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…)

Kissing the badge, and other inadvisable ideas


Score goals, kiss badge, declare love for fans, sign long-term contract, collect wages, change your mind and decide you want out a few months later; it’s becoming all too familiar.

Two glaring examples of this have hit the headlines in England recently with the opening of the January transfer window, starting with Jermain Defoe’s decision to follow Harry Redknapp back to Tottenham from Portsmouth.

Man City’s Roll Call of the Quite Good


There’s a knack to spending large amounts of money, and Manchester City just haven’t got it, have they?

The names mentioned by the media as City’s current transfer targets represent a lack of imagination reminiscent of the post-title winning days at Blackburn Rovers, when Jack Walker’s millions were spent on players like Lars Bohinen, Billy McKinlay and Garry Flitcroft in a futile bid to build a team capable of challenging for the Champions League. 

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.

Champions League draw – your views

Jose Mourinho will clash with old foe Alex Ferguson in the Champions League last 16 with holders Manchester United playing Inter Milan.

It is England v Italy twice more with Juventus coach Claudio Ranieri facing former club Chelsea while Arsenal and Roma, two teams who love to play the beautiful game, also meet.

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.

Will predictable Champions League have new winner?


The 16 teams that reached the Champions League first knockout round were again the usual suspects expected to go through. The group stage of Europe’s premier club competition unfolded rather predictably after a few early shocks.

Ten of the teams qualified for the same stage last season while the other six include twice winners Juventus, who returned with a roar after a two-year absence, as well as former finalists Panathinaikos and Atletico Madrid.

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.