Archive for the ‘Real Madrid’ Category

Real Madrid Joins The Chase For Onyewu

July 6, 2009

According to media reports from the Real Madrid camp, the Spanish giants are considering adding American defender Oguchi Onyewu to their pantheon of Galacticos (as an alternative to Álvaro Arbeloa).

Meanwhile, Belgian news sources seem to indicate he is close to a deal with Ajax while the Italian media are focused on Genoa and Fiorentina. Reports out of Istanbul indicate Fenerbahce is out of the running while the lack of new rumors out of England only indicate that there must be contact with a least a few new Premiership clubs.

So, will it be Ajax, Palermo, Fiorentina, Genoa, Parma, Espanyol, Valencia, Fulham, Marseille, PSG, Real Madrid, or some other team?

Stay tuned because this one is far from over.

More Great Soccer Writing

June 13, 2009

Its been about six months since we’ve featured some great soccer writing so here are a few as we start the summer.

Sometimes great soccer writing can be found in the business pages as Bloomberg London’s Christopher Elser shows us this week in an insightful piece on the big gamble Real Madrid is making with its future with some of its current transfer deals. Elser does a fine job of reminding readers that far from being a rich club, Real Madrid is now so mired in debt that if Ronaldo and Kaka do not significantly up the club’s revenues, it may start to resemble a teetering US bank considered too big too fail.

I contrast Elser’s piece with a recent contribution by the AP’s Jim Litke constrasting traditional US sports club owners with the wheelers and dealers of European football. Its always refreshing when someone can translate European soccer phenomena into terms American non-soccer fans (like Mr. never-played-sports-in-his-life Jim Rome) can understand…OK, maybe not Jim Rome (unless we get Jim Everett to make him read it). I’d love to see Jim do a follow-up article on how those European wheeler-dealer owners manage to do so well without acting like American sports team owners who blackmail cities (and their taxpayers) to build them a new stadium, lest they move to another city.

Finally, LFV reader Kevin Quinn passed along Al Needham’s 1998 World Cup diary which he tells us pushed him from being a casual fan into becoming an “obsessive one.” Reading Al’s passionate commentary, I can see why.

Onyewu Transfer Saga – Part 17

May 24, 2009

Every time the transfer window opens, the rumors and guessing games involving Gooch’s future reach new levels of the ridiculous. With longtime interest from France and England, it now seems odd that the one club making the most public pronouncements is Birmingham City (while Turkish side Fenerbahce is also in the mix).

Personally, I think Onyewu would probably prefer to play for a Champion’s League club (Marseille anyone?) but sources in Belgium have long indicated he’s had his heart set on the Premiership. The real question is, would he prefer to play for a newly-promoted Premiership side (Birmingham), or play twice a week for a top French club?

A few other clubs which could use his services are Fulham, AC Milan, Arsenal, Roma, and Real Madrid which are all looking to bump up or replace key losses in central defense.

Personally, I can see Gooch going to Marseille, provided coach Eric Gerets sticks around. They play an attractive style of football in a system for which he is well suited, plus they should be able to show well in the Champion’s League next year. Unless Arsenal or Real Madrid comes calling, I can’t think of a better way for Onyewu to shine at the next level.

Champions League Review: Let The Bands Do The Talking

February 26, 2009

Instead of my own commentary on the results of this week’s Champions League matches, I’ll let some fine bands do it instead.

Bayern Munich 5 – Sporting Lisbon 0:

Chelsea 1 – Juventus 0

*Everyone knows the Gallaghers are huge City fans but this one just seemed to fit.

Arsenal 1 – AS Roma 0

Inter Milan 0 – Manchester United 0

Olympique Lyon 1 – Barcelona 1

*Yep Barca, you were Outshined.

Real Madrid 0 – Liverpool 1

Porto 2 – Atletico Madrid 2

Porto had something to prove and their comeback proved it well

Villarreal 1 – Panathanaikos 1

Perfect if you’re Panathanaikos

Countdown To USA-Sweden Friendly

January 24, 2009

In just a few hours, the US National team opens its 2009 campaign in a friendly against Sweden in Carson, California. The match will feature a US side drawn primarily from MLS (so they may not be as sharp) against what will basically be a Swedish B team.

Still, its a good chance to see some of the up and coming talent who will be competing for spots in the 2009 Confederations Cup and 2010 World Cup teams. And while almost everyone doing a preview of the match has focused exclusively on the US team, kudos go to Andrea Canales for providing a good look into what to expect from Lars Lagerback’s side.

For those Stateside, you can catch the match at 5:30 (Pacific) on the Fox Soccer Channel or Galavision. In Western Europe, the game time is 2:30 AM but unless you are in Sweden, you’ll need to find it through a streaming web service.

If you are in Columbus, head on over to Claddagh Irish Pub ( 585 S. Front St. ) to join Crew captain and all-around great guy Frankie Hejduk for a USA vs. Sweden viewing party this Saturday, Jan. 24. Hejduk will be signing autographs and engaging in a meet-and-greet starting around 7:30 p.m. and he’ll then be sticking around to watch the match. Four members of the Crew are in Bradley’s side for the match including midfielder Brian Carroll, Eddie Gaven and Robbie Rogers and goalkeeper William Hesmer.

In other news this weekend, Clint Dempsey and Fulham had a bit of trouble putting down an upstart Kettering side in FA Cup action.

Also, Javier Saviola, the perpetual Argentine would-be sensation is once again looking for a new team after not fitting in at Real Madrid (which follows being bumped out of Barcelona in 2007). While he is currently linked to Plymouth after a potential deal to Boca Juniors fell through, Saviola remains a talented and potentially explosive player looking for the right situation.

Note to MLS: Take a good look at Saviola (who is available now) before its too late. He could add a creative spark to any team and he’ll put butts in seats.

Barcelona-Real Madrid Recap

December 15, 2008

As you can tell, we’re winding down for a few weeks but we’ll keep our ear to the ground for any January transfer news out there.

In the meantime, in case you missed the Barcelona-Real Madrid game this weekend, you can’t do much better than to check out Rob Hughes’ recap of the match.

A Few Great Articles Worth Reading

November 19, 2008

Here are a few great articles worth reading today:

Bob Wagman’s excellent preview of the USA-Guatemala World Cup Qualifier. Its hard to find many writers who have been covering the US National team (or even US soccer in general) for more years, both at home and on the road.

Rob Hughes, one of the best in the business, provides an insightful look into Bernd Schuster’s lonely situation at Real Madrid.

Uli Hesse-Lichtenberger has a great piece on German media coverage of the Bundesliga and in particular, its impact on Bayern Munich.

And while your humble vagabond did not make the finals for the US Soccer Federation’s Best Blog competition (a big thanks to those who did nominate us), be sure to support our friends Du Nord and Soccer By Ives by voting here.

A Ruud Interuption

November 13, 2008

Real Madrid hit man Ruud van Nistelrooy will miss the rest of the Primera season after undergoing knee surgery in the US yesterday.

The Dutchman had injured an exterior meniscus in Champions League match against Juventus last month but had seemingly recovered and was playing again until last week. As luck would have it, it was in another Champions League match when he could play nine minutes after the pulsating pain returned to his knee.

Like just about every top athlete facing an injury requiring surgery, he was sent to Colorado to see Dr. Richard Steadman, who had operated on Van Nistelroy before in 2000 during his PSV Eindhoven days. This time around, while performing arthroscopic surgery on his right knee, Steadman found a partial break of Van Nistelrooy’s kneecap plus further damage to his ACL and cartilage. Instead of a quick ‘scope and recovery, the Real Madrid ace is looking at a six to nine month recovery time – missing the rest of the season.

This news comes at a critical time for the defending Spanish champions, who are currently fourth in the league and just crashed out of the Copa Del Rey on Tuesday, losing to lowly Real Union on away goals. They are already missing winger Arjen Robben, out for six weeks with with a torn muscle, as well as holding midfielder Mahamadou Diarra – out for the next two weeks. Coach Bernd Schuster, already under pressure for the team not meeting the board’s high expectations, will be under even greater pressure in the coming weeks.

Reserve team forward Alberto Bueno looks likely to step up to the first team until the end of December but Real will likely look for a striker in the January transfer window. They seem to have their eyes on Manchester United’s Carlos Tevez, which may prove to be a bridge too far since the Reds are in their own Premiership dogfight and can’t spare the talent.

At the same time, this news comes hot on the heels of Jose Mourinho’s house cleaning announcement at Inter so either Hernan Crespo or Adriano could find themselves with a chance at the Bernabeau.

Real Madrid, Barcelona In The Hunt For Drogba

July 5, 2008

As the transfer wheels turn, new and exciting scenarios continue to unfold. With Barcelona seeming to fade in the race to sign Russian phenom Andrei Arshavin (probably bound for Stamford Bridge), they are now in the hunt for Chelsea’s Didier Drogba. But wait, their arch rivals Real Madrid have alreadt been courting the Ivory Coast international and appear to have the upper hand thus far. Barcelona has already spent €77 million on transfers for the 2008/09 season and may be near their limit.

That said, Drogba is a personal friend of Barça’s Sammy Eto’o and the club has deep financial reserves so its too early to count rhe Blaugrana out of the running. The club was also in the running for Arsenal’s 25-year-old striker Emmanuel Adebayor, but the Gunners’ price tag for him is identical to Drogba’s (but whose proven abilities are not nearly the same). With 80 goals in four seasons at Chelsea (which has him under contract though 2010) and an estimated price tag of €45 million, only the biggest clubs will be in a position to bid for Drogba.

There was much speculation that the 30-year-old Drogba was heading to Inter Milan, where he would be reunited with former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho but the recent Spanish interest appears to have changed the game. Last week Drogba’s agent, Pierre Frelot, stated that a move to Spain could be an attractive proposition. Expect the bidding war to be fierce.