Only a year ago, Iker Casillas was well on his way to becoming the Real Madrid player with the most games, as well as already winning more caps than any other for the Spain national team. His nearest rival for that honour is Xavi with around 20 less than Iker’s 151. His Madrid team mate Sergio Ramos is next, back on 110, but he is younger than Casillas. That shouldn’t matter to a goalkeeper, but if you lose your place in the team that is another matter.
There are media reports suggesting that Real Madrid are preparing to sell the French international striker Karim Benzema, and it could happen as soon as January if the below par front man does not start to buck his ideas up quickly. It seems like the Premier League in England could be his destination, with Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United all keen on his services.
The club are so keen to be rid of misfiring Benzema that they are willing to take a loss on him, according to The Mirror. He cost Madrid 35 million euros when he was signed from the French Ligue 1 club Lyon in the summer of 2009, but the story is that he would they would release him for only £17 million, which is not much more than 20 million euros.
The Real Madrid club captain and keeper, Iker Casillas, is set to start his first competitive game for the club since he broke his finger in a La Liga game against Valencia on 23rd January. Jose Mourinho then signed Diego Lopez from Sevilla, but Casillas did not get his place back when he recovered and it was clear that the player and manager had serious issues with each other.
It was a surprise, however, when Ancelotti continued to select Lopez this season, and there has been lots of speculation as to why. The thing is, Lopez has been p[laying well, including a Man of the Match performance to rescue a draw at Villareal on Saturday.
There are reports in the English media that three Premier League clubs are hoping to sign the Real Madrid captain Iker Casillas. Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United are all thinking about trying to sign the 32-year old Spanish international. Normally this would be of absolutely no concern to Madrid fans, because Casillas is the club captain and has never shown any wish to play for any other club.
There were obviously a lot of old acquaintances in this game between Real Madrid and Chelsea to decide who won the International Champions Cup in Miami. To call it a friendly might be slightly misleading, however, because of the attempts by Jose Mourinho to wind up his former star player Cristiano Ronaldo by talking about the `real` Ronaldo being the Brazilian striker.
Cristiano Ronaldo knows just what Jose Mourinho is like from the three seasons at Real Madrid together. So it probably did not surprise the 28-year old striker all that much to hear that the not-so-special one has been mouthing off again and aiming childish jibes at his former player.
It is clear that the two did not always get along when Mourinho was in charge at the Bernabeu, but the manager knew that Ronaldo was a special talent and never kept him out of the side for long or for any important games. He seems to have forgotten that, however, after his statement last week about Cristiano not being the `real` Ronaldo.
Real Madrid are having an exciting and successful summer so far in the transfer market, with the arrival of some top young Spanish talent in Isco and Asier Illarramendi. The most important transfer, though, for the club and the fans, is that of Cristiano Ronaldo.
We have already heard that he would not be leaving the Santiago Bernabeu this summer, which was a great relief, but that also left us with the prospect of having to sell the Portuguese star next summer or lose him for nothing the year after. It now appears, though, that Ronaldo and the new manager Carlo Ancelotti are getting along famously, because the Italian has expressed his assurance that Ronaldo will extend his current contract with Madrid.
If anybody knows how to get the best out of Real Madrid’s Brazilian midfielder Kaka, surely it is Carlo Ancelotti. The Italian coach was the manager at AC Milan for the whole six seasons that Kaka was there. During that time, the player won the Ballon D’Or and the FIFA World Player of the Year before they were merged, and Ancelotti is convinced that he can make the 31-year old rediscover some of that form for Real Madrid this season.
Iker Casillas and Alvaro Arbeloa both began their careers from the Real Madrid youth system but, whereas Casillas became the first team keeper at 18-years old and went on to play for his boyhood club over 650 times so far, Arbeloa had to move on to further his career.
The right back went into the B team, where he impressed, but he only managed two first team appearances in La Liga, so decided to accept a transfer to Deportivo La Coruna, which earned him a move to the English Premier League with Rafa Benitez and Liverpool. Then he was brought back to Real Madrid in 2009 and has been a fixture in the side since then.
There has been lots of speculation in the media about Real Madrid and whether the club would be able to hold on to Cristiano Ronaldo this summer. With just two years left on his current contract, and no sign of the Portuguese international agreeing to sign an extension, the transfer rumours have been coming thick and fast.
The new Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has made his position perfectly clear to Ronaldo, apparently, after telling the 28-year old to buckle down and focus on his football in Spain, because he is not going to countenance any transfer, whether to Manchester United or anywhere else.