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Bernabéu Bites: Interviews, Contract Speculation, An Engagement & A New Twitter Account

Madrid top the world, Pellegrini is sounded out by Chelsea, Xabi mulls a contract extension, Özil is interviewed, Sami Khedira gets himself engaged, Arbeloa has some fun, Nuri Sahin talks to Marca and Michael Essien joins Twitter.

Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno

Madrid on top of the world

The finance, industry, and investment magazine Forbes has published a list of the most valuable clubs in the world. Real Madrid has now surpassed Manchester United as the world's most profitable footballing concern.

The top 4 list is:

Real Madrid $3.3bn
Manchester United $3.17bn
Barcelona $2.6bn
Arsenal $1.33bn

Link to the article

Pellegrini to Chelsea?

Chelsea is apparently sounding out Málaga coach Manuel Pellegrini to succeed "Interim" coach Rafa Benitez at the always happy and contented Stamford Bridge.

The significance of this piece of intelligence (which like all transfer news could have been pulled out of a hat by some bored journalist over his lunch break to fill up the afternoon shift) will not be lost on Madrid fans.

Link to the article

And there are further implications...

...Xabi Continues to Wait On Developments

On a not entirely unrelated note that has Liverpool fans brightening up, Xabi Alonso is still waiting to sign a contract extension – possibly to see if his old boss Benitez resurfaces in Madrid after the inevitable sacking at the end of the season, possible silverware be damned. They’ve never really seen eye to eye.

He doesn’t want any more money, but he’s dithering. His father spoke with Marca about it.

What he wants to do is to wait a bit to see what happens and how things go, and then, when the time is right, he'll make the appropriate decision. It's as simple as that - there's nothing else to it

Real Sociedad fans will have to contain their excitement, unfortunately. "Going home is always difficult, and anyway, Sociedad is pretty well stocked right now," said his father. Translation: he won’t be returning there, at least, any time soon.

Link to Marca

Özil Is Interviewed

In a not very serious interview, a child moderator for ZDF got Mesut Özil to speak to her in addition to getting him to make funny faces at the camera.

The faces are made to signify how he looks when he is 1. Fouled and the referee doesn't blow a whistle, 2. When his mother cooks his favourite supper, and 3. His expression when Angela Merkel enters a dressing room and he has nothing on (a reference to the most famous picture ever taken of him). For that one, Özil tries a flirtatious wink.

But, as he assured the child a few moments earlier: "I was wearing things!"

We learn he likes going to the movies ("But that's hard in Spain though ‘cause the films are in Spanish") and he's never homesick for Germany while in Madrid because: "My family and friends visit me a lot or I can visit them on my days off."

The child herself is apparently a huge Ronaldo fan. After asking Özil if he liked playing with him (the answer, of course, was yes - and he's a top-class bloke to boot) she replied with: "Well, obviously!"

Link to the video (From minute 6:00)

Sami Khedira is Engaged

Khedira’s engagement is no secret, not after he testily informed a reporter that Lena Gercke is "not my girlfriend, but my fiancée" over the summer. But it is best, in situations like this, to wait for the lady to confirm important developments.

Ms Gercke, among other things, is a moderator on Red and confirmed it during the broadcast last week.

Congratulations to Sami and best of luck and much happiness to the lady.

Arbeloa Takes A Training Session

Children from a school for kids with disabilities visited Valdebebas two days ago to get a lesson in football from a very enthusiastic Álvaro Arbeloa. Many of the kids, judging from the footage, wanted to know how to take a free kick the way Cristiano Ronaldo does!

Arbeloa spent part of the session in goal. A future career in that position does not, apparently, beckon.

The visit was planned because of Real Madrid’s collaboration with the Down’s Syndrome Society. The kids had a blast. Arbeloa had a blast. A happy afternoon all around!


Nuri Sahin is Interviewed

Sahin reveals his wonderful relationship with José Mourinho in an interview with Marca and puts to bed some of the unkind rumours of Mourinho freezing him out of the squad. Managing Madrid’s writer Pedrito89 has very kindly provided the following translation of a portion of the interview -

Mourinho and I spoke in preseason after the first week of training. I told him that I wanted to go on loan one year to play with more frequency and that it was the best way for me to recover my form. He told me that I did not have to leave, that he wanted me, but that I'd have to wait for my opportunity within the team to play more. I told him that one year on loan would do me well and that I'd come back stronger. He understood, accepted my decision and helped me.

What are his disappointments?

I arrived in Madrid as the Bundesliga’s best player so there were expectations...but then I was injured...I have to go back to being the Bundesliga’s best player...

His time in Madrid, Sahin says, was productive ("because a year at Madrid can never be wasted") He also helpfully stated the obvious for anyone who hasn’t realized it yet -

Cristiano Ronaldo is the best player in the world.

Sahin has had an eventful season. First at Madrid, then a deeply unhappy stint at Liverpool, and now at Borussia Dortmund against Real Madrid in the Champions League. There is no clause in his contract prohibiting him from playing against the club that owns his contract.

Link to the interview

Michael Essien Joins Twitter!

At long last, Michael Essien has finally joined Twitter! He can be followed @MichaelEssien

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