Real Madrid is a team packed full of world class talent. Involved in a three-way battle for top spot in La Liga with arch rivals Barcelona and Atlético Madrid, they will be hoping that those world class players can fire them to the title. They are also the most successful club of all time in the UEFA Champions’ League or European Cup equivalent, with nine trophies. If they wish to win the competition and the magical ‘tenth’ trophy this season, then they will need more than just everybody playing well.
Real Madrid face a crucial weekend in La Liga after fighting back brilliantly to move to within a point of league leaders Barcelona and Atletico Madrid. Ancelotti’s men have really put the pressure on the front runners and have been building up to some ominously good form, so to get another injury setback to the new star Gareth Bale is a real blow.
According to Spanish news outlet AS, the Welshman is certain to miss this weekend’s away game at Athletic Bilbao, which already promised to give Real Madrid a stern test, especially as we are the last of the top three to play. Barcelona are at home to Valencia on Saturday while Atletico have a home game against Real Sociedad eartlier on Sunday.
After Real Madrid won the second leg of their Copa Del Rey fixture against Espanyol on Tuesday, they became the first team to book their place in the semi-finals of the Spanish cup competition. And after last year’s final loss to city rivals Atletico Madrid, Carlo Ancelotti and his team must have been hoping for a favour from Athletic Bilbao.
They almost got it as well. It was looking good at halftime after Aduriz had scored to make the aggregate scores level, but second half goals from Raul Garcia and Diego Costa set up a repeat of last years final. It will be a two-legged affair, with the first one to take place at the Santiago Bernabeu next week and the second leg at the Vicente Calderon the following week.
It was almost the perfect La Liga weekend for Carlo Ancelotti and his Real Madrid team. With Los Blancos playing on Saturday, the opportunity was there to put pressure on Barcelona and Atletico Madrid, as the two league leaders were not in action until Sunday.
Ancelotti’s men certainly did their bit against bottom club Real Betis. Ronaldo took just 12 minutes to open the scoring and it never looked like anything other than a comfortable win. Gareth Bale put concerns over his form firmly behind him with a good performance capped by a fantastic free-kick goal.
There are concerns at Real Madrid over the recent poor performances of Gareth Bale, the most expensive player in the world. Nobody is exactly panicking or regretting the decision to sign the Welshman just yet, but there are some rumblings.
It is a bit harsh on Bale, in my opinion, because he did not set his own price and his Madrid career so far has been beset by niggling injury problems. And despite that, Bale is the club’s third top scorer behind Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema and he has played less than those two as well as Isco, Di Maria and others.
The case of Alvaro Morata and Real Madrid is a curious one and it has taken a few twists in the past year or so. And there could be another one coming soon, with rumours that manager Carlo Ancelotti and the club are ready to siften their stance on the promising young striker and let him leave the Santiago Bernabeu during this January transfer window.
When Jose Mourinho was getting grief from the media and fans alike last season about his failure to use promising youngsters, Morata was just about the only one he seemed to like and the young striker rewarded his faith with two massive goals coming on as a late sub.
There was quite a lot of speculation about Real Madrid and Cristiano Ronaldo for much of last season and this summer. Talk about the Portuguese superstar being unhappy at the club, unhappy with the lack of support from the fans, unhappy with the signing of another superstar Gareth Bale to challenge his role and much more.
Well all of those problems seem to have been put to bed. He gets on very well with Bale and they complement each other on the pitch, the fans absolutely adore him and the new management team of Carlo Ancelotti and Zinedine Zidane have fostered a much better atmosphere in the dressing room after all the tension of the Mourinho years.
I know it sounds petty to say it, because even when he is not playing at 100 percent he is still Real Madrid’s best player, but Cristiano Ronaldo has just been a little off the ball recently. Just four goals in the last 11 games for Madrid, compared to the 26 he scored in the previous games shows what I mean.
Unlike his usual self, Ronaldo has not been ruthless in front of goal, missing a few chances that would normally guarantee a goal, but I think he has just been a bit distracted by the impending Ballon D’Or awards. It would have been a travesty if he had not won it this year and thankfully he did receive it yesterday, with Messi second and Ribery third. Congratulations CR7, you deserve it!!
There is not really any such thing as an easy game in the last 16 of the Champions League, but Real Madrid players, fans and manager will be quite pleased to have drawn the German Bundesliga club Schalke for the knockout games due to be played in February.
It could have been a lot worse and it could have been a little better. Zenit St. Petersburg or Olympiakos would probably have been the choice, but Madrid did very well to avoid Arsenal, Man City or AC Milan. Even better news is that Barcelona were drawn with Man City and Bayern were drawn with Arsenal, so two very strong sides will be going out.
The transfer of Gareth Bale to Real Madrid was one of the worst kept secrets but also longest running transfer sagas of the summer. It gave people lots of time to discuss it before it happened and there was a lot of doubt about whether Bale and Ronaldo would work well together on the pitch for Real Madrid.