Real Madrid to Face Barcelona In Copa Del Rey Semifinal

LaLiga giants, Barcelona and Real Madrid, will play each other in the semi-final of the Copa del Rey this season, after the draw was conducted on Friday afternoon.
Real Betis will take on Valencia in the other game.
Barca overturned a two-goal deficit from the first leg of their quarter-final against Sevilla, to win 6-3 on aggregate.

Meanwhile, Los Blancos reached the last four, after securing an emphatic 7-3 aggregate victory over Girona.
The draw has given football fans two El Clasicos, with the first leg to be played on February 6 and the second leg on February 27.
The final will take place on May 25 at Betis’ home ground, the Estadio Benito Villamarín.
Draw for the Copa del Rey semi-finals:
Real Betis vs Valencia FC Barcelona vs Real Madrid

Since the Sale of Cristiano Ronaldo to Italian Champions Juventus Real Madrid have struggled to get goals and win important matches.

Real Madrid suffered a 5-1 thrashing at the hands of Barcelona earlier in the season they would be looking to avoid such occurrence.

Who do you think I’ll suffer you ..

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Real Madrid suffer consequences of selling Ronaldo

Juventus are reaping the benefits of having a five-time Ballon d’Or winner in his prime while the club he left behind struggle for goals and points

Whether it was arrogance, misplaced faith or just outright stupidity, Real Madrid’s decision to let Cristiano Ronaldo leave for Juventus last summer must surely rank as one of football’s worst decisions in history.

It is clear now, more than halfway through the season, that Madrid have nothing like the firepower required to carry them through this, a season of transition, while Ronaldo continues to rack up the goals in Italy.

Madrid might well have banked €100m for Ronaldo, no small fee for a 33-year-old, but no money could possibly replace what has been taken away. Last season they finished 17 points adrift of Barcelona, by the end of this one they will be begging to be that close.

 

Had they got an adequate replacement then this debate might well be moot. But the fact is that there isn’t a football player alive capable of delivering what Ronaldo delivered for Real. And in a year when they also lost their talismanic coach Zinedine Zidane, the sanctioning of his sale is proving to be catastrophic.

Without a Galactico arrival like Neymar or Kylian Mbappe, they got Mariano Diaz from Lyon instead. He chose the No. 7 shirt to demonstrate that he would be leading a new era at the Santiago Bernabeu. He will do well to score that number of league goals this season.

But all looked rosy in the garden at the start of the season when a more democratic-looking Madrid attack was scoring from all angles and giving Julen Lopetegui the positive start he needed as Madrid coach.

His methods were working well; Karim Benzema’s goal scoring pace picked up. Gareth Bale, finally liberated from the shadow of Ronaldo, became a key component in the line-up and thrived as the main man.

But Madrid’s downturn in form eventually accounted for Lopetegui. Without Ronaldo’s goals they had nowhere to turn once Benzema’s form evaporated and Bale again became injured.

 

Often derided as a flat-track bully, Ronaldo’s prodigious scoring feats were missed in matches Madrid should have been winning handsomely. It’s one thing complaining that Ronaldo only scores in the easy matches, it’s another thing altogether when those so-called easy matches roll around and there is nobody to put the ball in the net with any sort of consistency.

In the Champions League as well as La Liga, Madrid have come up well short. They have scored only 26 goals in their 18 league matches to date. Barcelona, top of the division, have scored almost twice that number on 50.

Unbelievably they are right now sitting outside the Champions League places. There is the very real possibility that unless they win a fourth title in a row, they won’t even be back in the Champions League next season.

What a calamity that would be and a self-imposed one at that.

No one is denying that Madrid were due an overhaul. The president Florentino Perez and general director Jose Angel Sanchez have long since recognised that need. That is why there has been a drastic reduction in the average age of transfer targets with young starlets like Marco Asensio, Theo Hernandez, Dani Ceballos, Alvaro Odriozola, Vinicius Jr and most recently Brahim Diaz coming in.

Madrid’s Champions League core one day will have to be broken up and that is understandable. A result of that will be the elimination from the first team of players like Sergio Ramos, Luka Modric and more of the senior corps. But Ronaldo should have been the last of that group to go and not the first.

They have shown that they can survive the loss of Ramos or Modric. Indeed both have been horrifically out of form this season and should take time to analyse their own contributions. Meanwhile, Ronaldo is still going strong. He has demonstrated that it doesn’t matter who is managing him, who his team-mates are or what league he’s playing in, he will get the goals. He is currently top scorer of Serie A with 14 goals and has also provided an impressive five assists.

His form would have been crucial for Madrid to navigate their way through the pain of this transition season. While they replenished the team elsewhere, the one thing they could have counted on was Ronaldo’s ability to find the net and buy them some wiggle room no matter what was going on elsewhere in the club.

 

Sure, it was not a pretty sale in the end. Sure, there were complications.

Ronaldo was patently unhappy the year before with Madrid’s role – or lack thereof – in his conviction for tax fraud. He wanted a bigger pay cheque, understandable given his status as totem and all-time top scorer. It’s been reported that Perez held out and held out and held out until Ronaldo’s bluff was called and he actually did take his leave from the Bernabeu.

He is right to feel aggrieved that his salary was not high enough. Given the sums involved in the Neymar contract at Paris Saint-Germain, a player who does not have half of the pedigree of Ronaldo, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner was of course entitled to ask for more.

He didn’t get it because Perez didn’t believe it was value for money.

How costly an error. How foolish an error.

Juventus are riding the crest of a wave; they are breaking records left, right and centre in Serie A and so is Ronaldo.

No Madrid player has managed more than seven league goals this season and that is pitiful. Ronaldo has double that amount.

This could well go down as the most catastrophic season in the modern history of the club. It didn’t have to be like this. They should have believed, should have trusted and should have paid Ronaldo. The biggest mistake in all of this is that they underestimated him. And for a club that for so long put out the idea that he was the best player in the world, that is unforgivable.

Now they know the cost.

Real Madrid set to Re-hire Jose Mourinho

Real Madrid are planning to re-hire Mourinho as a replacement for struggling Santiago Solari
The Portuguese tactician was recently fired by his former club Man United after his side’s poor results at the club
Mourinho already rejected offers to manage Benfica
Spanish League giants Real Madrid are reportedly planning to re-hire our-of-job manager Jose Mourinho.
The 55-year-old was fired by Manchester United less than a month ago following a poor run of results at the club.
After leaving the Red Devils 19 points behind table toppers Liverpool, while his relationship with his players was deteriorating.
Although, the Portuguese manager has already rejected a chance to manager Portuguese topflight side Benfica.
SunSport however reports that Real President Florentino Perez is said to be planning to bring the former Chelsea boss back to the Santiago Bernabeu.
Mourinho first managed Los Blancos between 2010 and 2013, and five years after could stage a return to the club.
The former Inter Milan and Chelsea boss won a Spanish League title and two other trophies during his three year reign at the club.
Madrid are currently not having a good time in the La Liga having slipped to fifth position on the log after their 2-0 home defeat to Real Socieded on Sunday.
Since the ex Chelsea coach was dismissed at Manchester United, he has been linked with many top European clubs.
Recently, Portuguese club Benfica sacked their manager Rui Vitoria after three years in charge of the team, and Jose Mourinho has been linked with the job.

Luck not on Juventus’ side with Champions League draw, says Nedved

The Italian side were paired with Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid in the last 16 of the competition, much to the dismay of the vice-chairman Pavel Nedved lamented Juventus’ misfortune after the Bianconeri were paired with Atletico Madrid in the last 16 of the Champions League on Monday.

Juve continue to blaze a trail domestically- they have won the last seven scudetti and already established an eight-point lead at the summit this season after 16 games- but have not been crowned European champions since 1996.

They recruited Cristiano Ronaldo from Real Madrid to bolster an already imposing squad but Nedved was relatively downbeat when asked to assess the clash with the defending Europa League champions.

Nedved said:‘we didn’t have much luck. Atletico are a difficult side to face, they are more of an Italian-style team than European. They have a strong defense that plays well together, and they know how to play into the forwards with Griezmann and others.

‘I foresee two very even matches, with few goals. We have been drawn the strongest possible opponent, but there is no problem. Cristiano Ronaldo may be the man of the Champions League but the is strong and we can be confident in our ability to qualify for the quarter-finals’

Juve midfielder Sami Khedira, another former Real Madrid man, has also predicted a difficult game against Diego Simeone’s side.