Interview: Karim Benzema

Karim Benzema only thinks about succeed in Real Madrid. He feels he has played very well in the second leg of the season and nobody will stop him. He is convinced that in his boots is to triumph at Real Madrid and please Mourinho.

Benzema is ready to Real Madrid's next season
Karim Benzema

"I scored 30 goals this season with Real Madrid and France, so I think it was a good year. I started to play a lot more beginning in January, and I knew good things would happen once I grew more confident. I feel good playing for Real Madrid. I love the fans, the people and the stadium. I will be there for many years to come".

"We scored 102 goals this season, which is a lot for a team they say is defense-oriented. Real Madrid has what it takes to win the treble. Ending the 18-year drought without winning the "Copa del Rey" was good for us, but we want more. This club must win everything. It’s what you learn and feel from the moment you sign on. Personally speaking, I think I still have room for improvement. I think you will see an even better me next season because I feel good physically and mentally".

"Mourinho loves to win, and so do I. He has helped me grow as a footballer and a person. He expects a lot from me, but he has helped me improve. I now know what I want from myself and I know I can give it to him. I must prove that I can play for this team. I know it will be hard to earn a spot, but it all depends on me".

"The new signings are all very good. They will help us a lot next season. Sahin was the best player in the Bundesliga, and all the best players want to play for Real. Agüero also have the quality to play in Madrid (smiles)".

"Cristiano’s 41 league goals will be very hard to match. I am very happy for him. He is an excellent player who doesn’t only score a lot, but helps others score, too. We understand each other well".

"I think I have a shot at next season’s Ballon d’Or. I play for the best team in the world, we have the European Championship next summer and we have a super team. Looking back on my matches and goals this season, I think I can do it. Next season will be even better than this won. I want to win it all".

Zinedine Zidane will be the Real Madrid's sporting director

Zidane will be the sporting director of the Real Madrid
Zinedine Zidane: New Real Madrid sporting director

After the Jorge Valdano's leaving of Real Madrid, Zinedine Zidane will become the new sporting director of Real Madrid Football Club. Florentino Perez is doing a renovation in the flowchart of white team and the French will win more weight in the Real Madrid in this way.

The name of Zinedine Zidane as the successor to Valdano was already playing in a while, but it was May 17 when was finally materialized the new position that he would occupy in the Real Madrid club. Florentino Perez and 'Zizou' agreed to plan the new role of former French international.

So now, Zidane will be in charge of both the first and the second team (Real Madrid Castilla) and will travel with the squad of Jose Mourinho. He will be the president's right hand in sporting issues and will accompany the team in national competition matches and in the European Cup (Champions League).

Zinedine Zidane returned to Real Madrid in October 2009, when he joined the Football Committee of Real Madrid. Zizou refused leadership and fled from the spotlight. The proof is that neither he had an office nor was an employee of Real Madrid, but was made available to Real Madrid to share views on any issue in the football plot.


Interview: Nuri Sahin


Nuri Sahin Interview as Real Madrid player
Nuri Sahin

You still stay in Dortmund. You are not on vacation as the other players?
I postponed my vacation. I want to be in top physical shape when I come to Madrid. On Sunday the prosthetic shin will be removed and immediately I will begin to train. July 10, the new season begins in Spain and, once fully healed of my internal ligament injury (right knee), I will attend directly.

Some people think that you signed for Real Madrid to spend much time on the bench...
I only care what is said by people that know me well. They know I have enough quality to play in a big team like Madrid.

Barcelona and Madrid have had a great rivalry throughout the season. Do you think there is much distance between the two teams?
The Real Madrid is not far from Barcelona and could win many titles next season. I'm enough ambitious to get titles with Madrid and I want to leave my mark in Spain.

You said that you had spoken to Mourinho. What role did the Portuguese in your signing?
The fact that he chose me, is an honor. Mourinho is my coach and for me it is like the big prize of the lottery.

For this new stage in Spain, you will have to learn to speak Spanish...
I started to study it. My target is to learn the language as quickly as possible and also speak fluently.

Will you continue being fan of Borussia Dortmund?
Logically. I will be for life. The club has been strengthened smartly and in that team there is still a huge potential. I am not worried for the Borussia Dortmund future.

What will be the first thing you buy for your new home in Madrid?
I have it very clear. A subscription for pay-TV. So I will follow the matches of Borussia Dortmund and the Turkish League.

Real Madrid: China Tour 2011

"We will bring our best players to China. The coach, Jose Mourinho, will make the final adjustments against these teams because the season starts at the end of the summer tour" said Butragueno, according to Xinhua news agency. The Institutional Relations Director explained that the Real Madrid expedition will arrive to China on August 1, to play against Evergrande Guangzhou in the Guangzhou Tianhe Stadium (August 3) and against Tianjin Teda in the Olympic Water Drop (August 6).

Real Madrid's China fans with a flag of the Spanish team
Real Madrid's Chinese fans

"Both cities have a great atmosphere and rivals have international experience, so it will be a honor to face them", said Butragueño regarding Evergrande Guangzhou and Tianjin Teda, first and seventh ranked in the current Chinese League.

This will be the second visit of Real Madrid to play friendly matches in Chinese soil, something that it did in the 2005 Asian Tour when white team defeated 3-2 to Beijing Guoan, twinned team with the Spanish set.

Besides the sporting, the trip will expand the market in the Asian giant, where as Butragueño noted: "Real Madrid has more than 100 million fans", and at the same time he said: "The trip is also an opportunity to meet and improve how to promote football in China", he concluded.


The other match (4). Mourinho vs Valdano

Jorge Valdano was fired yesterday as general manager of Real Madrid, a position he agreed in 2009, in the second stage of Florentino Perez as president of the club. The news was made official after the meeting of the board and was Florentino himself who informed at 9:24 pm that the club had "terminated its contract with Valdano" due to "dysfunctions" in the sport organization. The club removes the general direction that led Valdano, which is absorbed by the general direction that leads José Ángel Sánchez, with Mourinho as sports chief and spokesman in this area.

Florentino Prez informed about the Valdanos's firing
Florentino Perez at the press conference

Valdano's firing ends a story that was doomed from the start. On May 31, 2010, in the presentation of the Portuguese as Real Madrid coach, Jorge Valdano began his speech in this way: "Before the presentation I wanted to resolve the prevailing morbidity. During my time as communicator I wrote about the divine and the human, and occasionally talked about Jose Mourinho in an aggressive tone. That was solved three years ago at a meeting, he also responded aggressively and we fix it very quickly. There is no problem".

But there was. Mourinho has never forgotten. In February 2006, Valdano wrote this after a match Barcelona-Chelsea, then coached by Mourinho: "I think the poor state of Stamford Bridge was his plan A. The B was also muddy the press conference accusing Messi doing theater in the Del Horno's send-off. Does it talk bad about Mourinho? Yes. Does it talk bad about football? No. On the contrary, this game is a metaphor for life, the trap is not successful. I like the pose of Mourinho, but that does not mean I believe in his innocence". In 2008, Valdano pointed similar arguments: "Mourinho is a errant soul who does not know what is. Guardiola is different. He symbolizes an idea that some of us advocate (as holy) and others attack (as damn)".

It was not necessary wait long to see that Mourinho had not forgiven. In September, the coach blamed Valdano of not to let him train to Portugal in two qualifying matches for EuroCup. In October, the clash occurred for attending the "Prince of Asturias Awards". In December, Mourinho showed a list of refereeing mistakes and called for more institutional support. At that point, Florentino still supported Valdano: "It is customary at the club not to mention referees; What we had to say, Valdano has said. He is our spokesman and who represents best the club's image".

The disagreements continued, but in March, Florentino was closer to the postulates of Mourinho: "To defend Real Madrid of what is unfair, irregular and arbitrary is also be madridista, and that makes our coach". Mourinho had already raised an ultimatum: "Either Valdano or me".

On May 15, after the match against Villarreal, Valdano denied his out: "I do not abandon. The news that I'm going to leave the team, is false. I will continue next season". Yesterday, he said these words: "I did not miss the truth, I said what I felt. I have not resigned. The club has dispensed with me".


Real Madrid jerseys 2011-2012

Adidas denies the design of the Real Madrid shirt which had been published just over a month in the Spanish media. According to the German brand: "The design does not resemble in any way with the shirt to be presented shortly". Apparently the design was made ​​from the away kit of the Swedish team IFK Goteborg, because the jersey was conceptually the same but with different color. In particular, the Swedish team shirt is pink.

Now new designs have reappeared in the media, but as the filtered new design of Barcelona shirt was confirmed just one week ago, it seems that the rumors about the new jersey of Real Madrid are also true and this is in fact the Real Madrid home shirt 2011-2012.

Cristiano Ronaldo on the Real Madrid home jersey 2011-2012
Real Madrid Home Shirt 2011-2012

The Spanish media has revealed what they claim to be the correct Real Madrid jersey that Cristiano Ronaldo and company will wear during the next season. This design greatly differs from the original leak which featured a similar color scheme to the 2010-2011 Real Madrid jersey and a v-neck collar. The Real Madrid home shirt will be a polo-necked, white of course, with gold accents and the BWIN advertising in black.

These data are consistent with the pre-sale advertisements that currently can be found in Spanish web pages. In these advertisements you can read: "The gold rush goes back". The advance sale prices ranging from 56€ for child size, up to 69.50€ for adult size (men).

Gold rush in the new Real Madrid home jersey
Real Madrid jersey pre-sale ad: "Gold rush goes back"

On the other hand, the second and third kit jerseys of the team have been also leaked. The away jersey will be dark blue colored with v-neck collar. Details will be in gold as well, including advertising. And finally, the big surprise, the red shirt of Real Madrid for the Champions League. The away kit jersey for European matches. The collar of this shirt will be round with a blank piece. All supplements will be white in this jersey, including advertising.

Second and third kit jerseys of Real Madrid 2011-2012
Real Madrid Away Shirts 2011-2012

Do you think this is the real thing or is there more Real Madrid jersey leaks to come?

Update: Promotional Video / Update: Launch / Update: Away Kit 2011-2012


Kun Aguero's future points to Real Madrid

"I had said that when I wanted to leave the Atletico Madrid, I would do it publicly. That time has now come and I fulfill my word". Agüero spoke. So clear. Yesterday, Kun took the first step to leave the Atletico set this summer. He acknowledged that he wants to go. The Argentine came in the evening at Vicente Calderón Stadium to communicate the club his intention to leave the team on the this summer transfer market. And the desire of the player, who is willing to put everything it takes on his part, is play for Real Madrid next season.

Kun Aguero on Atletico jersey
Sergio "Kun" Aguero

So triggered the end of the Aguero's stage at Atletico. 5:30 pm, door six of the "Manzanares" Stadium. Kun arrived driving his black BMW M3. In the passenger seat was Gonzalo Rebasa, his agent. In the back were the father of footballer, Leonel Agüero, and Hernan Reguera, another agent of the company IMG which carries the Argentine's business. 6:50 pm, an hour and twenty minutes later, Aguero out of the stadium. The same occupants in the car. But the gesture of the striker has changed. He is much more serious than when he arrived. Out in a hurry. And shuns reporters. He refuses to make statements.

Then he explained "I expressed my decision to leave Atletico. I asked them to receive the offers that come from other clubs, unconditionally", said the player on his official website at 11:30 pm. That was the reason for his presence in the stadium. Despite the willingness of Agüero, Atletico leaders' conditions will remain unchanged. Kun will go out of Atletico if the team that wants him, pays his buyout clause (45 million euros). By the way, this amount was reduced in January when he negotiated his contract extension through 2014. By then, the clause went from 60 to 45 million.

What is clear is that bids will not go missing. The great season of the player has not gone unnoticed by Europe's most important teams. Mourinho wants him as a companion to Cristiano Ronaldo, for next season Real Madrid's attack. This week, agents of Agüero had planned a meeting with Real Madrid to discuss the future of Argentine forward.

Agüero already hinted on Sunday that he would try to leave the team this summer: "I am proud for have achieved 101 goals with Atletico, because I always gave everything for this shirt. I want to devote it to the fans, who from the first day showed me affection", he said. Agüero is traveling today to Argentina, where he will train to play the "Copa America". We have to wait.

Jose Callejon: New Real Madrid player

Real Madrid and RCD Espanyol have confirmed that they had reached an agreement for five million euros, for the transfer of Jose Maria Callejon to the white club, with which he will be bound over the next five seasons. Espanyol signed him three seasons ago for 1.2 million from Real Madrid Castilla. The purchase of the player is the third signing of Real Madrid for the next season, after theTurkish Nuri Sahin, who arrived from Borussia Dortmund, and Hamit Altintop of Bayern Munich.

Jose Callejon: New Real Madrid player

The striker, 24 years old, reached the ranks of Real Madrid in September 2002 from the Association Soccer Sports "Costa Tropical", from Motril (Andalusia), together with his twin brother Juan Miguel, who now plays in Cordoba. On his arrival, he joined the Cadet category and was up to reach Real Madrid "C" in the 2006-07 season, where had already played some games last season, and in 2007-08 made ​​the leap to Real Madrid Castilla.

His good performance with the Real Madrid young teams led (March 25, 2008) his debut, with a goal included, in the U-21 Spanish national team (match against Kazakhstan) and a few months later his move to RCD Espanyol, where debuted in the League on September, 2008 against Getafe (1-1). In his first season with the blue and white team, the versatile player played 24 league games and scored 2 goals, while in the next reached 36 games played with the same goals. His best season was the latter, in which has participated in 37 league matches and scored 6 goals, playing two matches of the "Copa del Rey".

The player's contract ended in 2012. Callejon is another player who returns to Real Madrid after being trained in the young teams and after an experience of over a hundred games played in the top category, although he will have serious competition for a place on the Mourinho's team.

Real Madrid: Mourinho's first year

Sunday was the first of forty-nine days of holidays for the Real Madrid template, which will return to training on July 11. A break after a grueling season (44 wins, 9 draws and 6 defeats in 59 competitive games) marked by the absolute leadership of Jose Mourinho, precisely one of the few who continue to work these days. After the win on Saturday against Almeria (8-1), the Portuguese coach went to the Stadium Bernabeu pitch to thank the warmth of the fans. He pointed his heart and promised more for the future. It was not a gratuitous gesture, because he has always argued that the best of his teams arrives in the second season.

Mourinho does not talk since last April 27 and has no plans to offer a public interview to evaluate the season at the end of this. He seems to have evaporated, but nobody in the club takes a decision without his consent. He has managed to turn the Florentino Perez's Real Madrid in one built to his specifications. After winning the duel with Jorge Valdano, has advanced two signings (Sahin and Altintop) with his unmistakable "stamp". Off the general director, he feels with full powers to govern the future.

Mourinho Spanish Cup champion
Jose Mourinho with the Spanish Cup trophy

Mourinho has plenty reasons to feel indispensable, from the cold numbers (Spanish Cup title, second in the League with 102 goals and semi-finalists of the Champions League) to the remarkable tactics improvement of the team, specialized in fast and aggressive football. Thanks to intense pressure, we can see the Di Maria's attacking waves or the genius details of Özil. All for the greater glory of Cristiano Ronaldo, author of a superhuman figure (40 goals in 34 league games, 52 in all three competitions). Mourinho has managed to bury those lofty concepts of 'style' or 'excellence'. He is not interested to talk about football because he just plays to win.

He has also recovered the talent of Benzema and multiplied the valuation of Marcelo. The team works like a clock, with great confidence in defending and dreadful fury on the counterattack. In his statistics are 14 League wins at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium but there are also surrenders against Sporting and Zaragoza. He won in Milan, London, Bilbao, Valencia, Sevilla and Villarreal (with the League lost in the last three cases). But above all, he has saved his project and looking forward to Real Madrid fans with the Spanish Cup title 18 years later, against the best Barcelona that remind the times.

That April 20 in Mestalla Stadium, was the key day of the white season. Florentino's first title in his last five years as president, meant the best moral boost for fans, tired of the Barcelona's tyranny. People needed a messiah and the coach was raised to the altars. Everyone, from the president to the last member, took the coach's speech, which ranged between illusion and arbitration conspiracies.

Mourinho faces a referee in a UEFA match
Jose Mourinho: UEFA Champions League

Mourinho believed that the only way to stop Barcelona, began at the press conference. Therefore, since September, talked (often with reason) about referees, the schedule or the excessive laxity of the Barclona rivals. He appeared with a list of 13 mistakes of the referee in the match against Sevilla and hinted that Television owners favored the rest of Barcelona. He produced two send-offs in Amsterdam and his conflict with the UEFA reached the zenith on 27 April, with the referee Wolfgang Stark, in the Champions League semifinal. Two penalties and several lawsuits later, the Birdcage seems closed. At least for now.


Nuri Sahin: Best player of the season in Germany

Nuri Sahin, new signing of Real Madrid and so far Borussia Dortmund's player, has been voted the best player of the season in Germany in the traditional survey conducted by the magazine "Kicker" from the players in the Bundesliga.

Nuri Sahin: Best player of the season in Germany

Sahin, key to the conquest of the League title by Borussia Dortmund, won 46.1 percent of the vote, beating clearly the second placed player, his teammate Mario Götze -the revelation of the season- who reached 18.7 percent of the vote. Third is the Chilean Arturo Vidal, of Bayer Leverkusen, with 7.4 percent, followed by the Dutchman Arjen Robben of Bayern München with 7 percent, and the top scorer of the tournament, Mario Gomez, also of Bayern, who won 6.7 percent. Manuel Neuer was chosen the best goalkeeper, from Schalke, with 70 percent..

Nuri Sahin, as recordman, can boast of being the youngest player to debut and score both with his club (Borussia Dortmund) as his national team (Turkey). Bundesliga Champion and best player in Germany, Sahin was clear that this year had to take a leap in quality... and he can take it at Real Madrid.

Benzema will stay in Real Madrid

Karim Benzema started late in his second season in Real Madrid. He received criticism from his coach and some whistles from the Santiago Bernabéu fans because they demanded him more. But since January has earned the respect of teammates, the coaching staff and fans, who said goodbye him on Saturday for this year, with a standing ovation and admiration.

His end result was good: 26 goals in 48 games. 20 with the right foot, 4 left and 2 with the head. He is the second top scorer of the team behind Cristiano Ronaldo. In League he has played 33 games (20 starts) with 15 goals (11 at home and 4 away). In the Champions League, participated in 8 matches, with 6 goals (4 at home and 2 away) and played 7 Spanish Cup matches and made ​​5 goals (4 home, 1 away). This year, in addition to attack and score goals, he has learned back to defend, to play as a team, to make coverages... For all this and the projection he still has, Benzema has passed the final exam with high marks and will remain in the team next season.

Benzemas has scored 26 goals this season for Real
Benzema celebrates his last goal against Almería 

Mourinho insisted on making him a top player and made ​​him work hard from day one. "Karim is intelligent and I hope he understands what has to do to play more. From the bench, the match is looked very well, the opponent's defensive moves, changes, aggressiveness... is aperfect place. He has been 90 minutes and sooner or later he will understand it" Mourinho said. Now the coach praises him in public but has not yet explained why the French was ignored in the four Classics (only played 56 minutes in the League match against Barcelona).

The public and private shots of the Portuguese coach and Higuain's injury made ​​him react. Mourinho has recovered the best version of the French player. Mourinho has been convinced in the past six months, but wants more and it has been communicated to the player. In addition, the trust that Laurent Blanc has given him in the French national team has helped Benzema to be a competitive player with hunger for goals. Now he goes on vacation. Milan, Inter, Juventus and Manchester would want to sign him. For Real Madrid he is not for sale.


Spanish League: Day 38


The Real Madrid fans could not imagine a happier ending. Cristiano Ronaldo got his fortieth goal, round and imposing figure, as well as the 102 goals scored by the team in the Spanish League. Benzema completed the best of his matches in white jersey and is very likely that the hat-trick from Adebayor will ensure his continuity in the club. Even was said goodbye to Dudek with military honors although he spent the war in reserve.

Cristiano Ronaldo scored the 40th goal of the League
Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates his 40th goal

But let's say something more than a Cristiano. As it is told, Zarra was a player with a nose for goal. Hugo was instinct, as I saw it. Cristiano is the same essence, but in the body of a panther. Physical superiority is crucial to understand his game and to reason his goals. There are those who arrive earlier because they think before; Cristiano comes before because runs more and faster. And because he jumps more and in the air, is suspended, for a while. But his natural force does not explain everything. The world and football is full of meek ​​athletes and distracted talents. CR7 is set apart from the virtues, an obsessed. A kind of revenger of himself. Muhammad Ali became a boxer because someone, as a kid, stole him the bicycle. Then he spent his life punching the thief. For that, just that (a bicycle, a ball, an insult) has brought Cristiano here, 40 League goals and 53 in total this season. Only the goal 40 left him satisfied, slightly.

Right at the start Xabi Alonso curled in a free kick on 3’, Ramos headered the ball to Cristiano, and he easily beat Esteban. With the record in the bag, Real Madrid set their sights on the next target: 100 goals this season. With 15 minutes remaining in the first half, Ozil served a magical assist to Adebayor, who knocked in the second of the night. Almeria pushed forward and pulled one back two minutes later by way of Uche.

The Whites brought out the big guns after the restart. Benzema made it 3-1 on 48’ and four minutes later Adebayor sealed his brace. Almeria had no answer for the onslaught. Then on 62’. Benzema fired home the fifth of the night following a spectacular individual play.

But the best was yet to come. With almost 30 minutes left on the clock, the "Madridistas" surged forward. Adebayor wrapped up his hat-trick on 73’, which was also Real Madrid’s 100th of the season. Not even five minutes later, Cristiano grabbed a loose ball in the midfield, trotted towards Esteban and will a powerful strike beat the Almeria keeper.

Sitting on a 7-1 lead, Mourinho replaced Dudek with Jesus and Benzema with Joselu. And it was the Castilla forward who had the final say on 87’ following an assist by CR7. The 8-1 win was the perfect way to close out the 2010/11 season.


Stadium: Santiago Bernabeu
Attendance: 50,000
Goals: 1-0, m.3: Cristiano Ronaldo. 2-0, m.30: Adebayor. 2-1, m.32: Uche. 3-1, m.48: Benzema. 4-1, m.52: Adebayor. 5-1, m.62: Benzema. 6-1, m.73: Adebayor. 7-1, m.77: Cristiano Ronaldo. 8-1, m.87: Joselu.
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