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Open Thread: July 2, 2021

Our Friday issue of the Daily Merengue!


The Open Thread/Daily Merengue is a place where you can discuss anything and everything related to football. Feel free to discuss the topics presented here, or start your very own discussions! The Open thread will be posted every day by one of the mods: Valyrian Steel, Felipejack, YoSnail, Ezek Ix or NeRObutBlanco.

It’s the Euro quarterfinals!

Spain vs Switzerland at 12PM EST / 6PM CET. Location: Krestovsky Stadium, St. Petersburg, Russia

Btw, Morata says he knows why he is booed by fans:

Belgium vs Italy at 3PM CET / 9PM CET Location: Allianz Arena, Munich, Germany

Assorted Madrid news

Real Madrid’s non-spending

What will happen with Bale to be discussed

Sergio won’t be gesturing to Neymar to get up anytime soon

Benzema had a big hand in Lloris’ penalty save

A Madridista noticed Florentino Perez on the street

The RM Arab Peñas Federation has been launched

Today’s excerpt from Steven Mandis’ The Real Madrid Way

Typically it takes some time for a new player to absorb and appreciate the expectations of the Real Madrid community. According to the coaches, from the beginning, Ronaldo has always been an incredibly hard worker and practices and trains with as much intensity as he plays in a game. All the coaches talk about how he sets a marvelous example and has an incredible winning mentality. His sculpted body is a visible reminder to teammates and community members of his dedication and commitment.

Cristiano Ronaldo practices in three key areas: tactical (awareness, understanding, decision making and goal-scoring scenarios) physical (speed, strength, stamina and agility), and technical (the basics, passing, shooting, moves, turns and other skills to dominate one on one). He is constantly working on one-touch and two-touch plays (with many repetitions at a time), plus the moves to become unpredictable and therefore very hard to defend against. He spends time in the video room studying the tendencies of other players. The coaches add that Ronaldo has the “personality,” winning mentality, and attitude.

The coaches pointed out that what goes unnoticed on the field is how he has adjusted his game to increase the effectiveness of the team as a whole. He has learned to create space and use the physicality he has added to his body and game to give his teammates more opportunities. The coaches described how he made slight adjustments to help the overall team when Bale joined. All the players said he was a great teammate and knew when and how to diffuse the pressure with a good sense of humor or unite the team with playful rituals (for example, Ronaldo’s and the team’s war cry is “Siiiiii”). Although he is known for scoring goals, he also quietly assists and sets up his teammates, enabling them to score. In 2014-2015, he was Real Madrid’s top assist provider with twenty-two in fifty-four appearances. Even without the ball, Ronaldo helps the team. The coaches pointed to the extra possessions Ronaldo creates for his team with his speed and intensity by pressuring goalies or defensive players to make quick, long passes that are often unsuccessful.

Mandis, Steven G. “The Real Madrid Way: How Values Created the Most Successful Sports Team on the Planet.” Page 178. Dallas, Texas: BenBella Books Inc., 2016.

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