It seems that Critiano Ronaldo is making a lot of headlines lately due to some of the impressive plays and the saves that he’s been making.

When it comes to some of the Real Madrid games we’ve seen as of lately, it’s really hard to imagine games without him. He’s made a lot of lifesaving plays and the most recent game was no different. He’s far too loosely used today and thought of by the management of Real Madrid. However, the fans and the team know better. The Real Madrid had a huge hole they dug for themselves if it wanted to progress in the Champions League. This is where Critiano Ronaldo came in.

In Germany, Real Madrid lost the very first leg of the race leaving them at 2 to 0. This means that the Real Madrid had to make sure that they secured a victory over Wolfsburg by at least three very distinct goals. This came at a game versus a challenging opponent at the Santiago Bernabeau stadium and Ronaldo made sure to score every single goal that the team needed.

The Real Madrid has their sets of flaws and that’s definitely one of them. They’re a very well rounded team but they seem to struggle on goal scoring without Ronaldo. They rely too heavily on individuals like Ronaldo on those important games, so what would they do if he wasn’t there or if he was bought out by another team?

So what exactly scored these goals? When it came to the last and final goal, it was a free kick. However, it wasn’t exactly one of Ronaldo’s trademarks when it comes to his individual talents. It was KeylorNavas that suggested that he kick it softly and actually surprise anyone because he’s known as putting some power into his kicks. This decision won them the game.

If you want to obtain goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, it’s going to come with a mighty high price tag.

“It’s a pity that we’re out of the FA Cup and the Champions League but I’m going to try to finish the season well and have a good European Championship with Belgium.Then we’ll start a new season with a new manager [at Chelsea] with the hope of doing a lot better than this year.”

While Antonio Conte is going to be taking over for the interim manager Guus Hiddink, the list of possible transfer targets has already been leaked and on that list is Thibaut Courtois. The Italian coach already confirmed this list and Courtois is someone he has a very strong interest in.

What does Thibaut have to say about all of this? The goalkeeper hasn’t made any confirmations or denials about the speculation but Courtois has made no guarantees about his future with Chelsea or the Real Madrid. There’s a very strong interest from Real Madrid and with the price tag rising steadily, there’s going to be interest from other teams as well if someone doesn’t snatch him up.

The shocking price tag (all in cash according to blogger Jenny Campbell) comes from Chelsea, which was placed intentionally so that Real Madrid doesn’t try to take him away from them. Both Courtois and David De Gea have both been speculation of being high targets for being transferred this summer. With an impressive display last season by the Chelsea goalkeeper, the long term goalkeeper Petr Cech was forced to transfer to Arsenal.

Courtois hasn’t had a perfect season though. He missed approximately three months of gameplay when he had to have surgery performed on his knee for injuries sustained in multiple games. It comes as a disappointment on a personal level to Courtois who wants to win a trophy every single season but for the first time in his career at the Stamford Bridge, he won’t receive one.

After having dropped points against Sevilla, Barcelona and more recently Villareal, Real Madrid has managed to bounce back by claiming an overwhelming 10-2 triumph over Rayo Vallecano at the Santiago Bernabeu on December 20 of 2015.

However, even with this overwhelming triumph, Real Madrid’s loss against Villareal is something that the Portuguese defender of Real Madrid, Pepe still hasn’t got over as the experienced defender simply can’t understand what happened in the pitch and why his team lost the game.

Real Madrid’s Pepe said: “I don’t know what happened in the first half. We were not plugged into the game. To win matches, you have to come out ready. We’ll continue to fight. The second half was different but we were not able to score. You have to give credit to Villarreal. We should have matched their intensity.”

That was the statement released by Pepe as he voiced his thoughts concerning Real Madrid’s loss against Villareal which was played earlier in December.

The Spanish League race is far from over and anything can happen in the remainder of the season but Real Madrid cant afford to drop any further points as this puts a huge wave of pressure on the Spanish club and even more pressure to Rafael Benitez who is already being rumored on being sacked if he is unable to turn things around.

Benitez received an immense sigh of relief after witnessing his team defeat Rayo Vallecano with the outstanding final scoreboard of 10-2 and they will need to continue performing at this high level in order for the rumors and the media to start giving him more room to breathe.

The players themselves are feeling the pressure that is being built around them and this has started a string of rumors in relation to some of the high-profile players being offloaded from the club including Pepe who is still being rumored on making a switch to Valencia which are interested in signing the Portuguese defender but this rumor seems incredibly difficult to believe, especially taking into consideration that Pepe recently signed a contract extension with Real Madrid which will be keeping in the club at least until 2017 and he is one of the main figures of the Spanish team who has voiced the passion that he has for the club on numerous occasions.

Pepe reckons Real Madrid did not show sting on Sunday.
Playing away at Villarreal that night, Madrid lost 0-1 and as a result of that loss, they went 5 points down to their closest rivals in the top flight.

It’s not easy for them to catch up now, but, as per Pepe, the whites will keep on battling.

The Centre half, who was looking distressed while having this conversation with one of the television presenters, said, “Our intensity level was nowhere near it needed to be.”

“We had to go out there firing on all cylinders, but, we couldn’t. We will be having a discussion.”

“Second half, we could have bounced back. There were plenty of chances, but, none was taken. It should have been much better than that.”

“I would not like to take any credit away from Villarreal. They were, of course, at the top of their game.”

When asked how tough it would be now to get back to the top of the points table again, Pepe said, “It would be very tough, no doubt, but, hanging in there is very important.
We would not be giving up. We would try to keep ourselves in the battle right through.”

Pepe has lacked playing time in La Liga 2015-16 as he has had only 7 appearances under his belt thus far, but, he has shown good form of late and would probably continue to feature on a regular basis from here on in.

The 32-year old, who is spending his 9th season at Santiago Bernabeu, has already played more than 200 games in the Spanish top flight and has scored 10 goals.

Madrid had bought Pepe from the Portuguese club FC Porto at an amount of thirty million Euros.

Fabricio Coloccini was all praise for Jonas Gutierrez speaking in the interview post the match versus West Ham United.

It was the last game for Gutierrez in Newcastle shirt and he influenced it by scoring a goal towards the end.
The game was very important for the Magpies. A win was needed for them to avoid the demotion to the second tier and Gutierrez helped them achieve that.

The scenes were electric at St. James Park when that Gutierrez goal came.

Everyone was up on the feet and that was a kind of acknowledgment of the contribution that the playmaker made for the club in his 7-year stay.

Gutierrez saw a lot of ups and downs at Newcastle. He struggled with form and at times, even got dropped of the squad.

He also fought with a dangerous disease like cancer, but, whenever he puts on the jersey and steps on to represent the club on the pitch, his spirit was exemplary.
And, that’s why; Coloccini spoke about him in a very respectful tone the other day.

In Coloccini’s words, “Jonas is one of the most dedicated players I have met in my career. He always gives it his all and that’s why, he is so successful. I wish him all the very best and I have no doubt he would win many more games at whichever club he chooses to go to.”

“You see how important a role he played even in his farewell game. He ensured the extremely valuable three points which we desperately needed to save ourselves from the relegation. I think he would be a proud man with the way his career turned out here at Newcastle.”
Gutierrez found the net 12 times for Newcastle in 205 games.

Carlo Ancelotti is widely expected to leave Real Madrid after the Spanish club concluded the season in the worst possible manner by conceding three goals at home to Getafe.

Even though the match ended in a 7-3 win for the Los Blancos, the atmosphere inside the Santiago Bernebeu was extremely subdued as the crowd had just witnessed Barcelona lifting the league title yet again. Ancelotti has failed to deliver the la Liga Crown in his two years in Madrid. Even though he has brought the 10th European cup that was cherished by the Madrid faithful, the club were 30 seconds away from being defeated by Atletico Madrid in the final.

It is undoubtedly going to be seen as a series of failure for the Italian manager despite having won the FIFA Club World Cup and the UEFA Super Cup titles. Despite this, the interest around the former Chelsea boss is unlikely to wane anytime soon. There have been reports that clubs like Manchester City and AC Milan will consider the possibility of hiring the manager. After the match against Getafe, Ancelotti revealed his future plans. He has a meeting scheduled with the Madrid board in the next week. Even if he is sacked, Ancelotti does not plan to continue working for another 12 months.

“My future is clear in my head. I will continue here at Real Madrid or I will stop for a year. I think we are going to meet next week to clarify the future of the club. This is football, especially at a club like Real Madrid it is normal to be questioned after part of the season didn’t go well. It is part of my job. Last season we won the 10th european Cup and this year is a different story. I won’t forget what we did last year or what happened this year. You have to consider everything,” said Ancelotti.

After a string of poor performances, Real Madrid returned back to form with a bang after beating Granada 9-1 at the Santiago Bernebeu. The victory eases a lot of pressure on manager Carlo Ancelotti, who has come under fire in recent weeks following a string of bad results.

The worst possible time for the Italian came after the 2-1 loss against archrivals Barcelona before the international break. Real have had a fortnight to look at the problems and they seem to have rectified it to some extent. Their opponents this weekend, Granada, are not the byword for the strongest opponents. Hence, it remains to be seen if Real can maintain this performance.

Ancelotti, though, reckons that the players are back on firmer ground and that they will start performing from here on. Real Madrid will have the tendency to shift focus towards the Champions League, where they are the defending champions, after falling four points behind Barcelona with less than 10 matches remaining in the season. They have a quarter-final tie against Atletico Madrid, who have had the upper hand this season, and this may seem as a viable proposition. The Italian manager, though, dismissed suggestions that the team will be prioritising the Champions League over the league.

“The feeling is all positive, the team is good physically, we are fresh. We must highlight how the team has returned to playing as we want. It was important to win, and to play well, and we have done that.The objectives are very close now, and all the players understand that by giving their all the team can be at its best. But this was just one game and we have another important game on Wednesday, and be fully focused then, as we were today. Last year we were not as good physically as we are now,” said Ancelotti.

The Croatian midfielder Luka Modric is one of the key figures who has fighting and trying to get back in shape after being hit with injury but it has now been announced by the Spanish club that Modric has already been playing with the rest of his teammates on a few training sessions as Modric is close to returning to full fitness.

James Rodriguez, Fabio Coentrao, Sergio Ramos, Sami Khedira and Pepe are all of the players who have been trying to deal and recover from injuries.

Modric has not been able to play a competitive match for Real Madrid since November when he picked up a thigh injury while performing for his country Croatia. The 29 year old midfielder does not want to rush his recovery and has no pressure on returning to the playing grounds.

“I will keep working, and be back soon. I know that with this type of injury, if you rush it, you run the risk of worsening the problem. The most important is to return to play at the level you were at before the injury. All I have done, including the recovery time in Belgium, the treatment in Vitoria Basque Country and the tests in Munich, has been in total agreement with everyone and under the supervision of Real Madrid’s doctors.” Real Madrid’s Luka Modric said.

The squad of Carlo Ancelotti has appeared to be less dominant than usual since Modric has been out of action as the Croatian midfielder gives the team much more control in the midfield department of the team.

Real Madrid will need to get all of their important players back in action as fast as possible in order for them to maintain their position at the top of the Spanish League and continue their charge for the league title; Lukas Modric is one of these key figures.

Russell Slade, the boss of Cardiff City, was quite annoyed by the performance of his boys versus Brentford last weekend.

According to Slade, the Bluebirds’ main problem at the moment is their inconsistency. They just don’t play consistent football for the full one and half hours.

In that Brentford game, Cardiff played wonderfully in the second half, but, it was not enough to make up for their lethargic showing in the first half. Going into the break, they were trailed by 0-3 and the frustration level of the fans had reached the maximum by that time.

The team was booed while going off the pitch and the fans obviously had their reasons to do so.

The Cardiff players are better that what they are appearing to be at this point of time. This is the same team which had trumped Manchester City the previous season, the mighty Manchester City yes.

And, now, they are not even in top 10 in the English second division.

Addressing the press that evening in Cardiff, Slade said, “Well, all I can say to the fans is sorry. I am deeply annoyed right now, certainly as much as the fans, if not more.”

“We’ve got to do something about it. We have made remarkable comebacks in the last couple of games, but, nothing has come to our hands in terms of points and that’s because we have let too much of damage to be done early on. It’s a big problem for us and it’s needed to be sorted at the earliest. We must not get pushed back so much so early in the game.”

“It’s all about consistency at this level. You can’t play well for a few minutes and then expect to win. You’ve got to be there and thereabouts right through.”

Ferdinand Slams Moyes

After several other Manchester United stars, now, Rio Ferdinand has also slammed David Moyes for his 1-year work as manager at Old Trafford.
According to the veteran centre back, Moyes’ mentality was not right. He did not realize how big a club he was in charge of.
In his autobiography which will be out for the public soon, Ferdinand has put a bit of light on that unsuccessful season of United under David Moyes.
A couple of paragraphs of the book were published in one of the English dailies yesterday.
In Ferdinand’s words, “David’s tactics confused the players. He wanted us to play weirdly at times. In a match at Old Trafford, I think it was against Fulham, we were just giving each other long crosses. We did that more than 80 times that day. I never understood the point of doing that. It was a mindboggling strategy.”
“On other days, he would tell us to make as many passes as we could. He used to tell us to make 600 passes. I mean it was ridiculous. You’ve got to think about scoring goals, not just about making passes. If you are finding the back of the net 2 or 3 times from 15 passes, it’s far better than making 100 passes and scoring no goal.”
The Manchester United hierarchy axed Moyes towards the end of the last season and gave the job to Ryan Giggs temporarily before bringing in Louis Van Gaal as the permanent man-in-charge.
United is struggling a little bit under Van Gaal as well, but, at least under him, they are trying to play attacking football.
The Red Devils have 1 win and a couple of draws to their name in the 4 Premier League games this season.