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.
After a disappointing and frustrating start to the season for Real Madrid fans, things are really starting to look up, while the biggest rivals Barcelona started well but are starting to show cracks in their veneer, making this season’s race to be champions of Spain shape up to be much close than last year.
We cannot forget about Diego Simeone’s Atletico side either, as they are doing really well and are level on points at the top with Barcelona. But because Madrid play before the other two and are just three points behind, they can go into top spot with a victory by three goals or more away to Osasuna. That would really put some pressure on the wobbling Barcelona who are still without Messi until the new year.
Cristiano Ronaldo and everyone concerned with Real Madrid must have been rubbing their hands in the last few weeks, but an injury picked up by the Portugal international star could really throw a spanner in the works for both club and player, although hopefully it will only be a short term problem.
Fans of Real Madrid have already lost faith with the process of choosing the winner of the Ballon D’Or, and the recent idiotic performance of the FIFA president Sepp Blatter has done nothing to change their minds. Cristiano Ronaldo is the stand out candidate this year, in my opinion, but that does not mean he will win it.
It appears that the bookies feel it will be the Bayern Munich and France player Franck Ribery who wins it this year, and the people who support him say he deserves it because Bayern won the treble. Well that theory didn’t stop Messi beating Ronaldo last year even though Madrid had ended Barcelona’s title winning and recorded a record number of points into the bargain.
I think it is fair to say that Real Madrid fans are still sitting on the fence over the new manager Carlo Ancelotti. Although there were some hardcore Mourinho fans, most people connected with the club were glad to see the back of the Portuguese manager, and were really looking forward to the new era under the Italian.
The problem has been, however, that there has not been a very noticeable change from last season. The results have been better, but they have come with no small amount of luck. The performances have been good at times but inconsistent. Having said that, a win tomorrow in the Nou Camp will see Madrid draw level on points with current La Liga leaders Barcelona, and the Ancelotti era will have really started.
Real Madrid are ready for the visit of the Italian champions in the Champions League tonight, but Cristiano Ronaldo has admitted that they do have one eye on this weekend’s La Liga game. Not surprising really, when it is the first El Clasico of the season.
The Portuguese superstar knows that a win tonight followed by a win against Barcelona in the Nou Camp on Saturday, will put a completely different slant on the season so far. Los Blancos may have stuttered and been a bit lucky in La Liga so far, but three points in El Clasico will put Madrid level on points with their fierce rivals. With a new manager and new players, as well as all the injury problems suffered by Gareth Bale, that would be seen as a very good start.
The news that Gareth Bale has been training with his Real Madrid team mates since they returned from international duty this week seems to settle the question of his injury once and for all. After the Spanish news agency Marca claimed that he had a hernia or slipped disc that would require surgery, the Club denied it and Bale would not be training if that was the case.
It seems that Real Madrid will have to find a way of overcoming the influence of Lionel Messi in order to win La Liga, the Champions League or any other trophy in the next few years. The Argentine striker seems to have no desire the club that signed him as a kid and brought him through the ranks, which is why Florentino Perez has been forced to spend massive amounts of money on the world’s best players like Ronaldo, Bale and Isco just to compete.
The most intense rivalry in Spanish football continues later this month with Real Madrid travelling to do battle with Barcelona at the Nou Camp on 26 October and hoping to draw first blood in the race for the la Liga title.
With temperatures averaging in the high 20s in October, the first El Clásico of the season falls at an ideal time for those looking to get away for a city break in the Catalan capital.
There is a concern at Real Madrid that the niggling injuries that have not allowed the club’s massive summer signing to make much of an impact could continue if they are not given time to recover properly. So Gareth Bale has had extensive tests on his thigh to determine the extent of the problem.
The results are not too bad, and the Welshman could be ready to play soon. However, after paying something like 100 million euros for Bale and only seeing him on the pitch for 132 minutes, Madrid are understandably being ultra cautious with him. So the club intends for Bale to not play until the end of October, in the first El Clasico of the season at the Nou Camp.