Zidane: The elegance of a plain hero

The sporting life of the former player of Real Madrid and French national team, Zinedine Zidane, has been represented in the book "The elegance of a plain hero", launched at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium. A book that in the opinion of president Florentino Perez, portrays a player "essential" in the club's history.

Zidane's biography
Zidane: The elegance of a plain hero

"The white heroes are our players, are the main protagonists of the myth of Real Madrid.The story needs to be strengthened each season. Zidane magnified to Real Madrid, with his class, talent and touch to the ball, unforgettable for those who saw him play. Being president of Real Madrid is accumulated joys and sorrows. Satisfaction days are those days of the signing of Zidane", said Florentino Perez.

Zidane was grateful for having been the subject of a biographical work and for having played for Real Madrid: "I want to thank the President for bringing me to Madrid. It is the dream of many players. I had the opportunity to play five years in the best club in the world. That's a lot", said the Frenchman.

"Now I am working with the club, and I hope to stay at Real Madrid for many years", said Zinedine, who, following the out of Jorge Valdano, will become the right hand of Jose Mourinho in sporting issues. Zidane showed himself honored to appear in this series of biographies of Real Madrid legends after Di Stefano, Raul and Cristiano Ronaldo. "Now, enjoy and buy it", he concluded.

The author of the book, the journalist Enrique Ortego, said: "I came back to feel myself young writing a book that chronicles the steps of one of the best players in the history of football and Real Madrid". "Here is Zidane, eleven years later, with unforgettable memories of five years with the white shirt. Here lives happily with his family, his children, engaged in follow the footsteps of their father. Review his life, see pictures of matches, his goal of Glasgow, the dribblings.. It has been like rejuvenate a few years", he said.

Florentino Perez: "We will not stop until the tenth"

Florentino Perez took the presentation of the book "Zidane: The elegance of a plain hero" at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, to send a message to all the Real Madrid fans on what is his main target as president of the club: "We will not stop until the tenth Champions League". With these words the Real Madrid president made ​​clear that his dream is to return the club to the continental hegemony.

Launch of the Zidanes's book
Florentino Perez and Zinedine Zidane

Seated at the right hand of the president was Zinedine Zidane as an exceptional witness, the main architect of the last Champions has come to the showcases of the Bernabeu Stadium and for whom Florentino was full of praise: "Zidane was strategic in 2000. His signing had become an obsession and a dream for me. It took us longer than we thought, but finally he got home, the Real Madrid. His goal in the final in Glasgow is the best in the history of the competition; beauty and complexity, implementation and importance. With him we won our ninth European Cup and no doubt that we will not stop until the tenth".

Zinedine Zidane responded to the praise of the president: "I thank you for bringing me to Madrid. To play here is the dream of many and I was lucky. And I had the opportunity to be five years in the best club in the world".

French former player, who from months ago has become part of the establishment of the club, expressed his desire to remain joined to the institution: "I am now working with the club and look forward to working many years here with Mourinho, Butragueño, Pardeza...".


Interview: Jose Mourinho


Jose Mourinho looked at the just concluded season and spoke about the exciting 2011/12 campaign that will start for the Whites on July 11 with the pre-season stage in Los Angeles: "The most important thing is to work on next season. We will be there to fight with passion and love for this club. This year we have more conditions to do not fail, but it is not easy to improve what we did last season. In this campaign, my team has grown and improved in many aspects. It was a good year", commented the Portuguese coach.

Mourinho talking with the journalists
Jose Mourinho

Real Madrid coach explained in detail the new organizational model in sporting club: "A good structure does not guarantee success, but a structure that is not good guarantees failure. We have the best conditions to ensure success. I have no more power than before. We must modernize and look for perfection, although it is difficult to achieve. A structure that is not adapted to modern times guarantees failure. Soon the President or the Board will make public our new model of working. There will be an organizational chart with all the functions very well specified. It is necessary that Real Madrid fans know it", he said.

When Mourinho is asked about the special relationship with the people of Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, said: "I fought hard to try to give joy to the fans of Real Madrid, that there are millions and millions. Apart from the serious and dedicated work, there are times I think the club is not being well treated and I have no problem affect my image in defense of the institution to which I dedicate my soul and my heart. The fans are the most important thing".

White coach also spoke of the two reinforcements arriving from the Bundesliga: Nuri Sahin and Altintop: "Sahin was the best player of the German tournament, and has been chosen by players in a league that is growing fast. We followed him for some time. He is a young player, one more in the template as Özil, Di Maria, Marcelo, Benzema ... and all them make us think we are a team with a great future. If financial fair play is applied in the next years, Real Madrid can make a new era in football because it has a very young staff and a great president at the firm level. Altintop is a very versatile player".

At the same time, welcomed the return of the homegrown Callejon and Mateos: "Callejon is a player that we like for his features and attitude. He has to earn a place on the team. Mateos was practically out of Castilla, we saw important qualities and have recovered him. He played six months in the AEK and we like. He will start pre-season with us and then we'll see if he stays or we loan him one year more. In that case, we will loan him to a top team in Spain or a team playing in Europe. He has legs to win", he explained.

On Kaka, the manager argued: "He has not made pre-season for four years either due to physical problems, for the World Cup or Confederations Cup. Our belief is to try he takes the stability of six weeks of preseason with gradual growth. Is an incredible talent and played a good final part of season. We hope that the pre-season can be an important support for his succeed".

Finally, he spoke openly of two of the players who, according to the press, can strengthen the team: "I will not be a hypocrite. Coentrao and Aguero are fantastic players. But belong to other teams and Real Madrid does not contact with players before having agreements with their clubs. In Sahin, Altintop and Callejon, Real Madrid talked first with their clubs".

Real Madrid 2011-2012 pre-season: Schedule

Whites will repeat training stage in Los Angeles and will play seven friendly matches; three in the U.S.A., one in Germany, one in England and the last two in China.

Cristiano Ronaldo's pre-season
Crsitiano Ronaldo during 2010-2011 pre-season


On July 11, Real Madrid will kick off the 2011-12 season, that day the white players will pass the medical examination and then will travel to the United States. They will start the preseason stage, which will be held for the second consecutive year in the campus of UCLA. A perfect place to face almost two weeks of hard work (They return to Madrid on July 24).

In this first stage of the pre-season, whites will visit the cities of Los Angeles, San Diego and Philadelphia, to play three friendlies. The first will be played on July 16 against Los Angeles Galaxy (Both teams had already faced in the past year) at the stadium L.A. Memorial Coliseum. There, whites will face a team led by Landon Donovan and David Beckham. Will be the first time the British footballer to play against his former team.

Four days later, on July 20, white team will visit San Diego for the first time in its history. They will play against Club Deportivo Guadalajara (Chivas) of Mexico, the most successful club of the Aztec League, at Qualcomm Stadium.

The last meeting will be held on July 23 against Philadelphia Union at Lincoln Financial Field, in the same city. A stadium seven years old where Philadelphia Eagles (NFL) play their matches.


After returning to Europe, Real Madrid will visit Germany and England. Begins to be common for the Real Madrid to play a friendly in Germany during pre-season. This happened in the last three seasons (Frankfurt, Dortmund and Munich) and now could not be an exception. This time the White team will travel to Berlin to play against Hertha, recently promoted to the Bundesliga, in the German capital's Olympic Stadium.

The second and last stop on the the old continent will be in Leicester. Since 2008 Real Madrid has not disputed a friendly in England in the pre-season. It was in the Emirates Cup, when team faced Arsenal and Hamburg.


And finally, the Real Madrid will return to China. After touring in 2003 and 2005, Real Madrid will travel to China for the third time in its history. It will be the 30th of July, after finishing the game against Leicester, when whites travel to China, where they play two friendlies. The first will take place on August 3, against Evergrande Guangzhou, recently promoted to the CSL League, at Guangzhou Tianhe Stadium.

The second will take place three days later in the city of Tianjin. The Jose Mourinho's team will face Tianjin Teda, League runners-up last season, at the Water Drop Olympic Stadium.

  • 07/16- Los Angeles Galaxy - Real Madrid (Los Angeles, U.S.A.)
  • 07/20- Chivas de Guadalajara - Real Madrid (San Diego, U.S.A.)
  • 07/23- Philadelphia Union - Real Madrid (Philadelphia, U.S.A.)
  • 07/27- Hertha Berlin - Real Madrid (Berlin, Germany)
  • 07/30- Leicester - Real Madrid (Leicester, England)
  • 08/03- Guangzhou Evergrande - Real Madrid (Guangzhou, China)
  • 08/06- Tianjin Teda - Real Madrid (Tianjin, China)

Real Madrid is interested in Cesc Fabregas

Real Madrid has made ​​contact with Arsenal to inquire about the status of Cesc Fabregas and the position of the club regarding a possible transfer, as it is published today in the British press. The white team would have received a clear response: Price, 50 million euros.

According to British media, Jose Angel Sanchez, economic director, contacted the Gunners after Arsene Wenger said this week that there was no bid for the Spanish player. A Real Madrid source said: "The president Florentino Perez has identified Fabregas as the one signing above all others to hurt Barcelona. He believes signing Fabregas would be a real statement of intent for next season. He will do whatever is needed to put the club back above Barcelona".

Cesc Fabregas could sign for Real Madrid
Cesc Fabregas

In addition, the report said, Arsenal would have ensured to Real Madrid that will not sell Cesc to another Premier League team, so the only competitors today would be Bacelona, which in principle does not reach that figure as it goes against the economic austerity plan of the Catalonian club, and Milan, which interest has not yet been materialized.

Barcelona-born midfielder Fabregas, 24, had set his heart on a return to the Nou Camp after eight years in England, but the difficulty of playing in a champion team like Barcelona and its inability to reach a settlement offer to the claims of Arsenal, could change his mind and see Real Madrid as a great objective.


Aguero and Adidas: A step to Real Madrid

Kun Aguero wants to decide his future before the opening of the Copa America. The idea is to decide on which team will play next season (his high priority), and also choose the sports brand that sponsors him the coming years. Aguero had a contract with Nike, was one of its banners, an icon player. The agreement he had with this sports brand expired on May 31 and now, Argentine player is free to negotiate with everyone.

Kun Aguero will sign with Adidas, the brand that sponsor Real Madrid
Kun Aguero could sign with Adidas

Nike, which signed him when was 14, wants to continue with the player. In fact, they may have priority to match offers from other brands, but Adidas has been betting very hard to get to the striker. Aguero, through his agent, Hernan Reguera, has been negotiating with the brand that sponsors Real Madrid and Argentina national team, and are a step closer to signing the agreement. There have been two more offerings, Puma and Li Ning, but Kun is delighted with the Adidas offering and the international presence that the German brand can give him from now.

The deal with Adidas would be a very important step in his career, becuase he would be one step closer to the Real Madrid. Adidas would add another icon and one of the strong men of the template for international advertising and promotion if at the end is materialized the signing with the white team. Another name to join those have been already named, the new Adidas generation; Kaka, Di María, Fernando Llorente, Messi and Xavi Hernandez, among others. But for now, Adidas is silent until the deal is not signed and announced.

In addition, he would become the main reference in Argentina with Messi. That position was Gonzalo Higuain until April, but Real Madrid striker did not renew with Adidas and Nike promised him one million euros per season. This is another reason why Adidas has invested heavily to get Kun Aguero.

Sergio Ramos' Cup goes to museum

Do you remember what happened to the trophy of the Spanish Cup in hands of Sergio Ramos? Ramos dropped the trophy from the open-top deck of the team bus as he waved to supporters who were celebrating the triumph in Madrid, the Spanish capital. The trophy fell right in front of the vehicle, but the driver didn't notice the incident and accidentally drove straight over the silverware.

Spanish Cup trophy after the accident with Sergio Ramos
Spanish Cup Trophy after the accident

Well. The Cup is in the Museum of the Spanish Football Federation in Las Rozas (Madrid), where the "Picassian" piece is exposed as a celebrated curiosity. Should be recognized that, unlike other sad shape trophies, this Cup trophy is inspiring. To start, is the Cup that Real Madrid snatched to Messi's Barcelona, fact that history will appreciate in the right measure... and also Mourinho. It is the first Spanish Cup that Casillas lifted from the hand of the Spain's King. And finally, is the first Cup that "jumped" from a bus as the divers of Acapulco.

When looking at the trophy, think that the Cup accepts infinite interpretations. If the criteria is the rhythm, we could say that its dislocated recalls Elvis's pelvis. From a gastronomic point of view, we could say that it is an unstructured Cup (in the style of Ferran Adria's cuisine) and if the chef has made ​​a fortune, do not see why the Sergio's Cup could not succeed. And do not dismiss admire the trophy as work of art at the Guggenheim Museum in New York.

In short, if the wrinkle is beautiful, dents too. As in the face, in each groove lies a story. In the Sergio Ramos' Cup... can be many.

Real Madrid 2011-12 pre-season: 51,112 kilometers in 38 days

Real Madrid fans looking the team training in U.S.A.
Real Madrid 2010-11 Pre-season: Los Angeles

May be that since July 11, the least effort of the players of Real Madrid after the holidays will be the physical beatings on the field, taking into account the schedule of the 2011-12 pre-season. Jose Mourinho's team will travel a total of 51,112 kilometers in 38 days (from July 11 to August 17), undergo 73 hours and 21 minutes flight (not including time waiting in airports and passport control) and will play nine games (seven friendlies and two of the Spanish Super Cup against Barcelona) before the start of the season, the weekend of August 20-21. And the icing on the cake, with the season started, will be on August 24 with the Bernabeu Trophy against Raul's Schalke 04.

In fact, the coaching staff will have only 20 training days, in view of air travel, the days of match and the awkward FIFA time in between (August 8 to 11. International players will be concentrated with respective teams). This pilgrimage will be mandatory for all players in the template except for those who dispute the Copa America. Higuain, Gago and Garay could arrive after July 24 if Argentina reaches the final.

The first stage will be in the United States; 13 days, 20,893 kilometers and three friendly matches in three cities (Los Angeles, San Diego and Philadelphia). The next week will begin the European tour. Berlin and Leicester, but team will only travel to play the matches and, in principle, there will not be training outside Valdebebas; 6,636 kilometers on the old continent. And the first week of August there will be the Asian tour; 22,573 kilometers and two games in just seven days. The pre-season will end with Spanish Super Cup, playing on August 17 in Barcelona. "Only" 1,010 kilometers of travel. A trifle seeing that the circumference of equator is 40,076 kilometers...


Real Madrid: UEFA Champions League Top Seed

Real Madrid returns to the cup of the most important teams, the top seeds, in the draw for the Champions League to be held in Monaco on August 25. It is seventh in the UEFA ranking teams. Has risen six places in this season after reaching the semifinals of the top competition and lost only one match (against Barcelona at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, 0-2) of the 12 that played.

The white set has managed to 33.6428 points and has been only exceeded by the champion (Barcelona, 36.6428) and runner-up (Manchester, 36.6714). Of the top teams is the one that has evolved most. (Tottenham, his opponent in the quarterfinals, climbed 12 places).

The club coefficient rankings are based on the results of clubs competing in the five previous seasons of the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League (Real Madris played always Champions League). Clubs' coefficients are determined by the sum of all points won in the previous five years, plus 20% of the association coefficient over the same period (33% before 2009).

The rankings determine the seeding of each club in all UEFA competition draws. Real Madrid will be top seed in the Champions League draw with Manchester, Barcelona, Chelsea, Porto and Inter. Bayern and Arsenal will be the other two if they pass the previous round.

UEFA Ranking 2010-2011

Real Madrid: Transfer News

Real Madrid is planning the 2011-12 season with the intent to arrange at least six lay-offs on the current template. Jose Mourinho's idea is to have a large group of 23 or 24 players, but currently has 28 players under contract.

Real Madrid will transfer Lass this Summer
Lass wants to leave the Real Madrid

To the 23 players from 2010-11 season (excluding Dudek, who has not renewed the contract, and including Adebayor, whose loan agreement ends on June 30) are added the signings of Sahin, Altintop and Callejon, with the return of the loaned Mateos and Drenthe. The first four will continue at Real Madrid next season. The Dutchman, however, no.

Madrid has to take a decision with Adebayor. The purchase option is 16 million euros and the player is willing to get off the salary to continue in the club. Manchester City is not interested in him and Mourinho wants that he continues, but Real Madrid will never get to what the English club asks for him, or to maintain the current salary of Togo player. With this background, the lineup of transferable players is; Garay (by the way, yesterday the Argentina Football Association included him in the list for the Copa America as a Benfica player rather than Madrid), Lass, Drenthe, Gago, Canales and Pedro León.

On the other hand, Mourinho has requested two additional reinforcements: Coentrao and a striker, if at the end of the summer there is no agreement with Adebayor. Although the shopping list can increase depending on the players who leave the club.


- Garay: Currency
Is under contract until 2014. Pepe, Carvalho, Mateos and Albiol refuse to buckle under. This year has played only eight games. Can be used as currency for another signing. Included in the list of Argentina for the Copa America.

- Drenthe: Italy deals
Mourinho wants no part of him. Drenthe has one year left on his contract after playing this season on loan at Hercules. Real Madrid is looking for a transfer. Several Italian clubs have asked about him: Genoa, Napoli and Juventus.

- Lass: He wants to go out
Mourinho counting on him for the 2011-12 season, but to the player it does not care. He does not understand the signing of Sahin and considers that he should have more minutes than Xabi Alonso and Khedira. This season he has played 2,374 minutes, but he does not consider it enough. Madrid paid for him 19 million euros in December 2008. Inter follows him closely. And in England has a good lineup...

- Canales: Looking for more minutes
Canales wants to leave the team to add minutes (this season has played only 527). The club seeks a loan or a transfer with repurchase option. Villarreal, Valencia and Schalke are the most interested. The player will spend this week in the office.

- Pedro León: Does not want to leave
The Murcia player has advised his agents that he does not to leave Madrid. The club is surprised by this decision, because with Mourinho he has only played 581 minutes and most of the matches was not called.

- Gago: Batista counting on him
Gago has suffered four injuries this season (195 days off) and has only played seven games with Mou. Has been listed by surprise in the first list of Batista for the Copa America. PSV, Milan and Valencia follow him.


Legends: Alfredo Di Stefano


Alfredo Di Stefano in Real Madrid jersey
Alfredo Di Stefano

Alfredo Di Stefano was born on July 4, 1926 in the neighborhood of Barracas, where was the port of Buenos Aires. There, the English sailors introduced the football in Argentina. His grandfather Miguel was the first Di Stefano who arrived in the country, from Capri (Italy). His father, Alfredo, married Eulalia Laulhé who had French and Irish origin. They had three childs; Alfredo, Tulio (left midfielder footballer) and Norma (she was a basketball player).

"Little Tow" (Estopita: His grandfather placed him this nickname due to the old yellow mops that were used on ships) grew up playing with neighborhood kids on vacant lands in "the academy of the street", with rubber balls that cost two cents. His first organized team was called "Unidos y Venceremos", before moving to the "Flores" neighborhood, where he played for "Imán".

In 1940, his family moved to "Los Cardales", in the outskirts of Buenos Aires. His father was a collector of cereals and worked in the field. Alfredo left school and began working to help the family finances. That would have been his future if he had not followed the footsteps of football, a flame which, fortunately, was installed in his heart deeply. Football was his irrepressible passion. On Sunday he played with his brother Tulio in a local league and in the afternoon he went with his father to see River Plate (he was member from seven years). His amazing play and talent did not go unnoticed. In 1944 he made a test for River Plate and was quickly accepted in the youth team.

Real Madrid: Universal Club

Hamit Altintop and Nuri Sahin have preceded Callejon as the first two signings of Real Madrid for season 2011/12. The new white midfielders come from the Bundesliga, but it is not the only commonality between them. Both make history by becoming the first Turkish Internationals among the 146 foreigners who at some point have been part of Real Madrid. A declaration of intent for the future.

All the flags of Real Madrid Players

The Real Madrid is the world's most universal club. This assertion is evidenced not only by the tremendous global reach of the institution but also by the mix of nationalities that comprise it. The arrival of Sahin and Altintop strengthens the globalization of Whites and the two new players in the squad, that Jose Mourinho manages, become in the first Turkish players who join the best team in the history of the twentieth century.

Argentina and Brazil, nations with more presence. Of the 30 different nationalities that have taken place in the Real Madrid in these 109 years of life, stand out from the rest Argentina and Brazil, which are the only ones that have reached the twenty players (Argentina -29- and Brazil -20-). Behind we find two European countries: France (16) and England (11).

On the other side and after the arrival of Sahin and Altintop, Turkey equals Poland and Colombia and surpasses countries which have had only one member in Real Madrid; Bosnia, Chile, Scotland, Slovakia, Mali, Mexico, Romania, Sweden, Switzerland,Czech Republic, Togo and Montenegro.

In the current squad also highlights Argentina. Higuain, Garay, Gago and Di Maria make Argentina the country that have more presence in the current squad. Then there is Portugal (Cristiano Ronaldo, Carvalho and Pepe) and behind them, a quartet of countries formed by the Germans Khedira and Özil, the Brazilians Marcelo and Kaka, the French Lass and Benzema, and the newcomers, the Turkish Sahin and Altintop. The Togolese Adebayor would be the other foreigner of Real Madrid.

List of the 146 foreigners who have been part of Real Madrid
  • Argentina (29): Anzardo, Bizzarri, Cambiaso, Di Stefano, Dominguez, Esnáider, Guerini, Imbelloni, Mas, Miguel Pérez, Navarro, Olsen, Redondo, Rial, Roberto Martínez, Rocha, Ruggeri, Samuel, Solari, Touriño, Valdano, Wolf, Zarate, Gago, Higuain, Saviola, Heinze, Garay and Di Maria. 
  • Belgium (2): Goyvaerts and Maertens. 
  • Bosnia (1): Baljic. 
  • Brazil (20): Baptista, Canario, Didi, Evaristo, Flavio Conceicao, Giudicelli, Julio Cesar, Ricardo Rocha, Ze Roberto, Cesar Prates, Roberto Carlos, Robinho, Rodrigo, Ronaldo, Savio, Vitor, Cicinho, Emerson, Marcelo and Kaka. 
  • Chile (1): Zamorano.
  • Colombia (2): Congo and Rincon. 
  • Croatia (3): Jarni, Prosinecki and Suker. 
  • Czech Republic (1): Daucik. 
  • Denmark (3): Gravesen, Jensen and Laudrup. 
  • England (11): Beckham, Cunningham, Johnson, Lindsey, Linney, McManaman, Owen, Stampher, Vickerstaff, Wallace and Woodgate. 
  • France (16): Parages, Faurie, René Petit, Juan Petit, Hon, Luciano, Normand, Raymond Kopa, Müller, Karembeu, Anelka, Makelele, Zidane, Lass, Faubert and Benzema. 
  • Germany (8): Breitner, Illgner, Netzer, Schuster, Stielike, Metzelder, Khedira and Özil. 
  • Hungary (6): Alberty, Buzássy, Kaszas, Kellem, Nemes and Puskas. 
  • Italy (3), Panucci, Cannavaro and Cassano. 
  • Mali (1): Diarra. 
  • Mexico (1): Hugo Sánchez. 
  • Montenegro (1): Mijatovic.
  • Netherlands (8): Metgod, Seedorf, Van Nistelrooy, Sneijder, Drenthe, Robben, Van der Vaart and Huntelaar. 
  • Paraguay (3): Agüero, Fleitas and Maldonado. 
  • Poland (2): Rozitsky and Dudek. 
  • Portugal (5): Figo, Secretario, Pepe, Cristiano Ronaldo and Carvalho. 
  • Romania (1): Hagi. 
  • Serbia (4): Jankovic, Ognjenovic, Petkovic and Spasic. 
  • Scotland (1): Watson. 
  • Slovakia (1): Dubosky. 
  • Sweden (1): Simonsson. 
  • Switzerland (1): Germann. 
  • Togo (1): Adebayor.
  • Turkey (2): Sahin and Altintop. 
  • Uruguay (7): Acosta, Britos, Diogo, Pablo Garcia, Ramos, Rodriguez and Santamaria. 


Cristiano vs Messi: Draw

End of the season, time to take stock. First conclusion: two football giants have been focused during the season; Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. Their goals and assists were crucial to drive Real Madrid and Barcelona far above the other clubs.

As a significant number, the scoring production: 53 goals each. More equality is impossible. The Portuguese gets the honor of the Spanish Cup and the Golden Boot with 40 goals in the League (one goal every 72 minutes), the Argentine reached only 31 (one every 83 minutes), but can boast of adding the Spanish League and the European Champions League to his curriculum.

Cristiano and Messi, in the order you prefer, have stunned the football world from the Spanish Championship and the Champions League. The Real Madrid star has risen from 26 League goals last season to 40 of this just finished. The Barcelona player has dropped three in the League (from 34 to 31) but ... added four more in the European Cup (8 to 12) and there is an argument for the recently conquered title by Barcelona at Wembley. Messi was named best player in the UEFA Champions League final.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi will face again next season
Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi

The sum of 72 goals in the Spanish League signed by Cristiano and Messi shatters all European data. In no other tournament has been anything like it. Di Natale (Udinese) and Cavani (Naples) added 54 in the Scudetto. As a reference, saying that Eto'o has managed 35 goals in all competitions, Agüero reached 27 and Ibrahimovic 22 as Milan striker.

But there is more equality and success of Messi and Cristiano. Average goals scored and minutes played, give an almost identical result: a goal every 86 minutes. To be exact, Messi win for the invaluable difference of 86.2 minutes vs. 86.8 of Real Madrid player. This ratio includes the three goals that Messi scored in the Super Cup of Spain.

In short, we see two stars of world football. They will return to fight for the top international awards next season. Messi has the advantage of the newly acquired Champions League title, while Christian has the top scorer trophy (Pichichi) in his pocket and the European Golden Boot. Bipolarity in Spanish football also has two names.

Altintop: "I will not disappoint Real Madrid fans"

Altintop interview at the Turkish national team training stage
Hamit Altintop

You are a versatile player. Do you think that this has been the key to your move to Real Madrid? Mourinho values highly this virtue...
It is going to appear arrogant, but I consider myself a player desirable, especially for my knowledge of the football and my position on the pitch. I think it's normal that I had drawn interest from several clubs and Real Madrid is the icing on the cake, the greatest team. But again, I reserve, for my first press conference with the club, the issue of my signing for Real Madrid.

It's interesting that you go from play a few games this season with Bayern Munich to sign for a big club like Real Madrid...
I have no bad words for Van Gaal, but I think he was wrong on several things, including my absence in many games. I consider myself a good professional footballer, who can be adapted to any system and any situation. I will never complain about the style of play of a team. But, I think Van Gaal should have given me more opportunities.

What do you think about the play system that uses Mourinho, your next coach?
I prefer not to say much about the Real Madrid until my official presentation, but of course I have no complaints. I'm very excited.

Do you fear that in Madrid you will not enjoy many minutes, as happened at Bayern?
No. I think that things will go well in my new stage. My head is just to help the team.

Have you spoken with Mourinho?
Of course I talked to him several times. Indeed, that was a major factor in my signing for Real Madrid.

Despite being concentrated in Turkey, you have back problems. Is your injury important?
No. I do not know if I'll play the game against Belgium (next Friday) but we will see. If I do statements after that meeting, I will not talk about my future at Real Madrid. I look forward till the day of my presentation at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium.

Altintop, Sahin, Özil... Real Madrid has never tasted so Turkish...
It is exciting to play in Madrid and with these partners. They're great people and we have also shared history in Germany.

You will talk more on the day of your presentation in the Santiago Bernabeu but, do you have a first message to the Madrid fans?
Yes. I will show them all of what I can do next season. I will not disappoint them.


Coentrao: "I would just leave Benfica to go to Real Madrid"

Interview with Fabio Coentrao
Fabio Coentrao

How have you felt with the excitement around you these days?
All is well. I take it very happy because it is Real Madrid. I like it. It is normal to be happy because it is the best club in the world, but I must be calm because nothing is done yet.

There are many teams interested in you. What is your first choice?
First and foremost is Real Madrid, with the best coach and best players in the world. There are also many friends playing there. But nothing is done. Of course I like the Madrid and I hope that from now on everything goes well.

Do you feel ready to play in Madrid?
All players must be prepared for everything and I am in all aspects of my life. If this situation goes on I will face it with all my power.

Are you a defensive end or midfielder?
I am a football player, either as a defense, as a midfielder or as a striker. I just want to play, and when you're part of a team, as this case is Benfica, you have to respect your coach and what he needs. Obviously I've been stressing two years as a defensive end, playing at avery high level, and of course I want to give continuity to this position.

Have you talked with your friends in Madrid?
There is always a word here and another there. But as I say there is nothing done. I play for Benfica, and the main thing is that there is an interest of Real Madrid. For my part, I say that I am interested in playing for Real. I'm in a great club and not change it for any other not be the Madrid. It has the best coach and best players and I just want to go there.

In spite of strong competition with Marcelo?
The first thing I would want is to go to Real Madrid, and then work hard. Marcelo is a great player. Everybody knows it. I am humble in my work. I would go to help.

Do you think that to pay 30 million euros for the transfer is too much?
I no longer rests with me. I say I want to be a good deal for Benfica. Benfica deserve to do good business with me. I will be grateful to this club all my life. They deserve respect.

What about Real Madrid?
It is a great club. Everybody knows it. Benfica told me they wanted me to stay, but they fully understand my decision. I told them that if I leave, can only be at Real Madrid and they have been happy with this.
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