Florentino Perez's Galactics: The 11th is coming

First came Luis Figo, then Zinedine Zidane. Then Ronaldo, after that David Beckham. The fifth was Michael Owen. Then the new era started with Kaka, who was followed by Cristiano Ronaldo the same season. Then came Karim Benzema, and then Mesut Özil. Next-to-the last on this list is Luka Modric, and this year it could be the turn of Gareth Bale.

Gareth Bale: Florentino Perez's next target

Real Madrid president Florentino Perez wants Gareth Bale to wear the number 11 on the back of his Real Madrid shirt, but of course for this to come to pass, he is going to have to roll up his sleeves to negotiate with Levy, and part with a hefty fistful of millions of euros.


New look for the Bernabeu Stadium to reap financial rewards

Florentino Perez does not just want to turn the Santiago Bernabeu stadium into an architectural landmark. He also wants it to be the club's main source of income. Outside, a nice stadium. Inside, a big business. Because Real Madrid is hoping to rake in an extra 120 million euros a year by taking full advantage of the new-look Bernabeu. It is estimated that the club will get 60 million euros for its property side of the business – revenue generated by the multiple incorporated businesses - and a similar figure from intangible sales.

Bernabeu Stadium's future
Florentino Perez wants a new Santiago Bernabeu Stadium

The club currently receives around 160 million euros a season for operations at the stadium, but this includes ticket sales and season-tickets, and does not form part of the new budget. The club currently survives largely thanks to revenue from TV rights, which will decrease in the future, placing greater emphasis on extra income.

The club wants to follow the Madison Square Garden model in order to take full financial advantage of the football ground and the new plan was inspired by the New York stadium. There will be a gallery of shops and businesses of all kinds around the stadium. The clubs wants fans to be able to enter the complex without the need to leave to buy anything, even though fans may go in hours before kick-off. The Bernabeu stadium will welcome all types of businesses, including betting companies.

Hence the importance of reforming the Bernabeu to find new revenue streams. Real Madrid needs a new stadium concept to play football and make money, not only on game days, but throughout the week. It's delve into what's already there, but with a much stronger infrastructure. It's about turning the Real Madrid 'Coliseum' into the most important club's revenue source and not depend on others.


Florentino Perez: To negotiate Bale's signing

The chances of Gareth Bale becoming Real Madrid's latest 'Galactic' hinge on Florentino Perez. The Real Madrid president believes that the club is the promised land for the top players and knows that there is no hotter property on the market right now than the Welsh player. For this reason, Florentino is going to personally oversee the negotiations to sign the Welshman, as he has done with the rest of the 'Galactics' since he first took up office in 2000.

Gareth Bale
Gareth Bale

Florentino Perez has done nothing to play down the club's interest in Bale when speaking to the media, insisting: "He's one of the best players in Europe and Real Madrid is always interested in the best". Nevertheless, despite this admission, the Real president has also stressed that the club is eager not to upset Tottenham, whose chairman he knows well. "I met the Tottenham president, Daniel Levy, last year, and he has a duty to protect his interests", Perez recently stated.

Cavani's mother: "Edinson is talking to Real Madrid"

In recent days, Edinson Cavani has revealed that he is talking to other clubs, despite being under contract with Serie A side Napoli. Now, his mother has given an interview on Uruguayan radio in which she has named the teams that her son is in contact with: Real Madrid and Manchester City.

Edinson Cavani and his mother (Berta Gomez) at a restaurant
Edinson Cavani and his mother (Berta Gomez)

“Edi is talking to Madrid and City,” said Berta Gomez, who regularly speaks to the media about her son. She then went on to suggest that Chelsea – under former Real Madrid coach Joe Mourinho – are trailing in the race for the player’s signature. “The Napoli president, Aurelio De Laurentiis, has spoken to Chelsea but there’s nothing concrete.”


Enzo Zidane to play for Real Madrid Under-18

The Zidane dynasty is very much on the up. Enzo, Zizou's oldest son, is following in his father's golden footsteps and is set to represent Real Madrid's under-18s ('Juvenil A') next season, the last waypoint before making the leap into senior football. The starlet, who just turned 18, is coming off a fine campaign in Fernando Morientes' championship-winning under-17s ('Juvenil B').

Enzo Zidane with Real Madrid jersey
Enzo Zidane

This season he has been one of the most valuable players, playing both as a midfielder as playmaker, as did the great Zinedine Zidane in his longed time. When not in France completing his coaching badges, Zidane Sr. has barely missed a 'Juvenil B' game in which his chip off the old block has featured. It is worth remembering that Enzo's younger brothers, Luca and Theo, are also on Real Madrid's youth teams.


Luis Suarez: "Every player wants to play for big teams and Real Madrid is a big team"

Luis Suarez has once again made it clear that he wants to leave the Premier League in the summer and continues to endear himself to Real Madrid. In an interview with the Uruguay media, the striker assured: "Every player wants to play for a big team and Real Madrid is a big team." Suarez stressed that Real Madrid was his ‘dream’ destination but insisted he had not received any offer from Real Madird.

Luis Suarez playing for Uruguay national team
Luis Suarez

The Liverpool striker said: “I don’t know if I will become a Real Madrid player, the only thing I know is that I have a contract. Every player would like to play for a huge team, and Real Madrid is a huge team. Every player wants to reach the top and Real Madrid is one of the top clubs, but everything that has been said so far is just speculation, I haven’t received any concrete offers.”

Florentino Perez and Zidane: Meeting to begin a new era

This Wednesday, Forentino Perez and Zinedine Zidane have scheduled an important meeting to decide Real Madrid's sporting future. This meeting will not only decide the future role of the former player, but they will also cover other vitally important matters, such as the composition of the 2013-14 squad.

Florentino Perez and Zinedine Zidane attending a meeting
Florentino Perez and Zinedine Zidane

Florentino and Zidane will meet to breathe life into Real Madrid's new project, which will undoubtedly revolve around the legendary former Real Madrid player, although the specific role he will play is still unknown. The club would prefer him to spend the majority of his time in its offices, whereas Zizou himself would prefer to spend more time out on the training field, especially if, as seems most likely just now, Carlo Ancelotti is the man chosen to take the reins of the first team.

And this is a team that still needs to be given a shape. The basic idea is that the side will be built around Cristiano Ronaldo, but the bigger picture still has to develop over time if Madrid hopes to return to title-winning ways. There are currently several names on the table, such as Gareth Bale, Luis Suárez or Cavani as potential reinforcements for the front line. And there is also another important area that needs to be taken into consideration - namely the players on their way out, with it now looking certain that Higuaín's days as a Real player are numbered.


Real Madrid 2 - 1 Juventus (Heart Classic Match 2013)

The fourth running of the Classic Match was a nice spectacle once again. The terraces in Santiago Bernabeu Stadium were yet again filled to bear witness this now traditional event for Real Madrid fans. The football played out on the turf in the Whites’ stadium did not disappoint and Real Madrid’s and Juventus’ former players showed off the quality that earned them all kinds of accolades throughout their playing careers. Figo broke the deadlock after six minutes by scoring from the edge of the area. In the second half there were two more goals. Montero equalised on 67 minutes and Ivan Perez decided the match in the 72nd. Cannavaro and Zidane added some fun to the occasion by playing with both teams.

Real Madrid vs Juventus players official photo Heart Classic Match 2013
Real Madrid vs Juventus. Heart Classic Match 2013

The spectators gathered at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium enjoyed a unique spectacle: the Classic Match 2013 Veracruz. And, as in the previous three runnings, goals and solidarity played a prominent role. In fact, it took only six minutes for the first goal to arrive. Zidane connected with Figo and the Portuguese hit a low shot from the edge of the box which beat Tacconi. The match was not lacking the quality pieces of skill that Figo, Zidane, Roberto Carlos, Redondo, Davids, Nedved, Torricelli all possess ... back-heels, spectacular control and fantasy-world passes lifted the fans from their seats. There were no more goals in the first half, despite the countless chances that both teams had.

The second half was much like the first. Real Madrid, with Cannavaro in their ranks, dominated possession of the ball and had the clearer chances, but their opponents defended officiously and tried to play on the counter. The equaliser came following a nice one-two between Amoruso and Montero on the 67th minute. There were more than 20 minutes left, but it only took five for the Whites to regain the lead. Ivan Perez and Butragueno, who had only just entered the field of play, created the move. The first was the scorer and the second executed the measured pass for the assist. Cannavaro and Zidane added some fun to the occasion by playing with both teams in a match which saw three goals, lots of special moments of quality and even Butragueno's amazing header against the crossbar. It was what the occasion deserved.


Stadium: Santiago Bernabeu
Attendance: 70,000
Goals: 1-0 min.6 Figo; 1-1 min.67 Montero; 2-1 min.72 Ivan Perez.


Real Fan: Your face in a Real Madrid shirt

Real Madrid fans will receive one of the best news that white team can give them. The club and Adidas, one of its main sponsors, will launch a campaign to have the faces of the fans may appear in the numbers of the players. It will be in a match of the next season 2013/2014.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Sergio Ramos with the new Real Madrid shirt 2013/2014
Cristiano Ronaldo and Sergio Ramos with the new Real Madrid shirt 2013/2014

The campaign is called Real Fan. All those fans who upload their photo with the new shirt in www.realmadrid.com/adidas will appear in the back of the players' shirts. It is another form to get loyalty of the millions of fans who follow the team Real Madrid and buy the official clothing. Thus, the club and the sponsor want to reward all those fans who buy this shirt.

Cristiano Ronaldo's renewal: In the bag?

Cristiano Ronaldo is on the brink of renewing his contract with Real Madrid. His current contract runs until 2015 and the deal on the table would see this extended until 2018, according to Spanish media. Even though the Portuguese newspaper 'A Bola' ran a story this past Tuesday that Real Madrid's star player was not planning to renew his contract, which would allow him to move on to another European club for free in 2015, some Spanish newspapers see the situation quite differently, and claim that his contract renewal is basically a done deal.

 Portugal's forward Cristiano Ronaldo reacts during the World Cup 2014 qualifier football match Portugal vs Russia at Luz Stadium in Lisbon on June 7, 2013
Cristiano Ronaldo

Over and above a salary increase, Cristiano Ronaldo's contract would also include bonuses tied to certain achievements such as scoring goals, winning titles and winning the Ballon d'Or. Marca newspaper added that negotiations are at an advanced stage and that the main point of conflict is the distribution of income for image rights.


Bernabeu Trophy 2013: Raul comes home

The dream is now a reality. Soon we will see as Raul comes back to the Bernabeu stadium. According to reports in Spanish media, Al-Sadd team of Qatar will definitely be the next guest opponent team for the Bernabeu Trophy. The date will be between 19 and 20 August. On Wednesday 21 is disposed to be day of qualifying rounds of the UEFA Champions League and it is not allowed to play other games. The agreement was reached after several days of talks, triggered after the Real Madrid defeat in the Spanihs Cup final that opened some dates of the white pre-season because Madrid will not play the 2013 Spanish Super Cup.

Raul, the great Real Madrid captain, along with all his trophies.
Raul (Madrid, July 26, 2010) along with all his conquests.

Raul has been instrumental in this agreement, a good new for thousands of Real Madrid fans (some of them have already got their tickets to go to Gelsenkirchen on July 27, the second tribute that will make Schalke). The eternal Real Madrid captain was always informed about this possibility and asked the leaders in the Qatari team (still has one year left on his contract with them) for playing in the Bernabeu stadium.

Chase for Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo’s contract renovation not only has Real Madrid on high alert but also several of the world’s richest clubs. Manchester United, Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain and Monaco are dreaming of landing the Portuguese forward when his contract comes to an end in June 2015. Particularly keen are Dimitry Rybolovlev’s Monaco, who see Cristiano Ronaldo as the ideal addition to a squad which already features Radamel Falcao, Moutinho, James Rodriguez and Carvalho.

Cristiano Ronaldo training with Portugal national team
Cristiano Ronaldo

All four clubs are prepared to offer the player a signing on fee of 60 million euros together with an annual salary of 23 million euros and allowing him complete control of his own image rights (at the moment, Real Madrid retains 40%). That would make Cristiano the world’s best paid player which Florentino has also promised to do by offering him a contract extension although with a far inferior proposal: 15 million euros net per season (five million more than he earns at the moment) plus performance-related bonuses. Real Madrid President never tires of stating that the big danger facing football today is the money being bandied around by sheikhs and multimillionaire Russians and it is precisely these rivals who the president is up against in his bid to keep Cristiano at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium.

The Portuguese ace resents the fact that during his four years at the capital club, he has not been approached once above renewed terms while Barcelona have boosted Messi’s pay packet six times. Right now, Cristiano Ronaldo is in no rush to reach an agreement. But he feels aggrieved that the issue has been left to this late stage and worse, that Real Madrid’s priority seemed to be securing the transfer of Neymar, an operation which Florentino told Spansih media would cost in the region of 150 million euros.


Xabi Alonso will fulfil his contract

Real Madrid fans have a few things on their minds at the moment: the necessary and much-desired extension of Cristiano Ronaldo’s deal at Real Madrid, the appointment of a new coach and the signing of Gareth Bale. However, one concern has been dealt with: some Spanish media have learnt that Xabi Alonso has decided to fulfil his current contract at Madrid (which runs out on 30 June 2014) and is prepared to sit down with the club to negotiate a renewal, thought likely to run until 2016.

Xabi Alonso in a Real Madrid presentation
Xabi Alonso

In recent months, the Basque player has been dogged by a pelvic injury which has reduced his usual on-field influence. In February, he had a meeting with coach Jose Mourinho and since then has undergone a recovery process that has allowed him to play only in the key Champions League matches, the odd Spanish League encounter and the Spanish Cup final. This permitted him to feature against Borussia Dortmund in the semi-final of Europe’s top club competition, as well as against Atletico Madrid. But he was a shadow of the splendid Xabi Alonso who was the fulcrum of a side that won the Spanish League with two records; 121 goals and 100 points.


Florentino Perez: Re-elected Real Madrid President

Florentino Perez has taken office as President of Real Madrid in a ceremony held in the Directors’ Box at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium. In his acceptance speech, the re-elected chief executive of the White club underlined that: “The future is already here and I want more. You have my word that we are going to strive to achieve those greater heights. Our members deserve our utmost efforts and total commitment from everyone at the club. We will make these possible thanks to our unity in strength. Together we will experience new triumphs and we will rise to new heights. We will work together because together we will win”.

Florentino Perez in the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium
Florentino Perez

Jose Maria Paz, President of the Electoral Board of Real Madrid, was the first to speak and announced: "As only one candidate was presented and accepted by this Electoral Board and in accordance with article 40 e) section 2 of the current Articles of Association of the Club, I hereby proclaim Florentino Perez the duly elected President”.

Real Madrid is angry with Gonzalo Higuain

"I go. I want a change of scenery" were the Higuain's statements just after beating Osasuna in the final match of the season of Real Madrid. Argentinian's statements ran like wildfire and reached the office area of the Santiago Bernabeu stadium. It was like a shot. 'Pipita' made public his desire to leave the white team something that was an open secret, but the club has not liked anything. "It is the wrong strategy. He is a player with contract so we expect the father of the player or his agent give us an explanation," some said from the club.

Higuain leaving the Real Madrid
Gonzalo Higuain

In Real Madrid, some people understand that Higuain has tried to force the situation, speed up negotiations to resolve his future as soon as possible. But the club has decided that is not going to give him away. Real Madrid would have preferred to take the situation more discretion but Higuain has set himself on the market and white club believes that he has done wrong. The truth is that Higuain is experiencing difficult times. Against Osasuna, in his last game for Madrid, did not celebrate the goal he scored, like a week before against Real Sociedad. Gonzalo Higuain has not had the desired farewell what he deserved after seven years in the white team.


Dani Carvajal comes back to Real Madrid

Real Madrid officially announced on the offcial website the Dani Carvajal's return to Real Madrid for the 2013-14 season. The white club saved a repurchase option for the first three years after selling the player, last season, to Bayer Leverkusen for 5 million euros. Real Madrid will now take the re-purchase option and pay 6.5 million euros.

Dani Carvajal smiles
Daniel Carvajal

"The former young squad player returns to the club in which he was formed after having an excellent season with Bayer Leverkusen and be elected best right back in the Bundesliga. U-21 Spanish International, Carvajal is a player with a great ride, good defender who joins the attack easily (scored a goal and gave seven assists in the German championship). Among his qualities highlights his ability to work, privileged physical and speed" says the statement from Real Madrid.


Real Madrid 4 - 2 Osasuna (Spanish League, Day 38)

Pleasant spectacle at the Bernabeu to bring the season to a close. Real Madrid won against Osasuna and ended the season as the only team in the big European leagues that has not lost a home match. Higuain, who scored the Whites’ 100th league goal of the season, opened the scoring and Essien scored the second before the break. The visitors equalised after the break with goals from Roberto Torres and Cejudo, but Benzema put Real Madrid back in front and Callejon, following a spectacular run of more than 20 metres by Higuain, put the finishing touches to an exciting match in which academy players Omar and Llorente made their debuts.

Higuain says goodbye to the Bernabeu
End of cycle with a win

Real Madrid brought down the curtain on the season with the intention of finishing the campaign as the only team in the big European leagues to have not lost a single home match. At least that is what the start of the match showed. The Whites dominated possession, although the first opportunity fell to Osasuna. A headed shot by Llorente and extraordinary response from Jesus. The full-stretch save by the Whites’ academy player earned him the crowd’s applause on 14 minutes and his team reacted, having scored twice and having had, at least, six chances to increase the scoreline in the following half hour.


Suarez hopes Real Madrid will pick him to bolster the attack

Liverpool are preparing for Luis Suarez’s inevitable departure. They have done everything in their power, they say, to convince the player to stay in Merseyside, but he wants to take a competitive and geographic leap. Suarez wants to win league titles and compete in Europe at the highest level (Liverpool finished seventh in the Premier League last season).

Luis Suarez's rabona
Luis Suarez playing for Liverpool

Suarez feels very comfortable at Liverpool, who have treated him as their big star and have supported him during tough times, but life in England is not ideal for his family. They are having trouble mastering the language and are spending a lot of time at home, as Liverpool does not offer many recreational options if you are a footballer.

Gareth Bale: No transfer without agreement with Tottenham

Gareth Bale has gone on vacation (his representatives and Villas-Boas too) with the feeling that nothing is going to happen soon, that his moves are going to turn in the saga of this summer and that the outcome is uncertain. Real Madrid, or the binomial Florentino-Zidane, have identified him as the primary objective for next season. There is no player on the market more decisive and more expensive. Tottenham did not want to sell (Bale is actually not in the market) and chairman Daniel Levy has told it Villas-Boas.

Bale moves in white
Gareth Bale

A meeting scheduled this week between representatives of the Welsh footballer and the institution has been left for the next month. The idea is that the club sets a price: some speak of 90 million euros, but six months ago was known that Tottenham thought about 50 millions. That was before Bale became, without a doubt, the best player of the Premier.


Real Sociedad 3 - 3 Real Madrid (Spanish League, Day 37)

Real Madrid drew in Anoeta against Real Sociedad, who were fighting for a spot in next season’s European Cup, in their last official away match of the season. The Whites took advantage of the chances that they created and completed a great display of efficiency against a team that never gave up in front of a crowd that were fully behind their team. Higuain cleverly took advantage of Mikel Gonzalez’s mistake and gave the Whites the lead with a shot into the far corner in the 6th minute and then, in the second half, Callejon, with a subtle back-heel, increased the lead. Xabi Prieto pulled one back with a penalty before Griezmann equalised the match twelve minutes before full-time. But just as the home crowd were putting on more pressure, Khedira’s amazing individual move in which he linked with Ozil was finished with a nice chip to beat Bravo. In added time and the very last play, Xabi Prieto levelled the match despite the great display from Diego Lopez.

Real Madrid missed out on the win in last second

Real Madrid played their last official away match of the season against Real Sociedad. The home team were not going to make it easy. In fact, they needed the win to get closer to their aim of Champions League football next season. Despite that, the Whites responded to the continuous home support by putting themselves ahead in Anoeta with their first shot on goal. Higuain cleverly took advantage of Mikel Gonzalez’s mistake to beat Bravo with a shot into the far corner in a one-on-one. Only six minutes had passed before the Whites went ahead on the scoreboard.


Real Madrid Shirts: 2013-2014

They have come to light the Real Madrid jerseys for next season 2013-2014. The first kit will keep the traditional white, but with orange trim at the neck, sleeves and sides. This jersey has a resemblance to the current away kit of Bayern Munchen, also white with orange trims in collar and cuffs.

Real Madrid white shirt for the 2013-2014 season
Real Madrid Home Kit (2013-2014)


Real Madrid 1 - 2 Atletico Madrid (2013 Spanish Cup Final)

It was not to be. Finals are often decided on the finer details and all of them went against Real Madrid. Three shots against the woodwork and a shot blocked by Juanfran on the line took the match to extra time following the first half in which Cristiano Ronaldo put the Whites ahead and Diego Costa levelled the match. Five minutes before the end of the first half of extra time a goal from Miranda gave Atletico the win. The chances that continued to come Real Madrid’s way, some of them whilst playing a man down following Cristiano Ronaldo’s sending off in the 109th minute did not produce the result that the team deserved, both for how they played and the opportunities that they created, and instead hit the post or were stopped by an inspired Courtois.

ball on the Real Madrid's net
Football was unfair on Real Madrid

Real Madrid and Atletico fought for the last title of the season in Spain. They did so in the stadium which has hosted the most Copa del Rey finals. A unique setting for a top level derby. The Whites started the match dominating possession and with a suffocating press that prevented Atletico playing the ball out of the back. In fact, as soon as Atletico took the kick-off Real Madrid won the ball and then went on to have about two minutes of possession that could only be broken down with fouls. It was no wonder then that the first shot on goal came from the team that were playing as the home side. Cristiano Ronaldo's shot was took a deflection off of a defender but Courtois made the stop without any problems in the 5th minute.


Carvajal: "I want to return to Real Madrid"

Daniel Carvajal, Bayer Leverkusen's right side and former player of Real Madrid Castilla, has already taken the necessary step to return to Madrid: "I depend on their decision, but my desire is to return. I grew up there and for me is the best club in the world. It's my home," he said.

Carvajal playing for Leverkusen
Dani Carvajal

To date, there is no official information or confirmation from Real Madrid, that will have to pay just over 6 million to Bayer Leverkusen if they want to recover the footballer: "Nobody from Real Madrid has talked to me and I have not said anything. When the season is over, will be time to think in the next year."

However, the Spaniard thinks that play a year more in Germany would be a great thing: "I feel at home. Bayer people are great and my adaptation has been very good. Moreover, we have achieved a great season, getting a place to play the Champions League the next season."

For Real Madrid, the signing of a right side seems a priority for the next year. Essien will go back to Chelsea, Arbeloa is not at his best and Sergio Ramos has shown that his true position is center. With all the data, re-signing Carvajal seems to be the best option.


PSG's counter-attack: Cristiano Ronaldo

Florentino Perez, in his eagerness to sign Ancelotti as Mourinho's replacement for next season, has gotten into marshy ground with the owner of PSG, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani. As reported yesterday the newspaper L'Equipe, the prince and future Emir of Qatar has sent a message to the white president; would agree to talk about Ancelotti, who still has one year left on his contract with the French club, if Real Madrid negotiates the sale of Cristiano Ronaldo.

Ancelotti, alongside Al-Thani, owner of PSG and future Emir of Qatar

The heir to the throne of Qatar was upset with the call of the white club's general director Jose Angel Sanchez to the PSG president, Nasser Al-Khelaifi, asking to speak to Ancelotti. He resists the idea of leaving to go the coach and aims to harness the efforts of Florentino to sign Cristiano Ronaldo, the great dream of sheikh, already tempted on more than one occasion.


Spanish Cup Final: Cristiano Ronaldo does not fail in finals

Atletico de Madrid has always been a dangerous team in the finals and more in recent years, since Falcao plays in the red-white ranks. But Real Madrid can boast a player at least as reliable as the Colombian striker. Cristiano Ronaldo, a player who uses to be decisive in that kind of games. So much so that nine years ago he played his first major final (with a defeat) in which he scored. It was with Portugal against Greece at Euro 2004.

Cristiano Ronaldo holding the Spanish Cup Trophy 2011
Cristiano Ronaldo with the Spanish Cup trophy (2011)

That was the first big disappointment of Ronaldo in the football world, but that year he had met the friendly face of high competition. With Manchester United in his first season, won the FA Cup beating Milwall in the final. The Portuguese opened the scoring in a game his team won 3-0.


Gareth Bale: Tottenham negotiates from 80 million euros

Tottenham knows that will be difficult to retain Gareth Bale if the team fails to qualify for the next Champions League. For now, the 'Spurs' team is on the fourth position with a two points distance with Arsenal, but the 'Gunners' with two matches remaining and Tottenham only one. Villas-Boas has already expressed in all the ways the need to renew the player; Bale's contract ends in 2016 (witha a salary of 4.5 million euros a season). In the Premier there are no termination clauses and chairman Daniel Levy is a tough negotiator. Real Madrid knows this because white team had to pay 30 million euros for Modric in the last minute of the past summer market.

Gareth Bale
Gareth Bale

In the English press has emerged that Tottenham will not sale Gareth Bale for less than 80 million euros. That's the starting price for which will have to negotiate. The 23 year old Welsh was recently voted best player of the season in the Premier by the players union. He has scored 20 goals in the league, only behind Luis Suarez (23) and Van Persie (25). Only Bale's decision to order the Transfer Request, a gesture not binding legally that would force Tottenham to negotiate, could down the price of the operation. In Real Madrid there is the belief that will have to make a payment similar to Neymar's termination clause of 70 million euros.

Bale is being followed by Zinedine Zidane. Even some of his statements appeared in France setting the price of the player at 65 million euros. He added: "There are few players like him. I am impressed, he is one of the best". Bale is a fast lefty. Villas-Boas has often placed him on the left wing but he also played many matches as second forward to take advantage of his shot. In Real Madrid, he would play on the right. But this is only an assumption.

Carlo Ancelotti to leave PSG

Carlo Ancelotti has decided to leave the PSG and in the next 48 hours will communicate it to Nasser Al-Khelaifi. The Italian coach was deliberately ambiguous in his statements after winning the French Ligue 1 on Sunday in Lyon: "Now I will speak with PSG about the future, calm and quiet." He did not want to be the central figure in a night of happiness for Parisian fans, French champions after 19 years of drought. Yesterday, during the parade through Paris, said nothing except to dedicate the title to Nick Broad, one of his assistants who died in an accident in January.

Carlo Ancelotti celebrating the French League Title with PSG
Carlo Ancelotti

But his decision to leave PSG is firm. Although Ancelotti has a right relationship with Al-Khelaifi and Leonardo (sporting director and his former player), the coach does not forget the first attempt to fire him last December 1 after losing in Nice (2-1). It was the third straight loss. Before, the team lost against Saint-Etienne (removal in French Cup) and Rennes. The team had dropped to fourth place, five points behind Lyon. Nerves broke and Ancelotti's dismissal was almost sealed. Leonardo would lead the team until the end of the season.


Real Madrid's transfer market: 40 million euros for Rooney

Wayne Rooney has asked Sir Alex Ferguson and Manchester United to facilitate his leaving, but the English team opposes and has tried to convince him. It seems that the striker's decision is non-negotiable and firm. It also affects that his relationship with David Moyes, new Manchester United manager, is not very friendly, although the coach was who gave him the opportunity to compete in the Premiership with 16 years in the ranks of Everton.

Rooney and Ferguson celebrating the Premiership Championship
Rooney and Ferguson celebrating the Premiership Championship

"We declined that idea. I think he should think about it better. He's angry because he was substituted sometimes this season and has not played as much as he would like," he said yesterday Alex Ferguson on Rooney situation. The Scot, on the day of his departure as coach of United, ended by saying that the final decision will be taken by the player and Moyes.

So, today in England claim that Real Madrid's president, Florentino Perez, met in secret in recent weeks with the Manchester United's chief executive, David Gill, for negotiating the transfer of the player. Real Madrid would be willing to offer up to 40 million euros. The Red Devils intention is to bring positions facing the possibility of trying to buy back Cristiano Ronaldo, an option that the white team rules out absolutely.

Nasser Al-Khelaifi: PSG owner asks for respect

Nasser Al-Khelaifi, the owner of PSG, is upset by the Real Madrid's intention of signing the coach Carlo Ancelotti and asked the white club respect in an interview with L'Equipe newspaper (it will be published tomorrow). "I told the Real Madrid 'respect us'. If Carlo leaves the team, it will be a problem. Few days ago, the general direct of Real Madrid, Jose Angel Sanchez, called me to ask for him" revealed the Qatari Sheikh.

Nasser Al-Khelaifi with Carlo Ancelotti

The Parisian club president was blunt about the mode of action of the white club and said his intention is to fulfill the contract signed by Carlo Ancelotti. "I said, 'If you try to sign Carlo, you must know that he has a year of contract ahead with us. So please respect us, respect the contract. We respect all clubs and expect the same treatment. We currently do not have the importance of Real Madrid, but that does not mean we do not deserve the same respect. And he (Jose Angel Sanchez) said he thought Carlo's contract ends this season and would consider it."

In that vein, the French club owner was optimistic and confident that Ancelotti will remain at the forefront of the team next season. "We want him to continue. Everyone is delighted with him; players, fans ... I love him too. I supported him since he came and I will support him to his last day here. I'm optimistic in this regard," he said.

The Italian coach won yesterday the Ligue 1 (French Football League) after 19 years of PSG's drought. "The PSG will continue to win, I also ... It is not the time to discuss my future, during the celebration. I will speak to the club at the end of season," said the Real Madrid's favorite coach to replace Mourinho.


Espanyol 1 - 1 Real Madrid (Spanish League, Day 35)

Real Madrid, who are unbeaten in their last four visits to the Cornella-El Prat Stadium, drew with Espanyol in what was their fourteenth consecutive unbeaten league match (12 wins and 2 draws). The match started badly. Varane's injury and Stuani’s goal following a corner, made things tough for Real Madrid, but Higuain, who continues his good scoring record against the Catalans, scored in the second half for a share of the points six days before the Copa del Rey final against Atletico.

Espanyol players celebrate a goal against Real Madrid
Real Madrid said goodbye to the Spanish League

Real Madrid came into the match against Espanyol with the clear goal of getting their seventh consecutive win in the championship and prolonging their romance with the Cornella-El Prat, in which they have won on their previous three visits. The start of the match was not very promising. First came Varane's injury in the 17th minute whilst challenging for the ball against Wakaso and six minutes later came Stuani’s goal, which made things even more difficult for the visitors. It could have been worse had it not been for the reflexes of Diego Lopez, who prevented the Uruguayan striker’s second in a clear one-on-one as the match was approaching the half hour mark.


Real Madrid Pre-season 2013-2014

Real Madrid has already planned the next summer pre-season, which will be very similar to that of 2012, and the United States will be again the country where the white team will spend more time. Despite not knowing who will be the coach of the white squad from June. In order to plan quickly 2013-14 campaign, the club has already closed all the details of the first team pre-season because does not want to lose time.

Real Madrid Pre-season 2013-2014

Like last summer, the United States will be the core of the pre-season  2013-2014 and Real Madrid will play four friendlies in American soil. However, as happened in 2012, the team will not visit Asia, a destination that had been customary in the white pre-seasons and where the people are unconditional fans. In 2013 they will not enjoy the Real Madrid players.


Zinedine Zidane: Ready for the new Florentino Perez's project

Zinedine Zidane is ready for the new Florentino Perez's project. The Frenchman ends next week the training course called 'General Manager of Sport Organizations', following two years preparing in Limoges and Paris. Zizou will have fulfilled one of the goals he set out to enrich his skills in the management of sports clubs, where he had specialized courses in professional sports economics, marketing and communication. In addition to his experience as an elite footballer, the former Real Madrid player wants to obtain this diploma certifying his expertise not only in football grounds but also in offices. We talked about other areas where contracts come into play with the representatives of the players and intermediaries.

Zidane talks with Florentino Perez
Zinedine Zidane and Florentino Perez

At the conclusion of this season Zidane will think about his future. While his true vocation is to coach and gain experience from the base (he has not hidden his desire to start in a youth team), the new electoral period in the club makes him to stay in Florentino Perez's plans, in some ways. Maybe also for the benches.


Wayne Rooney on the radar of Florentino Perez

Real Madrid president, Florentino Perez, may see fulfilled one of his old yearnings: the signing of Wayne Rooney to the front of the white team. The arrival of David Moyes to the bench for Manchester United's can lead to the striker's leaving for 35 million euros, because of the existing unilateral termination clause in his contract. The former Everton coach and the attacker had serious problems when the striker left the squad of the 'toffees'.

Rooney playing against Real Madrid
Wayne Rooney at the Bernabeu Stadium

David Moyes will be the next manager of Manchester United and Rooney will have to leave, almost certainly, the English team. The English coach and the striker have no good relationship since the player left the team that discovered him almost ten years ago, leaving Everton and his mentor for a contract with the 'Red Devils'. Rooney's departure form Everton was not amicable and ten years later, Moyes could get the revenge.

That's where the Real Madrid is interested; Florentino Perez could bring to the table the 35 million euros and take the striker, whose contract has a clause that states that for that price, Rooney can break his links with the United unilaterally. That is, a termination clause, even in England. The white club is looking for a forward and with 28 years old, Rooney appears to have turned the 'evils' that weighed into a possible move in the past.

According to Dayli Mail, apparently, Rooney is looking for a change of scenery. The newspaper, talks about an operation in which the sale of Rooney would generate sufficient income to try to address the signing of 'a Portuguese striker'. But the Real Madrid president has to be careful. It is rumored that Bayern Muinchen wants to sign the player, so if Florentino Perez decides to go for, it must be quickly.

Real Madrid 6 - 2 Malaga (Spanish League, Day 36)

Real Madrid keep winning in the Santiago Bernabeu. The Whites reached their 1000th home league win with a rout. The first half was intense and saw six goals scored, four for the home team and two for the visitors, one sending-off and a missed penalty. Albiol scored right at the start and Santa Cruz, on the quarter-hour mark, levelled the match. The captain on the night, Ronaldo, missed a penalty five minutes later but made up for it by converting an indirect free kick and making it to 200 goals for Real Madrid in all competitions. Ozil, who came off injured, made it three after a spectacular cut inside against Antunes, who went on to pull one back with a great goal himself. Benzema, in first half stoppage time, and Modric and Di Maria, in the second half, sealed the rout. Fabinho made his debut and joined in his team’s display in front of a devoted Bernabeu crowd.

Cristiano celebrates his goal against Malaga
Cristian Ronaldo; 200 goals for Real Madrid

Real Madrid played their penultimate home league match against Malaga and were looking to extend their excellent run of 42 matches unbeaten in the Bernabeu. The Whites did not speculate against the Champions League quarter-finalists and showed their credentials in the very first moments of the match. In fact, inside three minutes they already had their first goal on the scoreboard. Modric’s corner was met by Albiol who put the ball in the back of net with a header. Things were going well with what was the Spanish international’s first goal of the season.


Real Madrid: Disciplinary proceedings against Pepe

Pepe's words against Jose Mourinho after the las Spanish League match against Valladolid, not only upset the coach, but were not well received within the Real Madrid. According to Marca newspaper, the white club will study whether the statements of the Portuguese central defender violate the internal regulations and may be grounds for disciplinary action. In the offices of the Bernabeu Stadium, Pepe's words caused a significant annoyance. "We have the Spanish Cup Final just around the corner and we can not create in these two weeks a war of words between the coach and players," some say in the board of the Real Madrid.


In the locker room of Real Madrid, always with exceptions, Pepe statements have not liked too much, especially when the Portuguese player has remained firmly aligned with Mourinho when other players have faced the coach this season.

Yesterday, Mourinho said Pepe's words were the result of frustration felt by the player after losing the starting lineup place with Varane and go from a permanent place on the eleven to be part of the substitutes on the bench. "It is not easy for a 31 year old man being hit by a boy of 19," said yesterday at a press conference the Portuguese coach.

Mourinho also announced in the morning that the Real Madrid defense against Malaga would be formed by Nacho, Varane, Albiol and Coentrao, confirming the yesterday's news about the substitution of Pepe after his explosive statements. But the Portuguese coach was a step further in the afternoon and left the center defender out of the squad, a decision that could be permanent now and till the end of the season. His place on the bench will be taken tonight by Carvalho.

Also, is possible that the name of Pepe is on the transfer list that Real Madrid manages, trying to earn 100 million euros in transfers next summer. So, with his words on Saturday, the Portuguese defender may have put the last nail in his coffin.


Zinedine Zidane: Carlo Ancelotti's assistant?

The coach Carlo Ancelotti is the best placed to replace Jose Mourinho in Real Madrid, if the Portuguese finally makes real his departure to Chelsea. The Italian coach has maintained contact with Florentino Perez thanks to the agent Ernesto Bronzetti, a confidant of the white president.

Zinedine Zidane and Carlo Ancelotti (Juventus)
Zinedine Zidane and Carlo Ancelotti (Juventus)

Besides, according to reports in Spanish media, the president has an ace up his sleeve that would enrich the criticized bet on the current coach of PSG (do not forget that on surveys made to Real Madrid fans, Ancelotti is the candidate that is worse off). Florentino Perez has chosen Zinedine Zidane to become Ancelotti's assistant. That would brighten this bet because Zidane is beloved by white fans. He is remembered for being, along with Casillas, the hero of the Ninth (last Champions League Real Madrid has won). Also for giving away 12 million euros retiring a year before finishing his contract with Real Madrid (2006) and finally for recommending the signing of Raphael Varane for a bargain-price (10 million euros).

The binomial Carlo Ancelotti - Zinedine Zidane is not new and that would help to a good start on the same team. They both met between 1999 and 2001 in Juventus, right in the two seasons prior to the signing of the French star by Real Madrid for 75 million euros.

Zinedine Zidane is a Florentino's henchman so in 2011 he was appointed Football Director of the First Team. But he never had a strong relationship with Mourinho and marriage only lasted one season. Mourinho spoke at that time about the relationship: "With us, Zizou really had no defined role. Sporting Director, Advisor to the President, the link between the first team and youth squads..." Since then Zidane studies to finish the coaching course and achieve the necessary license to work on the benches. He may be the 'shield' to save the unpopular Ancelotti's candidacy.

Moreover, we can not rule out that also Claude Makelele may join this team. Makelele is now assisting the Italian coach in the technical tasks. The Congolese has not a good relationship with the president after his hasty departure from the club, but now might be willing to come back a decade later. If so, two players who got the 'Ninth' will meet again in the same locker room to try to fight for the 'Tenth'.


Mourinho's future (4): Mourinho is getting closer to Chelsea

Although some British newspapers insist that Mourinho has everything agreed with Chelsea, the issue is not closed at all. Advanced, yes, but not closed. This explains, for example, the Mourinho's press conference after the elimination in the semifinals of Champions League when the Portuguese coach said there was a possibility of leaving Real Madrid: "I know that some England clubs want me, especially one," he said. Some people from Chelsea insist that there is nothing signed yet and that his words should be understood in the context of his dream (coaching in English football) and as a way of pressuring Roman Abramovich. If he would had all already agreed, why talk that way? Why re-emphasize the requited love that comes from London?

Mourinho in the shadows of the Real Madrid bench
Jose Mourinho

The Russian tycoon surely knows what Petr Cech said recently at Radio Montecarlo:"It will be a great pleasure to work with him (Mourinho)" and the interested statements of Peter Kenyon, a partner of agent Jorge Mendes and former executive director of Chelsea: "Guardiola was a candidate, that's for sure, but you can not have him. Manuel Pellegrini may be listed, but if I had to choose between Pellegrini and Jose, I will always choose Jose."

The Real Madrid players and some board members believe, for at least two months ago, Mourinho has an agreement with Chelsea. But there are still things to fix. Roman Abramovich will not give him the reins of the signings: there are still at the club players with huge salaries (Mourinho's time) and others had to be undersold because they showed their shortcomings when, and without the Portuguese on the bench, were asked to play a more offensive football. Roman Abramovich wants to keep the structure of the club with a sporting director and for now, Mourinho would accept that condition. Moreover, as explained by the Sunday Times, Lampard would want to stay at the club, but the owner does not want to renew him and Mourinho will not object. Although Mourinho still consider PSG as a viable alternative, his desire is to go to London where his daughter is studying at an art school and where his son wants to continue his education. In fact, he will not even ask the condition that the team qualifies for the Champions League.

On the other hand, Jose Mourinho is giving clues about his future in the short term. If after the elimination of the Champions League began to talk of Real Madrid in the past, yesterday he staged a new chapter that shows he has virtually made ​​the bags. A Spanish television program revealed that the Portuguese coach was at an IKEA center and spent 200 euros in packing boxes and duct tape. An anecdote that may indicate that Mourinho is starting to prepare his move although the white team has to play the Spanish Cup Final and while the club tries to close the signing of a substitute.


Real Madrid 4 - 3 Valladolid (Spanish League, Day 34)

Real Madrid once again had to come from behind at home. Oscar put the visiting side ahead in the eighth minute and in the twenty-sixth minute the match changed completely. All of a sudden the match began to flow and in just six minutes the Whites were ahead on the scoreboard. Di Maria equalised the match with a shot that deflected off Marc Valiente and Cristiano Ronaldo, with a header, put his team ahead in the thirty-second minute. Three minutes later Javi Guerra equalised for the visitors. Despite a Benzema goal being disallowed for offside and Cristiano Ronaldo hitting the crossbar from a free kick in the last ten minutes of the first half, Real Madrid’s seventh consecutive victory at the Bernabeu was sealed in the second half. Kaka, five minutes alter the restart, and Cristiano Ronaldo, scoring his second goal with a header from a free kick with twenty minutes of the match left, completed the victory, despite Sastre scoring the visiting team’s third goal in the eighty-seventh minute.

Kaka celebrates his last goal for Real Madrid
Kaka returned to the goal

Real Madrid entered the match against Valladolid with a desire to achieve their seventh consecutive victory at home. The start of the match made their objective look difficult. In fact, with eight minutes of the match having passed, and with their first shot on goal, the visitors were already ahead on the scoreboard. Oscar stole the ball and beat Diego Lopez in a one-on-one. The crowd were not made to wait long for the home team’s reaction. They pressed further up the pitch and in five minutes had two clear opportunities to equalise. Di Maria, with a volley in the ninth minute, and Modric, with a crossed shot in the twelfth minute both attempted to bring the Whites level.


Real Madrid 2 - 0 Borussia Dortmund (UEFA Champions League, Semi-finals, 2nd Leg)

Real Madrid deserved more. The Whites kept trying right to the end and came close to completing the comeback with goals from Benzema, in the 82nd minute, and Ramos, in the 88th minute. Being short of luck and a great performance from Weidenfeller prevented the goals from coming sooner. In fact, and within just the first fifteen minutes, the home side had three chances against the German goalkeeper. The fans left the Santiago Bernabeu proud of their team, who left everything out on the field and made a titanic effort.

Cristiano Ronaldo defeated by Borussia Dortmund
Real Madrid was one goal short of the final

Getting to the final of the Champions League would have meant turning the tie around in the Bernabeu from the 4-1 loss in Germany. Real Madrid did not go easy on Borussia Dortmund and made their intentions clear from the start. Supported by a Bernabeu crowd that was evocative of the stadium’s big occasions, the Whites pushed themselves to the limit and went for possession of the ball as the way to get back into the tie. Inside the first ten minutes they had already racked up four corners and had another three shots on goal. In one of them, in the 4th minute, Higuain came close to putting his team ahead. Weidenfeller came out on top against the Argentine in the one-on-one.


Atletico Madrid 1 - 2 Real Madrid (Spanish League, Day 33)

Real Madrid won again at the Vicente Calderon and displayed the strength in depth that Jose Mourinho has available. Things went against the Whites very early on, but they showed their resilience and turned around the scoreboard following Falcao’s fourth minute opener. Di Maria played a key role. The first goal came from a free-kick taken by the Argentine that deflected off of Juanfran before beating Courtois. The second was his and with a shot into the far corner. It was deserved and that is what was shown by the ovation that the Real Madrid fans in Atletico’s stadium gave him when he was replaced by Modric. Eleventh consecutive unbeaten league match (ten of them have been wins) and a morale boost ahead of their attempt to turn around the tie in Tuesday’s semi-final second leg against Borussia Dortmund and reach the final at Wembley.

Di Maria celebrates his goal against Atletico Madrid
Derby win and now to think of Dortmund

Real Madrid played the La Liga derby at the Vicente Calderon three days ahead of their Champions League semi-final second leg match. The match began in the worst possible way. A free-kick taken by Gabi to the 4th minute and, following a block from Diego Lopez, Godin picked up the rebound before crossing to Falcao, who finished with an easy header. Everything was against them from the start but the Whites don’t give up easily and equalised nine minutes later, also from a set piece. Di Maria’s shot, having been encharged with taking the free-kick, deflected off of Juanfran as it was in flight and beat Courtois.


Borussia Dortmund 4 - 1 Real Madrid (UEFA Champions League, Semi-finanls, 1st Leg)

Real Madrid thrive on adversity, on the big occasions and in the biggest stadiums. It is something that is embedded in the badge and that they have shown throughout their history. It was seen at the Camp Nou in the semi-final of the Copa del Rey, at Old Trafford and is what they will try to repeat on Tuesday at the Bernabeu. Lewandowski, with four goals, played a starring role for Borussia Dortmund. The Polish striker put his team ahead on the scoreboard, while Cristiano Ronaldo, just before halftime, equalised. The three goals that came in the second half, one of them following a harsh penalty decision against Xabi Alonso, made winning the semi-final an uphill struggle. The magic and mystique surrounding Real Madrid’s stadium on big European nights will be needed to take its team to Wembley in less than a week.

Lewandowski celebrates a goal against Real Madrid
Lewandowski, the Borussia's hero

Borussia Dortmund were aware that doing well would depend on imposing a high tempo in the opening minutes. The Germans, supported by their home crowd, squeezed the Whites’ ball out of the back and it produced the desired results. Reus was the first to have an attempt following a fine solo run. The great full-stretch save from Diego Lopez denied the goal in the 6th minute. The first goal came two minutes later. Gotze’s cross came in from the left for Lewandowski to poke it in and put his team in front.


Real Madrid 3 - 1 Betis (Spanish League, Day 32)

Real Madrid once again showed that they head into each of their matches with confidence and defeated Betis, who arrived at the Bernabeu as the third best team in terms of points won away from home in the championship, four days before the first leg of the Champions League semi-finals at the Signal Iduna Park. Özil’s goal on the edge of halftime was key, causing significant damage to the team from Andalusia. In the second half Benzema completed a brilliant counter-attack and extending his team’s lead in the fifty-seventh minute, while Jorge Molina, from a penalty, halved the lead in the seventy-third minute. Özil, scoring his second goal one minute from the end of normal time, knocking a volley by Callejon over the line, sealed his team’s victory. Seventh consecutive victory at the Bernabeu and an outstanding debut by Casemiro. The only downside was Marcelo, Modric and Benzema being withdrawn due to niggles. Borussia Dortmund await on Wednesday.

Two goals from Özil
Two goals from Özil and a win over Betis

Four days before the first leg of the semi-finals of the Champions League against Borussia Dortmund, Real Madrid faced Betis at an impregnable Santiago Bernabéu, where the team are unbeaten in 15 months. There were many new faces in the Whites’ starting XI, among them the debutant Casemiro, against an opponent that before the start of the matchday were the third best team in terms of points away from home in the championship and two points away from the European places. The clash got off to a vibrant start. The visitors were the first to create a chance. A corner taken by Beñat and an impressive stretching save by Diego Lopez after the shot from Nosa in the eighth minute. Ruben Castro made the most of the rebound and knocked the ball over the line, but referee Alvarez Izquierdo ruled the goal out due to it being scored from a clear offside position. Real Madrid did not take long to react and a minute later Casemiro, who was very active, caused problems for Adrian with a volley from 25 metres.


Athletic Bilbao 0 - 3 Real Madrid (Spanish League, Day 31)

Real Madrid bid farewell to San Mames with a thrashing and with the look of solidity that has seen them sting together nine league matches unbeaten, eight of which have been wins. Cristiano Ronaldo, as he was five days ago in Istanbul, was decisive. His second consecutive brace and the assist for Higuain for the third is testament to this. The Whites soon went ahead on the scoreboard. The Portuguese was the architect, scoring from a direct free-kick in the 2nd minute and becoming the currently active Spanish League player with most goals from direct free-kicks. In the second half, and again from a set piece, the Portuguese headed in Xabi Alonso’s cross before completing his magnificent performance by making the final pass for the third goal.

Real Madrid players celebrate a goal of Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano honored San Mames

Real Madrid played their last match in 'The Cathedral' with the confidence that comes from having strung together eight matches unbeaten in the championship. The Whites are the team that have won the most competitive matches in San Mames and were looking to continue in the same vein as they said goodbye to the Basque side’s famous old stadium. The start of the match could not have given more hope for that aim to come to fruition. Straight from the kick-off, following a combination between Marcelo and Cristiano Ronaldo, the Portuguese was brought down by Herrera outside the area. The Portuguese masterfully executed the free-kick, put his team ahead and became the currently active La Liga player with the most goals from direct free-kicks. 0-1 and it was game on from the second minute.


Galatasaray 3 - 2 Real Madrid (UEFA Champions League, Quarter-finals, 2nd Leg)

Real Madrid secured their passage to their third consecutive Champions League semi-final in the Ali Sami Yen. They didn’t take long to go ahead. Cristiano Ronaldo needed just seven minutes to score his tenth goal in the competition and show what makes him the European Cup’s top scorer. Eboue, Sneijder and Drogba brought about some uncertainty in the tie in the second half and gave a home crowd that supported their team until the end a reason to believe that the comeback was on, but once again the Portuguese, in added time and despite playing with one less because of Arbeloa’s sending off for a second yellow in the 89th minute, sealed the qualification. The Whites are now into the last four in Europe and on Friday, at 12:00, they will find out their opponents.

Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates his first goal against Galatasaray
Ronaldo's brace seals semi-final place

The intentions of both teams were more than evident from the outset. Galatasaray wanted to make their fans to think back to their memorable European comeback against the Swiss club Neuchatel Xamax in 1988-89 in which they turned around the tie in what was a "night for the history books", as Fatih Terim said in the pre-match build-up. Real Madrid who themselves are accustomed to dominating in front of their own home fans, knew the recipe to make sure that this did not occur. Mourinho explained what the key was: "We have prepared seriously for a very difficult match and my players will respond". And that is what happened. The Whites were able to contain the initial pressure from their opponents and had the first chance of the match following a poor clearance by Muslera in the 3rd minute, which Di Maria failed to convert to put his team ahead on the scoreboard. The connection between the Germans Ozil and Khedira ended with Cristiano Ronaldo’s shot in front of goal in the 7th minute.


Real Madrid 5 - 1 Levante (Spanish League, Day 30)

Real Madrid keep racking up points in the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium. The Whites thrashed Levante and have still won every home league match this year. Despite how the match finished, they had to come from behind following Michel’s opening goal. They did so resoundingly. Higuain, with a beautiful volley, scored the goal of the match to equalise before Kaka, from a penalty, put Real Madrid ahead prior to the break. In the second half, Cristiano Ronaldo and a brace from Ozil completed a rout that could have been more had it not been for the brilliant performance of an inspired Munua. A morale boost before of the quarter-final second leg against Galatasaray.

Higuain scores a superb goal against Levante
Spectacle and goals against Levante

Real Madrid were looking to maintain their perfect home league record this year and get their seventh straight home win in the championship. It was not going to be easy. The ever competitive Levante would try not to let that happen. The intentions of both teams were clear, as were the tactical approaches. The visitors chose to drop deep and let Real Madrid have control of the ball with the intention to surprise on the counter. The opening exchanges left that clear. Marcelo had the first shot on goal in the 2nd minute prior to Acquafresca’s effort two minutes later.

After the first ten minutes of play, the chances began to come for the home team thanks to their dominance in possession and continuous movement. They had four in just seven minutes. Higuain and Benzema, in the 13th and 14th respectively, had the first two of a series of shots from the edge of the box that was completed by Callejon, in the 19th minute, and Kaka a minute earlier. The Brazilian had the clearest of them up until that point. Higuain’s movement, taking two defenders with him, left the way open for the midfielder’s left-footed shot which brought the best out of Munua. Nevertheless, on the half-hour mark, it was the Valencian team that went ahead on the scoreboard. It came from a well worked counter-attack, although
Michel’s shot needed the lucky clip off of Pepe’s heel to take it beyond a surprised Diego Lopez.


Real Madrid 3 - 0 Galatasaray (UEFA Champions League, Quarter-finals, 1st Leg)

Real Madrid beat Galatasaray at home and are one step closer to their third consecutive European Cup semi-final. Goals from Cristiano Ronaldo and Benzema before the end of the first half hour and from Higuain in 72nd minute, earned a win that was much deserved both in terms of how they played and the chances they created. Three goals scored, by each of the three forwards who played, and none conceded to take into the second leg, in which there will be no Xabi Alonso or Ramos due to suspension. A giant step towards progressing in a Bernabeu that remains unconquered.

Cristiano Ronaldo fighting hard against Felipe Melo
Real Madrid giant step towards semi-finals

Playing at home, Real Madrid edged closer towards their third consecutive Champions League semi-final. The Bernabeu crowd were crucial in pushing the Whites’ players, aware that their home fans have not seen them lose for 14 months, to show the connection that they share against Galatasaray. They suffocated the opposition playing the ball out of the back with a high press, moved the ball cleverly and at a high tempo and soon sent the first warning. A 30 metre Xabi Alonso pass to Di Maria, who controlled and played in Benzema, who then shot wide with his head on three minutes.

Real Madrid soon went ahead on the scoreboard. It took just nine minutes. Another steal in the midfield, which Ozil turned to gold. His precise pass was finished by Cristiano Ronaldo who beat Muslera with a chip that was as beautiful as it was effective. The Portuguese once again showed his affinity with the competition and became the Champions League’s top scorer. The start could not have been more promising and how Real Madrid were playing sent the message that they were not content with just the one goal.


Zaragoza 1 - 1 Real Madrid (Spanish League, Day 29)

Real Madrid drew in Zaragoza after the international break and became the first team to reach 4000 points in the championship. Rodri, in the seventh minute, put Zaragoza ahead with the home side’s first shot on goal and Cristiano Ronaldo equalised in the thirty-eighth minute after surprising Roberto with a left-footed shot. The Whites deserved more four days before the first leg of the Champions League quarter-finals against Galatasaray; Marcelo’s shot crashed into the post and Loovens cleared the ball off the goal line.

Callejon and Essien fight for recovering a ball against Zaragoza
Real Madrid could not reach the victory against Zaragoza

Real Madrid returned to action after the international break against Zaragoza at La Romareda. The premise was clear: continue the excellent form and results that had enabled them to string together seven consecutive victories. The Whites’ objective was made difficult before the first ten minutes of the game had ended. Rodri made the most of a deflection in the seventh minute and beat Diego Lopez in a one-on-one. The home side went ahead with their first shot on goal. Real Madrid would have to come from behind again away from home, but they had almost the entire match ahead of them.


Gareth Bale: Good lad for Real Madrid

Gareth Bale's footballing talent is beyond doubt. He consistently shines in the Premier League and he is starting to outgrow Tottenham. His imposing physique and long stride, as well as his extraordinary eye for goal make him a transfer target for Real Madrid, who will try to sign him in the summer transfer window.

Gareth Bale celebrating a goal for Tottenham
Gareth Bale

However, when deciding to sign a player, Real Madrid is concerned with more than just a player's qualities on the pitch. A player's behaviour off the pitch is also studied before large sums of money are paid for him.

Gareth Bale scores an A+ in both areas. The reports that the club has about Bale's private life describe him as a normal lad, who has never been known for his off-pitch scandals and who has no unsporting vices that might endanger the feasibility of signing the Welshman.

Those reports are true. The Tottenham player has always stood out for his athletic prowess and passion and he is far removed from the parties and nightlife that are so loved by the English tabloid newspapers and to which so many players who were destined for glory finally succumbed to. Bale's priorities are the game and his family.
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