From Madridistas to Madridistas
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Editorial Last Season Recap 2012-13: Players Ratings What we can expect from Ancelotti Meet Casemiro Interview with SocialRMadrid CRack: Cristiano Ronaldo 2013-14 Welcome back, Dani Carvajal Diego Lopez v Iker Casillas â€“ the numbers Debate: Pro Cantera Debate: Pro Cartera Don Assist: Mesut Ozil Europeâ€™s Golden Boy: Alvaro Morata The New Kid on the Block: Isco
Final Thoughts: A message to Madridismo
EDITORIAL Most of you may know me from Twitter, as RMadridGirl. Hi and thank you for visiting the first edition of my magazine. Truth is, this has been a very time consuming process so I really hope you enjoy the outcome. Before this 2013-14 season begins, I decided to bring together some well-known Twitter Madridistas and others that you will soon get to know. The purpose of this magazine is to get us all ready and together to face this new season, a season that will hopefully bring us more joy and gold to our trophy cabinets. A little bit about myself: I would describe myself as a lucky and passionate Real Madrid fan. I currently live in Vancouver, BC and I am a 21 year old student. I was born into a football-crazy family. As such, I played football ever since I was little but unfortunately stopped at age 18 when I had to get a job and focus more on my studies. I am a season ticket holder of my local team, the Vancouver Whitecaps, because I just can’t get enough. My job involves recreational work which many times means coaching football to kids from ages 1-12, which I truly enjoy it. I don’t remember my earliest Real Madrid memory. All I remember is being 12 and saying Zidane’s name 20 times a day. Zidane is my second football hero, the first one was Bebeto. I had the luck to see Zidane play live 4 years ago and he signed my jersey, up to this day, that has to be the best day of my life. Needless to say, that night (and the next one) I did not sleep. The last time I saw Real Madrid live was in beautiful New York, at the Yankee stadium. We beat AC Milan 5-1 in a very entertaining game. It had been so long since I saw Real Madrid last that when Adan, Iker and Jesus jumped out to warm up, I cried. I won’t describe what happened when Cristiano jumped out… Anyway, I hope you enjoy this magazine. It has been a group effort which we all hope you enjoy. May 2014 bring La Decima, La 33 and much happiness. ¡Hala Madrid! 3
A SEASON TO REMOUMBER Despite having a rather ‘unsuccessful’ season according to the club’s standards, we can always look back the best moments of the season, full of emotions such as joyful moments, sad moments and even disappointing ones. Disappointing to some, but achieving to others, not mainly in titles but in intangibles. Here are some of the best memories we’ll have of this campaign: ·August 29, 2012: Real Madrid 2-1 Barcelona - Supercopa de Espana Second Leg Having lost the first leg 2-3 in Barcelona, a win was mandatory in order to secure the first title of the season. As soon as the ball rolled, intensity was shown from the team by creating numerous chances. Two quick goals by Pipita and Cristiano, including a fantasy move by the latter which almost injured Pique’s neck, put Real Madrid ahead. A match that could’ve ended in a historic win, was only won by the minimum, because of one of this season’s main problems… the attack. This game also marked Luka’s debut and his first title with Madrid.
· September 18, 2012: Real Madrid 3-2 Manchester City - UEFA Champions League Group Stage Week 1
A magical night at the Bernabeu in the team’s Champions League debut. Our side dominated the citizens for most of the match but Joe Hart kept on denying our chances. Dzeko put the English up front as our defense was struggling. Marcelo later scored a screamer and leveled the match. Mancini’s side didn’t take so long and Kolarov put them ahead once again. The match was coming to an end, but the team wasn’t going to quit as Mr. Champions League Benzema equalized before regulation time and Cristiano scored one last goal to give us the win with little to no time remaining, leading to Mou’s infamous celebration. -
October 7, 2012: Barcelona 2-2 Real Madrid - La Liga Week 7
The world’s two greatest players went at it in this La Liga match as both scored a brace in this edition of El Clasico. Amazing football exhibition by both Messi and Cristiano. A battle between two titans, on the day the Earth stood still. -
November 11, 2012: Levante 1-2 Real Madrid - La Liga Week 11
A living hell for our players, as Navarro and Ballesteros apparently were given a free pass to hurt our players, even breaking Cristiano’s eyebrow, making him bleed, and no booking. But Cristiano being the warrior he is, fought until he could, and equalized the match. Later on, he was subbed off, and a new hero emerged, Alvaro Morata, our favorite canterano giving us the winning goal. 5
January 20, 2013: Valencia 0-5 Real Madrid - La Liga Week 20
In the second of three games in a row vs Valencia, our team displayed maybe the best football of the season. Five goals at halftime for us, including an inspired Angel Di Maria, in his best performance of the season. -
January 30, 2013: Real Madrid 1-1 Barcelona - Copa del Rey Semi-Finals Leg 1
We all remember this match as Varane’s game. The game were Rapha did it ALL. It was his first Clasico, and he surpassed expectations. He neutralized Messi, cleared an open shot at the goal line, and scored the header that kept us alive in the series. -
February 26, 2013: FCB 1-3 Real Madrid - Copa del Rey Semi-Finals Leg 2
It was the beginning of one of the club’s toughest weeks. Two elimination games vs Barcelona and Manchester United, followed by a league game vs Barcelona. It was time to visit the lion’s den for a third time this season and with no luck in the previous visits: only achieving a draw, and a loss. Against all odds, we humiliated our maximum rivals at their home. Cristiano opened the score with a penalty after Pique took him down inside the box. The second goal, again by Ronaldo, came after an Angel Di Maria run by the left flank, breaking Puyol’s hips. The last goal came by our wonder boy and star of the series, Raphael Varane, and his celebration with Mou will always be one of our favorite moments ever. 6
March 2, 2013: Real Madrid 2-1 Barcelona - La Liga Week 26
The sixth Clasico of the season but with a twist, we played with our bench. After an early goal by Benzema, Messi equalized. A tight match until the next half, when Cristiano came in and dominated, but still no goals came, even after a free kick from Cristiano which hit the post. Right before the end, a Luka Modric corner led to a Ramos header and the win, with a very passionate celebration, by kissing the captain’s bracelet. -
March 5, 2013: Manchester United 1-2 Real Madrid - UEFA Champions League Round of 16 Second Leg
To end an epic week for the team, a win in the Theatre of Dreams was a must. In this rather controversial match, we prevailed, even after being down with a Ramos’ own goal, but we as Madridistas got used to start trailing and later on winning, hence the term ‘Remountadas’. A golazo by Lukita leveled the match but that wasn’t enough. Our hero had yet to appear, until a majestic collective play by Ozil and Higuain, led to Cristiano pushing the ball for the winner, and the tickets to the quarter finals. -
April 30, 2013: Real Madrid 2-0 Borussia Dortmund - UEFA Champions League SemiFinals Second Leg
The most important match of the season and the toughest match of the season. Facing a 14 deficit, a remountada seemed quite impossible. But the word ‘impossible’ is not in a Madridista’s vocabulary. The Spirit of Juanito was invoked, because we wouldn’t want another failed attempt at obtaining La Decima. We all were expecting this match, we all skipped classes If necessary, we all called in sick to work, and we all cancelled lunch at grandmas. The Bernabeu was never seen as loud as this day, 80.000 souls screaming for one common dream… La Decima. The match started with the same intensity as the Supercopa, with us creating chances, except we didn’t score, we missed three goals in the front of the goal. As the match went on, the Germans grew as a unit, creating opportunities, but if it wasn’t for our guardian angel Diego Lopez, we would’ve been down. It took almost ninety minutes for the first goal for us, by Benz, and with little to no time left, Ramos netted the second goal. We almost made it… Almost. But we are proud of the match our team played, proud of 11 warriors who left it all in the field for the crest. 7
June 1, 2013 Real Madrid 4-2 Osasuna La Liga Week 38
This was the end of an era, the end of an unfinished project, the end of a period that was marked in all of our hearts thanks to one man. The Special One, The Only One, Mou. One of the darkest days for us, our leader had to leave the ship, he ‘died’ in battle with us, giving his everything for us. Because he died a hero, he did not live long enough to watch himself become the villain, or at least, that’s the way I see it. A sad goodbye it was, but I would like to remind you all fellow Madridistas that goodbyes are not forever, goodbyes are not the end. They only mean I miss you, until we see again.
Article by Jose Maria Canedo Lugo - @cheponsky1 From Barranquilla, Colombia 8
2012-13 Player Ratings By Ali Al-Hassan or @RMadrid37 [rmadrid37.wordpress.com]
Iker Casillas (7/10) Less than one year ago, anyone would have called it crazy to give a goalkeeper like Iker Casillas a 7/10. The main reason why it is lower is because he only played during the first half of the season and was not as great as his usual self. My first opinion was to give him a 6/10 but decided on the 7 mainly because of how he reacted to being benched, a true legend and captain.
Diego Lopez (9/10) Being brought in to replace an injured Casillas, Diego exceeded everyoneâ€™s expectations as he had phenomenal moments in the games. Yes, he only played half of the season, but he was ready to play in the most important games against Barcelona or Manchester United and he showed his true Madridista colors along the way. It will be very interesting to see what happens with him next season under a new manager.
Pepe (7/10) A beast in defense, Pepe is never one to hold back and last season was no exception. He always played his heart out and gave everything he had to the team. The ending to the season wasnâ€™t as great as his remarks on Mourinho resulted in him not seeing the starting lineup for the last few games. Overall though, a player that Real Madrid can depend on no matter what as they look forward to improve next season. 9
RMADRIDGIRL Raphael Varane (8.5/10) If there was a way for anyone to show themselves as one of the greatest on the big stage and exceed everyone’s expectations, Raphael Varane found it. He was put against Barcelona for his first start and never looked back. Playing against some of the best footballers’ of our time did not faze him as he made decisive tackles and passes to help Real Madrid stay in the tie. And, if that wasn’t enough, he scored two goals (one in each leg of the tie) against Barcelona to help Los Merengues move on in the Copa del Rey. His performances were steady whenever he was called upon and shows that he is a player Real Madrid need to keep for the future.
Sergio Ramos (9/10) A true Madridista and our vice-captain, Sergio Ramos is a man who never disappoints. He plays every game from the heart and knows how important it is to play for a team as great as Real Madrid. His performances were always top-notch and he is a player who has never let us down. If you have ANY questions about his loyalty, his reactions after getting knocked out of the UEFA Champions League should prove otherwise.
Alvaro Arbeloa (7/10) Alvaro Arbeloa may not have had the best of seasons after finding his form lessen three-quarters into the year but no one can deny his effectiveness and determination whenever he is on the pitch. May have some problems against certain players but overall, he is quite reliable. 10
RMADRIDGIRL Fabio Coentrao (7.5/10) The left-back didn’t have many opportunities to prove himself but as Marcelo was injured, he took his chances very well. His speed on the left and his understanding with Ronaldo was very helpful. Also, he defense is more efficient than the Brazilian. Didn’t live up to his price tag as of yet while he waits to see if he will be at the Bernabeu next season.
Xabi Alonso (7.5/10) Xabi Alonso is someone to be counted on in the Real Madrid lineup but it seems as though this season, fatigue really got to him. He started off quite strong but as the season wore on, his performances on the pitch slowly lessened, which led to him being taken off for some games. He is still a great asset to the team though.
Sami Khedira (8.5/10) Never one to really shine, Sami Khedira is known for simply sitting back and playing his part. This season was full of ups and downs for the German but still was able to give his heart on the pitch for Real Madrid. He has been someone that the team can count on throughout the season but still has room for improvement.
Mesut Özil (8.7/10) Put in some of his greatest performances this season for Real Madrid and shows that he always has more to offer to the team. His skill and passing has been a joy to behold and we all look forward to seeing more from the German next season. Great player and someone the team can always count on. 11
RMADRIDGIRL Cristiano Ronaldo (9.3/10) Clearly the best player in the squad this season as he has shown that he always finds room to improve. His performances have been nothing short of sensational and he simply keeps on getting better. Scoring some great goals and providing amazing assists, Real Madrid need to do everything in their power to keep him at the club for as long as possible.
Karim Benzema (6.5/10) A below-average season for the French attacker as it seemed that he really wasnâ€™t himself throughout the year. Needs to find some way to improve if he is to have a chance at holding a regular starting place in the team. There is a slight possibility that he could be leaving this summer, all depends on what signings are made and what the new manager, Carlo Ancelotti, has in mind.
Gonzalo Higuain (7.5/10) Just like Karim Benzema, Gonzalo Higuain also did not have such a great season this summer but it was better than the Frenchman. After the season ended, he has admitted to wanting to find a new club during the summer and there is a very major possibility that he will be leaving. No doubts whatsoever that he will be remembered as a legend in the club. 12
What We Can Expect From Carlo Ancelotti At Real Madrid…. By Umid Dey @TheFutbolJoker Ancelotti started out his managerial career with Reggina, helping them gain promotion in their first season. He then managed Parma the next season and finished a respectable 2nd with them. The season after wasn’t as successful as he finished 5th. After that he boarded on the Juventus ship, but wasn’t as successful as he only won the Intertoto Cup. Then, in 2001, he joined Milan – a move that made him one of the most respected coaches in the world. He used a 4-3-1-2 formation which he would often change to a 4-3-2-1 by using another trequartista instead of a striker. The formation, as you can notice, was very-narrow and opposition full-backs were forced to cut inside to the middle while defending so that their center-backs wouldn’t get outnumbered by the Milan players. This is where Milan’s full-backs – Kaladze and Costacurta then Maldini and Cafu – came into play. They would surge forward in these scenarios to exploit the space given to them due to the opposition full-backs shunting in. This system got the best out of Pirlo as he played just in front of the defense as a deep-lying playmaker – he became a world-class defensive playmaker from the next-best-trequartista he was touted to be. Tough-tackling Gennaro Gattuso and playmaker Clarence Seedorf partnered Pirlo in midfield and Manuel Rui Costa – the criminally under-rated Football magician – played in the hole as a trequartista. In front of Rui Costa was one of the most devastating strike-force at 13
RMADRIDGIRL that time: Andriy Shevchenko and Filippo Inzaghi. Using this central approached system, they won the 2003 Champions League. Ancelotti didn’t stop there. He then bought Kaka as a potential replacement for the aging-but-brilliant Rui Costa. Milan failed to win the Champions League next season, but they won the league with a slight change in tactics: Kaka came in for Inzaghi, who was injured for most of that season, and that added another playmaker in the already-playmaker-studded system. With advantages came disadvantages as, despite being overloaded in the center, Milan were often exposed defensively due to just one pureball-winning midfielder. Ancelotti realised this and added Ambrosini in the line-up in place of the outgoing Manuel Rui Costa. This move did wonders as Milan were once again crowned as the European champions in 2007 after beating Liverpool in the final. In 2009, Carlo Ancelotti ended his marriage with Milan to become Chelsea’s manager. After 8 years with Milan, he won 2 Champions League, just one Sere A title, 2 European Super Cups, one Coppa Italia, one Super Coppa Italia and one Club World Championship. 3 major trophies in 8 years is not quite enough for a Club like Milan – especially the one league title in 8 years. Regardless of that, Carlo’s era at Milan is an unforgettable one especially for those 2 Champions Leagues he won. At Chelsea, he tried to implement the same tactics that he used at Milan. He won the league and the FA Cup in his first season despite his tactics not entirely pleasing Abramovich. Some major players of the Club departed the following summer, but sufficient replacements weren’t brought in. Despite that, Chelsea started their season brilliantly, scoring goals and annihilating opponents. 14
RMADRIDGIRL However, a major slump in form saw them drop to 5th from 1st. Carlo was in immense pressure given Roman’s tendency to sack coaches. Chelsea finished the season 2nd in the league and won no trophies which, to the displeasure of many Chelsea fans, saw Carlo get sacked. Midway in the 2011-12 season, PSG released then-coach Antoine Kombouare and appointed Carlo as their manager despite Antoine’s PSG leading Ligue 1 with 3 points over eventual champions Montpellier. The Italian failed to capitalise on the lead and blew the title away to high-flying Montpellier. He, however, made amends by winning the league next season and doing quite well in the Champions League, reaching the quarter finals only to lose on away goals to Barca. Ancelotti’s obsession with narrow-systems was one of the key reasons of PSG losing out to Montpellier for the Ligue 1 title. He rarely uses systems with wingers even if he has great wingers at his disposal. This stubbornness sometimes make his teams very predictable. Also, the playing style isn’t very pleasing to the eye – something which bothered Berlusconi and also played a key-factor in Roman sacking him at Chelsea. His systems focuses on sitting back, absorbing the pressure and then quickly breaking out when in possession of the ball. Chelsea, and PSG in his first season, didn’t have a defensive playmaker and hence the style looked really unattractive. With the addition of Verratti to PSG, the style become more fluid – and hence more pleasing to the eye – in his second season. At Real Madrid, he has 2 deep-lying playmakers at his disposal: Xabi Alonso and Luka Modric, so it will be interesting to see if he will get over his obsession and play with a system with wingers. If he persists at using his preferred wingerless system, we might see Ozil, Modric, Xabi and Khedira in the same XI consistently. The player who will suffer the most in this system would be di Maria. There is absolutely no place for him in this system and, unless Carlo evolves him into a running midfielder, we won’t see as much of him. Also, the narrow formation doesn’t make the entire use of the pitch and hence playing attacking football becomes harder in a system like this. 15
RMADRIDGIRL The players being linked to Real Madrid – Cavani and Bale – will have some place in his narrow systems. Bale, an out-and-out winger once upon a time, has effectively become an inside forward under the tutelage of Villas-Boas. You can’t count out the chances of Bale and Cristiano playing in the ‘2’ of a 4-3-2-1 as trequartistas-come-inside-forwards (that is considering if Bale joins Real Madrid). Whether or not Carlo plays with a narrow system remains to be seen, but his arrival would give Real a new tactical system – a plan B sort of thing. Our players are used to playing in the 4-2-3-1 and Real have done very well with this formation, but at times – especially in the last season – teams have closed down the Blancos by sitting back and letting Real have the ball. Real, under Mourinho, became the best counter-attacking team in Europe in 2011-12. Real turned defense into attack within 7-8 touches and scored. However, after teams started letting Real have the ball, we haven’t been that effective in breaking down rigid oppositions. The reason why Barca couldn’t beat us in a single game after the first leg of the Super Cup was because we love it when the opposition keep the ball and Barca love keeping the ball, hence inviting Real to counter them. A narrow system against rigid teams might as well have gotten us out of the bay as the tucked-in full-backs of the opposition team would have given both of our full-backs a chance to attack. With the inclusion of Carvajal, we have a better attacking right-back than Arbeloa and hence this narrow system could be more effective. Another reason why the narrow system could work against rigid teams is because of the number of playmakers in the middle. The passing would be quicker and that could disrupt the tight defenses. Madridistas always hope that their youth academy products would one day star in the first team. A new coach always brings a ray of hope about that. With Carlo, however, the situation may not change as he hasn’t turned any youth academy player into a star in any of his previous 16
RMADRIDGIRL teams. Carlo has reiterated time and again that he loves using the academy. At Chelsea, he gave the likes of Van Aanholt and Fabio Borini a run into the first team, but he couldn’t totally integrate them because of the pressure he was under at Chelsea. It won’t be any different at Real Madrid as the pressure to win – and win artistically – here is more than any other club in the world. Real Madrid is a tough place for any manager. Just ask Mourinho. Winning alone isn’t pleasing to Madridistas – we prefer winning with style. Mourinho knew this and hence had to change his approach when he joined Real Madrid. Carlo must as well. Countryman Fabio Capello was sacked right after winning the League in 2007 because his playing style wasn’t pleasing. So, to summarize, Carlo will most definitely use the narrow system; either as the main system or as a plan B. This has its advantages and disadvantages as I have mentioned earlier. Carlo brings in years of experience which could be of great help to Real Madrid. He is also a great man-manager and that is a very essential skill – a skill needed to survive at Real Madrid. His tactical style and, sometimes inscrutable, stubbornness with it could be a cause of concern and he must adapt to win the hearts of fans. Whether or not he could win the Decima will be seen in the future – I am not going to predict anything as I am a little skeptical about him as our manager, but as a Madridista myself, I hope he proves me wrong and removes all skepticism from me.
Carlos Henrique Casimiro: CASEMIRO Casemiro is a product of São Paulo’s famous youth setup, and as like Oscar, he was regarded as one of the most promising young players at the club. He made his senior debut in 2010 in a derby against Santos. But he only gained international notoriety in 2011, when he was part of the Brazilian squad that won both the South American U20 Championship and the same level’s World Cup. The 21-year old player was originally a defensive midfielder, but he is a modern kind of midfielder and despite his original position, he is a fairly attack minded player, he has good technique, good passing, can take long shots and his heading allows him to score goals sometimes. He is far less competent at defensive tasks though, as his marking and positioning leaves something to be desired. Casemiro’s main problem is his mentality. He could not handle his early success at São Paulo, leading him to demand special treatment at the club and higher wages and his performances quickly became disappointing. His poor attitude was one of the reasons why São Paulo decided to loan him out to Real Madrid with an option to buy, as the Brazilian club lost hope he could become a success and wanted to make some money before his market value further decreased. His success at Real Madrid surprised São Paulo and he has been showing signs he might have matured. By Paulo Freitas – Twitter: @Cynegitus Brazil’s head researcher for Football Manager Sky Sports Correspondent 18
THE INTERVIEW: Meet SocialRMadrid Every day new Twitter accounts emerge and some evolve faster than others. SocialRMadrid is a relatively new Twitter handle which caught my attention in this 2012-13 for the passion and enthusiasm of his tweets. Here is a short but fun interview with SocialRMadrid for everyone to get to know him better…
1. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? I’m a 17 year old boy living in the Netherlands. I’m still in high school and I used to play football but I had to stop due to injuries 2. How is “Real Madrid” experienced in the Netherlands? Real Madrid is known as a big club in the Netherlands. I think that there are a lot of Real Madrid fans in the Netherlands based on the amount of followers Netherlands’ biggest Real Madrid Twitter account (@realmadrid_nl) has. Unfortunately, some people in the Netherlands are always talking about the huge debts (?) big clubs like Real Madrid has and not about their football. 3. What is your earliest memory relating to Real Madrid? Real Madrid against Atletico Madrid back in 2005, 3-0 victory. The first Derbi Madrileno I saw. 4. What made you create your Twitter account? I wanted to get in touch with the Madridistas on Twitter and talk with them about Real Madrid. I never thought that I would get this amount of followers. It’s great to talk with Madridistas from over the whole world every day. 5. Who is your favourite Real Madrid player of all times? Zinedine Zidane. Without any doubt. He’s the greatest of all. 19
6. What about of the current squad? Fábio, no? Yes, Fabio Coentrao haha. Why? He gives everything for his club. I think he’s a great player. He’s a player who doesn’t want to be in the spotlights every time. His defensive and attacking skills are amazing.
7. If you could have any three players join Real Madrid, who would they be? Nevermind their price or the competition they may find upon joining the current squad I would like to bring Raul back to Real Madrid. He’s a legend and he belongs to Real Madrid. I would sign Bale because of the fact that he’s about to become one of the best players in the world (even better than he is now). He’ll do great at Madrid. My third choice would be Reus. His performances in the Bundesliga and the Champions League impressed me. His dribbling skills are amazing. 8. Onto the more serious questions, if you could pick a player to grab coffee with, who would it be and why? Iker Casillas, because I think he’s a nice person to talk with. He’s been at Real Madrid for almost his whole life. I really want to know more about his experiences. 9. What player would you take to the movies and what kind of movie would you watch? I would take Marcelo to a comedy. I’m sure everyone knows why. Haha. 10. Favourite moment of the 2012-13 season The atmosphere in the return semi-final against Dortmund. Amazing 11. Favourite Galáctico Zidane 12. Who do you think will make the top 4 in the 2014 World Cup? 1. Spain, 2. Germany, 3. Brazil, 4. Netherlands 13. What is your message for Madridistas in this upcoming season? Have faith in the new coach, have faith in the squad. Support Real Madrid through good and bad times. Keep calm and Hala Madrid! 20
CRISTIANO RONALDO 2013-14: New Year, New Records Cristiano Ronaldo scored 55 goals in 55 appearances for Real Madrid this season and 59 for both club and country. Despite he scored 5 goals less than the last season for Madrid, he has been on fire in 2013, scoring 34 goals in 33 appearances and assisting 10 times. This 2013 it is expected for him to break his 63 personal goal record which he set in 2012.
Records broken by Cristiano in the 2012-13 season: - 1st player in all history of Champions League to score 7 goals against a single team - Real Madrid's fastest player to reach 100 goals at the Bernabeu (87 appearances) - The only player in history to score in 6 consecutive Clasicos at Camp Nou - 1st player to score in 6 consecutive Clasicos away from home - 1st player to score 2 consecutive braces in Clasicos away matches - 1st player in the history of La Liga to score 25+ goals in each of his first 4 seasons - 1st player in Real Madrid's history to score 12 goals in a single Champions campaign - 1st player in ALL history of Champions League to score 6 semi-final goals - 1st player in Real Madrid's history to score in 6 consecutive CL appearances - 3rd player to score in 6 consecutive Champions League matches in the history of the competition (Chamakh & Yilmaz the others) - Real Madrid's fastest player to reach 200 goals for the club (197 apps) - 1st player in Real Madridâ€™s history to score 30+ league goals in 3 consecutive seasons.
Prediction for 2013-14: 42 goals in La Liga, 5 in Copa Del Rey, 11 in Champions League Current: Cristiano Ronaldo is Real Madridâ€™s 6th alltime top scorer in just 4 seasons and the 4th all-time top scorer in Champions League alongside Thierry Henry
By: Info Cristiano Twitter: @InfoCristiano Facebook: /InfoCristiano
DANI CARVAJAL, the triple perfect fit by LeBusinessCat When clubs try to find new pieces to complement what they have, they usually talk about “fits”, this is, pieces that can click with the other players to improve the synergy inside the team. Sometimes, in fact, bringing a really good player could be counterproductive to the overall performance of the group. In the case of Daniel Carvajal, though, the improvements won’t come from only one way. Florentino decided to pay his re-buy clause because the right back filled three main needs at Real Madrid: the lack of options at his position (being Arbeloa the only natural RB available), the idea of the president to build a young team that can live through UEFA’s new economical rules and the will of a part of the fans to have a new figure that can represent La Fábrica. Let’s take a look at them step by step. First of all, Carvajal is an adequate complement to Álvaro. Since Salgado left, Madrid has lacked an offensive option on the right side coming from the defensive line. Dani is even more attack-minded than Il Due, to the point that he lived entire matches on the other team’s side of the pitch when Leverkusen switched to all-out mode. This strange drawing of 3-4-3 with Carva as a wing back allowed him to develop his offensive skills, finishing Bundesliga with one goal and 8 assists, and gave Bayer a second offensive wing option whenever they decided to widen the field. Then native of Leganés is the definition of a full back: fast top speed, quick reaction, great strength in the lower half of the body and unbelievable resistance. And this is not an exaggeration: when the rest of players are trying to regulate their efforts, Dani keeps running up and down the pitch. If you want an example, take a look at Bayern 1-2 Bayer 23
from the of October: minute 87 and Munchen is sieging Leverkusen’s goal. Then, Carva finds a loose ball and goes all alone to attack. In the end Sam joins him and receives a crossing from the right back to make the winning goal. Bravery and faith are something that you cannot buy with money.
On the other hand, Arbeloa is an excellent stopper that can function as a one-man defensive force or fill the void created by the left back when it goes up the pitch. It is also quite effective on set pieces if we take into account that it’s a right back. All of this gives him a set of skills that differ greatly from Carvajal, which will only benefit the team. Ancelotti will be able to choose between two options depending on the situation. And it only gets better: they might even be able to function together, as Álvaro can accommodate on the left to let Carvajal punch the left side of the rival. It is still unknown how will the youngster combine with Marcelo, but only time will tell. Secondly, the signing of Carvajal follows a trend started with the return of Florentino Pérez to Real. What have Özil, Khedira, Di María, Varane and Sahin in common? They were all quite young when they came to Madrid. Isco also fits into this category, which has a reason that goes further than just getting young talent to make it develop into superstars: Florentino is fully aware of Financial Fair Play rules that UEFA will kick in in 2014. To sum it up, they want to keep teams from spending what they don’t have and live thanks to their earnings. With this into perspective, the president wants to accumulate as much youngsters as it is possible to avoid having to pay more for them later, when financial rules will be much stricter. Finally, there’s the psychological component that Carva can bring to the team. More specifically, we are talking about his merengue feeling. To put is simply, he sweats 24
madridismo and not only that: he’s also a symbol of La Fábrica. He was the boy besides Di Stéfano when the first stone in Valdebebas was set, when Dani was the captain of Infantil B. Even though Real is an international club where only the best have the opportunity to defend its crest, Florentino and a great part of the fans value having someone who truly feels the colors. He’ll have an easier way connecting with children and most probably, everyone will see him as the future captain of Real Madrid. Now that Casillas is falling from grace in the eyes of some madridistas, the club needed a new symbol of the house. All in all, it was clear that Real had to exercise his option on Carvajal and bring him back home. There was no chance that you could find another right back with the same mix of youth and talent for only 6.5 M. Add in that he won’t need to adapt to the country and city, and the Blancos are receiving the whole package. This is Daniel Carvajal Ramos, the perfect triple fit for Madrid.
Don’t forget to follow @LeBusinessCat on Twitter, a Carvajal lover and Cantera supporter but most importantly, a passionate Madridista 25
San Iker vs San Diego: Is there a new saint in town? Statistics via NBC Sports database, article by Matt [@MadridistaFacts]
The 2012/13 season was a tough one for Real Madrid. Los Blancos were plagued by injuries, a poor winning mentality, and a slightly divided dressing room for the first half of the season. After the winter break, it seemed like Madrid had gotten their act together – but just when it looked like they could completely turn the season around, disaster struck. On January 23rd, during Real Madrid’s 1-1 draw against Valencia, Iker Casillas injured his hand and had to be substituted. It would be several weeks before Casillas would be cleared to play again, and two days after his injury, Real Madrid signed goalkeeper Diego Lopez from Sevilla. Diego Lopez immediately found himself in Madrid’s starting eleven, and proved himself by performing consistently every match day. Casillas returned weeks later, but Mourinho continued to play Diego Lopez in net, which sparked a great amount of controversy. Despite heavy criticism from fans and the media, Mourinho refused to change his mind about his decision. The Madridista fan base was split into two camps: the Mourinho supporters and the Casillas supporters. So who was right? Should Mourinho have kept Lopez in net, or should he have welcomed Casillas back with a spot in the starting eleven? This all comes down to the question of which goalie performed better in the 2012/13 season. To answer this question, we must put all biases aside and take a look at the statistics – because, unlike angry fans, statistics do not exaggerate. To keep the comparison fair, the statistics from Diego Lopez’s 16 league games with Real Madrid this season will be compared to Casillas’ last 16 league 26
RMADRIDGIRL appearances this season. Iker Casillas conceded 14 goals in 16 games, one of which was a penalty, while Diego Lopez conceded 18 goals in his 16 games, 2 of which were scored from the penalty spot. From these numbers, Casillas conceded 0.88 goals per match, and Lopez conceded 1.13 goals per match. Furthermore, Casillas kept a clean-sheet for half of his 16 matches, while Lopez had only 4 clean-sheets. In the department of least goals conceded, “San” Iker Casillas is slightly superior to Lopez. However, these statistics can be misleading, because things like the Real Madrid defence’s performance, the difficulty of the opposition, etc. are a factor in the number of goals conceded. But we’re not done yet; we have to go deeper. In his 16 matches, Iker made 32 saves from 46 shots on target while Diego saved 56 from 74. This means that Casillas saved 70% of the shots and Lopez saved 76%. This is interesting, because if Diego Lopez had faced the same amount of shots as Casillas while maintaining his save percentage, Lopez would, theoretically, have only conceded 11 goals. These statistics seem to represent the two goalies’ abilities better than the amount of goals conceded, but once again, other factors could have contributed to the results. However, judging purely by these stats, Diego Lopez’s save percentage is slightly better than that of Iker Casillas. So far, the two keepers are relatively evenly matched and it comes down to the little things that can’t be counted. Both keepers have their advantages and disadvantages. In the change room and on the field, Casillas is a strong leader while Lopez is not. Granted, Casillas has been at Real Madrid for 12 more seasons and he has established himself as the first captain while Lopez simply hasn’t had the chance to do so. Diego Lopez is better at defending set-pieces and catching 27
RMADRIDGIRL crosses because he is taller than Casillas, and this characteristic is especially helpful for a team like Real Madrid, who have a tendency to concede many goals from set-pieces. The main thing not related to skill that would make a coach choose Casillas over Lopez would be that Casillas has won the hearts of many Madridistas. To many Madrid fans, his mere presence on the field is reassuring, and they don’t feel as safe without him guarding the net. In conclusion, Iker Casillas and Diego Lopez are two great goalkeepers that both deserve to proudly wear the Real Madrid shirt. Casillas and Lopez are both capable of making astonishing saves, as they recently demonstrated against Manchester City’s Agüero and Borussia Dortmund’s Gündoğan , respectively. Despite the heated controversies, the competition between them is a positive one, as it forces both players to constantly train hard and improve themselves. Real Madrid’s new coach, Carlo Ancelotti must not look at the decision of choosing between such two talented goalkeepers as a burden, but as reassurance that the player he does choose will be doing everything he can to defend the Real Madrid goal.
DEBATE: Pro Cantera By Adel Alammari [@MOUdridistaAdel] Throughout history, Real Madrid has been a club that attracts top quality players to wear its jersey. Elite players like Di Stefano, Hugo Sanchez, Roberto Carlos, Ronaldo, Figo, Cristiano and Zizou, have all been brought to the white castle because they were the best. Similarly though, Real Madrid has produced great canteranos like Emilio Butragueno, del Bosque, Casillas, Guti or Raul. The Real Madrid academy can produce high quality players that can be just as good as the players bought. From the years 2002-2009 there was a significant drought of real talents in the Cantera. In this era, Real Madrid under the presidency of Florentino Perez had its Galacticos years. Winning the 9th European Cup was the best and maybe the last huge win that happened at that time. Shortly after that, Real Madrid suffered in all competitions, especially in the UCL with the obsession to win the Tenth. There were academy players that had the potential to play in the first team at that time like Mata, Borja Valero, Arbeloa and Soldado. These four players with Ruben De La Red, who unfortunately retired at very young age, were the best in Real Madridâ€™s youth system. Real Madrid signed Jose Mourinho in 2010 with the goal to bring the team to be the monster it used to be in Europe and he did despite all the critics. While the first team was brought back to the elite, Castilla also turned into a gold mine. We started seeing amazing young talents like Morata, Carvajal, Joselu, Nacho and Jese. Mourinho gave them chances in the first team and they used them well. Castilla in the 2011-2012 season had a great run in their league and was promoted to Liga Adelante. The squad was full of talents and in many expert opinions, it is the best squad Castilla has produced in the last fifteen years. 29
RMADRIDGIRL Iâ€™m known for being an optimistic Madridista and I have a dream that most of these cantera players will bring glory to the Santiago Bernabeu. I believe we have golden players that need confidence to show up in the stage. Arsene Wenger is a coach who is great at making big stars out of young players. It would be a great option to send players like Derik, Llorente, Mateos or Alex to the gunners, for example, so they can gain experience and put them to the test. On the other hand there are players that are ready to play in the first team like Morata, Jese and Nacho. Morata is showing some signs that we might have a new Raul in the team, scoring 4 goals with the Spain U21 team in European cup, becoming the Pichichi and proving himself in front of Europe. Dani Carvajal was named the best full back in the Bundesliga after Philipp Lahm and Alaba by the league. His pace and crosses are incredible and with the help and experience of Arbeloa he can improve and gain further knowledge quickly. Jese Rodriguez is the most talented player in Castilla, scoring 22 goals last season and thus becoming the top scorer in Liga Adelente. He has the potential to compete for a spot in the first team and with all due respect to JosĂŠ Callejon, I believe Jese will give him a run for his money. Lastly, Nacho is good defender that still has room for development and has the best mentors in the team. He can be very useful in the middle of the season with the UCL, Liga and Copa games and the injuries and suspensions that come with it. In conclusion, Real Madrid should give the youth players more chances because at the end of the day, they are the ones who will defend the club no matter what happens. A great example of this is my Captain, Alvaro Arbeloa, who has been the first defense line of the team and the coaches against critics from the media.
DEBATE: Pro Cartera By Roberto [@badefa] I wouldn’t want people to label me as an anti-cantera, but my opinion is clearly that Real Madrid cannot trust its future in 20 year old kids. Unless they truly standout in the younger divisions or someone is urgently needed, most of them should first be shaped, grow up and test themselves in another big team prior to landing on the first team of the club with the most demanding fans in the world. This is not an excuse to get rid of them, on the contrary, we have many examples of recent prodigies like Soldado (2007), De La Red (2008), Granero and Arbeloa (2009), Callejon (2011) or Carvajal (2013). In a club as big and with such pressure as Real Madrid, the best must play and the best are always players formed and with experience; that is how European Cups were won with Don Santiago Bernabeu and that is Real Madrid authentic philosophy. I don’t understand the obsession some have to systematically criticize that the club doesn’t have one or many canteranos each year, when the priority of Madrid is to win and not to make players. What happened in the Fifth with El Buitre or Pep’s Barcelona are exceptional cases that we will see very few times in the history of these kinds of teams; furthermore in Barcelona they have already started to look out again and forget about Alcántara, Tello and Bartra. I definitely would rather pay for Bale before conforming to Jesé and Morata. 31
Don Assist: Mesut Ozil by @MesutOzilStats [or @OzilStatsReply] First of all, I would like to say what we can expect for Mesut Özil in the new season. With Isco at the club, the fans will see a friendly battle in the midfield. Özil and Isco will sometimes play together which is a situation similar to what happened upon Modric’s arrival. See: In La Liga last season, Özil played 2123 minutes. In his first season he played 2644 mins and in the second he played 2645. Fortunately Mesut was better than the Croatian when it came to delivering: Özil scored 10 goals and assisted 22 while Modric achieved 4 goals and 5 assists. Mourinho climbed Modric many times as a playmaker (Mesut's position), but for me he's a player to dispute a place with Khedira in the midfield, not with Özil ahead. 2012/13 wasn’t the best campaign for Mesut Özil. Although he broke his personal record of most Liga goals in a season (that was 6 and he scored 9), Özil provided 'only' 13 La Liga assists, four less than what he got in each of his first 2 seasons with Real Madrid in Liga. Nonetheless, Mesut Ozil’s record has never been seen before in La Liga and his partnership with Ronaldo is key to Real Madrid’s success. Compared with another great playmaker in La Liga like Iniesta, the numbers speak for themselves. From 2010-2013, the Spaniard has scored 29 goals and assisted 62 times while Mesut has scored 55 goals and assisted 122 times in the same period of time in all competitions. Next season prediction: 7 goals and 15 assists in La Liga, 2 goals and 4 assists in Champions League, 1 goal and 3 assists in Copa del Rey. 32
Morata: A Bet on the Future Álvaro Morata is facing the greatest challenge in his career so far. With the full trust of Zidane, Ancelotti and Florentino Pérez, he is going to be Karim Benzema’s main backup (possible signing pending) on the first squad. This comes as a mixture between said trust and the fact that there is not a real striker option in the market, not one affordable at least. Morata finished the season on a strong note. He completed a great performance with Castilla, scoring 12 goals and having the best goal per minute ratio amongst the B team’s top scorers (a goal every 134,6 minutes played). He also gave good performances with the main squad whenever Mourinho gave him the chance, with highlights like the final minutes saving goal at Levante or the assist to Benzema in El Clásico at the Bernabéu. This gained him a call for the Spanish U21 national team for the European Championship in Israel. Morata arrived at the tournament as Spain’s third striker behind Rodrigo and Vázquez and finished with the Golden Boot of the tournament and the spot on the Champion’s starting XI. Morata has all the physical qualities to be a top-level scorer. Personally, I think this ‘promotion’ comes a little early, I think he lacks the experience; this tends to upset the youngsters at some level during the promotion-adaptation time, but I also think that Morata’s mentality and maturity are his great gift. Even greater than his talent. He has an enviable mind, one that should be mirrored by all canteranos that one day aspire to triumph at Real Madrid. His disposition to work, to learn and to listen from all the great teachers a young footballer can possibly have in a team like Real Madrid are really something to admire, something to have hope and faith on this kid. As I said, the timing might be a little bit off, but this could be a good thing. The last two canteranos to establish themselves at the main squad directly from the B team were both called up in emergency conditions: Raúl and Casillas. So, maybe the timing not being adequate could be the key to Morata’s success at Real Madrid. Football is kind of whimsical and has these weird ways of working out.
RMADRIDGIRL Real Madrid, right now, lacks a strong, presence-in-the-box striker. Morata has the corpulence to pull that off, standing in 1,80m and weighting 82 kilos. (5’11 and 180 lbs.), plus his ability to play as a winger has made him gain other skills with his feet: he can cross, he can dribble and he has gained more resources. Sure, he’s not the first option nor he has a big name on his back, but he could prove himself a great asset, a great guy to come from the bench and maybe surprise the rivals. His leap in quality this past year has been enormous. A lot of blame to this falls into our former coach, José Mourinho, who had him in mind for the first squad since he made him debut in 2010. I would’ve liked to see Morata’s development under the tutelage of Mourinho for a couple of more years. But Mou is gone and now Morata has other responsibilities and other teachers like Zizou or Carlo. Let’s hope that the bet that is been made on this kid brings positive results in the short, medium and long term for Real Madrid. Only the future will tell. Article by @RealEsparta Au, Au, Au!
Isco: The New Kid on the Block You get to know how fast time goes by when you think of the first time you heard of Isco Alarcón. It could have been by the time of 2010, when he first debuted in La Liga with Valencia CF, or perhaps by the time of 2009 with his great advances with Spain’s U17 team, getting to the third place of the FIFA U-17 World Cup. But, for sure, most of the people got to know his name for the first time in the past two seasons. He moved from Valencia to Málaga (2011/12) and his career started to boost in a significant way. The first year he played for Málaga, he managed to go through with great statistics for a player of bare 20 years of age.
From then on, many of the eyes watching Málagaʼs matches, centered their sights on the brilliant future that Isco could develop if he made another great year like the previous. And surprisingly (maybe not), he didnʼt make an equal year but a better one. Iscoʼs 2012/13 was so brilliant that sent him straight young players’ heaven. His astonishing displays during UEFA Champions League matches, and constant great level in La Liga, gave him a very precious title that every footballer at his age covet: 2012 Golden Boy Award. Along with it, he won the “La Liga Breakthrough Player”. Knowing the great talent he disposes, he was called for the UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship with Spainʼs U-21 National Team where he 35
nonetheless, kept on surprising his viewers. To complete an exciting year, he won the title along with the Bronze Boot and a place in the “Team of the Championship”. Iscoʼs brilliant season was over, so it could already be compared to the last one.
In point of fact, his last year was simply magnificent for his age. This made teams worldwide awake a certain interest on him. The fight for Isco lasted less than 3 months, when Real Madrid CF ended the negotiations according to his signing, and brought the young and gifted player to the White Temple, Real Madridʼs stadium, the Santiago Bernabéu, to be shown to all his new fans. I, as a Real Madrid fan, feel very confident on Iscoʼs future in Real Madrid. His talent has nothing to envy to that of other notorious young players worldwide, and his new home is the perfect place to increase it. If I had to compare his playing style with the one of other brilliant player, I would have too many choices. He has already been compared to Zinedine Zidane when he was his age, surely a proud-feeling comparison.
RMADRIDGIRL His style is more of an attacking one, very disciplined and talented, with a great manouver of the ball in every angle and situation. He has a very good feet control, dribble and vision. Not to mention his physical conditions, spectacular for his age, and his cooperative capabilities. All this features are at a ʻlow-levelʼ compared to how they can get to be if he goes one maturing them. It reminds me of Mesut Özil when he first arrived Real Madrid. He came from a good season and mainly a very good World Cup. But nowadays he is nothing compared to what he was 3-4 years ago. No, he is exponentially better, one of the bests in the World in his position (if not the best). Hopefully Isco will also undergo this exponential growth and become a much greater player than he already is. I am willing to see how this little carbon becomes a valuable diamond, wearing the white shirt of Real Madrid.
Welcome, Isco. Signed, @RMfutbolonline, Carlos A.R.
Final Thoughts I hope the wait was worth the end result. This magazine took almost a month to produce. It was a fun project and it is sad that it has come to an end but I hope it delivered. Here you have read your favourite accounts on Twitter, some journalists and a few new ones hoping to emerge. Depending on your feedback this magazine could become yearly, twice a year or potentially quarterly. Of course now it is in your hands to make it happen. A new magazine means new writers, new faces but with a touch of your favourites. Now we are ready to face a new season with a new coaching staff, with new players but with the same energy and hope for the Tenth, for the 33rd, for the 19th. Twitter is growing by the day as a powerful tool and we have the power to unite fans and players to push towards the same common goal. This is the year we learn to put our differences aside and push, push and push to get La Décima. This is the year we all believe together, from beginning to end. Thank you very much to everyone that has taken the time to read this magazine, I promise you, it was written and edited with a lot of love for no other goal but to give you the best you deserve. As we flip the last page of this magazine… all together now, 1… 2… 3…
Yours truly, RMadridGirl 38