Real Madrid prepares summer bid to sign Gareth Bale

Andre Villas-Boas has admitted that Tottenham Hotspur must qualify for the Champions League in order to keep Gareth Bale from the clutches of predatory clubs, with Real Madrid preparing an offer for the player in the summer. The Tottenham manager also hopes that a massive price tag could serve as a deterrent for interested parties.

Gareth Bale with Real Madrid palyers at a Champions League game
Bale surrounded by Real Madrid players

Bale is one of the hottest properties in European football and Real Madrid is monitoring his – and Tottenham's – situation closely. The Wales winger, who has scored 13 goals for Tottenham this season, plus four more for his country, is on record as stating his admiration for the Spanish champions.

Villas-Boas, though, believes that Tottenham would be set fair to retain Bale's services if they were to reach the Champions League. Bale got the taste for the competition in 2010-11 and, mindful that his opportunities might be limited at major international tournaments with Wales, he is determined to play regularly in Europe's leading club competition.

"Players who are performing at this level always get the attention," Villas-Boas said. "It doesn't mean that the club doesn't foresee a future with Gareth. It's intimately related to the objectives that we achieve for the season. Hopefully, we can do just that with the Champions League and continue to progress on what we are doing.

"It's difficult for us to have a player of this dimension playing so well, calling the attention of other teams but it's also difficult for other teams, with the economic situation as it is, to buy a player of this dimension. At the moment, we are very, very fortunate to have him.

"I think we can reach our objectives with him at this level and if we reach our objectives, we can hopefully continue to have Gareth in our club. He's a player we rate very, very highly and aren't willing to let go. The Champions League is where most of the clubs want to be, and where most of the players want to play. It's part of our objectives so hopefully achieving it means we can attract better players and continue to hold on to our best players."

Bale's emergence as a more central force mirrors the development of Real's Cristiano Ronaldo and Villas-Boas drew the comparison between the two, while hoping that Bale did not follow his fellow Portuguese to the Bernabeu. "Both of them are extremely technical players, extremely powerful and pacy," Villas-Boas said. "It is funny to see how, in some way, they compare. Gareth started at left-back and moved to a winger position ... now going to a more advanced role. And Ronaldo is also able to play that role up front. Ronaldo is now 28, he has achieved so much and he is an example to what Gareth wants to achieve in his career."


Luka Modric: "The video of the hyenas is unacceptable. That is not journalism"

Luka Modric appeared for the media on the day before the league match against Sevilla at the Santiago Bernabeu. The Whites’ midfielder analysed the match against the Andalusian side: "Sevilla are a very good team and they are playing much better. I have a lot of respect for them. Since I’ve been playing for Real Madrid I’ve seen that every team gives as much as they can against us we have to do them same if we want to win. If we don’t, we’ll have problems. I expect a good match, the crowd will enjoy it and will be a good final test before the match against Manchester United. We are Real Madrid, we have to try to win every match and show what we are capable of".

Luka Modric at press conference in Real Madrid stadium
Luka Modric

The Croatian international also spoke about international commitments and the two days that they have had to prepare for the match against Sevilla: "Those of us that played for our countries last Wednesday have had two light training sessions and tonight we are going to prepare for the match and isolate ourselves as we do before every big match. We are trying to recover and be ready for the next match".

About his performances for the team, the Whites’ midfielder said: "I don’t like to give myself a mark out of ten, but I'm definitely not happy. In some matches I’ve shown my level and why I'm here, but I've also played less well in some matches. Everyone says that this league is very technical, but it also very physically demanding. I didn’t do the pre-season with the team and everything that happened in the summer has left its mark. I'm giving it everything and things are getting better. I know that I have the support of the squad and all of the coaches and that gives me peace of mind. The fans will be happy with me because I'm going to help the club to achieve success".


Real Madrid will sue TV3 (Hyenas video)

Real Madrid, as expected after recent events, will not stand idly by after a video broadcast by TV3 on white team players. The club will take legal action against the Catalan regional TV channel, a decision confirmed by ABC (Spanish newspaper), after the video in which the Catalonian television showed the Real Madrid players as hyenas. (Video)

Real Madrid jersey with a hyena
Real Madrid players were shown like hyenas

Florentino Perez made ​​it clear in his last public appearance, when he came out to deny the cover of MARCA newspapar on the alleged blackmail of the captains: "Real Madrid will not tolerate insults to its members, will not accept the 'all is ok' that has been established in the media to attack anything with a relationship with Real Madrid. There are limits, and anyone that exceeds should answer in court.

This is exactly what will have to do TV3 channel after using public money, including the incoming money from supporters of Real Madrid in Catalonia via taxes, for the broadcasting of a shameful video that shows the inhuman hatred that exists in the Catalonian TV channel against the white club, which is sponsor of FC Barcelona. After demand against the MARCA newspaper reporters, TV3 will also respond to the judge, somethin that is not new. Real Madrid's coach, Jose Mourinho, has also had to go to court to defend himself against attacks from several sport journalists.

To try to calm the situation, once thrown stone, Xavier Valls, the director and host of 'Esport club' (TV program that showed the video) has said that this Friday will apologize for the broadcast: "It was an unfortunate metaphor, we were wrong" has said in a statement in a Catalonian newspaper. Too late. The machinery of justice is underway.

Real Madrid and Zenit St Petersburg: Duel for Yarmolenko?

Mourinho keeps track of the Ukrainian striker, Andriy Yarmolenko. Rui Faria and Karanka traveled last Wednesday to see him in a friendly match of Ukraine against Norway, played at the Stadium of La Cartuja in Seville. Mourinho's two assistants were in the stands and lost no detail of the Dynamo Kiev player's actions (23 years old), who played the last European Championship and can play in any attacking position. And they had the opportunity to make a positive report: Ukraine won 2-0, Yarmolenko started the first goal play and then scored himself the second with a nice left-footed shot from the edge of the area. When the Ukrainian coach, Mikhail Fomenko, replaced him, Rui Faria and Karanka left the stadium.

Andriy Yarmolenko playing for Ukraine national team
Andriy Yarmolenko

Dynamo Kiev has a contract with Yarmolenko until 2015. According to Spanish media, the Ukrainian club has not yet received any offer from Real Madrid and has priced the player at 22 million euros. An amount of money Milan could not offer when the Italian team was negotiating his signing last summer as was revealed by the player's agent, Mikhail Gulordava: "The owner of Dinamo, Igor Surkis, rejected the proposal. He is very rich and has no need to sell. The offer must be very attractive."


Iker Casillas: "I want to be soon with my teammates"

Good news for Casillas and Real Madrid. Since yesterday he has not plaster on his left hand. Eleven days after injury he suffered in the first metacarpal of the left hand, things are going better than expected and his reappearance could anticipate a few weeks to three months provided. "First step to recovery. Today the plaster was removed! Happy for it and longing to be with my teammates soon! I send a hug to all!", communicated through his Facebook account. In Instagram posted a picture where you can see the two minimal incisions by where doctors elimanted some bone splinters that were broken and two screws were set.

Casillas without plaster in his left hand
Iker Casillas

Although the plaster has been removed, Casillas will remain on bed rest for a few days until callus forms completely. The plaster was replaced by an anatomical splint, less cumbersome and easier to wear. Right now his work is minimal by medical prescription. The training is done in the gym to maintain physical tone. In about eight days will have a review (Real Madrid's doctors are in constant contact with him) and then he will increase slightly the workload.

In principle, Iker Casillas will miss 23 games (13 in the Spanish League, the Spanish Cup semi-final, three matches with the Spain national team and all the Champions League competition until the Final if Real Madrid reaches it). But the idea of the goalkeeper is to be ready and fit for April 15, just a week before the first leg of the semifinals of the Champions League.

Pepe joins to face Manchester United

Pepe is a little closer to the goal of being ready to play the game against Manchester United. Yesterday, he took a small step forward on the recovery and just a week before Ferguson's men visit the Santiago Bernabeu, the center defender was part of the training match managed by Mourinho. One more proof that recovery of the Portuguese player is going well. Last Friday started running and five days later has participated in a game with the rest of his teammates.

Pepe smiling during a Real Madrid training
Pepe wants to play against Manchester United

If everything continues as these days, the defender will be called up for Real Madrid to play the next Saturday's match against Sevilla. It is possible that he may play in Sevilla. The Spanish League clash before the Champions League match would be the ultimate test to see if Mourinho can count on him or not next Wednesday against Manchester United.

Pepe's return will be conditioned by the physical discomfort of Varane. The Frenchman, who could not play with his national team due to a hamstring problem he suffered in the match against Granada, will be out for a week and will not play against Sevilla. Mourinho will reserve him thinking about Manchester United and that's where Pepe may have options to play against the English team. If Varane recovers late, Mourinho may choose Pepe ahead of Albiol and Carvalho.

Pepe was operated on January 2 with the goal of eliminating the discomfort he had in his right ankle and get fully recovered for the first leg of the last-16 Champions League round against United. In principle, the deadlines are being met and the return of the Portuguese player to training is developing normally.

If Pepe is available for the Champions League clash, Mourinho could have his best defenders to face the English team, after several weeks in which between injuries and suspensions, has been forced to make changes. Only Marcelo has not options to take a place in the starting lineup, because of his bad phisycal condition.


Cristiano Ronaldo: "I would like to win the Champions League at Real Madrid"

Cristiano Ronaldo is already counting down the hours until he faces Manchester United for the first time since being signed by Real Madrid. A week before the first leg of the knockout round of the greatest continental competition, the Portuguese player is the focus of Champions Matchday, the official magazine of the UEFA Champions League. The striker analysed the qualifying round, speaking of his feelings and the importance of defending Real Madrid's title. "I've been wanting to face Manchester United for some time, and now the time has come. It will be a game in which I will experience many emotions because I was there for 6 years, but we have the better team and we have to show this on the pitch. The Champions Leagues has always been the pinnacle of football and is the ultimate for a footballer. Winning it is something unique, and I would like to repeat it at Real Madrid. It is really motivating and an honour to be associated with a club that has won the European Cup more times than any others."

Cristiano Ronaldo smiling at UEFA press conference
Cristiano Ronaldo

How would you evaluate the season so far here at Madrid?
Well the season has been OK so far. The truth is that in the league we haven’t been doing so well, but I think the team has been doing better recently. We are still competing in the Champions League and in the Spanish Cup. We are a bit far behind the top teams in the league, but we still have a chance, maybe a bit less in the league, but in the two other competitions, and we’ll keep on fighting to win.

What do you think are the qualities of the Real Madrid team this year?
They are the same, it hasn’t changed. The team has played well, it's a cohesive team, it's a compact team, it's a team which... bit by bit we are getting to know each other better.

And you personally, how would you evaluate your own season?
It usually ends up being more or less the same; every season I have been at Real Madrid has been similar. I try to help the team as much as possible, I try to score as many goals as possible, I try to give as many assists as possible... I think my way of playing hasn’t changed a lot, nor the way I defend these colours.

Last year you had another great season, and you were voted by our viewers into the UEFA team of the year for 2012. How important is such recognition from the fans for you?
The people who go to the stadium, they buy the tickets... they really love football, and therefore it's with great pride and with a lot of... great joy that we receive that prize, with it having been voted on by the fans.

What did you think when you were drawn against Manchester United?
Well, we were training, and some players were talking about what team we would draw. And I actually said that I believed we would draw Manchester United. I have wanted to face them for some time... and it was this time. I have great memories, many emotions... It will be a match in which I will feel a lot, because I was there for 6 years... I have a lot of friends there... And it will be a match with a lot of emotions. I think everyone who worked at Manchester United, I think they are good people, people with whom I had a very good relationship, and I will see them again with great pleasure.

How will it be to play them?
As always, it will be a match which he will want to win, a match which he will approach very seriously, because he knows he’ll be playing against a team that is one of the candidates to win the competition; and we also know that Manchester [United] are the best English team. They’re a team that always do well, every year they're at the top, and therefore they’re a team we respect a lot - and it will be an extremely difficult match, especially in Manchester. And it will be a match... with great emotions, but... I think things will go well. Real Madrid, in my opinion, have a better team, but we have to show that on the pitch, because Manchester are a very united team, and always have been in recent years. So it will be a difficult match.

We all know about your good relationship with Sir Alex Ferguson. What did you learn from him?
He taught me the basis of football. I arrived in Manchester at only 18 years old. He managed my career in the best possible way, and as I have already said a couple of times, for me he was one of the most important people in football. I have an excellent relationship with him, and it will be nice to see him again.

When you switched to Real Madrid, did you change anything in your game?
Yes, things change. With experience you do things more for the team, more productive things; and that's what I try to improve every year: being more productive for the team. And... to improve, always to improve. I think that improving is a thing which should always be in the mind of professionals. That's what I should do every year.

Real Madrid are the most successful team in this competition. Is it important for you to play for a club like this?
Of course, yes. I am associated with a club that... it's the club which has won the most Champions Leagues. For me that’s a great motivation and honour. But the past is the past, and the present is more important. Real Madrid should have the ambition to win their Tenth, which is what all the fans want, and that's what we will try to do. We know that it will be a very difficult task, but the team is prepared, we all have to pull in the same direction, and that's what will happen.

Is it important to you that a player makes history for a club?
I have to always write my own history, independent from where I play. Of course, titles are the most important thing; and that's what I have tried to do at the teams I’ve played for: leave my mark, give my contribution, so that the club can win titles. That's what I have to do, that's what I have done in recent years, and that's what I will continue to do in the next couple of years as well.

When you were a child and you weren’t a professional player and you watched the Champions League on TV, what did it make you feel?
The Champions League has always been the pinnacle of football in my opinion. They are the nicest matches to watch, the best organized matches, the matches that will always stay in the minds of the players - apart from the matches you play with the national team, World Cups, European Championships... I believe that the Champions League is the ultimate for a football player, and especially for me, because it's a competition in which I feel good, and it's a competition I enjoy playing in a lot.

Talking about kids, which advice would you give them if they want to enter professional football?
That... they should never stop dreaming. That they should search for their dreams, their objectives. That they will have to work hard; and that... they listen to the advice of the older ones, of their coaches, of the players who have more experience... and that they don't lose their dream, because I think with hard work everything is possible.

And you, as a child, which moments do you remember the best, which moments were the most important ones for you as a child?
It's difficult to name one specific moment in my career, and even more so when I was young. Because my ambition was always to become a professional football player. And that evolved step by step when I played in the youth academy, when I played in Madeira, and then I went to Sporting... and everything evolved very quickly, because I was professional from when I was 17 years old, 16... and things happened very quickly. So I’m lucky in that respect, because things happened very quickly, and I evolved a lot as well.

As a striker you are used to playing against the strongest defenders in the world. Who has been the strongest defender you’ve ever played against in the Champions League?
It's difficult to name one player. It also depends on the matches, it depends on your form... but I think in the Champions League there are great players in all the teams: Manchester, Chelsea, Barcelona, they all have great players, and so it's hard to name one player. I think I’ve faced some great defenders, and that is good for me, because you continue learning that way.

You are a very famous player in the world; your Facebook page has more than 50 million likes. Does it cause any pressure, or motivation?
No... to be honest I don't even think about that; but obviously deep inside I feel a lot of love. Especially for all the fans, because they are faithful to me, and what I want to say is: thanks to all of them for supporting me as much as possible every year; and what I have to do is repay them in the best possible way, which is to play well, make them happy, score goals... And what I have to say is: together we will win; and that's what I always do.

You have won the Champions League before with Manchester United. Can you tell us about the emotions you feel in that competition?
It's the ultimate; I think it's the ultimate. Winning the Champions League is when all feelings come together, after an exhausting season... of hard work... a lot of hard work, with a lot of discipline... And having won a Champions League I think it's something unique, and I would like to repeat it here with Real.

What does respect in football mean to you?
Well, the word 'respect' can... can relate to many areas of the game: players, the fans... I think that... for example, a player who has played a long time at a club and then goes to another team, if he scores, I think he shouldn't celebrate, for example. For example, what I did when I was playing for Manchester, when we played against Sporting I scored, and I apologized to the fans... That’s a form of respect, but not the only one. I think there are a thousand and one ways of showing respect on the pitch.

So it means respect for the opponent, for the referee, for everybody, correct?
Everything; I think that... there are many examples of respect: to the fans, the players, the referees... Because that way you turn football into a more interesting game, a more beautiful game, because only with respect can you achieve things.


Jese Rodriguez: Hunting the 'Vulture'

One is a legend. The other, for now, is nothing but a future player. But the beginnings are the same; scoring without stopping in the Real Madrid Castilla. They are Emilio Butragueño and Jese Rodriguez. The young player wants to break the record of the 'El Buitre' ('Vulture'). Emilio holds the scoring record in a season playing for the R.M.Castilla with 21 goals in the 83-84 season, in which the youth squad was champion of the Spanish silver category. Jese has scored 13 in 24 matchdays, but he has played only 21.

Jese Rodriguez at the Real Madrid facilities
Jese Rodriguez

Ahead of Jese Rodriguez there are other gunners, with a best record, who won an opportunity to play for the first Real Madrid team, but he has 18 games remaining to beat them. They are Negredo (16 goals in the 06-07 season), Soldado (20 in 05-06), Morales (14 in 93-94), Rosagro (20 in 88-89) and Aldana (15 in the 89-88).

Benzema: "We are Real Madrid and this team never gives up"

Karim Benzema is already focused on his national. He waits for Germany in another great classic, at the Stade de France Stadium. The striker has become with Frank Ribery and Hugo Lloris, the captain, in a reference group with which France wants to defeat Spain in the match next on March 26.

Karim Benzema
Karim Benzema

But Karim, beyond the challenge of getting into the World Cup, with permission from the World Champions, has more fights before. Yesterday he was training thinking about today's friendly against Germany, but does not forget that Real Madrid has a long road ahead.

First of all, the striker refers to the last loss against Granada. "We know we can do better. We are all disappointed by the defeat and sorry for the fans. We want to change that because we know that in the league, although it is very difficult, we have to fight to the end ".

Real Madrid has included Casemiro in the European Champions League squad

Carlos Henrique Casemiro, the new signing of Real Madrid who is going to play for the young team (R.M.Castilla) during the rest of the season (he comes on loan but white team has a purchase option), is already in Spain and has landed in surprise. Along with Diego Lopez, Real Madrid has included him in its list of additions for the European Champions League. The Brazilian midfielder, 20, landed yesterday morning in Madrid-Barajas airport and met his new teammates in the training of the young team.

Casemiro at press conference in Sao Paulo
Carlos Henrique Casemiro

Two days ago, before boarding at the airport in Sao Paulo, Casemiro wanted to say goodbye via Twitter and thanks all the people supported him: "Friends, I'm already heading Spain towards a challenge. Firstly, I wanted to thank the support messages. These days I have been busy preparing for the trip and I have not had time to say goodbye to the fans. I also want to send a big hug and thanks to all employees of Sao Paulo, the field operators, the sport facilities managers and all the teammates. They were more than ten years in Sao Paulo, where I grew as a person and as a professional. Now, my life goes on in Madrid and I will give my best for this club. I'm sure I will have your support."

In the white club he will meet Marcelo, with who has shared dressing room in the Brazilian team. The Real Madrid left-back sent the following message via Twitter: "When do you come to Madrid? We're together brother". Casemiro answered a few minutes later: "I am now embarking. We're together forever, brother."

Casemiro is a box to box midfielder. He is 1.84 meters tall and is one of the players who has stood out in recent years in the Brasileirao championship, along with Neymar and Lucas Moura. Playing for the Brazil Under-20 team achieved the world champion two years ago in Colombia.


Pepe recovers but needs to get a good physical condition

Pepe is in the final stages of his recovery and about to return to normal training with the rest of his companions. The center defender, who underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right ankle on January 2, is already healed in terms of surgery is concerned, but he still has to take the physical tone enough to get back in shape and one hundred percent to the pitch.

Pepe training at Real Madrid sports city with Jose Mourinho
Pepe is already healed

The Portuguese center defender has had a very thorough treatment and he has responded well each time the workload was intensified. The idea is to be ready to play in the first leg of the Champions League knockout round against Manchester United on February 13 (8:45 pm CET). Pepe has set a goal for that date and Mourinho will have to decide whether he plays in the starting lineup or not.

Because Varane is also another injured defender. The Frenchman, who had been summoned by Deschamps to play with the national team of France, had to resign the call due to a muscle injury (hamstring) grade I in his right leg. It is a mild illness and he will be out for seven or ten days. Although it is a problem, the Frenchman will also be ready for the match against Ferguson's guys. Varane is at his best sport moment and does not want this injury stops his upward progression.

Xabi Alonso also missed out on the Spanish national team for problems in the pubis. The midfielder suffered discomfort and decided to stop and rest for a few days with specific treatment this week. He probably will not play the match against Sevilla (Saturday, 10 pm CET), but will be ready for the Champions League clash.

Benzema and Higuain: Neither dog nor cat

One day the dog and the cat another day. The formula to switch Higuain and Benzema in attack was one of the great successes of the great season Real Madrid had last year. Mourinho was able to create a battle for the goal between his two forwards which proved extremely profitable for the white team.

Higuain replaces Benzema in a Real Madrid match
Benzema and Higuain

Did not matter the striker who was at the starting lineup, the goal was more than assured. The two were very focused and were lethal in front of goal. The level reached was so spectacular that even Mourinho was encouraged to start with both together in the odd game. At the end of the season, the numbers said it all. Higuain and Benzema scored 26 goals and 32 respectively. They two achieved 58 many that together with those of Cristiano Ronaldo, converted to Real Madrid on a team virtually unstoppable.


Real Madrid's season at stake next month

The whole Real Madrid season at stake next month. The white team is lost into an abyss of points in the Spanish League, so Mourinho has decided to make an all-in bet. The team is focused on passing the last-16 round of the Champions League against Manchester United and reaching the Spanish Cup final after defeating Barcelona at the Camp Nou.

Jose Mourinho with the Champions League Trophy

The Portuguese coach is planning the work to get the best physical condition to the first important meeting, on February 13 against the Red Devils at the Bernabeu stadium. With that goal Mourinho is thinking about give a rest to three or four starter players against Sevilla on Saturday (10 pm -CET-). The coach is particularly concerned about four names; Pepe, Xabi Alonso, Marcelo and Varane. Mourinho knows that their various physical problems can prevent them to play against Manchester United. A match for which the squad has been waiting for from the draw. "For the Champions League competition the players do not need motivating" said Mourinho at press conferenece last Saturday.

But whites players know the season will be at stake in a single week. First the February 27, in the Spanish Cup semifinal round at the Camp Nou (1-1 in the first leg). Three days later they will repeat the Classic, but in the League competition (March 2), and on March 5 Real Madrid will travel to Manchester to play at Old Trafford in the first knockout round of the Champions. Team continues to aspire to the dream of the Tenth, the major target of the season.

Real Madrid fans are optimistic about the first round of Champions against Manchester because of the Mourinho's statistic in the European competition. Since the Portuguese caoch arrive at Madrid, white team has played two consecutive Champions League semifinals: in 2010-11 against Barcelona and in 2011-12 against Bayern. Mourinho broke the curse in the Champions League, in which Real Madrid had six straight years falling in the last-16 round.

Real Madrid has problems on the left side

Jose Mourinho does not know what else to do to get a good performance from Fabio Coentrao and Marcelo. It has reached a point where both do not deserve to play for Real Madrid because their level is far below what is required to play for a top team of Europe.

Fabio Coentrao and Marcelo with the Real Madrid jersey
Fabio Coentrao and Marcelo

The coach's anger with the two left sides is huge. Coentrao and Marcelon did not play a minute in the Classic and Mourinho hoped that, between the two, can impose their football against Granada. They did not, what was a disappointment for the coach, who at the end of the match said: "I do not know why some players were tired if they did not play on Wednesday" he said in the press room at the stadium in Los Carmenes.

Fabio Coentrao was a starter. He played the first half of the match against Granada that the coach described as "horrible". The Portuguese side had no lungs to attack the right side of the opponent team. He is asked to accompany the team on the attacking moves, in a field zone where he has to associate with Cristiano Ronaldo. He must break from behind, find the second plays and unbalance. Impossible. He suffered in defense and did not participate in attack.


Mourinho: "I do not know why there were some player tired because they rested last Wednesday"

Jose Mourinho appeared for the media after the league match against Granada. The Whites’ coach made no excuses for his team's defeat and praised their opponents: "I think the result is fair. There have been too many defeats. Granada did their job, they scored their goal. They defended in the second half with all of their heart and soul. They have a new coach, new players and had a great night of football here with Real Madrid in front of them. They did everything that they could to get this result. We should have scored a goal but because of the great effort that Granada made, I think that the three points have gone to the team that deserved them".

Mourinho at the bench in Granada

When asked about who was responsible for the defeat he was clear: "The buck stops with me. You lot always say that same thing. When we win and we play well then it happens on its own but when we don’t it is the coach’s responsibility. Today we lost and did not play well. Today it didn’t happen on its own, today I'm the one responsible".

Mourinho spoke about the result and was disappointed that his team could not go away from the Nuevo Los Carmenes with points: "The negative result is always the most important. We didn’t even manage a draw. That is what bothers me about the result, but the team’s first half performance bothers me a lot, it was horrible. In the second half we dominated and we had a chance to equalise but it was not enough to satisfy me".

Real Madrid came into the match having not had very much rest since playing against Barcelona on Wednesday. "There is one thing that has been clear for a long time and that is that there are teams that do not have any control over their schedules and the planning of the matches. Wednesday was an important match and tremendous physical effort for both teams but one plays today and the other tomorrow. But this team had to respond in a different manner. Some of the players who played today played on Wednesday and others didn’t. There are some of them who were tired because worked hard on Wednesday and there are others that I do not know why they were tired because they were on the bench or in the stands".

Mourinho spoke about the passage of play in which Di Maria went to ground: "I am not going to say much more. With an injured player, if the is team losing and there are only a few minutes left then, if the injury is not serious, the physios do not have to go on, he has to make a sacrifice and play on even if he is in pain".

Cristiano Ronaldo's first own goal

Cristiano Ronaldo scored in Los Carmenes Stadium the first own goal in his career according to official statistics. He has played for Sporting Lisbon, had a long way through the Premier League playing for Manchester United and even in his years at Real Madrid, where he is playing from 2009-10 season, had not found misfortune. Nor in the national team of Portugal.

Cristiano sad after scoring his first own goal
Cristiano scored the first own goal of his career

But yesterday at Granada, Cristiano Ronaldo was placed in the first post to try to clear a rival corner kick but touched the ball towards Diego Lopez's goal who could not save the shot. Granada 1- Real Madrid 0.

It was not a good day for the Portuguese player, who played at low level and just approached the opposite goal a couple of times. In the first part missed some free-kicks. After the break a shot on goal saved by the Granada goalkeeper, Toño.

Granada 1 - 0 Real Madrid (Spanish League, Day 22)

Real Madrid did not deserve to lose in Granada. The Whites, who had all of the dangerous chances in the second half, could not beat Toño with any of them and wipe out the home team’s advantage from Cristiano Ronaldo’s initial own goal which came from the home team’s first and only shot on target of the whole match. Benzema had the clearest chance of the match in the 84th minute, but he shot wide from inside of the area with the home team’s goalkeeper out of position and one defender on the goal line. Lady luck was not with Real Madrid.

Cristiano at the pitch injured after scored an own goal
Real Madrid slip up in Granada

Real Madrid began the second month of 2013 with the intention of continuing the good run of results and style of play that had left them undefeated this year and also meant that they had three wins and a draw from the four league matches played prior to today. There was no time for speculation against Granada and the match began with the Whites on the front foot and their opponents trying to spring the counterattack. It was the home team that could have gone ahead in the 20th minute had it not been for Arbeloa’s goal line clearance following Aranda’s precision pass that just needed Nolito to touch the ball into the net. From the resulting corner the Andalusian team pushed forward. It was the same player, Nolito, who was responsible for taking it and Ronaldo, attempting to clear the danger, put the ball beyond Diego Lopez with his head. Granada had scored with their first and only shot on target in the entire match.

Real Madrid needed to come from behind and have already clearly shown this season that they are not afraid of adverse situations. Ronaldo had an attempt from a free-kick in the 29th minute and the Whites were constantly pushing their opponents closer to their own goal line. In spite of how the match was going, the break arrived with the scoreboard against them. There were 45 minutes left to turn it around.

Mourinho was looking for alternatives and decided to give bring on Benzema and Callejon for Higuain and Khedira after the break. The Portuguese coach was once again brave as his team tried to alter the match’s script. Ronaldo brought the best out of Toño in the 57th minute with a shot from the edge of the box and two minutes later tried his luck again, but the home team’s goalkeeper had another more than adequate response. Marcelo came on for Coentrao on 65 minutes and the Whites, who deserved more from the second half, put the home team’s goal under relentless pressure.

They came close to getting the equaliser in the 84th minute. Callejon won the ball near to the penalty area and, following a one-two with Benzema, was left one-on-one with Toño. The goalkeeper successfully saved, but the block fell to the feet of the Frenchman, who shot wide from inside the area with the home team’s goalkeeper out of position and with one defender on the goal line. Lady luck was not with the Whites, they did not deserve to lose in Granada.


Stadium: Los Carmenes
Attendance: 22,000
Goals: 1-0, m.22: Cristiano Ronaldo (o.g.)
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