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Real Madrid 0 Atletico Madrid 1: Bale tastes defeat on home debut

29 Sep

Gareth Bale will never forget his Real Madrid home debut, unfortunately neither will Atletico Madrid supporters who saw their team win a league derby for the first time in 14 years.
There was a Welshman on the bench the last time Atletico Madrid beat Real in the league with John Toshack in charge in 1999. On Saturday night there was a Welshman on the bench again as Bale started as a substitute.
Real Madrid had gone 23 league derbies unbeaten since that defeat – a 3-1 loss in which Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink scored and youngsters Samuel Eto’o and Iker Casillas were on the bench for Real

Atletico beat Real in last May’s Cup Final with Jose Mourinho and Ronlado sent off. Last night Ronaldo was below par as Diego Simone got one over Carlo Ancelotti.
Bale brought pace and power to a flat Real Madrid side but the big spenders were a team without a plan reliant on individual sparks of brilliance that never came. Koke hit the bar with seven minutes left as Atletico Madrid came close to making it two.
Bale kicked the ball out of Courtois’s hands at the death but the ball went out of play as Real lost their first home game of the season leaving Ancelotti under-pressure having fallen five points off the lead
The biggest cheer from the home fans came when Bale warmed up at half time after a poor first half.
At first he found very little space with Atletico Madrid doubling up full-back Felipe Luis and Koke every time he received the ball. He drifted inside to occupy the area of the pitch from where he scored against Villarreal but Madrid were still in chaos.
Diego Costa, who had put Atletico one-up in the first half, then missed a chance to make it two and from the breakaway Modric released Bale and he surged at the heart of the Atletico defence tumbling over Felipe Luis on the edge of the area.
Ronaldo took the resulting free-kick but blasted it high over Courtois’s bar. It was at least a sign of what Bale could do if he had the chance to run at the visitors’ defence.

Diego Costa, who had put Atletico one-up in the first half, then missed a chance to make it two and from the breakaway Modric released Bale and he surged at the heart of the Atletico defence tumbling over Felipe Luis on the edge of the area.
Ronaldo took the resulting free-kick but blasted it high over Courtois’s bar. It was at least a sign of what Bale could do if he had the chance to run at the visitors’ defence.
He then cut in from the right and shot low at Courtois after receiving Isco’s pass. And he then raced away on another counter-attack only to find that when the move broke down his team-mates were slow to move up the field to take the throw.
Atletico Madrid had taken the lead on 11 minutes when Di Maria lost possession inside his own half under pressure from Felipe Luis. The loose ball ran to Koke who played in Diego Costa behind Arebeloa and the league’s top scorer stroked the ball into the far corner past Diego Lopez for hjs eighth goal of the season.
Pepe immediately sliced the ball out for a corner as Real Madrid rocked back on their heels in defence and Carlo Ancelotti cursed inside the technical area. At the other end the home side had still not had a shot.

When that first shot came it was from Ronaldo and went hopelessly high and wide.
On 22 minutes came Real’s first chance when Benzema’s header from Di Maria’s cross was turned away for a corner by Thibaut Courtois.
It was the same Di Maria-Benzema combination again five minutes later but this time the Frenchman’s header went wide.
Atletico Madrid should then have doubled their lead when Koke’s corner was headed wide by Tiago. The midfielder had a free-header after Isco failed to track his run.
With the Bernabeu now restlessly whistling the sluggish performance tempers flared on the pitch. Arbeloa trod on Diego Costa and Fabio Coentrao went in late on Gabi.
Ramos found Ronaldo but the Portuguese, who had been uncharacteristically quiet, misplaced his pass to Isco.
Diego Costa then teed up Arda Turan – another run that had not been tracked by Madrid – but the Turk failed to find the target.
Arda then became the first to pick up a yellow card for a late challenge and Coentrao followed him into the book for hand ball.
Atletico Madrid had another chance to double their lead just before the break. Diego Lopez saved Gabi’s header from a corner and appeared to stamp on Diego Costa as the Atletico Madrid forward scrambled for the rebound.
It was an ill-tempered affair with Real Madrid attempting to go to war with their neighbours – not something you would expect them to need to do having spent around 170m more than them during the summer.
More than half that pre-season spending was still on the bench but as the half-time. That changed for the second period but although Bale and Modric improved the performance they could not change the scoreline.


Chelsea spent three years building a team for Guardiola and then put Mourinho in charge. It’s like taking a tank into a Ferrari plant…

20 Sep

Put Jose Mourinho in a scrap-metal yard, and he will build you a tank. Put him in a Ferrari plant … and he will also build you a tank.
Mourinho builds tanks.
Big powerful armored-vehicle football teams. He likes a back-four that never allows an attacking whim to distract it out of shape.
He likes to plant two bodyguard midfielders in front of that back four to fill any gaps which should appear.
He likes to have wide forwards whose talents allow them to create and score at one end but whose engines allows them to get back and cover their full-backs at the other end.
He likes a centre-forward who will muscle off two opposing defenders and offer an out-ball to a side under-pressure.
And he will allow himself the luxury of ONE No 10. Not a squad full of them as Chelsea have.
Chelsea have spent the last three years assembling a squad that would convince Pep Guardiola to take over. He turned them down.
They built a team for Pep and then put Jose in charge. What did they expect would happen?
Lightweight defenders, elegant on the ball, and comfortable in attack (Cesar Azpilicueta) and floaty midfielders, soft in the tackle but sensational in their ability to do the unexpected (Juan Mata) would be integral parts of a Guardiola side. For better or worse, Mourinho, is not enamoured.
Gerard Pique spoke after Barcelona beat Ajax 4-1 and the subject of styles came up. No two teams in Europe have such defined ways of playing as the old Dutch masters and their successors Barcelona.
Barca, under new coach Tata Martino, are trying to make certain style changes this season and there is some friction between the new coach and his players. But it is minimal because the players know that Martino’s options are limited. He can rearrange the room a little if he wants to, but most of the furniture is nailed to the floor.
‘The style here since Cruyff came has not changed,’ said Pique. ‘You can have variations and moments in the game when you play one way or another way but in the in end the aim is always to have the ball and control the game and from there create the chances on goal.’
Asked about Chelsea’s Basel faulty episode on the same night Barcelona had coasted to such an easy win. He said: ‘What you have to avoid in the group is that you fall or that there is a surprise. Chelsea, losing at home against Basel, is an example of that; it is clear that that makes things complicated.
‘It is true that in recent years we have been able to qualify fairly easily and before the last game and that saves you the moments of suffering that perhaps teams like the example you have given: Chelsea, are now going to have. The key is to avoid that and avoid surprises and qualify as soon as possible.’
It’s the same-old story for Barcelona this season. Likewise Real Madrid’s counter-attacking style remains more-or-less unchanged and is enhanced by Gareth Bale’s arrival. And the other Spanish candidate Atletico Madrid also have an unalterable approach based on a back four and goalkeeper that have now been together for close to two years.
The individual ability of Chelsea’s players and their manager will surely see them through the group. But to ever win the tournament again they will need to agree on just what kind of team they want to be.

From Hill’s £20-a-week to Ronaldo’s £288k Madrid mega-deal… how footballers’ wages have been steadily increasing

16 Sep

Cristiano Ronaldo’s new salary of £288,000-a-week after tax is a new record. Sportsmail studies football history to see how wages have been sharply increasing through the years.
When Johnny Haynes became the first footballer to earn £100-per-week in 1961 punters were outraged at the ridiculous wages.
Imagine what they’d make of Cristiano Ronaldo’s new galactic salary of £288,000 after tax.
The abolition of footballer’s £20-per-week salary cap in England on January 18, 1961, was a defining moment in the history of the game’s global wage rises.

At the time there was disgust that footballers in this country could earn more than the miners slaving away at the coalface.
Yet in a PFA meeting to vote on strike action Bolton’s representative Tommy Banks, who had been a miner, gave a speech in which he argued that although admired people in the mining community that didn’t mean they could mark Stanley Matthews on a Saturday afternoon. The decision was unanimous and the cap was lifted.
Fulham’s then chairman Tommy Trinder saw the publicity value of making his England midfielder the highest-paid player. Soon other clubs such as Manchester United and Liverpool, having initially decided to stick to strict wage caps, followed suit.
It came just in time with Italian clubs spotting the value in attracting star names and persuading the likes of Denis Law and Jimmy Greaves to leave England for bigger salaries. The competition forced clubs to offer higher and higher salaries to secure top players.

George Best was the first to break four figures at Manchester United in 1968, but the Italians struck back. In 1980 the Brazilian Falcao became the first player on £10,000 per week when he joined Roma. Ten years later and Roberto Baggio became the first on £50,000 when he signed for Juventus from bitter rivals Fiorentina.
The Bosman ruling in 1995 then had a dramatic effect on wage increases. Power shifted from the clubs to players when it was decided in the European Court of Justice that players finishing their contract at a club were allowed to leave for free. Agents could now demand their clients received greater wages based on their new employers saving money on their transfer fee.

There is something in joining a rival club – or at least threatening to. Following on from Baggio and Campbell, Carlos Tevez was the first to break £200,000 moving from Manchester United to City in 2009.
Wayne Rooney trumped him by threatening to move across the city, too, and was the first on £250,000. And now we have Ronaldo, but who knows where it will go from here.

Bale has shocked Real Madrid team-mates with his pace and trickery, says Ramos (who also admits no one knew him before as he only played for Spurs!)

16 Sep

Gareth Bale has been described as ‘frightening’ by Real Madrid team-mate Sergio Ramos who has also conceded no one at the Spanish giants was prepared for just how special the former Tottenham attacker was going to be.
The most expensive player in the world scored on his debut for Los Blancos against Villarreal – an instant impact following his £86million switch from White Hart Lane.
And Bale has also been a huge hit in training, leaving his new team-mates stunned at his impeccable talent and trickery.
Defender Ramos, said: ‘Of course Gareth Bale has been the biggest transfer of the summer – and we are glad now that he is with us.
‘The truth is because he did not play for a team in England that played in the Champions League – we did not know that much about him.
‘We know if he the coach wanted him that strongly he must be a good player – but nobody was prepared for how special he is.

‘It has only been a few training sessions we have seen him in – but some of what we see we can’t believe. He is so fast, so tricky, and the frightening thing is that he is not even 100 per cent game fit yet.’
Real Madrid begin their bid to land their 10th Champions League title this week, the ‘Decima’ crown Los Blancos so desperately desire.
And Ramos is confident Carlo Ancelotti now has the squad which can land the European which has eluded them for 11 years.
Ramos said: ‘It has been a long time in the eyes of the Real Madrid fans since we have won The Champions League – and we have a squad this year that is capable of being victorious.
‘The coach has much experience and success in the competition – so everything looks very bright.’

Bale to make Real debut against Villarreal… but Ancelotti will play £86m star on the right (and that’s his wrong side)

14 Sep

Gareth Bale will make his Real Madrid debut on Saturday against Villarreal.Carlo Ancelotti said he had not decided if the £86million star would start or come off the bench but hinted at the former by answering a question about what position he would play saying: ‘He will play on the right.’Bale has only trained for three days with his new team-mates but Ancelotti said: ‘Everyone knows he has not had a normal pre-season but his condition is good and he will play.


‘I don’t know if he will start but he will definitely play a part. I have not decided if he will be in the 11 or on the bench.’

The Italian coach suggested he had been persuaded by Bale’s attitude that despite playing in only one match in pre-season he was already at the same physical level as his team-mates.He said: ‘This is not the moment to leave him to one side. He will get sharpeness from  playing. He is highly motivated and wants to be involved. He is in good condition.’Asked where he was thinking of using Bale, Ancelotti was categoric: ‘On the right.’
article-2419914-1BCBF77B000005DC-12_634x539The Real Madrid manager practically revealed his team for Saturday with Asier Illaramendi also set to start and Iker Casillas once again to be left on the bench – although the manager confirmed the World Cup-winning goalkeeper would be Madrid’s keeper in the Champions League this season. Ancelotti added: ‘The two (Ronaldo and Bale) can play perfectly well together. They are both great players and it provides us with absolutely no problem at all.’He also denied Mesut Ozil had been forced out of the club saying: ‘No-one leaves Real Madrid without wanting to do so. Although it is also true that not everyone who wants to leave does so.’He also denied the player had been moved on to Arsenal against the manager’s wishes. He said: ‘With the arrival of Bale and the form of Isco there is a lot of competition. I was happy for him to go.’Ancelotti is confident Bale can make an impact on Saturday.

‘Bale came here without having a normal pre-season, but his condition is not bad. He will travel tomorrow, and he will play. He has no injuries, he is excited and very motivated’He’s arrived full of enthusiasm and he is very happy to be at the team he wanted to join. He is a humble player who likes to be with his team-mates. He fits in well with the squad.’Ancelotti believes Tottenham could have received even more money for the Bale transfer.’We have paid what the market dictated,’ said the Italian. ‘I’m sure that there were teams that would have paid more money to Tottenham than us, but the player decided he wanted to come here.’Bale said on Thursday he felt ready to play a part and admitted he would be prepared to play anywhere for Real: ‘I’m feeling good physically. I’m a little bit behind everyone else but I won’t take long to catch up. I have spoken to the boss about how I feel and now we will wait to find out if I am picked for the game.’I have spoken to the boss about where I’m best on the pitch but I will play anywhere I’m asked.’




I will be Chelsea manager by the end of the week, says Jose as he heads to the Bridge with parting shot for Ronaldo as Madrid’s dressing-room war is exposed at bitter end

3 Jun

Jose Mourinho has confirmed he will take charge of Chelsea later this week.
‘I’m going to London on Monday and at the end of the week I will be the manager of Chelsea,’ he said to leading Spanish TV football show Punto Pelota. ‘I feel the people there love me and in life you have to look for that.
‘Life is beautiful and short and you must look for what you think is best for you.’
But never have the words ‘the bitter end’ been more apt as Mourinho took charge of his last game at Real Madrid on Saturday before returning to Stamford Bridge.
He left the Bernabeu on Saturday night without saying goodbye to Cristiano Ronaldo, Pepe and Iker Casillas, having suggested all three had deliberately ruled themselves out of his last game in charge.
And as if to underline the divisions, Alvaro Arbeloa — one of the players who had stayed loyal to Mourinho in what had become a dressing-room war against the coach — claimed the manager had been betrayed by his players.
Mourinho had left as many as 10 first-team players out of his final squad for Saturday’s visit of Osasuna, but claimed that, while many were injured and had been ruled out by the club’s medical staff, Ronaldo, Casillas and Pepe had all taken it upon themselves to miss the last game.
He told Spanish television channel Intereconomia: ‘The players not in the team had either been declared injured by club doctors, or have declared themselves injured. Pepe, Cristiano and Casillas all ruled themselves out with back pain. They did not train all week and they did not train very well last week either.’
The disintegration of player-coach relations after Real Madrid’s Champions League semi-final exit against Borussia Dortmund intensified after the charade of the Spanish Cup final, which Real lost with both Mourinho and Ronaldo sent off. It had reached such levels that it seems the star players wanted no part in their coach’s send-off.
The manager who built winning teams at Chelsea, Inter Milan and Porto on the foundation of unbreakable dressing-room unity was unable to do the same at Real Madrid. Straight after Saturday’s 4-2 win, Arbeloa suggested that Mourinho was let down by selfish players.
The Spain defender said: ‘Mourinho gave everything for the club, always putting it first and sometimes his image was affected by that. I am not sure everyone else, players included, can say the same.
‘A lot of us worried that we might look bad in the media. We worried about having a good public image and we spoke always for our own benefit. There is a good group of players here and we all have a good relationship but perhaps we lacked maturity at times.’
The split between Mourinho and his players was never as clear as in the tunnel before the final home game of the season as he waited until the last moment possible to take to the pitch.
Ronaldo was also in the tunnel waiting to be awarded a post-season prize and not a word was exchanged between the pair.
Pepe and Casillas appeared at the top of the stairs that lead to the dressing room, ready to watch the game from the private players’ boxes high up in the Bernabeu.
They looked down on Ronaldo. He looked at Mourinho, who looked out on to the pitch, avoiding eye contact with his three errant players.
It was an image to sum up a tempestuous last season in charge when, for the first time in his career, the Special One had lost the dressing room.
‘We have to learn for next season,’ said Arbeloa. ‘With the new coach, we have to be united with everyone helping each other.
‘This coach (Mourinho) has won wherever he has gone and it is strange that here, where he had the best squad he has ever had, is where he has won the least.’
The divisions in the dressing room were, as ever, replicated in the stands of the Bernabeu.
Supporters behind one goal sung his name throughout the 4-2 win but the songs were drowned out by jeers from the remaining three sides of the stadium.
There were ‘Thanks for everything’ signs held aloft but others read, ‘Thanks for nothing’ and ‘Don’t ever come back’.
The most vocal of the pro-Mourinho supporters hung a ‘Mourinho we love you’ banner from the stand behind the south goal.
The outgoing coach came back out to those supporters after the end of the game to have pictures taken with several who had made their way on to the pitch.
The game itself saw Mourinho clock up his 128th win in his 178th game in charge. It also meant the club had gone the entire season without losing at home — save the cup final when they had occupied the away dressing room. Despite the victory there was little sign of celebrations.
Another who said an unhappy goodbye was Gonzalo Higuain. He did not celebrate after scoring the game’s opener and confirmed after the match that he would not play for Real again: ‘It’s a decision I have taken calmly over time. I have been here seven years, they try to sell me every pre-season and I need to go somewhere I am truly wanted.’
Arsenal will have taken note of the confirmation of his departure, as well as his insistence that a switch to Juventus had not been finalised.
Luka Modric and Arbeloa both had farewell photographs taken with Mourinho and his coaching staff. And when Michael Essien, on loan from Chelsea, scored Madrid’s second goal, he ran to embrace the coach on the touchline.
Essien expects to go back to Chelsea with Mourinho, while, at Madrid, a new era begins as the club confirm Florentino Perez will continue as president for the next four years.
His first business will be to try to persuade Ronaldo to sign a contract extension but he may be fighting a losing battle with Manchester United confident they can lure the forward back to Old Trafford, making him a spectacular signing for new manager David Moyes.
Perez met the player’s agent Jorge Mendes last week — and a two-year extension on Ronaldo’s current deal that runs until 2016 is on the table which would see him clear £13.5million a year after tax has been paid by the club.
There is hope at the Bernabeu that with the increased offer and Mourinho’s departure Ronaldo is more likely to stay but the Portugal star is aware that he would be adored by United fans if he returns in contrast to the mixed reception he has received from Real supporters
Perez knows the player’s decision will impact on just how hard he must push to bring in Gareth Bale for £80m this year, as well as influencing whether a £40m bid for Luis Suarez goes ahead.

Damiao: I want Oscar reunion

24 Nov

BRAZIL striker Leandro Damiao wants to link up with Oscar at Chelsea.
The £15million-rated Internacional goal machine, 23, has already snubbed a move to Tottenham but said: “I had an excellent relationship with Oscar here.
“It is true that I would like to be reunited with him.” | Hang Time Blog

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