Cristiano Ronaldo Fan Club

Cristiano Ronaldo Fan Club
Cristiano Ronaldo Fan Club
Cristiano Ronaldo is a Portuguese football player who currently plays for Real Madrid. He plays as a left or right winger and is one of the highest rated football stars in the world.He is also an important player in the Portuguese National team.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Mourinho's Madrid may match Barca

Ever the showman, Cristiano Ronaldo indulged in four stepovers as he dribbled his way through the LA Galaxy defence before striking an unstoppable shot past their goalkeeper. Such box office moments kept the 56,000 crowd happy in the Los Angeles Coliseum on Sunday night as Real Madrid beat LA Galaxy 4-1 as part of their pre-season tour.

The result means little in the greater scheme of things. Madrid had only returned to pre-season training five days earlier, but there were indicators of Madrid's health as they seek to overcome Barca this season and win a first league title in four years.

Like Manchester United, Madrid are content to train in America where the facilities are top notch, sponsors can be courted, players enjoy their anonymity (Ronaldo excepted) and big match fees are earned for friendlies against competitive opponents.

International commitments mean that not every Madrid player is present, but most are and the signs in Los Angeles were positive as Mourinho enters his second term.

Kaka, who is enjoying his first injury free pre-season since signing for Madrid two years ago, looked like the brilliant playmaker of old against David Beckham's side. A fit and in-form Kaka will be huge addition to Mourinho's squad this season.

There have been changes off the field. Mourinho fought - and won - a series of battles last season as he sought to exert his control at the Bernabeu. The main clash was with director of football Jorge Valdano, who departed in May. He has been replaced by Zinedine Zidane, who will be much closer to the squad with involvement in training and a presence pitchside during games. The players have been queuing up to praise both the move and Zidane.

Unlike last season, Mourinho wants to show unity, with the French great onside and supporting the coach rather than briefing the media against him.

Madrid were up and running before Barca's players had even returned to training, but both clubs have a gruelling pre-season schedule across several continents before they meet twice in the Spanish Super Cup, first in the Bernabeu on August 13 then at Camp Nou four days later. The games will kick off at the fan-friendly times of 10pm and 11pm respectively.

Mourinho hopes to build on a successful first season marred only by a few ridiculous outbursts and several defeats to Barca. He is enthused by his low-key new signings, saying: "They have the legs for the adventure to come."

Those recruits include Jose Callejon, the 24-year-old winger who signed for €5.5m from Espanyol. Callejon, who was at Madrid as a youth and reserve player, will wear number 21 in honour of his former Espanyol captain Dani Jarque, who passed away in 2009.

Versatile Portuguese left-back Fabio Coentrao, 23, has also joined from Benfica in a €30m deal which could also see Argentine midfielder Fernando Gago go in the opposite direction. His compatriot Ezequiel Garay has joined Benfica in a separate €5m deal.

Another adaptable arrival is German born Turkish international Hamit Alintop, 28, who comes on a free transfer from Bayern Munich.

Nuri Sahin is another German born Turkish international. The brilliant young midfielder, 22, starred as Borussia Dortmund won the Bundesliga before moving to Madrid for a reported €10m fee.

Younger still is Raphael Varane, 18, who can play as a defensive midfielder or central defender. The French U21 player arrived from Lens, again for a €10m fee. All the players said that the prospect of working under Mourinho was as enticing as that of playing for Madrid.

There may be more new players and reports of the Brazilian Neymar and the Atletico Madrid's Argentine Sergio Aguero going to the Bernabeu have persisted for months, but space will have to be found in Madrid's bulging squad.

Second goalkeeper Jerzy Dudek has already left and Emmanuel Abebayor's loan spell has expired. Sergio Canales is unsure of his future at the club, but most Madrid fans are satisfied that Mourinho will soon see his side match Barca in La Liga.

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