srijeda, 30. prosinca 2009.

Real Madrid Star Cristiano Ronaldo Aiming To Be The Best Player In History

Real Madrid talisman Cristiano Ronaldo has set his sights on recapturing the Ballon d'Or in 2010 and declared that he wants to go down as the greatest player in history.

Ronaldo relinquished the crown he won in 2008 to Barcelona star Lionel Messi, who also took over the title of FIFA World Player of the Year in 2009 but the Portuguese winger has his sights firmly set on returning to being recognised as the best footballer on the planet.

"I'm going to win the Ballon d'Or back, this year or next," he declared as quoted by Marca.

"I have an ambition to become the best player in history."

The 24-year-old also declared that his troublesome ankle, which kept him out of action for two months, is in good shape and will not require surgery.

"The ankle is fine and if not the Real Madrid doctors will see it right. I am sure I will not need an operation," he noted.

Arjen Robben Was The First Installment In Franck Ribery's Transfer From Bayern Munich To Real Madrid

The verbal agreement between Bundesliga heavyweights Bayern Munich and La Liga giants Real Madrid for next summer's transfer of French midfielder Franck Ribery was reported yesterday by

But today a report has come out of that has outlined more details about the deal, lifting the lid on talks which have apparently been in the pipeline for some time already.

According to the German website, Dutch winger Arjen Robben's transfer to Bayern served as an initial deposit, locking Ribery in for a transfer exclusively to the Santiago Bernabeu. As such, Madrid has already paid half of the estimated €50 million that the French attacker will cost them in total.

The verbal agreement also apparently holds two caveats. The first clause is the aforementioned first refusal for Madrid. The second is that if Ribery decides to stay at Bayern and extend his contract, then Bayern will have to pay Madrid the €25 million they have still not handed over for Robben's transfer along, with a year's interest added to the fee.

Real Madrid's Rafael Van Der Vaart Trains Separately

Real Madrid's morning training on Wednesday had a surprise in store as Dutch midfielder Rafael Van der Vaart trained alongside the players who are recovering from injuries and training separately from the rest of the squad. He joined in with Kaka, Guti, and Ruud Van Nistelrooy instead of the main bunch, but the extent or diagnosis of the Dutchman's injury remains unknown.

As for the rest of the team, a large number of players rejoined their companions as Iker Casillas, Sergio Ramos, Alvaro Arbeloa, Gonzalo Higuain and Fernando Gago returned from their holidays in time for the afternoon training session. As such, coach Manuel Pellegrini is now counting on his entire squad, save for Mahamadou Diarra, who is training with the Malian national team for the African Cup of Nations, and long-term injury victim Pepe.

The Madrid coach also called a number of youth players up from the ranks to work with the first team. Today, that group was comprised of Szalai, Vazquez, Raul Ruiz, Modrego and Juanan.

Real Madrid's Alvaro Arbeloa: We Have Taken A Step Forward

Real Madrid defender Alvaro Arbeloa has told Spanish press and the club's fans that they are now ready to kick on after an impressive first half of the season with their new 'Galacticos', reports AS.

"The team needed time, but now after some patience and good work, we are progressively improving," declared the former Liverpool player.

As for his switch of position from right back to Madrid's regular left back, Arbeloa says he "becomes more comfortable with every match on the left. I will continue on the left even in light of Pepe's injury because, fortunately, we have three very good central defenders and Sergio Ramos can also play the position. I hope to keep playing wherever I am needed."

Arbeloa also expressed his belief that the team can win at least one title at the end of the season. "We have taken a step forward, we are improving a lot, we are scoring a lot, we are creating a number of chances, and we have options to win something. It will be difficult, but we have the potential to do it and we have to fight to be there at the end."

Finally, Arbeloa rubbished the notion that there was concern over some Barcelona's players having curtailed their winter vacations to return to training early.

"I do not know if Barca will slow down; what they have done, no one has ever done, but in the year that comes we will make them push even harder.

"We have a difficult month of January, but we do not have the Copa del Rey so we will be able to rest in the middle of the week. We hope that the Copa stretches Barca and we will have to take advantage of any slip-ups."

Juventus Interested In Real Madrid's Gago

Fernando Gago appears to have no future at Real Madrid, and Juventus could be set to offer him an escape.

According to Il Corriere dello Sport, the Bianconeri are keen to snare Gago during the winter transfer window. The fact that the midfielder has big game experience and is an Argentine international are said to count in his favour.

Ideally, Juve would like to loan Gago, pay half his transfer fee, and include an option for full purchase at the end of the season.

Fiorentina and Everton have also expressed an interest in Gago, although his preference remains to stay at the Bernabeu and win Manuel Pellegrini's favour. However, with the World Cup approaching, he knows that securing regular football is a priority.

Gago's agent had earlier spoken about his situation, saying, "He wants regular playing time ahead of the World Cup."

"When he does not play, he stays at home and cries."

Real Madrid Have Produced 107 Youth Team Players Plying Their Trade In Europe

Much is made of the exceptional quality of Barcelona's youth team products such as Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta, Xavi Hernandez, Carles Puyol, Gerard Pique, Sergi Busquets, Bojan Krkic, Pedro Rodriguez, Jeffren Suarez, etc., but in a report by Madrid sports daily AS, the Real Madrid youth program is also ranked as one of the world's best with 107 former youth players playing in Europe (51 in La Primera, 43 in La Segunda, and 13 in eight other countries on the continent).

Real Madrid have five players who have come up through the ranks in Raul, Iker Casillas, Esteban Granero, Guti, and Alvaro Arbeloa (seven including third goalkeeper Adan and the injured De la Red). Somewhat paradoxically, one can find even more youth players in south Madrid as Getafe have employed a number of youth team players as well as coaches.

In terms of coaches, Los Azulones have had Quique, Schuster, Laudrup, and Michel giving orders while on the pitch one can find Belenguer, Casquero, Adrian, Soldado, Miguel Torres, Dani Parejo, and Jordi Codina in the Getafe ranks.

In La Segunda, Rayo Vallecano is the club with the most players with Blanco pasts as Cobeno, Tena, Aganzo, Quero, Movilla, and Rafa Garcia carry the Madrid name.

Internationally, in the world's principal leagues, the Merengue presence is also noted in such players as Jordi Lopez in the Premier League, Schorch in the Bundesliga, Samuel Eto'o and Esteban Cambiasso in the Serie A, Javi Garcia and Balboa in Portugal, and Gonzalo and Groningen in Holland.

About Real Madrid C.F.

Real Madrid Club de Fútbol , commonly known as Real Madrid (and in Spain, within an adequate context, simply as el Madrid), is a professional football club based in Madrid, Spain. It is the most successful team in Spanish football and was voted by FIFA as the most successful club of the 20th century, having won a record thirty-one La Liga titles, seventeen Spanish Cups, a record nine European Cups and two UEFA Cups. Real was a founding member of FIFA and the now-defunct G–14 group of Europe's leading football clubs as well as its replacement, the European Club Association. The word "Real" in the club's name is the Spanish term for "Royal", and was added in 1920 together with the royal crown in the emblem.

Founded in 1902, Real Madrid has since spent all of its history in the top flight of Spanish football. In the 1940s, the club, the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium and the Ciudad Deportiva were rebuilt following the Spanish Civil War. The club established itself as a major force in both Spanish and European football during the 1950s. In the 1980s, the club had one of the best teams in Spain and Europe (known as La Quinta del Buitre), winning two UEFA Cups, five Spanish championships in a row, one Spanish cup and three Spanish Super Cups.

The team traditional home colours are all white, although it initially adopted a blue oblique stripe on the shirt. Its crest has been changed several times in attempts to modernise or re-brand; the current crest is a modified version of the one first adopted in the 1920s. Real's home ground is the 80,354-person-capacity Santiago Bernabéu football stadium in downtown Madrid, where it has played since 1947.

Real Madrid holds long-standing rivalries with some other clubs; the most notable of these is with FC Barcelona, the two teams regularly contest in El Clásico. Unlike most European football clubs, Real Madrid's members (socios) have owned and operated the club since its inception. The club is the world's richest football club (€351m) in terms of revenue and the second most valuable (worth over €950m as of 2008).