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 sit back, grab your favorite beverage and enjoy!
I'm sure it came to no one's surprise that Real Madrid kicked off the 2011/12 La Liga season with a 6-0 pasting of Real Zaragoza. One team looked great, the other not so much. While I think there is still some work to be done for Real Madrid it was a great start, even if it was against a vastly inferior team. That's right I'm trying to temper myself, in the midst of a extremely great effort from the boys in White.
Did you miss the match? Here are the highlights, and of course it was the Cristiano Ronaldo show, in which he scored a hat trick, and his 100th goal as a blanco. Enjoy these highlights as we're now in the international break, so no games this weekend. Nothing like a) Not playing the first weekend of the season, b) Finally starting the season a week later and c) Immediately breaking for international play...
Let's start off the rest of the news by pimping our one and only head cheese, Gabe. Over at SBN Soccer he recaps the weekend of La Liga, and asks the question - "Is this worth watching?" Though this quote almost made me spit coffee all over my laptop this morning.
"If you enjoy watching Real Madrid and Barcelona dominate the competition on their way to 100-point seasons, then you're in for the thrill of your life; if you like balanced, competitive soccer, then watch the Bundesliga. I hear Dortmund is still good this year."
Today and tomorrow are sure to be busy as the end of the summer transfer window looms over the football world. So expect lots of rumors and signings flying around. One name that's been tossed around a bit is Pedro León, as he has really no spot on the first team (hell he doesn't even have a jersey number). It seems our next opponent Getafe seems interested in getting him back.
The problem here is that Real Madrid doesn't want to do a loan deal, they want to unload him and that may be a sticking point for Getafe. Their club president has made the trip to Madrid to discuss Leon's future.
Now I understand there are some die hard fans of players out there, and Kaká has some really die hard ones. I'm posting this, because I think that the comments are pure gold. We all have our favorite players, but the level of this is just amazing...and all because of Mou's comments about Kaká.
Mourinho: "Özil will also be a starter, but that’s nothing new. Kaka is one of my men and he’s been working well since day one. He hasn’t missed a single training session. He’s played few official games, but he played a lot in our other matches this summer. He is a good option for me to have. He will be on the bench tomorrow. I’m happy to have a player like him by my side."
Comment: "So, Kakà is only an option? He officially made Kakà as Ozil’s substitute… It’s a joke!"
Emphasis is mine.
I know, I know, it's only a small sub group of fans. But lets use some level headed thinking here. Having a player like Kaká off the bench, who will get some starts is a great thing to have. With multiple tournaments, depth is a great thing. Look; we've got La Liga, Copa del Ray and the Champions League. He's going to get his share of starts, but won't be the go-to starter until he shows a lot better form - and we had glimpses of that yesterday.
With that said Mesut Özil is the best option going forward.
I guess my point here is don't let your fanaticism get in the way of what's best for the team. It's only going to drive you crazy in the end. And there is already enough crazy out there.
We're are still in the fallout process of the second leg of the Super Cup. While there was a bit of a distraction with Liga getting under way, the Special One believes there is a campaign against him in Spanish football.
"In contrast to other leagues where I've managed here I feel like there is a campaign against me," he told Spanish newspaper El Mundo."The other day a friend suggested to me that with all the stones thrown at me you could build a monument."
The self-styled 'Special One' added: "There are today few people who have the truth as their guiding principle, as for myself I can get things wrong but I always say what I believe, what I feel, without being afraid of the consequences. As a result a lot of people don't excuse that."
Speaking of Mou, UEFA President (and royal pain in the arse) Michel Plantini says that Mourinho will be punished.
"Everyone makes mistakes and he will be punished by the disciplinary committee of the national association," Platini said.
"It would have been better not to do that – he is an educator, a coach, perhaps the best coach in the world. The great people in the world have to be examples, they have to be clean. It’s a human reflection and I’m not afraid to say that."
I don't think anyone that reads this site doubts that Mou is going to go unpunished, that's just silly talk if you think he will escape punishment. But did Plantini really need to add his two cents?
From the: Hey I just need to crank out a article file. Ian Holloway of the Mirror decides to call out Mou, and tell him that he just needs to get a grip. Just read it, I have no witty comments to make...
Kaka transfer/loan rumor #109309830983. It seems that now Harry Redknapp and Tottenham Hotspur are after Kaka on a season long loan. Is it me or does Redknapp when he talks sound like he's got one of those giant spiral cut hams caught in his throat? Anyways, it's been stated before that if for some reason Kaka leaves, it's not going to be on loan. If Mou is going to ditch the Brazilian it's going to be to get his contract off the books.
Tottenham needs to do something, they're in the relegation zone, with no wins, a -7 GD and have a midfielder that doesn't want to play for them who would rather be playing for Chelsea.
This story really hits the nail on the head. Worth the read for sure.
The Wall Street Journal gets in on the the whole "Hey! It's a two horse race" shtick.