Ah, I’ve had a busy few days. Now I’m curled up at home keeping an eye on Hurricane Joaquin and freaking out because they’re doing construction all up and down my street which has netted me a new unwanted roommate: a mouse. Ugh. I really miss Max the Cat right now.
I set out humane traps because apparently I’m a total hippie (if you ask Shigs) and I had the pleasure of watching Mickey waltz right past the damn thing today. I was not amused. I’ve ordered some natural mouse repellent and hopefully, that will help. If you have any surefire mouse-begone remedies that don’t involve poison, glue or snap traps, please let me row. I’m terrified of mice, but I can’t do mouse murder and corpse removal. Anyhow…on to something totally awesome: Cristiano Ronaldo.
The team celebrated Cris becoming our all time leading scorer. 324 goals in 308 matches and still counting. Legend. Cristiano, his mom & Cris Jr. were at the ceremony along with all his teammates.
Cristiano Ronaldo, leading all-time Real Madrid goalscorer
by Javier Garcia
“You are already a legend: 324 goals in 308 matches is something unrepeatable”, said Florentino Pérez.
Three hundred and twenty-four goals in three hundred and eight games. The numbers speak for themselves. Homage was paid to Cristiano Ronaldo, the leading all-time goalscorer for Real Madrid, at the Santiago Bernabéu’s presidential box. Amid an atmosphere of great expectation and with all of his trophies present at the event, the Portuguese star was accompanied by the president Florentino Pérez and the Board of Directors, the team and coaching staff, his mother, son and several friends.
After the screening of a video with Cristiano’s best goals, the president of the Whites took the floor: “This is a very exciting day for all Madrid fans. This week Cristiano became the leading goalscorer in the great history of Real Madrid, the greatest club in the world, winner of 10 European Cups”.
“His effort, dedication and commitment have been clear to see in every training session and game. 324 goals in 308 games is something unrepeatable and it can only be understood as Cristiano’s desire to constantly better himself, to never give up, and to give everything for this badge. All of the Madrid supporters love you, and really adore you. They know what you mean for this club. You are an example for those of us that love football”.
Work and talent
“With your tally you have surpassed all of the great Real Madrid goalscorers and now I know that you only want to surpass yourself. You have won every title possible at Real Madrid, none have got away from you. You are already a Real Madrid legend. You have achieved it through your devotion to work and your talent. 324 goals and there will be lots more. Thank you for what you give us, for your dedication and commitment. Congratulations, Cristiano, long may the legend continue”.
Ronaldo: “I never imagined that I would be the top goalscorer at the club.”
After the president’s statement, it was the turn of the player himself: “Good afternoon, I am honoured to receive this prize. When I put on the Real Madrid shirt for the first time, I never imagined that I would be the top goalscorer in the history of the club, the greatest in the world, and be able to beat my friend Raúl and Alfredo Di Stéfano, who is no longer with us. What can I say, I am very happy”.
“Firstly, I would like to thank my teammates, who are here, because without them, this trophy would never have been possible. Without the help and commitment of everyone, these figures would not be possible. I also want to thank all of the managers I have had, from Pellegrini, who was here when I arrived, as well as Mourinho, Ancelotti and now Benítez. I want to thank them as they have always helped me throughout my career”.
“Thanks also to everyone at Real Madrid, to the kit men that are always with us, the physios…Forgive me if I have forgotten anyone because this is not an easy moment to talk but I think that I am saying what I can”.
“I would also like to thank the media that are here, I know that I have behaved a little badly with them but that is part of the way I am. I want to thank my friends that are here too: Ricardo, my agent Jorge, Enrique. I especially want to thank my Mum and Cristiano”.
“I am very happy and thank everyone for this special moment. I would like to express my gratitude to the president for this nice event that has left me feeling very touched and happy. I was not expecting it. If I have forgotten anyone please forgive me, people know that if I like them I will never forget about them. Therefore, thanks to everyone and, hala Madrid!”.
The president Florentino Pérez presented Cristiano with a trophy commemorating his historic record. The event finished with the leading all-time scorer for the Whites having photographs taken with his family, the squad and coaching staff.
Danilo trained alone on the pitch as he continues his recovery. Joining the first team were Odegaard, Mayoral and Marcos Llorente of Castilla.
Today, youth teamers Achraf, Lazo and Javi Sánchez joined the first team. Danilo again trained alone on the pitch.
“The team are in good shape, on the right path and spirits are high”, added the coach.
Rafa Benítez looked ahead to Sunday’s derby against Atlético (8:30pm CEST) in the Real Madrid City press room: “Above all else, this game is going to be filled with character and passion, as you’d expect from a derby. They’re a good team. They’re well organised, play with intensity and have plenty of quality. We know it’s going to be very tough and that we’ll need to respond to them with character and personality, try to play our football and continue doing things as we have been up until now, which has allowed us to pick up good results”.
“Our plan going into this game is to win. That can be achieved through different means. By pushing forward, being patient… Atlético are a great side, a great club and they’ve been doing really well over the last few years. We know we’re up against a great team, one that is very well managed, and there’s the extra incentive of this being a derby game. We have faith in our abilities, we’re really focused but so too are they”.
The team’s form
“I think the team are in good shape. I always say there are things that can be improved. The high spirits and statistics indicate that things are going well and that we’re on the right path. We need to continue improving, but we’re at a high level at the moment. The key to this encounter will depend on whether or not Atleti play an open game. Whether they decide to press us high up the pitch or sit back. They are an extremely compact team that play as a unit. It kind of depends on what strategy they employ. We have a clear picture of what we have to do, but it will depend a little bit on how they approach the match”.
Ramos and Bale
“Both of them trained and, as such, they’re both in the squad. We’ll decide the starting line-up tomorrow, as it’s still a bit early for that. They’re both available to play as they’ve each been given the all clear by the medics. Another thing to consider is match fitness, but like I’ve said before, players can make up for a lack of competition time with their talent”.
“I’ve spoken with Gareth and Sergio and both of them are fine. Players are always keen and excited to play. I’m still taking stock of things and won’t make my decision until tomorrow. I don’t have the perfect Real Madrid team, I have a Real Madrid team that looks to win each game with the best available players. What matters is that Sergio and Gareth can start playing again soon so I’ll have more players and more talent competing within the squad”.
“After the midweek trip we had a training session on Thursday. He got a knock in the area where he’s carrying the injury and it caused him some problems. He won’t be ready for this match; he’s not fit for it. Fortunately, the Colombian national team’s doctor and manager are in Madrid and our doctors has given them all the information. He can’t play”.
“Bale and Ramos are fit to play but I still haven’t announced the starting line-up.”
“The aim was to get him back to fitness ASAP. It was a case of checking his fitness and making an assessment, but he didn’t pass the test. I think he’ll be ready by the end of the anticipated timeframe but for now he’s unavailable. The doctors have a clear understanding of the situation. He’s not ready to play with us and it’s almost certain, although it still hasn’t been confirmed, that he won’t be able to play with his national team”.
“Cristiano’s numbers are there for everyone to see, I hope we have him for many years to come. I was the first to congratulate him and I hope he can continue scoring loads of goals because that will be good for him and for us. It’s very important that he is part of Real Madrid’s folklore and it’s important that he keeps scoring goals and winning titles so he can keep adding to his legendary status”.
“It’s a strategy we could employ depending on how the game pans out. If they sit back, we’ll have to control the possession of the ball and prevent them from hitting us on the break. But they’re capable of doing a lot of things well, playing attack-minded football and not allowing us to get a hold of the ball. We’re preparing for different scenarios, we can’t go there with a rigid plan”.
“Each season, each team and each moment is different. Our team are doing well at the moment but that has nothing to do with the past. It will be a tough match. I wouldn’t change any of my players for any of theirs. I’m very happy with my team and what I want is for my players to give it their all. I’m not going to make any assessments about the opposition or their manager, who has been doing an excellent job and has demonstrated that”.
“My opinion about the opposition won’t be swayed by a few results. This is a derby match and we know it’s going to be difficult. That is the message I’m putting across to my players. Atlético have a lot of quality, they’re well drilled and they’re going to give us a very tough game”.
The Malmö game
“We tried to play our game and move the ball around. We have alternative ways of playing, like hitting teams on the break and passing the ball around. The strength of a team stems from its ability to adapt. If the opposition play compact at the back, we can control the ball, and if they leave us space to exploit, we can capitalise on that”.
Significance of the derby
“The first bonus I got as a Real Madrid player for drawing with Atlético Madrid was 50 pesetas. I know what the derby means. It’s a different kind of game, there’s more at stake and the atmosphere is electric. Hopefully it will be a great game and a footballing spectacle”.
Kroos and Kovacic
“Toni played well the other day. He got involved and worked hard. He’s in good shape physically. His fitness is more or less ok, the other day he was fine. Luckily for me I have a number of players to choose from. It can make things tricky at times but that’s how I like it”.
Navas: “Playing against Atlético is added motivation.”
Keylor Navas is facing his second season in the Real Madrid first team. With the victory over Malmö still fresh in their memory, the Whites face Atlético Madrid on Sunday with the aim of getting another win. In an interview with Mahou, the goalkeeper spoke about the derby: “It is added motivation, one of the most important games in La Liga, anybody would want to play in it. They have their fans, but ultimately it is 11 versus 11 and that is the most important thing”.
“It is a nice and important game and fans really live it to the maximum. I approach every game with the same level of seriousness. All of the opponents deserve respect. That makes you more professional and means you play well in every game”.
“I try to be a footballer that concentrates on what they do, and puts love and effort into their work. That has helped me to improve quite a lot”.
And finally, here’s Cristiano’s best goals against Atleti.
Let’s do this thing tomorrow, Los Blancos!