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Bernabeu Bites: Johan Cruyff Shoots His Mouth Off (Again), Cristiano Ronaldo Getting A Lot Of Ballon d'Or Support

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I picture former FC Barcelona player and manager Johan Cruyff hiding out in the bushes waiting for any member of the press to walk by so he can jump out and give his opinion on all things Real Madrid. I just seems to be that he seems to go out of his way to trash talk both the team and The Special One Jose Mourinho. Which as we all know, Cruyff has it in for the Portuguese manager - this has been no secret.

There's been a few rumors published going around, I'm sure you've seen them -- Mou wants to return to the English Premier League at some point -- and Marca went so far as to say that Los Blancos already have their eye on his replacement - or at least one they're keeping track of - Joachim Low, who is managing the German International Squad. Cruyff thinks that Madrid would be better off with him, than Mou.

"For Barcelona, it would be more dangerous with Low than Mourinho," he said, after Mourinho had told the BBC’s Today programme: "I'm very happy to be at Real Madrid. It’s a great experience for me. I believe it’s probably the biggest club in the history of football. I didn’t want to miss a chance to work here. But my passion is England and my next step will be to go back and, if possible, stay for a long time."

Emphasis is mine..

Former FC Barcelona midfielder, French International and World Cup winner Emmanual Petit backs Cristiano Ronaldo for the Ballon d'Or. Sometimes it just tickles me pink when former Barca players back anyone in a Real Madrid strip. While he does praise Xavi and Lionel Messi (who are also up for the Ballon d'Or) he thinks that Ronaldo has a few more qualities to his game play that put him above the rest.

"Xavi has redefined the position of midfield organiser," Petit told Marca. "Barca's game channels through him, and he is an immense talent. Messi brings together everything that Barca do; he is outstanding. He's a 'PlayStation player'. "But I would go for Ronaldo, and God knows I love the other two! Madrid play in a context a little more complicated than that of Barcelona, but he has some impressive statistics."

Petit also goes on to point out a few things that make him better than Xavi and Messi.

"After being the King of England, he did not hesitate in taking the chance of a new challenge with Madrid. "He has been able to assume their responsibilities fully, and may have more heading ability than Messi. But I hope that both will reach the very highest level possible with their sides."

The winner of the Ballon d'Or will be crowned on January 9th in Zurich.

Neymar has been a constant story since the begging of the season, he's been linked to Real Madrid and FC Barcelona. A few reports lately have pointed towards him ending up in a Qatar Foundation kit, which to me doesn't make a lot of sense -- as he would get splinters in his arse riding the pine. Thank goodness for FC Barcelona's Vice-President Jordi Cardoner to settle things (for the time being).

"To my knowledge we did not pay €10m to have a preferential option for Neymar." Cardoner also stated that Barca coach Josep Guardiola will have the final say on whether the highly rated teenager will eventually make the switch to Camp Nou. "If we’re talking about [Neymar] it is because he is a player considered qualified to be a part of this team, but our technicians will decide," the vice-president added.

Though, it would give me just another reason -- not to like the guy. I don't think he would fit in there or in Madrid. He's still got a lot of growing up to do no matter how much talent the kid has.

Real Sociedad and their 28 year old skipper - midfielder Xabi Preito have come to an agreement that will keep him at the club until 2017 which means he'll most likely end his career with the team he started with. This is something you don't see very often these days in any sport and I love it when things like this happen.

Preito made his debut for Real Sociedad in 2003 and has made over 250 appearances for his club. He loves the idea of ending his career where it started.

"Of course I would like to retire at Real and today I have taken a step further toward that dream," he enthused.

Not sure why this is news or why I'm reporting it -- but whatever. It seems that teachers pet Lionel Messi has been given a extended winter break, and will return to the Catalan side after the new year. But hey the rest of the club has returned and begun training already.

FC Barcelona are pretty sure that 20 year-old winger Issac Cuenca will re-sign with the Catalan side. There has been interest in the young winger from clubs like Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea. According to 'sources' at the Nou Camp contract talks have reached an advanced stage and they're confident he'll resign.

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