Real Madrid CF 2012/13

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Super Progress

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Re: Real Madrid CF 2012/13

Post by Super Progress on Mon Apr 01, 2013 2:44 pm

If Perez wants a striker this summer I don't think Cavani or Falcao is unlikely at all. He would definitely want to make a big profile signing if he wanted a striker. Cavani in particular seems to be gearing up for a move away although he does not seem to be pushing for it a lot but I think Napoli would be open for a deal.

Michu still has to prove himself imo because he has only started playing as a striker this season. He has done well though but he has a tendency to float towards the Am position. After Benzema I would like a striker who will be in the box because at the moment only Ronaldo has the instinct with Higuain not being sharp.

We should let go of Benzema and keep Higuain but I think the opposite is more likely to happen and in that case we really need a box striker.
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Jaime

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Re: Real Madrid CF 2012/13

Post by Jaime on Mon Apr 01, 2013 5:05 pm

Super Mourinho wrote:If Perez wants a striker this summer I don't think Cavani or Falcao is unlikely at all. He would definitely want to make a big profile signing if he wanted a striker. Cavani in particular seems to be gearing up for a move away although he does not seem to be pushing for it a lot but I think Napoli would be open for a deal.

Michu still has to prove himself imo because he has only started playing as a striker this season. He has done well though but he has a tendency to float towards the Am position. After Benzema I would like a striker who will be in the box because at the moment only Ronaldo has the instinct with Higuain not being sharp.

We should let go of Benzema and keep Higuain but I think the opposite is more likely to happen and in that case we really need a box striker.

This is actually true, especially with an election coming. Not that he will have a serious opponent, but still FP will want to make a big impression especially if we don't win the CL.
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Pirlo

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Re: Real Madrid CF 2012/13

Post by Pirlo on Wed Apr 03, 2013 12:18 pm

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EMP

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Re: Real Madrid CF 2012/13

Post by EMP on Wed Apr 03, 2013 12:23 pm

Jaime wrote:
Super Mourinho wrote:If Perez wants a striker this summer I don't think Cavani or Falcao is unlikely at all. He would definitely want to make a big profile signing if he wanted a striker. Cavani in particular seems to be gearing up for a move away although he does not seem to be pushing for it a lot but I think Napoli would be open for a deal.

Michu still has to prove himself imo because he has only started playing as a striker this season. He has done well though but he has a tendency to float towards the Am position. After Benzema I would like a striker who will be in the box because at the moment only Ronaldo has the instinct with Higuain not being sharp.

We should let go of Benzema and keep Higuain but I think the opposite is more likely to happen and in that case we really need a box striker.

This is actually true, especially with an election coming. Not that he will have a serious opponent, but still FP will want to make a big impression especially if we don't win the CL.

He should start by sending Albiol back home to Valencia along with a huge donation for the affront caused by his 'kidnapping' to the Custodians of the Curse. That should smooth the way for your new signings not to be cursed before they start. You know it makes sense. Wink

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Super Progress

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Re: Real Madrid CF 2012/13

Post by Super Progress on Wed Apr 03, 2013 12:57 pm

Pirlo wrote:
lol! Question
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Pirlo

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Re: Real Madrid CF 2012/13

Post by Pirlo on Wed Apr 03, 2013 1:39 pm

Super Mourinho wrote:
Pirlo wrote:
lol! Question

PLOT TWIST!

Kevin Ware has nothing on your friend
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Forza Italia!Forza Milan!

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Re: Real Madrid CF 2012/13

Post by Forza Italia!Forza Milan! on Wed Apr 03, 2013 2:43 pm

Found this:

http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/european/exclusive-real-madrid-under-investigation-amid-allegations-of-illegal-state-aid-8557550.html

Doesn't seem that serious though. But I am curious to see how/if UEFA enforce FFP in general, so I thought you guys may find it interesting.

At any rate, Madrid (a brand that will earn bucketloads always) should be the least of their concerns when you have PSG and Man City openly flouting the rules with ludicrous deals. It will be a damn shame if Platini doesn't apply this rule, even if I have some reservations with it.

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Jaime

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Re: Real Madrid CF 2012/13

Post by Jaime on Wed Apr 03, 2013 3:14 pm

Forza Italia!Forza Milan! wrote:Found this:

http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/european/exclusive-real-madrid-under-investigation-amid-allegations-of-illegal-state-aid-8557550.html

Doesn't seem that serious though. But I am curious to see how/if UEFA enforce FFP in general, so I thought you guys may find it interesting.

At any rate, Madrid (a brand that will earn bucketloads always) should be the least of their concerns when you have PSG and Man City openly flouting the rules with ludicrous deals. It will be a damn shame if Platini doesn't apply this rule, even if I have some reservations with it.


For me, if it's a shady deal then the club should pay. Maybe we'd be forced to sell some of the mercenaries like Benzema and have to put kids from the cantera! Ale

But seriously, it's a bit of cliche - Real Madrid are the team of the government etc etc etc. Oh the city bought the old Ciudad Deportiva, now this bit of land in Las Tablas. Real estate in any major city is going to be a valuable commodity. Is it worth €23m in 2011 when it appraised for less than half a million in 1998? Probably not. But if they are going to start investing shady deals involving clubs and local governments than they are going to have quite a large case load. How is it that Atletico are basically getting to move to la Peineta without paying anything? Barcelona have sold properties in L'Hospitalet and other areas in the city for amounts that are also probably overvalued and continue to be subsidized by TV3 which is a public source. Will they also be investigated? What about Athletic Bilbao? They got a pretty sweet deal for the old San Mames and are paying next to nothing for their new stadium. How are Valencia not in administration? There were even allegations that Rayo got their new training ground basically for free. My point is there are shady deals all over the place so if they want to investigate, fine, but they should investigate all of the clubs.
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messiah

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Re: Real Madrid CF 2012/13

Post by messiah on Wed Apr 03, 2013 3:23 pm

Depot them strip them of a few league and cl medals.

They are a dirty little club
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Jaime

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Re: Real Madrid CF 2012/13

Post by Jaime on Wed Apr 03, 2013 3:36 pm

messiah wrote:Depot them strip them of a few league and cl medals.

They are a dirty little club

lol!

cules will always live in denial
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Forza Italia!Forza Milan!

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Re: Real Madrid CF 2012/13

Post by Forza Italia!Forza Milan! on Wed Apr 03, 2013 4:45 pm

Jaime wrote:
Forza Italia!Forza Milan! wrote:Found this:

http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/european/exclusive-real-madrid-under-investigation-amid-allegations-of-illegal-state-aid-8557550.html

Doesn't seem that serious though. But I am curious to see how/if UEFA enforce FFP in general, so I thought you guys may find it interesting.

At any rate, Madrid (a brand that will earn bucketloads always) should be the least of their concerns when you have PSG and Man City openly flouting the rules with ludicrous deals. It will be a damn shame if Platini doesn't apply this rule, even if I have some reservations with it.


For me, if it's a shady deal then the club should pay. Maybe we'd be forced to sell some of the mercenaries like Benzema and have to put kids from the cantera! Ale

But seriously, it's a bit of cliche - Real Madrid are the team of the government etc etc etc. Oh the city bought the old Ciudad Deportiva, now this bit of land in Las Tablas. Real estate in any major city is going to be a valuable commodity. Is it worth €23m in 2011 when it appraised for less than half a million in 1998? Probably not. But if they are going to start investing shady deals involving clubs and local governments than they are going to have quite a large case load. How is it that Atletico are basically getting to move to la Peineta without paying anything? Barcelona have sold properties in L'Hospitalet and other areas in the city for amounts that are also probably overvalued and continue to be subsidized by TV3 which is a public source. Will they also be investigated? What about Athletic Bilbao? They got a pretty sweet deal for the old San Mames and are paying next to nothing for their new stadium. How are Valencia not in administration? There were even allegations that Rayo got their new training ground basically for free. My point is there are shady deals all over the place so if they want to investigate, fine, but they should investigate all of the clubs.

I agree.

It has to be across the board or not at all (I actually didn't know the extent of it in Spain).

On a larger scale, it's quite easy to ban Malaga...will Platini have the guts to do it to PSG, where his son works as well? I have my doubts.

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EMP

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Re: Real Madrid CF 2012/13

Post by EMP on Wed Apr 03, 2013 4:53 pm

Jaime wrote:
Forza Italia!Forza Milan! wrote:Found this:

http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/european/exclusive-real-madrid-under-investigation-amid-allegations-of-illegal-state-aid-8557550.html

Doesn't seem that serious though. But I am curious to see how/if UEFA enforce FFP in general, so I thought you guys may find it interesting.

At any rate, Madrid (a brand that will earn bucketloads always) should be the least of their concerns when you have PSG and Man City openly flouting the rules with ludicrous deals. It will be a damn shame if Platini doesn't apply this rule, even if I have some reservations with it.


For me, it's obvious. The club should return Albiol to Valencia pay off their debts, so we can be free of that damn curse! Ale


That's better. <Ale>
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Jaime

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Re: Real Madrid CF 2012/13

Post by Jaime on Wed Apr 03, 2013 5:42 pm

Forza Italia!Forza Milan! wrote:
Jaime wrote:
Forza Italia!Forza Milan! wrote:Found this:

http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/european/exclusive-real-madrid-under-investigation-amid-allegations-of-illegal-state-aid-8557550.html

Doesn't seem that serious though. But I am curious to see how/if UEFA enforce FFP in general, so I thought you guys may find it interesting.

At any rate, Madrid (a brand that will earn bucketloads always) should be the least of their concerns when you have PSG and Man City openly flouting the rules with ludicrous deals. It will be a damn shame if Platini doesn't apply this rule, even if I have some reservations with it.


For me, if it's a shady deal then the club should pay. Maybe we'd be forced to sell some of the mercenaries like Benzema and have to put kids from the cantera! Ale

But seriously, it's a bit of cliche - Real Madrid are the team of the government etc etc etc. Oh the city bought the old Ciudad Deportiva, now this bit of land in Las Tablas. Real estate in any major city is going to be a valuable commodity. Is it worth €23m in 2011 when it appraised for less than half a million in 1998? Probably not. But if they are going to start investing shady deals involving clubs and local governments than they are going to have quite a large case load. How is it that Atletico are basically getting to move to la Peineta without paying anything? Barcelona have sold properties in L'Hospitalet and other areas in the city for amounts that are also probably overvalued and continue to be subsidized by TV3 which is a public source. Will they also be investigated? What about Athletic Bilbao? They got a pretty sweet deal for the old San Mames and are paying next to nothing for their new stadium. How are Valencia not in administration? There were even allegations that Rayo got their new training ground basically for free. My point is there are shady deals all over the place so if they want to investigate, fine, but they should investigate all of the clubs.

I agree.

It has to be across the board or not at all (I actually didn't know the extent of it in Spain).

On a larger scale, it's quite easy to ban Malaga...will Platini have the guts to do it to PSG, where his son works as well? I have my doubts.


Right, there seems to be a lot of inconsistency in the application of all these 'laws'.
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Jaime

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Re: Real Madrid CF 2012/13

Post by Jaime on Mon Apr 08, 2013 2:27 pm

Pepe has picked up an injury in this morning's training session and will not be available for the match against Galastasaray. Ramos is already suspended so that means it will be Albiol-Varane in the middle. I didn't see the whole list of players that traveled but I'm guessing we have no cover if something happens to one of them. Yikes
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EMP

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Re: Real Madrid CF 2012/13

Post by EMP on Mon Apr 08, 2013 10:09 pm

Jaime wrote:Pepe has picked up an injury in this morning's training session and will not be available for the match against Galastasaray. Ramos is already suspended so that means it will be Albiol-Varane in the middle. I didn't see the whole list of players that traveled but I'm guessing we have no cover if something happens to one of them. Yikes

Albiol? I thought Mourinho trusted Casillas in defence more. Wink
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Super Progress

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Re: Real Madrid CF 2012/13

Post by Super Progress on Mon Apr 08, 2013 10:13 pm

EMP wrote:
Jaime wrote:Pepe has picked up an injury in this morning's training session and will not be available for the match against Galastasaray. Ramos is already suspended so that means it will be Albiol-Varane in the middle. I didn't see the whole list of players that traveled but I'm guessing we have no cover if something happens to one of them. Yikes

Albiol? I thought Mourinho trusted Casillas in defence more. Wink
He should. Razz
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EMP

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Re: Real Madrid CF 2012/13

Post by EMP on Mon Apr 08, 2013 10:17 pm

Super Mourinho wrote:
EMP wrote:
Jaime wrote:Pepe has picked up an injury in this morning's training session and will not be available for the match against Galastasaray. Ramos is already suspended so that means it will be Albiol-Varane in the middle. I didn't see the whole list of players that traveled but I'm guessing we have no cover if something happens to one of them. Yikes

Albiol? I thought Mourinho trusted Casillas in defence more. Wink
He should. Razz

Watch it. Curses have been issued for less!
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Super Progress

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Re: Real Madrid CF 2012/13

Post by Super Progress on Mon Apr 08, 2013 10:29 pm

Super Mourinho wrote:
EMP wrote:
Jaime wrote:Pepe has picked up an injury in this morning's training session and will not be available for the match against Galastasaray. Ramos is already suspended so that means it will be Albiol-Varane in the middle. I didn't see the whole list of players that traveled but I'm guessing we have no cover if something happens to one of them. Yikes

Albiol? I thought Mourinho trusted Casillas in defence more. Wink
He should. Razz
Hereby retracted
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Jaime

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Re: Real Madrid CF 2012/13

Post by Jaime on Tue Apr 09, 2013 2:54 pm

Super Mourinho wrote:
Super Mourinho wrote:
EMP wrote:
Jaime wrote:Pepe has picked up an injury in this morning's training session and will not be available for the match against Galastasaray. Ramos is already suspended so that means it will be Albiol-Varane in the middle. I didn't see the whole list of players that traveled but I'm guessing we have no cover if something happens to one of them. Yikes

Albiol? I thought Mourinho trusted Casillas in defence more. Wink
He should. Razz
Hereby retracted

Laughing
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EMP

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Re: Real Madrid CF 2012/13

Post by EMP on Tue Apr 09, 2013 3:42 pm

Super Mourinho wrote:
Super Mourinho wrote:
EMP wrote:
Jaime wrote:Pepe has picked up an injury in this morning's training session and will not be available for the match against Galastasaray. Ramos is already suspended so that means it will be Albiol-Varane in the middle. I didn't see the whole list of players that traveled but I'm guessing we have no cover if something happens to one of them. Yikes

Albiol? I thought Mourinho trusted Casillas in defence more. Wink
He should. Razz
Hereby retracted

Fortunately for you, the Custodians of the Curse have decided to accept your retraction, but want you to be aware that they are watching carefully for any future transgressions. You have been warned. Wink
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Jaime

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Re: Real Madrid CF 2012/13

Post by Jaime on Wed Apr 10, 2013 2:15 pm

Jose's finally done what he came to do. Now f*ck off!!!! Biggrin

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Super Progress

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Re: Real Madrid CF 2012/13

Post by Super Progress on Wed Apr 10, 2013 2:42 pm

lol!
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Jaime

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Re: Real Madrid CF 2012/13

Post by Jaime on Wed Apr 10, 2013 6:29 pm

Wow, I didn't hear this one before. Nice one, Jose. Nice one.

One man's journey from Los Angeles to Real Madrid good-luck charm

Abel Rodríguez is a 41-year-old Mexican-American who waxes floors in Los Angeles for Metro Transportation. Real Madrid's José Mourinho is one of the world's most famous managers. On the face of things, the two men have nothing in common. Yet recently they became the central figures in a surreal but true buddy story that took Rodríguez behind the scenes as a member of Real Madrid's team in the biggest games of world soccer against Barcelona and Manchester United.

How did Rodríguez become Mourinho's American good luck charm and end up meeting Sir Alex Ferguson, Cristiano Ronaldo, Diego Maradona, Mesut Özil, Kaká and Javier (Chicharito) Hernández? For the past seven years, Rodríguez has taken two weeks of vacation every summer to work for free chasing down errant balls and doing support work for Mourinho's teams when they train in Los Angeles in the preseason.

It's no small effort. Every day during his unpaid "vacation," Rodríguez leaves his house in Fontana, Calif., at 5 a.m., drives to the UCLA training site and spends the rest of the day setting up the practice field and helping with anything Mourinho and his staff need. He arrives home at 11 p.m., gets a few hours of sleep and starts over at 5 a.m. the next morning.

"I've been following European soccer since I was a kid," said Rodríguez, who moved to the L.A. area from Mexico at age 8. But he had never traveled to Europe, and he'd always wanted to attend a Real Madrid-Barcelona Clásico. With Mourinho likely to leave Madrid at season's end, Rodríguez decided the Clásico on March 2 might be his last, best chance to see the spectacle live.



But there were two barriers standing in his way. One, he had been saving for a vacation for his family, including his wife, Olga, and their daughters, Michelle (17), Eliana (13) and Paola (10). And two, he didn't have any contact information for Mourinho or any of his top lieutenants.

"I was really indecisive about going," Rodríguez said, "but the encouragement came from my wife, who said, 'You should go. It's always been your dream.' My oldest daughter came and said, 'You should go.'"

And so he did. On the morning of Feb. 28, Rodríguez arrived in Madrid and showed up unannounced at Real Madrid's Valdebebas training complex. He didn't have a ticket for the game. He didn't even have a hotel reservation. And when the security guy at the guards' shack refused to let him in, Rodríguez was forced to sit on the side of the road. It had snowed the night before, and the conditions were frigid.

"Thank God I was wearing the big coat my wife told me to take," he said. "My toes were frozen."

Yet Rodríguez still couldn't get in. He sat on the roadside for the next five hours.

"It was a miracle that I saw him," Mourinho said. "I saw Abel seated on the road outside the training ground. I was leaving in my assistant Rui Faria's car, and there are always a lot of people outside. But I told Rui, 'Stop! It's the guy from Los Angeles.'"

"Amigo! What are you doing here?" Mourinho asked.

"I came to visit you guys," Rodríguez replied. "It's my first time in Europe, and my dream has been to come and see games. I was hoping to see El Clásico."

"But there are no more tickets," Mourinho said. "Where are you staying?"

"I haven't done anything about that," Rodríguez said. "My priority was to see you guys and then make my arrangements. If I didn't see you guys, I'd go to the stadium and try to get a ticket. And if that didn't work, I'd fly back home."

That was when the magic happened. Mourinho called an assistant and arranged for Rodríguez to have his own room at the fancy hotel where Real Madrid was staying before the Barcelona game. Mourinho instructed him to get some rest at the hotel and meet him at the training site the next morning. That evening, the night before El Clásico, the two men caught up for 90 minutes together before sharing dinner with the Real Madrid coaching staff.

As Rodríguez explained the story of his family wanting him to visit Europe, Mourinho stopped him. Real Madrid was leaving for England and its Champions League Round of 16 decider against Manchester United the day after the Barça game. Rodríguez was planning to return to L.A., but Mourinho would have none of it.

"I told him, 'No way, you come to Manchester with us and work as a kit man,'" Mourinho said. "'You help us and you live a bigger dream, a Champions League match from the inside!'"

Rodríguez said he'd love to, but he would have to pay for everything.

Mourinho shook his head and smiled. "When you're with me in Europe, you don't pay for s---."

Rodríguez started crying at that point -- tears of joy. He raced up to his hotel room and grabbed his passport. Mourinho took a picture of it with his cell-phone camera and sent it to the club's organizers to put Rodríguez on the travel list.

You never know when karma will come back and reward you for something. For seven summers Rodríguez worked for free for Real Madrid, even when the club was willing to pay him for his efforts in Los Angeles. Now he was about to experience the thrill of a lifetime.

The next four days were a whirlwind. On March 2, Rodríguez watched Real Madrid beat Barcelona 2-1 in Estadio Bernabéu. The club gave him a good seat, and afterward Rodríguez visited the locker room, where he had his picture taken next to Cristiano Ronaldo and Maradona, who'd attended the game. (For good measure, he got another one with Maradona's girlfriend.)



Then came the trip to Manchester. Rodríguez was a member of the Real Madrid team this time, working as one of the equipment managers and dressed in full team gear. He helped assemble the bags for the flight to England, and he worked the team's training session the day before the game at Manchester City's Etihad Stadium. By now, Mourinho and the Real Madrid players were viewing him as a good-luck charm, going so far as to rub his stomach for positive vibes.

On March 5 at Old Trafford -- the Theatre of Dreams -- Rodríguez fulfilled one of his own lifelong dreams, and in doing so became one of the great Zelig figures in world soccer. His family and friends in L.A. saw him walk off the field next to Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson at one point. You can even catch a glimpse of Rodríguez at 0:31 of this YouTube clip next to the wall in the pregame tunnel to the left of Ronaldo.

A few seconds before that, United star Chicharito Hernández had pulled Rodríguez aside to tell him he'd give him his game-worn jersey after the final whistle. (Unknown to Rodríguez, Mourinho had told Hernández about his Mexican-born friend and asked if he could do him the favor.)

"These people treated me like I was part of the team," Rodríguez said. "This is something I'll tell my grandkids."

Real Madrid ended up advancing, of course, in a game that will be remembered by many for the controversial red card given to United's Nani, a call that changed the match. But even though Ferguson was so angry afterward that he refused to speak at the press conference, Rodríguez saw firsthand that he was still willing to share a post-game drink with Mourinho. Said Rodríguez, "He came out of the dressing room with a cup of wine in his hand, and he told me, 'Tell José that the wine is ready, and tell him to hurry up.'"

"You are true gentlemen," Rodríguez said to the two managers, and Ferguson winked and even took a moment to sign the American's book of pictures with top European players and coaches.

There were other memorable moments after the game that day. Outside United's locker room, Hernández followed up on his pledge and gave Rodríguez his game-worn jersey with a personalized dedication on it.

"The first thing he said to me was, 'How long have you been working for Real Madrid?'" Rodríguez said. "I said, 'The truth is I don't work for them.' I explained to him what happened, and he looked shocked at the beginning. But he said, 'You know what? That's amazing.'"

Back in Madrid's locker room, fullback Marcelo asked Rodríguez if he'd take his jersey over to United's locker room and try to trade it for Robin van Persie's. Rodríguez executed the exchange with a United trainer but decided to have some fun with Marcelo, hiding RVP's shirt behind his back and telling the Brazilian: "He said he'll exchange the jersey with someone else, but not you."

"Really?" Marcelo asked.

"I'm kidding," came the reply. "Here's the jersey." lol!

In the end, Rodríguez took plenty of keepsakes of his own back to Los Angeles. They were gifts from people who knew his story: jerseys from Chicharito, Özil, Kaká and Michael Essien, as well as Kaká's cleats and even one of the match balls from the game.

But the memories are worth even more, he said. On Real Madrid's victorious team flight back to the Spanish capital, Mourinho was moving between the aisles, sharing glasses of wine with members of the delegation, and every so often he'd stop and point and wink at his friend Abel, the good-luck charm from America.

"Everybody at Real Madrid was happy," Mourinho said, "because they know him from preseason and know he is a hard worker and a great person. He was with us and we won both matches! People were saying he has to stay."

On the night the plane from Manchester landed back in Madrid, Rodríguez said, he didn't get the chance to say thank you to Mourinho. Ever the worker, he finished his duties as an equipment guy unloading the plane.

He still doesn't have any contact information for Mourinho. So this story is his way of saying thank you.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/soccer/news/20130410/real-madrid-fan-jose-mourinho/
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EMP

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Re: Real Madrid CF 2012/13

Post by EMP on Wed Apr 10, 2013 7:13 pm

Jaime wrote:Wow, I didn't hear this one before. Nice one, Jose. Nice one.

One man's journey from Los Angeles to Real Madrid good-luck charm

Abel Rodríguez is a 41-year-old Mexican-American who waxes floors in Los Angeles for Metro Transportation. Real Madrid's José Mourinho is one of the world's most famous managers. On the face of things, the two men have nothing in common. Yet recently they became the central figures in a surreal but true buddy story that took Rodríguez behind the scenes as a member of Real Madrid's team in the biggest games of world soccer against Barcelona and Manchester United.

How did Rodríguez become Mourinho's American good luck charm and end up meeting Sir Alex Ferguson, Cristiano Ronaldo, Diego Maradona, Mesut Özil, Kaká and Javier (Chicharito) Hernández? For the past seven years, Rodríguez has taken two weeks of vacation every summer to work for free chasing down errant balls and doing support work for Mourinho's teams when they train in Los Angeles in the preseason.

It's no small effort. Every day during his unpaid "vacation," Rodríguez leaves his house in Fontana, Calif., at 5 a.m., drives to the UCLA training site and spends the rest of the day setting up the practice field and helping with anything Mourinho and his staff need. He arrives home at 11 p.m., gets a few hours of sleep and starts over at 5 a.m. the next morning.

"I've been following European soccer since I was a kid," said Rodríguez, who moved to the L.A. area from Mexico at age 8. But he had never traveled to Europe, and he'd always wanted to attend a Real Madrid-Barcelona Clásico. With Mourinho likely to leave Madrid at season's end, Rodríguez decided the Clásico on March 2 might be his last, best chance to see the spectacle live.



But there were two barriers standing in his way. One, he had been saving for a vacation for his family, including his wife, Olga, and their daughters, Michelle (17), Eliana (13) and Paola (10). And two, he didn't have any contact information for Mourinho or any of his top lieutenants.

"I was really indecisive about going," Rodríguez said, "but the encouragement came from my wife, who said, 'You should go. It's always been your dream.' My oldest daughter came and said, 'You should go.'"

And so he did. On the morning of Feb. 28, Rodríguez arrived in Madrid and showed up unannounced at Real Madrid's Valdebebas training complex. He didn't have a ticket for the game. He didn't even have a hotel reservation. And when the security guy at the guards' shack refused to let him in, Rodríguez was forced to sit on the side of the road. It had snowed the night before, and the conditions were frigid.

"Thank God I was wearing the big coat my wife told me to take," he said. "My toes were frozen."

Yet Rodríguez still couldn't get in. He sat on the roadside for the next five hours.

"It was a miracle that I saw him," Mourinho said. "I saw Abel seated on the road outside the training ground. I was leaving in my assistant Rui Faria's car, and there are always a lot of people outside. But I told Rui, 'Stop! It's the guy from Los Angeles.'"

"Amigo! What are you doing here?" Mourinho asked.

"I came to visit you guys," Rodríguez replied. "It's my first time in Europe, and my dream has been to come and see games. I was hoping to see El Clásico."

"But there are no more tickets," Mourinho said. "Where are you staying?"

"I haven't done anything about that," Rodríguez said. "My priority was to see you guys and then make my arrangements. If I didn't see you guys, I'd go to the stadium and try to get a ticket. And if that didn't work, I'd fly back home."

That was when the magic happened. Mourinho called an assistant and arranged for Rodríguez to have his own room at the fancy hotel where Real Madrid was staying before the Barcelona game. Mourinho instructed him to get some rest at the hotel and meet him at the training site the next morning. That evening, the night before El Clásico, the two men caught up for 90 minutes together before sharing dinner with the Real Madrid coaching staff.

As Rodríguez explained the story of his family wanting him to visit Europe, Mourinho stopped him. Real Madrid was leaving for England and its Champions League Round of 16 decider against Manchester United the day after the Barça game. Rodríguez was planning to return to L.A., but Mourinho would have none of it.

"I told him, 'No way, you come to Manchester with us and work as a kit man,'" Mourinho said. "'You help us and you live a bigger dream, a Champions League match from the inside!'"

Rodríguez said he'd love to, but he would have to pay for everything.

Mourinho shook his head and smiled. "When you're with me in Europe, you don't pay for s---."

Rodríguez started crying at that point -- tears of joy. He raced up to his hotel room and grabbed his passport. Mourinho took a picture of it with his cell-phone camera and sent it to the club's organizers to put Rodríguez on the travel list.

You never know when karma will come back and reward you for something. For seven summers Rodríguez worked for free for Real Madrid, even when the club was willing to pay him for his efforts in Los Angeles. Now he was about to experience the thrill of a lifetime.

The next four days were a whirlwind. On March 2, Rodríguez watched Real Madrid beat Barcelona 2-1 in Estadio Bernabéu. The club gave him a good seat, and afterward Rodríguez visited the locker room, where he had his picture taken next to Cristiano Ronaldo and Maradona, who'd attended the game. (For good measure, he got another one with Maradona's girlfriend.)



Then came the trip to Manchester. Rodríguez was a member of the Real Madrid team this time, working as one of the equipment managers and dressed in full team gear. He helped assemble the bags for the flight to England, and he worked the team's training session the day before the game at Manchester City's Etihad Stadium. By now, Mourinho and the Real Madrid players were viewing him as a good-luck charm, going so far as to rub his stomach for positive vibes.

On March 5 at Old Trafford -- the Theatre of Dreams -- Rodríguez fulfilled one of his own lifelong dreams, and in doing so became one of the great Zelig figures in world soccer. His family and friends in L.A. saw him walk off the field next to Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson at one point. You can even catch a glimpse of Rodríguez at 0:31 of this YouTube clip next to the wall in the pregame tunnel to the left of Ronaldo.

A few seconds before that, United star Chicharito Hernández had pulled Rodríguez aside to tell him he'd give him his game-worn jersey after the final whistle. (Unknown to Rodríguez, Mourinho had told Hernández about his Mexican-born friend and asked if he could do him the favor.)

"These people treated me like I was part of the team," Rodríguez said. "This is something I'll tell my grandkids."

Real Madrid ended up advancing, of course, in a game that will be remembered by many for the controversial red card given to United's Nani, a call that changed the match. But even though Ferguson was so angry afterward that he refused to speak at the press conference, Rodríguez saw firsthand that he was still willing to share a post-game drink with Mourinho. Said Rodríguez, "He came out of the dressing room with a cup of wine in his hand, and he told me, 'Tell José that the wine is ready, and tell him to hurry up.'"

"You are true gentlemen," Rodríguez said to the two managers, and Ferguson winked and even took a moment to sign the American's book of pictures with top European players and coaches.

There were other memorable moments after the game that day. Outside United's locker room, Hernández followed up on his pledge and gave Rodríguez his game-worn jersey with a personalized dedication on it.

"The first thing he said to me was, 'How long have you been working for Real Madrid?'" Rodríguez said. "I said, 'The truth is I don't work for them.' I explained to him what happened, and he looked shocked at the beginning. But he said, 'You know what? That's amazing.'"

Back in Madrid's locker room, fullback Marcelo asked Rodríguez if he'd take his jersey over to United's locker room and try to trade it for Robin van Persie's. Rodríguez executed the exchange with a United trainer but decided to have some fun with Marcelo, hiding RVP's shirt behind his back and telling the Brazilian: "He said he'll exchange the jersey with someone else, but not you."

"Really?" Marcelo asked.

"I'm kidding," came the reply. "Here's the jersey." lol!

In the end, Rodríguez took plenty of keepsakes of his own back to Los Angeles. They were gifts from people who knew his story: jerseys from Chicharito, Özil, Kaká and Michael Essien, as well as Kaká's cleats and even one of the match balls from the game.

But the memories are worth even more, he said. On Real Madrid's victorious team flight back to the Spanish capital, Mourinho was moving between the aisles, sharing glasses of wine with members of the delegation, and every so often he'd stop and point and wink at his friend Abel, the good-luck charm from America.

"Everybody at Real Madrid was happy," Mourinho said, "because they know him from preseason and know he is a hard worker and a great person. He was with us and we won both matches! People were saying he has to stay."

On the night the plane from Manchester landed back in Madrid, Rodríguez said, he didn't get the chance to say thank you to Mourinho. Ever the worker, he finished his duties as an equipment guy unloading the plane.

He still doesn't have any contact information for Mourinho. So this story is his way of saying thank you.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/soccer/news/20130410/real-madrid-fan-jose-mourinho/

Didn't even give the guy his contact details. What a classless bastard Mourinho is! Wink
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Pras_tama

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Re: Real Madrid CF 2012/13

Post by Pras_tama on Thu Apr 11, 2013 1:50 am

Hi Jaime, Super cs, been wondering, how much do you guys really rate Beckham during his Madrid days?
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Super Progress

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Re: Real Madrid CF 2012/13

Post by Super Progress on Thu Apr 11, 2013 12:28 pm

Must say I have liked Essien recently on the right back position. He is the only fullback we have that tries to cross and he is quite good at crossing general, though not great. Of course his defensive skills in that position leaves a bit to be desired but the good thing is that he is playing with Di Maria and Khedira ahead of him so he gets protection. For a home game where we need to push forward I think he should be chosen assuming Marcelo isn't playin on the left because we have lost something in the attacking phase since Marcelo-Ronaldo aren't playing together. And it is important to have an attacking threat from one of the fullbacks and at the moment we don't have much of one except when Coentrao decides to push forward which he is capable of.

Prama
He was average but at a time when the team team was falling apart his workrate mattered although ultimately he dragged the team down with his lack of passing, technique, etc. His last season though he was great and this season cemented his repuation in my book. He was great along with RVN in the team.
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Jaime

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Re: Real Madrid CF 2012/13

Post by Jaime on Thu Apr 11, 2013 1:11 pm

Super Mourinho wrote:Must say I have liked Essien recently on the right back position. He is the only fullback we have that tries to cross and he is quite good at crossing general, though not great. Of course his defensive skills in that position leaves a bit to be desired but the good thing is that he is playing with Di Maria and Khedira ahead of him so he gets protection. For a home game where we need to push forward I think he should be chosen assuming Marcelo isn't playin on the left because we have lost something in the attacking phase since Marcelo-Ronaldo aren't playing together. And it is important to have an attacking threat from one of the fullbacks and at the moment we don't have much of one except when Coentrao decides to push forward which he is capable of.

Whereas playing in the centre of midfield Essien is a complete liability, I agree that at right back he has proven himself to be competent enough. He gives the ball away too much for my liking when we try to play out of the back but like you say, he really incorporates himself well into attack overlapping from right back and his crossing is pretty decent. The thing I like about him is that he is too busy fondling his daddy's testicles to bitch about being played out of position like Lass used to. Arbeloa has put some good performances for Spain lately but he has been completely off the mark for Madrid for months now. Hopefully we will bring back Dani Carvajal next season.
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Jaime

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Re: Real Madrid CF 2012/13

Post by Jaime on Thu Apr 11, 2013 1:23 pm

Pras_tama wrote:Hi Jaime, Super cs, been wondering, how much do you guys really rate Beckham during his Madrid days?

I think it's always hard to judge Beckham because his time in Madrid coincided with the decline of many of the 'galactico' era players and a period of institutional upheaval. I think Beckham had three presidents and 6 managers in the space of 4 years. The team was completely unsettled and so while we only won two trophies I don't think Beckham is even the primary reason for that. Of course there will always be people say that he was only there to sell t shirts in Asia but I think watching him play every week you could see he had plenty of good qualities. By the same token, I don't think he's nearly as good as a lot of the british media made him out to be (or still make him out to be). I think McManaman was actually a better all around player. But you could never question Beckham's work rate and commitment. He trained hard, was a good professional, and was never caught out at the discos at 4 am on nights before a match. For me he will never go down as one of the all time greats, but Real Madrid has spent 30m euro on worse players, that's for sure.
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Antarion

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Re: Real Madrid CF 2012/13

Post by Antarion on Thu Apr 11, 2013 2:09 pm

Great story, thanks for posting it Jaime.

Also, I really like to read about those behind the scenes things going on after games. Should be more reports about that.
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Super Progress

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Re: Real Madrid CF 2012/13

Post by Super Progress on Fri Apr 12, 2013 7:02 pm

Glad we got Dortmund although I think Barcelona would have been better for us in some respects. Mourinho has their number and we would kill them on the counter and in case players were tired we could play our reserves. Biggrin

Anyway I actually think Modric really needs to play this game if we intend to play our usual game and not play a trivote because Dortmund will put full pressure on our midfield and their central midfield is much more mobile than ours is. Plus if they keep a high line we should really punish them on the long balls and having both Modric and Alonso makes that job much easier. Khedira would really struggle in this game. Mourinho should also take a note out of how easily Malaga stiffled them in the away game. We should probably sit back more than usual and play on the counter.

Progress <Ale>

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Re: Real Madrid CF 2012/13

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