Ronaldo Is Football's Thatcher & Other Lessons Learnt From Galatasaray v Real Madrid
“Nobody was taking anything for granted,” said Real Madrid’s goalkeeper Diego López before the game and it seemed that Los Blancos were going to be true to their word when they got an early goal and looked to be cruising, but the second half in Turkey had José Mourinho and Real Madrid fans on the edge of their seats. So what did we learn from this game?
La Décima Is Still On
Every season since 2002 when Real Madrid won their ninth Champions League title the press go into overdrive, questioning will this be the year that the side from the Santiago Bernabeu bring home ‘Old big ears’. This season they have been looking for the usual signs that suggest that this will be the year and after beating Manchester United it seemed that luck was on their side. An impressive victory in Madrid last week should have made this a formality for Mourinho’s crew and when they scored early it looked like they had the game wrapped up, but in the second half they conceded three times and they looked nervous. The defence, which has been solid, just disappeared. Ronaldo stepped up and scored a second and even though former Liverpool Alvaro Arbeloa was sent off, Real Madrid went through comfortably, although they did have a few nervy minutes.
Is he the football equivalent of Thatcher when it comes to public opinion? Loved and loathed, it seems that sometimes we forget what a talented footballer he really is. Last night as Marca said it was ‘Ronaldo and no one else’. His goals last night saw him equal club legend Alfredo Di Stefano’s European record. He also moved up the Champions League goal scoring charts, but if he is to add to his Champions League medal that he won with United he will need his team-mates to step it up a level.
UEFA really need to get this sorted. With the sort of money clubs are getting from participating in the CL, they should be able to afford a decent pitch. It is not only Galatasaray that have these problems. In recent years both Milan clubs have played on home pitches that resemble a potato field. One day, someone will get hurt and it will be all tears.
Is There A Fairytale Ending This Time For Iker?
In 2002, Vicente Del Bosque dropped Iker Casillas after a loss of form which came from his off the pitch antics. César took over the reins in goal and Iker had to watch from the bench in Hampden. He was called into action when the former Spurs man went off injured and he pulled off some spectacular saves. He is back on the bench again now after recovering from injury, but with the well known problems between the coach and captain showing no signs of being amended, and with Diego López impressing in San Iker’s absence, he is just a bit part player at the moment. Will the goalkeeper they consider to be the greatest in Real Madrid and Spanish history, miss out on a chance to seal the coveted tenth title or is there another twist in the story?
Eboue is a Forrest Gump type player, you never know what you will get and last night he chipped in with a Golazo. Getting a cross, he was outside the box when he whacked it into the top corner. López couldn’t even move and it gave the Turkish side a glimmer of hope. Alas it wasn’t to be, but Eboue still has a decent goal to show for his efforts.