Karim Benzema: More than a forward

Three goals in five official games is a figure more than respectable. They are the numbers of Karim Benzema in this early season, but Karim is much more. French is a complete striker, a player who occupies the whole front of attack and is not limited to the goal area. His capacity to associate with peers is available in very few strikers in Europe and Mourinho knows how to exploit it.

Karim Benzema in red playing for Real Madrid
Karim Benzema

Benzema is capable of playing in both wings - Alves went crazy when Karim played in the left wing in the second leg of the Spanish Super Cup - and offering different resources to Real's attack. Against Dinamo Zagreb completed 22 passes correctly, only one less than Mesut Özil and same as Cristiano Ronaldo, the star of the white offensive. He did not score because he found the crossbar in the first half but was one of the best.

Few strikers can boast of not scoring at a match and be the best player of the team. Also occurred in Zaragoza, so it's no coincidence. The Santiago Bernabeu Stadium now enjoys a Benzema devoted to the cause, a tireless campaigner and the first "defender". He defends as the most and is the one to initiate defensive work to steal the ball to the opponent team. And Mourinho likes.

We do not discover anything if we say that Benzema is one of the spoiled child in the club. In the management area at the Bernabeu are reaping the benefits betting on him. They knew when they signed him that they did not sign a player for a year or two. Karim has finished exploding and the managers are delighted with his performance, because it was exactly what was expected of him. "Now he understands football as I understand it", Mourinho said. When Karim understands something, understands it beautifully.

UEFA will not punish Cristiano Ronaldo

The Disciplinary Commission of the UEFA will not punish Cristiano Ronaldo for his statements after the match against Dynamo Zagreb in which he described as "shameful" the performance of the Norwegian referee Oddavar Moen.

The UEFA delegate's report did not include statements by the Portuguese footballer, so that the Commission will not evaluate the statements of Cristiano Ronaldo and Real Madrid striker may play the next matches of the Champions League.

Cristiano Ronaldo in red jersey vs Dinamo Zagreb
Cristiano Ronaldo


Cristiano Ronaldo costs more than the entire Levante

The Real Madrid striker Cristiano Ronaldo, costs more than the entire squad of Levante, a team to which will face Sunday in the City of Valencia Stadium in a duel of disparate figure. At a time when people analyze the economic and sports differences between clubs, it is clear that Levante and Real Madrid are one example of that distance.

Ten differences between Levante and Real Madrid:

  1. Cristiano Ronaldo, the most important player of the white team costs to his club between 12 and 13 million euros per season, what represents 50% more than the 8 million euros for the entire workforce of Levante.
  2. Real Madrid's budget, estimated at slightly more than 500 million euros, is more than 20 times that Levante's, which faces this season with 23 million budgeted.
  3. Real Madrid has 96,000 members (70,000 have pass to see the matches at the stadium), while Levante, that last week celebrated its first 102 years of existence, reached the 10,000 subscribers for the year 2011-2012.
  4. The Madrid club accumulates 73 national and international titles, including nine European Cups, while Levante has its success in its promotions to First Division and claims a Cup title earned during the Spanish Civil War.
  5. The distribution of television rights places both clubs at the edges of the First Spanish Division, as compared with 140 million euros with which Real Madrid is paid, Levante has a guaranteed income of 12 million.
  6. Although these amounts, as noted by the President of Levante, Quico Catalan, have a different weight in each club. For Levante are close to 60% of their income, while for Real are around 30%.
  7. While Levante has few international players, the latter has been the attacker Valdo, player of Cape Verde, Real Madrid faced their last league match against Getafe, with the thirteen international players of the fourteen that played in the match. Only Esteban Granero, who played a minute, has not played for a national team (Spain).
  8. Nevertheless, Real Madrid visited twice City of Valencia stadium last season and failed to score in 180 minutes. In the League (0-0) and in Copa del Rey lost (2-0) after beating shortly before in the first leg in Madrid by 7-0.
  9. In the six League visits to Valencia, Real Madrid has always won except last year with the goalless draw. In these matches Real Madrid has scored ten goals and has only received one. Interestingly, the only victory of Levante against Real Madrid occurred in the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium in the season 2006-2007.
  10. Participation in European tournaments, marketing revenues, the advertising contracts of their players, the number of fans in Spain, Europe and the world, are some other differences between two clubs that will face on Sunday at 8:00 pm (local time) in a League match at the City of Valencia Stadium.

Cristiano Ronaldo does not train and is doubtful for the match against Levante

Real Madrid has already begun to prepare for the league match this weekend against Levante. The morning training session, open to the press for fifteen minutes, had two principal players: Cristiano Ronaldo and Altintop. The Portuguese, after the three stitches that had to recieve at the ankle, has not trained on the grass of Valdebebas Sports City.

Meanwhile, the good news was starred by Hamit Altintop, who trained in the Real Madrid's facilities. The Turkish player trained at the same pace as the group of substitutes of the European match against Dynamo Zagreb. Along with Altintop were Higuain, Khedira, Granero, Lass, Varane, Kaka, Arbeloa and Callejon, plus a few players of the youth squad. Meanwhile, the starters made​​-up work in the field three.

Kaka, who in previous sessions to match against Dinamo Zagreb was unable to work because of a blow he received in his left heel during the match against Getafe, trained as normal. Sahin and Albiol, with Cristiano, were the only ones who did not jump into training camp.

Hamit Altintop training at Valdebebas
Altintop at Valdebebas Sports City with Mourinho


Real Madrid's Foundation will open an academy in Honduras

The Realmadrid Foundation has signed a collaboration agreement with Fundacion Diunsa regarding the opening of a social and sports academy in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. Two hundred children in risk of social exclusion aged between 6 and 17 will benefit from the agreement.

The act was presided over by Executive Vice President Enrique Sanchez, Director of Institutional Relations Emilio Butragueño, and Fundacion Diunsa Board President Mario Roberto Faraj Faraj.

The document was signed in the Royal Hall of the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium and is part of the Formando Campeones (Forming Champions) project developed by Fundacion Diunsa, which will manage football activities, administer healthcare, provide snacks, teach English and IT lessons, orginise leisure activities, as well as discussions with the children's families. The activities carried out in the academy will take place in courts provided by the municipality of San Pedro Sula and the Municipal Sports Institute.

Realmadrid Foundation Logo

Successful sales of the Real Madrid red shirt

Yesterday was the date chosen, the day of the Champions League debut for Real Madrid and Adidas to sell the great novelty this season. And the Madrid fans, after much anticipation, have responded. The new red shirt, the second kit in the Champions League, is liked by the fans.

Real Madrid fan with the red shirt

The first day of sale was a success. The Bernabeu Stadium Shop registered, all day, much more movement than usual. The trickle of people to get with the new shirt was continuous. "For weeks people wondering when we would put it on sale. They really wanted to buy", recognized a store clerk. The price, 75 euros. On the shelves, the most popular shirts (Ronaldo, Xabi Alonso and Özil). The rest of the names are screen printed at the time. The demand was such that, in just two hours, the red pants (less in stock) were sold out.

"It is original, different", coincided almost all fans. "It will be the shirt of the Tenth. We will be lucky", was the phrase most often repeated. Eduardo, a veteran white supporter, was delighted: "I ​​like it. With it, we back to the seventies". In the same way, Alfonso said: "In my earliest memories I saw Real Madrid play in Kiev with the red shirt". Not everyone was satisfied, "It breaks with the tradition", said Jose. But he added: "I hope to help us win the Champions League". That is the wish of all white fans. Now, also reds.

UEFA could punish Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo is haunted by the problems. The Portugal international player finished the Champions League match against Dynamo Zagreb lame after his right ankle was stitched into the locker room. The Real Madrid player ended up very angry and after the match did not hesitate to criticize the match's referee. That fact could be punished by the UEFA.

Less than a month ago, Arsene Wenger was suspended two matches by a statement similar to the Cristiano Ronaldo made ​​this Wednesday night in Zagreb: "It is important to have a good start in the Champions League. We are very happy with three points we took, but I am not so satisfied with the refereeing. I hope we never have this referee again. People talk of fair-play, of protecting good players, but I never get any of that. I don't understand a thing. I'm sad because I hear referees saying they will protect skilful players, but while some are untouchable it seems I can be mauled".

Furthermore, when was asked about the continuous whistles and insults suffered during the match, tried to explain: "I guess they boo me for being rich, handsome, being a great player... People are jealous of me. There is no other explanation".

Cristiano Ronaldo tries to play a ball against Dinamo
Cristiano Ronaldo with the Real Madrid red shirt

Dinamo Zagreb 0 - 1 Real Madrid (UCL Day 1)

Real Madrid earned their first victory in this year's Champions League against Dinamo Zagreb with a goal by Angel Di Maria. Local goalkeeper Kelava saved the day many a time for Dinamo, preventing the Whites' goal count from being much larger. Real Madrid are leaders of Group D following the 0-0 draw between Ajax ad Olympique Lyonnais.

Di María shots the ball to the net
Angel Di María scored the only goal of the match

The Whites' lineup was identical as in the league clash against Getafe, but they were unusually clad in red tonight. Dinamo played a lively and fast game, trying to serve passes to their forwards behind the centre backs. But the trap that Real Madrid tends to their rivals is that the more are dominated, closer are to produce a counter-attack. And there is no better team to race. At the second shock, the opponent decides to go back a few meters and Real Madrid return to dominate the match. What happens next is that the white team gets the ball and feels protected, but misses running, life on the highway.

Madrid's first chance came when Benzema hit the crossbar after receiving a pass from Ronaldo on the 10-minute mark. Real's best chance so far arrived in the 28th minute when Benzema served the ball to Di Maria after a phenomenal individual effort. The Argentine shot on target, Kelava made a save, the ball landed at Ozil's feet and, again, the keeper cleared the shot by the German midfielder sending the ball to corner kick.

Pepe's solid work in defence kept things calm near goal, but Rukabina managed to overtake the defender on the 32-minute mark and forced Casillas two make a save in two steps. Marcelo faced Kelava in a one-on-one close to half-time, but his shot went over the crossbar.

Real Madrid tried harder for a goal in the second half and eventually found it in the 52nd minute through Di Maria after a great combination between Benzema and Marcelo, the latter assisting the Argentine in the strike. That the goal came on 52 minutes speaks highly of Croatian resistance and problems of Real Madrid to dominate the match. The first reason is that the Dinamo is not the weak team that was announced from the drum 4 in the draw. This is a young team, a mine for scouts, with the only problem that lacks a center forward or something like it. Kovacic, 17, is a delicious and agile midfielder. The Brazilian Sammir (24) is a player with knowledge of the game and Luis Ibanez (23) a deep side. Not to mention the goalkeeper, Kelava (23), ready to be a star. There are pieces, therefore, but lacks gunpowder.

Cristiano nearly scored a second one minutes later, but Kelava, managed to clear his shot with a stretch. Marcelo saw a second booking in the 72nd minute five minutes after the first. Real Madrid were down to ten men with 22 minutes left on the clock. Karanka decided to bring Lass and Higuain on for Di Maria and Ozil. Despite being one man down, Real nearly scored again through Benzema and Ramos, but the keeper saved the day for the locals yet again.

Dinamo put more pressure on the Whites and served many crosses into Casillas' box, but Pepe was truly superb and put an end to all their chances. Madrid kept possession and Karanka decided to replace Benzema with Arbeloa to tighten the defence until the final whistle. Mourinho, who ultimately was in a VIP box, saw it all covered with a cap as a SWAT on the roof. But without a rifle. Better for Mourinho and the referee, who allowed the Croatian team tough game that ended with three stitches on the right ankle of Cristiano Ronaldo.


Stadium: Maksimir Stadium
Attendance: 37,168
Goals: 0-1. Min. 53. Di María,


Real Madrid and Dinamo have played only two friendlies

Real Madrid and Dinamo Zagreb will face today, in Maksimir, for the first time in their history in official competition. Never before had happened. But It will not be the first opportunity they will see the faces on the pitch. In the 70's, played two friendly matches in Spain.

The first of them was played in August 1970. It was the match for the third and fourth place in the Costa del Sol trophy, in Malaga. In the semifinals, both teams had fallen into the penalty shootout. The white set, with the Hungarian Vasas after drawing 1-1 in regulation time, and the Croatian team with Malaga after that there was no goal in the match. In the consolation final, Real Madrid defeated Dinamo 4-2 with goals by Pirri, Velázquez, Souk and Fleitas. According to the chronicles, the team, led at the time by Miguel Muñoz, made ​​a great show and its football reached moments of brilliance.

In September 1974, Madrid and Dinamo played the second of the matches whose object was none other than the presentation to the Madrid fans of Paul Breitner. The German player came that summer from Bayern Munich. The demand around the defender, who at the Bernabeu was converted into a midfielder, was highest. In his debut, did not have much luck. Real Madrid fell 3-4 against a Dinamo that surprised the white team. "I am not in good physical conditions. I have trained only a week and a half", German said after the game.

Paul Breitner in a game against Dinamo Zagreb
Paul Breitner playing for Real Madrid against Dinamo

Preview: Dinamo Zagreb vs Real Madrid (UCL)

Real Madrid's road to its tenth European Cup title goes through Croatia tonight at 20:45 (GMT+1) in a match against Dinamo Zagreb. It will be the first clash between both sides in the championship. Real will wear red for the first time since their match in Odessa, Ukraine, 38 years ago, which confirmed goalkeeper Garcia Remon's status as a legendary Madridista. Iker Casillas, who recently celebrated the 12th anniversary of his first team debut, will look to carry on his legacy. The team's power in attack (14 goals in 4 official games) will do the rest.

Dinamo Zagreb Vs. Real Madrid

The road of the tenth (13 matches in 248 days) started at 3:15 pm yesterday. At that time took off the plane that led to Real Madrid to Zagreb, a city where it landed after two hours of peaceful flight. The expedition which was welcomed by a hundred fans, then moved to the exclusive Regent Esplanade Hotel, built in 1925 to accommodate travelers from the Orient Express. From there, Mourinho will watch the match if there are no last minute changes.

The Madridistas are in Group D with Dinamo, Olympique Lyonnais and Ajax. Maksimir Stadium will present a full house tonight. Lass has made his first squad list of the season. Khedira has also made the manager's cut. Benzema and Ronaldo will surely be motivated having scored eight goals between them in the team's official games so far this year (5 for the Portuguese, 3 for the Frenchman). Kaka, Sahin and Altintop will miss the match due to injuries.

There are other possible news. Albiol has options to replace Carvalho who is dispersed, and would not be unusual that Callejon will play instead of Di Maria. In the latter case the signs are sporty and deductive: the diligent Real Madrid website showed yesterday a beautiful picture of the youth squad player with a gleaming European Cup.

The clash will see Real Madrid wearing read for the fourth time in its entire history. The former three happened in 1971 and 1973. The first was in Wales in the Cup Winners' Cup quarterfinals against Cardiff City. They then faced PSV in the semifinals in Eindhoven. Finally, they wore red against Dynamo Kiev in Odessa in the first leg of the European Cup quarterfinals.

Dinamo Zagreb are the most honoured side in Croatia with 13 league and 11 cup titles. They've played more games this season and drew their last league match his weekend against Hajduk Split, ending their six straight victory run. Krunoslav Jurcic's team are still leaders and undefeated in the championship, having taken 19 points in the first seven games. Defender Simunic is suspended for the match

Dinamo Zagreb back to the group stage after 12 years and after five seasons falling in the third round of the previous phase. Team qualified for the group stage after eliminating Neftçi (3-0; 0-0), HJK Helsinki (1-2; 1-0) and Malmo (4-0; 2-0) in the playoffs. In the last match of the third round, the young goalkeeper Ivan Kelava (23 years) was the star of the team with a super performance. Due to his saves in the match played in Sweden, he received more than 15,500 congratulations on his Facebook page. Today he has a good chance to break the record. Maksimir Stadium was one of the two venues for the 1976 Euro won by Panenka's Czechoslovakia in an unforgettable penalty shootout. Real Madrid now look to earn an impressive victory of their own.


Real Madrid and FC Barcelona head the betting (UCL)

Barcelona and Real Madrid are in that order, the favorites to win the Champions League 2011-12, as reflected by the bookmakers. Is not scientific, but it is reliable: there are few analysts more receptive than those who bet their money. And brokers are betting it clear. The more conservative value is Barcelona, champions, and the most unlikely, Viktoria Plzen, rookie in the competition and coming from the previous round. If Barca win the title, for every euro wagered, would win almost three. If the Czechs win, the miracle would be well paid (although not enough): 500 to 1,000 euros for each on the bet, depending on the bookmaker.

Real Madrid is the second candidate in the eyes of investors. Its payback ranges between 5.5 and 6 euros for each one played. Real Madrid moves approximately in the same numbers it did past season. It seems that the bettors are confident Mourinho, although they are less sensitive to the signings that have strengthened the template.

The first conclusion is that Barcelona and Real Madrid extend their empire beyond Spain. The classic of Spain is also Europe's classic. It was showed in the latest edition: the semifinal, between Catalans and Real Madrid was feeling like a final. In fact, Bercalona suffered more to defeat Real Madrid over two legs (0-2, 1-1) than to knock Manchester United in the final at Wembley (3-1).

Ferguson's team is the third option. The pace of United in the Premiership (0-5 against Bolton in the last game) and its heavy investment in new signings (57 million euros) set its price in 7.5 to 1. A short distance from the United team, stands the team that can be considered disclosure of Champions even before it begins: Manchester City. The club of Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed returns to the Champions League after 43 years and after a billion euros spent in just three seasons. If Manchester City wins the final on May 19 in Munich, the bookmakers will have to pay around ten euros for every bet (like Chelsea).

Real Madrid never scored a goal in red

Real Madrid approaches a new European debut with a nice novelty. Almost 40 years after use for the last time, Real Madrid will wear red in European competitions. So far, Real Madrid has dressed three times with that color, but the results were not the most ideal, failed to win any of the three games ( lost the day of the launch and had two draws) and scored a single goal.

Red shirt of Real Madrid
Real Madrid third kit 2011-2012

It premiered in the 1970-71 Cup Winners' Cup and Cardiff was the first city that saw Real Madrid change its traditional white dress by a red. In Wales, in the quarterfinals of the competition, the Whites were defeated by 1-0. It was the 100th meeting of the Real Madrid team in European competitions and changed the uniform due to the similarity it had with the Welsh team, wearing blue shirt and white shorts and socks.

The second time was that year in the semifinals against Dutch PSV (0-0). The team 'tulip' wore red jersey with thin white stripes, but for this match decided to dress all in white, forcing Real Madrid to repeat red kit.

The third time was in Odessa, in the European Cup in 1972-73, at the match that completed the first hundred games for Real Madrid in the Champions League and his first match in Russian lands. White team faced Dynamo Kiev (0-0) wearing red T-shirt and pants, but that time without changing socks that were white. Tomorrow, in Zagreb, Real Madrid will look to score its first goal in this color and begin the conquest of a new Champions League. The Tenth.

Tomorrow, the new red shirt of Real Madrid could get from the official store. The club's idea is that the start date of the sale matches the release of the shirt in the Champions League match against Dynamo Zagreb. There have been many requests from fans who have come to the store since was announced what would be the Champions League away kit, but both the club and the brand (Adidas), have wanted to wait until tomorrow to put up for sale.


Iker Casillas: Twelve years playing for Real Madrid

Iker Casillas made his first team debut with Real Madrid against Athletic Bilbao twelve years ago today. The goalkeeper joined the team’s academy on 1 July 1990 and reached the first team on 12 September 1999 despite being only 17 years old. It was the birth of a player loved and respected by fans and peers for his deeds both on and off the pitch.

Iker Casillas' debut playing for Real Madrid
Iker Casillas' debut with Real Madrid

The goalkeeper knew his first trip to Bilbao with the first team was special and he put shyness aside in order to focus on the game. The injury of Bodo Ilgner and the niggles Bizarri suffered from gave him the starting position and he used it well. Captain Fernando Hierro took it upon himself to serve goal kicks in order to relieve Iker from pressure. The goalkeeper conceded two goals, but his excellent performance prevented the local goal tally from being larger, allowing Real Madrid to take one point from San Mamés.

”That’s the greatest football memory I have”, says the keeper, “I went from laying the Second Division B playoffs with Real Madrid C to being at San Mames Stadium. You can imagine how different it was: from three journalists covering the match there were now 50; from playing in front of 500 people I was now playing in front of 50,000… It was a brutal change”.

Twelve years, 576 official appearances with Real Madrid, 124 caps later, Casillas is no longer scared by the spotlight. He has played 422 league games, which makes him the sixth footballer with the most appearances with Real Madrid, only six shy of Paco Gento.


Real Madrid 4 - 2 Getafe (Spanish League Day 3)

Real Madrid scored four goals against Getafe and remain leaders on the league table. Fans packed the stadium and were satisfied with the team's performance. Karim Benzema netted a brace against the Blues.

Real Madrid celebrates a goal against Getafe

The first half started with Real Madrid putting on a siege over Moya's goal. Di Maria lost a one-on-one to the keeper on the 3-minute mark and Ozil's shot in the 8th minute was also cleared by the goalie. Ronaldo nearly netted the opener, but his header went high. A great combination effort between Ozil, Ronaldo and Benzema ended in the French striker's first goal of the night (13'), after which Mourinho's team lowered the pace of its game, allowing Getafe to keep possession. Despite this, Coentrao came close to netting a second for his team after a great triangulation with Benzema, but the ball missed the target by inches. Getafe had a lucky streak five minutes later when the ball landed at Miku's feet inside the local area and the striker scored.

A spectacular bicycle-kick from Cristiano right after half-time hit one of the posts and Coentrao attempted to score from the deflection but sent the ball over the crossbar. An offside goal by the latter was disallowed by the ref on the 54-minute mark and Real Madrid kept trying to score to no avail.

Cristiano Ronaldo forced a penalty in the 59th minute and converted it himself. The goal was a harsh blow to the visitors, who didn't react to it at first. They focused on attacking full-on, which is dangerous against Madrid, who eventually scored through Benzema in a counterattack - the French striker was brilliantly assisted by Ronaldo (68').

With a 3-1 lead, Mourinho made Kaka come on for Di Maria, but Getafe netted another strike through Miku following three clearances inside the box (73'). Marcelo came close to scoring a fourth for his side and an ensuing shot by Ronaldo was cleared by Moya.

Higuain came on for Ozil in the 85th minute. Two minutes later, Kaka served him a spectacular heel pass and the Argentine scored his team's fourth and final goal. Benzema came off in the final minutes amidst a standing ovation to be replaced by Granero.


Stadium: Santiago Bernabeu
Attendance: 76,000
Goals: 1-0 Benzema min.13, 1-1 Miku min. 39, 2-1 Cristiano Ronaldo min. 61, 3-1 Benzema min.71, 3-2 Miku min.75, 4-2 Higuain min.89.
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