Tags Posts tagged with "Real Madrid"

Real Madrid

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Chelsea players Diego Costa, Eden Hazard, Thibaut Courtois and Willian found themselves on the 59-man long-list for the 2015 Ballon d’Or that has been leaked.

The list will be cut to a 23-man shortlist in December while the awards ceremony will be held on the 11th of January in Zurich, along with the FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year trophy and the Puskas award.

The Ballon d’Or long list:

Chelsea: Diego Costa, Eden Hazard, Thibaut Courtois, Willian

Barcelona: Claudio Bravo, Javier Mascherano, Andres Iniesta, Lionel Messi, Ivan Rakitic, Neymar, Luis Suarez.

Real Madrid: Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema, Sergio Ramos, Cristiano Ronalso, Luka Modric, James Rodriguez, Toni Kroos.

Juventus: Giorgio Chiellini, Paul Pogba, Alvaro Morata.

Manchester United: Wayne Rooney, David de Gea, Memphis Depay

Arsenal:David Ospina, Alexis Sanchez.

Atletico Madrid: Antoine Griezmann, Jackson Martinez.

Bayern Munich: Arturo Vidal, Robert Lewandowski, Arjen Robben, David Alaba, Thomas Muller, Manuel Neuer

Manchester City: Wilfried Bony, Yaya Toure, Sergio Aguero, Nicolas Otamendi, Kevin de Bruyne.

Paris Saint-Germain: Edinson Cavani, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Javier Pastore.

New York City: Andrea Pirlo.

Boca Juniors: Carlos Tevez.

Tottenham: Son Heung-min, Harry Kane

Milan: Carlos Bacca.

LA Galaxy: Giovani dos Santos.

Liverpool: Philippe Coutinho.

Bournemouth: Christian Atsu.

Corinthians: Paulo Guerrero.

Hoffenheim: Eduardo Vargas.

Internazionale: Gary Medel.

Lyon: Alexandre Lacazette.

PSV Eindhoven: Andres Guardado.

River Plate: Carlos Sanchez.

Swansea: Andre Ayew.

Swindon Town: Massimo Luongo.

Leicester City: Shinji Okazaki.


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Porto goalkeeper Iker Casillas stated that last night victory against Chelsea was just a team win, not his personal revenge or victory against José Mourinho, with whom he had some misunderstandings while the Blues boss was managing Real Madrid:

“I’m not happy because I beat Mourinho, I’m happy because I won with the team,” said Casillas, that last night made a record 152nd appearance in the Champions League.

“I greeted Mourinho. Shaking hands is the gentlemanly thing to go. So much time has passed. If we see each other we greet each other. It’s best not to live in the past, I don’t do that.

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Porto goalkeeper Iker Casillas is to break the record for Champions League appearances when he plays for the Portuguese club against Chelsea tonight, bettering the number currently held by compatriot Xavi. 

Casillas, who spent an incredibly successful 16 years at Real Madrid, during which he won the Champions League in 2000, 2002 and 2014, will make his 152nd appearance in the competition should, as is expected, play against Jose Mourinho’s side this evening.

The former Real Madrid and Spain Number 1, who equaled the record in Porto’s 2-2 draw with Dynamo Kiev a fortnight ago, left the Santiago Bernabeu last summer as the club sought the signing of Manchester United’s David De Gea, an ultimately failed venture.

Of the highest appearances makers in the club football’s premier competition, several prominent members of Chelsea’s past and present feature in the top 25. Club captain John Terry and record goalscorer Frank Lampard have played 105 times, one behind former goalkeeper Petr Cech. Ashley Cole has the most with 108.

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Cesc Fabregas says he understands Diego Costa’s frustration at being banned for violent conduct following Chelsea’s recent victory over Arsenal, and that he stands by his teammate entirely.

Costa has served two of a three game ban for lashing out at Laurent Koscielny in Chelsea 2-0 win over Arsenal just over a week ago, an incident that ultimately led to the visitors’ full-back Gabriel being sent off for retaliation. His absence has of yet not been too costly for the Champions- Costa missed the 4-1 win over Walsall in the League Cup and Saturday’s 2-2 draw away at Newcastle where Chelsea came back from 2-0 down late on.

Fabregas, speaking ahead of Chelsea’s Champions League tie with Porto, says that Costa, who is eligible to play tonight, is frustrated with the decision to ban him.

The Chelsea midfielder said:

“I understand Diego’s frustration because what has happened is very unfair.

“Other than that he is a key player for us, our striker and our reference point in attack. We need him if we’re to go far in this competition.”

The former Barcelona midfielder also spoke about Iker Casillas who will be present in Porto’s goal this evening. Casillas and Fabreagas were teammates with the Spanish national team and were on opposite sides of the great Real Madrid – Barcelona rivalry.

Casillas infamously fell out with Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho and is believed to have been instrumental in the Portuguese leaving the Santiago Bernabeu in 2013. He himself left the 10 time European Champions last summer.

Fabregas tried to play down the significance of playing against Casillas tonight:

“It’s a special game for the press. The fact that it’s Casillas doesn’t interest me, it interests [the reporters].

“We’ve not talked about anything. It will be nice to see him on Tuesday, we’ll say hello and that’s it.”

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Former Arsenal striker Thierry Henry has expressed his fear, that due to poor performances of the Premier League clubs at the Champions League the English clubs are risking losing one of their places in this European tournament.

Henry told The Sun:

“There is a real danger that the Premier League will soon lose one of its Champions League places because our European results have been so unimpressive.”

“When you see a side like Dinamo Zagreb beating Arsenal, it is clear that even the smallest teams in the Champions League now fancy their chances against the English. Back in the day, a match like that would have been a guaranteed three or four-goal win.”

“Now Arsenal are already on the back foot and under pressure just to get through the group stage. Thank goodness they are playing Olympiakos and not Bayern Munich on Tuesday.”

“Manchester United and Manchester City are also under the cosh after losing their opening games and have no margin for error against Wolfsburg and Borussia Monchengaldbach this week.”

“Chelsea look to be best equipped to make a strong challenge, but I thought that last season when they were totally dominating domestically but were killed off by ten-man Paris Saint-Germain at Stamford Bridge.”

“People can argue that the English teams are hampered in Europe because the Premier League doesn’t have a mid-season break. When the German and Spanish sides are enjoying a two or three-week rest, we are cramming in even more games during the Christmas and New Year period.

“But that was also the case when English teams were dominating Europe 10 years ago. So it doesn’t really excuse the recent poor results.

“Yes, the Premier League is very competitive. But so are the Spanish, German and Italian leagues.”

“People say, ‘Oh, it’s so easy in Spain and Germany because the same teams win the title every year.’ But if Barcelona, Bayern or Madrid played here, they would probably win the Premier League as well because they are simply the best in the world.”

“So now it is a case of what can England bring to the table that is new? I hope they can find the answer to that question very quickly.”


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Real Madrid manager Rafael Benitez has been criticised by a high ranking Real Madrid official, according to Spanish journalist Jose Manuel Garcia.

Benitez became manager of the Spanish giants in the Summer after the sacking of Carlo Ancelotti. The former Chelsea Interim Manager left his job at Napoli to return to his homeland, following Jose Mourinho who also left Serie A for the Santiago Bernabeu in 2010.

Mouinho left Real Madrid in an acrimonious manner in 2013 to return to Chelsea following a fall out with many of the high profile players and senior officials at the club. Benitez, with whom Mourinho had a number of clashes when the Spaniard was manager of Liverpool and the Portuguese at Stamford Bridge.

The two men have now been compared again after an official at Madrid, according to Garcia, likened Benitez to the two time European Cup winner, or specifically a “pain in the arse” version of the Chelsea manager.

Garcia, writing in a blog for El Confidencial , quotes someone in the Madrid hierarchy following other quotes from players and agents criticising Benitez’ training regimes. Daily training has become “an intolerable bore” and players leave “wishing the next day doesn’t come, since the next day threatens to be a big dose of the same”.

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Ex Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson explains how was the process that led to choose his successor at the Red Devils when he decided to retire in 2013.

Of course, also José Mourinho was in the Ferguson’s heir list, but the first one was current Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola:

“I asked Pep [Guardiola] to phone me before he accepted an offer from another club but he didn’t and wound up joining Bayern Munich in July 2013.

“When we started the process of looking for my replacement, we established that several very desirable candidates were unavailable.

“It became apparent that Jose Mourinho had given his word to Roman Abramovich that he would return to Chelsea and that Carlo Ancelotti would succeed him at Real Madrid.

“We also knew that Jurgen Klopp was happy at Borussia Dortmund and would be signing a new contract.

“Meantime, Louis van Gaal had undertaken to lead the Dutch attempt to win the 2014 World Cup.”

“We chose David Moyes. He had been consistent in his job at Everton, had a good spell there – 11 years – and showed appetite.

“Unfortunately, somehow it didn’t work out for David. The process was perfect. It was a good process.”

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Chelsea donated £1 from every ticket sold for Saturday’s 2-0 over Arsenal to Plan International a charity for refugees making their way to Europe, and many of the continent’s top clubs were equally generous at the weekend.

European football has seen an unprecedented outpouring of empathy for refugees and migrants escaping from war torn countries, particularly Syria, while politicians have hesitated over how to solve the crisis, be it through donating gate money, auctioning shirts or inviting the children of those who have made it to safety as mascots.

Bayern Munich, the biggest club in the country most appear to be going, started the goodwill by opening a refugee centre designed to help refugees integrate into German society, as well as donating one million Euros to the relief effort. Banners with the message “Refugees Welcome” have become a common feature at Bundesliga games this season. Vfl Wolfsburg invited over a thousand already settled refugees to their Champions League game against CSKA Moscow for free.

Real Madrid acted likewise by setting up football camps around Spain and inviting a Syrian family to the Santiago Bernabeu; the son being Cristiano Ronaldo’s mascot. PSG donated a million Euros while charitable initiatives have been set up by Serie A club Roma.

Chelsea have been the Premiership’s most generous club, with £1 from every ticket sold in their 2-0 win over Arsenal going to charity Plan International- the Gooners having done something similar recently- and selling the shirts from Tuesday’s 4-0 win over Israeli club Maccabi Tel-Aviv.

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Chelsea are interested in defender Dani Carvajal, according to Italian website TMV.

The Blues have let in 12 goals in six games so far this season, and claimed just their second win of the season on Saturday as they overcame Arsenal 2-0 at Stamford Bridge – they had previously won just one of their opening five games.

It is believed the Blues would aim to secure the Spaniard’s signature in the January transfer window.

However, it is believed Los Blancos would be against any sale for the 23-year old, who signed a contract extension in July which keeps him contracted at the Bernabeu until 2020.

The report suggests that Carvajal, who has made almost 100 appearances in all competitions for Madrid, would replace Branislav Ivanovic, who has struggled to find form so far this season.

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Barcelona and Spain legend Xavi Hernandez says he respects Jose Mourinho a great deal even if he doesn’t completely agree with the Chelsea manager’s approach to football.

The Spaniard clashed with Mourinho many times during his career in European football when the Portuguese coached Real Madrid, as well as Inter Milan and in his first stint at Chelsea. The encounters often led to bad relations between the Catalans and whichever club Mourinho managed, especially during his time in the Spanish capital.

Speaking to Marca, the Al-Sadd player spoke about his great rival.

“I disagree with [Mourinho’s] philosophy, to win at all costs, but I respect him a lot.

“He helped me in the three years he was with us. Then we spoke the same language, we believed in the same things. He came to Barca B to train us, and we worked in Barca’s philosophy.

“Now I see him on another path, the one where winning is most important of all. That is not our idea. We are about ‘how.’ I do not understand football any other way. But I respect Mou. We have greeted each other at the Ballon d’Or ceremony many times.”


On this day 20 years ago Chelsea legend Gianfranco Zola scored his first goal with the Blues. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p8xxDKvgCvA "I remember the goal well, I would say it...