LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 16: David Beckham #23 of Los Angeles Galaxy shakes hands with Sergio ramos #4 of Real Madrid at halftime during the Herbalife World Challenge 2011 friendly soccer game at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on July 16, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
The boys in white return to action today in the first leg of the Copa del Ray match against Malaga and if all goes right, we could be in for a showdown with FC Barcelona in the quarterfinals. But let's not look that far ahead, as the team is back from break and I'm going to bet there's going to be some rust that needs to be shaken off.
Former Manchester United, Real Madrid and LA Galaxy midfielder David Beckham is rumored to start playing for Paris Saint-Germain for awhile now -- and some figured the deal was all but done. But now according to PSG's Sporting Director, things have hit a snag where Beck's family is concerned.
'We are going to wait a bit. It is a personal choice and it is not easy for him. We have time and him too. We won't push him - we respect him a lot. 'I know him. I have an incredible admiration for him as a player and a father too. I understand that it is difficult to move.'
Beckham was to be new boss Carlo Ancelotti's first major move since taking over the club.Who knows exactly what's going to happen during the winter window. Not only has Jose Mourinho come out and said he's not looking for anyone, but now he would really dislike it if anyone left during the window.
"I have not asked for any signings and I have been clear I wouldn’t like it if anyone left," the Portuguese said. "The players know it, the board of directors too," said Mourinho ahead of today’s King’s Cup last-16 first-leg tie at home in Malaga. "I would like to start and finish the season with the same players."
Laurent Blanc, manager of France's international squad, is high on youngster Rafael Varane and could be an integral part of France's international squad, but the only way he's going to get better is with more playing time (wow, seems to be a reoccurring story with some of our younger players).
"He is one of the most talented players in the France Under-21 squad. We talk about him a lot because he is the youngest player in the team and because he plays for Real Madrid," Blanc said in an interview with La voix des sports.
"I can only hope that he gets the playing time he needs to become a better player and continue developing. "It's a great thing that he plays Champions League football and trains with great players. However, the most important thing for players of his age is to play regularly."
Varane has been featured with the first team seven times so far this year, netting two goals. He's seen action in not only la Liga, but the Copa del Ray and Champions League as well. He's got a lot of promise, but one of the bad things about play for Real Madrid is the level of talent all around. It makes it hard to crack a starting XI role.
Former FC Barcelona striker Samuel Eto'o is a lot of things: captain of the Cameroon national team, holder of a record for most goals scored by an African in la Liga and now, and he owns a telecommunications company. Set' Mobile is the third largest cell phone provider in his native Cameroon. His company has already sold over 50,000 sim cards. Like, he needed more money.
Michel Plantini, the president of UEFA, loves the ownership model that Real Madrid and FC Barcelona use. He wishes more teams would institute a model where the team has to answer to its supporters. This also allows the supporters to have a say about what happens to their respective clubs.
"I love the management structure of Real Madrid and Barcelona because the members remain responsible for the club and their decisions," the former Juventus man told L'Equipe. "Both preserve their identity and the popularity of football lies precisely in the fact that there are such strong ties with the fans."
Former Arsenal skipper and now FC Barcelona super-sub Cesc Fabregas wants to win a treble. Alhough if he had his choice, he'd prefer a Champions League trophy over winning la Liga and the Copa del Ray.
"I am dreaming of winning the treble. If I have to choose, I want the Champions League most, and then La Liga. "The title I'm longing for the most is the Champions League. This competition gives me a special feeling and is valued the most by the majority of the players."
Speaking of FC Barcelona, their coach Pep Guardiola has been in the press a lot lately. First it's all about the fact that at some point he would love to field a starting XI that was exclusively from their academy, la Masia . He's actually pretty close to doing so. In a recent Copa del Ray tie, while they didn't start together, his full team consisted of 11 homegrown players, and he had nine during a recent Champions League tie.
It seems as though FC Barcelona's President Sandro Rosell is already looking to the future, but a future that doesn't include Pep Guardiola. A lot has been flying around about this including that Sir Alex Ferguson of Manchester United would like Pep to be his successor. The future may come in the form of Athletic Bilbao's main crazy man, Marcelo Biesla, even though Pep has already said that he'll remain at Barcelona for at least another season.