My trip over to sunny Spain is another reason for the long gap between articles. There's been so much to post in so little time. So where to start? Kaka's performance? Ronaldo's goals? Higuain back in the goals? Mourinho back to England? Sergio Aguero to the Bernabeu?
The thing that struck me most on Sunday against Espanyol was the performance of Kaka. I must admit, although the Brazilian is still a class act, I haven't seen enough of the Kaka that won the Ballon d'Or during his days with AC Milan in 2007. There have been plenty of excellent spells, a few goals, but even more inconsistencies and injuries that have blighted his time in the Spanish capital. He just hasn't settled in Madrid.
There have been signs this season, and plenty of them. Mourinho's new, winning, Madrid has also opened its arms to Kaka. And although not an ever-present in the all white this term, Kaka has gently started to get back to his best as the season has progressed. I've been tempted to focus an article on the Brazilian - back to his best - pretty much since October/November, but I've held off. His performance against Espanyol, however, seeing him live in the flesh, has forced my hand this time. Two assists, a goal and plenty of instrumental passing and moving, helping Mourinho's men tick to a 5-0 cruise against the visitors. He was sublime, and hopefully we'll see more of the same from now on.
It'll be interesting to see what Mourinho does when Angel di Maria returns from injury. The Argentine has been one of my star man so far this season, despite his injury problems since the turn of the year. He adds a bit more natural balance to Madrid with he and Ronaldo out wide and, usually, one of Kaka or Mesut Ozil playing behind Higuain or Benzema. Kaka needs to maintain his form to leave his boss with a welcome selection headache when di Maria returns to action. It's not a bad one to have, is it? And will it be a problem for Mourinho at all given his record of squad rotation so far this season.
Next? Gonzalo Higuain. His performance, and rumours linking him away from the club. First thing's first, the Argentine has been quality for Madrid this season, especially in the first half of the season when he looked to score hat-tricks for fun in a purple patch, for both club and country. He hasn't replicated that form after the winter break but he's still chipped in with goals, and the excellence of Kaka helped him get back on the scoresheet on Sunday. The two linked ever-so well, allowing Madrid to score five without the need for Benzema. He's been linked with clubs such as Chelsea and Paris St Germain of late, but Mourinho seems set on keeping both him and Benzema at the Bernabeu as long as he's there, and I believe that to be the case.
Talking of strikers, it was great to see Alvaro Morata get a chance from the bench on Sunday. I admit I haven't seen a lot of the hot prospect, but what I have seen has been positive. He almost scored on Saturday - I wish he had. Hopefully as the season progresses, and, hopefully, as Madrid edge closer to the title, we'll see more of Morata in the Madrid starting eleven as he looks to get more first team experience.
Morata's inclusion probably won't come at the expense of Cristiano Ronaldo, who's on course to smash records here, there and everywhere. The Portugal attacker enjoyed Sunday's game - who wouldn't. As well as getting on the scoresheet and scoring his 30th league goal and 38th in all competitions, Ronaldo was involved throughout and show-boated in only a way CR7 could. He's now scored more goals than 12 teams in La Liga so far and is on-course to smash the 40 goals he netted in La Liga last season, at a current ratio of 1.2 goals per game. Impressive. It's take a brave man to bet against him entering the record books again.
You're never happy when you return from a break away, especially when you've just been to see Los Blancos, but there was another reason for me to be disappointed at Barajas airport on my return. The back pages of the English papers were linking Mourinho with a return to Chelsea following the sacking of Andre Villas-Boas. Not exactly the most creditable of English papers I admit (I won't name names) but as they say, there's no smoke without fire. Everyone knows Mourinho wants to return to the English Premier League at some point, of that there's no doubt, it's just a matter of when. It's probably his next destination after Madrid, but my gut feeling is that he'll stay with Los Blancos until he's won not just La Liga, but also the Champions League. It's what the top men at the Bernabeu crave, probably more than La Liga. To win a tenth European Cup would make the challenge complete for the 'Special One', and unless he's forced out of the club, I can see him staying until that's done. That, of course, could be this season.
I'll finish on a high, and the parade of the Real Madrid basketball team before Sunday's match. Applauded by the near 80,000 inside the ground, and the eleven Madrid players on the pitch awaiting kick-off, the team carried the Copa del Rey trophy they won by beating Barcelona's basketball side, Regal Barcelona. There was a great cheer, as loud as any of the five goals, and you got the sense that Madridistas are eager to see the football team follow suit. I walked around the Cibeles fountain at the weekend, and I got that sense too.
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