Portuguese was given a standing ovation by his old fans, who, like the Frenchman, was playing his first minutes of the pre-season. Only Benzema could bring even more excitement to the stands. He shot from Di María’s cross but his it was stopped on the goal line by Artur (65 '). With five minutes remaining, Enzo Pérez scored his second goal and his team’s fifth in a clash in the stadium Da Luz in which the Whites showed their limited training compared to their better prepared opposition.


Stadium: La Luz
Attendance: 35,000
Goals: 1-0, m.4: Javi Garcia; 1-1, min.18: Callejon; 1-2, min.19: Callejon; 2-2, min.21: Witsel; 3-2: Enzo Perez, min. 53; 4-2: Carlos Martins, min.58; 5-2: Enzo Perez, min.85.



Milan reserves the number 22 for Kaka

A.C.Milan has vacated the mythical jersey number 22 that Kaka wore from 2003 to 2009 until was sold to Real Madrid by 67 million euros. The Italian club showed yesterday the final list of the players and their numbers. Nocerino, who wore that number, took the number 8: "We will leave free the jersey 22 to give it to Ricky", said a source at Milan according to Gazzetta dello Sport.

Kaka with the Milan jersey number 22
Kaka with the Milan jersey number 22

The Monday's meeting between Mourinho and Jose Angel Sanchez with Kaka triggered the negotiation. The next day, Gaetano Paolillo, a friend of Kaka and his agent for Italy, met Galliani at the offices of the Italian club. And the latter admitted the contacts in the release of the Calcio calendar: "We are interested, but it's all to be done, and there are a thousand things that could make it impossible. Although there is love... The hardest thing is his salary, that Milan can not afford. In Spain there is a different tax. Kaka has been in our hearts. We will endeavor not to deceive anyone".

Yesterday Ariedo Braida, Milan sporting director, said little about the content of the talks: "There are only talks. There is nothing more. Neither spoke of loan or purchase. There have been only a consultation". Braida said that Bronzetti (Yesterday there was speculation about had a meeting with Florentino) is not in the operation: "Kaka has only one representative... his dad. And a friend (Paolillo). You have to ask them". And they do not talk about it.

The Milan's initial idea is to get the player on loan and ask Kaka, who earns 9 million euros net per season (with a three years contract remaining) to reduce his salary to 5 milllions or that Real Madrid pays the difference to 9. It would be a great move by Berlusconi. And Milan could offer a hope to its fans, after the departure of men like Ibrahimovic, Thiago Silva, Nesta, Seedorf and Gattuso.

Real Madrid wants to sell the player for 30 million euros. Kaka came for 67 millions and that amount is amortized over the six years of his contract (with an expenditure of 11 million in the balance of the accounts for six years). If Kaka leaves for free, would create a negative balance in these accounts over 30 millions. Now sides are looking for the best formula.

Mourinho is trying to bring Modric to the U.S.A. tour

Mourinho has taken a step forward in the case Modric and still continues making efforts to try to sign the Croatian player before the start of the Real Madrid U.S.A tour. The Portuguese coach is personally leading the negotiations as general manager of the football section.

Modric arriving to a training in Chigwell
Modric arriving to a training 

His relationship with Daniel Levy is more than good. They known personally from some years. In fact, Levy made ​​great efforts to bring him as coach at Tottenham when Mourinho left Chelsea. But in the end it did not work. Then, they have maintained a friendly relationship. They met, for example, a few months ago in a U.S.A. private trip. It was at JFK airport in New York. They were more than an hour chatting while waiting for the connection of their respective flights.

Mourinho knows it is a matter of time that the positions of both clubs approach in the same figure (Tottenham wants 45 million euros and Real Madrid is not willing to pay more than 35). And he is not worried about the PSG interest in the footballer. The French team will offer six million net per season to Modric but the player is determined to move to Real Madrid (he will charge 5 millions euros net).

The Croatian continues training with Pienaar (a Villas-Boas discard) at the facilities of the English club in Chigwell. If on August 1 (when Tottenham comes back from its U.S.A. tour) has not finalized the transfer, Modric will be required to return to the trainings of the Spurs. Yesterday, the Telegraph speculated on a possible meeting between Real Madrid members and the player agents, but has not transcended anything about that meeting.


Morata: "Mourinho knows I am ready"

Morata (Oviedo vs Real Madrid)
Morata (Oviedo vs Real Madrid)

Do you see yourself as a third striker of the squad?
I feel I have much to work and learn. In the first team there are great players and I try to copy them in everything I can. It's a luxury to work every day with them. I learn, especially with those players in my position, Cristiano, Benzema, Higuain, Callejon...

Have you spoken to Mourinho to define your role in the 2012-13 season?
Yes, he is happy with me and I'll play when I have to do. My role? He knows I'll give everything and I'm ready. If ever a player is out or the coach needs me to play, I will give everything for this shirt.

What do you want? To play for Real Madrid or find an opportunity to play more minutes as Carvajal has done?
I want to keep improving as a player and when I have an opportunity, play my best. My intention is to be ready in every moment.

But you want to share dressing room with Benzema and Higuain, right?
I belong to Real Madrid and I have always accepted everything they have said me. If they tell me to play with the first team, I will. If they say I should play with the second team, as well I accept it. Play minutes, is good for me.

How is the preseason work with Mourinho?
We are well physically with double sessions of training. All youth players are tremendously excited because training with the first team means you'll be a better player.

You were close to score against Real Oviedo in the first preseason game. What did you feel?
At the end you have to focus on your performance. I have to keep improving. It was the first preseason game and the result was good because we had just one week of training.

Real Madrid plays these matches of summer with many footballers of the youth squad...
It is an honor. The coach and the fans know that we do our best each game and training.

Luka Modric trains in London waiting for Real Madrid

Luka Modric continues training on his own in London waiting to close his move to Real Madrid. The white team has reopened negotiations with Tottenham after Modric's apology to his chairman, Daniel Levy. However, the tug of war between 35 million euros offered by Real Madrid and the 45 millions claimed by Tottenham continues.

Modric is training in London
Modric is training in London

From Real Madrid are confident that the wishes of the player can facilitate negotiations and that the transaction can be closed in 35 million euros (they will never exceed the 40). However, the Spurs also play their cards and wait for Real Madrid raises its offer. Daniel Levy assumes the leaving of his star but is in no hurry to sell. He thinks the Croatian player will have the same price today that on August 31 (when the transfer window closes) and knows that Real Madrid want to close the workforce as soon as possible because white team starts the Spanish League competition on August 18/19.

Meanwhile, Modric returned to training yesterday morning at the facilities of Tottenham with some people as witness. He came at 10:45 am, jumped into the field and an hour later accompanied by a trainer and left the English team sports city at 01:45 pm without wanting to talk about his future.

On other hand, as was published yesterday by the British press, the millionaire PSG intends to interfere in the operation. Sheikh Al Thani would be willing to reach 45 million euros requested by Tottenham. However, the Croatian playmaker did not want to hear about the Parisian team and insists that his only desire is to wear the shirt of Real Madrid.

Tottenham coach, Andre Villas-Boas, confirmed other news; the English club does not force Modric to travel to the U.S.A. tour that the team is making at Los Angeles: "Luka is in London. We decided he stays. I do not think he comes to America, but it is something I have to evaluate", said the Portuguese. Villas-Boas acknowledged that the Croatian apologized to him and the chairman Daniel Levy for his act of defiance: "Modric has spoken with me and the boss. His apology has arrived and was welcomed. The player is now working and is the best decision he took about his future. We hope the teams interested in him can offer what he really costs. Luka is still our player and now I count on him", he said.


Kaka's agent met with Adriano Galliani in Milan

Gaetano Paolillo, Ricardo Kaka's agent in Italy, met this afternoon in Milan with Adriano Galliani and Braida Ariedo, CEO and general manager of Milan, respectively. The meeting took place at Lombard club in Via Turati, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport.

Ricardo Kaka training with Real Madrid
Ricardo Kaka training this morning with Real Madrid

After the meeting, Paolillo left the offices of the Italian team without comment. Asked by the media waiting for his departure, only confirmed the contacts: "Yes, we talked about Kaka, but do not ask me to say anything more". La Gazzetta, the Italian newspaper, also talks about a figure which could allow the Kaka's move to San Siro: 10 million euros.

Adriano Galliani, has left the door open to the possible Ricardo Kaka's transfer from Real Madrid. A few days ago Kaka received the news that the white club did not want him for next season, meanwhile Galliani compares their relationship with a love that never ends. "There are some loves that never finish and then return", said the 'rossoneri' manager when was asked about the possibility of signing Kaka, who already played for Italian club for six seasons.

In addition, there are two keys that could favor the return of Kaka to San Siro. One is the close relationship between the player and Silvio Berlusconi. Another, the Italian team's imperative to sign a big star to keep the existing ones in the squad. Cassano for example who would be willing to leave Milan after the sales of Thiago Silva and Ibrahimovic.

Oviedo 1 - 5 Real Madrid (Friendly)

Real Madrid easily triumphed in their first friendly against Oviedo who showed desire and courage but were no match for a team with many absentees but reinforced by Castilla players who played at a good level. Lucas Vázquez played a great first half and was among the stand out players for Whites along with Di María. Real Madrid accomplished their pre-match goals of winning, playing well and entertaining the 20,000 spectators who paid to enter to see the Whites up close. On Friday, the second game this season is in Lisbon against a talented Benfica team.

Real Madrid starting lineup

In Oviedo Real Madrid started the series of friendly matches that they will play throughout the pre-season aiming to arrive at the start of the official competition in the best possible condition. Mourinho travelled to the Asturian capital with 22 players, most of them from the Whites subsidiary. The Real Madrid coach opted for a starting eleven in which only two first team players featured, Adam and Granero, who served as captain. The remaining players were from Castilla.

The Whites started playing 4-3-3 with Morata as centre-forward. Oviedo, inspired by their fans and by coming up against Real Madrid, started with a vengeance. But the Whites made it clear they wanted to win the first game of the season. In the 8th minute Lucas Vázquez found himself in front of Dani Barrio after a good through ball from Iván and confidently beat the goalkeeper. Oviedo pushed forward in search of an equalizer but left gaps at the back that Real Madrid repeatedly took advantage of but the goal did not come, two shots from Morata could have made it 2-0 but the home team’s goal-line proved difficult to cross. A long range shot from Juanfran in the 23rd minute could have resulted in Real Madrid's second goal but it proved out of reach. As the minutes passed by the home team could not create any opportunities against Real Madrid.

In the 38th minute the score-line changed to 2-0 in favour of Real Madrid. Morata played a through ball for Denis, who entered the area and subtly finished into the home team’s goal. The Whites left Oviedo bruised two minutes later after making the score 3-0 following good play from by Lucas Vázquez whose cross deflected off of Pascual and Granero and ended up in the back of the net. Mourinho’s team remained in the ascendency for the remainder of the first half. With no more action the end of the first part arrived.

The second half began with a carousel of changes by Real Madrid. From those who played the first half only Granero and Alex continued. Jesús, Nacho, Varane, Fabinho, Lass, Di María, Higuaín, Callejón y Ríos came on. Higuaín had the first chance for the whites in the 49th minute but his effort went straight into Barrio’s hands. It was Oviedo that scored in 52nd minute though, with a good goal from Martins, who dribbled around an advancing Jesús and rolled the ball into the empty net. The goal heartened the fans in the Carlos Tartiere. Without time to react Di María's reply came in the 55th minute, taking advantage of a mistake by the home team’s goalkeeper and making the scoer 4-1. The goalkeeper hesitated with the ball at his feet and the Argentine took the ball off of him and scored with ease.

The match turned into a spectacle with the two teams determined in attack. Jesús made a great stop in the 59th minute as he pushed a Manu Bust’s penalty wide for a corner following Nacho’s handball in the area. Oviedo did not give up and continued trying to get the ball into Real Madrid’s goal but had little success with their shooting. On the other hand the Whites, did not need to do much to score. In the 73rd minute Di María’s second mad the score 1-5, after finishing a Higuaín’s rebounded shot. In the 75th minute Jesús was found out of position and Granero decided to pass to Álvaro, who plays for Real Madrid C. The speed of the match slowed down after Real Madrid’s last goal and the players let the minutes go by in search of the final whistle. Callejón could have made it 6-1 after 87 minutes but his shot went just wide. This led to the end of the match. Top marks for a Real Madrid side that has begun this season in the same way that they ended last, wining. On Friday the Whites play their second friendly against Benfica before travelling to the USA.


Stadium: New Carlos Tartiere
Attendance: 12,000
Goals: 0-1, m.9: Lucas; 0-2, m.38: Dennis; 0-3, m.40: Granero; 1-3, m.52: Martins; 1-4, m.55: Di María. 1-5, m.74: Di María.



Pre-season 2012-2013: Oviedo vs Real Madrid

The third version of the Mourinho's Real Madrid starts to move today and it will be the youngest in recent times. The holidays of the international players open the way to the youth squad members, in the first match of Real Madrid this season, at the Carlos Tartiere Stadium in Oviedo (7:45 pm CET).

Mourinho has not called Ricardo Kaka for the match. Real Madrid showed a first list on its website in which Kaka was among the 23 players to travel to Oviedo, but at the last minute was removed from the expedition. At the list also notes the absence of Sahin (gastroenteritis), Benzema, who arrived on Monday at the team's trainings and Ricardo Carvalho. In total, the Portuguese coach called to 8 first team players and 15 youth players.

Kaka will not play against Oviedo

The white team visits the the Asturian field ten years later, in order to continue the winning streak in the preparation games because since Mourinho is the coach of Real Madrid, is unbeaten in 16 friendlies played, winning 13 of them with 3 draws.

Real Oviedo is the rival team. A historic team that will play next year in the first group of the Second Division B (third level) in order to advance to Second. The team that was demoted administratively to Third Division by the refusal of several players to withdraw complaints for non-payment in 2003 and has played the last two years against Real Madrid Castilla in official competition.

This will be the first game of the six Real Madrid will play in the pre-season 2012-2013. After the match against Oviedo and next against Benfica, the rest will be played in the U.S.A. Tour.

Kaka: Milan does not give up and waits for a chance

Milan has not forgotten Ricardo Kaka neither the Brazilian his former club. Although Brazil is the preferred destination by Real Madrid, his former team does not close the doors, to the point that Berlusconi does not rule out ask Florentino a negotiation for the player, knowing he has options to sign him.

Adriano Galliani, Ricardo Kaka and Florentino Perez
Adriano Galliani, Ricardo Kaka and Florentino Perez

The owner of Milan needs to excite his fans with a star signing, although the Italian club's new policy is wage restraint, as has been demonstrated with the transfer of its stars, Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva, to the PSG.

There would be several ways to set the operation. From paying about 20 million by Milan, until the player lowers his salary or Real Madrid leaves to pay the outstanding remaining installments of the 65 million euros the player cost three years ago. And it should be noted that the large outlay that was made to sign the player, coinciding with the return of Florentino Perez to the white club, is still paying on the accounts of the club.

Kaka also ponders his future because he is not comfortable with his sporting situation. He thanks Mourinho and Florentino for the patience and the support they have had with him, but he understands he does not want to be a burden or an obstacle to the Mourinho's team.


Benzema returns today after 29 days of vacation

Karim Benzema is the first international who played the Euro 2012 to incorporate into the squad of Real Madrid to take part of the pre-season. Today is summoned in Valdebebas Sports City and at 5:30 pm he will start training with the rest of his teammates. He returns after 29 days of vacation after being eliminated in the quarterfinals of the Euro, against Spain (2-0).

Karim Benzema at holidays
Karim Benzema at holidays

His time in European competition was not good. Four games played and no goal. Now he has the need and the target of returning to be the same as last season in Real Madrid. He participated in 52 games (3436 minutes, the eighth player in the squad that played more) and scored 32 goals.

Mourinho has been aware of everything during these two months, but now has the opportunity to chat with Karim. Higuian is already in Madrid, his maximum competition in the squad. Both start from the same point and they both will work hard for getting a place in the starting lineup. Higuain will play in Oviedo, the first pre-season friendly, while Benzema will have to train to get ready for his debut.

All the other international players (Portuguese, German and Spanish) will join the team on July 28 to fly to Los Angeles where Real Madrid will be 14 days and will play four friendlies.

Luka Modric: Tottenham expects a Real Madrid's move

The signing of Modric is a matter of time. All people know it in Madrid and London. No rush on either side of the negotiation. They do not want to rush and lose the pulse. With both teams forced to be understood, from Tottenham there is a tendency to work with Real Madrid as long as whites make a gesture to reconcile the views.

Luka Modric waits for a Real Madrid move
Luka Modric 

The numbers are stagnant. Tottenham still sees insufficient the offer of Real Madrid and in the Bernabeu offices, the staff members are not going to get crazy and raise substantially the amount offered for the Croatian player. Daniel Levy, chairman of the English team is willing to negotiate, but understands that Real Madrid has to make the effort and make a new offer, with economic improvement, to take again the talks and resolve this situatuion with the final transfer of Luka Modric to the Jose Mourinho's team.

What does not help at all is the refusal of the player to travel with the rest of the team to the North American tour. Within the Spurs, did not like that the player refused to train with the rest of his teammates and did not travel with the team to the U.S.A. Such gestures, understood as a disregard for the London club, do no good to negotiate. On the contrary, harden the negotiation between the player and the club. Tottenham hoped the Croatian to have a professional demeanor and work as the other Villas-Boas players, at least until the tranfer would have been official.

Logic says that late summer Modric will wear the shirt of Real Madrid. From the English club do not want to hold on to the team to a player who behaves this way, although they are not going to give away to Croatian midfielder. They know that Real Madrid can make a final economic effort and this movement is being waiting in London to get a pinch more from the Spanish team. They want to negotiate. They want to collaborate. But they want that Real Madrid takes the first step.
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