Preview: Real Madrid vs Barcelona

Real Madrid and Barcelona shields
Real Madrid vs Barcelona

Placed the pieces on the board, the first consideration is that Real Madrid and Barcelona face the game tonight without holding anything back, such as if after today would not be world nor the Spanish Cup Final next Wednesday. That generosity (apparent) at the time of raising the battle is great news for the show, but it is intriguing. It is difficult to believe that two good strategists such as Mourinho and Guardiola, when face four Classics, have not distinguished between each other. And today should be the least important of all them, especially for Barcelona, unless they think that each match will be sports and emotionally connected to the next, or unless the plan, savage and primitive, is none other than the annihilation of the opponent.

Pepe returns to the fold following his suspension against Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday. Benzema and Khedira have also made Mourinho's the cut for the match following their league suspensions last weekend. Karanka, who makes efforts to look bad, chanted Mourinho's speech and then said that the delivery of training bibs had been randomized (Pepe, Di Maria and Benzema did not dress as starters), what makes us bet on a team with them and Marcelo in the midfield, without missing any star: Xabi and Cristiano (no goals in six games against Barcelona).That is, luxury starting lineup, with the only caution of Arbeloa on Messi, if Messi does not surprise relocating himself to the forward position or in midfield with Xavi, because Guardiola has tested all in the "Classics" and with undoubted success.

Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola has recovered centre back Puyol for the match, but won't be able to count on Bojan and Abidal. Mascherano will also miss the game due to suspension. New faces on the squad list save for Puyol are youth teamers Dos Santos and Thiago. The novelty is already known: Busquets as central defense. It is in that position and in the left defense with Maxwell where there are the only two fissures of Barcelona, ​​which in its last five victories against Real Madrid was always accompanied by Puyol, Valdés, Alves and Messi.

As always, the midfield duel seems decisive. Without Lass (injured) and Granero (suspended), Mourinho will need the work of Marcelo and Di Maria in the defense and football creatiion. Guardiola's obsession is to avoid the withering counter-attacks of Madrid.

Real Madrid are currently the best home side in the championship with 14 wins in 15 fixtures at the Bernabeu; they've scored 46 goals and conceded only 7 at the stadium. On the other hand, Barcelona are the best visiting side in the competition thanks to earning 13 victories and two draws outside Camp Nou; they have netted 43 strikes and conceded just 6 as visitors.

  • Warning: May occur sometinhg as described or completely different. Because, although there is no top hats in sight, do not dismiss that tonight we will see some rabbits out.
  • 5-0: The result of the first round could weigh on the game. Has Madrid learned the lesson? Will prepare Mourinho something special? Can Barcelona have the same ambition?
  • Barcelona defense, with Abidal injured, Mascherano suspended and Puyol out of fitness, will be tested by an attack that moves at the speed of light.

Four Real Madrid vs Barcelona... in 1916

In the coming days await four "Classic", but it is not the first time something like that happens. Moreover, the origin of the rivalry between Real Madrid and Barcelona lies precisely in four legendary matches that both clubs played in the Spanish Cup in 1916. Three of them were held in April, as is the case on this occasion. Until then, there was no a very large antagonism between them. They do not even occupy the highest place in the rankings, a place that, until the Civil War, was owned by Athletic de Bilbao.

Template of Real Madrid in season 1915-1916
Real Madrid 1916

Spanish Cup semi-final in 1916 faced Barcelona and Real Madrid, the leading candidates to unseat the champion, Athletic de Bilbao. In Barcelona, ​​the Catalans won the match by 2-1, but in the second leg, white team beat 4-1.According to the regulations of the time, there was not goal difference, so a third match had to be played. And so began a rivalry that if it dies, it's because football is also dead.

At that time, the teams were amateurs and had to cut costs, so that the third meeting was held two days after the previous, also in Madrid. The tiredness of the players favored for fans to enjoy an epic match and insurmountable emotion: Match needed an extension that did not solve anything, because the final scorewas a draw 6-6, a scoreboard, contrary to popular belief , so unusual at the time such as now. The regulation time ended 4-4, after several ups and downs in the score. In overtime, Real Madrid scored first, but Barcelona managed to get ahead with two goals. However, three minutes from time, Santiago Bernabeu scored a penalty. It was the third penalty the whites throwing in the match, one of whom had been failed by the future president.

The fourth and final match was held the next day, a football marathon unparalleled today. Bernabéu missed a penalty just before the final and could not prevent the draw 2-2 before the ninety minutes. In the extension, the Real Madrid scored twice, but the Catalans felt that the second goal had been achieved in an offside position and they left the field with seven minutes to play, so the locals were classified for final they would lose against the great Athletic Bilbao (4-0).

Thus began a long series of mutual recriminations by favoritism arbitration, which has resonant episodes in the Spanish Cup, and later in the League and European Cup. Those pioneers did not know, but had begun the fiercest rivalry in the history of Spanish football.

Valdano: "Real Madrid is in progression"

The general manager of Real Madrid, Jorge Valdano, analyzed the Rally of "Classics" of football that is awaiting in the coming days and said that the difference between whites and Barcelona is not as big as a priori is thought: "The perception is that Barcelona are beating its rivals, but has won many Ligas and Champions League, in this century, as those won by Real Madrid", noted the former Real Madrid player.

Valdano said that each match has its own history and that the result of one does not influence the rest: "Every game is going to require a different response. The Spanish Cup Final is a life or death match. In Champions League, is the same with two games. But the coaches in each of the competitions will decide depending on many circumstances. A match does not need to look like the previous one".

Jorge Valdano

In the same way, Valdano gave his opinion on the much-touted comparison between Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, the two biggest stars in the Classic: "They are two exceptional players, unusual and have a huge role. They are essential to games of this magnitude. Perhaps Real Madrid has more collective responses without Cristiano than Barccelona without Messi".

The "madridista" manager said the team is clearly on progression and there is no rush to please: "All those teams have not been the best club of the twentieth century have to hurry, not Real Madrid. Now we feel comfortable. If we had a hurry, we would have signed veteran players", he said.

In addition, responding to recent statements by Silvio Berlusconi, President of Milan, where he spoke about the possibility of seeing Cristiano Ronaldo as 'Rossoneri', Valdano was resounding: "Berlusconi is heating up the possibility of purchase. Should be said that Cristiano Ronaldo is our player and we are very happy with him. He is not transferable".

He was less satisfied with the performance of Mourinho and demonstrated a notable distancing: "We are educated people. No need to fix anything, nothing is broken. This topic is exhausted. Mourinho has realized where he is and has made ​​an effort to contain himself in his statements". In this line of moderation, Valdano wished to recall that during the fighting against Barcelona: "The world will be watching and there will be a "great opportunity" to give an example.

Valdano also analyzed the fitness of Kaka and ruled out a sale of the Brazilian player, at least for now: "Kaka at the moment is not transferable. He has a physical problem. He is a star and we have to accompany him on his recovery. The player is in a very uncomfortable situation. He plays limited by physical problems and did not show his full potential". The executive also ruled out the arrival of Cesc Fabregas next season: "Cesc is a great player but we talk about impossible amounts of money".


Cristiano: "I can't imagine Madrid two years without a title"

The Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo admits he is "excited" by the four matches that his team, Real Madrid, will play against Barcelona in the coming days: in the Spanish League Championship, the Spanish Cup (Copa del Rey) Final and the semifinals of the Champions League.

In an interview published today by the Italian sports daily "Corriere dello Sport ", the Portuguese star does not skimp on praise for his compatriot and coach Jose Mourinho and expresses the importance has for the white club not to end another season with empty hands of titles.

Gazzetta dello Sport and Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo

"I'm not worried, no... I'm excited. It's the moment when we can win all or do not win anything", says Real Madrid player in the pages of the newspaper. "I can not think that Real Madrid spends two or three years without winning anything. We are talking about the biggest club in the world, or perhaps one of the greatest. Last year we did not win anything, but this year and next year I hope we can get some target. We have fantastic players and a great coach", he adds.

The striker says he was in "very good fitness" to face the matches against Barcelona and indicates that fatigue due to matches and so much traveling condensate in the calendar, is the same for everyone: "That's life", he says although his coach talked about it in oher way.

Ronaldo says that Mourinho, with whom he hopes to win many titles with Real Madrid, is very important for the team and he is "very happy" because the former Inter Milan coach now leads the white team.

After passing through the English Championship, the Portuguese claims that the Spanish League is, along with the "Premiere League", the "strongest". "I'm happy to play in La Liga, the most competitive and strongest in the world, in which I face with so many good players", said Ronaldo. "In Spain the game is more tactical. The players have greater ability to play the ball. But I also really liked England. It is a more physical football. The game is faster than in Spain. I'm sure they're the best national tournaments", he adds.

The striker also spoke of his scoring ability: "I always want to score, play well and help the team, giving assists to my teammates. The goals come naturally, thanks to talent and aptitudes, so I do not care. If my team and I play well, all comes naturally".

Cristiano Ronaldo faces his "Nemesis"

Cristiano faces the Classics serial, which begins tomorrow, with a personal challenge: to mark his first goal against Barcelona. The Portuguese forward has faced the Catalan side on six occasions, with Manchester United and Real Madrid, but still does not know what is to beat the Barcelona goalkeeper. Cristiano comes to the four Classics in good streak, having scored in the last three games.

Cristiano Ronaldo has not score a goal against Barcelona
Cristiano Ronaldo

However, the Portuguese recognized not to be obsessed with it: "I do not think 'I have to score in every game'. If you think that way, you will not score. The goals come naturally, come from the hand of your talent , your quality, so I'm not worried", he said on the presentation of the boots "Mercurial Vapor Superfly III", which will debut tomorrow on his feet.

But that may not be entirely true. His teammates know that Cristiano is obsessively devoted to a long list of issues. His abdominals, his eyebrows, his hair, the fight against snuff smoke, his titles, his goals, and above all, the reconquest of the Ballon d'Or, cause him a kind of spiritual impatience. And the Ballon d'Or since 2009, is owned by Messi, his opponent tomorrow in the first of four classic between Madrid and Barcelona in the next three weeks.

"He is very anxious", witnesses said yesterday, astonished at the intensity with which he trains lately. No doubt that, despite his idea of the world of soccer, Cristiano is a fabulous player. None dispute that is the most destabilizing player of the team. And that, in practices like yesterday, when approaching the first of four games with Barcelona, he works with feverish devotion. "He feels as the best in the world and believes that in the coming days the world will be watching him" says a colleague. "It's on fire. He believes that time to reclaim his position as the best player in the world has come".


Real Madrid vs Barcelona: All In

Bookmakers are the people who are responsible for developing the odds in the betting shops. Their work requires constant attention to what happens in the world of sport. The Marathon of "Classics" is coming, is a moment awaited by fans and by the operators. One of the bookmakers talks about how it faces from inside such a special occasion.

There are four classics in a very short period of time. What does it mean for a bookmaker?
The impact of these classics for a betting operator is strongly influenced by the extensive media coverage given to these matches. We always offered every game regardless of TV coverage for example, but obviously they have so much expectation among the general public and media and will always have an impact on betting turnover.

Which team is getting more bets to win the match on April 16?
At the moment, is Barcelona. Catalan team is receiving more bets to win the League Classic .

What are the reasons for this favoritism despite its status as visitor?
In the process of odds creation and betting is paid much attention to the most recent matches between the two teams. As Barcelona has won the last five classics, including two at the Bernabeu, that makes them favorites but not by much. Also the fact that Mourinho has lost his 'air of invincibility' in the league match against Sporting. Preciado's team was the first to beat him in nine years in a league match at home. This makes more possible that Barcelona can win on Saturday. Also, the convincing score 5-0 in the match at the Nou Camp, influences greatly.

Are there different or special bets for the four Real Madrid vs Barcelona?
We will provide a lot of new bets on the four Classics of the next few weeks, with bets we have never offered before. These bets will be related to the outcome of the four games and will include for example: Which team receives more yellow cards in 4 games, How many penalties will be in the 4 games...

Can you give some advice to people want to bet on these games?
Is important to be informed of everything that can be: in the circumstances surrounding it (injuries, suspensions...), but also the historical background related to it (number of goals scored in the last 10 years or what team wins more often).

Champions League (Quarterfinals, 2nd Leg): Mourinho

Jose Mourinho addressed the media after Real Madrid's 0-1 victory over Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane in the Champios League Quarterfinals. He spoke about the team classification for semifinals but also about the matches against Barcelona in the coming days.

Mourinho at press conference before Tottenham match
Jose Mourinho

"We are a young team without much experience. This project is still under construction, but I nevertheless think it's normal for us to reach the semifinals because it's part of Real Madrid history to do so".

"Each one of our games against Barcelona will be different. I don't think they should have an effect on each other. My theory is very basic: you play one and then start to prepare for the next. Tomorrow, I'll start to think about Saturday's Clasico, not about the Spanish Cup (Copa del Rey) Final".

Mourinho told reporters that he will have to "practice with 10 players" to deal with the Catalan side, referring to the expulsions that his teams have suffered when faced Barcelona. "I will test with 10 players and play with 10, because I always have sent off a player against them. It happened with Chelsea and Inter, and can happen again", said the Portuguese coach.

"You should ask journalists if we've achieved our goals, since they know about so many things and always generate opinions. I know how football is: you have nothing if you don't win. That's why it isn't enough to reach the Copa del Rey final or the Champions League semis. You need something else".

"I get suspended if I do something to clear my men from bookings. I didn't want to do so after our 4-0 victory at the Bernabeu. My greatest concern was having three defenders with a booking. I didn't even call up Albiol for the first leg, Pepe was the next to fall, and now it is Carvalho who will not play the first leg of the semifinal; but he will be in the return match. Some manage to clear players from their bookings and others don't".

"Only the President of Real Madrid can put a stop to Milan's endeavours to sign Cristiano Ronaldo. He is a tremendous player and I don't think anyone can afford to pay what he's worth, but only Florentino Perez has the final say in this".

Champions League (Quarterfinals, 2nd Leg)


Cristiano combed in old way, with a side parting, to perform at White Hart Lane. He came with a bright head, well-slicked and manufactured by the hairdresser for the occasion. The shine of his appearance helped the Tottenham fans to receive him as the wanted enemy to return. The tide of fans that packed the stands of the London field, charged the match preliminaries with passionate songs, hymns, invocations to heroism, and booing the Portuguese striker. The audience was the most emotional of a night without competitive tension on the grass. To reach his status as local villain, Cristiano stoned the tie five minutes after the restart. It was in his fourth shot from outside the area. The first to goal. Gomes came out to clear it with his fists, as afraid to try the blocking, and the ball, which has aspirited effect, ended up inside his net. The tie ended in that instant. But even then, at White Hart Lane was heared the local version of "When the saints go marching in".

Ronaldo scored the 0-1 against Tottenham
Cristiano scored at White Hart Lane

Public seemed to ignore that in the first leg his team had received a 4-0. The will to have a good time, could it all. People pushed their players with feverish determination, but in exchange they returned very little hope. The Spurs never threatened the dominance of its rival. Real Madrid played the first minutes with a barricade, with the kind of stout disposition that characterizes white team, very orderly without the ball. As yesterday was enough to defend a strong position, Madrid had enough to be patient and do not neglect the duties of defense.

Mourinho introduced another innovative starting lineup, especially in the midfield, where he gives the impression that he experienced with the mind set in duels that lie ahead against Barcelona from next Saturday. In Bilbao Pepe was placed ahead of the central defense as "libero". Yesterday, Mou put Marcelo as left midfielder, ahead of Arbeloa, who closed the left side dfense. It was impossible not to think of an essay. Not to stop Lennon and Corluka, but to cut the road to Alves and Pedrito. Marcelo's presence in this area makes no offensive sense. When he can not play from behind, either to initiate or to disrupt the play, it is difficult to him contact with the ball.

If things were difficult for Tottenham, Real Madrid began taking the ball. It had the ball with more rhetoric than attacking intent. Madrid detained the ball in midfield until it reached Özil, who met once opportunity and miscarried it with a soft shot to the hands of Gomes. The English team responded with very little. Dawson melee with Adebayor and Cristiano, Bale challenged Ramos and Van der Vaart tried to guess the moves of Pavlyuchenko. Well placed, Carvalho and Albiol cleared the few attempts, filtered by their fellow members' pressure on the center line. In the only two occasions they did not come, Pavlyuchenko missed the shot. First, he was alone with Casillas and sent over the crossbar. Then Casillas stopped the ball.

Few teams in Europe defend better than Real Madrid. It is difficult to see its defenders in problems. During the first part, just had to clear some pass from Bale or Lennon. However Lennon invited Carvalho to commit an inexplicable mistake in a player of his experience. The Portuguese defender knocked the midfielder at the edge of the area, in an irrelevant movement. The referee showed him the yellow card and Carvalho will miss the first leg of the semifinals at the Bernabeu. It was the only counterproductive fact to Madrid that circulated in the quarter-final with more placid than in most of the days of the Spanish League.

Casillas put ​​three hands to deflect shots from Tottenham and the match languished without consolation for the dedicated British fans. The scoreboard set in stone, it was bad news for the local team. Madrid was not moved. Xabi and Cristiano, who went to the locker room discussing, showed the organizational mismatches when administering the ball to go on the attack. This situation was aggravated by the change in the lineup, but it was a detail that did not affect the course of the tie because Madrid did not need to go and get a result. After the break, Cristiano threw a poisoned shot and the quarter-final was over. Madrid passed to the semifinals for the first time in eight years.


Stadium: White Hart Lane
Attendance: 36,240
Goals: 0-1. Min. 50. Cristiano Ronaldo


History: Real Madrid Uniform

The article number 18 of the original statutes of the Real Madrid Football Club stated that "the regulation uniform will be, for regular matches; Dark trouser, short and straight, white jersey and dark socks. And for special matches will be trouser and jersey white, black socks with loops and belt in the national colors". Finally, the second option was elected for all matches. Until then, players wore clothes, consisting of trousers and shirts white. The teams were differentiated through cross-bands on the chest with colors red and blue, the same used by "Basque pelota" players, which however came off easily. The Real Madrid, as the oldest club in Madrid, chose to dress entirely in white, something that 109 years later remains.

Real Madrid: First Uniform (1902)

Throughout history, the Madrid team has always had the white jersey in his first kit (the second began to be always the same since 1952). However, there was a time in which the color of the jersey and trousers did not match. It was in 1925-26 season, and the initiative of the players Ecobal and Quesada. Both were traveling in England and were set in London Corinthians dress, one of the most famous teams of the moment. English team was known by elegance and sportsmanship in the game. In an attempt to look like the English, was decided that the team dressed in black trousers, but the change would last only one season. After falling in the semifinals of the Spanish Cup against Barcelona when they lost by 1-5 ​​in Madrid and 2-0 in Barcelona, President Parages decided to return to pure white after accusing the kits to give bad luck. Years later another England team, Leeds United, changed its blue shirt to the white after the final in which Real Madrid won Eintracht Frankfurt by 7-3 at Hampden Park in Glasgow.

Real Madrid: Black trousers (1925)

Until 1952 not began to be used, on a regular way, the same second kit. Real Madrid, until then, used to wear jerseys in different shades of blue and white or dark blue trousers. From the moment the second jersey became common, Madrid team has used many different models. Primarily, the suits have been blue or purple, but other colors such as black (team played and won the final of the European Cup in 2000) and even red. 

Real Madrid wore an all red uniform in three European competition matches during the 70's. The first was on March 10, 1971 in the quarter-finals of the 1970-1971 European Cup Winners Cup against Cardiff City Football Club. The macth ended with defeat 1-0. The second time was on April 14 in that year in the semifinals of the same competition against PSV Eindhoven. The result was a tie 0-0. The third and last time that Real Madrid dressed in red, but this time with white socks, was on March 7, 1973 in the quarter-finals of the 1972-1973 European Cup against Dynamo Kiev in Odessa, finishing the game with a tied result 0-0, thanks to the great performance of goalkeeper Mariano Garcia Remon.

Real Madrid: Red Kit (1973)

The real revolution in football jerseys, arrived in the 80's. At that time, players begin to use models in short sleeves for summer, in addition to joining the brands and sponsors, which would become an important source of income for clubs. In addition, cotton jerseys give way to synthetic fabrics searching greater comfort for the player. Evolution has not stopped and now the jerseys are made of new materials that are breathable and favor the player comfort.

Real Madrid: Adidas (1981)

In 1997 teams began to have also a third kit marked by innovative models. Thus, in 2001 the team used a curious gray shirt, while in 1997 showed a shirt divided in four and in which the white was combined with the purple. Moreover, in recent years have added little memorials details in every season. The shield of the best team of twenty-first century, the logo of the 50th anniversary of the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, the nine European Cups... Small details for a jersey with a great story.

Preview: Tottenham vs Real Madrid

An hour after landing at Stansted, Jose Mourinho appeared in front of reporters at White Hart Lane, the stadium where will return the usual starting lineup of Real Madrid on today match. Marcelo Carvalho, Alonso, Özil, Cristiano and Adebayor, on the bench on Saturday in Bilbao, will return to the starting team against Tottenham. This was confirmed by the Portuguese coach, who refused to talk about the "classic" in the league against Barcelona, but threw a new warning, this time by the issue of forced cards: "Others have permission to do things that we can not do", he said.

Sergio Ramos and Angel Di Maria accumulate two yellow cards and one more will prevent them from playing the first leg of semifinals. This threat does not affect the possible Mourinho's team: "I'm not changing players thinking they have two yellow cards", the Portuguese commented, conscious of the importance of the match. "The result is very good, but not definitive. It will be a huge match, so we must respect the Spurs and football. We come to play a serious game, because the work is not done", Mourinho said and believes thta "Five goals will not be enough for Tottenham, because we're going to score".

Real Madrid press conference before the match against Tottenham
Xabi Alonso and Mourinho at press conference

For Real Madrid, the mission at a packed White Hart Lane, is access to the semifinals, eight years after that tie against Juventus. And if it is possible with a good result, much better: "We will be the only undefeated team because today we add seven wins and two draws", recalled the coach. "Also, next year we will be seeded".
Mourinho does not want his foot off the accelerator nor look beyond London: "I'm not thinking in the classic on Saturday. The most important so far, is the game against Tottenham. After this match we will think about the match against Barcelona in the League and then the Spanish Cup", he said.

Xabi Alonso demanded a maximum level of concentration: "People here are tight and we can take a scare. The important thing is to have balance between defense and attack" said the former player of Liverpool, who admitted he felt sorry for Crouch after his red card a week ago at the Bernabeu: "While I felt for him, I was happy for us, because it influenced in the match. In fact, it changed the game".

The English team has been dreaming of such intensity that in the last training, tested the penalty shots. "Of course I believe in miracles, otherwise I would have given permission to my players to go shopping", said Harry Redknapp about the remote possibility that hisTottenham can eliminate Real Madrid this evening at White Hart Lane.

It is expected more from Tottenham after its poor play at the Bernabeu. It is also expected more of Sandro (the new Dunga) Modric (the young Cruyf) or Bale (the futuristic left side). Lennon will play at last. By the way, only three teams have overcome a such unfavorable result in European competition: Leixoes, Partizan and .. Real Madrid.


Real Madrid vs Barcelona: Internet Resale

Sold out the tickets for the League Classic (April 16) and the Spanish Cup Final (April 20), the crookedness has already begun to run on different web sites. Real Madrid and Catalans fans with tickets in hand, want to do business, reselling through some advertising portals. Everything goes to sell the sites and make extra money.

For the League match, seats of the fourth amphitheater, whose initial price is 70 euros, is asking 250. "Two free tickets buying two pens for the modest price of 500 euros". Others prefer to put only their phone and agree the final price. And there are already offering up to a pack with the semifinals of Champions League included: "Special Offer: Buy a pen and get two tickets, at the third amphitheatre, for the League match and the Champions League semifinal; 500 euros per subscription". Another way to pay the subscription for next season. Members can also opt for transfer policy that has Real Madrid, which also have an extra discount for next season. The members prefer to sell to the highest bidder and this is accomplished through Internet.

For the Cup Final, resale rises further. The official prices of the tickets ranged from 80 euros and 250. Real Madrid and Barcelona have distributed all prices tickets and the Spanish Federation has taken the most expensive (from 160 to 250 euros). Furthermore, these days the Federation has lost 500 tickets that is still looking for and does not know where went...

As a claim to the Cup Final, is specified in what area are the tickets, if they belong where has been located the Barcelona crowd (north), Real Madrid fans (south) or is neutral. "I have two tickets in the neutral zone for 550 euros each" are offered without pens, lighters and balloons involved. Another is willing to negotiate the price: "I sell pen and gift a ticket to the Cup final, located in sector 7; 750 euros. I listen to offers. I request and I offer responsibility".

Interview: Bernd Schuster

Bernd Schuster analyzed the four "Classics" of the next weeks. White former coach believes that the League match Real Madrid vs Barcelona will be crucial in the evolution of the other three matches.

Schuster as Besiktas coach
Bernd Schuster

"It's very difficult to know if the Classic on Saturday is the least important of the four, due to the eight-point lead that Barcelona has. But if Madrid wins the game well, will face the Spanish Cup Final with confidence. And if white team wins the Final, in the Champions League knockout, the favorite might be the Real Madrid", he said.

Schuster believes that Saturday's match at the Bernabeu is much more important to Madrid than for Barcelona: "Everyone knows that they stake the full season in the next two weeks. But Saturday's game is more important to Madrid in terms of morality, because if Barcelona loses, will stay five points ahead", he commented.

Asked about the chances of Real Madrid to win Barcelona after the 5-0 at Nou Camp, Schuster was sincere: "This year, at one match, I see Real Madrid can win against Barcelona. Over two legs, no. For some time, I see a competitive white team in Spain and Europe" he confessed.

For Schuster, the difference between Real Madrid and Barcelona is at the center of the field: "The creativity of Xavi, Iniesta and Busquets in midfield makes that Barccelona exceeds Madrid, because in defense and attack are very close", he said.

Schuster also commented he likes Mourinho's way to work: "Mourinho has earned respect around the world and that respect Real Madrid is giving him. Sometimes I compare Mourinho with McEnroe, who needed to get furious to play better. I like his way of being", he acknowledged.

About Guardiola, Schuster recognized the great work Pep is doing but also made reference to the luck that accompanies the coach of Barcelona: "Guardiola has shown he can succeed as man of the club. Also helped that the team has not been broken. This team just needed a few tweaks. The good luck is also important because the Shakhtar Donetsk match, others lose it", he said.


Tottenham vs Real Madrid: A 22 million euros match

Real Madrid not only will play in London for the pass to semifinals of the Champions League. After sporting achievement is hidden a succulent money prize. If Madrid asserts the result of the Bernabeu and gets into semifinals (round that team could reach for the first time since 2003), will receive a prize of 4.2 million euros. Amount which must be added those obtained by whites since the tournament began on 15 September 2010, with a win at the Bernabeu against Ajax.

If Real Madrid overcomes the tie with Tottenham, would remain like the team that has won more money from the UEFA Champions League this year, thanks to its performance in the group stage. In it, white team earned, as the other 31 teams, 3.9 million euros fixed and a bonus of 550,000 euros per game played (in total, 3.3 million more). And Madrid added 4.4 million by results (five wins and a draw).

UEFA Champions League

By qualifying for the last-16 knockout stage, the prize was 3 million, which now must be added the 3.3 of the quarterfinals. If we add the 4.2 by playing the semifinals, Madrid would have won no less than 22.1 million euros. An amount that could still increases by 5.6 million, if Madrid reachs the final and loses, or 9, if team manages to lift the trophy in the final at Wembley on May 28.

To this amount must be added the 'market pool' or market share that each club receives in terms of the agreements reached with the television stations that broadcast the tournament in their countries. This fee, which will not be known until the conclusion of the tournament, tends to be higher in countries like Germany or England. For example, in 2009, Barcelona (tournament champion) joined by this concept about 8 million euros for the 18 of Manchester United (runners-up).

Last season, Inter won the title and led the money list with 48.7 million euros; 29 by sports scores and 19.6 of its 'market pool'. Bayern, runner-up, earned 44.8 million, with 19 from the TV. In any case, it is a second incentive that converts a good European campaign in a highly profitable investment.

Mourinho will dose the efforts against Tottenham

Mourinho will dose the efforts of his team against Tottenham. The reason is that he wants all players ready and fresh for the first two matches against Barcelona; in the League and the Spanish Cup final. On Wednesday is expected ​​a surprise "Made in Mourinho", like in San Mames.

Mourinho is thinking about the important matches against Barcelona
Jose Mourinho

With 4-0 in the first leg, the Portuguese has his mind at Barcelona. The logical thing would be that Cristiano, who is apperceived of sanction, will be reserved for the semifinal round of the Champions League against Barcelona. Nor will play Pepe, who is suspended. Ramos, Carvalho, Albiol and Di Maria are also apperceived of sanction. Is expected to see the return of Benzema, but in the second half. He came back injured after playing with France and has spent ten days off. He did not travel to Bilbao as a precaution, but he will be against the Spurs.

Best of all is that Mourinho has prepared all his artillery to the 11 games that lie ahead (seven League games, three of Champions and the Spanish Cup final). And the white team could play the Champions League final.

What the Portuguese feared is that the injuries could decimate the template in the most important moment of the season. He saved that obstacle just when team plays for everything. Only Gago and Pedro Leon are still limping, but on the mend. The rest players are perfect. The best news for Real Madrid.


League (Day 31): Kaka reactions


The Brazilian said Real Madrid can win Barcelona on any of the four matches that are going to play in the coming weeks because Barcelona is not an unbeatable team.


What do the two goals you have scored in San Mames mean?
"Two goals are good for my self-confidence, two very important goals".

Is it true that you want to go?
"I know the truth of my injury. Some people took advantage of my absence to say that I wanted to go and it is not true. I want to succeed in Madrid".

How are you assimilating the criticism that you are getting from the fans?
"I understand the fans. I hope that with time and with big games, I could "conquer" again the fans. I only ask that they give me time".

And on Saturday you will face Barcelona. After the 5-0 in the first round do you think you can win?
"Real Madrid can win against Barcelona. They are not unbeatable. The match is a World Classic and we have to believe we can win the League, the Champions and the Spanish Cup".

How is your relationship with Mourinho?
"My relationship with the coach is very good. People say many things that are not true, but I have no problem with Mourinho and I thank him and the entire technical committee, the work they are doing with me".

Champions, League or Cup?
"I want all".

Spanish League: Day 31


Real Madrid resolved with an unexpected authority a rare match. The white team played in a strange way, with an amazing lineup. Mourinho made ​​a mess and Athletic's coach, Caparros, was left without responding to a Madrid that gave the ball without any disguise, resigned to create and develop football, and played on the counter attack to keep the wire of life that still remains in the League . With that philosophy, won at San Mames in a game that could beat more forcefully if Higuain and Di Maria would have been more inspired in the shots. Two goals from Kaka decided the result. The Brazilian converted two penalties committed on Di Maria, the best of his team. Cristiano, who played only the last half hour, scored the other goal.

Athletic was a vulgar team on defense, did not exist in the center of the field and sank in the attack. Bilbao lacked clarity and had too much haster. Local team went out past revolutions and became embroiled in a melee that doomed it. With a lineup with more muscle than talent, something convenient for Real Madrid, red-white team decided not to use the ball as an offensive weapon. Athletic was wrong, Caparrós was wrong and the match was an unexpected downhill for Madrid. Was enough some order, not to lose concentration, get intensity on all its actions and the verticality of Di Maria, to get rid of a strikingly harmless Athletic. With this attitude of the locals, no one went worse than Fernando Llorente, totally disconnected from the rest of the team and outside the party.

Mourinho surprised with a lineup that went beyond the rotations, it was a revolution. Ramos, Albiol, Arbeloa and Garay formed the defense. Ahead of them stood Pepe, who was a central defense when Athletic attacked. Lass stood to his right and Granero on the left. Kaka appeared as playmaker with Higuain and Di Maria exchanging positions. The stakes could not have gone better to Mourinho, who reserved players and won three points with unexpected ease.

Great Kaka's performance against Bilabo
Kaka scored two goals against Athletic Bilbao

The Portuguese coach designed a lineup and imagined a game that perhaps only he could see. The picture of his intentions was finished completing with Di Maria, Iraizoz and Kaka at 13 minutes. The goalkeeper made ​​a clear penalty on the Argentine and the Brazilian scored the first goal. Insecurity and doubts were multiplied in Athletic Bilbao which never found a way of hurting Madrid, attacking with a very direct game, forgetting the sides. Attacks too predictable and easy to defend.

Real Madrid lived comfortably until the end on the counter attack and was able to kill the game in the first half. Overwhelmed on defense, Athletic could go thrashed to the break. Higuain wasted two very clear opportunities. First, missed the duel one to one with Iraizoz and then was unable to score from outside the area into the empty net after a poor start of the goalkeeper. In this game of mistakes, Di Maria forgave two goals. One due to a poor control that prevented him define well. And another after stealing a ball. San Jose, Bilbao defender, tried to haggle the striker on the edge of the area. The action was completed by Di Maria with a deflected shot. Four clear chances to which a Kaka's opportunity near the break. Athletic gave no answer. Only a Muniain's shot that cleared Casillas. A job too easy for Madrid against disappointing Athletic.

The inertia in which the match moved, unchanged in the second half. Athletic did not tickle Madrid and the white team completed the task with two new goals. Kaka, who performed at a high level, scored a new penalty committed also on Di Maria. This time Castilllo pushed the Argentine after he slashed him in the area. Cristiano Ronaldo completed the scoring. The Portuguese had replaced the exhausted Higuain. A good goal after dribble San Jose in the area and beat easily Iraizoz.

No news about Athletic, except a shot of Toquero, and the match was consumed without any major surprises for Madrid. The most notable were the changes: Xabi Alonso and Carvalho replaced Di Maria and Garay. That's how quiet Real Madrid ended its journey through San Mames.


Stadium: San Mamés
Attendance: 40,000
Goals: 0-1, min.13: Kaká (penalty) 0-2, min.53: Kaká (penalty) 0-3, min.70: Cristiano Ronaldo.

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