Squad: Michael Essien

Michael Essien

When he signed for Chelsea in 2005, José Mourinho defined Essien as a "multifunctional" player. The Ghanaian international has a quality that stands out above everything else: his versatility. The Real Madrid player has spent most of his career in midfield but has also played at right-back and in central defence.

After shining for Ghana u-17s in the 1999 New Zealand World Cup, Essien took the leap into European football in 2000 to when signing for Bastia. Two seasons were enough to dazzle one of the Europe’s big clubs and he signed for Olympique Lyon in 2002. Three years later he ended up at Chelsea. His physical power is remarkable and makes him a great midfielder, but apart from that Essien also has the ability to organise attacks and score goals.

His powerful stature has earned him the nickname of The Bison. The Real Madrid player, who was described in the past by José Mourinho as an "athlete who can run for hours, a spectacular athlete", is a physical marvel. The Ghanaian will be coming to a coach who he already managed him at Chelsea for three seasons from 2005 to 2008.

For Essien football is not everything. The player is very committed to his country and to the living conditions there, especially of those most in need and of the children. Whenever he has the opportunity he participates in charity events.

  • Place of Birth: Accra (Ghana)
  • Date of Birth: 12/03/1982
  • Position: Midfielder
  • Weight: 85 kg.
  • Height: 177 cm
  • Nationality: Ghanaian
Honours (Clubs / National team)
  • Champions League: 2011/12
  • English League: 2005/06, 2009/10 
  • FA Cups: 2006/07, 2008/09, 2009/10, 2011/12
  • Community Shield: 2009
  • English League Cup: 2066/07
  • French League titles: 2003/04, 2004/05
Honours (Individual)
  • Best player in the French League: 2005

Kaka and Carvalho will stay

After the end of the summer transfer market, Real Madrid considered closed the chapter of signings and sales. The last sale operations were Granero and Lass, and the arrival of Essien was the last signing. Neither Mourinho nor Florentino Perez think about other last-minute move. This causes that Carvalho and Kaka will stay in Real Madrid, at least until next January. Throughout the summer the white club has worked in the sale of these two players which were not, a priori, in the coach's plans. But ultimately neither has found their place in another club and will be part of the first team squad for all purposes.

Kaka and Carvalho training with Real Madrid
Kaka and Carvalho

The most striking case is that of Carvalho. The Portuguese center defender has not made a training with Madrid throughout the preseason, being at all times regardless of team workouts. The Portuguese has spent all summer to find a club to end his career, but has not found a project that was really interesting for him.

The defender is very close to Madrid, where his wife and children are happy and are highly adapted, and they did not want to start a new adventure in one of the exotic countries that have interest in him. The Queens Park Rangers was the team that made the last offer by the player and the closest one has been to get hold of his services, but despite he did not care to return to live in London his indicision caused the QPR signed Nelsen. So, to Carvalho have been closed all doors and except a last minute miracle (Russian teams) he will still be linked to Real Madrid. He has a one year contract.

Kaká's case is similar, although he has never been out of the team as Carvalho, who came to train with R.M. Castilla. The Brazilian and Real Madrid have not agreed on his future and the player will continue under Mourinho's orders. Kaka hopes to convince the coach to go back into the team. Kaka has been left out of the squad in the last three games; the two matches of the Spanish Super Cup against Barcelona and against Getafe in a league meeting, but the Brazilian hopes the situation returns to normal after the market closes. Mourinho said that if Kaka stays within the team, he will attempt to get the highest possible return from the player. We will see.

Michael Essien: New Real Madrid player

Essien by Lass. Real Madrid staged a lightning move in the final hours before the close of the transfer market and has signed, for a season, the Chelsea Ghanaian player as a substitute for Lass, who will go to Anzhi, the Russian team. The Frenchman had not closed last night his contract (they offer him 5 million euros per year) but has time to achieve it, until August 5, the date that is the deadline in Russia.

Michael Essien

Around 7:00 pm yesterday reached an irresistible proposal at the Bernabeu Stadium form Anzhi and Real Madrid, knowing it was the last option for cashing by Lass, frantically tracked down a replacement. Then came the name of Michael Essien. Di Matteo announced before the final the European Super Cup that the player was not summoned because he could go on loan. Chelsea refused to lend him to Arsenal, rival for the Premier, and quickly the talks began between Madrid (Florentino Perez, Jose Angel Sanchez and Mourinho) and London, with Michael Emenalo (Chelsea sporting director) carrying the negotiations, while Abramovich was in Monaco.

"He is ready, is ok" said a relevant source last night in Monaco, referring to Michael Essien. But the fact is that the midfielder since 2008 has suffered serious injuries which have stopped his progression. He went from being the player who could do anything to be a usual guest at the nurse room. In the 2008-09 season Essien missed seven months and the half part of the following season with torn ligaments in both knees (played 14 games in 09-10). He often participated in the season 10-11 (33 games), but only played 14 matches last season.


Mourinho: Triple Crown in four different countries

Jose Mourinho continues to expand his numerous records and after the Spanish Super Cup he won last Wednesday can boast a new milestone: he is the only coach who has achieved the 'Triple Crown' (League, Cup and Super Cup) in four different countries (Spain, Italy, England and Portugal ). Or what is the same, in all places where he has coached.

Mourinho talking to Modric
Mourinho talking to Modric

The first was won with Porto in his first full season in the bench of the 'Dragoes' (2002-03). In addition, that year he achieved the UEFA Cup. After being European Champion with the Portuguese team, moved to England to manage Chelsea where needed only two years. The first season (2004-05) won the Premier and the Community Shield (the tournament that faces the winners of Premier and the FA Cup). Mourinho rounded out the 'triple crown' the following year, knocking Manchester United in the FA Cup. In his Italian adventure followed the same pattern: Scudetto and Super Cup after arrival at Inter Milan in season 2008-09 and the following year, won the Cup. The season 2009-2010 was his best as coach. He won all the titles he disputed with the Italian team. Inter MIlan achieved all the tournaments in Italy and won the Champions League against Bayern Munchen in Madrid.

But Jose Mourinho still has two major challenges. Out of the 16 tournaments he has tried to win, has not got the European Super Cup. Milan snatched him this trophy in 2003 with a goal from Shevchenko in Monaco. The other objective is to win the Tenth European Cup for Real Madrid. If he wins this title coaching the Spanish team, will become the only coach in the world winning the Champions League with three different clubs, beating Ernst Happel (Feyenoord and Hamburg) and Ottmar Hitzfeld (Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich).

Draw: UEFA Champions League 2012-2013

Steve McManaman's hand was anything but innocent for Real Madrid, which was drawn in the group of death of the Champions League 2012-2013. Former Real Madrid midfielder was on hand to pick up the balls from the groups to place the different teams in his capacity as ambassador for the final tournament, to take place on May 25, 2013 at Wembley. And it could not go more complicated for the current Spanish League champion.

Manchester City, Ajax and Borussia Dortmund will be the rivals of Mourinho's team since 18 September. English and Germans were the most feared in their respective drums and both have gone down together in the Real Madrid group. Ajax joined them, a usual competitor in recent times in the Champions League for the white team, although hardly problematic, given the difference between the two squads.

Manchester City: Second chance in the Champions League for Mancini's team. After a disappointing debut (did not pass the group stage), the City comes with two new faces: Maicon (Inter) and Jack Rodwell (Everton)
  • Best: Its tremendous offensive potential. Toure's phisycal condition, Silva's imagination, Dzeko's instinct, Aguero's quality, the unpredictable Balotelli, Tevez's strenght ... multitude of resources and an infinite multitude of alternatives for different match situations. A threat.
  • Worst: Lack of personality in big games. Mainly marked by the personality of the coach. Roberto Mancini tends to take a step back in matches with strong rivals. He is often accused of lacking ambition and overly defensive approach when has the potential to set the pace of the match.

Ajax: Team further weakened after the departure of players like Anita, Lodeiro and Vertonghen (Tottenham). Few problems will create the team of Frank de Boer, which has barely been reinforced by the arrival of Moisander and the veteran Christian Poulsen.
  • Best: Its youth and daring. Alderweireld, Van der Wiel or the young Dijks are starting line-up players and have good quality to play the ball. In midfield Eriksen puts the imagination and Sigthórsson handles the scoring task.
  • Worst: No highlighted players. Its most notable player is the Danish Eriksen and showed in the last Euro Cup he is not a decisive player in top level meetings. It is a team that is committed to the youth teams and requires a full reconstruction and time to can compete with the top teams of Europe.

Borussia Dortmund: A team growing. Dortmund wants to take another step in its return to the European front line. Last year left a good feeling and has improved with virtually the same squad of a year ago. A signing, Reus, and a leaving, Shinji Kagawa (Man. United) its best player in the midfield.
  • Best: A team made ​​and cleared. The couple of central defenders Hummels-Subotic is superb. Gündogan must step forward in the ball control after the departure of Kagawa. The speed of Götze or Reus, and the incisor Polish trident; Großkreutz-Blaszczykowski-Lewandowski.
  • Worst: The game creation. Since the departure of Sahin two seasons ago the German team that has failed to play properly at the midfield. Gündogan did not meet expectations last season and now without Kagawa, the problems could increase.

Esteban Granero to play for QPR

Real Madrid and Queens Park Rangers have reached an agreement for the transfer of Esteban Granero to the London club. The white squad player will leave the white team, where he began his professional carrer, and will play for the Premier League team for five years.

Esteban Granero with a QPR jersey
Esteban Granero with a QPR jersey

The difficult situation Granero is passing has forced him, at the last minute, to make a decision about his future. The midfielder has had few chances since Mourinho arrived at the Real Madrid bench two years ago and this season would have been a lost year, much more after the arrival of Modric.

Granero had a one year contract with Real Madrid, an extreme situation for the player and the club. So both parties have welcomed the offer by the English side, close to 8 million euros. With the agreement between the clubs closed, the Queens Park Rangers has already announced it officially, Granero traveled to England to undergo a medical exmination and sign his contract. In principle, the player signed for five years, with figures of around 2 million euros net per each of the seasons.

In London, Granero met his new teammates and the coach of QPR, the Welshman Mark Hughes. Real Madrid has set a repurchase option in the deal so white team will have the opportunity to re-sign the player from June 30, 2014.


Preview: UEFA Champions League Draw (2012/13)

Real Madrid will find out the three rivals they will have to face in the Group Stage of the Champions League 2012/13. The Whites, the top seeds, will not be able to play against Spanish teams or teams which form part of drum A in the draw, which UEFA will do at the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco, at 5:45 pm (CET). It is the start of Real Madrid's march towards the final, which will be played on the 25th of May at Wembley Stadium. The debut of the competition's most titled team will take place on the 18th and 19th of September.

The whole of Europe will be watching the draw for the Champions League this evening to be held in Montecarlo. The great performance of Real Madrid in the Supercopa of Spain has warned the other thirty teams of the continent aspiring to reach the final on Saturday 25 May at Wembley.

Benfica, Shakhtar Donetsk, Zenit Saint Petersburg, Schalke 04, Manchester City, Sporting de Braga and Dynamo Kiev, from drum B. Olympiakos, Ajax, Anderlecht, Juventus, Spartak Moscow, PSG, Lille and Galatasaray, from drum C. And Celtic, Borussia Dortmund, Bate Borisov, Dinamo Zagreb, Cluj, Montpellier and Nordsjaelland, from drum D, are all potential rivals for Rival Madrid.

On the way to the final there will be pitfalls. And from today. The most dangerous rivals today are Manchester City, which is in drum B, and the PSG and Juventus, which will depart from the drum C. Manchester City and PSG are two teams that have been strengthened in recent years. With the help of petro-dollars they want to sneak into the final at Wembley. Juventus has never been an easy opponent and Borussia Dortmund, winning the last two Bundesliga titles, is the danger of drum D.

Drums: UEFA Champions League Draw 2012-2013

Together with Real Madrid, 11 champions will be in the drum of Europe's top competition: Chelsea, Barcelona, Manchester United, Bayern Munich, Oporto, Milan, Benfica, Ajax, Juventus, Dortmund and Celtic (only the last five teams can go against the Whites in this Group Stage). Therefore, more than a third of the 32 teams which will be in the draw already know what it is like to win the European Cup. Last season there were 11 ex-champions, 10 in 2010/11 and nine in 2009/2010.

Furthermore, three teams will debut in the Champions League: French club Montpellier, Danish club Nordsjaelland and Spanish team Malaga. Spain and England are the most represented countries with four teams.

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

Real Madrid removed any shred of doubt that it could come back from the first two match days of the Spanish League, demonstrating once again that it rises to the big occasions and won the Spanish Super Cup in brilliant style. The first half an hour the Whites’ performance was good enough to be framed, to be taught at any football academy, and by this time they had already scored two goals, had another ruled out, had enforced the correct sending off of Adriano and had shot on goal five times, versus its opponents zero attempts. Higuaín and Cristiano Ronaldo both scored for Madrid, while Messi, from a free kick, halved the deficit on the edge of half time. The second half saw the home side’s dominance, opportunities for both teams and the debut of Modric. The ninth Super Cup now forms part of Real Madrid’s trophy cabinet.

Real Madrid players celebrate the championship 2012
Real Madrid: Spanish Super Cup Champion 2012

“The plan is simple: we will attack from the first minute”, ensured Mourinho in the preview. His team, loyal to its coach’s ideas, played with the Portuguese’s brave philosophy until the very end. In minute 2, Higuaín warned of their intentions with a shot from the edge of the area that went over the bar. The Argentine was also the protagonist of the home side’s second opportunity, which was much clearer; however, he was unable to beat the visiting goalkeeper in minute 7 in the one-on-one with Valdés, after a masterly assist from Marcelo. At the third attempt, however, the goalkeeper was beaten. A long ball from Pepe, a mistake by Mascherano when attempting to clear it that Higuaín made the most of to beat Valdés and put his team ahead. In 11 minutes, the Whites had enjoyed three clear chances to score, pressed closer to the opposition’s midfield than in the first leg and were giving the home fans something to cheer about.

The Whites did not want to settle for this slight advantage and four minutes later scored the second goal. A pass by Khedira from within his own half fell between Cristiano Ronaldo and Piqué. The Portuguese beat his marker, controlled in the area and struck the ball with immense power. His shot was blocked by Valdés, but ended up in the net. The Portuguese thus matches Zamorano as the only Madrid players who have scored in five consecutive Classics. 2-0 in less than twenty minutes and attacking pressure from a team that was pleasing its fans in the Bernabeu.


Preview: Real Madrid vs Barcelona (Spanish Super Cup)

As football is a mood regulated by the results and what happens on the field, the degree of importance that has generated the Spanish Super Cup for Real Madrid and Barcelona has mutated. If a week ago Jose Mourinho thought this was the title "less important" now has become an escape to end the crisis of results and game.

Cristiano vs Messi Spanish Super Cup 2012
Real Madrid will have tonight an opportunity to end the crisis

In terms of need for self-esteem, the five-point gap that has been opened with only two league games played has had the opposite effect in Barcelona. This double clash with Real Madrid was seen as a test to measure the ability of Tito Vilanova as heir of Pep Guardiola. The results of the first two league games have decreased the pressure over the Barcelona coach. The level of game of his team was good against the Real Sociedad and in the first leg against whites. In Pamplona, arbitration and Messi helped him push through a match which has granted him a good advantage to manage.

There is more need for victory in Madrid, beset by their poor start of the course and for all that ultimately means the rival with which to face tonight. In five games at the Santiago Bernabeu as coach of Real Madrid, Mourinho has never won (two draws and three defeats) against Barcelona. Unfinished business that the inacepatable match in Getafe, he said again yesterday, has relegated to second place in the head of the Portuguese coach: "I can lose the Super Cup and the match. For me the key is to know what players I have and what psychological profile they have, individually and collectively. That's all I care", he said. From his words it follows that the Portuguese coach will not measure skills but attitudes.

It remains to be seen whether that priority yesterday was explained by Mourinho matches with the goals of the Real Madrid supporters who digest with surprise that in just two league games their team has been distanced five points behind Barcelona and the rival comes with the possibility of holding a title in the Bernabeu, with what that implies in terms of pride. No team that has generated so many changes in the tactical board of Mourinho. No style that has turned his team so fearful and conservative.

A sector of Real Madrid fans still have not forgotten the ultra-defensive approach in the first leg of the semifinals of the Champions League two seasons ago. It was a hard blow for the white story. Bernabeu's crowd is not accustomed to forgive the defeat, neither the poor play nor lack of boldness.

Expected Starting Lineups:

Real Madrid: Casillas, Arbeloa, Pepe, Ramos, Marcelo, Xabi Alonso, Khedira, Di Maria, Özil, Cristiano Ronaldo, Benzema.
Barcelona: Valdes, Alves, Alba, Pique, Mascherano, Xavi, Iniesta, Busquets, Messi, Alexis, Pedro.

Real Madrid: Seven matches without a win against Barcelona at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium

Clashes between Real Madrid and Barcelona have left many figures to the story. Barcelona has these last years a winning streak at the Bernabeu, but whites have scored more goals (369-358) that their opponents.

Real Madrid: Spanish Super Cup Champion 1996-1997 (vs Barcelona)

Goals. In the 220 Classics that have been played in history, a total of 727 goals have been scored: Real Madrid scored 369 goals. Barcelona got the rest, 358.

Storm of Classics. With today's clash, twelve classics will have been played in the last 16 months, that is, the same they played in the six-year period that runs from November 2004 to November 2010.

Santiago Bernabeu. Real Madrid has played 109 times against Barcelona, totaling 60 wins, 24 draws and 25 defeats (4-1-0 in Spanish Super Cup). The total result at the Bernabeu is 45 wins, 21 draws and 21 defeats. In these matches, 373 goals have been seen by the white fans, 232 goals for and 141 against.

Record. Barcelona is the first team in history to achieve seven straight visits without losing at the Bernabeu. FC Barcelona's last defeat in the white field occurred more than four years ago (4-1, 05/07/2008). That was the last time that Barcelona lost possession of ball: has got 252 straight games winning it.

Precedents. For the second time in history, Real Madrid and Barcelona have signed a 3-2 result in Barcelona, in a first leg of a two-game tournament. In the only previous precedent (knockout stages of the Copa del Rey 1996-97), the result of the second leg was 1-1 and the Barcelona overcame the tie. Statistically speaking, this first leg scoreboard gives Real Madrid a 56% chance of winning the Super Cup.

No penalties. The options to see a shootout are pretty slim: there has never been one in the Super Cup of Spain and only five times Real Madrid has won a Classic by 3-2 on home field, the last in 1990. In fact, only has been seen a final decided by a penalty shootout in the history of the Classics. It was in the quarter finals of the League Cup in 1985 and Real Madrid won (4-1).

Bad streak. Real Madrid could start a season without a win after the first four official games, something that has not happened since the year 1973: Real Madrid 0-0 Castellón (09/01/73), Granada 1-1 Real Madrid (09/09/73), Real Madrid 1-1 Real Murcia (09/15/73) and Ipswich Town 1-0 Real Madrid (09/19/73). This would be the fourth time that Real Madrid has a beginning as disastrous (1947, 1952 and 1973).

Mourinho. The Portuguese coach already began his career as a coach without winning any of their first three competitive matches coaching Benfica, but has never started a season with four straight games without winning. He had not had a bad run in the last five years, when he was on the bench of Chelsea.


Mourinho: "It is fundamental to know what players I have"

Real Madrid plays the return leg of the Super Cup in the Santiago Bernabéu against Barcelona and the White’s manager, José Mourinho, analysed the meeting in the lead up to the match in a press conference: “The tie is open. The first leg result can’t change. In the league, we lost the last match at home. In the cup, we lost here and in Barcelona I don’t know how we didn’t win... We drew in the Super Cup and again I don’t how we didn’t win in Barcelona. We are both great teams with some of the best players and anything can happen".

Mourinho at the press conference

The manager knows full well that the match will be tough and that it is difficult to make a game plan, but also that it is an open tie given the result in the first leg. “It is very difficult to make plans for matches and it is tough to makes things go your plan. You don’t know what will happen and matches change on small details. A game plan is very difficult when they have the ball, we have to try and defend well and, when we have it, we have to try and play well, with freedom, and score. If you can call it a plan, it is a basic plan. When they have the ball, defend and, when we have it, we try to score straight away”, explained Mourinho, who added when asked about what the team has to do to defeat Barcelona: “Nothing. You saw the first game just like me. You know how you drew level and you know that going from 1-0 to 1-1 in a single minute is an important difference. The team played well and we will try to perform well again”.

Real Madrid have formalised the signing of the Croatian footballer Luka Modric, and the Portuguese manager spoke about his physical shape and his adaptation into the team. “He is in a normal physical condition for someone who hasn’t trained with his team in a while or even played a lot. He has got minutes under his belt for his national team but nothing else. I think that, given his profile, he won’t need a lot of time to get himself into shape. I think he’ll be ready shortly”. In relation to the position he will take on the field, he pointed out: “Wherever he feels uncomfortable”, he joked: “When we sign a player we know where he feels comfortable, and why we wanted to sign him and why we have taken such a long time. He was our number one target. We know what his game is all about and what his favourite position is. He will play in a position that he calls his own. He certainly won’t be playing as a number 9 or a left-back”.

Modric: "I hope we win many titles together"

Great technique, excellent playing overview, a great passer, creative, serene, with the ability to play various positions in the centre of the field… it isn’t any surprise, with all these virtues, that Jose Mourinho had plans for Luka Modric… At last, he’s here. After a very intense day that began very early with the medical examination, signing the contract, and his presentation, the Real Madrid player took time out for Spanish media before meeting his new teammates in the afternoon training session. The Croatian arrives with a lot of ambition: “It makes me proud and it is an honour to be part of the Real Madrid team and I am ready to face the greatest challenge of my career. I hope we win many titles together in the coming years.”

Luka Modric with the real madrid jersey
Luka Modric

We imagine you must be very excited about being signed by the best club in the world.
Yes, I’m very happy to be able to be here in the best and the greatest club in the world, full of spectacular players, with the world’s best coach… I couldn’t ask for anything more. I’m very, very happy.

Tell us how the last 24 hours have been for you… quite hectic?
Yes, they were. I was waiting every minute for something to happen… finally it happened last night. When they let me know… I can’t explain how I felt. I’m so very happy to be here.

It’s a new period for Real Madrid, which begins the season as the champions, after a previous campaign full of successes and records. What does it mean to you to come here at such an exciting time?
It means a great deal to me because, as I’ve said, it’s a great club. Last season was excellent, and it’s probably going to be repeated this year; there’s also the Champions title. This is a club that always fights for all possible titles. It makes me proud and it is an honour to be a part of this club. I hope to be able to help the team to win the maximum number of trophies.

José Mourinho was determined to close this deal. What does it mean to have the world's best coach so determined to sign you?
It’s incredible for such a good coach to want me. What’s more, I was willing to wait until the last day in order to be here. I owe him everything and I really want to play for him and for the team.

You’re facing exciting times in your career, but without a doubt, you also leave behind good memories in Tottenham…
Of course. I spent four incredible years there. I would like to thank everyone in the club, the people who helped me in London, in the Tottenham club, I want to thank the fans, because they treated me very well, they gave me a lot of affection and respect… it was a mutual feeling. I want to thank my teammates too. Thanks to them I'm here now, and thanks to Tottenham as a club as well. I only have good memories from over there.


Squad: Luka Modric

Luka Modric

Luka Modric became Real Madrid's first signing for the 2012/13 season. The midfielder was Tottenham Hotspur's main playmaker and one of their greatest stars. Modric has great personality and creativity, which allow him to easily connect with teammates and organise the team's game. He is also an excellent assist-man and makes sacrifices for the team.

Born on 9 September 1985, Modric joined Dinamo Zagreb when he was only 16. The Croatian club loaned him to Bosnian First Division side Zrinjski in the 2003/04 campaign and he earned the Best Player award in the championship. He was then loaned to Zapresic, where his football and talent helped them finish second in the Croatian league. He returned to Dinamo in 2005.

In three seasons Modric truly bloomed and won three league titles, two Cups of Croatia and Best Player honours in 2007. Tottenham noticed him and he joined them in the summer of 2008. In four years, he helped turn the English side into one of the greats in the Premier League, reaching the top four in the 2009/10 and 2011/12 seasons, and reaching the Champions League quarterfinals in the 2010/11 campaign, where they lost to Real Madrid. Modric played 127 games in the Premier League, scoring 13 goals and serving 24 assists.

The midfielder is also the standout player on the Croatian national team, with whom he's played 57 encounters and netted eight strikes; he made the Euro 2008 Ideal Team. His international career began with the Under-21s, but he soon made his first team debut with Croatia in 2006 when he was only 20 years old in a 3-2 win over Argentina.

Real Madrid has a very talented and creative organiser in midfield, an offensive player who can assist his teammates and move the ball around intelligently while always working hard and making sacrifices for the good of the team.

  • Place of Birth: Zadar, Croatia
  • Date of Birth: 09/09/1985
  • Position: Midfielder
  • Weight: 65 kg
  • Height: 171 cm
  • Nationality: Croatian
Honours (Club)
  • Spanish Super Cup: 2012
  • Croatian First League: 2005–06, 2006–07, 2007–08
  • Croatian Cup: 2007, 2008
  • Croatian Super Cup: 2006
Honours (Individual)
  • Bosnian First League Player of the Year: 2003
  • Croatian Football Hope of the Year: 2004
  • Croatian First League Player of the Year: 2007
  • UEFA Euro 2008 Team of the Tournament: 2008

Luka Modric: New Real Madrid player

It's official, Real Madrid and Tottenham have reached an agreement for the transfer of Luka Modric (30 million euros plus variables. The figure is to be confirmed), explains the white club in a statement on its website. The English team has done the same. The Croatian midfielder will sign his contract for the next five seasons.

Luka Modric; New Real Madrid player
Luka Modric; New Real Madrid player

The player will arrive to Madrid today. He will land this Monday at 12:00 am at the airport of Torrejon de Ardoz and will be accompanied by two family members and will sign his contract as new player of Real Madrid after passing the medical examination. Subsequently, he will be presented.

In addition, both clubs have also formalized a partnership agreement. The partnership agreement will see the two clubs working together in respect of players, coaching, best practices and commercial relationships.

Real Madrid President, Florentino Perez, said, "The strong relationship and affinity between our two clubs has resulted in the cementing of a longer-term partnership and the successful transfer of Luka Modric. We are delighted to welcome Luka and look forward to working closely with Tottenham in the coming years."

Daniel Levy, Chairman, Tottenham Hotspur, commented, "Luka has been a terrific player for us and, whilst we preferred not to part with him, we are pleased that it is to Real Madrid, a club with which we now look forward to sharing a long and productive partnership."

Getafe 2 - 1 Real Madrid (Spanish League, Day 2)

Real Madrid slipped to defeat against Getafe (2-1) in a match in which it was superior to its opponent during an entertaining first half in which it could have gone to the dressing room with a bigger lead than 0-1 thanks to Gonzalo Higuaín’s goal. However, the Whites did not finish off the match and were surprised by two goals scored on the counterattack in the second half.

Cristiano Ronaldo upset at the final of the match against Getafe
Getafe vs Real Madrid.  First defeat in the Spanish League

The Whites’ team for the match against Getafe included Marcelo, Lass, Di María and Higuaín, who did not play in the Supercup match at the Camp Nou. Mourinho selected Pipita and Cristiano Ronaldo, synonymous with goals when they face Getafe. The home side, strengthened with quality players such as Xavi Torres or Lafita, always play with more fight when playing against their neighbours. This meant that during the first moments of the match both teams shared possession of the ball; however Madrid looked the more dangerous of the teams in attack. A shot from distance by Ronaldo in minute 3, which went over Moyá’s crossbar, was then followed three minutes later by the first controversial moment of the game. Xabi Alonso played a pass to Higuaín, who was brought down by Abraham in the area, committing a penalty; however Pérez Lasa did not see it this way.

After this period of uncertainty, Real Madrid took hold completely of the match and started to demonstrate the team’s speed. Lass took control of the midfield and snuffed out Xavi Torres and Lafita, stealing and recovering the ball. The movement of Di María, playing on the right wing, was a constant threat to the Getafe defence overwhelmed by the Whites’ skill. In minute 16, Özil could have put the team ahead after a spectacular move, which included a double one-two with Ronaldo, but his shot from almost within the goalmouth inexplicably hit the home side’s cross bar.


Nuri Sahin moves to Liverpool

Real Madrid and Liverpool closed yesterday the transfer of Sahin for a season (on loan). The white club will receive 6 million euros and the British will take over the player's salary (3 million euros). A good deal for the white club, as Mourinho confirmed: "Real Madrid is well managed. Their president is ahead of many and Jose Angel Sanchez (general manager) worries about the future and economic stability of a club that is of its partners. There are operations that are easy to control. The salary, the transfer cost (10 million euros), the amount Liverpool will pay ... everything is under control".

Nuri Sahin with the Liverpool jersey number 4
Nuri Sahin: New Liverpool player

Real Madrid convinced Sahin that Liverpool is a good destination. The Turkish midfielder preferred Arsenal (which only offered 2 million euros for his transfer), because he wanted to play the Champions League and given the interest of Wenger, who has been called him several times, it looked the best option. But Sahin still has the consolation that Liverpool are playing the Europa League preview and will be easier for him to take a starting lineup place.

The player traveled to Liverpool yesterday with his agent Fazeli, where he signed the contract, he met his new coach Rodgers and posed with the number 4 Liverpool jersey that he will wear. He said his first words to the club's website: "Xabi Alonso told me to sign for The Reds and Mourinho told me about when he worked with Rodgers at Chelsea. They said me the Premier is the best place".

The new Liverpool midfielder Nuri Sahin said that has an eye on the Champions League, a competition that "a big club" like yours should play every year: "A big club like Liverpool must play each year the Champions League and we will do our best to be among the top four". Sahin, about to turn 24, joined Real Madrid last season from Borussia Dortmund, where he was named player of the Bundesliga in the 2010-2011 season.
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