Thursday, January 21, 2010

Barça dominate Team of the Year

More than 4m votes were cast to produce the 2009 users` Team of the Year (©UEFA)
Daniel Alves, Carles Puyol, Xavi Hernández, Lionel Messi and Zlatan Ibrahimović are all in the Team of the Year, as is Andrés Iniesta
Kaka and Cristiano Ronaldo
John Terry
Patrice Evra

The users' Team of the Year 2009 has been announced, with players from all-conquering European champions FC Barcelona dominating the selection.

Four million votes
More than 4m votes were cast by 320,000 users (a 30% increase on last year), and the resulting dream team features five members of the Barça side that conquered Europe last season, plus another who has joined since. Daniel Alves and Carles Puyol line up at the back, with Xavi Hernández and Andrés Iniesta in midfield behind a front pairing of Lionel Messi and summer signing Zlatan Ibrahimović. For good measure, the man who enjoyed such a memorable debut campaign at the Blaugrana helm, Josep Guardiola, oversees this talented blend.

Spanish flavour
The Spanish flavour continues with Iker Casillas named goalkeeper for the third successive season and Real Madrid CF team-mates Cristiano Ronaldo and Kaká are deployed in an attack-minded midfield. The Liga monopoly is broken by a pair of English-based players. Manchester United FC's Patrice Evra is at left-back and Team of the Year mainstay John Terry, of Chelsea FC, partners captain Puyol at the heart of the defence. UEFA will present a cheque for €100,000 to one member of the team, to be donated to the International Committee of the Red Cross.

Click here to see the star selection and to have your say. users' Team of the Year 2009:
Iker Casillas (Real Madrid CF & Spain); Daniel Alves (FC Barcelona), John Terry (Chelsea FC & England), Carles Puyol (FC Barcelona & Spain), Patrice Evra (Manchester United FC & France); Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United FC/Real Madrid CF & Portugal), Xavi Hernández (FC Barcelona & Spain), Kaká (AC Milan/Real Madrid CF), Andrés Iniesta (FC Barcelona & Spain); Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona), Zlatan Ibrahimović (FC Internazionale Milano/FC Barcelona & Sweden). Josep Guardiola (FC Barcelona) users' Team of the Year 2008:
Iker Casillas (Real Madrid CF & Spain); Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid CF & Spain), John Terry (Chelsea FC & England), Carles Puyol (FC Barcelona & Spain), Philipp Lahm (FC Bayern München & Germany); Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United FC & Portugal), Xavi Hernández (FC Barcelona & Spain), Cesc Fàbregas (Arsenal FC & Spain), Franck Ribéry (FC Bayern München & France); Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona), Fernando Torres (Liverpool FC & Spain). Sir Alex Ferguson (Manchester United FC) users' Team of the Year 2007:
Iker Casillas (Real Madrid CF & Spain); Daniel Alves (Sevilla FC), Alessandro Nesta (AC Milan & Italy), John Terry (Chelsea FC & England), Eric Abidal (Olympique Lyonnais/FC Barcelona & France); Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United FC & Portugal), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool FC & England), Kaká (AC Milan), Clarence Seedorf (AC Milan & Netherlands); Zlatan Ibrahimović (FC Internazionale Milano & Sweden), Didier Drogba (Chelsea FC). Sir Alex Ferguson (Manchester United FC) users' Team of the Year 2006:
Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus & Italy); Gianluca Zambrotta (FC Barcelona & Italy), Fabio Cannavaro (Real Madrid CF & Italy), Carles Puyol (FC Barcelona & Spain), Philipp Lahm (FC Bayern München & Germany); Steven Gerrard (Liverpool FC & England), Cesc Fàbregas (Arsenal FC & Spain), Kaká (AC Milan), Ronaldinho (FC Barcelona); Thierry Henry (Arsenal FC & France), Samuel Eto'o (FC Barcelona). Frank Rijkaard (FC Barcelona) users' Team of the Year 2005:
Petr Čech (Chelsea FC & Czech Republic); Cafu (AC Milan), John Terry (Chelsea FC & England), Carles Puyol (FC Barcelona & Spain), Paolo Maldini (AC Milan); Luis García (Liverpool FC & Spain), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool FC & England), Ronaldinho (FC Barcelona), Pavel Nedvěd (Juventus & Czech Republic); Samuel Eto'o (FC Barcelona), Andriy Shevchenko (AC Milan & Ukraine). José Mourinho (Chelsea FC) users' Team of the Year 2004:
Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus & Italy); Cafu (AC Milan), Ricardo Carvalho (Chelsea FC & Portugal), Alessandro Nesta (AC Milan & Italy), Ashley Cole (Arsenal FC & England); Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United FC & Portugal), Maniche (FC Porto & Portugal), Ronaldinho (FC Barcelona), Pavel Nedvěd (Juventus & Czech Republic); Thierry Henry (Arsenal FC & France), Andriy Shevchenko (AC Milan & Ukraine). José Mourinho (Chelsea FC) users' Team of the Year 2003:
Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus & Italy); Paulo Ferreira (FC Porto & Portugal), Alessandro Nesta (AC Milan & Italy), Paolo Maldini (AC Milan), Roberto Carlos (Real Madrid CF); Luís Figo (Real Madrid CF & Portugal), David Beckham (Real Madrid CF & England), Zinédine Zidane (Real Madrid CF & France), Pavel Nedvěd (Juventus & Czech Republic); Thierry Henry (Arsenal FC & France), Ruud van Nistelrooy (Manchester United FC & Netherlands). José Mourinho (FC Porto) users' Team of the Year 2002:
Rüstu Reçber (Fenerbahçe SK & Turkey); Carles Puyol (FC Barcelona & Spain), Alessandro Nesta (AC Milan & Italy), Cristian Chivu (AFC Ajax & Romania), Roberto Carlos (Real Madrid CF); Clarence Seedorf (AC Milan & Netherlands), Michael Ballack (FC Bayern München & Germany), Zinédine Zidane (Real Madrid CF & France), Damien Duff (Blackburn Rovers FC & Republic of Ireland); Thierry Henry (Arsenal FC & France), Ronaldo (Real Madrid CF). Senol Günes (Turkey) users' Team of 2001:
Santiago Cañizares (Valencia CF & Spain), Cosmin Contra (Deportivo Alavés & Romania), Sami Hyypiä (Liverpool FC & Finland), Patrik Andersson (FC Barcelona & Sweden), Bixente Lizarazu (FC Bayern München & France); David Beckham (Manchester United FC & England), Patrick Vieira (Arsenal FC & France), Zinédine Zidane (Real Madrid CF & France), Kily González (Valencia CF); Thierry Henry (Arsenal FC & France), David Trezeguet (Juventus & France). Gérard Houllier (Liverpool FC)

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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Perfect night for leaders Barça

FC Barcelona assumed a five-point lead at the Liga summit with a 4-0 victory over their Copa del Rey conquerors Sevilla FC that followed a 1-0 defeat at Athletic Club for nearest rivals Real Madrid CF.

Revenge exacted
The titleholders had a score to settle with Sevilla after being knocked out of the cup on away goals by their fellow UEFA Champions League contenders in midweek. They required the intervention of Julien Escudé's 49th-minute own goal to get their noses in front but doubled their advantage with 20 minutes remaining courtesy of Pedro Rodríguez's cool chip. Lionel Messi (85, 90+1) then added further gloss, ensuring his side recorded their 14th win in what remains an unbeaten Liga campaign for the Azulgrana.

Early clincher
Victory for Josep Guardiola's team salted Madrid's wounds after they slipped up earlier in the evening. Los Merengues, unbeaten in the league since a 1-0 loss at Barça in November, were undone in just the third minute, UEFA Europa League group stage top scorer Fernando Llorente heading in Francisco Yeste's deflected corner from close range. Athletic climb to seventh with the win but had their night marred in the fifth minute of added time when Carlos Gurpegi was sent off. CA Osasuna are 12th after beating RCD Espanyol 2-0 in the day's other game, Juanfran's low drive and Walter Pandiani's back-post header securing victory inside the opening nine minutes.

© 1998-2010. All rights reserved.

Mixed news for Madrid

Real Madrid CF have been dealt a blow with news that in-form striker Gonzalo Higuaín will be out of action for the next three weeks having torn a thigh muscle but there is better news about Kaká.

Liga absence
Higuaín – who has struck 13 goals in 19 appearances in the Liga and UEFA Champions League this term – scored Madrid's opener in last Sunday's 2-0 win against RCD Mallorca but was replaced in the second half and subsequently complained of pain in his left leg. With a scan revealing a small muscle tear, the 22-year-old is now set to miss the January league encounters with Athletic Club, Málaga CF and RC Deportivo La Coruña but should be back when Madrid face Olympique Lyonnais in the UEFA Champions League first knockout round on 16 February and 10 March.

Kaká boost
Higuaín's team-mate Kaká is fully fit having struggled with a persistent groin problem for the last few months. The Brazilian returned to action at the weekend for the first time since 29 November and is now looking forward to realising his full potential at Madrid, explaining: "I went through the past seven months playing with this problem; sometimes it got better and sometimes worse but at times it limited how I could play. I stopped everything for the past 42 days and I don't feel soreness any more. Now I'm ready to do the things that everyone is expecting of me."

Higuaín unveils 2010 master plan

Gonzalo Higuaín arrived at Real Madrid CF in 2007 as a promising young attacker with a mere 35 league games for Argentina's CA River Plate under his belt. Without huge fanfare but thanks to a lot of hard work and humility, the player known as 'El Pipita' has since made a name for himself as one of the Liga's most prolific marksmen. The 22-year-old was Los Merengues' top scorer with 22 goals in 2008/09 and has real grounds for optimism in 2010, having already netted eleven times in the top flight this term as well as marking his Argentina debut with a goal. He talks to about a memorable last 12 months and his hopes for the coming year. What was your favourite sporting moment in 2009?

Gonzalo Higuaín: I couldn't say there was just one. making my debut for Argentina, for example, was something very important for me. There was also the achievement of qualifying for the World Cup. I was thrilled to finish as Madrid's top scorer last season, and it's fantastic to see the team growing step by step this term. How would you define yourself as a player and a person?

Higuaín: I always say the same when asked this question: it's other people who have to express their opinion about me. I leave commenting on these things to everyone else. I'm quite a humble person but one who will never throw in the towel no matter what the circumstances. I think I'm a good professional. Was the game last season when you hit four goals in the same match against Málaga CF the best of your career to date?

Higuaín: I felt immense happiness. When that happened I thought about my family, my friends and everybody by my side. Furthermore, I was delighted for everyone who came to the Santiago Bernabéu: it was a game in which we'd had to come from behind several times. I hope all the games in which I play will be the best of my career. Having said that, I think that the best is yet to come. If Madrid reach the UEFA Champions League final at the Santiago Bernabéu, which team would you most like to face?

Higuaín: Honestly, I wouldn't care who we came up against. The only thing I care about is that Real Madrid reaches that final. When you won your first Liga title in 2007, you scored a goal in the dying seconds against RCD Espanyol that clinched a crucial 4-3 victory. Have you dreamt about scoring in similar circumstances to earn Madrid a tenth European Champion Clubs' Cup?

Higuaín: That moment against Espanyol represented one of the best moments of my life. Of course I've dreamt of doing something similar next May in the final; it would be truly beautiful. Given your success in the Liga, would it be a bittersweet experience to face Spain in the FIFA World Cup final this summer and hit the winner?

Higuaín: First and foremost I'm a professional and I'm going to defend my country and my shirt. Spain is a country I love very much, but I would certainly celebrate scoring. Would you like to finish your career at Madrid? If you do leave the Santiago Bernabéu one day, how would you like the fans to remember you?

Higuaín: It would be beautiful if I could finish my career here. Real Madrid and this city are like my second home. I would like the fans here to remember me as a player who worked very hard and who was also humble. When you help to win a title, you are normally remembered. Finally, what are your hopes for 2010?

Higuaín: To win the UEFA Champions League and the Liga with Real Madrid. I also want to compete at the World Cup and to win it. I'd ask for health, hard work and happiness. I would also like to tell the users of that I wish them all a happy year ahead and the best of everything.

© 1998-2010. All rights reserved.

Lyon hoping things happen in threes

Olympique Lyonnais will look to complete a hat-trick of home victories against Real Madrid CF when the teams contest the opening leg of their first knockout round tie at the Stade de Gerland.

• Lyon beat Madrid on the last two occasions the clubs met in France although the Spanish giants are unbeaten away in this season's UEFA Champions League, including a victory at Olympique de Marseille on their last outing.

• The return of former Lyon favourite Karim Benzema, who left his hometown club for Madrid last summer, provides an intriguing subplot to a contest that pits together the respective coaches, Claude Puel and Manuel Pellegrini, for the second time on the UEFA Champions League stage.

Previous meetings
• The clubs first met in the 2005/06 UEFA Champions League group stage when Lyon defeated Madrid 3-0 at the Stade de Gerland through first-half goals from John Carew, Juninho Pernambucano and Sylvain Wiltord. The return in Madrid finished 1-1.

• The lineups in Lyon on 13 September 2005 were:
Lyon: Coupet, Réveillère, Cris, Caçapa, Berthod, Tiago (Pedretti 86), Diarra, Juninho, Wiltord (Govou 80), Carew (Fred 72), Malouda.
Madrid: Casillas, Salgado, Ramos, Helguera, Roberto Carlos, Beckham, Gravesen (Guti 61), Pablo García, Júlio Baptista, Robinho, Raúl.

• Lyon held the upper hand once more when the clubs met at the same stage the following season, Fred and Tiago hitting the first-half goals that earned a 2-0 home victory before a 2-2 draw in Spain. Mahamadou Diarra, who had lined up against Los Merengues 12 months earlier, scored against his old club as Madrid retrieved a two-goal deficit.

• The lineups at the Gerland on 13 September 2006 were:
Lyon: Coupet, Réveillère, Cris, Müller, Abidal, Tiago, Toulalan, Juninho (Källström 73), Govou (Clerc 82), Fred (Wiltord 78), Malouda.
Madrid: Casillas, Cicinho, Ramos, Cannavaro, Roberto Carlos, Beckham (Guti 55), Emerson, Diarra, Cassano (Reyes 46), Van Nistelrooy, Raúl (Robinho 69).

Match background
• Madrid are seeking a first quarter-final place since 2003/04 and have already won once on French soil this season, coming from behind to defeat Marseille 3-1 in their final group game.

• That success secured them first place in Group C, where they took seven points from a possible nine on their travels.

• Like Madrid, Lyon claimed 13 points in their section but finished second behind Group E winners ACF Fiorentina. The Ligue 1 side have fallen at this stage in the past three campaigns, going down to FC Barcelona 12 months ago.

• Lyon succumbed 6-3 on aggregate to the eventual champions, drawing 1-1 at home before a 5-2 reverse in Spain.

• They had previously overcome another Spanish side, Real Sociedad de Fútbol, 2-0 on aggregate in the last 16 in 2003/04.

• Madrid have lost their last three two-legged contests with Ligue 1 opposition, going down on away goals to AS Monaco FC in the 2003/04 UEFA Champions League quarter-finals and losing to Paris Saint-Germain FC in the last eight both in the 1992/93 UEFA Cup and the 1993/94 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup.

• Madrid won the first of their nine European Champion Clubs' Cups against Stade de Reims Champagne in the competition's inaugural season of 1955/56. They defeated the same opponents 2-0 three years later to claim a fourth successive crown.

Team ties
• Madrid coach Pellegrini got the better of his Lyon counterpart Puel when they met previously in the UEFA Champions League in the 2005/06 group stage.

• Pellegrini's Villarreal CF earned a goalless draw at Puel's LOSC Lille Métropole before a 1-0 home win earned Villarreal progress as group winners and eliminated Lille.

• Puel has had little joy against Spanish sides, suffering a 4-2 aggregate defeat by RCD Mallorca in the 1999/2000 UEFA Cup fourth round while at Monaco. With Lille he enjoyed a 1-0 win against Sevilla FC in the 2004/05 UEFA Cup group stage but suffered a round of 16 elimination by the same opponents in the 2005/06 edition.

• The Lyon coach faced Spanish opposition in his first ever European tie as a player, again finishing on the losing side. Puel's Monaco lost 2-0 at Valencia CF in the 1980/81 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup first round before a 3-3 second-leg draw. Nine years later Puel was in the Monaco team that beat Real Valladolid CF on penalties after a 0-0 aggregate draw in the quarter-finals of the same competition.

• A product of the Lyon academy, Benzema spent five seasons in the club's first team, making 112 league appearances and scoring 43 goals. He helped Lyon win four league titles and finished the 20-goal top scorer in Ligue 1 in 2007/08.

• Benzema's fellow Lyon old boy Diarra made 121 appearances for the club between 2002 and 2006 before leaving for the Santiago Bernabéu.

• Madrid's French internationals Benzema and Lassana Diarra could well line up against several national-team colleagues and the international connections do not end there: Lisandro may face fellow Argentinians Gonzalo Higuaín and Fernando Gago, and the same goes for Lyon's Brazil duo Michel Bastos and Cris with Kaká and Marcelo.

• Higuaín has French citizenship having been born in Brest when his father Jorge, also a professional footballer, was playing for Stade Brestois 29.

• Kaká and Cristiano Ronaldo have both helped eliminate Lyon from the UEFA Champions League. The former was in the AC Milan side that beat Lyon in the 2005/06 quarter-finals, while Ronaldo scored the only goal when Manchester United FC recorded a home win against Lyon in the last 16 in 2007/08 to complete a 2-1 aggregate success.

• Sidney Govou was in the France side that overcame a Spain team featuring Iker Casillas, Sergio Ramos, Xabi Alonso and Raúl González in the last 16 of the 2006 FIFA World Cup.

• Casillas, Raúl Albiol and Ramos helped Spain to a 1-0 friendly win against France in February 2008. Lining up for Les Bleus were Lyon midfielder Jérémy Toulalan and Madrid's Lassana Diarra.

• Kim Källström appeared as a late substitute in Sweden's 2-1 loss to a Spain side including Casillas, Ramos and Albiol at UEFA EURO 2008.

• Rafael van der Vaart came off the bench to score in AFC Ajax's 2-0 win at Lyon in the UEFA Champions League group stage in October 2002. He also featured as a substitute in the Netherlands' 4-1 victory against France at UEFA EURO 2008, coming up against Govou, Toulalan and Bafétimbi Gomis while Jean-Alain Boumsong was an unused replacement.

© 1998-2010. All rights reserved.

Spain's leading lights eclipse pack

It was a case of as you were at the top of the Spanish Liga after impressive weekend victories for leaders FC Barcelona and Real Madrid CF, while there was also joy for Valencia CF as they tightened their hold on third place.

Messi treble
Barça had not won in two games since the turn of the year yet that was soon forgotten as they swept CD Tenerife aside 5-0, with three of their goals coming in the nine minutes immediately before half-time. Lionel Messi was the hosts' chief tormentor, scoring a hat-trick thanks to three Bojan Krkić assists and delivering the free-kick which Carles Puyol glanced in to double the visitors' lead. A late own goal from Ezequiel Luna capped an emphatic victory for the champions.

Prolific Higuaín
Madrid, who defeated RCD Mallorca 2-0 at home, remain two points behind in second. Gonzalo Higuaín's eleventh league goal in as many starts this term – a sumptuous curling effort into the top corner – set Madrid on their way, before Esteban Granero added a second five minutes after the break at a snowy Santiago Bernabéu.

Deportivo rise
Valencia remain six points shy of Madrid following a 3-1 win at bottom-of-the-table Xerez CD, Juan Mata, David Silva and Carlos Marchena on target for the UEFA Europa League contenders. It was all change just below, however, as RC Deportivo La Coruña moved up to fourth courtesy of a 1-0 home victory against ten-man CA Osasuna – who had Javad Nekounam sent off – and defeats for Mallorca and Sevilla FC.

Losing sequence
Sevilla had impressed in midweek when they defeated Barcelona 2-1 at Camp Nou in the Copa del Rey, but it is in the league where there they need to find form. They suffered a third successive reverse at the hands of 12th-placed Real Racing Club, for whom 18-year-old Sergio Canales scored twice in a 2-1 win at the Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán. Elsewhere, Club Atlético de Madrid prevailed 4-0 at Real Vallodolid CF, with Diego Forlán and Sergio Agüero among the scorers.

© 1998-2010. All rights reserved.

Albania hopes to Real Madrid

All prepared for the dispute of the third edition of Taci Oil Cup before the KS Ersek Gramozi
Alberto Navarro (

The Klubi Sportiv Gramozi Ersek will be the team that will meet Real Madrid in Albania on Wednesday (Spanish 18:00, LaSexta live). A set-average young age of 21 years-chaired by businessman rezarta Taci. Founded in 1925 and currently located in the eleventh position in the Premier League Fantasy-Albania, the home side was strengthened for this season with two Albanian players: midfielder Bejollari (KS Kastrioti) and striker Armando Sadiku (KS Merrill Turbine ). Because of the large hosting the meeting, this third edition of the Taci Oil Cup live on the national stadium in Tirana, Qemal Stafa Stadium.

The Taci Oil Cup enters the picture. Real Madrid will be the guest at the third edition of a tournament that benefited from the presence of AC Milan in the previous two occasions. Whites, on his first visit to Albania, will try to add this trophy to their already extensive showcases.

The opponent: A young group with international reinforcements
Rezarta Taci, director general of the International Oil Taci oil company, owns the adversary of the Madrid fans. Founded in 1925, Ersek Gramozi Klubi Sportiv two seasons ago ascended to the First Division of Albania after winning the title in the Second Division Champions. Last season ended the Superliga Kategoria Superiore of Albania or fourth-competition consists of twelve teams, and currently occupy the eleventh place after seventeen matches played, three wins, six draws and eight defeats.

With an average age of 21 years, the team managed by Mustafa Albanian Taci was strengthened for this season with two local players: midfielder Olsi Bejollari (KS Kastrioti) and striker Armando Sadiku (KS Turbina Merrill). Not only are Albanian footballer in their ranks, we may also find Dos Santos and Brazilian-Juriander among others, highlights the backs Kosovar L. Kukaj and S. Macedonian Babajan-and usually start out midfielders A. Shaqiri, A. Grosherski.

The last official game played dating back to the home side on 24 December. The KS Gramozi Ersek was defeated (1-0) in his visit to Besa Kavajë in second. The next league match is played at home against Apolonia in fourth place, on 23 January.

Stage: talisman for the national team
The great success of the shock that the party will not dispute the renewed Fush Sportive Ersek, stronghold of the local regular viewers -6000 capacity (2,000 seats) - but to be played at the national stadium facilities officially named Tirana Qemal Stafa Stadium. It is in this arena surrounded by an athletics track where, besides the selection of Albania, contest their respective home games sets of KS Dinamo Tirana and KF Tirana-first and third place respectively.

Named after a local hero in World War II, the Qemal Stafa can boast of being the largest field -19,600 spectators. Founded in 1947, is, in turn, a stadium for the national team talisman of Albania. Not surprisingly, the selection Albanian came to be unbeaten at home since September 2001 to October 2004. To give more merit to this feat goes without saying that, at that time, went through this feud selections of the likes of Russia, Sweden, Greece, European Champion in 2004 -.

The authority to strike

The visit Madrid Mestalla with the firm intention of achieving a victory that will allow further distance itself from Valencia and immersed in their fight for League

Alberto Navarro (

All will live a great match at the Mestalla (22:00 pm laSexta, Telemadrid, TV3, Channel 9 and IB3). Real Madrid and Valencia three points separating them in the classification-faced at a meeting of top-flight. Men who directs Manuel Pellegrini, is unbeaten in its last five against Valencia-efrentamientos seek authority to strike at the stadium in his most direct pursuer in order to meet the target set until end of year: achieve success in the two games remaining by-play next Saturday (22:00) Real Zaragoza visit the Bernabeu. Valencia could not travel to the suspended Cristiano Ronaldo and Kaka injured. By contrast, the Madrid fans pull themselves unable to play Lass-to Almeria to be punished "for a party that will be special for the Valencian Raul Albiol. Silva will be low on the premises.

A second round by

El Real Madrid buscará ante el O. Marsella finalizar la fase de grupos como líder
Laura Navas (Marsella, Francia) (

El pasado 15 de septiembre el Real Madrid iniciaba en Zúrich (Suiza) su andadura por la presente edición de la Champions League. Tres victorias, un empate y una derrota después, los blancos esperan sellar en Marsella su pasaporte a los octavos de final de la máxima competición europea a nivel de clubes. Las cábalas son fáciles ya que el Real Madrid depende de sí mismo. Ganando al Olympique de Marsella, los madridistas consolidarían su liderato en el Grupo C y estarían en el bombo de los cabezas de serie en el sorteo que se celebrará en Nyon (Suiza) el próximo 18 de diciembre.

The Champions, a scene

Real Madrid hosts FC Zurich at the Bernabeu, where he can secure a move to second round
Carlos Cristobal (

Only four days after his last match, Real Madrid back to the Bernabeu. It will do another big night, as all in the Champions League anthem is heard in the Real Madrid stadium. From 20:45 hours (Autonomic; delayed on Real Madrid TV at 00:00 pm), Manuel Pellegrini's team played against FC Zurich to take a giant step towards the knockout stages. A key party in which the Chilean coach will be without Cristiano Ronaldo after over a month and a half. This is the last great incentive for a party full of them.

Start the race to the Bernabeu

Real Madrid opens at the Zurich this edition of the Champions

Laura Navas (Zurich, Switzerland) (

How he wanted to hear and the anthem, of seeing the ball in play from the stars, to enjoy duels unique gift that only Europe, of seeing Real Madrid this dress uniform ... Champions can not wait. And especially, how I want to dream about that historic final hosted by the Santiago Bernabéu on 22 May. Has arrived at the premiere. Finally he raises the flag to a career background that includes 13 major obstacles before it can lift the coveted trophy. Real Madrid and Zurich in Europe cut the ribbon with a duel of those that must be won to warm up the muscles on the asphalt ...

It may sound a cliché. Maybe so. But true. The illusion is an element of the new Real Madrid kit for this. You see it in the face of incombustible Raul, the racial Casillas, Kaka's angelic, the timid Benzema, the Christian road, the young Pirate ... Anyway if you have won a Champions, or both. Or none. Everyone starts from zero. Because they know that this Real Madrid only worth keep adding titles and conquests. This team has started strong in the National League Championship and wants to do the same at Champions, where eager to polish his plate XX century best club in Europe.

And perhaps there goes the greatest danger of the Madrid fans. In its supreme quality in addition the obligation to re-position to Real Madrid at the top of Europe and the irrepressible desire to do so in style. With a historic final this season playing at home. And that brings us to the Letzigrund Stadion. 20:45 hours. Two teams and one anthem. The touch football and that is establishing Pellegrini attack is measured by a team that debuted in the current Champions League and whose greatest danger will be hidden in the illusion, pride and desire to put it on the lawn.