Tag Archives: Zinedine Zidane

Real Madrid CF – 2016-17 Champions League Winners

Congratulations on Real Madrid CF for winning this year’s trophy and their unprecedented 12th title.  This final was never really in doubt for Los Merengues and manager Zinedine Zidane has a lot of credit to take for this victory and for clinching La Liga title that preceded this triumph.

Even though Cristiano Ronaldo scored a brace and is now in pole position to win a fifth Ballon d’Or, let’s remember that the appointment of “Zizou” as the manager of Real Madrid CF in January 2016 has changed a lot of things.  At the time, under Rafael Benitez, Los Blancos, despite not having a bad record, lost a few games such a 4-0 loss at the Santiago Bernabeu against arch-rivals, FC Barcelona.

President Fiorentino Perez, never shy of “pulling the trigger” when it comes time to making a manager’s change, decided to give the keys to the man who was coaching Real Madrid B team at the time.  The results since that then have been nothing short but spectacular.  Los Blancos made a run to win La Liga title up until the end of the last season, only to witness FC Barcelona win at the end.  They’ve also reached the Champions League final and beat Atlético de Madrid on penalty kicks for their 11th Champions League triumph.  This season, they’ve won La Liga (for the first time since 2012, under José Mourinho) and became the first team ever to repeat as Champions League winners.  A double.

Can Real Madrid achieve the same amount of success next and for years to come?  We shall see.  Until today, with Zinedine Zidane at the helm, it has been all business for La Casa Blanca.

Stay tuned…

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El Clásico – FC Barcelona vs. Real Madrid CF

Here we go again.

Another El Clásico. Another battle between the two giants of Spanish football. The winners of the last three Champions League will square off for the first time this season with Los Blancos currently holding a six-point lead at the top of la Liga Santander vs. their Catalan arch-rivals. Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are available for the match, it does not get any better than this.

While Real Madrid CF and FC Barcelona are currently first and second of the Spanish league, it is difficult to say that they have really dominated, this season. We have seen both teams struggle against several opponents and drop some points, especially Los Blaugranas who can not let Zinedine Zidane‘s team get away with the three points today.

Last year, FC Barcelona won at the Santiago Bernabeu, in Madrid, 4-0 in a complete demolition. At the Camp Nou in Barcelona, it was Real Madrid CF who obtained the last word by winning 2-1. At the end, FC Barcelona went on to win the Spanish league and the Spanish Cup while Real Madrid CF lifted the Champions League trophy for the 11th time in their history.

Andrés Iniesta, for the Catalans, will be back in action for this match while the Welsh international, Gareth Bale, is sidelined with an injury for Madrid.

My prediction: FC Barcelona takes it 2-1 and gets closer to their rivals at the top of the table.

Messi vs. Ronaldo (Golden Ball/Ballon d’Or) – Week 22

This is it. The end of the season has arrived with the Champions League final at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza behind us. Real Madrid CF won their record 11th European Cup title thanks to a penalty shootout versus local and arch-rivals, Club Atlético de Madrid (1-1. 5-3 after extra time). Cristiano Ronaldo scored the winning penalty kick, but was invisible for most of the game and was kept off the scoresheet on that one. He adds another Champions League winning medal, his third (one with Manchester United FC and two with Real Madrid CF).

As for Lionel Messi, the Argentine captain and his teammates prepare themselves for la Copa America Centenario due to begin one June 03rd. La Albiceleste played and won a friendly match against Honduras, 1-0, with a superb goal from SSC Napoli striker Gonzalo Higuain. Messi was kept off the scoresheet and left the game with what appeared to be a lower-back injury.

Here are the stats from January 01st to May 30th, 2016 between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

L. Messi 34 games 29 goals 18 assists 2 trophies won
C. Ronaldo 27 games 27 goals 8 assists 1 trophy won
Total Messi 7 games Messi 2 goals Messi 10 assists Messi 1 trophy

Messi vs. Ronaldo (Golden Ball/Ballon d’Or) – Week 20

This is it.

La Liga BBVA was decided on the final day of the season and it is FC Barcelona, as usual in recent years, who were crowned Spanish champions thanks to a 3-0 win at Granada, with “El Pistolero” Luis Suarez on target with a hat-trick. The Uruguayan international has, by the same toaken, won the “pichichi”, La Liga’s top scorer award for the season 2015-16, and also the European Golden Boot. A fantastic season for the former Ajax and Liverpool hitman.

Lionel Messi was kept off the scoresheet during this match, but wins another medal to his already large collection.

Real Madrid CF, who will play their local rivals in the Champions League final on May 28th, for the second time in three years, has given Los Blaugranas a run for their money up until the end but it was not going to be, despite a 2-0 win at Deportivo La Coruna thanks to a brace by Cristiano Ronaldo.

Here are the statistics for both players from January 01st to May 16th, 2016:

L. Messi 32 games 29 goals 16 assists 1 trophy available
C. Ronaldo 26 games 27 goals 8 assists 1 trophy available
Total Messi 6 games Messi 2 goals Messi 8 assists Messi 1 trophy won

Lionel Messi has one more game to play this season for his club and it is the Spanish Cup final versus Sevilla FC at the Vicente Calderón Stadium, Atlético Madrid’s home, while Cristiano Ronaldo will have a chance to collect a third Champions League medal the following week.

Stay tuned.

UEFA Champions League Final – Atlético Madrid vs Real Madrid CF

We have had Lisbon 2014, now football fans will get Milan 2016. The two top teams in the city of Madrid will go toe-to-toe for a second time in three years in the Champions League Final. The first time, Diego Simeone’s club was seconds away from tasting their first success in this competition before defender Sergio Ramos broke Los Colchoneros’ hearts with a last minute goal and later on, the work of Angel Di Maria and Gareth Bale insured that Los Blancos would finally win their 10th European Cup/Champions League crown, “La Decima”, as they nicknamed it.

Despite this defeat, Atlético Madrid has been very competitive against their fierce rival over the years. A look at their last encounters, since Diego “El Cholo” Simeone took over as manager of the club in 2012 will show the competitiveness between the two clubs in which, for many, many years were three “automatic” points for Real Madrid. Not anymore…

27/02/2016 – Real Madrid CF 0 – 1  Atlético Madrid (La Liga BBVA).

04/10/2015 – Atlético Madrid 1 – 1 Real Madrid CF (La Liga BBVA).

22/04/2015 – Real Madrid CF 1 – 0 Atlético Madrid (Champions League).

14/04/2015 – Atlético Madrid 0 – 0 Real Madrid CF (Champions League).

07/02/2015 – Atlético Madrid 4 – 0 Real Madrid CF (La Liga BBVA).

15/01/2015 – Real Madrid CF 2 – 2 Atlético Madrid (Spanish Cup/Copa del Rey 2nd leg).

07/01/2015 – Atlético Madrid 2 – 0 Real Madrid CF (Spanish Cup/Copa del Rey 1st leg).

13/09/2014 – Real Madrid CF 1 – 2 Atlético Madrid (La Liga BBVA).

22/08/2014 – Atlético Madrid 1 – 0 Real Madrid CF (Spanish SuperCup 2nd leg).

19/08/2014 – Real Madrid CF 1 – 1 Atlético Madrid (Spanish SuperCup 1st leg).

24/05/2014 – Real Madrid CF 4 – 1 Atlético Madrid (Champions League Final).

02/03/2014 – Atlético Madrid 2 – 2 Real Madrid CF (La Liga BBVA).

11/02/2014 – Atlético Madrid 0 -2 Real Madrid CF (Spanish Cup/Copa del Rey 2nd leg).

05/02/2014 – Real Madrid CF 3 – 0 Atlético Madrid (Spanish Cup/Copa del Rey 1st leg).

28/09/2013 – Real Madrid CF 0 – 1 Atlético Madrid (La Liga BBVA).

17/05/2013 – Real Madrid CF 1 – 2 Atlético Madrid (Spanish Cup/Copa del Rey Final).

27/04/2013 – Atlético Madrid 1 – 2 Real Madrid CF (La Liga BBVA).

01/12/2012 – Real Madrid CF 1 – 0 Atlético Madrid (La Liga BBVA).

11/04/2012 – Atlético Madrid 1 – 4 Real Madrid CF (La Liga BBVA).

The results have vastly improved for Atlético Madrid in the past three seasons. They have been sort of the “bête noire”of Real Madrid CF during that span.

Games: 19.

Atlético wins – 7.

Real Madrid – 7.

Ties – 5.

My prediction for the final? Atlético wins its first Champions League title.

Atlético Madrid

Barca wins; Bayern wins; Real Madrid loses…

Very interesting beginning of the quarterfinals in the Champions League. FC Barcelona faced Spanish rivals Atlético Madrid, at home, for the first leg and as it was expected, it was not easy. Diego Simeone’s club even scored the first goal of the game and by the same token, a precious away goal. Only to see its scorer, a certain Fernando Torres, being booked twice and sent off at the 35th minute of the match. This action gave a sight of relief to the home fans and more space to maneuver.

Bayern Munich FC scored quickly in the first half and was able to contain S. L. Benfica until the final whistle. Still a 1-0 result heading into Estadio da Luz will not be easy for the German giants and defending champions. At the same stage, last year, they lost 3-1 at Porto before beating them easily 6-1 in the return leg.

Real Madrid CF, coming off a surprising and positive El Clásico win against FC Barcelona, faces off a difficult battle. Losing 2-0 at VfL Wolfsburg will not do them any good. Playing at home will be a plus for Los Blancos, but as we have seen this season, even under Zinedine Zidane’s leadership, the team can be challenged and lose matches.It will be interesting to see what tactics will be used for the return leg at home for Real Madrid. Julian Draxler was a key player in this historic win. His pace, going after defenders and his knack for passing the ball well have been a nightmare for Real Madrid’s defenders to cope with, and nobody believes that it will stop there. After all, Wolfsburg have experience and most importantly, nothing to lose. Tricky tie.

As for Paris Saint-Germain FC vs Manchester City FC, the English club has scored two vital away goals despite some sloppy defending on their side and on Paris-SG’s part as well. This tie is wide open. The French club and Ligue 1 champions can win matches pretty much anywhere in Europe (expect at FC Barcelona and Real Madrid CF, for now).

Sayed tuned…

El Clasico 2016 – FC Barcelona vs. Real Madrid CF Aftermath

Lionel Messi vs. Cristiano Ronaldo.
Neymar Jr vs. Gareth Bale.
Luis Suarez vs. Karim Benzema.
Zinedine Zidane vs. Luis Enrique.

We could go on and on about the match-ups and the rivalry between so many players, managers, leaders that characterizes each El Clasico.

At the end of the day, it was Los Blancos who came out on top winning at the Camp Now by the score of 2-1 despite being a man down thanks to a second yellow card awarded to Sergio Ramos (who else) for a foul from behind on Luis Suarez.

FC Barcelona will surely be disappointed with the outcome of this result. They were undefeated in all competitions for the past 39 matches and are still in contention to win another treble this year. With Atlético Madrid winning earlier yesterday 5-1, the gap between the Catalan giants and the two biggest Madrid-based clubs is slowly shrinking to six and seven points respectively, although Los Blaugranas have the face-to-face advantage versus both teams (2-1 and 1-0 against Atlético; 4-0; 1-2 vs. Real Madrid).

It is still expected to see Barcelona win La Liga title, but for the Real Madrid and especially Zinedine Zidane, it will be a big boost to have won a first Clasico and away. Replacing the unpopular Rafael Benitez and trying to get the club back on track was not going to be an easy task and with the reputation of Real Madrid not hesitating to sacrifice a manager (for the right or wrong reasons), it was a risk for the former French maestro to take, with so little experience.

So far, we have to admit that, as usual, the Marseille-born former football legend is having success and there is no doubt that he can continue on with Real Madrid CF and maybe somewhere along the line, take over the French national squad and bring a FIFA World Cup back to his country, the one that he should have probably won in 2006 if it was not for the unfortunate incident against Italy. We have to wait and see.

Zinedine Zidane entraineur

Stay tuned…