Friday, June 12, 2009

A Great Article

CR7 Special: Why Premier League Clubs Can't Criticise Real Madrid's Galacticos Spending Spree
Spending big in the recession was all well and good before a richer and stronger club came out to play, believes Goal.com's Sulmaan Ahmad...Sulmaan Ahmad
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(Original Article Here:
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Why rename a perfectly adequate First Division in the early 1990s? The hierarchy of Premier League, Championship, League One and League Two makes absolutely no immediate sense to someone who isn't already a fan of the game. First, Second and Third Division - the equivalent of what's in Spain, Italy, France and the rest - was more than adequate.
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It was a makeover, undertaken due to the miserable state in which English football found itself. A rebranding and repackaging offered up lucrative television rights that enabled clubs to begin setting new standards on these less-than-sunny shores and make a statement to the world.
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Over a decade passed before it became clear that finally, the financial strength of the Premier League proved a greater lure than the climate, culture and quality of the likes of Spain or Italy. Grassroots English football may have been in something of an abeyance, but the fans were still being rewarded with several of the world's best players plying their trade around the 20 Prem grounds every week.
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There was also the formation of the 'Big Four', who have arguably become four of the most six or seven feared clubs in the Champions League, which is still regarded as the ultimate barometer of any club's quality. Even if it was good business rather than good football that got them the foreign stars that in turn then made them such a force, one thing went without saying: the contintental kings who had lost their status quo certainly wished it was them. And they still do.
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Just last summer, it seemed only a matter of time until every single superstar in the game was to end up in England, and the Premier League would become what the NBA is to basketball.But then, one of the most universally denigrated figures within football, Ramon Calderon, resigned as Real Madrid president under a cloud of corruption, which paved the way for the return of Florentino Perez, formally reinstated less than two weeks ago.
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The mastermind of los Galacticos returned with an unmistakable mission: to restore the club to its former glory, using the same principles the club had abided by throughout its history since legendary president Santiago Bernabeu: a squad containing the best from the cantera, the best from Spain, and the best in the world. This, in order to produce both the best football team possible while simultaneously making as much money for the club and its members as possible, with not a Sheikh in sight.
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Under Calderon, los Blancos had spent more than their fair share without recruiting the kind of quality that was fit to challenge at the very highest level. The disgraced supremo lacked the tact, temperament and stature to broker the big deals; canterano such as Roberto Soldado and Javi Garcia were wrongly recalled and subsequently neglected while Juan Mata was allowed to leave, and no Spanish players were signed throughout his reign.
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It wasn't all bad; team spirit was restored, they rallied to back-to-back Liga titles and some of the younger players began to develop, but time was running out not to be among Europe's elite, and it didn't look like it would ever happen without a change of direction. Falling out of the Champions League's first seedings was the last straw.
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A solid foundation is now in place, but what has been lacking above all else is Calderon's ability to lure the Galacticos and the Spanish stars. Perez has said, on more than one occasion, this summer will be like no other before it, as he will be doing three seasons' work in one.
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Perez is a man of formidable business experience and vast amounts of pulling power. Sound familiar? He is a one-man Premier League. After ten working days in office, he has convinced his good friend Adriano Galliani to part with his prize possession and his formal acquaintance David Gill with his, as good as sealing the first and third most expensive transfers of all time, the two most recent Ballon d'Or winners. And with those foreign stars in the bag, next on the list are Spaniards David Villa and Xabi Alonso. Maicon and Gael Clichy have also been mooted as possible defensive reinforcements.
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The Premier League has lost its best player from United and Chelsea, the archetypal Premier League financial powerhouse, have been beaten not just to Kaka, but now to David Villa, as well. On top of that, Liverpool could well lose one of their best players in Xabi Alonso and even Arsenal might be under threat.
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Get On With The GameThe cowering reaction from the Premier League has been typical of what they have been criticising their continental competitors for in the last few years. The constant complaining and questioning of the financial imbalance, accusations of greed and even deceit, and for what?
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Real Madrid may be run by a billionaire, but they are not owned by one, Perez's personal fortune is legally off limits for spending by the club. They have not 'sold out' - and the business model that enables them to spend hundreds of millions of euros is based on the premise that certain types of players will pay for themselves over time. Whether or not Madrid's team is tactically balanced is wholly irrelevant; let them worry about their calamitous defence, maybe Perez will make all the same mistakes as before, but in the mean time, the Premier League need to concentrate on themselves, on how they will challenge Real Madrid (and the small matter of Barcelona, who remain the best team in the world as things stand).
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Dennis Bergkamp, an undisputed genius during his years on the pitch and a voice of reason away from it, remarked that the transfer fees for Kaka and Ronaldo may seem excessive, but must be put into perspective. The Dutchman, who was once upon a time the world's second most expensive player himself, realises that as long as they quite literally pay for themselves, Kaka and Ronaldo are the very essence of value for money.
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Heavy spending and so-called financial bullying in the recession never became a problem until the Spanish giants came in and upped the ante, so it needn't become one now. Their spending power, after all, is not artificial; it comes only from the strength of their club, their institution, and it is the club that will pay every last euro for every last Galactico on their books this summer and beyond.
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Petty criticism of Madrid and their Galacticos only exudes fear and jealousy. Ronaldo could have got all the wages he wanted out of United and Kaka, though his ideal was to stay at Milan, could have headed to Chelsea or Manchester City if he wanted the most money. They each wanted Madrid, but all the Galacticos in the world won't make los Merengues unbeatable, just as Barcelona proved that three Prem sides in the final four of the Champions League made no difference to them on their quest for all-conquering glory. Kaka's €65m transfer fee alone was equivalent to all of Barca's signings that took to the field in the Champions League final.
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The very fact that Madrid have gone from being treated with the contempt and indifference they attracted under Calderon to the hatred and fear inspired under Perez only serves only to affirm that they are heading in a dangerous direction. After all, Premier League fans should know as well as anyone that in such situations, being hated is usually a good thing.
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Sulmaan Ahmad, Goal.com

Thursday, June 11, 2009

CR96

I'd have been thrilled had we landed him at a price similar to that of Kaka... but 96 million Euros??? That's fucking Madness
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96 Million Fucking Euros. That's a lot of bloody fucking money. Too Much Money... For a whining-diving pretty boy bitch diva that also happens to be regarded by many as the best footballer on the planet... Dont' get me wrong, somewhere inside of me, deep down inside me that is... I'm excited to see a player of such talent play for us. I just can't get my head around the ridiculous amount of money that the transaction involves (also ridiculous is the figure we'd have to pay had we not agreed to sign him: 30 million euros: more expensive that what Liverpool paid for 'El Nino' Torres).
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Ramon Calderon Celebrating after having been voted as the WORST President in the history of Real Madrid. His pre-contract agreement with/for Thong Boy forced this upon us. I hope he gets reincarnated in his next life as a turd.
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I blame the loser Ramon Calderon for it! The fucker was clearly reeking of desperation, which was why he was dumb enough to agree to such an amount. he was probably thinking he'd manage to weather the storm of this past season and was totally planning to bask in the glory of redemption in signing of the man folks in Real the Offside are calling 'Thong Boy'. I'm happy his ass in the gutter that he wouldn't have the the full opportunity to gloat over this. Florentino would have tried to sign him for sure... and might have succeeded in getting him for say.... 70m? I would imagine that he'd also have it in him to say 'You want 96? Nahh...' (while thinking "No Fucking Way!"). I speculating that Perez probably figured out that the pre-contract agreement was bulletproof and felt that we're betting off paying the extra 63m and getting the player rather than paying the 30m to not get him.
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Word out is that he has already comandeered the rights to the brand name CR9 in Spain knowing that Raul is still the 'top dog' in the dressing room and will be holding on to the '7' (a jersey that I believe rightfully belongs to Gonzalo Higuain upon 'El Kapitan's' retirement).
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He should wear CR96 instead.... that way he'll remember how much he costs and remember to live up to it when he's on the pitch.
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Real Madrid should also set up one-on-one tutoring lessons for him from Kaka, to pick up tricks on modesty, gentlemanliness and humility while being considered by many as the best player in the world's most popular sport.
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I will never doubt the talent that he possesses now: but 96 million Euros is a lot money, too much money for a Football Player with an attitude problem. Perhaps if he manages to score 50 goals in one season to lead us to a treble, I'll change my mind... uhmm... no, not 50, make it 96.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Finally

I have dreamt of the day I would see Kaka in Real Madrid White for more than 3 years: That day has finally come!

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What a great bit of news to wake you up in the morning! After 3 seasons, the one player whom I've always dreamed to come to Real Madrid has finally signed on the dotted line. Yes, yes, yes it's true: Kaka is now an official member of Los Merengues.
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It wasn't long ago when a punk named Ramon Calderon promised to bring him to the Bernabeu and failed. I watched him in awe at the 2006 World Cup as the lone bright spot in a Brazil team doomed by the excesses of the 2 Ronnies. I watched him in awe as he gave the world, Manchester United and Cristiano Ronaldo (whom EPL punters were wrongfully proclaiming back then as the best in the world) a footballing lesson.
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Kaka is a specimen of absolute skill and class. Born with an amazing ability to accelerate with the ball at the snap of the finger and also the incredible intelligence to move without the ball: zipping in and out between enemy lines to recieve the ball and make an intelligent pass, or take a rocket shot at goal, or menacingly run at a hapless defender. All this was done with absolutely amazing skill and elegant grace. Off the pitch, he is known as a well-mannered family man and devoted christian: an embodiment of Florentino Perez's 'senorio'... I agree completely and emphatically with Perez when he said that Kaka was born to play for Real Madrid.
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He comes likely to inherit the fabled '5' jersey of the greatest footballer I've ever seen on the pitch with my own eyes: Zidane. He also comes with the great player's thumbs-up.
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Next year, at this same time, as the world goes into pandemonium over the events that will unfold in South Africa, I hope to still be reeling from thoughts of daydream fantasies: of Real Madrid's new '5' lifting La Decima... That huge cup with the big funny ears... in front of 80,000 rabid fans... On the hallowed grounds of the Santiago Bernabeu.
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I'm optimistic. Very optimistic.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Madness

Not only is the idea of having a team that seems to only have the ability to attack and hardly any sense of a defensive midfield ridiculous...
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It' also madness that Marca, a paper that claims to be a piece of journalism would do such a thing: to post a lineup of Real Madrid with players who aren't even signed yet. This is an absolutely flagrant display of disrespect to the players (those who currently don't play for Real Madrid yet) and their respective clubs. To discuss potential lineups and fantasy signings in internet forums is one thing, but to publish it as a piece of journalism is another thing altogether.
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It is exactly this sort of thing that makes other fans and other clubs hate Real Madrid. And I as a Madridista hate it too.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

A Few Months of Chaos... and hopefully cause for Optimism

It's official:
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Barcelona are the best team in the planet. Even all the irritatingly ignorant EPL-is-the-only-league-that-matters punters had to swallow that simple fact. Barcelona are not only the best team on the planet because of their historic treble, but just by the absolute class by which they have dispensed of all contenders: Goalfests and absolutely Beautiful Football. As a Madridista (and a Football fan first and foremost) I concede that with and full heart and extend my congratulations to all Barcelona fans out there.

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So what now for this miserable Real Madrid team? There are signs of optimism: We have Florentino Perez back at the helm and a new manager.

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As I've said previously, I'd have preferred to see Juande Ramos stay. I'd have preferred for Valdano and Perez to sit down with him and talk to him about what pieces he would need to make an improved version of his High-Power/High-Octane Sevilla side which I was in awe of. Instead, we find ourselves with Manuel Pellegrini, whom I don't consider to be a bad choice for his achievements in Villareal. But as I also said, I'd have preferred a proven manager with titles in his CV.
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Anyway, I suppose now is the time to take stock on our current squad if we are supposed to expect a big signing announcement on Monday (i.e. Kaka)... so here goes:
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1 - Iker Casillas
This product of our Cantera, the best Goalkeeper in the world, the Captain of Spain should also be made the Captain of Real Madrid this coming season as we send Raul to the bench to become a Squad Player.
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2 - Michel Salgado
Should be thanked for his years of loyalty and professionalism as we send him off to retirement or to the Middle East
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3 - Pepe

Should continue his treatment to ensure that the Getafe incident never happens again and to also ensure he becomes what many of us are already calling him: the next Fernando Hierro.
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4 - Sergio Ramos
Definitely a keeper for us... but he must take some serious lessons on positioning and decision making on when to rampage forward and when to keep it tight at the back.
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5 - Fabio Cannavaro
Off to Juventus
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6 - Lassana Diarra
Our starting Defensive Midfielder for next season. The 'missing Makelele' all these years.
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6 - Mahamadou Diarra
In this world, there are winners and there are losers. Mahamadou Diarra is a winner. And winners play for Real Madrid.
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I am so afraid they will sell him which would be a TERRIBLE idea in my opinion. We should keep him and figure out a role for him: retain him as a defensive midfielder since people in his position accumulate cards (and get suspended) easily or injured... or can he make the switch to become a Centerback like Hierro did. He has the makings of a good CB: great in the air, powerful, covers a lot of ground... where we've seen him on defense though, he didn't look comfortable.
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7 - Raul
Should accept a role as the team's 4th & 5th striker as well as a demotion to become Vice-Captain. He should also ponder retirement this upcoming season and take his place in the Pantheon of Real Madrid's greats... and a front office job.
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8 - Fernando Gago
Transfer Fodder. His status as a starter for Argentina might allow us to fetch a good price for him.
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9 - Javier Saviola
Off you go. Nobody cares where to... only if you can manage to fetch us any sort of fee.
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10 - Wesley Sneijder
Likely to end up as transfer fodder too... I would however, like to see him stay... he will need to accept a role as a squad player though... I doubt that.
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11 - Arjen Robben
He's always injured and he can be REALLY selfish when he plays. But when he's got his mojo going, he's exhilirating to watch. I say keep him.
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I've read that he too will be shipped out. I disagree. I think they should keep him and decide on ONE winger purchase: CR7, Ribery or David Silva (My vote: Ribery)... after all, we have another backup in...
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12 - Marcelo
We discovered that he is actually a Left Winger and not a Left Back. Keep him. He will need to accept a lesser role and eventually grow into the squad. He's only 20-21 (I think) anyway...
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13 - Jordi Codina
Given his age, I think they might let him go. I wouldn't mind having him as Iker's immediate backup though.
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14 - Guti
I am sick and tired of him and his diva antics. Get rid of him please, perhaps he can fetcha good price in the market too.
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15 - Royston Drenthe
Should be loaned out or sold with a buyback clause.
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16 - Gabriel Heinze
Should be sold off or used as Transfer Fodder. He is the one player in Real Madrid I wanted to chuck the remote control at as I watched in misery his defensive blunders.
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17 - Ruud Van Nistelrooy
One of the greatest goal scorers of all time. He took us on his back to win us our first title in many years with his goals. I'm confident he still has it. We should let him retire with us if he'll accept a lesser role.
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There is talk that he would be shipped off too. Because he's Dutch... because he's old. I say keep him on the condition that he accepts a role as a squad player. One of the greatest goal scorers of all time sitting on your bench will always come in handy. Let him retire with us... perhaps he and Raul can retire together... then we'll be in for another offseason excited over the prospect of buying striekrs in the market.
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17 - Dani Parejo
Should be loaned out... I don't see him getting a lot of Playing Time with this 2nd-coming of the Galacticos.
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18 - Ruben De La Red
I was so happy to read about him being on the pitch again. If he's cleared to play, this canterano and Spanish International should most definitely have a place in our squad.
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As I grudgingly began to accept that his football career was over, news of his return to football in a charity match was an absolutely preasant surprise. If he can indeed play again, we should definitely keep him. I do think however that it'd be too much to say that we shouldn't try for Xabi Alonso anymore and just shove him straight into the starting XI.
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18 - Julien Faubert
Really? He plays for us?
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19 - Klaas-Jan Huntelaar
He can't dribble, Can't hold the ball, Can't control the ball... I thought we bought RVN's heir. That was so wrong! If the rumors are true that Man U are interested in him: use him as bait to get CR7... or even better.... Vidic.
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20 - Gonzalo Higuain
Once Raul retires: give him the '7' please. He is the future of Real Madrid. Before that, he should be a guaranteed starter for next season. By far, the player of the season (albeit a terrible one) for us.
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21 - Christoph Metzelder
As we all began to doze off at the thought of him and how slow he supposedly was, he has shown glimpses of usefulness to us in the absence of Pepe. Can he accept a role as a suqad player though? If not, maybe we should call Bayern Munich and see if they need a Centerback... a German International Center Back. If they're interested, then we should do a cash+player deal for Ribery.
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22 - Miguel Torres
Can play right back, left back... supposedly can play Centerback too. A good professional, a canterano... one for us to keep!
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23 - Rafael Van Der Vaart
A Flop. When the rumor that Bayern were interested in him came out... it got me REALLY excited: a part swap with Ribery? (see remarks on Metzelder above)
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24 - Javi Garcia
I expect a glut in central midfielders next season. And this season, he hasn't been able to prove himself. I think we should cut him loose.
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25 - Jerzy Dudek
Our back up keepers should be from the Cantera... so I'd like to see him go. I also read somewhere that he might end up at Feyenoord.