Its the Internatio-dull break and hence loads of comments
Xabi Alonso, Bernd Schuster, Rafael van der Vaart, Miguel Torres, Iker Casillas, Franck Ribery, Jorge Valdano, Florentino Perez, Barack Obama, Martin Luther King, Mahatma Gandhi – the list goes on. Everyone has something to say. Lets just look at a few of them who have spoken about Real Madrid over the past week or so.
Xabi Alonso has revealed that he first came to the conclusion he was ready to leave Liverpool when the club tried to sell him last summer. He told Sky Sports News:
It was a very difficult decision for me to make. After five years I have experienced wonderful nights at Anfield, to have experienced the support of probably the best fans in the world. That’s why I have always been very grateful and I will always have them in my mind and it has been a pleasure. Last summer the club proposed me that I might have to be sold to find funds for new players.
It was a difficult decision or difficult moment to accept that. I accepted that as a professional and that moment probably changed my mind and I thought that maybe from that moment that maybe it was time for a change.
Alonso has since admitted that his relationship with Benitez deteriorated when he demanded to leave but the Spain international reveals that their relationship was always a professional one. He added:
There has been a lot of rumours but I have always said that it has been simply a professional relationship. I have always tried to do what he asked to do. What he asked of me on the pitch, to do the talking on the pitch, and that’s that.
All that I can say is that he has made the right decision.
Bernd Schuster has told Sport that Sergio Ramos cannot afford a repeat of his 2008-09 campaign. He insisted that Ramos will need to improve greatly if he is to remain at the Bernabeu and that the arrival of Arbeloa will provide Ramos with the competition he needs to improve as a player. Schuster said:
Sergio Ramos needs to improve because he can’t have another season like last year. At Real Madrid this is impossible. Alvaro Arbeloa brings competition, a player who is hungry and wants to prove he can play for Madrid after doing so at Liverpool. Arbeloa can help Sergio. If [Ramos] tries harder and is humble he can become a permanent fixture in the team.
I concur. I usually don’t bother posting stuff said by former Madrid managers and former Madrid players who are currently playing elsewhere, but Schuster is different. I like Schuster and I thought he did not deserve to get fired. Lets move on.
Rafael van der Vaart has been buoyed by Real’s assurances that their desire to sell him was never about his ability and only about squad numbers. He revealed that he was told by the club’s hierarchy that they had to reduce their numbers as only 25 players can be named for the league campaign. But now he has been told that he is a part of Manuel Pellegrini’s plans and that his quality was never in doubt. He was quoted as saying by De Telegraaf:
The club has assured me that they believe in my quality. Real Madrid has never said it was a quality problem, but rather the new players. They appreciated my desire to play and they told me they need me. I can play an important role in this team.
I just hope he does. He is a great player.
Jorge Valdano has revealed that Real Madrid were asked to sell Arjen Robben and did not force the Dutchman out of the club, but admitted that selling Wesley Sneijder was a priority. Valdano explained that Robben was one of the players that the club were keen to sell in June before Manuel Pellegrini asked him to stay. When the Dutchman did not play regularly in pre-season his father Hans, who is also his agent, asked Real to listen to what Bayern Munich were proposing. Valdano told Onda Cero:
He was invited to leave the club at the start of the summer after Cristiano Ronaldo signed but the coach was keen for him to stay. He enjoyed the time he was given to play and even when he was not starting he still did well. But his father indicated his concern and asked the club to accept the offers that were coming in for the player.
Sneijder did not want to leave Real Madrid after just two seasons, but Valdano revealed that once the club started to add to their midfield options he was always likely to go. He continued:
If Kaka joined then Sneijder would go and if Ronaldo joined then Robben would leave. That is normal thinking. When Barca thought about signing [Zlatan] Ibrahimovic they knew that Samuel Eto’o would have to go. If Robben had stayed then [Gonzalo] Higuain would have found it more difficult to play often.
Selling Sneijder was hard because he was not keen on going to Italy, but in the end he was convinced that Inter is a great club and that he would be able to play regularly there and not at Madrid.
Rafael van der Vaart was also reportedly told that he was not wanted only to now win his place back in the squad after Esteban Granero was even given his shirt number. Valdano added:
Once Sneijder and Robben left I felt that Van der Vaart had a place in the squad. It is true that for a long time, throughout the summer, we considered selling him, but at times the market means you can think again and that was important.
Meanwhile, Manuel Pellegrini told AS that Raul has an “admirable passion for football” and that he has an important role to play this season. Pellegrini insists the striker is as fresh as ever. He said:
He’s like an 18-year-old boy. I demand the maximum from my players and he always responds at a high level. Whether he plays or is on the bench he acts the same. He is his own motivation and is an example for his team-mates and anyone who wants to play football. He still has the desire to win, after winning everything.
The coach also said that Raul will be considered for selection just like everyone else, but it will not be as case of the veteran striker being selected before the ten others.
In October and November we will play eight games each month, six in September plus two internationals. Raul, nor Kaka, nor [Gonzalo] Higuain, nor [Cristiano] Ronaldo can play 24 games in three months. The minutes will be distributed among all players.
He pointed to 35-year-old Robert Pires, a player he managed at Villarreal, as the perfect example as to why Raul still has a lot to offer.
I have seen few in my career but Pires is one example.
After completing his move from Real Madrid to neighbours Getafe on the last day of the transfer window, Miguel Torres told Marca that he is looking forward to the challenge of establishing himself in his new side. The 23-year-old is looking forward to is debut and says he is thankful for his time at Madrid. Torres denied, however, that his goal is to return to the Bernabeu. He said:
For me the important thing is to play and to progress as a footballer. I haven’t always played at Madrid. Here I can do that. Getafe was the option for me. It is a pleasure being here.
It would be nice to debut against Barcelona, but that is up to the coach. My first game for Getafe will be a joy. Since joining Madrid I enjoyed many things as a footballer, I am very grateful.
There is a clause for Madrid to buy me again but my priority is to do well and stay here. I just got here and have many things to prove.
A potential signing in Franck Ribery has dismissed suggestions that there is a deal in place for him to come to Real next summer, but did reiterate his desire to play in La Liga. The French star was chased by Real all summer only for Bayern to resist and keep hold of a player whom they see as crucial to their plans. After Madrid announced that they had given up hopes of signing Ribery this year, reports surfaced that a deal had been struck that would see him come to the Bernabeu in 12 months’ time. He told France Football:
Is there an agreement between Bayern and Real for a transfer next summer? Never, I deny it. That is fake. Absolutely nothing has been sorted out so far. Bayern officials didn’t propose to me any extension. Maybe we will talk. I have never closed any door. My preference is to move to Spain. One day I will play in La Liga.
Rummmennniggar or whatever his name is has denied such reports as well. Balls to him. Talking about balls…
Iker Casillas has slammed the the design of the Champions League ball after testing it, and thinks that things have gone too far in a bid to produce more goals. The Saint is infuriated that Adidas’ latest ball moves in the air and is lighter than before, meaning that predicting its path is even more difficult. While stating that Nike’s league balls still fly truly through the air, Casillas is not a fan of the new Adidas Finale 9, which he believes no longer moves straight. He was quoted as saying by AS:
I am sorry but it has got to the stage where it just can’t be allowed to continue. How they make the balls makes things difficult these days, particularly the one for the Champions League. The flight is terrible, you saw that at the Confederations Cup and the European Championship. The ball used in the league is a bit better, it can do strange things but not many. The other one is a complete disaster.
Florentino Perez has full confidence that ties have been mended with Sir Alex Ferguson. Speaking to FourFourTwo magazine, Perez said:
Alex Ferguson has only positive things to say about me. Our relationship with English clubs is positive. My personal priority is to ensure that relationships between clubs are cordial. Fair play works on and off the pitch. Our model sustains itself…[Zinedine] Zidane, for example, was a cheap signing as his arrival allowed new commercial deals and generated revenue. I left the club in a sound financial state and on top of European football. I want to put right the damage done over the last three years.
Raul Albiol talked to the media about Spain’s performances and chances to reach the World Cup.
We know the World Cup is near and that we have to start from scratch. Being the European champions won’t help us get through rounds nor reach the final. We must be humble and work as hard as in the 2008 Euro.
The Confederations Cup was good for us. It was a shame to lose against the US, but we drew positive conclusions from the tournament. We didn’t play as badly against the US to deserve such a defeat. I think we performed rather well at times during the competition and we won all the other games. We have a great group of players.
We know we will qualify for the World Cup if we win our next two games. We must take advantage of playing in Spain to seal our spot in the World Cup. These games are important because it’s been very hard for us to get this far.
A joke to end with. Tottenham Hotspur failed in a bid to land Ruud van Nistelrooy from Real Madrid and sell Roman Pavlyuchenko on transfer deadline day after concerns were raised about the Dutchman’s fitness and price, according to a report. Answer this simple question. In which team would you prefer to be a fourth striker in, Real Madrid or Sp*rs?
That was one HUGE post. But now its over.
Para Siempre Blanco!