Preview: Getafe vs Real Madrid (Spanish League, Day 2)

Real Madrid travels to the other side of the city to face their friendly rivals, Getafe. After the defeat against FC Barcelona in the Spanish Super Cup first leg, the white team will look to consolidate on the league. Jose Mourinho’s team looks to be on a roll after the stinging criticism for their performace against Valencia in matchday 1 of the Spanish tournament.

Getafe vs Real Madrid

Getafe on the other hand have had a worst begining. They have been beaten by Sevilla, and the bad feelings are around the blue team. The Getafe club have undergone a major overhaul from top to bottom in all the lines with new players. In addition, with the summer market opened, there are several players on the squad who do not know their future. But, Luis Garcia (Getafe coach) is pleased with the last year results and wants to focus all the efforts to continue playing in the Spanish First Division.

Last time, both the sides faced each other, Real Madrid registered a victory with a Sergio Ramos' header. At that time Real Madrid consolidated a seven points gap with Barcelona.


Last year Luis Garcia, tasted an improbable victory against Barcelona and will employ the same tactics he used. Against Real Madrid in the beginning of the last season, the blue team also had a great performance so probably Real Madrid will have to face a difficult match. Against weaker teams, Garcia prefers a 4-4-2 but against stronger opposition, the former Levante manager plays a 4-2-3-1, with his defenders statying deep and strikers relying on counter attacks to move forward. They will not give any space to the opposition and will not hesitate to commit fouls. But one thing which we can be sure of is that Getafe will not give up without a fight.

Getafe will be without their best centre-back of the last seasons, Cata Diaz, who moved to Atletico Madrid. Pedro Leon will not play the match because of the transfer conditions that Real Madrid set to allow the move this summer. Speaking on the match, Luis Garcia said: "We have to defend well against Ozil, Di Maria, Cristiano, Benzema, Higuain … because of they will give us a lot of problems with the ball. For that we must strike a balance between defense-attack, try to play one on one. We know Real Madrid is the current champion and will not leave us to play as we want".

Real Madrid

With Pepe out of the team, Albiol will partner Ramos at the centre of defense and Arbeloa will start as the right back. Coentrao will play for the third straight time as the left back. Marcelo is still not ready to play the whole match.

At the midfield some doubts. Xabi alonso and Khedira have two places in the starting lineup. Cristiano will play on the left side. The Portuguese is increasing his pace and looks better every match. Against Barcelona scored an important goal and has had great performances facing Getafe. There are three players fighting for the other two places: Özil has had two poor performances, Callejon was awarded with good words by Mourinho after the Super Cup match and Di Maria is in good shape as we saw in Barcelona.

As forward Benzema looks the Mourinho's choice. The Frenchman started the match against Barcelona and had a grey role defending the midfielders of the Catalonian team. He could not enjoy a goal opportunity but worked very hard for the team. Gonzalo Higuaín scored the first goal of the season against Valencia and played well the first twenty minutes of that match but then decreased his pace, as all the team, and showed a bad image. Against Barcelona only played the last minutes and could not play his best.

Getafe will hardly care about possession. Luis Garcia, even when he was with Levante, relied on his defense and counter attacks to stifle the opposition. He was successful in executing the same strategy against Barcelona at the Coliseum last year. Jose Mourinho and Real Madrid need to be efficient in front of the goal.

Expected Starting Lineups:
  • Getafe: Moya (GK); Valera, Abraham, Alexis, Miguel Torres; Xavi Torres, Lacen; Castro, Lafita, Barrada; Miku.
  • Real Madrid; Casillas (GK); Arbeloa, Ramos, Albiol, Coentrao; Khedira, Xabi; Di Maria, Callejon, Ronaldo; Benzema.


Villas-Boas: "Luka Modric's transfer could be closed in a couple of days"

Luka Modric's move to Real Madrid is imminent. The transfer of Croatian (30 million euros plus 5 according to the targets achieved by the Croatian midfielder with the Real Madrid jersey) could be solved between today or tomorrow. This was acknowledged by Villas-Boas, Tottenham coach, during the presentation of Adebayor: "The situation is in the hands of the president to come to terms with Real Madrid. Levy said me that talks are ongoing. They are making some progress and the situation can be resolved in a couple of days. Both sides have come very close. Currently, the player continues to train apart and it will remain until the end of the transfer period". He also explained his vision of the long negotiation: "I think this means how important is the player for Tottenham and why this situation".

Luka Modric training with Croatia
Luka Modric training with Croatia

The only thing holding back the signing of Modric is that Spurs have not found a substitute for him. Moutinho, M'Vila and now William, of Shakhtar, who has taken the lead. Villas-Boas said he is to his liking: "He is a player that interested me since last season. But I will not talk more because it would be disrespectful for Shakhtar and we have good relations".

Tottenham is willing to pay 25 million euros to sign William (the amount would be covered with the 30 millions euros Real Madrid would pay). If the Ukrainian entity accepts, Modric could land in the capital of Spain before the Real Madrid-Getafe match to play on Sunday (9:00 pm -CET-).

Moreover, Stimac, Croatian coach is fully confident in the player and Modric has been called for the qualifiers for the World Cup in Brazil. Croatia will face Macedonia on September 7 and Belgium on the 11th. Despite the problems of his move and the strange preseason that Modric has had, Stimac thinks the midfielder is fundamental for the Croatian team: "We can not allow ourselves to play without him but a single player can not disturb us with two important matches ahead to classify for the Brazil World Cup".

Barcelona 3 - 2 Real Madrid (Spanish Super Cup, 1st Leg)

Minute 83: Casillas saves at the goal line a Messi's shot at point-blank. It could be 4-1. Minute 84: Valdés tries to dribble to Di Maria, the goalkeeper loses the battle and the Argentinian scores the 3-2. Two plays that summarize a thrilling Classic, emotionally charged in early August. Cristiano scored, Pedrito responded a minute later, Messi appeared, and Iniesta gave up a goal to Xavi. When the Camp Nou fans danced with the Super Cup almost in the bag, Valdés ruined the party. Real Madrid was defeated, but without pain. The white team can achieve the title at the Bernabeu, is still alive.

Cristiano Ronaldo scored again at the Camp Nou

Real Madrid demonstrated in the first half that it is able to adapt to all types of situations. Barcelona, the home team, dominated possession and the Whites, well aware of the fact that they likely have the best counterattack in the world, pressuring the home team’s passing and awaiting their opportunity. The first fifteen minutes of the match passed with no apparent danger, with both teams making their intentions known.

The first chance fell to Barcelona, although they had to wait 28 minutes; a through ball from Alves to Messi, two metres from the penalty spot, who shot wide from in front of goal. The Argentine could have put his team ahead again ten minutes later, but his solo effort ended in the same fashion as his previous shot, wide of the goal protected by Casillas.

Real Madrid demonstrated maturity and defensive solidity. Their display on the turf at the Camp Nou saw reward at the half-hour mark when a counterattack started by Cristiano Ronaldo, continued by Özil and then Callejón was almost completed by Benzema whose through ball was cleared by Mascherano for a corner when CR7 was waiting to finish the move. Two shots from the home side from the edge of the area, one of which was on target, the first in the game, brought the first half to an end. There had been few chances for both teams, two yellow cards for Real Madrid (Alonso and Arbeloa) and one for the home side (Mascherano).

The match did not take long to change entirely. Ten minutes was all Cristiano Ronaldo required to make the most of an Özil corner and put his team ahead with a header. The Portuguese player stole into the box to get ahead of Busquets and scored, ecstatic to be scoring once again at theCamp Nou. By scoring the goal, CR7 becomes the only player in the club’s history to score for the fourth game in a row against Barcelona.

The away side’s joy was short-lived. A long pass from Mascherano from the halfway line was met by Pedro, who beat Casillas with a shot across goal. The goal, which was scored from an offside position, equalised a clash that was starting to liven up due to the clear opportunities created by both sides. Mourinho, aware of the impact of the goal, wanted to give his team more speed and cutting edge up front. Higuaín replaced Benzema, exhausted from all his work, in minute 60. Four minutes later, the Argentine’s move arrived at the feet of Callejón, who shot wide from the edge of the area. The Real Madrid youth team player was replaced by Di María in minute 65’.

The match was wide open, entertaining, but the balance was tipped in Barcelona’s favour with the penalty awarded to Barcelona for the foul committed by Ramos on Iniesta in minute 69. Messi took the penalty and put his team ahead, and eight minutes later they scored the third in a move started by Iniesta and finished Xavi, beating Casillas in a one-on-one.

It appeared that the match was drawing to a close, but this Real Madrid team never surrenders; it comes with putting on the Madrid shirt and is part of its philosophy and with five minutes remaining in the clash Casillas and Di María played an important part in the final result. An unbelievable stop by the Real Madrid captain in a one-on-one with Messi and Adriano beat Di María in the counterattack, passed the ball to Valdés in the home side’s goal and in an attempt to dribble past the Argentine, lost the ball to Di María, who slotted the ball into the goal calmly to silence the Camp Nou. 3-2 was the final result and leaves the title to be decided at the Santiago Bernabeu. Next Wednesday, the Madrid fans will witness how the first title of the season is decided.


Stadium: Camp Nou
Attendance: 91,728
Goals: 0-1: Cristiano Ronaldo, min.55. 1-1: Pedro, min.56. 2-1: Messi (pen), min.65. 3-1: Xavi, min.77. 3-2: Di Maria, min.84.


Spanish Super Cup 2012: Mourinho's commandments

There is no special plan as such for the match at the Camp Nou, but the team will be expected to fulfil five "must-do", commandments if you will. Recent clashes between Real Madrid and Barcelona have demonstrated that Mourinho's strategy has borne fruit, allowing 'Whites' to win the Spanish Cup and last season's league championship. Mourinho is more convinced than ever that these five commandments are the key to success at the Camp Nou.

Jose Mourinho

Besides demanding his team plays with maximum intensity and at a high pace, there are a number of methods he has devised to thwart the threat of an opponent Madrid knows all too well.

Keeping a high line. Pepe's injury is the biggest spanner in the works. With Pepe in the team, the plan was to push the defensive line up as close to the midfield as possible, compressing the pitch and catching Barcelona in the offside trap. Albiol is a different type of centre-back. He is less mobile than Pepe and less accustomed to playing in a high defensive line against an opposition that specialises in creating spaces going forward.

Flooding the midfield. With Pepe out, the rearguard needs extra protection, and one way of doing this is flooding the midfield. The players in the centre of the park will be asked to play as close together as possible. We can't rule out the possibility of Xabi Alonso, Lass and Khedira lining up to form a defensive midfield trio, or a "high-pressure triangle", as Mourinho likes to call it. The idea is to limit the space available and pressure the opposition into making mistakes. Once the team wins the ball back, it will be looking to launch immediate counterattacks. In the last league meeting between the two, in which Madrid ran out 2-1 winners, the pressuring carried out across the pitch was vital in unsettling and neutralising Barça and stifling their talent. As the Madrid players say, "you have to work for each other".

Barcelona vs Real Madrid: 110 years of history

Real Madrid and Barcelona will play today the first Classic of the season (10:30 pm -CET-). It will be the first leg of the Super Cup of Spain, a competition where they have faced five times. In total, 219 games in 110 years of history where they accumulate data and anecdotes.

2 Spanish Super Cups won by Real Madrid against Barcelona
Spanish Super Cups won by Real Madrid against Barcelona

Classics. Real Madrid and Barcelona have faced in 219 official matches, with a record of 87 white wins, 86 wins for Barcelona and 46 draws. If Barcelona defeats Real Madrid today, will equal in overall victories in the history of the Classic.

Camp Nou. For the second time in history, three straight Classics will be played in the same stadium, the Camp Nou. Not happened since 1916, when Real Madrid was the home team in three consecutive Cup clashes against Barcelona, played in the field of Atletico Madrid.

Spanish Super Cup. Barcelona and Real Madrid have won 18 out of the 28 Super Cup titles (64%). Barcelona leads the list of the Spanish Super-Champions (Barcelona 10, Real Madrid 8).


Cristiano vs Messi: New challenge towards the Golden Ball

The Classic returns, and with it, the duel between the two titans of modern football: Cristiano Ronaldo and Messi. Last season the Portuguese tipped the scales in his favor. Messi scored more goals, 82 against 69 by Cristiano (Added the goals with national teams), but Real Madrid won the Spanish League and the Portuguese scored a goal in the Nou Camp which gave them the victory that sealed the title. In Barcelona still remember his gesture calling for calm after breaking the tie just three minutes after the Barcelona goal.

Cristiano vs Messi. Spanish Super Cup 2011
Cristiano vs Messi. Spanish Super Cup 2011

The Super Cup will be the first challenge to measure forces. Last season Messi won the first round in the battle something that Cristiano does not forget and wants revenge. But in addition of the Spanish Super Cup, it is the UEFA's Best Player Award 2011-2012. Although Mourinho talked about this trophy in this way: "The Super Cup is the less important competition of the year", an outstanding performance of either could make a decisive impact in the voting to be held on the day of the gala award ceremony (August 30).

Cristiano and Messi are also the favorite footballers for the Golden Ball with Casillas and Iniesta. Mourinho has no doubt and defended the candidacy of the white number '7': "If there is justice, Cristiano will win". The coach understands that winning the best league in the world should outweigh the number of goals. But the Golden Ball will not be delivered until January so what is going to happen in these months of competition can help Cristiano to increase his advantage with Messi to be the best player in the world.

Against Valencia, Cristiano did not show his best version. The Portuguese is still working to reach his best shape. The Portuguese reached the semifinals of Euro 2012 and started to work with Real Madrid on July 28. Since then he has played 375 minutes (60 of them with Portugal) in which he has scored three goals. Messi, meanwhile, has enjoyed 31 days of vacation and has made full preseason with Barcelona (465 minutes and eight goals). Last season the Argentinian started to work two days before the Super Cup first leg and finished vomiting at the Bernabeu.

Luka Modric: Fakes and hackers

Luka Modric closed his move to Real Madrid on Tuesday a couple of times, more than during all the summer. First, with the fake picture published by the newspaper Marca, and then on the official website of the white team where was leaked his profile. And is that Real Madrid showed on the website a profile for Luka Modric as a member of the squad as the signing would be already closed.

Modric profile on the Real Madrid website
Modric profile on the Real Madrid website

Members of the Real Madrid club ensure that the problem was caused by a computer attack from a hacker. The Real Madrid reacted quickly and when realized the mistake immediately withdrew the Croatian player profile of the website. The data base was eliminated but the web adress already exists although with no content.

This incident adds as one more to the list of stories that is generating the move of Luka Modric to Real Madrid. Also yesterday, Marca made a mistake publishing a photo of Luka Modric supposedly in Madrid when in fact he was in Croatia and the image was 2010. Soon after, the sport newspaper apologized for the mistake and said they had been deceived by who facilitated the pictures.

Modric in Madrid (Fake picture)
Modric in Madrid (Fake picture)


Nuri Sahin to play for Arsenal

Sahin will play this season for Arsenal. Yesterday was completed the transfer of Turkish international to English club. His agent, Reza Fazeli, went yesterday to the offices of the Santiago Bernabeu at 11:30 a.m. and sealed the deal for the player transfer on loan. Both clubs will announce it in the coming hours.

Reza Fazeli. Sahin's agent at the Bernabeu
Reza Fazeli. Sahin's agent at the Bernabeu

The Arsene Wenger'a team will take over the player's salary (2.8 million euros net) and will also pay an extra amount to Real Madrid to take the loan of Sahin. Keep in mind that Liverpool, Galatasaray and Besiktas were also interested in getting the loan of former Borussia player and so the white club was able to get some money.

At first, Sahin did not have in mind the idea of leaving Madrid, but Mourinho has convinced him that the best option is to take minutes out of the white squad. During the preseason Mourinho placed him as left-back and in the first official match against Valencia left him out of bench.

Among all the options (Turkey and England), Sahin preferred the Premier League because he thought it was better for him. Between Liverpool and Arsenal, the two English clubs interested in him, the player has always shown a predilection for the 'Gunners' as they are going to play the Champions League and Brendan Rodgers' team still has to get a place in the Europa League. Furthermore, as published by the British media, Wenger himself called Sahin during the last weekend to explain him what would be his role at the team (Song's replacement, newcomer to Barcelona) and finished to convince him that Arsenal was the ideal destination.

What was not contemplated in the agreement is that Arsenal has a purchase option at the end of this season. This was stated Mourinho: "Sahin will leave on loan. Real Madrid will never sell him. He needs to play and develop". The Portuguese coach thinks Sahin can reach a higher level that he showed when was awarded as best player in the Bundesliga 2010-11, but thinks he should play football minutes out of Real Madrid.

Pepe is at home but will not play the Spanish Super Cup against Barcelona

Pepe is now resting at his home in Las Rozas after being discharged yesterday morning. Medical tests ruled that the Portuguese central defender has no brain damage, but he suffers a head injury will force him to miss Thursday's first leg of the Super Cup against Barcelona (10:30 pm -CET-).

Pepe on the field after the clash with Casillas
Pepe on the field after the clash with Casillas

The white defender gave a scare to the point he had to be intubated during his stay in the Hospital La Paz. He slept on Sunday night in the ICU sedated and underwent a first CT to study if the brain had been severely affected by the brutal impact against Casillas, which forced him to be substituted against Valencia. The result showed no damage and yesterday morning underwent a second CT scan did not reveal nothing worrisome.

This was explained by the head of Madrid's medical services, Dr. Carlos Diez: "Testing has gone negative. Pepe spent the night under observation and all went very good so we have decided, under the supervision of club medical services, that the player can leave the hospital with no problem".

Pepe left La Paz Hospital at 1:10 pm discreetly to avoid the presence of press and onlookers who were in the emergency room and left the room by the emergency child exit, on the other side of the building. The Portuguese was last night under supervision at his own home (the protocol established for these cases dictates a 24-hour medical observation) and although had improved in the hurts of trauma, the feeling in the club is not to force him to return to play the Spanish Super Cup to be held on Thursday at the Camp Nou. Mourinho said after the match against Valencia: "The Supercup is a game and nothing more. Pepe is more important".

In principle, the player will be already fully fit for the next Sunday's match against Getafe (9:00 pm) and for the second leg of the Super Cup on Wednesday 29 at the Santiago Bernabeu. Meanwhile, his substitue to play with Ramos for the first Classic of the 2012-13 season is already decided and will be Albiol. The Spanish international (recently renewed until 2017) was called by Mourinhoto to replace Pepe for the second half after the injury. The Portuguese coach was finally satisfied with the performance of the former Valencia defender and will give him other opportunity against Barcelona.


Luka Modric stopped the last great offer from Chelsea

Luka Modric was responsible for disposing of the last big offer that arrived at Tottenham offices two days ago. Di Matteo's Chelsea is interested in the player, and the English team has put on the table more money than Real Madrid. But according to the Daily Mirror reported in yesterday's edition, the Croatian player himself said again to the leaders of the Spurs that his decision can not be reversed. According to the Mirror, Chelsea wanted to include two players in the transaction, Raul Meireles and Daniel Sturridge, two players Villas-Boas likes. With those two in the business, Chelsea offer exceeded that of Real Madrid, but Modric has already decided.

Luka Modric with the Real Madrid jersey number 16
Luka Modric

Today is the day that the talks between Daniel Levy and Florentino Perez will be reactivated. Luka Modric's signing could be officially announced in a few hours. The business will close in 30 million euros plus 5 variables (Levy still trying to increase these variables). Real Madrid also has the disadvantage the euro-pound exchanging is unfavorable. These are the last fringes that must be resolved before the presentaton of Luka Modric at the Bernabeu Stadium.

Tootenham is looking for a substitute in the midfield but it's not even a problem. Villas-Boas said on Saturday after losing at Newcastle on their debut in the Premier League: "The Modric's issue will be closed in a couple of days. It is independent in the two contracts we have to do (a midfielder and a center forward)".

Today also could be closed the transfer of Sahin, on loan, because Mourinho still believes that due to his youth (23 years old) and quality (was voted player of the Bundesliga in 2010-11) can still be useful in Madrid. Arsenal and Liverpool are the two most interested teams, but the favorite destination option for the player is the London side. For one simple reason: the midfielder wants to play the Champions League, and only with Wenger's squad could do it. Real Madrid and Arsenal will continue talking today about the deal. Arsenal needs soon a midfielder after the sale of Song to Barcelona for 15 million pounds (19 million euros). Real Madrid wants to maintain control over the future of Sahin.

Real Madrid 1 - 1 Valencia (League, Day 1)

The champion had its first shock in the presentation in society. A draw against the only rival who seems able to follow, always at a distance, the trail which is expected to leave Real Madrid and Barcelona on their journey through this league reduced, if nothing changes, to a fight between two. This just started and despite the surprises that will splash the course of the competition, all people think it is going to be the final result.

It was a duel played by Real Madrid and Valencia at a low pace, excusable in these early season, what facilitated the defensive maneuvers of Valencia and became more predictable the Real Madrid attacks. Although Real Madrid presented itself in this league as the white team left the last, showing a powerful image and a strong punch.

Higuain scored the Real Madrid first goal of the season 

With suffocating pressure up front and plenty of balance in the midfield, Real Madrid was the first team to fire a warning shot, doing so on two occasions barely inside the first five minutes, both shots coming from the forwards. Cristiano Ronaldo was the first to shoot in the second minute, and Di María did the same two minutes later, before setting up Higuaín to put the Whites ahead on the scoreboard. The Argentine’s precise pass was made the most of by his fellow countryman who, in the right position, controlled the ball, and after three attempts, beat Alves. Higuaín scored Real Madrid’s first official goal of the season and only needed 9 minutes to do so.


Cristiano on the hunt of a Ronaldo's record

Cristiano Ronaldo is the recordman of Real Madrid and loves challenges. Therefore, He will like to know that if he scores a goal this afternoon against Valencia, he will have become the first player in the history of Real Madrid that scores in eight consecutive league matches. The Portuguese was accurate in front of goal the last seven days of the last League: scored against Atletico Madrid (3), Sporting, Barcelona, Sevilla, Athletic Bilbao, Granada and Mallorca.

Cristiano Ronaldo with the Real Madrid jersey
Cristiano Ronaldo

In the history of the white club, there have been great players who have achieved this record. Have scored goals in seven games in a row Puskas (twice), Hugo Sanchez, Van Nistelrooy, Olmedo and Roque Olsen. If Cristiano Ronaldo meets the challenge and opens his scorer locker today, will be the first white player to score eight days straight and will match recognized 'gunners' as Zarra, Langara, Pruden, Ansola, Pizzi and Forlan.

But Cristiano then would have ahead the big challenge of catching his namesake Ronaldo Nazario, who in his only season as Barcelona player (1996-97) was always able to score between days 30 and 39 of that season. That record that keeps the Brazilian forward at the top of this record is shared with another Barcelona player, Mariano Martin, a Spanish scorer of the 40s.

For Cristiano a very attractive opportunity arises if he scores today, because in the days 2 and 3, Real Madrid will face Getafe and Granada, two opponents against which he has been able to score before. But at first, the Portuguese must beat Diego Alves today. And it is not going to be easy. Valencia is a great team (third-ranked last season) and in the last match between the teams, the final scoreboard showed a 0-0.

Preview: Real Madrid vs Valencia (League, Day 1)

The white team, proclaimed champions last season beating the major championship records, begins its title defense with a top-level match against the team which was third-ranked.

The official season begins for the new project of Real Madrid 2012/2013. After a spectacular finish to last season dramatically winning the 32nd league title beating the great records of the tournament, the white team returns to the competition in a game at the highest level against what was the third best team in Spain, Valencia (7:00 om -CET-). The Whites kick off their title defense with the same block that gave so much joy to the fans last year and with the highest expectations in all competitions after completing a magnificent preseason: in four games played in the American tour the whites have notched up four victories. The new season which trainers, players and all Madrid fans were waiting for,starts for the best Spanish champions.

Jose Mourinho begins his third season leading the Real Madrid line-up after he extended his contract with the club. The trainer has conquered the Copa del Rey and the League of records, but principally has formed a winning group with very young players who are able to aspire to everything. "We are the same people, we know each other well and we will try to maintain the quality of play, team spirit and level of ambition. Keeping all of this we will be candidates to win every competition we play to win and to win every time", said the Portuguese before the league debut.
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