Pandev: "Mourinho was my choice"

The controversy surrounding the votes for the FIFA World Coach of the Year award thickens. After FIFA recently released the official document which stated that Macedonia captain Goran Pandev had voted for Vicente del Bosque, Pandev told Italian media that: "All I can say is that the signature that appears on the fax is not mine. Jose Mourinho was my choice. Everyone knows that".

Jose Mourinho at Setubal attending an exhibition about his 50th birthday
Jose Mourinho at Setubal

According to the document, the Macedonian also voted for Jürgen Klopp (three points) and Roberto Mancini (a point). However, Pandev refused to accept it: "We all know strange things go on here, but we can't change the way it is. Neither me nor Mourinho". FIFA moved to resolve the issue: "If Pandev doesn't recognise his vote, he should hold his country's federation accountable, not us".


Mourinho: "There were irregularities in the vote for the FIFA world's best manager"

In an interview with RTP, Jose Mourinho declared that there were "irregularities in the vote for the world's best manager" organised by FIFA." Several people called me to say that I had won the vote but someone else got it in the end. That's why I decided not to go". That's why Jose Mourinho did not attend the FIFA Ballon d’Or gala because he was warned by some of those who voted for him as coach of the year that their votes showed up as supporting other candidates instead.

Mourinho is upset with FIFA voting irregularities
Jose Mourinho

“Am I sorry for not having gone to the gala? No. It was the right decision,” Mourinho told RTP television on Tuesday in excerpts from an interview. “One, two or three people called me saying they had voted for me but the vote showed up as cast for somebody else. So, I decided not to go,” he said.

"I'm accusing FIFA of irregularities in the vote for best manager in the world. There was a lack of transparency", Mourinho said. "FIFA was aware of these irregularities, knowing they were there, but did nothing to avoid them", commented Mourinho. The Portuguese coach and former Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola lost the 2012 FIFA coach award to Spain's Vicente del Bosque at January's gala. Meanwhile FIFA said in a statement: "FIFA confirms that the list of votes published on FIFA.com is accurate".


Mesut Özil: "I have become stronger in Real Madrid"

Mesut Özil, who is currently with his national team to play two qualifying matches for the 2014 World Cup, spoke to the German Football Association press of his time with Real Madrid. The midfielder acknowledged having improved significantly in the three years he has been in Spain under Mourinho's direction: “I have become stronger physically in Real Madrid and my performance is more consistent. I continue to have fun on the playing field and to enjoy football. Of course I have matured as a football player and I'm more experienced”.

Mesut Ozil attending a press conference of Germany national team
Mesut Özil

In spite of his great form, Özil expressed his ambition to continue to advance his game: “I realise that there are still aspects of my playing to improve. Above all in terms of goal statistics. My numbers could be better. I could take more shots at goal even though I'm a playmaker and my job is to set up goals rather than score them. That's what I will focus on. But that doesn't mean I won't try to score more”.


Ricardo Kaka: "Things are looking up for me"

The Brazilian team returns to show the smiling and happiest side of Ricardo Kaka. His return to the 'Canarinha', coupled with the good time he lives at Real Madrid, where he is getting to play regularly, are the cause why the Brazilian player enjoys football again.

Kaka with a Brazil jersey
Ricardo Kaka

Kaka has spent two months in absolute ostracism (no minutes in Real Madrid and outside the first list of Scolari) and now goes back to feel a footballer. "I feel that things are getting better for me, especially in my club. I play more often in Madrid and that is very important. In addition, I am having the recognition from the fans and that gives me extra motivation. Now I hope to take this chance in the Brazilian team" Kaka said yesterday on his arrival at the team hotel in Geneva, where Brazil will face Italy on Friday.

Kaka returns to Brazil squad with Scolari, the man with whom he debuted and became world champion in 2002. Yesterday, there was a very emotional meetong for Real Madrid player, who expects to revive World Cup in Korea and Japan: "I had not met Felipao for a long time. It'll be nice back to work with him. I don't know how long, but I hope to reach the Brazil World Cup 2014".

Ricardo Kaka will play his match number 84 with Brazil against Italy, being one of the most capped players of the current Brazilian team. The player admits that to reach 100 caps is a target, but he does not like being called a veteran: "Well, I'd rather be a new veteran. Numbers are important, really, but I admit I did not know this fact. It makes me happy, add as many calls and be part of this new phase of the national team is important for me."


Luka Modric: Decisive goals

With his first goals for Real Madrid, Modric is showing an ability that could be vital for the Whites when they come up against opponents that close up in defence and play deep. The Croatian midfielder has a great shot from distance that combines power and placement. It has been proven with his three goals against Zaragoza, Manchester United and Mallorca, which all came from outside the area. He is adapting more to the team’s style of play and to the Spanish League which has shown in Modric’s brilliant recent performances. He has two goals and an assist so far in March.

Modric celebrates a goal with Real Madrid
Luka Modric at the Bernabeu Stadium

On 3rd November, during Zaragoza’s visit to the Santiago Bernabeu, Modric scored his first goal for Real Madrid. In injury time he latched on to block on the edge of the box and, without thinking, scored a pearler that snuck just inside the post. His second goal came at Old Trafford, when he dribbled past Carrick and beat De Gea with exceptional strike. And the last was in the match against Mallorca, with is shot that flew into the top corner and that left clear that he is gifted in this part of his game. And all have been important goals.

And it is rare that a Modric's goal is useless, at least in recent times. From his time at Tottenham, a Modric's goal almost always means victory or a draw for his team. The Croatian international player has a weak relationship with the goal, but when he appears, is more than decisive. In fact, the last time Modric scored and it was not usefull, was 3 seasons ago. On May 9, 2010, the Spurs lost 4-2 against Burnley with a goal of the current Real Madrid player. Since then, any goal of the Croatian player has earned points.

Two seasons ago he scored three goals and Tottenham got seven points out of nine possible against West Brom, Stoke City and Liverpool, while last season scored four goals and Tottenham got three wins and one tie against Wolverhampton Wonderers. Gradually, Modric is finding himself in both the game and in his football. The 'decisive' goals of the Croatian have come to the capital of Spain.


Real Madrid 5 - 2 Mallorca (Spanish League, Day 28)

Real Madrid, despite being behind on the scoreboard on two occasions against Mallorca, sealed their seventh consecutive victory before the international break. The win was sealed in six fantastic minutes in the second half. They reached half time a goal down after goals from Nsue and Alfaro for Mallorca and Higuaín for Madrid. Cristiano Ronaldo, who scored a header from an Özil corner, Modric, who scored the game’s master piece with a strike from the penalty arc that rocketed into the net of the goal defended by Aouate, and Higuaín, who scored twice in his 250th official game for the Whites, decided the clash between the fifty-first and fifty-seventh minute. Benzema scored the fifth in added time. Real Madrid enjoyed themselves and put on a spectacle for the Santiago Bernabeu.

Real Madrid players run after score a goal looking for a comeback
Comeback with three goals in six minutes

Real Madrid returned to the Bernabeu 14 days after their last home game intent on achieving their seventh consecutive victory before the international break. The matter was complicated six minutes into the match. A cross by Giovani from the left wing was met by the head of Nsue. The cross gained speed after the header and Diego Lopez’s stretch could not prevent Mallorca taking the lead. The visitors surprised Madrid with their first shot on goal and now Madrid had to come from behind, but there was still eighty minutes of the match left. The Whites did not need so much time to equalise. Modric drove forward with the ball and played a pinpoint pass for Pepe, attacking from behind the defenders, who found himself against Aouate. The Croat’s pass was magnificent, and Pepe’s pass beat the defence, finding Higuaín, who only had to touch the ball into the goal in the fourteenth minute

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