Ronaldo still lacking his usual spark for Real











cc2by  Jan S0L0

To ask questions of the leading goalscorer in the illustrious history of Real Madrid and the man currently in possession of the coveted Ballon d’Or is a risky business – one likely to leave you with at least one egg carefully cracked on your face, if not a whole box.

It is, however, difficult to escape the fact that Cristiano Ronaldo has not been at his electrifying best this season.

In many ways, he has not had to be, with Los Blancos having made a solid, if unspectacular start to life under Rafa Benitez which only delivered its first defeat in Sunday’s 3-2 reversal away at Sevilla.

For a man who sets the bar so high, though, any dip in standards, regardless of how minor, is always going to be dissected in minute detail.

Over the course of the last week or so, Ronaldo has been busy promoting his latest enterprise, with CR7 the brand having branched out into the world of movies.

While discussing this venture with the BBC, a man locked in a battle with eternal rival Lionel Messi for the right to be considered the best player on the planet said of the global standing he considers himself to hold: “In my mind, I’m always the best. I don’t care what people think, what they say. In my mind, not just this year but always, I’m always the best.”

Confidence, arrogance, call it what you like, but when you have achieved as much as he has on and off the pitch, you have probably earned the right to blow your own trumpet every once in a while.

The problem at the moment is, Ronaldo is not backing up his words on the field.

It feels almost wrong to suggest that his powers may be on the wane – after all, he still has 13 goals in 17 appearances for club and country this season – but he is not affecting matters at Real in the manner in which he has done on an almost weekly basis since arriving in the Spanish capital back in 2009.

Since plundering eight goals in the space of four remarkable days against Espanyol and Shakhtar Donetsk back in mid-September, the target has only been found five times in 12 outings – a strike rate Ronaldo is unaccustomed to.

He has been able to keep Real ticking over at home and abroad, with La Liga betting markets expecting them to run Barcelona close again this season while chasing down an 11th European Cup crown, but more is required from the king of the Bernabeu.

Of his 13 goals this season, none have come in games in which Real have dropped points.

It is in these close encounters that a sprinkling of his magic dust is required, the difference between one point and three, or none and a share of the spoils.

His efforts so far have all come in comfortable successes – admittedly made all the more comfortable by his contribution – and it is here that Benitez, and Ronaldo himself will be looking to offer more heading forward.

It is, of course, impossible to perform to the best of your ability week after week, year after year without suffering a wobble every once in a while, but when you are as good as he is, and as good as he likes to tell everyone he is, then anything less than superhuman exploits will be questioned.

Real must resist any Benzema offers

The rumours probably won’t stop until the transfer window closes, but Real Madrid would be crazy to entertain the prospect of selling Karim Benzema.

It is quickly becoming an annual story that Benzema is wanted by clubs in the Premier League, with Arsenal the most heavily linked with a bid for the France international this year.

Arsene Wenger has dismissed the speculation as ‘media talk’, but that has not stopped the rumours from claiming Arsenal are ready to bid £45million for Benzema and hand him a four-year contract at the Emirates Stadium.












     by  xavnal 

Given Benzema’s record at both former club Lyon and Real, such a fee would probably be a bargain, but there is no indication the 27-year-old is going to be moving before the transfer deadline.

Benzema’s agent has stated the striker is ‘1,000 per cent certain’ to be staying at Real and new coach Rafa Benitez has also insisted that he does not want to lose him.

So, if Benzema wants to stay and Benitez wants to keep him, where does the constant speculation come from?

Much of it seems to emanate from the fact that Benitez is ready to play Gareth Bale in a more central role this season, which could lead to reduced opportunities for Benzema. But there seems no reason why Bale can’t play in the No.10 role in behind Benzema, with Cristiano Ronaldo and one other offering support from wide.

Keeping Benzema on the bench simply to play Bale and Ronaldo through the middle would be a serious misjudgement of the contribution the Frenchman has made during his six years at Real.

He may have only reached 20 goals in a season in La Liga once, but he contributes much more than just putting the ball in the net. In the last three seasons, Benzema also has 30 assists to his name in La Liga. It is a perfect demonstration of why he is a valuable team player for the club to have around, and again an example of why he is coveted by other clubs.

Benzema also boasts an excellent record in the Champions League. During his time at Real, he has scored 30 goals and supplied 17 assists in 54 appearances in the competition.

Given Real do have history for selling a big-name player late in the transfer window, then it’s unlikely the rumours about Benzema’s future will go away until September. But taking the money for Benzema would make Real a much less attractive proposition in the La Liga betting compared to Barcelona when it comes to who will win the title.

For a start, Real are not exactly overflowing with other striking options in the squad following the end of Javier Hernandez’s loan spell last season. Jese can offer cover, but he is nowhere near being on a par with Benzema.

It’s not beyond Real’s imagination to pluck a big-name signing out of the air, but they are leaving it very late to line up such a player. And they will be hard-pressed to find someone who can come in and do the same job as Benzema.

He may not capture the headlines or hog the spotlight in the way Ronaldo and Bale do, but Benzema is important in allowing those two stars to play and Real would be wise to consider that, if any offers come in.

Who will blink first between Real and Man Utd?

It’s the deal that everyone wants, yet no-one is prepared to give an inch to make it happen.

Real Madrid want to sign David de Gea and the Manchester United goalkeeper wants to move to the Santiago Bernabeu. United want to sign Sergio Ramos and the Real defender reportedly wants to move to Old Trafford.

But, while the football odds suggest De Gea will join Real, it’s looking increasingly unlikely to happen this summer as two of football’s biggest clubs engage in a game of high-stakes poker to see who blinks first.

De Gea











by Saul Tevelez

De Gea has just a year left on his contract at United and it is reported that the Spaniard will not sign an extension. That leaves United in the position of either selling him now to recoup some money or seeing him leave for nothing at the end of the season.

United certainly don’t need the money and, given how important De Gea was to them qualifying for the Champions League last season, it’s worth the risk to keep him for another year. Getting into the Champions League again will more than make up for watching De Gea go to Real on a free transfer.

The Premier League club are willing to let De Gea go this summer, though, but they want Ramos in exchange. United’s position is understandable. If they’re going to lose a key player, they need to replace him with someone who can be similarly influential. And, while there may be concerns about Ramos’ ability to adapt to defending in the Premier League, he has the type of leadership credentials United are looking for. So much so, Real are reportedly going to name Ramos captain following Iker Casillas’ departure.

Is that just a ploy from Real to force United to increase their offer for Ramos? Maybe. After all, reports persist that Ramos is unhappy at Real, despite a recent hug with president Florentino Perez and new coach Rafa Benitez saying the centre-half isn’t leaving.

From Real’s point of view, you can see why they don’t want to just let Ramos go. For all of the problems there may be in his relationship with the board, he has been an integral figure in the club’s success over the past decade.











It certainly seems that Real are willing to wait another year to sign De Gea for nothing, rather than accept Ramos’ exit as an inevitable consequence of signing the keeper now.

Real have been busy making plans, in any case. Keylor Navas has been given the No.1 shirt, although that is probably more a token gesture than anything else, while Kiko Casilla has been signed from Espanyol to ensure Real don’t need to sign De Gea now.

With Marca claiming that there have been no talks between United and Real over De Gea for a week, the stand-off between the two clubs is unlikely to end soon.

But, while De Gea has travelled with the United squad for their pre-season tour to the United States, an injury has so far prevented him from playing any games. That has only fuelled the rumours that a deal could still happen this summer.

It’s going to be a fascinating final few weeks of the summer transfer window. It’s a situation where both clubs could win, if a deal takes place. But, equally, if a deal doesn’t happen, then both clubs could lose as they will be left with players who would rather be elsewhere.

Arturo Vidal – the newest Galactico?

According to the Chilean newspaper “La Tercera” Juventus midfielder Arturo Vidal will join Real Madrid this summer on a five year contract.

La Tercera is one of the most popular media sources in Chile, so this report could actually be true.
“Arturo Vidal is just hours away from becoming a Real Madrid player. The midfielder just needs to sign his contract in order to join the Spanish capital. There’s an agreement between Vidal and the Spanish club” – one of Vidal’s advisers. According to that same source, he will sign a five-year deal and a big salary. Vidal’s family assumed the deal and told La Tercera that they are packing and getting ready to travel to Spain.

Real Madrid could really use a player like Vidal, because he would probably be “the one” for Rafa Benitez’s tactics. Also, everyone knows that Florentino Perez isn’t affraid to throw huge ammounts of money for new players, so this rumour might actually be true.

Injury Blow for Portugal as Coentrao Ruled Out Of World Cup 2014

Fabio Coentrao’s World Cup could have been put to a premature end after the Real Madrid defender has been ruled out for the next 10 days with a groin injury. Coentrao was injured in Portugal’s opening match against Germany, which ended in a 4-0 thumping for Paulo Bento’s team. More worryingly, their hopes of reaching the knockout stages of the competition have been dealt a major blow with Coentrao’s injury.

Bento is also likely to be without striker Hugo Almeida, who suffered a hamstring injury. It was an afternoon to forget for the Portuguese, who came into the tournament with high hopes. Key players for the national team like Cristiano Ronaldo, Pepe, and Coentrao came on the back of winning the Champions League with Real Madrid. Ronaldo’s fitness has been a worrying problem for the Portuguese leading up to this match. Betfair expects Ronaldo to be Portugal’s top goalscorer at odds of 11/10.

It seemed like one of those afternoons when everything seemed to go wrong for the Portuguese. Pepe was given a straight red card following his head-butt on Thomas Müller. Further, Ronaldo did not have much influence in the match.

Despite the defence conceding four goals, Coentrao was one of the better players. He made several contributions by doing overlapping runs. Ironically, the injury came through one of those runs, as he appeared to stretch just a little too much in order to grab an over hit pass. It had become straightaway clear that Coentrao’s injury was serious, as he went down clutching his groin. Portugal’s worst fears were confirmed after team doctor Henrique Jones said that Coentrao and Almeida were likely to be out for 10 days.

This would rule them out of the group matches against Ghana and the United States. Given Portugal’s heavy defeat against Germany and the USA winning against Ghana, Bento’s team have been put by Betfair as the third favourites to reach the knockout stages.

Despite the injury news, Bento says that he is confident of reaching the knockout stages of the World Cup 2014. Portugal did well in the Euro 2012, but they were ripped apart by a clinical German team. Müller scored a hat-trick while Mat Hummels was also on the scoresheet.

Coentrao came into the tournament after having just scored in the warm-up friendly against Republic of Ireland. If possible make it to the World Cup last 16 stage, there is a possibility of Coentrao coming back into the team.

Ronaldo injury fears calmed

Real Madrid head coach Carlo Ancelotti has calmed the fears of both Real Madrid and Portugal fans by revealing Cristiano Ronaldo didn’t suffer a serious injury against Borussia Dortmund.

The current Ballon d’Or winner was forced from the field during the latter stages of Real’s 3-0 victory against Dortmund in their Champions League first leg clash with an apparent knee problem – but Ancelotti has come out to insist the substitution was merely a precaution.

“He was bothered a bit by his knee, we needed to defend and to avoid any risks, we’ve substituted him. It’s not a problem. He isn’t injured.”

“At this moment we’re not concerned by the niggle. If it continues, naturally we’ll rest him but we’re not thinking about that because the player is calm. There’s not a problem at the moment,” said Ancelotti.

With Real facing a crucial few weeks, having a fully fit Ronaldo is essential to the Spanish giants hopes between now and the end of the season, which sees the club being tipped by a number of Betfair fans to go on and win the treble.

And with the World Cup edging closer, Portugal fans are rightly nervous about anything happening to their talisman and captain ahead of this summer’s tournament in Brazil. The presence of Ronaldo in the Portugal side makes them a tempting bet for many Betfair punters who believe the team could be possible dark horses for the title this summer.

Ronaldo has once again been in prolific goalscoring form again for Madrid this season, scoring his side’s third against Dortmund to earn himself a place in the record books alongside Lionel Messi and Jose Altafini on 14 goals scored in a single European Cup season. One more goal to his name and Ronaldo will have 50 goals in all competitions this season.

Ancelotti hails Record-breaker Ronaldo

Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti heaped praise on Cristiano Ronaldo after the forward set a Champions League record in Tuesday’s 2-0 win over FC Copenhagen.

Ronaldo became the first player to score nine goals in the group stage of the competition with the second as Real eased to victory in Denmark.

The Portugal international missed the opportunity to make it 10 when he had a penalty saved by Copenhagen goalkeeper, Johan Wiland, but Ronaldo, a popular figure with fans who bet on football, had already written his name into Champions League folklore.

Ronaldo has eclipsed the efforts of HernanCrespo, ZlatanIbrahimovic, FilippoInzaghi and Ruud van Nistelrooy, who all managed eight group-stage goals, and Ancelotti considers him to be the perfect player.

“I think that Inzaghi will not be happy because he has lost this record. He has gone ahead of a very strong player,” Ancelotti said.

“Inzaghi was very strong in the area and Ibrahimovic is powerful and has a fantastic ability to score and assist.

“Cristiano Ronaldo is a complete forward who can score goals in every way possible. He’s a bit angry about the penalty, but he scored an important goal and played very well.”

The former AC Milan and Chelsea boss was pleased with the way his side rounded off a near-perfect first phase of the tournament. Real won five of their six matches, only dropping points in a 2-2 draw away at Juventus.

“I’m happy because we had a good group stage and scored lots of goals,” Ancelotti added. “(Luka) Modric is doing well and Xabi Alonso gives us balance defensively and in attack. All of the players did well, had a good attitude and controlled the play.”

Football betting fans will now turn their attentions towards Monday’s last-16 draw, which could pit Real against Manchester City, who displayed their credentials with a come-from-behind victory over holders Bayern Munich.

Ronaldo back to bolster Real title charge

Cristiano Ronaldo has made it clear he is fully fit and looking to resume what he believes could be his best-ever start to a season. The forward missed Real’s comfortable wins against Galatasaray and Real Valladolid with a hamstring injury, which didn’t stop Madrid going into both games as firm favourites with Betfair, but it did briefly put Ronaldo’s incredible run of form on hold.


The Portuguese international has already racked up 35 goals in just 25 appearances in all competitions this season, taking his 2013 total to 67 goals for club and country before his injury, in what has been an outstanding year for undeniably the best player in the world at the moment.


While Madrid didn’t struggle without Ronaldo, beating Galatasaray 4-1 and then Valladolid 4-0, having the striker back in action will be a huge boost to a Real side that sit just three points behind La Liga leaders Barcelona, who are currently leading the race with Betfair to win the title.


Ronaldo, who is a huge favourite with to finish as La Liga’s leading scorer this season, has admitted he is ready to get back to action, revealing he feels this could well be the best year of his career.


“I’ve no injury. I’ve been fine for a couple of days now. We decided not to push it in the last game but I’ll be available for the next game for certain.”


“I’m in good form right now, this might be my best start to a season, but I think that in recent years I’ve always been at a very high level,” said Ronaldo.


Already way ahead of his rival Lionel Messi in terms of goalscoring this season, Ronaldo could well single-handily win this year’s La Liga title for Real. As long as the 28-year old can avoid any serious injury between now and the end of the season, Real will feel as though they have this year’s La Liga title in their hands.

Odds on Real Madrid to win La Liga

As with every season there are 2 main runners for the La Liga this year, those being Real Madrid and Barcelona. There have only been 5 seasons in the past 30 where somebody else has won the title, those teams being Athletic Bilbao, Atletico Madrid, Deportivo La Conruna and Valencia twice. The only team that looks like it could challenge the titans this year are Atletico Madrid, currently second on 18 points, coming in with odds at 20/1 whilst Real Madrid stand at 6/4 and Barcelona come in with short odds of 4/7.

Although Barcelona have been dominant in recent years and the arrival of Neymar, who is possibly the hottest prospect in football right now and the prospect of a dream partnership with players such as Messi and Iniesta many would bet against Madrid. But personally Real Madrid are in with a very good chance, as they demonstrated in pre-season brushing aside teams like Chelsea, LA Galaxy, Everton, with such ease and proving to be such a dominant force throughout the past few seasons reaching three Champions League semi-finals, 2 cup finals, and winning the 2012 La Liga title. They will also be looking for revenge on their arch rivals after gifting FC Barcelona the title last season, Real Madrid will be out to prove a point this year by winning they’re thirty third La Liga title.

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Real Madrid 2-0 Borussia Dortmund

Last night, Real Madrid gave all their best to beat Borussia Dortmund with 3-0 but sadly, they were short for only one goal, even they had lots of chances.

In the first 20 minutes, the Galacticos took control over the ball, and created several goal chances, but they didn’t use them. Borussia threatened Madrid’s goal mostly by counter-attacks. In the last 10 minutes, the Galacticos started to play harder than ever, and their persistance finally paid off. Karim Benzema and Sergio Ramos scored goals for Real Madrid, in “the late minutes” of the match. Sadly, the Galacticos weren’t able to crush Borussia’s dreams with a third goal. You can read online sportsbook reviews, to check out the upcoming matches, and also you can read about sports betting options on

After one of the hardest matches for Real Madrid, almost immediatly, the press started rumours about Cristiano Ronaldo and Jose Mourinho leaving Real Madrid. That’s not impossible but, let’s hope it isn’t going to happen.

Despite the loss, the Galacticos showed the World that they shouldn’t be forgotten this season, despite the losses in UCL and La Liga. The only thing Real Madrid will probably focus on is the Copa del Rey, which they will play against Atletico Madrid on the 18th of May.

As a possible replacement for Mourinho (if he leaves) the press are mentioning Jurgen Klopp and Jupp Heynckes. These 2 coaches would “make” a new Real Madrid which would again, be one of the best in the World.