June 28, 2009

Cristiano Ronaldo signs Real Madrid for 6 years

cristiano ronaldo training

Cristiano Ronaldo agreed on a six- year deal with Real Madrid, completing his record 80 million pound ($132 million) move from Manchester United, the team said on its Web site.

Ronaldo is on vacation and the sale is to be completed July 1, the team said. He will be at the Santiago Bernabeu on July 6.

Manchester United of England’s Premier League accepted the record transfer fee for Ronaldo on June 10. The Spanish newspaper Marca said yesterday that Ronaldo will earn a salary of 13 million euros ($18.2 million), the highest for any soccer player.

June 27, 2009

Happy Birthday El Capitano Raul Gonzalez

Happy birthday captain!

Today, 27 June 2008, Raúl González Blanco celebrates his 32'nd birthday .
Raúl has scored 317 official goals for Real Madrid and is shy of breaking the 307 mark set by Alfredo di Stéfano, Raúl is a charismatic player who possesses the traits that every footballer desires: physique, leadership, devotion, sportsmanship, and commitment. Happy birthday captain!

We all Real Madrid Fans love you Raul Gonzalez

Club career

Raúl ironically began his career with Real Madrid's cross-town rivals Atlético Madrid, the club his father supported. After then chairmain Jesús Gil decided to close down the youth set-up, and the striker moved to the Real Madrid youth academy.

Widely seen as one of the best forwards of all time, Raúl has spent his entire club career with Madrid, with whom he has won six Spanish league titles. He began the 1994-95 season in Madrid's C-team, but after a flurry of sixteen goals in seven games, he was promoted to first team status by coach Jorge Valdano. He became the youngest player (seventeen years and four months) ever to play for the senior side, scoring in his second senior game against Atletico Madrid. In all, Raúl registered nine goals in 28 appearances to help Real Madrid win the 1994-95 league championship in his first season. Over the next eight seasons, he won several honours, including another three La Liga titles and three Champions Leagues. For most of this time, Raúl struck up a prolific scoring partnership with Fernando Morientes (and later, Ronaldo). Raúl took over the captaincy of Real Madrid when Fernando Hierro departed in 2003, a responsibility he holds to this day. Unusually for such a successful and long-serving player, and despite appearing in two finals, 2002 (in which he scored) and 2004, Raúl has never won the Copa del Rey (Spanish Cup).

He became the first player to score fifty Champions League goals when he netted in a 2-1 group stage win over Olympiacos on 28 September 2005, and continues to be the all-time leader in both Champions League goals (40) and appearances (123). He was also the first player to score in two Champions League finals, netting in the finals of both 2000 vs. Valencia in Paris, and 2002 vs. Bayer Leverkusen in Glasgow. Samuel Eto'o later accomplished this feat, scoring in the 2006 final against Arsenal and in 2009 against Manchester United.

Raúl holds the distinction of having never received a red card throughout his 14 years at the professional level. Earlier this season, on 11 November 2008, Raúl scored his 270th goal for Real Madrid with a hat-trick against Real Union, with Real winning the game 4-3 but being eliminated on away goals after drawing 6-6 on aggregate. He has scored 270 career goals for Real Madrid, breaking the long-standing club record of Alfredo di Stéfano with a volleyed goal vs. Sporting Gijon on 15 February 2009. He is also the top active La Liga goalscorer with 223 of his 270 goals scored in La Liga matches, and is presently 5th on the all-time list, which is headed by Telmo Zarra with 251 goals. Raúl holds the record of all-time top La Liga scorer for Real Madrid with 223, a record previously held by Alfredo di Stéfano who scored 216 out of an overall La Liga tally of 227 in a Real Madrid shirt, for whom he played between 1953 and 1964.

On 14 February 2009, Raúl and fellow long-serving teammate Iker Casillas were both awarded a 'contract for life' in 2008 - the terms of which stipulate that it will be renewed annually for as long as they play 30 games per season.

International career

Raúl began his rise in the international scene with the youth teams and was chosen to represent Spain at the 1995 FIFA World Youth Championship, scoring 2 goals. He has scored a national record 44 goals in 102 caps for Spain. He is also second in terms of caps won for Spain, with 102. The former captain has made more international appearances for Spain than any other outfield player. Raúl was not chosen for Euro 1996 and had to wait until October 1996 to earn his first senior cap against the Czech Republic. He participated in three World Cups from 1998 to 2006, along with Euro 2000 and Euro 2004, scoring at least one goal in each of the three World Cup competitions. Raúl took over the team captaincy following the retirement of Fernando Hierro in 2002, but has not been chosen for the national team since September 2006, following a shock 3-2 defeat against Northern Ireland in Belfast (a game in which Raúl hit the post late on).

Of his 44 international goals, Raúl scored 25 goals in competitive games, 6 of which were in the finals of major tournaments. In a Euro 2000 qualifier, on 27 March 1999, Raúl scored one of only two international hat-tricks during Spain's 9-0 rout of Austria. Interestingly, his only other international hat-trick was scored 4 days later, against San Marino during the same qualifying tournament. Raúl is widely remembered, however, for a last-minute missed penalty in the quarter final of Euro 2000, when a goal would have forced extra-time against the eventual champions, France.

Raúl played his last game against Northern Ireland in the Euro 2008 qualifiers, which Spain lost 3-2. However, he was not selected for the actual tournament (which Spain eventually won) as Luis Aragonés preferred Fernando Torres and David Villa. His clubmate and goalkeeper Casillas succeeded him as captain.

He is still available for a call up, since he has yet to formally announce his international retirement. In late 2008, Spanish coach Vicente del Bosque stated that there is still a chance Raúl could be called into the national side once again. However, del Bosque did not choose him for the squad to play in the Confederations Cup in South Africa.

Personal life

For many years, Raúl's goal celebration has consisted of kissing his wedding ring as an acknowledgment to his wife, Spanish model Mamen Sanz, with whom he has four sons and is pregnant with the fifth: Jorge, named after Jorge Valdano; Hugo, named after Raúl's childhood hero, another Real Madrid legend Hugo Sánchez; and twins Héctor (after Héctor Rial) and Mateo, named after German footballer Lothar Matthäus. He enjoys reading, especially the books of Arturo Pérez Reverte, listening to Spanish music, as well as hunting.



  • Flag of Spain Real Madrid
    • 6 La Liga titles: 1994-95, 1996-97, 2000-01, 2002-03, 2006-07, 2007–08
    • 4 Spanish Super Cup titles: 1997, 2001, 2003, 2008
    • 3 UEFA Champions League titles: 1997–98, 1999–00, 2001–02
    • 1 UEFA Super Cup title: 2002
    • 2 Intercontinental Cup titles: 1998, 2002
    • All time top scorer with 316 goals


  • Flag of Spain Spain
    • All time top scorer: 44 goals


  • Premio Don Balón (Young Player in La Liga): 1994-95
  • IFFHS World Goalgetter: 1999
  • Euro 2000 Team of the Tournament
  • ESM Team of the Year: 1996-97, 1998-99, 1999-00
  • Pichichi Trophy: 1999, 2001
  • UEFA Champions League Top Scorer: 1999-00, 2000-01
  • FIFA World Player of the Year Bronze Award: 2001
  • European Footballer of the Year Silver Award: 2001
  • UEFA Club Football Awards, Best Forward: 2000, 2001, 2002
  • Best Spanish player in La Liga: 1996-97, 1998-99, 1999-00, 2000-01, 2001-02
  • FIFA 100
  • Trofeo Alfredo Di Stéfano: 2008
  • Madrid Gold Medal: 2009


  • Royal Order Gold Medal for Sports Merit: 2006


Club goals

Last update: 26 April 2009.

Club performance League Cup Continental Total
Season Club League Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Spain League Copa del Rey Europe Total
1994-95 Real Madrid Primera División 28 9 2 1 - 30 10
1995-96 40 19 2 1 8 6 50 26
1996-97 42 21 5 1 - 47 22
1997-98 35 10 1 0 12 2 48 12
1998-99 37 25 2 0 8 3 47 28
1999-00 34 17 4 0 16 11 54 28
2000-01 36 24 0 0 12 7 48 31
2001-02 35 14 6 6 13 6 54 26
2002-03 31 16 2 0 12 9 45 25
2003-04 35 11 7 6 9 2 51 19
2004-05 32 9 1 0 10 4 43 13
2005-06 27 5 0 0 6 2 33 7
2006-07 35 7 1 0 7 5 43 12
2007-08 37 18 1 0 8 5 46 23
2008-09 37 18 1 3 7 3 45 24
Career total 521 223 35 18 128 65 684 + 221 306 + 111

1Includes app & goals in Copa Intercontinental, FIFA Club World Cup & UEFA and Spanish Super Cups.

Competition statistics

  • Spanish League : 521 appearances 223 goals
  • UEFA Champions League : 128 appearances 65 goals
  • Copa Intercontinental : 3 appearances 1 goal
  • Copa del Rey : 35 appearances 18 goals
  • Spanish Supercup : 12 appearances 7 goals
  • UEFA Supercup : 3 appearances 1 goal
  • FIFA Club World Cup : 4 appearances 2 goals
  • FIFA World Cup : 11 appearances 5 goals
  • UEFA European Championship : 7 appearances 1 goal

International goals

Raúl González Blanco: International goals
# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition

1 1996-12-14 Estadio Mestalla, Valencia, Spain Yugoslavia 2-0 2-0 1998 World Cup qualificaion
2 1998-03-25 Estadio Balaídos, Vigo, Spain Sweden 3-0 4-0 Friendly
3 1998-06-13 Stade de la Beaujoire, Nantes, France Nigeria 2-1 2-3 1998 FIFA World Cup
4 1998-09-05 Tsirion Stadium, Limassol, Cyprus Cyprus 2-1 3-2 UEFA Euro 2000 qualifying
5 1998-11-18 Stadio Arechi, Salerno, Italy Italy 2-2 2-2 Friendly
6 1999-03-27 Estadio Mestalla, Valencia, Spain Austria 1-0 9-0 UEFA Euro 2000 qualifying
7 1999-03-27 Estadio Mestalla, Valencia, Spain Austria 2-0 9-0 UEFA Euro 2000 qualifying
8 1999-03-27 Estadio Mestalla, Valencia, Spain Austria 5-0 9-0 UEFA Euro 2000 qualifying
9 1999-03-27 Estadio Mestalla, Valencia, Spain Austria 8-0 9-0 UEFA Euro 2000 qualifying
10 1999-03-31 Stadio Olimpico, Serravalle, San Marino San Marino 0-2 0-6 UEFA Euro 2000 qualifying
11 1999-03-31 Stadio Olimpico, Serravalle, San Marino San Marino 0-4 0-6 UEFA Euro 2000 qualifying
12 1999-03-31 Stadio Olimpico, Serravalle, San Marino San Marino 0-5 0-6 UEFA Euro 2000 qualifying
13 1999-06-05 Estadio El Madrigal, Villarreal, Spain San Marino 5-0 9-0 UEFA Euro 2000 qualifying
14 1999-09-04 Ernst Happel Stadion, Wien, Austria Austria 0-1 1-3 UEFA Euro 2000 qualifying
15 1999-10-10 Estadio Carlos Belmonte, Albacete, Spain Israel 3-0 3-0 UEFA Euro 2000 qualifying
16 2000-01-26 Estadio Cartagonova, Cartagena, Spain Poland 1-0 3-0 Friendly match
17 2000-06-18 Amsterdam ArenA, Amsterdam, Netherlands Slovenia 1-0 2-1 UEFA Euro 2000
18 2000-08-16 Niedersachsenstadion, Hannover, Germany Germany 4-1 4-1 Friendly match
19 2001-03-24 Estadio José Rico Pérez, Alicante, Spain Liechtenstein 4-1 5-0 2002 World Cup Qualifier
20 2001-06-02 Estadio Carlos Tartiere, Oviedo, Spain Bosnia and Herzegovina 3-1 4-1 2002 World Cup Qualifier
21 2001-06-06 Ramat Gan Stadium, Tel-Aviv, Israel Israel 1-1 1-1 2002 World Cup Qualifier
22 2001-09-05 Rheinpark Stadion, Vaduz, Liechtenstein Liechtenstein 0-1 0-2 2002 World Cup Qualifier
23 2001-11-14 Estadio Nuevo Colombino, Huelva, Spain Mexico 1-0 1-0 Friendly match
24 2002-04-17 Windsor Park, Belfast, Northern Ireland Northern Ireland 0-1 0-5 Friendly match
25 2002-04-17 Windsor Park, Belfast, Northern Ireland Northern Ireland 0-3 0-5 Friendly match
26 2002-06-02 Gwangju Stadium, Gwangju, South Korea Slovenia 1-0 3-1 2002 FIFA World Cup
27 2002-06-12 Daejeon Stadium, Daejeon, South Korea South Africa 1-0 3-2 2002 FIFA World Cup
28 2002-06-12 Daejeon Stadium, Daejeon, South Korea South Africa 3-2 3-2 2002 FIFA World Cup
29 2002-09-07 Apostolos Nikolaidis Stadium, Athens, Greece Greece 0-1 0-2 UEFA Euro 2004 qualifying
30 2003-02-12 ONO Estadi, Palma de Mallorca, Spain Germany 1-0 3-1 Friendly match
31 2003-02-12 ONO Estadi, Palma de Mallorca, Spain Germany 2-1 3-1 Friendly match
32 2003-03-29 Olympic Stadium, Kiev, Ukraine Ukraine 1-1 2-2 UEFA Euro 2004 qualifying
33 2003-09-10 Estadio Martinez Valero, Elche, Spain Ukraine 1-0 2-1 UEFA Euro 2004 qualifying
34 2003-09-10 Estadio Martinez Valero, Elche, Spain Ukraine 2-0 2-1 UEFA Euro 2004 qualifying
35 2003-10-11 Hanrapetakan Stadium, Yerevan, Armenia Armenia 0-2 0-4 UEFA Euro 2004 qualifying
36 2003-11-15 Estadio Mestalla, Valencia, Spain Norway 1-1 2-1 UEFA Euro 2004 qualifying - Play-offs
37 2003-11-19 Ullevaal Stadion, Oslo, Norway Norway 0-1 0-3 UEFA Euro 2004 qualifying - Play-offs
38 2004-03-31 El Molinón, Gijón, Spain Denmark 2-0 2-0 Friendly match
39 2004-09-03 Estadio Mestalla, Valencia, Spain Scotland 1-1 1-1 Friendly match
40 2004-10-09 Estadio El Sardinero, Santander, Spain Belgium 2-0 2-0 2006 World Cup Qualifier
41 2005-02-09 Estadio de los Juegos Mediterráneos, Almería, Spain San Marino 3-0 5-0 2006 World Cup Qualifier
42 2005-09-07 Santiago Bernabéu Stadium, Madrid, Spain Serbia and Montenegro 1-0 1-1 2006 World Cup Qualifier
43 2006-06-03 Estadio Martinez Valero, Elche, Spain Egypt 1-0 2-0 Friendly match
44 2006-06-19 Gottlieb-Daimler-Stadion, Stuttgart, Germany Tunisia 1-1 3-1 2006 FIFA World Cup

Valdano: Real Madrid Giving Up On David Villa, New Target is Benzema

Real Madrid director-general Jorge Valdano has continued to stress that his club are no longer pursuing the signature of Valencia striker David Villa.

He did confirm, however, that Los Blancos are now interested in Lyon’s Karim Benzema, although he admitted that it would be equally difficult to prise the young France striker away from the Stade Gerland.

Valencia have ruled out selling him [Villa]. When he was put on the transfer list, it was a well known fact that we tried hard to bid for him. But when Valencia changed their plans, we had to pull out with great disappointment because he was an objective of ours,” Valdano told reporters during the launch of a new book by Jose Manuel Otero Lastres, a former Madrid director during Florentino Perez’s first spell.

“Karim Benzema is one of the possible objectives of our club. But we are not going to make any speculations because the signings only become a reality when negotiations are resolved,” he added.

Bringing in a number of superstar signings isn’t Valdano’s only main problem. He also has to talk some of the unwanted players in the current squad into leaving, and he has reservations about fully clearing out those who are surplus to requirements.

“The club know what has to be done. Now, all we need is to find buyers and convince the players who, logically, do not want to leave,” he explained.

“To buy and sell simultaneously is a problem and the time will come when the problem will become substantial because there’s only two and a half months before the league campaign kicks-off.”

Valdano concluded his appearance on a more positive note as he spoke about Los Merengues’ latest acquisition, Raul Albiol.

“He will strengthen an area where he have had some problems,” he said. “We are also happy with the signing because he is a Spanish player, the second one we’ve made already after [Alvaro] Negredo. We are very pleased to have him.”

June 25, 2009

Fabregas to Real Madrid

Francesc Fabregas

The Mill knows what it means to have loved and lost, how it feels when something happens on the way to heaven and against all odds two hearts are suddenly living separate lives. And not just from studying intently the alphabetised list of its collection of original 7-inch Phil Collins singles - mainly the Mill has learnt all it knows most surely about the mysteries of the heart by wallowing in the pages of the tabloid press.

So, when we read in this morning's Sun that Cesc Fábregas thinks Arsenal are "IMPOTENT" (note: not "important") and that he's finding himself increasingly drawn to irresistible, silicone-enhanced, puts-it-about-all-over-the-shop harlot Real Madrid, the Mill fears this is only going one way. How long before Cesc is talking wearily about Arsène Wenger's "walnut manhood", uploading scurrilities about Emanuel Eboué's lack of recent success as a pop-reggae act on his Twitter feed, and being papped cavorting on a boat somewhere hot rubbing Ambre Solaire into his pendulous, over-sized udders?

Hopefully, quite long. But still, saying things like "of course my family would understand if I signed for Real Madrid because they love me" is hardly likely to discourage a summer of soul-destroying back-and-forths, is it?