Preview: Real Madrid vs Sporting Gijón

On paper, the Real Madrid faces this afternoon the last quiet match of the month. In none of the meetings are coming (all terrible: Tottenham, Bilbao, Tottenham, Barcelona, Barcelona in the Spanish Cup Final and Valencia) white team will enjoy the great theoretical advantage that today will accompany them; a stadium that does not fail and a modest opponent which will play without its star; Diego Castro. And do not doubt this absence is more important for Sporting than many and famous of the Real Madrid.

However, such obvious predictions contain a risk: the trust. It's easy for players of Real Madrid have assumed that this match is won and they think about the following. And it would not be a sin of pride, or not exactly, it would be a form of survival because, apart Mourinho, no one lives in constant battle stations.

More than a tragedy, Madrid casualties must be understood as a test. Marcelo, Cristiano and Benzema out for injuries and Xabi Alonso for penalty; Four key players as long as the essence of the team feeds on them. Ruled out their presence, Lass, Granero and Khedira assume the task of directing the aircraft carrier, with the invaluable help of Özil who today will be the highest authority (technical) on the grass.

Up front will be written another novel. Adebayor regains the starter position with the hounds snapping at his heels. If Benzema was ahead the last matches, now Higuain spurs him, back to a call after 124 days. His possible participation, with the back greased, is another great stimulus of the match.

In the evaluation of Sporting will not consider the old confrontation between Preciado and Mourinho. We bet that both, natural warriors, appreciate each other more after that. So, Barral will look for the goal with no wind that helps him. Without his fellow soldier, Diego Castro, he is only to the danger.

Sporting Gijon are especially motivated now that they are no longer in the relegation zone thanks to taking seven points out of a possible nine in the last few weeks. "Real Madrid is a team that motivates us", said coach Preciado earlier in the week. "We need the points and, thanks to international games and Champions League fixtures, Real Madrid are in a good situation for us to face them. The venue is also a motivating factor for us and our hopes are high".

Real Madrid Girlfriends: Gisela Dulko (5)

Gisela Dulko is an Argentinian tennis player. She was born on January 30, 1985, in the town of Tigre, in the province of Buenos Aires. In 2011 has won the Australian Open in doubles with Flavia Pennetta, with whom plays as number one female double in ATP ranking. On February 27, 2011 won the Acapulco Open, after three years without winning a tournament like single player. Dulko currently ranks 47 in the singles rankings.

Gisela Dulko: Fernando Gago's girlfriend

Gisela Dulko began playing tennis at 7 years of age. Gisela started playing tennis after seeing his brother Alejandro to play at a club. Alejandro is the current coach and who accompanies her on the circuit. She took a significant step for the junior circuit, becoming in 2001 the number 5 in the world junior rankings, and number 1 in doubles. In single she won important tournaments as Roehampton, Citta Di Santa Croce and the Coffee Cup. In doubles won three Grand Slam titles: U.S. Open 2000 (with Maria Emilia Salerni), Wimbledon 2001 (with Ashley Harkleroad) and Australian Open 2002 (with Angelique Widjaja).

In 2002, Gisela joined the junior circuit to devote himself entirely to his career. Being the number 212 of the WTA ranking, received a special invitation to the tournament in Scottsdale, where she made ​​her debut in the circuit, losing in the first round. In the same year she won the challenger of Jackson, and then competed in Casablanca, where she reached her first semifinal in singles in a WTA tournament and her first final in doubles with Conchita Martinez.

In 2003 she won her first career doubles title in Casablanca with Maria Emilia Salerni and debuted that year in the main draw of a Grand Slam. It was at Roland Garros after passing the preliminary rounds and where she was eliminated in the first round. In the 2007 season, Gisela won the first individual title of her career, winning in the month of April in Budapest on clay. In the Australian Open 2011, with her partner Flavia Pennetta, won the first Grand Slam title of her career.

Fernando Gago and Gisela Dulko

The tennis player will marry Fernando Gago the month of July, reason why she will not participate in the Federation Cup series in the middle of that month. This means that the Real Madrid midfielder will not be part of the Argentina team that will play the Copa America tournament which will be launched in his country on July 1. The press agrees that Gago and Dulko met during the Madrid Master Series in 2009.


Preciado: "I'm sure Mourinho is a good guy"

Manolo Preciado (Sporting Gijón coach) will face the match against Real Madrid the next day, with all the controversy of months ago forgotten, with "enormous enthusiasm" and the idea of "visit the Bernabeu Stadium each year because that means we are still in first division" as announced to reporters at press conference.

After the famous controversy he had with Mourinho months ago, Gijon coach does not hesitate to talk about the Portuguese "I think he is a great coach and I am sure he is a good guy", adding that "sure Real Madrid have said him the same about Preciado".

Manolo Preciado

Therefore, to put an end to this situation, the red-white coach does not doubt to ensure that: "I have no problem with anyone". About the possibility that his players have a"hostile" reception, he said "It is being just a football game".

About the chances of Sporting in the white arena, Preciado said that "we will start to play in the field with the point that gives us the Federation, and we will try to win two more" noting that playing in Chamartin "Is always special". Thinking of salvation, the coach predicted that "Ten teams will fight for playing next year in the first division. We need about 40 or 42 points".

Finally, focusing on his teamplate and the change that has suffered in recent months, notes that "We have changed in terms of results. The team was almost dead with a very bad dynamic, but I think before Santander match, we play with more confidence and we were lucky that lacked in the past".

Taiwo is in Real Madrid's spotlight

Taye Taiwo, lefty side defense of Olympique Marseille and with Nigerian nationality, is the bargain of the market that Real Madrid has targeted to strengthen this position for the next season.

What makes this move really interesting, if finally all parties at the white club agree, is that he would come free. The Nigerian defender is 25 years old and ends his contract with Marseille at the end of this season. He announced publicly that he will not renew and has already initiated talks with several major European clubs, including Real Madrid.

Taye Taiwo

Mourinho likes Taiwo. Portuguese thinks he is a great player and already wanted him for Inter Milan... and now may be for the white template. He is a player who plays with great intensity and a high pace throughout the match, who works tirelessly and is a beast physically. He is a '3 'all the way, something that still lacks Real Madrid, which only has Marcelo who is not considered a pure left side defense.

The main problem that presents the recruitment of Taiwo is his salary. The player's agent is getting 3 million net per season for Nigerian footballer because he will leave the French club on a free transfer. Will have to wait for the summer.

Higuain will debut with Nike against Sporting

Gonzalo Higuain is like a child with new boots, literally. The Argentine striker has a good chance to return to the squad tomorrow, to face Sporting Gijon, after four and a half months off. And he will debut with his new sports firm, Nike, with whom he has just signed a "juicy" contract.

"Pipita" leaves Adidas, with whom he signed shortly after arriving at Real Madrid, by the competitors, the U.S.A. multinational which has hired one of the icons of white club and also the Argentina team. Higuain, 23 years old, will earn about one million euros per season, a remarkable amount for Madrid striker. So Gonzalo will release new boots on his return to the pitch which is becoming closer. In fact, in his gradual return to training, the Argentine has been testing several models of boots to choose which one best fits his feet.

Gonzalo Higuain has signed a contract with Nike
Gonzalo Higuaín

His target, once he was operated in January by Dr. Fessler in Chicago, was trying to reach the Spanish Cup Final against Barcelona on April 20. But the Real Madrid striker has been reduced by more than one month, the initial period of injury that pointed he could not play until May. "Pipita" takes a couple of weeks training at the same pace as his peers. Even last week completed a practice match of non-international players against Castilla (Real Madrid B), proving to be fit to return but with lack of match fitness, of course.

Although the German firm Adidas has lost Higuain, still maintains a monopoly among the first team players because it also wears Real Madrid team. From the attackers Benzema, Di Maria, Kaka and Adebayor to Xabi Alonso, going through youth players like Canales, Adam or Granero. "The jewel in the crown", Cristiano, is still Nike and other top players; Sergio Ramos, Marcelo and Özil. Casillas is the only player who works with Reebok, owned by Adidas. Pepe and Garay are Umbro players.


Real Madrid University covers thirteen countries

In 2006 was born the Real Madrid University. An ambitious academic project that Florentino Perez conceived at the time, to transfer the sphere of influence of a club like Madrid to world's most prestigious universities.

Jorge Valdano was responsible for leading the School until June 2009 but, on returning to the club as general director with the return of Florentino, gave the responsibility to Butragueño: "Jorge proposed me it and I did not hesitate an instant. We work with almost 800 kids from five continents and the level of training is tremendous. Only River Plate have something similar in football. Even in that, Real Madrid is a pioneer ...".

The center of operations of the Real Madrid School is located in the "Universidad Europea de Madrid" (Villaviciosa de Odon, Madrid). The teaching staff is top qualification (30% of them are foreigners, meeting 24% of foreign students on a total of 744 enrolled). The partnership with Real Madrid allows students to meet Valdebebas Sport City activities (Physiotherapy, Sports Medicine, Rehabilitation and Injury Prevention uses the facilities of the first white team), as well as Bernabéu Stadium.

Butragueño baptizes as "white week" the most special days for students in the School of Madrid. "For a whole week they access to the facilities at the Bernabeu Stadium and have direct access to executives of the club. They saw how marketing or communication departments work".

There is also a Master "Detection and Development of Talent in Football", headed by Miguel Pardeza. Other Masters which complete the program are: "Management of Sport Organizations", "Sports Law", the Master in "Business and Entertainment", "Training and Sports Nutrition" and "Physical Activity and Health".

Also the Real Madrid Chair has been created, which includes support for research. In 2010 represented an investment of 150,000 euros. Programs include visits to London (future Olympic venues) and Ajax facilities devoted to its "quarry". Butragueño says: "In 2012, we will have one thousand students".

Apart from the modern "Universidad Europea de Madrid", the club has already opened its schools in Africa (Morocco), South America (Chile, Brazil, Peru and Ecuador), Central America (Mexico and Costa Rica) and Europe (Germany, Turkey and Cyprus). A total of eleven schools integrated into the university development program supervised by Butragueño, general director of the College, and Fernando Tomé who is the academic director.

The success of recent academic years and the requests that white club receives to join Real Madrid University, will force Butragueño to open in coming dates two new schools; in the United States (Chicago) and one in Malaysia, which will be the first in Asia. Butragueño explains the power of seduction of the project: "We were recently called from Singapore and there are offers of highly developed countries from the viewpoint of university, such as France, Italy or England. For Madrid is a luxury to be part of this".

Interview: Jorge Valdano

Jorge Valdano explained his current relationship with Mourinho. The general manager of Real Madrid has said that: "Since some time we do not talk. In the last three months he has a direct dialogue with the president, and he feels comfortable with that. What we are going to do experiments for?".

About his supposed poor or no relationship with the Portuguese, Valdano has said that: "What Mourinho wants is exactly what I want, that Madrid is great and the fans are happy". In addition, the executive has accepted that Mourinho does not travel with him and reports directly to the president: "It's a very jealous coach of his autonomy. He needs to have the control and handling the team. He is comfortable in this way. He declared that is very protected by the club and feels very well and can even renew his contract. So the target has been achieved. The coach is an important person and needs to feel protected by the club. It was agreed, it seemed that it was good and we have done it naturally. But everything was exaggerated at the time and was a media focus".

Jorge Valdano at press conference
Jorge Valdano

In sports, Valdano says Real Madrid is going through one of its best moments, while acknowledges that Barcelona is still intractable: "It's a happy moment for the club. We came to April with options in all competitions. The starting point was to face a Barcelona that had won six titles. Last year we played for a title in the last day of the League. The young teams are also in a happy moment. The boys are part of all the young national teams and Castilla (Real Madrid B) is making brilliant football ..."

Valdano said that Real Madrid takes care of its "quarry", and has associated the good work of Barcelona with its youth football teams with "the good luck of taking a great generation of players". "We have more urgency and it shows. But Real Madrid is not suitable for young players. Many kids are working hard and they will have an important role in the future".

The general manager of Real Madrid has also spoken on two great Real Madrid myths, Raul Gonzalez and Ronaldo, recently retired from playing football. On the Schalke player said that "I talked to him four days ago. We talk a lot. He is part of Madrid and a now a great fan. He will have a role in Real Madrid in the future because he is the most intelligent. If he wants to use all his energy to coach, he will be the best but he will have to clarify where he wants to work in the future".

Raúl and Jorge Valdano

On the other hand, Ronaldo will be honored on Saturday at the Bernabeu in the game against Sporting Gijon: "The public will receive him with great affection. He is also a super nice person. We want the people dismiss him as he deserves, giving the kickoff and receiving a gift from Real Madrid". "I played with Maradona, but Ronaldo is not far away and we have to take into account the injuries he had. He looked like an adult playing with kids. His ability to imbalance was a show".


Benzema injured at the match France-Croatia

The alarm was raised last night in Paris. Karim Benzema, perhaps the fittest man of Real Madrid, retired injured on Tuesday friendly match that faced France and Croatia, which finished goalless. French striker requested the substitution as precaution. While he retired from the field, replaced by Gameiro in minute 74, he touched the back of his left thigh.

As soon as he arrived to the bench, this area was bandaged. In a first scan, French doctors had the impression that it could be a tear, not a rupture, which would be a injury estimate time from one week to 10 days. This Wednesday, after his arrival in Madrid, there will be more tests to determine the exact extent of his ailment.

Benzema finished injured the match France vs Croatia
Karim Benzema

If those first analysis are confirmed, Benzema would be out of the Champions League quarterfinal tie against Tottenham. He would lost the League match against Sporting Gijón, this day, and get very fair to play against Athletic Bilbao next week.

In other way, the player had no bad feelings after finishing the game, so even though it is possible that injury was more than a tear, everything can be a fright. However, it is difficult for the French striker, currently uncontested Mourinho's stiker, can play against Gijon at the Bernabeu on Saturday.

The concern last night at Real Madrid's technical team was evident. Although it is not a major injury, the two matches against Tottenham in Champions League tournament will play in just one week and Karim is considered essential.


Real Madrid Girlfriends: Carolina Celico (8)

She was born in Brazil on July 26, 1987. Her parents are Celso Celico and Rosangela Lyra Celico. They are important and well known in Sao Paulo. Celso is a major business man. In fact he is Christian Dior’s representative in Brazil and her mother is a famous person that helps and does very much for her church and charities.

Kaka's wife Caroline Celico
Carolina Celico

She studied at St Paul’s School and she used to be a model in those years. She speaks French, English, Spanish, Italian and certainly Portuguese. Carolina Celico, who acts as pastor of the Evangelical Church, is "addicted" to fashion and is a regular at the fashion shows where she goes with her husband. They do not lost even one of the Armani collections since he design her wedding dress.

For her simplicity and discretion, and because she seems that, with that good girl face, "has never hurt a fly" Celico is considered as one of the prettiest women of footballers. In fact when she and Kaka were married, was proclaimed the fifth "most beautiful girlfriend" of World Cup 2006.

She met Kaka at high school, in 2002 and they became really good friends and started dating right away. She was underage when they began their relationship and had to wait to marry when she came of age. They also happen to be Christians in the same church, "Rebirth in Christ Church", where they also got married on December 23, 2005.

They look like a perfect match so if they are photographed by the paparazzi, appear in loving attitude, although Caroline seems to hate the spotlight. They have been married for five years and they are parents of a son called Luca.

Kaka and his wife in living attitude
Caroline Celico and Kaka

Kaka: "This week is very important for my knee"

On 8 March, the Real Madrid issued a medical report which reported that Kaka would be out 15 days with left knee problems. The last deadline expired on day 23, but he still trains out of the group. Kaka yesterday gave clues to his recovery, through his Twitter: "This week is very important for my knee. I hope everything goes well. God bless you and good week for everyone!".

Kaká does not work with the teamplate due to his knee injury
Ricardo Izecson Dos Santos Leite (Kaká)

At first, it was expected that Kaka would have reinstated training yesterday with the teamplate. However, the midfielder remained inside the gym working with the physios. If all the plan carried out by the Madrid medical services goes well, today or tomorrow Brazilian will return to the group.

The report of the club emitted on March 8 after the medical examination the player had been subjected, reported that Kaka suffered "a slight edema in the external side of his left knee compatible with iliotibial syndrome of the same knee". Previously, player had met with Mourinho and both had agreed that the Brazilian will not play again until he was in perfect condition.

Will have to see how the Kaka's knee responds when he starts working with the group, but if all goes well, the player could be available to Mourinho for the meeting next weekend against Sporting Gijón. So far this season, the midfielder has only played 11 games (8 in the League and 3 in Spanish Cup).

The last match in which Kaka participated, goes back to February 26. That day Madrid draw against Deportivo in the Riazor Stadium and the Brazilian played 60 minutes. He was replaced by Di Maria. After that meeting, only went back for the win (7-0) against Malaga at the Bernabeu Stadium, but he did not play any minute.


Interview: José Mourinho

The Portuguese coach went through all the news surrounding the club. He denied there is doping in football and tried to remove the pressure of winning everything.

Jose Mourinho

Money is everything in the world of football?
No. The essence of football is to play it, enjoy it and win. But it is a big business. From a social point of view is the most important global phenomenon.

Is immoral that players and coaches earn as much money?
I think we earn a lot compared to the difficulties that people have. The problem is how much you produce. Football is an industry that feeds a lot of people if it is well managed. There are situations where teams fail to succeed due to the mismanagement of managers.

Would you be happy if you failed in Madrid?
Sure. There are coaches who fail in all clubs. Why not me? When I have no success try to find the reasons.

The 5-0 against Barcelona is your worst nightmare?
No. Winning the Champions League semifinal against Barcelona remains one of the happiest moments of my life.

You told the players that fate would lead them to play against Barcelona in the Champions League and Spanish Cup final?
No. I told them that the season did not end there. We would meet again.

What about the strike?
I do not agree nor disagree.

Would be better to play against Barcelona in the League after the Cup final?
I do not mind. They are separate things. The first match will not have some influence in the second game. These meetings have always a unique meaning and have no influence.

What if Real Madrid loses against Barcelona in the three competitions?
Nothing. Barcelona will win the League and Cup and will be in the Champions League final. Good for them and bad for us. Reaching April and losing all three competitions would be unfair. The difficult thing is to get to April and fight for the three competitions.

Chelsea or Inter Milan in a Champions League Final?
It is the impossible question. Before the draw I said I did not want to face against them because it isemotionally difficult. Some Inter players asked me to apologize for celebrating the victory against Chelsea in the last quarterfinals. They are two important teams in my life.

Why is there doping in cycling and not in football?
It's a trick question. They are different sports. With another level of requirements and a different schedule. I think there is not doping in football, although one or two players have tested positive.
How many anti-doping controls are there?
I do not know exactly but I repeat that I think there is no doping. There are two or three players a year with a positive test... This does not mean anything.

Do you trust the referees?
Yes, I do not doubt their honesty. But they are men and sometimes disappoint me. I do not think they work against Madrid or anyone else. But sometimes they create bad feelings: a team is perfect and then in the same circumstances there is a card for my team and not for other.

Do you protect the Real Madrid players?
Yes, they are my family, my people.

Would you sign Messi?
There is not coach who said he would not want Messi. He would be crazy. But, it's impossible.

Is Florentino the best president you had?
I can not answer this question nor who was my best player. They are things that can not be answered. But I'm very comfortable with Florentino and when we finish work, I'm sure he will be my friend like Abramovich or Moratti.

Cristiano keeps on training to play against Tottenham

Cristiano has been proposed to reach the Champions meeting of April 5 against Tottenham Hotspur in perfect condition. So, the past weekend he did not have vacation and stayed in Madrid working hard on Valdebebas under the supervision of a trainer. The Portuguese have been exercised 6-7 hours a day, in morning and afternoon sessions.

Cristiano works hard in Valdebebas to play in the Champions League quarterfinals
Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano relapsed (March 19, at the Vicente Calderon) of the grade 1 muscle injury in the femoral biceps in his left leg that he suffered against Malaga three weeks earlier. At the moment, he is in the early recovery phase. This means that the striker only does strengthening exercises in the gym and undergoes physiotherapy.

Since the exact extent of the Cristiano's injury became known, he has set April 5 as the date of his comeback. The evolution of the disease is on the right track and would not be surprising that even he could play some minutes in the match against Sporting, if finally there is no strike. Anyway, Cristiano is willing to overcome the injury that drag him: "I hate not being able to train and play. I want to recover fully from this injury. The last few games I could not play in perfect conditions and I'm tired", said the striker last week.
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