Champions League draw has made the competition more interesting and difficult for those who are watching and playing. Atletico Madrid vs Chelsea and Real Madrid vs Bayern Munich is the draw for semi-finals.
Real Madrid must knock out the Bundesliga’s giant to taste their 10th Champions League trophy. After recruited former Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola, they become much stronger than last year.
The Whites boss Carlo Ancelotti hopes Real Madrid will be a big challenge for Bayern and going to square their defeat in Champions league 2012.
“I think Bayern Munich are a great team,”
“They have individual and collective quality and have had a great season.”
54-year-old Italian told he believes facing a big team with best coach won’t be an easy one.
“Pep Guardiola is one of the best coaches in the world and has experience. It is a very difficult tie for us, but also for Bayern Munich. I don’t think it is easy to play against Real Madrid.
“When you get to the semi-finals all the teams are good. Bayern Munich could be the favourites, but our objective is to win the Champions League and if we want to win it, we have to beat Bayern Munich.”
The biggest treat for him is the La Liga’s top scorer Cristiano Ronaldo injured during match against Borussia Dortmund. He did not play in the second-leg against Dortmund and is likely to ruled out from the Copa del Rey final against Barcelona.
Ancelotti on Ronaldo’s injury: “He had a small injury against Dortmund and we thought it best to leave him out and let him have more treatment.
“We don’t know if he will be fit for the game on Wednesday. I think he will recover quickly, but it is clear that if we are not going to take risks and if he is not 100 per cent, then he will not play in the final.”
Real Madrid vs Osasuna preview :
Round 16 of Copa Del Rey cup commences this week as Spanish Giants welcome Javi Gracia’s Osasuna at Santiago Bernabéu on Thursday evening.
Carlo Ancelotti’s side is in tremendous form with 14 unbeaten games in all competition. Real Madrid is more likely to with start Iker Casillas in goal where Alvaro Morata could start up front, while Karim Benzema is expected to be rested. Gareth Bale, who came on as a substitute in Monday’s 3-0 win over Celta Vigo, may start on the right side of attack. As going with facts Real Madrid has won their last 7 home matches against Osasuna in all competitions while they are undefeated in their last 8 matches in the Copa Del Rey.
Javi Gracia’s Osasuna is likely to go with the same approach they displayed back in 2013 when both the teams last met, by defending tight and looking to hit on the counter-attack. Garcia could bring in Raoul Loe into central midfield to give a rest to Lolo. Sisi is sidelined through injury, while Emiliano Armenteros and Manuel Omwu are doubts for Osasuna.
Match Predictions by pundits are no doubt in Real Madrid’s favor with 3-1 win over Osasuna.
Real Madrid is probably forming with 4-2-3-1 by Iker Casillas, Marcelo, Sergio Ramos, Pepe, Arbeloa, Xabi Alonso, Luka Modric, Cristiano Ronaldo, Isco, Gareth Bale, Alvaro Morata
Whereas Osasuna also goes with 4-2-3-1
Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti has backed his team to pass over the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League this term and believes Schalke can be a difficult opponent.
The former PSG boss, Carlo Ancelotti, has said that his team cannot afford to fail in the last 16 of the champions league , if they are to win La Decima this season . Real Madrid has shown great character in Europe this term , without losing any match out of their six group stage clashes and the Italian expects the same from his players in the upcoming fixtures.
“We are in last 16 of the Champions League and it is always difficult,” he told Madrid’s official website. “We must be very focused.
The former AC Milan boss also emphasized Madrid’s draw versus the Germans in the last 16 and insisted his players not to lose focus against the Gelsenkirchen outfit.
“They’re a team that has experience. It’s not good or bad luck that we drew them. We will do our best in both games. It is a very important competition and we have to be ready to make the most of our chances. In February we have to be ready. We need the desire and enthusiasm to make the quarterfinals. In the Champions League, every game matters, we have to stay focused and motivated. We cannot fail in any match in this competition.”
Real Madrid were knocked out of the semi-finals last season and will be looking for their 10th champions league crown this season to become the first team in European history to achieve such success.
Other top flights who qualified for the last 16 of this season champions league include Arsenal, Barcelona, Manchester City, PSG, Manchester United, Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund and AC Milan.
The first of this seasons meeting between Spain’s two biggest clubs saw Barcelona beat Real Madrid at the Nou camp by a score of 2-1 thanks to goals from Neymar and Alexis Sanchez with los Blancos getting a late conciliation goal from substitute Jesse.
Real Madrid Italian trainer Carlo Ancelotti felt that his team were robbed by the referee when with 19 minutes to go in the match Barcelona were only winning by a solitary goal that the challenge from Barcelona’s Javier Mascherano on Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo should have resulted in a penalty.
The Portuguese striker tumbled to the ground following the tackle from the Argentinian defender only to see referee Undiano Mallenco wave play on much to the disgust of Ancelotti and the rest of the players on the Madrid bench.
When speaking at a press conference after the match Ancelotti said: “Naturally the penalty was very clear for me. I think everyone saw it, the only person that didn’t see it was the referee.”
The Real Madrid players also thought they should have been awarded a penalty just before half time when Barcelona’s left-back handled the ball in the area.
Before the hand ball incident the Brazilian had already been booked, and should the referee have awarded the penalty it would also have meant a red card for the Barcelona player.
Trainer Ancelotti was less adamant about the alleged handball saying: “It’s a difficult decision, but it was at an important moment and if the penalty had been given, it may have been another yellow card too.”
Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos who was playing in midfield for the match was much more critical of the referee telling the press: “The team fought toe to toe against a very difficult team, and by the end we had them on the ropes, it’s rare that you see Barcelona trying to waste time at the end of a game.
“But there were two clear penalties and, although I don’t like to try and justify defeats by talking about referees, there are some things you cannot fight against.”
Coach Ancelotti defended his decision to play three players in the middle of the pitch, and only moved Ramos up following midfielder Asier Illarramendi suffering a muscle strain against Juventus during their Champions League match midweek.
“I played Ramos there to look for balance in the middle of the park, I asked him about it before and he said he wanted to play there, so I put him in.”
He later added: “I didn’t play defensively, Modric isn’t a defensive midfielder, and Marcelo, (Dani) Carvajal and Cristiano and (Angel) Di Maria are attackers. Barca did not play with any more attackers than we did.”
This was of course the Italian’s first taste of Spain’s biggest match, and when asked about what he thought Ancelotti said: “It’s a fantastic game and atmosphere. I think it was a good game, we showed we can play well against a fantastic team. Of course you want to win this kind of game but at the moment we are improving and this game proves that.”
It seems that so many of these high-tension matches are ruined by poor refereeing decisions more often than not going in favour of the home side.
Real Madrid will now hope to reverse the fortunes when the two sides next meet in Madrid at the Santiago Bernabéu on March 23rd 2014.
The win for Barcelona means that the Catalans are now six points clear of Real Madrid on top of La Liga after having played ten games.
Former Paris Saint-Germain and now Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti has confirmed that world record signing Gareth Bale will make his Real Madrid debut against Villarreal Saturday night where Los Blancos will face their toughest test so far this season.
The Italian coach also told reporters that Goalkeeper Iker Casillas will start in next week’s Champions League match.
The Welsh wizard as he was referred to at his former club Tottenham Hotspurs signed this past summer for Real Madrid in a world record breaking 100€ million.
The Italian coach has said the Bale will play in this weekend’s la Liga clash, but has not said whether or not he will be a starter or if he will come on as a substitute.
“Bale will travel to Villarreal and will play, although I don’t know if he’ll start or come off the bench,” Ancelotti said at a press conference.
“Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo are two excellent players and I have no doubt that they will improve the team together.
“What I like the most about Bale? His motivation and his desire to make an impact here at Madrid. He is very happy and humble.”
Ancelotti then went on to talk about out of favour Iker Casillas saying that Spain’s number one keeper will play against their Group B opener against Galatasaray midweek.
“On Tuesday, Iker will play from the start, so everybody is calm,” he added.
“It might be an option that Diego Lopez plays in La Liga and Casillas in the Copa del Rey.”
When Real Madrid president Florentino Perez sits down with the other directors of the club at the end of this month, he will talk about the sale of German international midfielder Mesut Özil and how he plans to use the money from that sale to buy either Luis Suarez from Liverpool, or Monaco’s Radamel Falcao as a “Galactico” for Italian manager Carlo Ancelotti’s new look Real Madrid.
Perez already had a deal in place to sign Luis Suarez that the Uruguayan knew about, with him saying at the start of the summer: ‘It would be very difficult to say no to Real Madrid, there are a lot of rumours in the transfer period, but you never know until firm offers are made. I’ve talked to my agent. There’s nothing concrete.’
Florentino Perez then became tied up with Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy over the sale of Gareth Bale, so all thought of buying Suarez was put on the back burner.
Radamel Falcao is another world class striker that los Blancos have been keeping an eye on since he moved to Monaco.
They would have tried to sign him prior to that, but for a written understanding between themselves and Atletico Madrid not to go after each other’s players.
Reports from the South of France however are saying that the Colombian striker is not happy in Monaco, and could possibly be persuaded to return to Madrid.
All eyes now will be on the form of current front man Karim Benzema, who should he fail to rack up the goals will have Perez reaching for his check book.
I have always thought that Luis Suarez is the man Perez wants, and with Liverpool not playing in Europe this season he would be a very welcome site to a Real Madrid team who should still be involved in the Champions League.
While the business of appointing a new manager is still an on-going project for Real Madrid with Carlo Ancelotti being the man everyone assumes will take over the spot left vacant by Jose Mourinho as the special one returned to the place where he says he is loved Los Blanco’s are left with plenty of unfinished business.
Argentinian striker Gonzalo Higuaín seems to be wanted by quite a few top clubs including Arsenal who are reported to have made an offer of 30€ in one lump sum while the other interested party Italian Serie a side Juventus have offered 8€ million less and want to pay the money to Madrid in instalments.
Madrid know that some other offers could come in for Higuaín who still has three years remaining on his contract, and are unlikely to let him go for less than 40€.
The one question I really want to know the answer of is if Cristiano Ronaldo will sign a new contract or not, and despite club president Florentino Perez saying that Ronaldo will retire at real Madrid, I still see him returning to Manchester United if the club and Nike can come up with the right deal.
We all know the Tottenham’s Gareth Bale is the top priority signing for Real Madrid this summer but the hope of getting him cheaply have all but gone out of the window with Manchester United saying they would like to sign the Welsh wizard, along with Paris Saint-Germain who not only want Bale, but the Tottenham manager Andres Villas-Boas as well.
If you ask the real Madrid fans who they want the club to sign I can tell you that the name is not Cavani, Suarez, or Bale, but Malaga’s wizz-kid Isco with 44% of the votes in a recent poll held by Reals mouthpiece newspaper Marca in second place with 22% of the votes was Dortmund’s Robert Lewandowski with the Madrid fans remembering the four-goals he scored to knock them out of the Champions League.
Isco has been a standout for the Spanish team guiding them to the European U-21 final against Italy to be played tomorrow June 18th in Jerusalem, Israel, and asked whether his teammates Nacho and Morata have been telling him that he should sign for Madrid he laughed saying “they keep going on about it”.