Lots to catch up on since I took a day off yesterday. The team had their first training in preparation for El Clasico on Sunday.
Gareth was back with the group (hooray!) and Castilla’s Tejero, Lienhart, Quezada, Salto and Enzo joined the session. The Baby trained alone on the pitch and Pepe continued with his recovery.
Sergio Ramos: 100 Champions League appearances
by Barbara Jimenez
“To have reached this figure and for all of these appearances to have come as a starter is a good statistic and I hope to go on and make many more”, declared the captain.
Real Madrid booked their place in the Champions League semi-finals in Sergio Ramos’ 100th appearance in Europe’s elite club competition. During this century of outings, the captain has amassed 59 wins and scored 10 goals. This season, he has made eight appearances in the Champions League, which have yielded six wins and one goal. The 2011/12 and 2013/14 seasons saw him make his highest number of appearances in the competition, with 11.
Ramos: “Real Madrid were the better side”
“We knew that Bayern would make our lives very difficult. They’ve got players of really quality, but I believe that Real Madrid were the better side. We aren’t satisfied with reaching the semi-finals. Our aim was to knock one of the favourites and strongest sides out, and now we have to wait and see who else qualifies. It would be disrespecful to talk of the final, first of all we have to focus on the opponents that we’re drawn against”.
A hundred Champions League appearances
“I’m very happy on a personal level. To have reached this figure and for all of these appearances to have come as a starter is a good statistic and I hope to go on and make many more”.
“I can understand both the fans and Cristiano. He always gives his all and can end up having good and bad games, but given everything that he has done for us, people should think about things before booing him. However, the Bernabéu has booed the greatest players, they always look to get the best out of each player”.
“I respect all opinions, but I don’t know how a robbery can be being talked about in relation to this game. I haven’t seen the replays. The referees’ decisions sometimes go for you and other times they don’t”.
Ramos, who reaches this landmark in his 12th season at the club, has claimed the following honours: two Champions League titles, two Club World Cups, two UEFA Super Cups, two Copas del Rey and two Spanish Super Cups.
“The important thing is to have got past a great team and now we want more”, said the Brazilian.
Florentino Pérez presented Marcelo with a shirt for his 400 matches with Real Madrid in the Boardroom at the Santiago Bernabéu. The Brazilian, who in the quarter-finals recorded his 50th win in the Champions League with the Whites, reaches this figure in his eleventh season in the first team, in with which he has achieved 286 victories and 28 goals.
The Brazilian spoke about the victory against Bayern: “We worked hard on the physical side and in the end it turned out well, I was able to contribute in the third goal and help the team. The important thing was to get through to the next round against a great team, very strong. Now we want more”.
“I have no preference in the draw, we are in good form, we are tired, but happy, I don´t want to talk about the referees because they have a very difficult job. When they get things right nobody says anything. When Barcelona come they´ll come for the three points and we now have to rest and go game by game”.
Since making his debut at Real Madrid in 2006/07, Marcelo has won 2 Champioans Leagues, 2 Club World Cups, 2 European Super Cups, 3 Leagues, 2 Copa del Reys and 2 Spanish Supercups.
His 400 matches are distributed between six competitions: League (287), Champions League (75), Copa del Rey (26) Spanish Super Cup (6), Club World Cup (4) and European Super Cup (2). The season in which he has played most matches was in 2014-2015, with 53. In the current season, Marcelo has play 39 times with 30 victories and three goals.
“Real Madrid were the better side and we deserved to progress to the semi-finals”, insisted the Whites’ forward.
Cristiano Ronaldo struck a hat-trick against Bayern Munich and with it surpassed the 100-goal mark in the European Cup, becoming the first player to have achieved this feat. The Real Madrid forward lies ahead of Lionel Messi (94 goals) and Raúl (71) in these standings. In terms of the teams for whom he has scored these goals, 85 of them have come during his time at Real Madrid, whilst the remaining 16 came when at Manchester United.
Ronaldo’s best goalscoring return in the European Cup are the 17 goals he notched in the 2013/14 campaign, which also represented a competition record. The madridista has been crowned the Champions League’s top scorer on five occasions and has lifted the trophy three times (once with Manchester United and twice with Real Madrid). What’s more, during his Madrid career, his favourite victims in the competition are Bayern Munich, against whom he has netted nine goals.
Cristiano Ronaldo: “We’re deserved winners”
“Of course it was Real Madrid who were the better side. It’s not easy to score six goals against a side like Bayern and we deserved to progress to the semi-finals. We played very well, obviously I’m happy to have got the three goals, but the team did brilliantly and showed we know how to dig it. We deserved the win”.
Proud of the display
“We knew that we would have to put in a very good performance because Bayern are capable of scoring wherever they go and they showed that they’re an excellent side. However, Real Madrid is Real Madrid. We played well and had a lot of chances in the opening period, in which we could have scored a goal or two, the same can be said of the second half. We conceded two goals but Real Madrid teams are used to digging in, we won and are all happy”.
Working for the team
“I always give my best and whenever I don’t score, I try to work hard to help the team”.
Real Madrid pass the 900 goal mark in the European Cup
by Alberto Navarro
The first team to achieve this record in the history of the competition.
Real Madrid past the 900 goal mark in the European Cup after the match against Bayern Munich. With the four goals scored against the German side, the Whites reached 901 goals and are the first team to reach this figure in the history of the competition. Cristiano Ronaldo, with his third goal of the night, was the scorer of the 900th.
The scorer of the first goal was Miguel Muñoz in the first edition of the European Cup, which ended with the Whites winning. Real Madrid beat Servette (0-2) in the first leg of the round of 16. Four editions later, Alfredo Di Stéfano scored the 100th goal in the first leg of the semi-final against Barcelona (3-1).
Goal 200 came from another legend: Puskas. The Hungarian scored the fifth and final goal in the victory against Feyenoord (5-0) in the 65-66 season. Thirteen European Cups later, Jensen made it 300 by scoring the second in the rout against Progress Niedercorn Luxembourg (0-7). The 400th goal came in the 90-91 season and was scored by Losada against Austrian Swarovski Tyrol (2-2).
Guti scored the 500th
The half thousand goal came in the 21st century thanks to Guti. The academy product scored two goals in the win against Sporting Lisbon (4-0) in the Group Stage of the 2000/01 season. Beckham scored the 600th in Marseille (1-2) three years later, while Higuain scored the 700th at San Siro, against Milan in 2010 (2-2).
At the end of 2013, in a Group Stage match in Copenhagen, Cristiano Ronaldo scored the 800th. A little more than three years later, the Portuguese forward struck again when bagging the 900th against Bayern in the second leg of the quarter-finals.
“We come into the game strongly and eager to give the fans something to celebrate”, added the Brazilian in ‘LaLiga World’.
El Clásico is not just another game. Real Madrid-Barcelona is big day in the diary for any football fan. That is something Marcelo is well aware of, and he discussed the game in his interview with LaLiga World: “It really is a thrilling game. The world grinds to a halt to watch this game. It is massive, every player wants to play and the people on the street are already talking about it up to a month beforehand”.
“I’ve been able to play in a few, and just talking about it gives me goose bumps. I have the privilege of being on the inside, and it’s a game a lot of people would love the chance to experience. It is so hard to explain. You have to be on the inside to feel it. The real thrill of it is to know that everyone has dropped what they’re doing to watch you, and that is priceless”.
The team’s mindset
“We are doing well. Every game is important to us but this is a direct clash and we are in a good dynamic. We want to make the fans happy. We won our last game in LaLiga with the help of players who weren’t playing much and in the end they were able to come on and face up to the challenge and take the three points. We’re a great team, we’re together and moving forward”.
The fans’ passion
“It’s exciting. If you look at the faces of the fans it’s as if they’re in shock, getting to see this game that loads of people are watching on TV. But they are there and it’s something out of this world”.
His first Clásico
“When I first arrived here, people spoke a lot about this game. When I got to play in it, I felt like that was when I truly became a Real Madrid player and I could say that I’d played in the Clásico. My friends all called to find out what it was like and how it felt. We won the game but my overriding feeling was that I was now a true Real Madrid player”.
“My most memorable Clásico is the one we won there with Cristiano’s goal. In that game we were a man down at the end and we still managed to win it. I think that’s the first Clásico that comes to my mind”.
The first clash at the Camp Nou
“It’s really tough to play there. We know Barcelona have a fantastic team and you’ve got to work very hard there to get on the ball. We managed to draw the game, play well and do what the coach asked of us. I’m not sure it was a statement of intent, we did a good job and we knew that we at least had to come away from there with a point”.
Connection with Cristiano
“He’s a good friend of mine, it’s a pleasure for me to share a dressing room with him. To be able to play with him, exchange passes with him, that’s something I’ll treasure for the rest of my life. We’ll look back on it very fondly in 10 or 20 years’ time”.
“We’ve been together for 7 or 8 years. Ultimately, with each training session and each game, it gets easier to know where he wants the ball, and he knows where I like to cross it. That partnership is built over time”.
“That’s the way he’s always been, very calm, he doesn’t speak much but he says what needs to be said when the team needs him to”.
Happy Birthday Isco!
Happy birthday to our “bandy legged beauty” who turns 25 today!
And tomorrow we find out who our next opponent will be in the Champions League: Atleti, Monaco or Juventus.