Welcome to Bernabeu Bites, where every Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday we take you around the world of Real Madrid, La Liga and European Football, in tasty bite-size form. So grab your beverage of choice, sit back relax and enjoy!
So much is going on in the world of los blancos that without much of a preamble, we'll dive right into the news.
International duties await Mesut Ozil, as he was called up by the German National Team. Because of club commitments, he was not included on the squad that beat Brazil 3-2 in a friendly match earlier this month. But the 22- year-old is set to be part of the team when Germany faces Austria in a Euro 2012 qualifying match. The Germans are looking to punch their tickets to Poland and the Ukraine next year.
Unfortunately, Ozil will not be playing with his Real Madrid teammate and fellow German, Sami Kehdira. Kehdira also missed the Brazil match due to injuries. He was ruled out after a meeting between the German National Team doctors and the staff of Real Madrid.
Speaking of national team duties, Cristiano Ronaldo, Pepe, Fabio Coentrao and Ricardo Carvalho have all been called up to the Portuguese National Team for their September 2nd Euro 2012 qualifier against Cyprus.
But take this transfer rumor with a grain of salt--it is coming from Radio Marca after all. However, it seems that Paris Saint-Germain has scheduled a meeting Monday with Real Madrid in regards to Kaka. Supposedly they value him at about 30 million euros, which is about half of what he signed for when he came over from AC Milan.
Premier League side Bolton Wanderers have denied reports linking them to Real Madrid and Pedro Leon. Supposedly they were going to take Leon on a season-long loan, but Bolton has played down those reports, saying they are looking elsewhere to fortify the club.
Dead-weight defender Lassana Diarra is not making a transfer to Tottenham Hotspur, as we've figured out. I guess one of the sticking points is that Diarra didn't want to take a pay cut to do it (someone thinks highly of themselves don't they?). The problem with this is that he is going to get about as much playing time as I am at Real Madrid. He's on contract through the 2013 campaign.
"Information about my departure is a lie," he said from the Nice airport, where he had traveled to visit his brother, who is in hospital after having knee surgery."There is no agreement with Tottenham," he added. "I have a contract with Real Madrid until 2013 and my coach is Mourinho,"
Yes, technically Mourinho is your coach, a coach that wants to get your salary off the books. I highly doubt he gets time on the reserve team much less the first team.
According to this report, Jose Morinho is ready to knock Barcelona off its perch. It's a great little read, but what's really telling are some of the quotes. Like the fact that we likely wont see any more transfers, which could also be a smoke screen because you never know with the Special One.
"It is a small squad but that is our decision and we have all the positives and negatives associated with that," said Mourinho."The transfer market is open until August 31 but as far as I am concerned the squad is now closed and there will not be people entering or leaving.
We have two players per position and a balanced squad that I have confidence in and I believe that they have confidence in me also.
Last season we had to add to the squad during the winter transfer window because of (Gonzalo) Higuain's injury and we couldn't be six or seven months without a striker.
We have been working well during the summer and if necessary we have players from the youth team who are now mature enough to step up a level."
So that pretty much cancels out the Kaka to PSG possibility now doesn't it? Or does it? You never really know with the Special One. This could also mean we are going to be stuck with Diarra. My brain hurts now....
With the group stage draw over and done with for the UEFA Champions League, los blancos were handed a somewhat easy Group. Director Emilio Butragueno believes the key to success in this year's Champions League is their first fixture against Croatian side Dinamo Zagreb.
"If we can get a good result there [Zagreb], after these three matches perhaps we will be in a privileged position to progress [to the next round," Butragueno said, after the Thursday's draw.
"The first match in Zagreb will be key."
He also goes on the point out that Real Madrid has had it tough on the road in Lyon.
"The truth is that it is hard for us at Lyon and we have never won there. They are a team with a solid defence, a mature and competitive team and, in that sense, they have never been the easiest opponent."
Ruud van Nistelrooy should ring a bell for most madridistas, and well kids, he's back in Spain. This time he's playing for Málaga CF, who are under new ownership with lots of cash apparently. This is a team that has been relegated 12 times (yes, you read that correctly 12 times!), but the striker believes in his club and owners to deliver a great product on the pitch and compete.
Though van Nistelrooy has been around La Liga before, and knows the odds of Málaga actually winning the league are slim to none right now, he's pretty sure it could happen. Just not immediately.
"At the moment, yes, it is too much," Van Nistelrooy said. The 'but' hangs in the air. What about in the future: can Málaga win the league? Can it really happen? I don't know if I will be there, but, yes, it can. It will."
European Club Association Chairman warns FIFA of a revolution if things don't change.
European Club Association chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has called on FIFA president Sepp Blatter to introduce reforms in soccer or risk the fate of toppled Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.
Rummenigge told Swiss business magazine Bilanz on Friday that Blatter would be smart to introduce reforms "before his successor does it or before a revolution comes from outside.Mubarak never imagined a year ago that he would be hounded from office."
Rummenigge, who is also the Bayern Munich chairman, threatened a split unless changes are made.
"FIFA and UEFA need the clubs for a World Cup or European Championship," he said. "But the clubs don't need them. Theoretically, we could play Bundesliga and Champions League--even without the associations."