Gonzalo Higuain will renew his contract

After completing the renewal of Albiol, Arbeloa and Di Maria in the preseason, the next will be Higuain. The white club and the player have held talks over the summer to address this issue. Mourinho is delighted with the performance of the striker and the club has agreed to improve his contract and will take place this season.

Gonzalo Higuian in Philadelphia shooting a NFL ball
Gonzalo Higuian in Philadelphia

The Argentinian already had a first renewal with Mourinho as newcomer to the Real Madrid bench. It was agreed in advance and the Portuguese gave the go ahead. It was the July 7, 2010. He signed until June 30, 2016 and his salary is 3.8 million euros per season. Now Higuain will improve his salary (about 4.5 million euros, the same level that Ramos and Xabi Alonso) and his contract will run until 2018, as Di Maria. In all renewals of Real Madrid, Mourinho plays an active role. He boasts of having a young team and fights for his players, though negotiations are not fast. For example, Di Maria said last year he was expecting an improvement and it has taken a year to come. Negotiations with 'Pipita' are much more advanced. Higuain wanted a salary according with his top forward condition and has achieved it.

Higuain had offers this summer from the PSG, Juventus and Manchester City. The French team offered him to be the highest paid player in the workforce (more than 6 million euros net a season), but Pipita, declined these offers to continue in Madrid. The heat from the fans, the advice of his peers and a conversation with Mourinho and his father convinced him to stay.

Now the white club has to make official the improvement. Higuain came in 2007 from River Plate. In Madrid he has always had to paddle upstream and beat off competition from Ronaldo, Raul, Cassano, Van Nistelrooy, Huntelaar, Benzema... This year he will have to fight again, Benzema is ready to the duel.

Preview: Real Madrid vs Celtic Glasgow (Friendly)

The Real Madrid ends today 14 days and 15 training sessions on the U.S.A. lawn. The seed of the team spirit germinates for Real Madrid in that land these days. If this would have been the first season of Mourinho, the Portuguese would be worried for the uncomfortable FIFA date next week. In his third season, however, with players accustomed to his method and two titles, a League and a Spanish Cup, in his pocket, his mood is more conciliatory. But he is annoyed because he has been caring for a plant with great care these days and now arrive other gardeners to spoil the work. Luckily, the team's roots are well established. "I hope the national coaches can understand the situation of the players and the clubs", he insists.

Cristiano Ronaldo

The team has achieved a fantastic set-up; 25 players, 3 matches, 3 wins, 12 goals for and 3 against. Today the match is against Celtic, a rival with 124-year history and a better physical condition. A great test to gauge strength. Celtic, the Scottish champions, have begun their championship and have won the third round of the qualifying round of the Champions. The next August 29 must save the last hurdle against the Swedish Helsingborg to enter to the group phase of the Champions League. Neil Lennon, coach of the 'Catholics', take this friendly as a special meeting: "In my career, Mourinho inspires me. I always say I'd like to do with Celtic what he did at Porto. It will be a special day to share with him a few minutes of talking" he says. In addition, Celtic will be supported in the stands because they expect some 10,000 Scots.

And, certainly, for the green-white players, to face Cristiano Ronaldo will be a great incentive. His great match in New York, for many the capital of the world, served to win support in his conquest of the Ballon d'Or. And the MLS thinks on him like a Beckham of the future after his show at Yankee Stadium.

Mourinho will introduce several changes from the last game. The goal in the last test is to dose the efforts of all his players because the biggest game comes in eight days in the Spanish league, against Valencia.

The starting lineup Jose Mourinho will use for the match between Real Madrid and Celtic Glasgow on Saturday, the last friendly before the start of the league, will be formed by Adan, Arbeloa, Albiol, Ramos, Coentrao; Khedira, Xabi Alonso, Callejon, Kaka, Cristiano, and Higuain.


Mourinho: "If Galliani wants to sign Kaka, he must pay"

Mourinho is a man with clear ideas and yesterday wanted to send a message to Milan vice president Adriano Galliani, at Yankee Stadium. Mourinho begins to be tired of the Italian's leader because of his flirting with Kaka, what is not good for the player. And he does not accompany his words with money. "I will be happy if Kaka stays with us and I will be happy if he want to go. In football the players play where they want. Ricardo is a very good player, is prepared to the highest level. If he decides to stay, fine. If he leaves, perfect but we will not give away the player. If they want to sign him, they have to pay", said the Portuguese coach after the game against Milan.

Kaka playing agaisnt Milan
Kaka playing yesterday agaisnt Milan

Galliani achieved his goal. The meeting with Florentino (talking about Kaka) on the grass was watched by all the football world. The Italian leader is living hard days. The Milan supporters demand the return of the prodigal son in return for the many sales of the players (Ibrahimovic, Thiago Silva). The 'rossoneri' vice president, after the game, was realistic: "The operation of Kaka is very difficult because the costs are high and the salary is very high. I would say almost impossible". His strategy was to take Kaka for free, that is, on loan. Neither Mourinho nor Florentino agree with that. Milan should change positions between now and August 31. Berlusconi, meanwhile, sees the operation impossible: "We will continue talking, but we do not want to create false hopes to our fans".

Allegri, coach of Milan, spoke again about Kaka after the game and hopes that Milan can put the money on the table in the last moment: "We did not need to see him live because we all know what type of professional is, but I do not know what will happen with his future". Allegri follows exactly the strategic line drawn by the Milan board and is expecting to the last day: "The transfer window closes on August 31 and we will see what happens with the player. A class player like Kaka is accepted in any team". On the game, praised Real Madrid: "There is a difference between them and us. It was a good lesson to learn".

Modric: Tottenham requests a meeting with Real Madrid

The Modric's story has undergone a 180 degree turn in the last hours. The arrival of Lucas Moura to PSG (the other team bidding for Modric) and the proximity to the start of the Premier League season have meant that Tottenham is now the side more interested in solving the situation of the Croatian player. Hence, according to The Sun, the English club has requested a final meeting with Real Madrid to close the transaction.

Modric at Tottenham facilities
Modric at Tottenham facilities

The pressure exerted by the player to play for Real Madrid has helped and the pass of time is becoming an ally favorable to the white club because Tottenham has moved to negotiate. Not surprisingly, the Spurs chairman, Daniel Levy, has already reduced his claim by the Croatian; 45 to 38 million euros.

However, the Real Madrid only wants to pay 30 million euros and 8 depending on goals achieved by Luka Modric in Madrid. The meeting requested by the English club should be decisive for both sides to agree on a compromise. Meanwhile, Modric continues training alone waiting to see how his dream of signing for Real Madrid comes true.

Andre Villas-Boas, Tottenham coach, acknowledged that Modric will not be joining the team until he will not be psychologically prepared: "He continues training alone. It is a covenant between us. Has not been agreed nothing because Real Madrid does not approach what he wants the president. We understand Modric and he also understands us".

"Without the appropriate offer, Luka will not go away" said Spurs coach. "The contacts we have had with other clubs have not come to agree with what we want for Tottenham in exchange. It is somewhat difficult. We respect the dimension of Real Madrid and the clubs interested, but they must also respect what we are doing", he added.


Modric's transfer seems easier; Lucas Moura to PSG.

Modric's transfer to Real Madrid begins to be unlocked. Tottenham stayed yesterday without the other buyer who longed to Croatian, PSG, whose offer of 45 million euros, was the amount that the president Daniel Levy required to whites. The French club spent a large money to sign yesterday morning the new Brazilian star, Lucas Moura and, indirectly, paved the way to the white team. Levy is no longer fixed in those 45 million and has begun to subside. According to the British press, has reduced his claim for Modric to 38 million.

Modric celebrate a goal with Tottenham
Luka Modric could be close to reaching his goal; to play for Real Madrid

Nevertheless, Real Madrid still does not want to pay that amount. The white offer is still remaining in 30 million euros with 8 variables that could be paid according to the achieve goals reached by Modric with the Real Madrid shirt. Those 8 million euros would be the main problem right now.

Florentino and Jose Angel Sanchez are working on it. They have accompanied the team during its stay in New York City for the friendly against Milan and have maintained contacts with Levy, who is also in the city for matters of a personal nature. The time now runs against the leader of the Spurs. His team debut in the Premiership on Saturday, 18 against Newcastle and Villas-Boas is nervous.

Because the troubles are not the same for both clubs. Mourinho has said he is not interested in anyone else (although is thinking about two more players, as he confessed to the media), while Tottenham are dealing with a player who feels cheated (last year, Levy promised Modric that he would leave this summer) without competition pace because he has trained alone after a period of rebellion and after the transfer request, something that England fans tend not forget. Moreover, while the money does not go in, Tottenham can't get two signings they want. One is Kamara, Partizan player, the substitute to the Croatian (Moutinho is also on the agenda), and the other is a goalkeeper, Lloris (Lyon), whose agent has hinted that already has an agreement with Tottenham: "When Modric moves to Madrid, my son will go to London. We are waiting".

With the PSG offstage, the transfer seems easier for Real Madrid. The coming days may be critical to accelerate an agreement. Villas-Boas has played a mediating role with Modric but the situation is becoming untenable. The Portuguese coach was able to lower the temperature of the conflict during the tour of Tottenham for the U.S., with the team on one side and Modric training alone in London. But he runs out of days. The English team arrived yesterday to Valencia to play today a friendly and nobody opened his mouth to talk. Villas-Boas fears the team will be only focused on Modric.

AC Milan 1 - 5 Real Madrid (Friendly)

Real Madrid returned to New York for the first time in 11 years and discovered that they have even more pull than last time. Yankee Stadium became a mini replica of the Bernabeu, where team chants could be heard, which surprised a few people. It helped, Mourinho’s players feel at home and overthrew a Milan team that could only keep pace during in the first half. Ronaldo scored twice, and Di María, with a goal and a sensational performance, were the stand out players for a Real Madrid team who dazzled spectators whilst playing, without a doubt, the best match of their pre-season. The Whites leave New York having put on a spectacle and having scored five goals.

Cristiano and Di Maria celebrate a goal against Milan
Great performance by Cristiano and Di Maria

Mourinho opted out for the a front three made up of Di María, who was returning after not playing against Santos in Las Vegas due to injury niggles, Özil and Cristiano Ronaldo, who was the player that caused the most excitement in this country. In the hole, the Portuguese opted for Benzema. They came up against a Milan side in the process of rebuilding the squad but with enough craft and skills to defend the prestige of the Italian club. The Whites began the match in complete control of the ball. In the 7th minute came the first opportunity for Real Madrid in the form of Khedira, but his shot from distance did not trouble Abbiati. The Italians did their best to defend against the Real Madrid onslaught. In the 10th minute Pepe had a chance to make it 1-0 but his shot from inside the area deflected off of a defender.

Real Madrid were in complete control of the match. Lass, in the 14th minute, shot wide from outside the box, as did Benzema in the 18th minute. Milan were at the mercy of the Whites. Robinho was the only player who gave the Whites’ defence something to worry about, where a spectacular Pepe was enough to thwart any of Milan’s efforts. Di María had a clear chance in the 22nd minute but his shot was well blocked by Abbiati. It was just a matter of time for the goal to come. In the 24th minute Abbiati punched the ball clear and the ball fell to Di María in front of goal and the Argentine connected with a volley about which the Milan goalkeeper could do nothing. 1-0 and the Whites justifiably went ahead on the scoreboard.


Higuain and Benzema: Duel for a starting lineup place

Benzema and Higuain. Higuain and Benzema. The two Mourinho's gunmen are fighting in their particular duel for the central forward place of Real Madrid in the far west. Each white team training in Los Angeles becomes a challenge for these players, vying for a place in the starting lineup in every minute of the preseason.

Higuain and Benzema
Higuain and Benzema

Also in the matches, where Mourinho gave them some minutes to play. Against LA Galaxy Higuain scored and on Monday against Santos Laguna, Benzema had a great performance when he jumped to the turf in the second half.

The Frenchman was the last hitting. If the Argentinian player was showcased in the first match on American soil, Karim did in the second friendly of the U.S. tour. A repertoire of passing, shooting and controls that were the best of a stuffy match, especially by heat, although neither the game was up to par.

Benzema knows that this year can not be neglected because Higuain is fitter than ever and ready to take the site. Neither he wants to. Benzema had a hard time earning the starting place and is not going to be easy to Higuain. It will not be easy for Mourinho.

Benzema has come almost as he left. With the same weight or even with some kilograms less. Since Mourinho came to Madrid, Karim cares his diet carefully. He also has much to thank the doctors of the white team, whohas marked him some guidelines to keep in shape and with some specific exercises to prevent muscle injuries that suffered in the first two years.

And the truth is that the groin injury that so much troubles gave Benzema has passed away, like the Higuain's herniated disc problems. If 'Pipita' has had a summer without competition, Karim has come from holidays with a bad taste after the France performance at the Euro 2012 where he did not score a goal. But that has motivated him more. Benzema wants to forget these bad feelings with Real Madrid and the fact is that he is very involved in training and in matches.

Benzema believes he can improve his numbers of the last season. Also Higuain. Both want to score more goals and above all win the Champions League. Their duel can only benefit Real Madrid.

Preview: AC Milan vs Real Madrid (Friendly)

Five years ago, Kaka was awarded with the Ballon d'Or, the Real Madrid signed the best left side of the Euro Under-21, a player called Royston Drenthe and Europe had an enviable economic status. Today, five years later, the white team can not get rid of a problem called Kaka, Drenthe wastes his time in England without team and Europe passes through uncertain economic times. The world has taken a terrible turn, but the story still stands up in the magnificent Yankee Stadium. Real Madrid and Milan have 16 European Cups. A poster for an evening football match with many attractions.

AC Milans vs Real Madrid

Cassano, Montolivo, Nocerino and Abate, finalists at Euro 2012 with the Italian national team will play with a desire for revenge against Casillas, Ramos, Xabi, Arbeloa and Albiol. Robinho, who wanted to leave Real Madrid to move to Chelsea to be the best player in the world and ended up being a residual footballer at Manchester City, will face again his former team with a dream; to resurface. Cristiano Ronaldo, with the challenge to release his goal tally this season on a world stage as New York. And of course, Kaka. His five seasons as AC Milan player left their mark on his heart. Today more than ever will be in the spotlight and close to Milan, but has a three-year contract with Real Madrid, which is unwilling to reject a lot of money despite a lot of love.

The Brazilian player will be today in the starting lineup and the lights will focus to him... and toward the VIP zone at the Yankee Stadium. There, Florentino Perez and AC Milan vice president, Adriano Galliani, will meet for the first time this summer. And all the media expect that Galliani takes the first steps in the negotiating game by Kaka. Both could come back to see after the match. Galliani proposed a dinner and Florentino does not want to show this (if it finally happens) as a summit but as a friendly gesture between two leaders who have a good relationship for many years.

In addition, the headquarters of both teams are within walking distance of each other. Real Madrid stays at the Four Seasons, Milan in the Setai 400, just 2.5 kilometers distance to the Fifth Avenue. Galliani insists he wants a transfer on loan and that the Real Madrid should pay half of the Kaka's salary. The position of the white team does not move an inch: 30 million euros or nothing.


Alvaro Morata has delighted Mourinho

Alvaro Morata can rest easy. His work this season is paying off. The coaching staff is delighted with him. Now they know they did not make a mistake when picked him to the first team to become member of the Real Madrid squad. Aitor Karanka admitted it at the end of the friendly against Santos Laguna of Mexico.

Morata (Real Madrid vs Santos Laguna)
Morata (Real Madrid vs Santos Laguna)

The player is overcoming the challenges and will stay: "He will help us a lot this year. He's doing great and of course he is going to be with us because he is at a high level", noted the assistant coach. The truth is that Morata has delighted Mourinho, thanks to his physical performance in the recent friendly matches. Mourinho likes his character and for the coach Morata is a box-to-box player. He attacks, defends, steals balls and is a continuous nuisance for any rival.

Morata does not know how many minutes will play this season but Kaka's leaving might benefit him. The former R.M.Castilla member is a versatile player and knows how to play on the side and behind the central forward, so that the Brazilian's move would be one less obstacle in trying to enjoy a few minutes.

Mourinho's target is clear: Morata should begin to help this year as it did last year Callejon. His contribution is similar. The difference is that Morata has not had to go out and come back later. He made ​​the jump directly from R.M.Castilla but like Callejon his work in matches and trainings is excellent. Winning a starting lineup place is still a distant point, but the player knows that the year has many matches and it can be profitable for him.

Real Madrid extends Albiol's contract until 2017

Raul Albiol isn't hiding the happiness which he has been overcome by after his contract with Real Madrid was extended until 2017. The only thing on the mind of the Real Madrid defender, who kicked off the season by playing against Los Angeles Galaxy, is to reciprocate, on the pitch, the trust shown by the club, Mourinho and the fans: "I'm really excited and want to stay on at Real Madrid. The club and its coaching staff trust in me and now I have to show them they are not wrong. I am very happy and I hope to be here until I retire."

Raul Albiol

Congratulations on getting your contract extended until 2017. I guess you must be very happy...
I am very happy because this means that the club and its coaching staff trust in me being here. I really feel at home at Real Madrid and I'm very happy. Now I have to show that they are not wrong and that I can be a good player for the team.

Also, this trust comes a month after another reason for celebration: your second European Football Championship.
We're seeing, with Spain, some wonderful years which will be remembered forever. I'm lucky enough to be living though them from the inside and the team is fantastic and has proven that during the last championships. Let's hope it carries on like that for many years to come. Although we know it's difficult, the team will never be short of ambition.

Having your contract extended brings you closer to your goal of being at Real Madrid until you retire.
In the world of football you never know because anything can happen during each season. I'm really excited and want to stay on at the club. I'm very happy here and hope to be here until I retire.


Liverpool joins the bid for Nuri Sahin

While Nuri Sahin spends the U.S.A. tour playing games as left-back, the player is an object of desire for several teams in the Premiership. Liverpool is the last club that has joined the bid for Real Madrid midfielder, who does not fit into the plans of Mourinho. The white club is interested in a transfer (on loan) and it would come in the next days.

Nuri Sahin training with Jose Mourinho
Nuri Sahin training with Jose Mourinho

Liverpool, which is going through a delicate economic situation, would be willing to accept the only condition of Real Madrid to allow the Sahin's leaving: A loan or, alternatively, a sale with an option to repurchase affordable.

In favor of Liverpool is also the presence of Brendan Rodgers as their new coach, a coach who landed in the Premier from the hand of Jose Mourinho. Rodgers was chosen by Mourinho to coach Chelsea's reserve team at the stage of the Portuguese coach as head coach of the blues.

When Brendan Rodgers joined Liverpool as the coach for their new project, Mourinho said: "With Rodgers the glory days will come back at Liverpool". Now, because of their relationship, Mourinho could try to convince Sahin that Liverpool can be an ideal destination for him.

Santos Laguna 1 - 2 Real Madrid (Friendly)

Second straight win for Real Madrid in their US tour. This time the opponent was a little tougher and the conditions were not the best for football because of how stiflingly hot it was in Las Vegas. Santos Laguna did not make things easy, they were a tough opponent who showed pride and strength, taking the match as seriously an official match rather than a friendly. Mourinho’s team played seriously and concentrated, showing the spirit of champions and the competitive gene that this team have. The Whites continue to beat attendance records wherever they go. This time 29,105 spectators saw Real Madrid win.

Khedira celebrates his goal in the match Real Madrid vs Santos Laguna
Sani Khedira celebrates the goal with his teammates

Real Madrid appeared in Las Vegas in sweltering heat, with a desert climate and the Sam Boyd stadium practically full. The rivals Santos Laguna of Mexico, were a slightly tougher opponent than last Thursday’s LA Galaxy. The Mexican champions started highly motivated against a Real Madrid team that included the front three trio of Ronaldo, Özil and Higuaín. In the 14th minute the first goal came for the Whites from a sensational Xabi Alonso strike from outside the area. A great goal that put Mourinho’s team ahead on the scoreboard. The goal opened up the game and the Whites began to break into the opposition’s area with ease. In the 18th minute a great piece of play by Higuaín who then passed to Özil in the area, but the German narrowly missed. The Mexican team responded strongly and with occasional attacks against the general run of play.

When the match seemed under control for Real Madrid, Santos Laguna took advantage of indecision in the defence to make it 1-1 through Cristian Suárez on 25 minutes. Mourinho took that opportunity to make the first change and replace Jesé with Alex. Real Madrid reacted quickly and Granero was able to make it 2-1 when his shot took a touch off of a defender on the way in. Cristiano Ronaldo tried from distance but his shot in the 32nd minute went wide. Santos, a team fast in the transition from defence to attack looked to get in behind Real Madrid with long balls into the wings. A scuffle between Granero and Herculez Gomez resulted, surprisingly, in a yellow card for the Whites’ player. In the 39th minute Cristian Suárez found himself in front of Casillas but his shot went wide of the far post. Ronaldo, the most incisive for the Whites, tried his luck again in the 42nd minute with a diagonal shot that sailed through the area without anyone able to touch it into the net. Then the end of the half came.

The second half started with eleven different players for Real Madrid. Adán, Sahin, Ramos, Morata, Benzema, Callejón, Khedira, Kaká, Nacho, Pepe and Lass. Mourinho stayed true to his idea of making eleven changes in these pre-season matches despite the tight scoreline. The Whites had their first chance in the 48th minute after a great move from Kaká which ended in a Benzema shot from inside the 6-yard box that went just over. A minute later Morata had an opportunity but his shot did not find the target. The Whites shifted up a gear. Benzema had a chance to make it 2-1 with a shot from a corner kick but Sanchez made a great save.

Real Madrid kept looking for the goal but it did not come. Callejón had a chance in the 62nd minute but his weak shot went straight into the hands of the Mexican goalkeeper. The referee again to the forefront and gave Pepe a warning, but was inconsistent with other players. The match entered a tough period and this time the yellow was for Hérculez Gómez following a tangle with Pepe, who was playing tough with the forwards. Callejón failed to score with his shot being saved by Sanchez.

Interestingly, the Whites’ goal finally came from a piece of good fortune. In the 71st minute Benzema shot from inside the area and the goalkeeper’s save hit Khedira in the face of and ended up in the back of Santos’ goal. 2-1 and Khedira’s fortunate goal made the scoreline a fair reflection of the match, as the Mexicans barely created any dangerous chances in the second half. The home team pushed for an equalizer and Quintero had the best chance for his team in the 82nd minute but the Adán came off best the one-on-one with the forward. Madrid controlled the ball and the clock looking for to bring home their second victory in the American tour. The strong heat took its toll on both teams and the scoreboard and did not change. A well earned victory and Real Madrid remain unbeaten on their USA tour.


Stadium: Sam Boyd.
Attendance: 29,300
Goals: 0-1 (13'): Xabi Alonso. 1-1 (25'): Suarez. 1-2 (71'): Khedira.



Ramos: "I'd give the Ballon d'Or to Casillas and Cristiano"

Sergio Ramos attended a press conference at UCLA’s sports facilities after the team’s training session in Los Angeles. One of the Real Madrid’s captains met with the press in California.

Sergio Ramos Preseason 2012
Sergio Ramos

The Spanish defender talked about his desire to start a new season with difficult challenges ahead: “A footballer should always be ambitious and try to win titles every season. We worked really hard last season and now the target is to defend the league title and to start again from scratch humbly".

Asked about the aspects of the team that had improved with regard to last year, Ramos said: “We grow over time, both personally and professionally. In every training session, we understand each other better and we have more confidence thanks to the coach. Mourinho knows the team inside out and gets the best from each player .There are few teams that can counterattack like Real Madrid, and we have improved the team’s level, both in terms of attack and defence”.
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