Manchester United wants to sign Sahin

Nuri Sahin's future is still in the air. Although it seems clear that he will leave Real Madrid in the coming days, where he will play is still unknown. The Premier is the championship that more is betting on the Turkish and he likes, but the operation is not straightforward. The last team interested in Sahin is Manchester United, a club that excites the player but puts conditions that directly conflict with the interests of Real Madrid.

Nuri Sahin training with Real Madrid
Nuri Sahin

At Real Madrid want to leave Sahin on loan one year or, in the worst case, make an option to buy in case of transfer. But United does not agree. Ferguson wants the player and does not provide anything other than sign him and keep it in property. Man. United conditions make it nearly impossible, unless a large offer that would change the plans of Real Madrid. Sahin is a player with great conditions and Florentino Peres was one of its leading proponents and therefore he will not sell the player so easily.

Mourinho also appreciates the virtues of Sahin, but after a year on the sidelines, he thinks the player would grow as footballer in another club. Nuri Sahin will not play regularly in a team from the requirement of Real Madrid, with Xabi, Khedira, Lass and Granero as midfielders and waiting for Luka Modric, another player who can perform in this demarcation.

Apart from United, two clubs in the Premier want to sign Sahin. One is the Arsenal, which is closer to get the player. The agreement between Sahin and Wenger's team is almost complete, but the clubs need to agree on the percentage of the salary to be paid by each. Tottenham has also been interested in Sahin, but Real Madrid wanted to include him in Modric's operation and the London team wanted to separate the two operations.

The player is waiting for news in Los Angeles, crestfallen after checking that has not place in the Mourinho's plans but wanting to find a new team to play regularly. Sahin hopes his future is resolved, no later than next week. Wants to end this uncertainty and start working with his new team to win a starting lineup place. He does not want to delay his move and harm his year when the new season has not started yet.

Cristiano Ronaldo: "I would like to win the Ballon d'Or again"

Cristiano Ronaldo spoke to ESPN and acknowledged that he has hope for winning the Ballon d'Or. He thinks the Spanish league is the hardest to win and expect to see justice done. Also, thinks that Real Madrid and Barca will draw the same difference to their rivals this season.

Cristiano Ronaldo at UCLA 2012
Cristiano Ronaldo

"I will not lie. To win the Ballon d'Or would mean a lot to me. It is something I want because it is something that always excites me a lot. I think we are in the lot of the best. What I want is justice to be done because the Spanish league is the most difficult in the world and we compete against a big rival like Barcelona and we were the best. So I would love to win and I think my coach also deserves it", said the Portuguese.

The Portuguese star player spoke about his duel with Leo Messi: "I do not see other colleagues as individual rivals. He does his job for Barcelona and I do mine for Real Madrid, as I did in Manchester too. I'm a person who likes challenges and I will always be, but not challenges with a single player. I do my work when I play and I try to do better always", he said.


Villas-Boas hopes to convince Modric to join the team

Luka Modric continues training alone and Villas-Boas continues to exert a mediating role with the Croatian footballer. Although the player is adamant in his position of leaving London for Madrid, the Portuguese coach has taken a conciliatory stance. Yesterday, just returned from the U.S. tour of the team, spoke at the British press about his intention to 'rehabilitate' Modric with the rest of the group. "I have to talk to Luka and I think he will understand the situation because he is a great professional. I have the hope that we will get him back, but if this not happens, I will continue monitoring the situation and improving his fitness with individual training".

Andre Villas-Boas

However, Villas-Boas said he will remain steadfast in his position: "Ideally, he would be with the team" and added: "He refuses and in this situation you should remind the player his responsibilities with Tottenham". Spurs coach acknowledged that the case of Croatian midfielder is a stone in his shoe, "Luka has to understand that it is a difficult situation for him, but also for us, because the level of bids received did not reach the level that we ask".

Luka Modric trained yesterday earlier than usual in the sports city of Tottenham to avoid meeting with coach Villas-Boas and his teammates, who returned on the morning of the U.S. tour. Croatian midfielder, who often goes to train about 10:30 am and remains on the facilities of the English team until 2:00 pm, left the clubhouse about 11:30 am.

Tottenham will play on Sunday its next preseason game against Watford. Villas-Boas will have to decide if he calls Modric for the match or the player continues training: "Now in London we will decide what is best for Luka and for us. He is currently working on double session. We will see".

Mourinho: "Kaka is not a problem"

Jose Mourinho training with Real Madrid at UCLA 2012
Jose Mourinho

What did you like most about your team?
We and LA Galaxy wanted to train. I spoke yesterday with Bruce (Galaxy's coach) and he said he would play with two teams, me too. He is playing and fighting in the championship and we have four days of training. It was a very good training game and the players played 45 minutes. Players who came from the Euro 2012 were fresher. For the others was difficult because cost them a little more to assimilate all the work. This is normal. I liked the attitude of the team. The team played with joy, wanted to win and to leave a good image to the people. I have been here for many preseasons and always prepare these matches in this way. We also appreciate the attacking play performed by LA Galaxy.

Will Real Madrid recover the huge investment made to sign Kaka?
It's a complex question with a difficult answer. He is a great player. If he stays with us we will try to get his best as last year, because although he had not a brilliant season, he helped us. Last season he gave us his contribution in the title that we won. Until August 31 we want him to stay. He is a hard working guy and is important for his teammates. In some matches he can help us a lot.

How are you working with Kaka?
We work well. We've been through a lot. He spent the first season recovering from injuries from previous seasons. The second campaign gave a good contribution. I know him and I know what he has in mind. We have talked and we don't need to send messages through the press. The important thing is that he should choose the best for him and his family. If he continues, we will be delighted. If he decides to leave for his happiness, we hope he can be happy in other team. For me there will be no problem if he wants to play for Real Madrid.

What about the defensive line?
The first match was this. The other matches were played with the youth team players. We can say we started training four days ago when arrived to the preseason the players who played the Euro 2012. It is the first game we played. It is a moment in which the teams are not perfect and are not in good physical conditions. We still need a few kilometers in the legs, so we will have to play more games in this preseason. We will play against Mexican, Italian and British teams. We will grow slowly. The moment of truth is when you start the league, which will be the time to respond. The team should be ready by then.

What is the most important in these early days in Los Angeles?
The most important thing today was to show the work of training on the field. We wanted to work hard and this first match has been good. That is the most important. Players are ambitious and the preseason is very short. We have to play hard. I am a very lucky coach. I have a fantastic group, hungry to win. We face another season in good conditions.

About Sahin?
Real Madrid is very difficult team to play. It is not easy. Now we have a peaceful situation because he wants to play every game, but it is complicated. If he stays, great. We have Xabi, Lass, Granero, Khedira, Özil. If he stays, we will be very happy and will encourage him to play.

LA Galaxy 1 - 5 Real Madrid (Friendly)

Real Madrid did what they came to do in this game. They won decisively and did so whilst putting on a spectacle for the more than 30,000 spectators who were at the Home Depot Center. Mourinho’s players were far superior but did not let themselves go and showed off their footballing repertoire with good passing, touches and shots that left everyone happy. Real Madrid's tour in the US could not have started better. Winning whilst exciting the crowd. Galaxy’s stadium a small Bernabeu filled with white shirts and flags.

Higuain celebrates his goal with Alonso and Di Maria
Higuain scored the first goal of the match

Real Madrid started in Los Angeles with the first of four friendlies that Mourinho's team will play in the US. The coach opted for a 4-2-3-1, with Higuaín as centre forward. In the defensive-midfield roles Alonso and Lass and in the line of three in front of them Kaká, Callejón and Di María. The Whites made it clear from the opening whistle they wanted the win and also to do with goals and entertaining the people who had come to see them in the nearly full Home Depot Center. In the 2nd minute a Di María through ball was collected by Higuaín in the area before he calmly beat Saunders. 1-0. A minute later Di María could have scored but his shot was off target. Mou’s players imposed themselves with authority opposed upon some Galaxy players that offered little resistance. In the 11th made the score 2-0. Di María pushed himself for every minute that he played, controlling the ball up front and comfortably hitting a strong shot at goal.

It seemed that the Whites had already won the match in less than a quarter of an hour and could begin to have fun and enjoy playing. But it didn’t quite happen like that. With nothing to lose the North Americans launched an attack and could have cut the deficit in half through Robbie Keane in the 19th minute but his shot well blocked by Albiol. In the 22nd minute the score became 2-1. Beckham crossed in a good free kick to the far post which was touched by González and Lopes before crossing the goal line. Galaxy began to make the match exciting again. They began to believe and pushed forward for an equalizer, but that is a dangerous thing to do against Real Madrid. In the 35th a counter attack led by Higuaín and Kaká ended with the ball at the feet of Callejón who shot across Saunders. 3-1 and the Whites widened the gap on the scoreboard. It was the youth academy player’s third goal of the pre-season.

In the 38th minute Casillas got a touch that prevented the American’s second goal. The match was back and forth and the chances kept coming. In the 40th minute Mourinho made his first change and youth academy player Alex came on for his brother Nacho. In the 43rd minute Higuaín could have made it 4-1 but the goalkeeper and a defender managed to clear the ball between them. That is how the first half finished.

Real Madrid started the second half completely different team. Eleven new players took the field. It was the turn of Adan, Pepe, Ramos, Arbeloa, Morata, Sahin, Khedira, Ronaldo, Özil, Granero and Benzema. Despite the carousel of changes in the game neither team had trouble getting into the match. In the 48th Granero played a great through ball to Morata, who controlled it in the area and cleverly put the ball into the Galaxy goal. 4-1 and the crowd were still enjoying the show put on by Real Madrid’s. The Whites were in absolute control of the game against a Galaxy showing more signs of the changes made than Mourinho’s team.

Cristiano Ronaldo, who instilled delirium of the stands with everything he did, tried a shot from distance in the 63rd minute but it went wide. The whites brought out the best of their repertoire with back-heels, passes and touches that thrilled an audience that filled the Home Depot Center and broke the attendance record with 30.317 spectators. The goalkeeper Perk turned out to be the best player for the Galaxy saving his team three times after Morata, Benzema y Özil each had very clear chances. The minutes passed and in the 80th minute Mourinho made his last two changes. Jesé and Jesús cameo n for Morata and Adán. And the forward, with his first touch of the ball put the ball in the goal following a sensational piece of play by Özil and Benzema in the 83rd minute of the game. The crowd were cheering for a goal from Cristiano to round things off and Portuguese tried to finish, but bad luck and goalkeeper didn’t let it happen. The end of the game came with the aim accomplished: to win and put on a show so that everyone went home happy.


Stadium: Home Depot Center
Attendance: 30,281
Goals: 0-1 (2'): Higuain. 0-2 (11'): Di Maria. 1-2 (22'): David Junior. 1-3 (35'): Callejon. 1-4 (48'): Morata. 1-5 (83'): Jese.



Preview: LA Galaxy vs Real Madrid (Friendly)

Real Madrid faces within a few hours (04:30 CET -Thusrday 2, 19:30 PST-) its first match of the U.S.A. Tour against Los Angeles Galaxy, a match that is becoming a classic in the white preseason.

LA Galaxy vs Real Madrid 2011 Beckahm and Kaka
LA Galaxy vs Real Madrid 2011

Jose Mourinho has all the players of the squad available after the recovering of Varane and Di Maria. In the previous training session to the match, Lass had to retire with discomfort, but it seems nothing serious and he will play, in principle, some minutes.

Mourinho does not expect much of the friendly except to verify that the players are taking the work of the preseason. The coach wants his players fresh in return for the afternoon break he gave to his players yesterday. A well-deserved break, after four days of work in Los Angeles with double session training each day. Given the workload, it was decided to reduce the pace of training and Moruinho suspended the afternoon session. The Galaxy are a good team and there was no question of arriving at the appointment without legs in good physical conditions.

Once again, the big draw at Real Madrid will be the reunion with David Beckham. He does not have many colleagues in the squad, only Iker Casillas and Sergio Ramos, of the galactic stage that Florentino Perez reminded these days with nostalgia while was watching the white team's training at UCLA. A team that guaranteed titles, a game machine and above all a machine to make money, precisely during this time summer friendlies, where the presence of the English midfielder guaranteed good incomes.

Mourinho will use two teams to give minutes to all players, including youth players. Can not draw many conclusions, but some things are clear. For example, Sahin, who has played on the left-back in some trainings, is on the squad to plug holes in the tactical scheme waiting for a move. In the squad there is a group of players with more training pace and a friendly played against Benfica, while the international players will play today their preseason opener. Kaka will still have minutes. The Home Depot Center will not fill and yesterday there were still tickets.

Mourinho: Modric or nobody

With 18 days to the begining of the official competition, Real Madrid, and especially his manager and coach, Jose Mourinho, is determined that the only signing to do this summer is that of Luka Modric. Will be him or no one. There is no Plan B because the player who wants Mourinho is Modric, not another. The Croatian meets all the requirements demanded by the Portuguese coach and Mourinho does not want any experiments with another name.

Mourinho training Real Madrid at UCLA 2012
Mourinho only thinks about Modric to reinforce the squad

The agreement with the footballer has been closed since early summer, but with Tottenham, the positions are more distant now. The signing was about to materialize on Friday, July 27. All seemed to agree on the terms of the transfer. Levy, chairman of the English club, had his arm twisted. The Real Madrid offered 30 million euros more variables (matches and titles achieved by Modric playing for Real). But at the last minute Levy backed down and refused.

Mainly, the reason why the signing of Modric was stopped is the Paris Saint Germain and its chairman, Nasser al-Khelaifi. A call at the last moment by offering the 45 million euros Tottenham wants, stopped the negotiation. If Real Madrid would have matched that amount, the transfer would be closed, in other way, negotiations would remain stalled. The PSG, with the signings of Thiago Silva, Ibrahimovic, Lavezzi, Verratti and El Baillal wants to complete the squad with the Croatian. They have already spent 100 million euros and are willing to shell out 45 more. Modric is the piece missing.

Levy is using the PSG proposal to put more pressure on Real Madrid and force the Spanish team to make a better offer, but also knows by the mouth of Luka Modric that he will refuse to be sold to the French team because he only wants to play for Madrid.

At the Real Madrid board, is known the player is on its side and this scores points. They do not like the Croatian player refused to travel to the U.S.A. Tour with Tottenham. But since he returned to London and trains alone each day, they have seen his behavior has been impeccable and this made reopen negotiations. Real Madrid is strong, does not move form 30 million euros more variables, although the Daily Mail yesterday published on its website that the white club had made a final offer of 38 million euros with 10 depending on variables.

After more than a month of negotiations, Florentino Perez, Jose Angel Sanchez and Mourinho are convinced that the negotiation will be for long. They thought that Levy was bluffing, but now they see that he will harden the transfer to the end. He has not even listened to his coach Villas-Boas. The Portuguese gives up to Modric and he would like to leave him go and spend the money on other player (Moutinho). Villas-Boas does not want to reach the last day of the market without a player to replace Modric. To sign a player in the last day would be impossible.

Adriano Galliani will meet with Florentino Perez in NY

Milan chief executive, Adriano Galliani, has confirmed that he will meet with Real Madrid president Florentino Perez in New York on August 8 to discuss the transfer of Kaka. The meeting will take place the same day of the match that both teams will play in the U.S.A. city within the framed preseason games at the World Football Challenge. "We will talk with Florentino in New York", admitted Galliani.

Ricardo Kaka is training with Real Madrid in Los Angeles
Ricardo Kaka is training with Real Madrid in Los Angeles

The Mialn board member has not wanted to hide the interest in the Brazilian midfielder, but has not denied that his return to San Siro is very complicated: "We already have a nice story together, but to sign Kaka is very, very, very difficult", acknowledged before diagnosing the problem: "He earns a lot of money".

So, the transfer seems to be in the hands of the Brazilian player, who still has three years remaining on his contract with Real Madrid. If he agrees to reduce the salary that currently charges, there would be possibilities. It is also the new philosophy of wage cuts imposed in Milan that has led them to part with players like Ibrahimovic, Thiago Silva, Seedorf, Gattuso, Nesta and Inzaghi and the different tax in Spain and Italy.


Mourinho will give priority to the Spanish league

Change of plans. If last season Mourinho's team did the best to get in shape to the Spanish Super Cup, this year the duel against Barcelona to dispute the first title of season passes to the background. The priority is the Spanish league. The coach is not willing to jeopardize the season for the title less important of the four for which the Real Madrid will fight.

Messi vs Cristiano Spanish Super Cup 2011
Real Madrid and Barcelona will face again in the Spanish Super Cup

This summer the Super Cup has trap. Embedded as it is in the middle of three games of the league, to focus all attention on it can be very dangerous. And more with how expensive it is the Spanish championship. Any failure can be decisive in a league that last year demanded that Real Madrid reached 100 points. Mourinho is not going to give the Super Cup as a gift, that's obvious, but he will not neglect the three league days because he knows that a bad run of results in the Spanish competition can condition the rest of the season.

Last year's preseason Real Madrid focused on the Super Cup. Mourinho thoroughly prepared the first game of the season. Among other things, because the team needed a stroke of authority against Barcelona. To boost morale after losing Champions League. Now, after winning the league, Real Madrid no longer needs to prove team can beat its great rival. Team did it in the Spanish Cup and, above all, with the last league title.

Moreover, the preseason of last season thinking about performing the best in the Super Cup conditioned the team performance along the rest of the year. Being in good physical condition in mid-August, was harmful because many white players were tired in the decisive matches of the Champions League. Also last year was a summer free of competition for most of the white squad players and they could be forced. Not now, after Euro 2012 they have to plan well the campaign.

In addition, the friendly matches of national teams the same week the Spanish league starts, complicate the situation. International players will arrive just in time to prepare the first day. In the case of Real Madrid the rival on the first day will be Valencia. With this situation, it is reasonable to consider playing the Super Cup of Spain with non-regular or rested players thinking about not fail in the league. The season is too long to wear down the players to the first exchange.

Pepe: "We are reaching a very high level to face the season"

Pepe spoke with the press after the first training session on the third day at the UCLA. The Real Madrid defender praised the team spirit of the squad trained by José Mourinho and analysed the League which they won last season: "The points we have earned and the goals scored show that we deserved to win the League. We demonstrated that we are a very strong team and that when we have to play, we really do play and when we have to fight for victory, we really do fight. We have a strong sense of comradeship and we won the world's best League thanks to that comradeship".

Pepe press confference at UCLA
Pepe at press confrenece

The Portuguese player, who is beginning his sixth season at Real Madrid, spoke of the motivation with which his team looks towards the season: "We are really looking forward to all the training sessions. The team is gaining a very high level to face the season and when Real Madrid begins the year, it has to be ready to face all the trophies. We know each other better and it's the coach’s third year. We understand his mentality and we are ready to face and try to win all the trophies. After each training session we are in an even better position to help the team and get to the top".

When asked about José Mourinho, his coach, the Real Madrid defender only had words of praise: "He's a coach who demands a lot from us to be able to win and be competitive. In the time we have been here, he is showing that he knows a lot, that he knows us and that he has the same keenness to win trophies".

On Xabi Alonso, who didn't finish the morning session, he revealed: "It's normal for these kinds of things to happen during a training session. It was a bump and he's already with the doctor, but I think he will be in the afternoon session". He also mentioned Kaká, saying: "He's a great player and forms part of our squad. I am very happy that he's here. He's a Real Madrid player and we must hold him in high esteem".

When asked about his personal situation in the team and that of his compatriot, Coentrão, Pepe got straight to the point: "When I got here my signing sparked a lot of controversy. I adapted and things turned out well. People like me and are very fond of me. I really like that fondness. Fabio doesn't have to show anything. He's a quality player, is young and played well during the European Football Championship. His entire career has been in Portugal and the time he spent at Zaragoza was a bad experience for him. Nobody can deny his skill, but it is difficult to play for Real Madrid. People must support him and be patient with him. Together with Marcelo, it's an honour for us to have the two best left-backs in the world".

The Real Madrid defender mentioned the names which have been circulating in order to strengthen the team next season: "The coach knows what the team needs. It's an issue for Mourinho and the president. Witsel is a really great payer and is doing things well in his team. If he comes to Madrid he will be welcomed and if he doesn't, I wish him all the luck in the world. Last year we won the League with the same players who are here".

Lastly, he mentioned the ever increasing competitive edge which football has taken on in the United States: "It's my third pre-season here and each year I realise that football players are more skilled and competitive. Football is universal".


Alvaro Arbeloa renewed until 2016

The international Spanish defender, Alvaro Arbeloa, has renewed his contract with Real Madrid until 2016, as announced today the club in a statement through the official website. Arbeloa had contract until 2014.

Arbeloa renewed his contract with Real Madrid
Alvaro Arbeloa 

"I'm more than happy. It is my pride and honor to be in this club. To be able to extend my contract two years, until 2016, is a source of absolute joy. I am delighted with the faith of the club in me and I hope to continue to enjoy", said Arbeloa in an interview to the media.

"It comes at a good time. Things are going well for me and I am proud to be here. I am very happy because the club trust me", commented the right-back, who still does not raise the possibility of retiring in Real Madrid: "It's hard to retire at this club by the requirement that entails. Here are always the best players in the world and when one reaches an age it is difficult to keep up. Today more players extend their careers and hopefully not the last renew with Real Madrid".

Permanent in the starting lineups in Real Madrid and the Spanish national team, Arbeloa lives a good time under the command of Jose Mourinho: "I'm feeling very well under the orders of the coach. He always gives me a lot of confidence. There have been times when I've played more and others that I have played less, but I always felt the coach's confidence. Mourinho has managed to get the better of me".

"We have a coach that demands always 100% both in matches and trainings. Mourinho has a winning mentality and that's absolutely what he always perfectly has transmitted us. Mourinho made ​​me a better player and has done that I increased my football level. I am, of course, very grateful", added Arbeloa.

This season, Arbeloa arises the same goal "of every year" as he says. "We play for Real Madrid and we have to fight for every title. We know the difficulties involved, but last year we were close in all competitions and this season we should do the same. It is clear that for the fans the Champions League is special but we also want to win again the Spanish league, which is the most difficult tournament because of the regularity you need, and the Copa del Rey. Hopefully we can win those three titles. We will fight for it", he concludes.


Zidane will work with the Real Madrid youth teams

Zinedine Zidane will work this season with the youth teams while finishes a training course for coaches. "The Real Madrid website announced yesterday in a statement the new role of the former player, the only staff member who did not travel to the U.S.A. Tour with the expedition. Zidane no longer is listed as "first team sporting director" in the chart the club displays on its website. It was changed yesterday. "And this year, Zizou will finish the training course for coaches which he has started a few months ago, which certainly allows him to establish a preparation and knowledge which enable him to fulfill the desire that he expressed in the press conference where he announced his retirement in April 2006: Working with Madrid's youth system", finished explaining the brief statement.

Zinedine Zidane training Real Madrid junior teams
Zinedine Zidane will work with Real Madrid junior teams

It was Mourinho who convinced the French former player and Real Madrid former to work with to the football section: "I want Zidane to be closer to me and not to my president" he said in an interview in the 'TF1' TV channel. Since then, Zidane (who had been counselor of president) began traveling with the team in the movement of Champions, and was frequently seen in the dressing room in Valdebebas. He had much to do in the psychological work that was done with Benzema. But he never was involved in the controversial statements in arbitration and other in which Mourinho became involved. Now, Zidane will complete his training as a coach with the Real Madrid junior teams while completes the training course.

Mourinho presented ​​his tactical board in Los Angeles

In October 2010 some Spanish cameras caught Mourinho when he was writing notes during a Hercules vs Real Madrid match. The coach did not like it and from that moment he thought of inventing a formula more convenient to communicate with his players and avoid leaving tracks on the Press. He got in touch with Portuguese Pedro Araujo to launch a software to manage the tactics of his team: Mourinho Tactical Board.

Mourinho with his Tactical Board training Real Madrid
Mourinho with his Tactical Board

Yesterday, at UCLA, Mourinho gave a conference to 200 coaches of the National Soccer Coaches Association of America to present the new version of the software. Attendees paid 595 dollars for this two-day course at UCLA. "We had some meetings in Valdebebas and the first version of the program was launched in April 2011. Today we present the pro version at UCLA with the best coach in the world. This program is currently used by over 1,000 teams worldwide. It's great to all levels, especially for children because there are many drawings and animations", says the creator, Pedro Araujo.

Jose Mourinho was accompanied by Rui Faria, Aitor Karanka, Silvino Louro, Luis Campos, Santiago Lozano, Carlos Lalin and Jose Morais. Coaches, who witnessed the double training session of Real Madrid at the North Athletic Field, attended this course in which the Portuguese showed his working method. "It's worth paying that much money to see Mourinho. Is the best in the world", noted Dagobert, a coach of Indianapolis.

Minor, a coach from Costa Rica, emphasized that "the image of Mourinho that people see is wrong, because he looks like an approachable person, interested in the family and see his talk was a great experience". Fidel, a coach in New York, also was surprised with the empathy of the Real Madrid coach: "He showed us his philosophy of working with his staff. He is very proud of them".

Jose Mourinho said in his talk that: "The secret of our success is a complicated issue, I've been asked many times in my life, especially by the press. Quality, passion, work method ... there is no single reason, nor two. There are many important things to be successful and all they are related".


Ricardo Carvalho is training in Porto and will not return

Ricardo Carvalho is still not included in the pre-season training of Real Madrid and is in Porto awaiting for his destiny. The white player and the club have discussed about his situation and the central defender will not go back to Madrid and will not be incorporated at no time to practice with the white squad.

Carvalho training with Real Madrid last season

The Portuguese is still thinking about his new team and it could be Milan. Carvalho has been very close to be 'rossoneri' player in recent days. Carvalho liked Milan but there was no agreement between the clubs. Milan wanted a transfer in exchange for taking charge of his salary (1.8 million euros), but the Portuguese ends his contract in June 2013 and Real Madrid would not perceive anything in that way. Therefore, the white club is only interested in the sale. In 2010 the whites paid 8 million euros to Chelsea for him and want to enter any amount.

The Portuguese center has received permanent green light by Mourinho for not having to join the team training so he has no undue haste in finding new accommodation. Carvalho is still looking for a club in the Premiership, where he left good memories with Chelsea, but for now, at the Bernabeu offices have not come any interesting proposals.

Meanwhile, Carvalho tries not to neglect his physical condition in the gym doing exercises and awaiting news on his mansion in Porto. He is 74 days of vacation and his last game was almost three months ago, May 5 at Granada (1-2) with the League title already won. In addition, he spent a season with little playing time. Only played 1,052 minutes divided in 8 league games, 2 Champions League matches, 2 in the Spanish Super Cup and 1 in the Spanish Cup. He began the year in the staring lineup against Barcelona in the fight for the Super Cup, and played the first four games of the season but was suffering various injuries, including a back pain that left him 119 days without playing.

Since September 21 (league match against Racing) until the duel against Barca in the Copa del Rey (January 19), Carvalho was not available to Mourinho. During this period, the Portuguese coach placed Sergio Ramos as the replacement in the middle of the defensive line and the Spanish player had a sensational performance next to Pepe. Carvalho has lost importance in the team and that is evident in the numbers. In the 2011-12 season he played 3,235 minutes less than in his first year in Madrid.

The squad supports Kaka at UCLA

He does not have his continuity ensured, not at all, but Kaka did not miss the smile on the first Real Madrid training at UCLA. The Brazilian is backed by the rest of the squad as we saw in the first working session at the North Athletic Field. The club is seeking the best for him while his teammates support and want him to play for Real Madrid.

Ricardo Kaka at UCLA with Real Madrid squad
Ricardo Kaka

Players like Cristiano, Ramos and Iker talked to him several times during the morning. And the fans who were outside the premises sought his continuity. "Kaka, do not go" read a banner in Spanish. The Brazilian playmaker will play against Milan on August 8 in New York. He will face a team for which he wants to play but given the difficulty in reaching an agreement with his contract, Kaka works as the other players of the squad.

Mourinho's players began the pre-season stage in Los Angeles with a first training an hour and a half. Casillas, Ramos, Xabi Alonso, Arbeloa, Albiol, Cristiano, Pepe and Coentrao returned to work after vacation. The Portuguese coach divided the workforce into different groups and after ten minutes of specific physical work, players always worked with the ball. Interestingly, Sahin and Kaka, the two players who could leave the team in the coming days, trained on the same group. Also, due to the double session, there was a group that worked with a slower pace: Higuain, Di Maria, Granero, Callejon, Lass and Varane. Goalkeepers (Iker, Adan and Jesus) trained with Silvino Louro. The homegrown players Morata, Alex Fernandez and Jesse were fully integrated into the group.


Real Madrid denies the agreement by the Croatian Modric

Real Madrid denies that it has completed the signing of Luka Modric for 45 million euros, as was claimed yesterday from England and Croatia. The reality is that the offer presented by the white team is 30 million euros with variables (games played and titles achieved by the Croatian player with the Real Madrid jersey), and Daniel Levy, on Friday, gave up and almost signed the transfer but then the leader of Tottenham drew back, hardened the negotiations rising the financial claims and the light at the end of the tunnel dissapeared. Mourinho was close to fulfill his desire: to have Modric to the U.S.A Tour.

Luka Modric training in London
Luka Modric training in London

The Sun newspaper claimed in yesterday's edition that the white club had reached an agreement with Tottenham for the transfer of Luka Modric. The newspaper explained that the signing was closed on Saturday night and that Real Madrid had agreed to pay the 45 million euros that, since the beginning of the negotiations, Levy requested based on a previous offer of the French PSG. The leadership of the Real Madrid had breakfast yesterday in Los Angeles with this information and refused it.

Since Croatia has been said that the Tottenham player can now be considered as a new player for Real Madrid. Zoran Mamic, manager of Dinamo Zagreb, also said in the newspaper Sportske that the white team has paid about 45 million euros for the midfielder. Of that amount, just over 3 million, would go to the Croatian team.

Real Madrid wants to reactivate the operation to close the Modric's transfer and is taking advantage of the two teams are these days in their U.S.A Tours to accelerate the pace of negotiations, only by telephone so far. Meanwhile, the Croatian midfielder is in London working on his physical waiting for his move and thus to have the opportunity to travel to America as soon as possible, but to the Real Madrid's preseason, not to the Spurs'.

Iker Casillas: "The club was right to hire Mourinho"

Iker Casillas was the first Real Madrid player to appear in front of the media at the UCLA facilities. The captain, who joined the team at the Los Angeles pre-season meeting after winning the European Championship in Ukraine and Poland, spoke about Mourinho, who begins his third season at the club: “Until you meet him you don’t realise that he is nothing like what you read about him in the press. He is a committed manager and has got the best from every single player. The club was clearly right to hire him. He has a goal in mind and he feels at home here. We hope that lasts a long time”.

Iker Casillas attending a press conference at UCLA
Iker Casillas

The Real Madrid goalkeeper analysed the season that has just started and admitted that his team wants to win all the titles on offer: “We want to go one step further, as we have done over the last two seasons since Mourinho arrived. We want to strengthen the team and we have more responsibility, more experience and we want to win all the titles: the Spanish Super Cup, which is the first title up for grabs, defend the Spanish league title, the Spanish Cup and we want and hope to win the Champions League having not won it these past years".

Casillas is convinced that the squad is skilled enough and prepared to win the Tenth: “With the team we have, the players, the fans and the stadium, this team deserves the European Cup. The steps we are taking are the right ones and we have a young and very experienced team. Two years of experience are very useful. Winning it is not an obsession since we must concentrate on wining the first league match and then Super cup”.

The captain, as well as his teammates, is going to do everything in his power to win titles: “We have an established squad, with good players and more experience than two years ago. All the players are important and all of them will get an opportunity in the matches. The season is going to be very long, but I’m convinced that with the squad we have we can fight for all the titles”.

The goalkeeper praised his fellow defenders and highlighted Sergio Ramos’ evolution into a central defender: “I think that with Pepe, Sergio, Varane, Albiol, Arbeloa, Coentrão and Marcelo we don’t need any to bring in more defenders. Ramos last season was incredible. He has adapted extremely well to central defence and last season he was magnificent. We are happy to have discovered this central defender who brings a very important balance to the defence”.

When asked about the Madrid youth teams, the goalkeeper revealed his satisfaction at the good results they achieved last season and the work that is being carried out with the first team: “I’m very happy for Real Madrid Castilla, who gained promotion to the Liga Adelante, and also for Real Madrid C, who will play in the Second B Division. It will be very important for them and will help them to mature. This is extremely important for the future because they develop as players and become more mature. The youth teams are important for us”.

With regard to Barcelona and the possible rivalry between the two teams to win titles, Casillas stated: “In my mind it is very clear that Real Madrid has become stronger and taken important steps towards the future. We beat them in the Spanish Cup two years ago and beat them fairly in a difficult league that I think we deserved to win. My team and my players are the best in my opinion”.

When asked about the Ballon d’Or and his nomination to be awarded it, Casillas defended the importance of goalkeepers in football: “It always important for people to talk about you and goalkeepers always have a part to play in this game. I’m not a fan of when people say that football is a game that is just played with your feet. Defence is as important as the person making a pass or the person scoring a goal. We’ve got to look at things more fairly, although everyone is going to look at Cristiano and Messi, who are above everyone else. Spanish footballers are making more and more appearances on the nominee lists for these awards”.

Two other names also made an appearance: Kaká and Modric. With regard to the Brazilian, he stated: “We want to help him. It is important for us that a player of his stature is part of this squad. We want, as teammates and professionals, the best for him. He is an example for all of us”. About the possible signing of the Croatian, he added: “I know him and he’s a great player. He performed quite well at the European Championship and if Real Madrid and Mourinho think he will be a good signing for the club then there is a reason for that. The manager always has the good of the club in mind and if Modric can help us go that step further then he will be welcomed”.

Casillas also spoke about the encounter in Las Vegas against the Mexican outfit Santos Laguna: “We want people to enjoy themselves in a city that has a different atmosphere. We’ve come here to get ready, to prepare for the first title of the year and the first match in the League. Santos Laguna have already started their League and it’s not going to be easy. We saw that already against Benfica. They are going to try their best”.

Finally, when asked about the European Championship that he won with the Spanish national side, he shared his delight with that of the rest of the country: “When you win titles you think less about you and more about the people. I’ve been fortunate to win many titles with my club and country. Making those people happy makes it worthwhile. It is worthwhile having that ambition every year and the day I wake up without that drive I shouldn’t be here”.

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