Real Madrid vs Peñarol | Preview
Jose Mourinho’s Rreal Madrid stands undefeated in the preseason and will make its home debut at 22:15 CET tonight against Peñarol in the 32nd edition of the Santiago Bernabeu Trophy. The match will serve to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first Intercontinental Cup final between both sides.
The match will be of interest for many reasons, mainly the debut of Mourinho and the team’s new players (Canales, Di Maria, Ozil, Khedira, Carvalho) at the Bernabeu. The coach has called up all his men for the game, as well as the academy’s Mateos and Juanfran.
One of the debutant, Angel Di Maria spoke to AS ahead of the clash and described how eager he was to thrill the Madridistas assembling later tonight. The Argentine also said he is optimistic regarding the coming season.
I hope I can thrill the Bernabeu in my debut. I want to prove I’m here for a reason. It must be amazing to play there. The pressure of playing for Real Madrid doesn’t scare me. I just think about what I am and what I have to do upon stepping onto the pitch. It is a beautiful thing to play with all these stars. It doesn’t scare me at all.
The agile left winger scored his first goal for the Whites against Hercules a couple of days back. Di Maria expressed his delight on having done that and went on to say that the pressure of performing does not affect him.
I wish I could end up playing like Di Stefano. Our last names shere the same first word… I hope things go well for me here. Scoring against Hercules helped me relax a bit and to have more confidence. I try to prove I want to be here on a daily basis. Mourinho asks me to do my very best in the training sessions and on the pitch. We will be in top form by the time the league starts.
One of the main attractions is the opponent. Peñarol faced Real Madrid in the first edition of the Intercontinental Cup back in 1960, losing to the Madridistas. The team also has many players who have played in the Spanish league, such as captain Antonio Pacheco (Espanyol, Albacete, Alaves), Marcelo Sosa (Atletico, Osasuna), Fabian Estoyanoff (Valencia, Deportivo) and Diego Alonso (Valencia, Atletico, Racing, Malaga).
Jose Mourinho has included 23 players in his squad list. Cristiano Ronaldo, Casillas, Ramos and Xabi Alonso have made the cut. Youth teamers Mateos and Juanfran have also been included. Pepe, Kaka, Diarra, Albiol and Garay will miss the matcn due to injuries.
Goalkeepers: Casillas, Dudek, Adan.
Defenders: Carvalho, Sergio Ramos, Marcelo, Arbeloa, Drenthe, Mateos.
Midfielders: Khedira, Lass, Granero, Xabi Alonso, Canales, Gago, Pedro Leon, Van der Vaart, Di Maria, Ozil, Juanfran.
Forwards: Cristiano Ronaldo, Benzema, Higuain.