Reuters Soccer Blog
World Soccer views and news
At last, Real Madrid have got their man. Liverpool agreed on Tuesday to sell Xabi Alonso, a Real target going back at least six years, for a reported 30 million euros.
It’s decent money for a player Rafa Benitez appeared happy enough to consider selling 12 months ago but Alonso is the sort of assured holder and passer of the ball who is hard to replace at any price.
Certainly, anyone Benitez has his eye on will be a risk. Latest reports say Roma’s Alberto Aquilani could be the man, while other names mentioned include Stephen Defour of Standard Liege and Valencia’s David Silva.
Real Madrid fans will certainly happy. I’m just back after a couple of weeks in Spain and the papers were full of editorials praising Alonso to the skies and saying how lost Real would continue to be without him.
If your first reaction on hearing about the Samuel Eto’o-Zlatan Ibrahimovic deal was “How much?” then I can assure you you weren’t the only one.
To land Ibrahimovic, who is due to be presented this evening at the Nou Camp, Barcelona will not only hand over the Cameroon international striker but will also give Inter Milan a reported 45 million euros and the loan, for one season, of Aleksandr Hleb.
Click the video above for a look at how Shamrock Rovers are preparing for the visit of Real Madrid — a match the entire soccer word will be keeping an eye on, with Cristiano Ronaldo set to make his debut for the Spanish club.
Interesting line about Real’s continued interest in Franck Ribery. Do they really need him still. Raul seems to suggest they’d still like him…
Manchester City are finally shopping at the luxury end of the market, as befits their status as the richest of the rich, and as a result the fans can start to get excited about the new season.
Back in January I blogged about the depressingly familiar rollcall of mediocre players being linked with City: the likes of Scott Parker, Roque Santa Cruz, Craig Bellamy and Matthew Upson.
Watching Cristiano Ronaldo getting the rock star treatment at a packed Bernabeu stadium on Monday night, I found myself thinking back to the U2 concert I had been to at Barcelona’s Camp Nou last week.
At a record $130 million, the Portuguese winger has cost Real considerably more than the Irish band’s entire world tour, which kicked off in the Catalan capital and is reported to be their most expensive to date at an estimated $100 million.
While new Real Madrid signing Cristiano Ronaldo was being presented in front of a packed and excited Bernabeu, another great European club was dealing with an influx of fans but for a very different reason.
Hundreds of AC Milan ultras turned up at the first day of pre-season training to protest against the sale of Kaka to Real and the lack of major signings to replace him and Paolo Maldini (whose heir as skipper is Massimo Ambrosini…)
France striker Karim Benzema is joining Real Madrid from Olympique Lyon, the Ligue 1 club said on Wednesday on their website.
The 21-year-old Benzema will become Real’s third major signing under returning president Florentino Perez after Brazil’s Kaka and Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo.
Finally, Real Madrid can say that Cristiano Ronaldo is their player after the club reached agreement with the Portuguese over personal terms (which are presumably pretty generous).
The announcement is there on the Real website, with the news that Ronaldo will be presented at the Bernabeu on July 6. Expect an announcement with the razzmatazz to rival the Beckham presentation…
from Left field:
Cristiano Ronaldo's obsession with scoring an unforgettable goal in the Champions League final makes perfect sense now the world knows he always intended to leave Manchester United afterwards for Real Madrid.
Reaction in England to his departure was captured in a Guardian headline: "United fans will miss outrageous talent but not a charmless man". Ronaldo, it was said, possessed sumptuous talent coupled with obnoxious self-regard.
In which Owen Wyatt and Kevin Fylan discuss the merits or otherwise of Cristiano Ronaldo’s impending move from Manchester United to Real Madrid.