Reuters Soccer Blog

World Soccer views and news

Real poised for election fever

Potential Real Madrid presidential candidates will be trying to decide whether Kaka, Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi is the player most likely to deliver them the majority of votes in this summer’s election campaign.

Ramon Calderon was forced out of the presidency earlier this month, setting the wheels in motion for another six months of rumours and speculation as rival candidates manoeuvre behind the scenes to take power at the Bernabeu.

The nine-times European champions are ‘owned’ by the thousands of club members rather than a small group of shareholders, and they get to chose their president every four years.

As a result, candidates need to splash the cash with full blown election campaigns complete with manifestos, lists of promises, advertising campaigns, and rallies to win over the voters and the local media. (more…)

Robben key to Real revival


Real Madrid have suffered a flurry of criticism in recent times for some disappointing, and expensive, forays into the transfer market (Fernando Gago and Rafael van der Vaart to name two).

But the recruitment of Arjen Robben from Chelsea for a reported 36 million euros in August 2007 seems finally to be paying off, with the Dutch winger in the form of his life.

Guardiola has come a long way in 18 years


Eighteen years ago today, on Dec. 16 1990, a 19-year-old midfielder made his debut for Johan Cruyff’s Barcelona dream team in a Primera Liga match against Cadiz.

Pep Guardiola, who picked up a yellow card that day as the Catalans won 2-0, has come a long way since then, carving out a distinguished career both for Barca and the Spanish national side before taking over as coach at the Nou Camp from Frank Rijkaard at the end of last season.

Real show signs of improvement, but can Barca be caught?


Has new Real Madrid coach Juande Ramos picked up where he left off at struggling Tottenham Hotspur?

You might very well think so after a glance at the 2-0 scoreline from Saturday’s “Clasico” at the Nou Camp.

You can’t beat Barca v Real or Juve against Milan


There was a lot of fuss about Bayern Munich v Hoffenheim and Chelsea v Arsenal in the last few weeks but for me this weekend offers the best two games in domestic football.

Saturday’s El Clasico between Barcelona and Real Madrid and Sunday’s clash between Juventus and AC Milan both have real tradition and a zest which Europe’s nouveau riche clubs can only dream of.

Real fans glad to see back of Schuster, welcome Ramos


Chatting with Real Madrid fans outside the Bernabeu ahead of their Champions League match against Zenit St Petersburg on Wednesday, the overwhelming attitude expressed was one of relief that the club was rid of Bernd Schuster.

Tuesday’s surprise appointment of Juande Ramos to replace the moody German has raised hopes that a change in management will give the team a boost and help them get their faltering season back on track.

Ramos replaces Schuster at Real – your views

The Bernabeu axe has fallen again with Bernd Schuster sacked as Real Madrid coach and Juande Ramos coming in to replace him.

The writing had been on the wall for the German after Real’s sticky start to the season. Sunday’s 4-3 home defeat by Sevilla was compounded by Schuster’s comments that winning would be impossible in next weekend’s match at Barcelona.

Impossible is nothing, or so Bernd Schuster hopes


Real Madrid coach Bernd Schuster is all over the Spanish-speaking web, saying, “It’s impossible to win at the Nou Camp.”

Is he right? I guess it must feel that way after Barca’s 4-0 win over Valencia but I don’t suppose Schuster really believes it.

It will take more than Huntelaar to save Real’s season


Real Madrid appear to need more than the couple of ‘youngsters with a future’ their president Ramon Calderon has promised for January if their season is not going to drift away from them.

Ajax striker Klaas Jan Huntelaar will be the first new arrival after Real came to an agreement to sign him, but he will not have been impressed with Saturday’s 3-1 defeat at Getafe.

Lippi enters the Respect debate – but is he on the losing side?

One of the benefits of being a World Cup-winning manager is that nobody complains if you turn up at a party and start badmouthing the hosts – they’re too grateful you came in the first place.

Italy boss Marcello Lippi did that this week when he reprimanded his country’s professional footballers for their treatment of referees at a ceremony celebrating the 40th anniversary of their union, the AIC.