November 28, 2011
Madrid is well known for being one of the party capitals of the world. Late starts to your Saturday night out, late finishes - or is that early Sunday morning finishes? Either way, Madridistas will have been partying slightly harder then usual this Saturday just gone thanks to two massive results in La Liga, both in the Spanish capital.
Los Blancos started proceedings with a 4-1 victory over neighbours Atletico in a fiery match at the Bernabeu which saw the visitors, travel-shy going into the match this season in La Liga, take an unlikely lead. Two penalties, two sending-offs, play-acting and some tough tackles later and Jose Mourinho's men finished up with a deserved three points which took them six clear of Barca at the top of the table.
November 25, 2011
While El Clasico, at just over two weeks away, is already attracting column inches and discussions (many of which will kick in to gear on these blogs from next week) from the press and Madrid fans alike, there's the small (cough) matter of 'El Derbi' to contend with this weekend as travel-shy Atleti make the short trip to the Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday night.
Just as well that Los Rojiblancos don't have to travel too far, then, with Gregorio Manzano's men having lost four and drawn one of their five away games in La Liga so far this season. Their home form is one of the best in the country, but their winless run on their travels, coupled with Los Blancos simply blowing away much of their opposition to top La Liga going into the weekend, means any betting man outside of the Vicente Calderon would be quite foolish to put their money on anything other than another convincing win for Jose Mourinho's men.
November 23, 2011
Four days, and two big wins for Madrid - for very different reasons. Victory in a pulsating, often fiery clash at the Mestalla against in-form Valencia was followed by a more emphatic victory in the Champions League against a pretty poor Dinamo Zagreb side on Tuesday night. Different performances, different personnel, but the same outcome for a Los Blancos side that can comfortably adapt to differing scenarios this season - quite an attribute in a season when Jose Mourinho is aiming for a Champions League and La Liga double.
Both matches couldn't have been much different in terms of performance, in terms of opposition, and in terms of the importance of each one. But the result was still the same. Los Blancos may have rode their luck somewhat at Valencia, but they still came away with a massive victory, even more impressive given it came immediately after the international break. It cemented their place at the top of La Liga, with Barcelona only able to maintain their chase. On Tuesday night, the scoreline flattered the Croatian visitors - something which tells the tale of just how the night panned out. It was Madrid 'B', too, giving Mourinho plenty of options for the coming months.
November 16, 2011
If I haven't already mentioned that I'm not a fan of international breaks, I'm not a fan of international breaks. World Cups and other big tournaments yes, but a one-week break from the regular excitement of the domestic season? No thanks. Not even qualifiers float my boat; rarely do you get an exciting international match between two big teams unless you're at one of the big tournaments. And for friendly matches? That's even worse...
...which is why the weekend can't come soon enough for a return to La Liga action - Jornada 13. It's a big one too, a trip to the Mestalla for Los Blancos and a tough test against third-placed Valancia. Nothing like getting back to the rough and tumble of domestic football than a crucial match against an in-form side. An ease back into La Liga for Madrid's international stars it won't be.
November 9, 2011
Sitting in my bottom draw is a crisp, clean and pure white home shirt of Los Blancos. It's this season's kit, it's perhaps not so crisp anymore after wearing it a few times, but I haven't overworn it. Why? Because when you buy the shirt you're advised that if you want a player name and number on the back you should get it done straight away. Why, I have no idea, and it probably doesn't matter at all. As you can tell, I wasn't tempted with a player's name on the back. I'm 27 after all, aren't I too old for a name and number on the back of my shirt?
The reason for buying it blank wasn't down to the above reason, though. I probably wish it was. This is Real Madrid we're talking about here, I'm spoilt for choice for world-class players on the back. Ronaldo, Kaka, Higuain, Benzema, Alonso, Di Maria, Ozil, Ramos - the possibilities are endless, and for a while I was opting for Higuain. I was all-set for a trip to the Bernabeu before the league match against Betis, new shirt in tow, but something told me to wait.
That something was a young Brazilian called Neymar, I'm sure you've all heard of him. You're Madridistas, of course you've heard of him! For the last who-knows-how-many months the media in Spain, South America and across the world has been suggesting the talented young attacker would be at the Bernabeu anytime soon.
November 6, 2011
So that's what it's like to kick-off at midday? Eight goals, a sending-off, the sun shining, a hat-trick for CR7, a whopping win for Los Blancos and a place retained at the top of La Liga going into another international break. Madridistas may not have been fans of the early kick-off (although there were barely any empty seats to show it) before the game, but they certainly were after.
Sunday's Primera Division clash with Osasuna certainly took its time to wake up and get going, but when it did it produced another belting display by Ronaldo and company. It was the first time Madrid had kicked off at noon - La Liga brought in the new kick-off times at the start of this season - and it certainly left the fans licking their lips for more.
November 4, 2011
It seems like only yesterday that Cristiano Ronaldo was unveiled in front of a packed-out Bernabeu following his record £80 million move to Madrid from Manchester United, yet at the same time it feels like the Portugal attacker has been part of the furniture with Los Blancos for some time.
On Tuesday night he scored his 100th Real Madrid goal in the 2-0 victory over Lyon, which in turn secured Madrid's place in the knock-out stages of the Champions League. One hundred goals in just 105 games. A remarkable achievement whatever level you play your football at, let alone playing in La Liga, one of the world's leading football leagues, and the Champions League.