What can say you about a team that goes out and spends to its heart’s content ? It’d be remiss not to the think that Spanish soccer giant, Real Madrid CF is under pressure to succeed. They’ve spent in excess of $350 million to acquire a cabal of world class soccer stars. That being said , it’s by no means a guarantee of success in the often volatile world of domestic soccer. Much less, for the premiere club soccer tournament in the world – the Champions League.
Having had a thorough display in the European club competition in defeating FC Zurich 5-2 in somewhat of a competitive but lopsided match in part. The Swiss side were never really that bold on offense but they made use of the legitimate chances that came their way.
And with the game now out of the way. They can now return to the rigors of the Spanish League domestic competition. There’s no doubt that this victory has given the team a definite boost of confidence. And now comes the sterner test for the team and that’s to maintain that consistency shown in their defeat of the Swiss side. There’s nothing more telling than when a team coming off a resounding win then falls back to earth with a lackluster display. With the team’s triumvirate of stars all having solid performances. It’s hoped that they’ll be able to replicate that form in their return to domestic competition in the league.
The two goal outburst by Cristiano Ronaldo to go with his allround display, was all that the Real Madrid fans could ask for. And it paid off in with the dividends of also seeing Kaka and Raul ably abetting the Portuguese , World Player of the Year, in Cristiano Ronaldo. The glaring talk when one deals the precocious talent of Ronaldo , has been that he’s never been able to produce on the grandest of stages. But if anything it has been the player’s complacency and the fact that he doesn’t always challenge himself to do better. We’re in awe with those moments dazzling brilliance. But then soon after we’re wanting to lambast the player for sometimes not trying harder. But were he on your team would you be willing to sell him in the expectation of getting something better ? There aren’t many players today with the talents of Ronaldo playing the game at his level of consistency. Isn’t any wonder that the Spanish giants were willing to pay Manchester United in excess of $140 million to avail themselves of his services ? His compensation package with Real Madrid makes him amongst the highest paid soccer players in the world. And the untold riches in terms of endorsements will almost certainly make him amongst the highest earning sport’s personalities on the planet.
La Liga (Spanish Primera) as the Spanish first division is often referred to , is one of the most competitive leagues in all of European soccer. It sits alongside that of the Barclays Premier League in England -being viewed as claiming that mantel. Though many believe it to be the Premiership that is far in a way the most competitive in terms of talent and the number of elite teams on display week in and week out..That case cannot made for La Liga.
Courtesy of AP Yahoo Sports :
By Stuart Condie AP Sports Writer
Cristiano Ronaldo had a successful Champions League debut for Real Madrid, scoring twice Wednesday night in a 5-2 victory at Zurich.
“I never feel pressure,” Ronaldo said. “I just work to score goals. I scored two and I’m really pleased for that, but the important thing is to win games.”
Manchester United, his former team, won its opener 1-0 at Besiktas, and AC Milan gained a 2-1 victory in heavy rain at Olympique Marseille.
The reigning FIFA player of the year, Ronaldo scored on free kicks in the 27th and 89th minutes of the Group C match, with the second going in off goalkeeper Johnny Leoni, who tried to clear it with a punch. Real Madrid, a nine-time champion, also got goals from Raul Gonzalez in the 34th, Gonzalo Higuain in first-half injury time and Jose Maria “Guti” Gutierrez in second-half injury time.
“We must not lose concentration,” Real Madrid coach Manuel Pelligrini said. “There are always things to improve on but I’m happy we scored five goals.”
Xavier Margairaz converted a 64th-minute penalty kick for Zurich, which also got a goal on Silvan Aegerter’s header one minute later.
“Real was for sure a little bit in fear of us. At 3-2 anything is possible,” Leoni said. “If they want to win the Champions League they will have to play better.”
At a Group B match in Istanbul, Paul Scholes scored with 13 minutes remaining for Manchester United, the 2008 champion.
“It was difficult,” United captain Gary Neville said. “They create an atmosphere over here like no other country.”
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And with the Spanish domestic league season just underway. It’ll be interesting to see how Real Madrid fares in domestic competition. As of late this team hasn’t won anything of merit on either level. With untold tens of millions of dollars at their disposal they’ve gone out of their way to try and buy themselves out of trouble. It has seemingly left the club in something of a financially precarious situation. Although club president Florentino Perez has tried to allay those fears by publicly addressing the issue. Stating that the club is financially sound and that they can meet all of their financial obligations.
With the Bernabau Stadium , the team’s home venue seemingly filled to capacity for home games with their vociferous and impassioned fans. Now is the time for the Spanish giants to try and reclaim their mantel as the best team in Spain. An opinion that might not be shared by the likes of FC Barcelona or Atletico Madrid . Two other popular teams that have had success at the domestic and European club competition level. It has become a titular struggle however between the triumvirate as to who is in-fact the best team in the land. Though you could thrust at least three or four other amidst the argument and try and make a case for them also. But as of now the standings within La Liga places Barcelona , Real Madrid , Valencia and Athletic Bilbao atop of the division with six points apiece -two games played.
Real Madrid’s roster is littered with star power and it would be considered a tremendous blow after the signing of Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaka and former Liverpool player, Xabi Alonso if this team were to fail under the auspices of their coach ,Manuel Pellegrini. Who is a proven commodity as a coach. But in the pressure cooker atmosphere of the Bernabeu and the vapid fans and the club’s seemingly unabated appetite for success. The Galacticos had better be at their very best this season on all fronts. If not, then the merry-go-round in the changing of management , executives in the boardroom and in the roster will once again be front and center in the Spanish press. As they’ll be calling for the heads as to whom they deem appropriate when failure once again surfaces for the team. Never-mind what the fans may well think.
It’s not only Cristiano Ronaldo who has got to prove something but the entire Real Madrid organization from top to bottom ! It is now a far cry from when this club reigned supreme on the domestic and European soccer stage. Baited breath now awaits as to the next chapter for this team.