Real Madrid players list 2012-2013

The distribution of jersey numbers that Real Madrid did officially yesterday puts the focus on two players, Sahin and Carvalho, destined to leave the team in the coming days. The Turkish, who will be loaned to a Premiership team, leaves the number 5 ​​to Coentrao (he wears the shirt number 5 with Portugal) and gets the 15 that had temporarily used the left-back last season. Meanwhile, as seen in the preseason matches, the number 2 jersey will be worn by Varane as substitute of Carvalho (the Portuguese central defender, who continues to train apart waiting to find a way out, has been assigned number 16 left by Altintop). Also on the list are the youth team players Morata and Jesus. Yesterday they worked at Valdebebas with Mourinho and the first team and were not in El Madrigal with Real Madrid Castilla. The forward will use the white shirt number 29 and the goalkeeper will wear the number 35.

Real Madrid jersey 2012-2013

Remains to be known the number that Modric will show when his signing becomes official. Aside from numbers 19 to 25, has been cleared the number 23. An important jersey in the recent history of Real Madrid. It was Beckham who turned it into a fetish number when he came to Madrid in summer 2003. It was ported by Sneijder in his first season (2007/08) and Van der Vaart (2008/09). The last player who wore that number was Özil, until he changed to 10. That is, the last owners of the jersey number 23 have been talent midfielders. As Modric.

Everything indicates that Real Madrid will announce the hiring of Croatian player next week. Mourinho wanted to get the signing before tomorrow's first match of the season, but it will take more. The Portuguese coach will have to wait for closing his squad. In addition, Real Madrid has to close the transfer of players like Sahin and Carvalho.

Update: 01/26/2013

Real Madrid players list

1.- Iker Casillas
2.- Varane
3.- Pepe
4.- Sergio Ramos
5.- F. Coentrao
6.- Khedira
7.- Ronaldo
8.- Kaka
9.- Benzema
10.- Özil
12.- Marcelo
13.- Adan
14.- Xabi Alonso
15.- Essien
16.- Carvalho
17.- Arbeloa
18.- Raul Albiol
19.- Modric
20.- Higuain
21.- Callejon
22.- Di Maria
25.- Diego Lopez
29.- Morata
35.- Jesus Fernandez

Cristiano Ronaldo and Higuain: Valencia is their preferred prey

Real Madrid start the season at the Santiago Bernabeu with the objective of regaining the league title that they won last season against a formidable opponent, Valencia. Two of their forwards have a favourable record against the Valencians. Cristiano Ronaldo and Higuain have managed to score ten goals between them in their last six league matches against them.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Higuain celebrate a goal
Cristiano Ronaldo and Higuain celebrate a goal

The effectiveness of the forwards has helped Real Madrid remain undefeated against Valencia CF in the last three seasons, with a record of five wins and a draw for the Whites since the Madrid strikers began to share the same changing room. Gonzalo “Pipita” Higuain, has scored six goals against Valencia in the last six matches, including a hat-trick in a 6-3 victory at the Mestalla in 2010-11. Meanwhile Cristiano has four goals in five matches.

Of these ten goals, four have been at the Bernabeu Stadium and six at Mestalla, but it is noteworthy that all the goals of the last four matches played in Madrid have come from the boots of the Argentine and the Portuguese, as in 2008-09 Gonzalo Higuain was the scorer in the 1-0 win against Valencia.

In addition, Cristiano Ronaldo and Higuain know what is to score two goals in the same game against Valencia. The Portuguese achieved two goals in the victory of Real Madrid at the Bernabeu in December 2010. And, meanwhile, the Argentinian scored two in the 2-3 away win for the Whites last year, beyond the hat-trick he scored in the 2010-2011 season.

Villareal 2 - 1 RM Castilla (Day 1, 2nd Division)

Real Madrid Castilla wasn't able to earn its first points in the Second Division after only just being defeated on their visit to El Madrigal on the first day of the championship (2-1). Alberto Toril's side deserved more after holding their own well against a team that has just been relegated from the First Division. Jese put the Whites ahead with his penalty shot in the 18th minute but Villarreal staged a comeback with two isolated plays by Cavenaghi. Despite the defeat, the Real Madrid reserve team made a good impression and showed that they're capable of big things in Segunda.

Villareal vs RM Castilla

Castilla came on at El Madrigal with confidence, intent on settling in to the new category as soon as possible. Toril opted for nine players from the squad that achieved their promotion along with new players Fabinho and Mateos for the first line-up of the season. After a few minutes sizing up their rivals, Jesé led the first forays into the home team's area. The Canary Islander began the play that led to the first goal on the scoreboard with an opening up the left to involve Tcherychev. This put the ball nicely into the area but Oscar Plano wasn't able to shoot because of a foul from Mellberg and Juan Carlos. Jesé successfully took the penalty in the 18th.

From then on Villarreal charged ahead, looking to even the scores. However, Castilla coordinated their rows to perfection, preventing the local team from approaching Mejías' goal. Only the odd play from Uche put the Whites' advantage in danger. Meanwhile, Toril's side attempted a fast break. It was a still ball that put a draw on the scoreboard. Cavenaghi took advantage of a still ball in the area after his team's corner, beating Mejías during stoppage time.

There were attacks from both sides in the second half with more open football and incursions into both areas. Although Villarreal somewhat dominated possession, Castilla created clearer scoring opportunities. In the 64th Tcherychev, one of the most effective players in offense during the game, put a low shot through to the centre from the left that was close to being finished off by Álex. The first change to the Whites' side came in the 69th when Borja substituted Óscar Plano in order to strengthen the offense.

It was a very even match but Castilla was hit by bad luck. A loss in defence led to the home team's second goal. Cavenaghi collected the ball right outside the box, moved forward and scored Villarreal's victory goal (80'). Toril sought a draw in the last minutes and sent on Lucas and Raúl de Tomás. However, the scoreboard didn't move and Castilla was unable to earn its first points in its debut in the new category.


Stadium: El Madrigal
Attendance: 8,000
Goals: 0-1 Min. 18 Jesé (pen), 1-1 Min.45. Cavenaghi, 2-1 Min. 80 Cavenaghi.



Modric: Real Madrid plans to announce the signing on Monday

Luka Modric is unaccounted from late on yesterday, after he did not appear to work in the afternoon workout with his teammates and the rest of the international players. The player left the game against Switzerland (Wednesday night) without wanting to comment. He traveled with the rest of the Croatian team by bus to the Atrium Hotel in Split and after dinner he joined the table in the hall in which was his family: his father and his mother, sister and several friends. All of them, with the shirt number 10 that Modric looks with his national team.

Modric: Real Madrid plans to announce his signing on Monday
Luka Modric

After half an hour chatting animatedly with his family, the player went to his room, picked up the luggage and all of them went in two cars from the garage towards Zadar, his hometown. It is a relatively short distance. Two hours by road. There, Tottenham lost track of him. He slept in his house and early in the morning took a private plane bound for London, but he did not work with the rest of the Tottenham squad although Villas-Boas awaited him knowing that his move will come true in a few hours.

Real Madrid plans to announce the hiring on Monday. There is already agreement with Tottenham for 30 million euros more five variables according to the targets reached by the Croatian. Now Levy tries to increase the variables while getting a replacement for that position.

Modric will continue training with an individual plan with Tottenham until everything is resolved. Villas-Boas has communicated it to the player as the coach said yesterday: "I ​​do not want the Modric's transfer can disturb the group. Everything is in the hands of presidents. I know that in the last few hours have had several conversations and progress has been made after a period of break. But at the moment is our player until the President tells me otherwise and we hire a replacement. Everything will be fixed soon in the coming hours. We have already contacted with a couple of clubs looking for a replacement". The circle closes. Modric has done everything necessary for his leaving and Real Madrid did the rest. On Monday, the last chapter.

Modric's teammates have already understood that Luka will leave Tottenham. The Croatian player himself has informed them that his decision is irreversible. One of those who expressed their sadness was Defoe who told the British press: "Luka is a fantastic player. We do not know exactly what happened, but this will end as all envision. It will be very hard for us".

Mourinho (Part 3): Improving the unimprovable

Third year of the mandate of Jose Mourinho at Real Madrid, with a structure with little change. In two seasons, the Portuguese coach have shaped the club and the squad according to his manual of style, to the point of just needing some retouching for the new season. In it, after the achievements of the Copa del Rey (Spanish Cup) and the League, the goal to which all Real Madrid fans focus is the Champions League.

But the League is the day to day and the thermometer that will measure the Real Madrid of the records. After a year virtually unbeatable, with record of points and goals, the white team will face again its great rival of the last years, Barcelona. A defeat, a draw or a goal unless its enemy can change the future of a 38-match competition. The duel Cristiano Ronaldo-Messi will travel parallel to this rivalry.

In the absence of knowing whether the white team will strengthen the right-back, the only place in the workforce without two players of guarantees, the arrival of Luka Modric will provide, in principle, rest for Xabi Alonso. Nuri Sahin did not give it him. To be changed in this Mourinho's Real Madrid, the lack of pause. The arrival of Croatian can alleviate this deficiency in some key days, as the Champions League semi-final against Bayern, for example.

Thus, Real Madrid team seems a solid team with no cracks, once convinced Higuain for the cause. His fight with Benzema, the regularity of Özil, Xabi Alonso's physical conditions, Khedira's quality improvement as his companion in the midfield, to control the aggressiveness of Pepe or the weakness on the right-back are the details to build a strong workforce with very clear ideas set by the project manager, Jose Mourinho.

Real Madrid starting lineup 2012-2013
Real Madrid 2012-2013


Luka Modric: Eager to wear the Real Madrid jersey

Luka Modric has prepared his bags and has booked a ticket on a private plane to land in Madrid. It may be in the next few hours, something imminent and only delayed by the problems that Tottenham has suffered in the opened negotiations to sign the Croatian's substitute. The coach, Andre Villas-Boas, continues to give priority to Porto's Portuguese midfielder, Moutinho, and the other option is M'Vila.

Modric with Croatia jersey
Modric playing with Croatia

But between Tottenham and Real Madrid everything is closed. The signings in the documents is the only thing remaining. The player can not hide his impatience to receive the approval of his representative. He lives 'glued' to the phone and his father informs him at all times of how are the negotiations.

Luka Modric is helping and contributing a lot to facilitate his arrival to Real Madrid. Tottenham offered him an amazing salary (5 million euros per season) an amount almost doubles his current salary at Spurs, in an attempt to convince him that to stay in London was the best option. Then came another dizzying offer from France. The Paris Saint-Germain put on the table 40 million euros and 5.3 to the player, but Modric also refused the proposal. His earnings in the white team will not reach the 5 million euros, but Modric takes it for good because his dream is to wear the white jersey.

Yesterday Modric had to wait 65 minutes to fulfill his dream of returning to step on a field in a competitive match (had played the last against Spain on June 18). The crowd was chanting his name before the break, just the time he began a long heating. The field was not in good condition. Stimac, Croatian coach, placed him on the right, with the match 2-3, expecting to get the victory in his debut as coach of Croatia. It could not be. Maybe, Modric will need a few more hours to fulfill his dream of playing for Real Madrid. We will see.


Cristiano Ronaldo: Ten years in the elite

Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates his first decade in the elite. On a day like yesterday, in 2002, wore for the first time the shirt of Sporting of Portugal in an official match. He had debuted days before (he was 17 years old), including great goal, against Betis in a preseason friendly, and Ladislao Bölöni again bet on this young talent against Inter. The Italian team, was more concerned at that time with the fight between its star, Ronaldo, and the coach Hector Cuper.

Cristiano Ronaldo with a golden ball
Cristiano Ronaldo

From the first moment, Cristiano was true to his principles. With his power, his punch and consistency, has overcome obstacles to become one of the most crucial players in history. With clubs and Portuguese national team has played 561 matches and scored 304 goals. In the last three seasons has scored 146 goasl with the shirt of Real Madrid, giving an average of more than 48 goals per season. But there is other figure that reflects his influence: from 2009-10, the white team have added 429 goals in all competitions and Cristiano has been directly involved (in goals and assists) in 42% out of them.

His evolution is a continuous struggle against himself; his statistics show that in the Premier scored a goal every 173 minutes (84 goals in 196 games). In the Spanish league scores every 78 minutes (112 in 101 games). The strange thing is that most of them are one-touch goals. A penalty, a free-kick or the culmination of offensive plays... The best example of his power.

And to celebrate it, Cristiano Ronaldo has been shortlisted for the UEFA Best Player in Europe award for the 2011/12 season. The Real Madrid forward will compete for the title with Barcelona players Andres Iniesta and Lionel Messi. The final decision will be announced on 30th August in Monaco during the draw for the group stage of the Champions League.

The award recognises the efforts of players of any nationality who play in UEFA sanctioned competitions. The selection of the three finalists was made by a jury of 53 journalists from UEFA’s member associations. Among the 32 candidates were seven Whites: Xabi Alonso, Iker Casillas, Coentrao, Pepe, Özil, Ramos and Cristiano Ronaldo. The fourth to tenth positions have been set, leaving Iker Casillas and Mesut Özil with the sixth and tenth places, respectively.

The gala at which the winner will be announced will take place in Monaco on 30th August, coinciding with the draw for the group stage of the Champions League.

Luka Modric: "I want to play football again"

Today is the Modric's day. If all goes well, he could play a match for the first time in a football field since Real Madrid is interested in him. He played his last game against Spain on June 18. Then, in London, he has always worked alone. "I want to play football again, I am excited". So clear was yesterday when his coach Stimac talked him to know his state of mind to play against Switzerland (8:30 pm -CET-). Modric said it not only by the match. He is willing to return because time passes and the start of the Spanish league is close (Real Madrid debuts on Sunday against Valencia).

Modric with some teammates of Croatia
Modric with the Croatian team

Stimac is not yet clear whether this is the best for him. Poljud Stadium turf is not in good condition and there is risk of injury. So yesterday the coach led the team to train in Dugopolje, 20 kilometers from Split. But Modric will be in one of the two different teams that the Croatian coach will use in each period. Remains to be seen if Stimac places him as midfielder to demonstrate his tactic versatility, something that Mourinho likes.

And is that the signing of Luka Modric for Real Madrid is closer to come true. The Croatian coach, Igor Stimac, assured it was closed. He said it casually, in a spontaneous way with the security of the person handling first-hand information because obviously has direct contact with the player: "We know that Modric will play for Real Madrid".

Modric spent yesterday morning confined at the Atrium Hotel, where the harassment of the Spanish press makes to increase the security (he has asked a security officer to accompany him always). Modric was visited by a family member and in the afternoon had to go to an event in the center of Split, where he signed some autographs. The Spanish press approached him again to know how he feels, but it is well coached: look down, mouth shut and wait.

Florentino Perez and Daniel Levy, chairman of Tottenham, are using the pass of the days to set the price of the transfer. The figure (30-32 million euros plus incentives) varies as a function of time, but Modric has made ​​clear that he does not want to play for Tottenham and his only destination is Real Madrid. All parties will end giving up.


Pre-season summary: Real Madrid remains the same

Real Madrid closed the U.S. tour confirming that maintains its weapons led the team to win a historic League. His punching power is unquestionable: white team has score 14 goals in four macthes and in two of them scored 5; against Los Angeles Galaxy and, most surprisingly, against Milan. On the defensive, there has been some sloppiness, but has conceded just three goals, one against the Galaxy, another against Santos Laguna and one against Milan. Against Celtic managed to get a clean net, without giving chances.

Real Madrid (Pre-season 2012-2013)
Real Madrid (Pre-season 2012-2013)

Mourinho has a fully engaged team, which is well known and it plays almost by heart. This allows them to solve some of the matches at half throttle. The ball starts to run the more than the player and Mourinho knows it is better. When analyzing the response of the players, there are some obvious facts. The first, Coentrao will be another year one of the trusted men of Mourinho. He already said in the preseason, but has shown with facts. It is the player that has played more minutes on the tour, although it should be noted that there was not a natural replacement for him because Marcelo was in the Olympics with Brazil.

The other conclusion is that Cristiano Ronaldo remains committed to play until the last minute of a friendly match. It is the second player with more minutes, ahead of Casillas. Another point to consider is the duel Higuain-Benzema. Each one has scored a goal and the coach keeps the doubt: although the most influential match, against Milan, was played by the French, on the other hand was the Argentine who has played more minutes: 26 minutes longer than Karim.

The tour has also confirmed Nacho as the revelation of youth squad players. Without a substitute for Arbeloa on the right side, the defensive player has finished playing in every game and has added 162 minutes. In the duel Varane-Albiol, no doubts. Mourinho insisted for a time to let Albiol aside, but the tour has shown that between the Spanish and the French, who has just been called by his national team, the Spanish has advantage. Albiol is the fifth player who has played more minutes.

Ramos, Alonso and Arbeloa played a very similar range of minutes, like Khedira and Özil. Mourinho has dosed the efforts given that they leave this week to play with their national teams. About Kaka, the coach has demonstrated he is not going to separate the Brazilian player from the team. He has played some minutes but moves into the group of players who will have less chances as Nacho, Granero, Sahin, Morata or Jesse. The others have played more than him. Special mention is the latter, Jesse. The jewel in the youth teams, who scored in his first game, playing only 37 minutes.

However, the man of the tour is Callejon. He has played every game and always at good level. It is without doubt the greatest asset of the Portuguese coach from the bench. Callejon finished as top scorer of the tour with three goals. Again, asks for a place in the starting lineup, but the problem is always the same: who is going to leave the place at the starting team?

Mourinho: "They should call me 'The Only One' "

Jose Mourinho, the Real Madrid coach and manager, said that the nickname by he was known in English football, the 'Special One', should be changed to the 'Only One', after having achieved the English, Italian and Spanish leagues.

Jose Mourinho. The Only One training with Real Madrid
Jose Mourinho, The Only One?

"In England I was known as the 'Special One'. Things have continued to go well for me, thank God, and, whether you like it or not, I am the only coach who has won the English, Italian and Spanish leagues. As such, instead of the 'Special One' they should start to call me the Only One", he said in an interview with the Portuguese TV channel SIC.

Mourinho assures that, with time, after having won practically everything with the clubs that he has managed, he is "becoming less egotistical and egocentric". He remembers his time with Inter Milan with particular fondness: "Making a team like Inter Milan win again, after 50 years, gives me particular pleasure. Those are the challenges I like".

Aged 49 and soon to start his third season with Real Madrid, the Portuguese admits that he likes to win for the pleasure it gives to those around him: "I have always preferred the happiness of others, of those who surround me. That's why winning with Inter was particularly pleasing. These are challenges, not personal goals".

About his beginnings as football coach he said: "I knew I had qualities, but I admit that at first I was very far from imagining where I am, but my career has been progressive. I have not gone from eight to eighty, it was not something radical. Winning the Champions League in Portugal prepared me to go abroad. I went out prepared and in good standing. The richness of my training as a man and as a coach is the result of going from country to country. That has made me a much richer coach".

Mourinho has not tired of winning titles and accumulating personal accolades although he no longer values ​​them as before: "I'm about to turn 50 years old and I feel like I'm early in my coaching career. Being a football coach is difficult. It also means being a good human resource manager. In 2010 I was elected the best coach in the world, in 2011 the second best, now I do not mind the position where I am". "I still hope to continue many years at the highest level, but I also want to enjoy many more things in my life" he finished.


The transfer of Sahin will close this week

The transfer (on loan) of Sahin will close this week. At least that is what Real Madrid wants. The immediate future of the player is in the Premiership. The Arsenal is one that is showing more interest in the Turkish, who is under contract until 2017. In fact, on July 27, the player did not travel to Lisbon to play a friendly against Benfica because the 'gunners' were negotiating. After failing, Sahin traveled with the rest of the team to the U.S. tour, but Wenger still believes in him. "There is interest from many clubs. We will wait", said the player's agent, Reza Fazeli.

Nuri Sahin training with Real Madrid
Nuri Sahin

This operation is independent of Modric's, although Tottenham have been one of the teams that have been interested in the white midfielder. He will be transferred because Mourinho wants the Turkish midfielder to play minutes in a high-level league which is not guaranteed in Madrid. Nuri Sahin is 23 years old and the Portuguese coach does not see him physically and mentally ready to play in the white team. "I try to be honest with Sahin. I think he must go if he has a chance", said the Mourinho after the friendly against Benfica.

Mourinho does not have him for next season. So much so that in the U.S.A. Tour used him as a left back in training and in matches (played 127 minutes in 4 games), not in the midfield position and where he was voted best player in the Bundesliga 2010-11 when Sahin played for Dortmund.

Nuri Sahin did not like this. He wanted to stay and assured it to his environment, but is aware that will have to accept his situation. Turkish midfielder arrived last summer to be the replacement for Xabi Alonso, but due to the injuries and technical decisions, his performance was not good: played 642 minutes in 10 games, 12.2% of the minutes in the season. He could not debut until November 6 against Osasuna. The Portuguese has much faith in his potential and so wants him to accumulate more minutes of high competition. All indications are that it will be at Arsenal.

Modric transfer: The money is not the problem

The Modric's transfer is coming to an end. In recent days, Real Madrid and Tottenham have come very close to reach an economic agreement on the transfer of the Croatian player. To the point that money is no longer a problem for Luka Modric wears the white jersey (the agreement is imminent). The transaction is expected to close around 32 million euros more variables, not the 38 millions that called for a few days ago Daniel Levy, president of the Spurs (he started asking 45 until the PSG, which was the team that offered the amount, retired from bid because they could not convince the player).

Modric could join Real Madrid next week
Modric could join Real Madrid in the next days

The setback that will delay a few days the signing is sporty. Tottenham has a problem. The English club has asked for time to Real Madrid to sign a replacement for the Croatian. The Spurs have started negotiations to recruit the substitute of Luka Modric and do not want to sell a player without another one to play in the squad. Then the Modric's move to the Real Madrid would be official.

The choice of Villas-Boas, manager of Tottenham, is Moutinho. In fact, the coach was in Aveiro on Saturday and saw him at the match Porto vs Academica (Portgual Super Cup, Moutinho played only a minutes in the second half), but Porto requests 40 million euros. Levy is not willing to pay that money and put on the table an alternative: Medo Kamara, Partizan Belgrade midfielder who would cost half. Yesterday, another name joined the list, the Rennes midfielder, M'Vila.

The idea of ​​Mourinho is clear. He wants to close the transfer of Modric before the start of the Spanish league, on Sunday, to have no distraction element and to work with all players to face his third season on the white bench. A day earlier, on Saturday, Tottenham will debut in the Premiership against Newcastle and Villas-Boas also wants to get rid the problem. So, it seems that Modric will be Real Madrid player in the next days.

After the news about the Real Madrid interest in the player, Modric had no doubts: he wanted to land at the Bernabeu. Turned a deaf ear to the interest of PSG, held a telephone conversation with Mourinho and stood firm. After backtrack on his stance of rebellion (he moved to Croatia to force the agreement) and apologize to Daniel Levy, spoke to Villas-Boas and since then, he trains alone, waiting to solve definitely his future.

A scenario that will change in coming days because Modric is set to join today at the training stage of Croatia in Split. Stimac, new national coach, has called him for a match on Wednesday, to play against Switzerland. Modric takes 56 days without a game since June 18, when he faced Spain in the European Championships and was removed (0-1). The Croatian counts the days remaining to play in white, to play with the Real Madrid jersey.


Usain Bolt: "Cristiano Ronaldo is better than Messi"

After running in the Olympics, Usain Bolt has also appeared on the race for the Ballon d'Or. The Jamaican sprinter is clear about who is his favorite to win the prestigious award: "Without question, Cristiano is better than Messi. He is a more complete player", he said flatly to the RTP (Portuguese TV).

Cristiano Ronaldo and Usain Bolt
Cristiano Ronaldo and Usain Bolt

Bolt has never hidden his admiration for the player of Real Madrid, the same that, incidentally, Cristiano Ronaldo feels for the Jamaican. Even, we can say that both have a good friendship, as Bolt himself acknowledges: "Cristiano is fun and a great person".

Therefore, it is no wonder that the legendary sprinter has been campaigning for Cristiano Ronaldo. Bolt does not miss any opportunity to highlight the Portuguese player. He already did it when was chosen by L'Equipe as best athlete of the year in 2009. "I would have given it to Cristiano. He has managed to stay on top and I know that's the most difficult", he said.

But Usain Bolt not only feels admiration for Cristiano, also by Real Madrid. The Jamaican is a renowned white fan. "I have always liked Real Madrid" the Olympic champion confessed several times. In fact, the white team has had several details with one of its most famous fans. In the summer of 2009, the Real Madrid invited Usain Bolt to perform the ceremonial kick-off at the Bernabeu in a game against Deportivo. The Jamaican enjoyed it so much that after the match went down to the grass to play some minutes with Butragueño.

Since then, the paths of Bolt and Real Madrid are crossed every time there is a chance. As in Zagreb last year. The Jamaican disputed a miting in the capital of Croatia and Real Madrid played there the next day a game of the Champions League. Bolt invited all staff to see him in action, but only Florentino Perez could attend, who gave him, after the final of the race, a Cristiano Ronaldo t-shirt signed by the entire squad.

Real Madrid 2 - 0 Celtic Glasgow (Friendly)

Real Madrid ends its US tour with another victory. The Whites have played four matches on American soil and have garnered a host of victories against rivals of various levels. Their time in this country has proved very beneficial and the team leaves with some great impressions. In terms of their preparation, they have achieved their goal of working steadily on their fine tuning and in terms of their brand, Real Madrid continues to grow stronger year after year.

Benzema vs Celtic Glasgow
Benzema scored the second goal

Mourinho used the match against Celtic to continue experimenting. This time Kaká formed part of the starting eleven. The match's unusual kick-off time meant that it was played under tough climatic conditions with high temperatures and suffocating humidity. But there was no alternative. They faced an historic rival, the Scottish Celts, who over the years have continued developing typical British football with intense pressure, verticality and balls in the area. Unlike in their match against Milan, the Whites didn't go on as charged up, but their seriousness and focus was enough for them to dominate the Scotts. In the 16th Ronaldo tried his luck from outside the area but his shot went just a little wide. Little by little Real Madrid got into the game and in the 18th Kaká almost scored the first goal, but his shot from inside the area was cleared by Zaluska.

In the 21st Callejón, top goal-scorer of the Whites' pre-season with five goals, was going to make it 1-0. Higuaín positioned himself before the Scottish goal, the academy player received the ball and with great cunning he lifted it and pushed it into goal. Cristiano Ronaldo almost scored their second goal in the 31st but Zaluska kicked his shot clear. For their part, Celtic never created any clear danger. None at all. Zero offense. It wasn't a fast-paced game and both Madrid and Celtic seemed happy with their performances on the pitch going into half-time.

The second half started off with three changes in the line-up. Casillas, Benzema and Granero came on for Adán, Khedira and Kaká. In addition, Mourinho took the opportunity to introduce a tactical change and began playing with two strikers. The match continued moving along the same lines. Real Madrid maintained control and Celtic tried to lock down their goal. The Scotts, alerted by the goal-fest against Milan, didn't want to go through the same even though it was a friendly and they took all the defensive precautions possible. The simply forgot about attacking.

In the 52nd Benzema almost made it 2-0 after a great move by Ronaldo but he just missed finishing off the Portuguese player's fantastic shot. In the 57th Ramos, Ronaldo, Arbeloa, Callejón and Alonso went off for Özil, Nacho, Varane, Lass and Di María. In the 65th Coentrão was about to score the second goal but his shot from inside the area was cleared by a defender, provoking a corner. Real Madrid continued creating opportunities at the Celtic goal. In the 67th Benzema was about to score the goal that would decide the match. Özil played a great through ball to the French player who collected it in the area and slipped his shot into goal. 2-0 to Real Madrid. The French player debuted this pre-season as a Whites scorer.

With the win assured, Mourinho took off Higuaín and Coentrão and put on Morata and Sahin in the 70th. The big scare of the match took place in the 72nd. McGeough fell flat after a collision with Sahin. There were several anxious moments but, fortunately, the Scottish player started moving, although he had to be taken off in a stretcher after being attended on the turf for five minutes. The scare over the Scottish player cooled the match down further and the final minutes were just a technicality for both teams. That said, Di María almost made it 3-0 to Madrid in the 83rd but his shot went just a little wide when he sought out the Glaswegians goal. Two minutes later he tried it with a rabona but Zaluska cleared the ball. The Whites played a serious and solid game and took away their fouth and final victory of the US tour. Mourinho's team return to Madrid with their homework done, ready for the beginning of the official competition on Sunday 19 against Valencia in the Bernabéu. The best is on its way.


Stadium: Lincoln Financial Field
Attendance: 34,018
Goals: 0-1 (21'): Callejon. 0-2 (66'): Benzema

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