Wind is blowing again in favor of Mourinho

Mourinho was cheered again when was heard his name at the Barnabeu stadium, last Wednesday, in the match against Barcelona. There were no whistles. Nor when he came off the bench, something that made again after several games hidden in his chair. He feels safe again and no wonder: the wind has changed, now blowing in favor of him. The statements of Sara Carbonero (Casillas' girlfriend) in Televisa Deportes (Mexican TV channel) explains clearly all his previous attitudes. We will not say that justify them, but for many people it will. But of course it explains them and we understand better his hysteria, the attempt to make Adan the starting goalkeeper, his antipathy toward Iker Casillas.

Mourinho and Casillas attending a meeting
Mourinho and Casillas

Because now it is hard to think that Iker Casillas was not who had been behind some or many of the things that have been known from inside the locker room. Sara Carbonero is a journalist, of course, and has the right to tell what she knows, but she is the captain's girlfriend what severely compromises him. Impossible to say whether he approved what she said, or even he instigated her to do it, but the harder it is to think that she can enjoy better sources or, if that were the case, she has not talked about all the information with Casillas.

So we can understand many things: Adan in the starting lineup in Malaga, the same against Real Sociedad, Mourinho has always spared no praise for Casillas... No, it was not that Mourinho had utmost confidence in Adan as we saw in the last match facing Barcelona, but it was a punishment to Casillas. Mourinho had a theory that has been proven successfully. Suddenly the executioner is seen as a victim of the indiscretions of the captain, so the Bernabeu has returned to support the coach. Mourinho can pick up the papers, regain authority and perhaps wait for happy days in the Spanish Cup and the Champions League. This has changed.

Cristiano Ronaldo: From sadness to bliss in five months

"I'm sad." Cristiano Ronaldo surprised with these statements in the press zone after the 3-0 match against Granada at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium, when he scored two goals (the firsts in the current Spanish League) and did not celebrate any. In front of the media explained why. Today, 18 matches after that confession (one whole round), the situation has changed completely.

Cristiano Ronaldo happy after scoring a goal with Real Madrid jersey
Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo felt unloved by the white club after not being supported in the UEFA Awards (Emilio Butragueño and the manager Pedro Lopez accompanied him) and talked about it with Florentino Perez, with whom he had a tense meeting. The President alluded to Messi, asking Cristiano Ronaldo to bring the money to sign the Argentine what left him sad. But the Portuguese star has passed from sadness to bliss in five months with extreme professionalism. Since then he has supported the team with 29 goals (19 Spanish League goals, 6 in Champions League competition and 4 in Spanish Cup matches) in 28 games, is more committed than ever in the team and the Bernabeu fans cheer him (asking for the Golden Ball). As an example, the first leg of the Spanish Cup quarterfinal match against Valencia: Guaita saved two shots from Cristiano and the Bernabeu shouted: "Cristiano, Cristiano¡". That day, as he confessed, was one of his happiest days in white.

The Portuguese, who in three and a half seasons has scored 179 goals in 177 matches, is still without renewing. He has a contract until 2015 and does not plan to extend it. "I want to finish my contract, then I do not know what will happen," he told FIFA.com. While Real Madrid does not resolve the situation, the fans are in no doubt: 81% of them think that renewing Cristiano Ronaldo is essential.

Today Cristiano Ronaldo will have another chance to increase his record. He has not trained for the last two days, but was called up by Mourinho to face Granada at Los Carmenes Stadium -10 pm CET- (Kaka was left off the list). Mourinho knows he does not need rest at this moment, happiness cures all.


Jose Callejon: "Messi insulted Karanka"

Jose Callejon met the media in the press room at Real Madrid Sports City. The Real Madrid Academy player analyzed the match against Granada, his home town’s team: “It will be a very difficult match. They’ve made some great signings and like any team that plays against Real Madrid they will give 200 % to come away with a win. They really need the points, but are confident and we want the points to catch up with the leaders in the League. In the last few matches we have seen quite an improvement and we will try to keep it up”.

Jose Callejon at press conference with Real Madrid jersey
Jose Callejon at press conference

Real Madrid reserve player commented on the Mourinho’s gesture at the end of the latest clasico of applauding all of the players as they headed for the dressing rooms: “It was significant because it was a very good game and we saw a lot of football. The world’s press agreed that it was a superb game between two great teams. We made a great effort because they went ahead first. The semi-final is still wide open and we did our level best to make sure that it would be”. On the subject of relations between the team and the manager, he was very frank: “There will always be controversies; there are those who will try to destabilize the team and say that we are not committed to him. I believe he is the best manager for this club and we have always demonstrated that we are behind him one hundred per cent”.

He had this to say about the Copa del Rey semi-final against Barcelona: “We have seen an improvement compared to previous matches. It isn’t easy to play against Barcelona, but we will give it our best shot in the return leg. 1-1 is a good result, from our point of view. The semi-final is still wide open and we are confident going into the game at the Camp Nou”.

Varane: Real Madrid's talisman and called up for France

Raphael Varane reached his best against Barcelona in the last Classic, but he has being the Real Madrid talisman since he joined white team in the 2011 summer. Of the 32 games he has played since he arrived two seasons ago, has lost only two plying for Real Madrid. Against Borussia in Germany (2-1) and against Celta in a match of this year's Spanish Cup (2-1). The rest have been 25 wins and 5 draws, representing about 80% of wins.

Raphael Varane surrounded by four Barcelona players
Raphael Varane vs Barcelona

Real Madrid also can claim that when the French central defender plays from the starting lineup, its chances of staying with clean goal, rise a lot. With Varane, the white team has run without conceding a goal against eleven times, five of them this season.

It is normal to be the center of attention this week. In fact, the Real Madrid defender, Raphael Varane, was called up yesterday by the French coach Didier Deschamps, to play France's friendly against Germany next week. This is the second call of the footballer, 19 years old, to play for the team managed by Deschamps, who called Varane for his first game on the bench of the "Bleus" against Uruguay.

The performance of the French defender who scored the goal that levelled the match has been the focus of the international sporting press. In France, L’Equipe singled out its countryman: “Varane stopped Barcelona. He was the man of the match. He had a great game in defence and his equalizer keeps Real Madrid’s hopes of qualifying alive after drawing against Barcelona”. According to France Football, “Varane, imperious in the centre of the defence stopped Barcelona and left his mark on the semi-final of la Copa”. Le Monde added: "The Young Frenchman Raphael Varane enjoyed himself in the Santiago Bernabeu stadium, scoring with his head in Jose Manuel Pinto’s net from a good cross from Mesut Özil".

The rest of the world also praised the Madrid defender. “Varane rises to the top in Clasico. A new star was born at the Bernabeu on Wednesday night. A defensive rock who stole the show in his first ever Clasico appearance with the supreme talent that he showed throughout the 90 minutes”, said ESPN on its website. In Germany, Kicker stated that “Varane saves Madrid with his head”, while in Italy La Gazzetta dello Sport wrote: “Near the end, a cross from Özil and header by Varane: deserved reward for a great performance from the French defender".

Messi insulted Arbeloa and Karanka after the last Classic

Leo Messi did not have his best day at the Bernabeu in the last Spanish Cup match. And not only within the field, where after many Barcelona games he was not decisive. After the match had two major clashes with Alvaro Arbeloa and Aitor Karanka as several Spanish media reported.

Arbeloa and Messi fighting for a ball at the Bernabeu Stadium
Alvaro Arbeloa and Leo Messi

According with what has been told in the Spanish media, some members of the Real Madrid squad are quite upset with Leo Messi, both for his behavior on the field and off. The game last night was the straw that broke the camel to the point that Xabi Alonso berated on the Santiago Bernabeu field some actions of the Argentinian star.

However, things did not end on the pitch. As was reported by 'Punto Pelota TV' and has been confirmed by MARCA newspaper, the four-time Golden Ball went to the Bernabeu parking after the game, looking for Alvaro Arbeloa. Messi insulted the Real Madrid player (called him dumb, among many other things) who could not believe what was happening. His wife, Carlota, who is in a state of pregnancy, was with the Spanish international player in the car and did not understand anything. "What's wrong with him?", asked her husband according to eyewitnesses. Keeping calm, Arbeloa said: "Shut up and get on the bus". An employee of Barcelona had to go to take Messi and bring him along with the rest of the Barcelona team.

Also, other Spanish media reported another incident of Messi with a white club member, in this case Aitor Karanka. According to the media, the footballer talked to the white second coach in these terms: "What's up with you? Shut up, you're the Mourinho's dummy." Barcelona, of course, has denied any incident with Leo Messi.


Oh la la! Varane

Neither Messi nor Cristiano Ronaldo. Varane was the big winner of the night. The French player rose above the other players and had a brilliant performance that establishes himself as a top central defender. At 19, Varane not only passed the test of the Classic, but was confirmed as a world-class player. The child of Zidane, who was his great supporter for the signing with Real Madrid, became an adult in the best possible scenario and with the most dangerous rival. To top it off, scored the tying goal. The finishing touch to a big night.

Varane celebrates his goal against Barcelona
Raphael Varane

Five years later, the Real Madrid fans rub their hands with the birth of another central defender that will mark a time in the White team. The December 23, 2007, at the Camp Nou, Pepe made ​​a game just perfect against Barcelona and showed a hierarchy that nobody had not seen on a football pitch for a long. He was perfect at crossings and forceful in anticipation. Not only won the clash with Eto'o, won the fight against the whole Barcelona. That night, Real Madrid won 0-1 at the Camp Nou, a Baptista's goal, but the sensation was Pepe. Don Jose, as he was called by the media after his superb performance.

Real Madrid 1 - 1 Barcelona (Spanish Cup, 1/2 Final, 1st Leg)

Intense, exciting and a treat for the spectators. The Clasico did not disappoint anybody and left the tie wide open for the second leg. The goals came in the second half. Fabregas put Barcelona ahead within five minutes of the restart, but Real Madrid’s players, despite the blow they had received, showed how important it is to defend their badge and played a great match that was completed by Varane’s great headed goal in the 81st minute. Which team goes through to the final will be decided at the Camp Nou.

Raphael Varane with the Real Madrid jersey
Raphael Varane celebrates his goal against Barcelona

The Clasico, the best match in the world, made its return to the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium. The Whites, who had not lost either of their last two clashes with Barcelona, played the first leg of the cup semi-final with the invaluable help of a devoted home crowd. The beginning of the match left clear signs of the ambition with which the Real Madrid team had gone out on to the pitch. In fact, before the end of the first minute of play, Cristiano Ronaldo came away from midfield with the ball and could only be stopped by a Pique foul on the edge of the area. The Portuguese’s free-kick forced Pinto to show his best.


Roberto Carlos: "I think Real Madrid is in good shape”

Roberto Carlos was in attendance for Real Madrid's final training session held at Valdebebas in preparation for the first leg of the cup semi-final against Barcelona. The ex-footballer and one of the legendary figures of Madrid's recent history oversaw the training session in person and had the opportunity to meet and greet the Real Madrid technical staff and players, all of whom were in very high spirits.

Kaka, Roberto Carlos and Marcelo
Roberto Carlos with the Brazilian Real Madrid players

The former Real Madrid player, who has appeared for Real Madrid more times than any other of the club's foreign players and who also won 3 European Cups, 4 League titles, 2 Intercontinental cups, 1 European Super cup and 3 Spanish Super cups, praised the team managed by José Mourinho and looked ahead to the knock-out match against the Catalan club: “A Clásico is the best game of the season. Whether in the League, Cup or Champions league, these are very important games. I think that the team are looking focused and confident and they seem to be in high spirits for tomorrow's game. When the Santiago Bernabéu is full, it creates a spectacular atmosphere and you have to give it your all to win the game. Real Madrid have come into some form and the team is on the right track”.


Anzhi wants to sign Kaka in the next hours

Anzhi team comes again to try to sign Ricardo Kaka before the close of the winter market. The Russian club aims to accelerate contacts with Real Madrid to gain the services of the Brazilian. Anzhi has not much time and the operation has to be closed before next Thursday, when the market will be closed. A few days ago, the agent Babaev Schumi admitted that contacts had already begun. "Kaka has long been on the agenda of Anzhi. We have had preliminary talks with Real Madrid, but not official yet," said the agent.

Roberto Carlos and Kaka at a restaurant
Roberto Carlos and Kaka

In addition, Roberto Carlos, former Real Madrid player and Anzhi sporting director, was in Madrid last week to visit his family and not be ruled out that used his stay in the capital to deal with Real Madrid and the Brazilian Kaka in order to get the transfer of the player to the Russian club.

Anzhi, coached by Guus Hiddink, is qualified for the last-16 knockout phase of the Europa League, and will face the German team Hannover. But the goal of Russian billionaire Suleyman Kerimov, owner of the club, is to win the Champions League. Hence he is willing to invest up to 300 million euros to achieve this ambitious goal.

Following the refusal of Milan to sign Kaka and Wesley Sneijder's arrival at Galatasaray (the other club who publicly admitted its interest in the Brazilian player), it seems that Anzhi may be the only solution for the playmaker to get out of the Real Madrid. Meanwhile, Mourinho will continue playing without him.

'Higuain, The indestructible': The Book on 'Pipita'

Gonzalo Higuain already has his book. 'Higuain, the indestructible', edited by the publisher 'Al poste'. The author is the journalist, Ulises Sanchez-Flor, which delves into the history of the Argentine player who came to Real Madrid with 19 years old just turned and has played now six seasons in the club. Today is the starter forward of the Argentine national team alongside Leo Messi.

Cover of the Book 'Higuain, The indestructible'
'Higuain, The indestructible'

It is not just a book about football. Higuain reveals his more human and personal side. It includes a chapter about a serious illness, meningitis, because as a child was about to pass away. His beginnings as a footballer at River Plate, talks with the agent (Jose Luis Calvo, the brains of the operation) who recommended the transfer to Real Madrid and that he did it in a record time of 10 days. The foreword is written by Pedja Mijatovic, the man who bet on him, and also Jorge Valdano and the legend Alfredo di Stefano make a comment about Gonzalo Higuain.

"I chose the title 'The Indestructible' to define a player who joined Real Madrid in a difficult moment. White team lived a moment of enormous institutional instability, under the presidency of Ramon Calderon, and because of the poor performance of the team managed by Fabio Capello.

It was very hard for Gonzalo Higuain. The Italian coach wanted to transfer him. Even playing for Real Madrid Castilla was an alternative but Calderon and Mijatovic opposed. And, since his arrival, has had to overcome many adversities. Every year has been questioned, has been located outside of Real Madrid. White team has signed the best strikers, Gonzalo has overcome complicated injuries as a herniated disc, and has always been able to trace.

His faith, his strenght, his hidden talent and character have given two leagues to Real Madrid. He has had great offers from English, Italian and Russian teams and he has always rejected all. They have not stopped tempting him. But in the end has been carried away by his feelings. Higuain is now one of the most beloved players in the white locker room," says the writer.

Cristiano Ronaldo: Ready to face Barcelona

Cristiano Ronaldo is a real threat for Barcelona. His numbers are spectacular. The Portuguese has scored seven goals in the last six Classics. His duel with Messi also takes temperature. If the Portuguese scored three goals on Sunday morning, the Argentine replied scoring four in the afternoon against Osasuna. Both of them, as has been said on countless occasions, feed each other, looking overcome the records.

Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates his hat-trick against Getafe
Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo has started 2013 strongly. In seven games has scored 10 goals (1.4 per game). He adds 21 goals in the Spanish League and a total of 33 in all competitions. As data to highlight, it should be noted that he has reached the 100 goals mark at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium playing 87 games. With the three goals scored against Getafe the Portuguese is just one behind Gento as the sixth leading scorer in the history of Real Madrid. Cristiano has already scored 180 goals in 176 games. Amazing.

It was his second hat-trick of the season and tied with Puskas to have scored 19 times three or more goals in a match. Cristiano is the third player to achieve this record in club history. Di Stefano was the first. The 'Saeta Rubia' (blonde arrow) did it 31 times.


Diego Lopez: "I am here to give it my all from the beginning"

Diego Lopez was unveiled as a new Real Madrid player at a press conference in Valdebebas after his transfer to the Whites was officially announced last Friday. The goalkeeper was accompanied in the act by the director of football, Miguel Pardeza, who wished him luck in this new chapter of his career and stated: “We are convinced that you will make a huge difference to the squad”. The youth-team product talked about his happiness and ambition on his return to the team: “I am delighted to be back at my home and at my club and I am really happy to be here. Everything is so similar to when I left: the facilities, the staff… I already feel fully settled into the day to day and I am genuinely very happy. Luckily, I am now an experienced player. Many things have changed since I left. I have many first division and European games under my belt and that reassures me and makes me confident in my abilities and strengths as a player. I know what I can bring to the team. When Real Madrid sign a player, they trust him and I think that it very important”.

Diego Lopez at the Trophies Room of the Bernabeu Stadium
Diego Lopez

The youth-team product is returning to the Whites six years after he left and he intends to work hard and give his all for the club: “I am here to give it my all from the beginning. They came to me for a reason. I am prepared and ready to play whenever the manager needs me. I am relaxed about that situation. I am confident that I will have a chance to play and that decision will be up to the manager. I am thinking about the day to day, Wednesday's game and helping the team and being prepared for whenever the manager needs me and gives me the opportunity. That is what I have always done and what I will continue to do. There are currently two keepers, I feel for Iker with his injury, and between the two of us we have to solve the problem and help the team".


Real Madrid 4 - 0 Getafe (Spanish League, Day 21)

Real Madrid continues in the same vein at the Santiago Bernabeu. The Whites, who have not been beaten at home for more than a year and are unbeaten in 2013, completed their fourth consecutive victory at home and their third home and away in the league. The Whites’ victory, led by an excellent Cristiano Ronaldo, was sealed in the second half. Ramos put the side ahead from a corner and the remaining goals were scored by Cristiano Ronaldo, netting his hundredth goal at the Santiago Bernabéu and scoring a perfect hat-trick, goals with his left and right feet and a header. It was no surprise that he left to a standing ovation when replaced by Benzema. Against Barcelona this Wednesday, the fans will want to play a decisive role in the outcome once again.

Sergio Ramos and Cristiano Ronaldo celebrate their goals against Getafe
Goals galore and a  Cristiano Ronaldo hat-trick

This was Real Madrid’s first midday kick-off this season. The Whites, unbeaten for more than a year at the Santiago Bernabeu, sought their fourth consecutive victory at home this year. All clashes they had played in front of their home support in 2013 had ended in victory. The match against Getafe could not be an exception to this rule. In fact, the team started the game eager to demonstrate the union it has with its fans and the first chance of the match arrived in the tenth minute when a free kick from Ronaldo forced Moya to make a save. Di María could also have put the team ahead three minutes later, but his shot from the penalty arc deflected off the visiting side’s defence, surprising the Getafe goalkeeper and flashing centimetres past the post.

Real Madrid were in complete control of the ball and continued to create chances. The next chance arrived in the twenty-second minute. Beautiful play between Özil and Ronaldo, who drove into the area, losing his marker with spectacular cutback and shooting. The attempt was cleared by Moya, saving his team once again. Getafe also had a chance, but the header by Diego Castro was saved by a reliable Adan in the twenty-sixth minute. Real Madrid were not concerned, and four minutes later surprised their opponent on the counter. Özil began the move with an enormous run, during which he was caught by Gavilán. The German passed down the touchline, were Ronaldo awaited, who then passed to Higuaín. Özil was unable to make the most of the Argentine’s cutback, the German arriving at the penalty spot exhausted alter the sprint that had started the move. This, however, was not the last chance of the half, which came in the forty-third minute. A long pass by Di María to Coentrao up the wing, who crossed the ball on the volley. Modric controlled the cross with his chest but his shot from the penalty arc went over.

Mourinho brought Khedira on for Albiol after the break. The Whites’ winning intentions were clear and they scored from the second chance after the break. The first chance in the fifty-third minute, a shot by Khedira from the penalty arc, was stopped by Moya at full-stretch. He once again showed his reflexes by stopping a point-blank shot by Coentrao. This save went out from a corner, which was taken by Özil and Ramos put his team ahead.

Real Madrid needed only twelve more minutes to settle the clash and the thrashing. The second goal came from a quick counter-attack started by Carvalho with a cross-field pass to Özil, who waited for the perfect moment to set up Ronaldo. The Portuguese’s shot in the sixty-second minute was unstoppable. The Whites had been left off their leashes and three minutes later scored the third goal. A pinpoint cross by Di Maria and a spectacular header by Ronaldo. 3-0 and the team kept looking forward.

The ambitious Real Madrid players were hungry for more. Ramos cleared a volley by Colunga off the line with his head in the sixty-seventh minute. It was the visiting side’s last dangerous chance, conceding the fourth goal in the seventy-second minute. A foul by Lopo on Modric was awarded a penalty and Ronaldo converted it magnificently. The Portuguese, who scored a perfect hat-trick after scoring with his left and right feet and with a header, became the currently active player to have scored the most hat-tricks in La Liga, with 16 in total. Fourth consecutive victory at home and their third home and away in the league. Against Barcelona this Wednesday, the fans will want to play a decisive role in the outcome once again.


Stadium: Santiago Bernabeu
Attendance: 71,108
Goals: 1-0, min. 8: Sergio Ramos. 2-0, min. 58: Cristiano. 3-0, min. 65: Cristiano. 4-0, min. 71: Cristiano (pen.)
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