The Daily Merengue is a place where you can feel free to discuss all things football. Do not be alarmed by the overt RMCF bias. It’s in the name!
Shoutout to the mods who do a fantastic job, Valyrian Steel, Felipejack, Juninho, NeRObutBlanco and yours truly, Kung_Fu_Zizou
The International Break Is Over
Captain F15 gets W over the Selecao
FT: Uruguay 2 - 0 Brazil— Madrid Xtra (@MadridXtra) October 18, 2023
• Fede Valverde played the full game.
• Viní Jr played 84 minutes.
• Rodrygo played the full game. pic.twitter.com/2b0kYgluys
Bellingham qualifies for Euro24
FT: England 3-1 Italy— Madrid Xtra (@MadridXtra) October 17, 2023
Jude Bellingham played 87 minutes, won a penalty and registered an assist. pic.twitter.com/vyKIDQl1Rl
This edition takes a look at the strong men and the tacklers. Every decent side needs enforcers. Without enforcers you open yourself up to being runover by a highly motivated opposition.
Here are some of my favourite Real Madrid hard men of the 21st century
Fernando Hierro - Man of Steel
Before Ramos, it was Fernando Hierro scoring goals from CB and leaving a mark on opponents in his defensive 3rd.
Legend. Fiery. Steely and prolific. A versatile player with technical ability not always associated with CBs. Hierro was a precursor to Ramos in many ways. If you ever want to know what kind of profile a Real Madrid CB needs to have. Hierro and Sergio Ramos are the template.
If Real Madrid wanted a man to replace Hierro they couldn’t have chosen a better player than Sergio Ramos.
A legendary captain. Ramos arrived as a teenager. Forged a reputation for never pulling out of a challenge and went on to mark one of the most successful periods in the club’s history. Fiery. Steely and prolific.
Before Casemiro, there was Claude. He was so good they named the role after him. A master tactician.
One of the cardinal sins of Fiorentino’s first term as president. Makelele’s departure would haunt Real Madrid for almost a whole decade until Mourinho took them to the semifinals of the champions league in 2011.
Heir to the throne. More than a decade later, he carried the torch after Claude Makelele under the lights of the Bernabeu.
Casemiro announced himself properly in El clasico where under the tutelage of Zidane, he did what nobody expected and shutdown Lionel Messi. It was unusual for a defensive midfielder to get the better of Lionel Messi but Casemiro put that to bed.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
Isco tells part of his story. It’s always refreshing to hear players accept responsibility in a world where money, fame and fans could easily lead to players playing victim endlessly. It also shows the healthy competitive nature of the Bernabeu dressing room.
Isco: "I was at Real Madrid for many years, I was very happy. Things happened with managers, no matter what I did I wasn't going to play. I lacked being mentally prepared, there were moments when instead of giving a little more I broke down." pic.twitter.com/UH7ZVm4OwJ— Madrid Xtra (@MadridXtra) October 18, 2023
What’s more telling is that he felt he wasn’t going to play no matter what he did but still admits to himself that he let himself down. It’s a healthy mindset to accept what you can control and not dwell on what you could not control. I think it also helps that Isco had a life away from football. It’s an underrated aspect of player’s lives.
Release Clauses and Caps
If every player had a minimum release clause of €150m after 4 years or €200m after 3 years if he has not renewed with the club. Obviously the clause could only be activated if the player wants to leave. He can always renew with the same club.
This would make it easier for players and clubs. Clubs would be guaranteed a minimum compensation and players would be able to guarantee themselves an exit. It would also mean, nobody’s likely to be paying €350m. Just a thought
The Daily Poll
This poll is closed
No. Where would he play?
Yes. We can never have too many good players
We already have Nico Paz
Endrick as the number 9 for 2023/24
This poll is closed
Madness. It will be a disaster
Trust Juni. He knows what he’s doing
Fine. As long as we keep Joselu