Bayern Midfielder James Rodriguez ‘Will Return’ to Real Madrid to Rejuvenate Faltering Career

​James Rodriguez is said to be vying for a return to Real Madrid to rejuvenate his faltering career in the Spanish capital.

The Colombian joined Bayern Munich at the start of the 2017/18 season on a two year loan deal which cost an estimated £12m. That loan deal also included an option for Bayern to make the move permanent for a further £37m.

FC Bayern Muenchen v Sport-Club Freiburg - Bundesliga

After a difficult start to the 2018/19 campaign, reports have suggested that ​​Rodriguez could be looking for a​ way out of Bayern and now more fuel has been added to the fire.

Speaking on the television programme ‘El Chiringuito’, as per ​Sport, Colombian journalist Gatti has claimed that he has spoken to ​Rodriguez personally about his current situation.

Gatti claimed that Rodriguez’s desire is to move back to his parent club and the journalist insisted that Rodriguez explicitly told him: “I’m going to return to ​Real Madrid.”

Although Gatti refused to speculate on exactly when Rodriguez would return to Real Madrid, it is more than likely he would remain with ​Bayern until the end of the season.

Rodriguez himself has previously suggested that he would be happy to stay with Bayern, but only if he is granted enough minutes on the pitch.

“If I have to go because I am not playing then I will go. You know that I want to stay because I feel the love of the fans and all the Bayern family,” Rodriguez said, as quoted by ​Marca.

FC Schalke 04 v FC Bayern Muenchen - Bundesliga

So far this season, Rodriguez has made just 11 appearances in all competitions and is currently watching from the sidelines after picking up a knee ligament injury.


Picking the Best Potential Real Madrid Lineup to Face CSKA Moscow in the UCL on Wednesday

Real Madrid will look to seal top spot in Group G when they welcome CSKA Moscow to the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday night.

Los Blancos sit on 12 points and require a draw against the Russian side to go through as winners ahead of Roma, who travel to Viktoria Plzen.

Expected to make changes from their 1-0 win at Huesca on the weekend, Santiago Solari could give starts to duo Isco and Marco Asensio.

Here’s Madrid’s potential lineup.

1. Goalkeeper & Defenders

Keylor Navas (GK) – Belgium international Thibaut Courtois has started only two Champions League games this term and Navas is expected to be drafted in against CSKA.

Alvaro Odriozola (RB) – The 22-year-old’s versatility could be key should Solari switch to the 4-3-3 system. Dani Carvajal is expected to be rested.

Sergio Ramos (CB) – Captain and leader, Ramos will be expected to lead the defensive line with Los Blancos needing a point to guarantee top position.

Raphael Varane (CB)  – France World Cup winner Varane could partner Ramos, whose European experience lead their side to European glory last season.

Sergio Reguilon (LB) – The 21-year-old has played twice in the Champions League this season and could feature ahead of Marcelo.

2. Midfielders

Toni Kroos (CM) – The former Bayern Munich midfielder’s eye for goal and defence splitting capabilities could be the difference.

Isco (CM) – Having registered a goal and an assist this campaign, Isco will be desperate to reclaim a regular starting place in the 11.

Marcos Llorente (CM) – Madrid youth product Llorente has enjoyed a handful of recent appearances for Los Blancos and could be given a second Champions League start.

3. Forwards

Gareth Bale (RW) – Taking on the responsibility of Madrid great Cristiano Ronaldo, the Welshman will look to continue his fine form in front of goal after netting against Huesca.

Karim Benzema (ST) – Just two goals away from equalling his Champions League tally for last term, the French striker, previously scrutinised for a lack of goals, will be keen to prove he’s Los Blancos’ main man.

Marco Asensio (LW) – Started four of their five group games, but the former Espanyol man is yet to contribute in either the goal and assist department.


Real Madrid vs CSKA Moscow Preview: Where to Watch, Live Stream, Kick Off Time, Predictions & More

Already qualified, Real Madrid host CSKA Moscow in the Champions League on the final matchday of Group G. 

Los Blancos lead Group G ahead of Roma with 12 points from a possible 15 and need just a point to guarantee top spot. However, Santiago Solari’s side will be eyeing a win and seeking revenge after they suffered a shock​ defeat in the reverse fixture in the second round.

Despite competing against Spanish and Italian heavyweights, CSKA will be slightly disappointed to have been unable to build on their historic win over their opponents, picking up just one point since – including a loss to Viktoria Plzen last time out. 

While Madrid have comfortably sealed qualification, the Russian giants can still qualify for the Europa League should they better Plzen’s result.

Here’s 90min’s breakdown of Wednesday’s clash.

Where To Watch

When Is Kick Off? Wednesday 12 December
What Time Is Kick Off? ​17:55 (BST)
Where Is it Played? ​Santiago Bernabeu
​TV Channel/Live Stream? ​BT Sport 1
​Referee? ​Artur Dias

Team News

Solari faces a selection headache ahead of the clash and could give starts to ​Isco, Vinicius Junior and ​Marco Asensio, who didn’t start at the weekend. Forward Mariano picked up a muscle injury in Madrid’s Copa del Rey thrashing over Mellila last week and is set to miss out again.

Sociedad Deportiva Huesca v Real Madrid - La Liga

Having scored the winner against Los Blancos on matchday two, on-loan ​Everton forward Nikola Vlasic is set to feature.

However, Viktor Goncharenko will be without star man Alan Dzagoev for an eighth consecutive game as they look to become the first team to avoid defeat at the Santiago Bernabeu this campaign.

Predicted Lineups

​Real Madrid ​Navas; Odriozola, Ramos, Varane, Reguilon; Kroos, Isco, Llorente; Bale, Benzema, Asensio.
​CSKA Moscow ​Akinfeev; Nababkin, Becao, Magnusson; Fernandes, Bistrovic, Shchennikov, Akhmetov, Vlasi, Sigurdsson; Chalov.

Head to Head Record

The sides have met just three times in European competition, with both registering a win and a draw apiece.


After resting captain ​Sergio Ramos and ​Luka Modric, October’s encounter saw Madrid fall to a 

surprise 1-0 defeat in Russia.

Recent Form

Having won four on the bounce in all competitions,​ Madrid have seemingly bounced back from their poor early season form. Their home ​win over Roma on matchday five would have instilled confidence and a wave of relief around the capital, who look to win the illustrious European trophy for a record 14th time.

Real Madrid  v Viktoria Plzen - UEFA Champions League Group G

Looking to fill the goal-scoring boots of former legendary marksmen ​Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and ​Gareth Bale have six goals between them in the competition so far.

CSKA come into Wednesday’s fixture unbeaten in five games and will have to be their best if they’re to claim a Europa League spot.

Sociedad Deportiva Huesca v Real Madrid - La Liga

As highlighted in Madrid’s 3-1 win over Plzen, their defensive naivety has been well documented and forwards Vlasic and Fedor Chalov are capable of causing problems for Los Blancos. The latter is the Russian club’s top goal-scorer this season, but has netted once in Europe. 

Here’s how each side has fared in their last five fixtures:

​Real Madrid ​CSKA Moscow
​Huesca 0-1 Real Madrid (09/12) CSKA Moscow 2-1 Yenisey (08/12)
​Real Madrid 6-1 Mellila (06/12) ​FC Rostov 0-0 CSKA Moscow (02/12)
​Real Madrid 2-0 Valencia (01/12) ​CSKA Moscow 1-2 Viktoria Plzen (27/11)
​Roma 0-2 Real Madrid (27/11) ​Akhmat Grozny 0-2 CSKA Moscow (23/11)
​Eibar 3-0 Real Madrid (24/11) ​CSKA Moscow 2-0 Zenit (11/11)


Considering Madrid’s European pedigree, qualification as group winners will be the forefront of their minds ahead of Wednesday’s fixture.

Having won this competition last season, retaining the title could prove a shining light in an otherwise underwhelming campaign thus far.

Should Solari decide to rest key players, CSKA’s best hope of staying in European competition will lay on the shoulders of their forwards. Madrid will be expected to win, but the Russian side will show their battling colours.

Prediction: Real Madrid 2-0 CSKA Moscow


Cristiano Ronaldo Reveals How He Wants His Rivalry With Lionel Messi to Continue

​Cristiano Ronaldo has spoken up about his move to Juventus and the differences he feels in the attitude and togetherness compared to Real Madrid, as well as missing his individual battles with Lionel Messi. 

Ronaldo has endured a fruitful start to life in Turin to say the least, helping ​Juventus to the joint-best start ever recorded in Europe’s top five leagues since the three-point era began, with 10 goals and six assists in Juve’s unbeaten record of 14 wins from 15 games.


And, speaking to ​La Gazzetta dello Sport, when asked to name who impresses him most in the Old Lady’s squad, the forward could only admit to it being the greatest one he’s been a part of, saying: “It’s not fair to name just a few, but I can say that this is the best group I’ve ever played.” 

He then highlighted the difference between his dressing room in Italy and his previous one in Spain, adding: “Here we are a team, elsewhere someone feels bigger than others but here they are all on the same line, they are humble and want to win. 

“If Dybala or Mandzukic do not mark, you still see them happy, smile. For me it is beautiful, I perceive the difference. Even in ​Madrid they are humble but here… I feel they are more so. It is very different from Madrid, this is more a family.”

Asked whether he wants any of his former teammates, as has been repeatedly rumoured, to join him in Turin, Ronaldo proclaimed: “I see you write about James, Bale, Asensio but I’m honest, Juventus does not need other players. You must talk to the president. 

“On the future, I do not know. Marcelo is strong, we open the doors to good players and Marcelo is one of them.”

​Ronaldo was also probed on his individual rivalry with ​Messi, and whether it was something he missed from his time in La Liga. 


However, he preferred to consider a future move for the Argentine to Italy than look back on the nine-year battle they had: “No, maybe I miss him… I played in England, Spain, Italy, Portugal, in the national team, while he is still in Spain. Maybe he needs me more. 

“I would like him to come to Italy one day. Like me, accept the challenge. However, if he is happy there, I respect him: he is a fantastic player, a good guy but I do not miss anything here. This is my new life and I’m happy.”


World Cup Winner Admits Interest in Real Madrid Job as National Team Reign Nears End

Germany national team manager Joachim Low has conceded that his tenure with Die Mannschaft will come to a close sooner or later, and confirmed he would seek a role in club football. 

He also admitted that the job at ​Real Madrid​ would be hard to turn down for any man his line of business. 

The 58-year-old, who worked in Austria, Switzerland and Turkey as well as his native country before he landed the national team role in 2006 following a two year stint as assistant, won a domestic cup at Stuttgart, as well as the Austrian League with Tirol Inssbruck

Germany v Netherlands - UEFA Nations League A

Speaking to German television network ZDF, as quoted by Spanish publication ​Sport, Low confirmed: “I was a club manager for several years and I am still not thinking about retirment.”

The World Cup winning tactician has been under pressure to end his reign in recent months, following the DFB’s humiliating group stage exit in Russia 2018, as well as their relegation from the inaugural UEFA Nations League.

And, in light of this, Low admitted: “It’s also clear that the majority of my time as national team coach has already passed, so the moment will arrive when I have to think about what I do after.”

It appears this will likely come in the shape of a return to club football, as he continued: “For me, I am still interested in coaching a club.”

And, when he was asked whether there were any particular outfits or leagues he was looking at, the German proclaimed: “I think it would be abroad, not in Germany.” 

Naturally, this led back to his links with Los Blancos, and in response to questions regarding a potential switch to the ​La Liga side, Low brazenly declared: “Real Madrid are an interesting club for any manager.”


Exequiel Palacios: 6 Things You Need to Know About the Real Madrid Transfer Target

Real Madrid appear to be on the verge of completing a switch for River Plate starlet Exequiel Palacios. 

River Plate president Rodolfo D’Onofrio has released a statement confirming Madrid’s interest and adding fuel to a potentially imminent switch.  

Madrid’s bitter rivals Barcelona are also believed to be interested and could force a late bidding war for the midfielder. 

So just who is Exequiel Palacios? Here’s six things you need to know about the future star. 

1. He’s a Box-to-Box Midfielder

It’s usually the attacking players that make the headlines worldwide but the midfield engine is becoming an increasingly important role in the modern game. Palacios began his career as an attacking midfielder but he has found his niche dropping deeper down the field for River Plate.

Offering both offensive and defensive qualities and packaged in bundles of energy have made him one of the promising talents on the South American continent. 

2. He’s Been Fast-tracked Into Argentina’s National Side

It wasn’t long before the national pundits began to posit that Palacios could possess exactly the qualities missing from the national side. 

For years the Argentine midfield has been split between an abundance of attacking talent that offers next to nothing going back and slow, holding players. 

Lionel Scaloni has given Palacios the chance to fill the void of a true box-to-box star for the Albiceleste. The 20-year-old was fast-tracked to the first team, making his full debut in a 3-0 friendly against Guatemala in September of 2018.

3. He Made Headlines for His Love Life

It’s not all been smooth sailing for the midfielder though as he’s also made his fair share of headlines for the wrong reasons. Palacios was the talk of the Argentine tabloids when news broke that he had three girlfriends at the same time. 

The player’s personal life was aired in public as his three girlfriends found out he was a love cheat, promptly dumping him. 

One of the women was popular Argentine Instagram model Sol Perez, who even had the news broken to her live on TV. 

4. He’s the Epitome of ‘Despliegue’

Despliegue is a South American word that is hard to translate exactly into English but it’s how the locals refer to their star man. It essentially refers to the player’s apparent ‘ever presence’ in that he covers every blade of grass on the pitch and leaves the opposition no room to breathe. 

Going back to his unrivalled levels of energy, Palacios also shows the commitment to make the attribute a huge asset. He closes players quickly and frequently exudes pace to chase the ball from man to man, playing an almost solo pressing game for River Plate to great effect.

5. He Rarely Takes More Than Two Touches

On top of allowing the opposition no time, Palacios also doesn’t like to waste time on the ball himself, rarely taking more than two touches. The midfielder has developed an iconic style for River Plate by recycling play quickly. Utilising his physical strength well to dispossess the opposition, Palacios usually only needs one touch to take the ball away from the opponent before changing direction with his second touch. 

The same applies on the offence with Palacios often favouring to shift the ball first time, occasionally taking a touch for control. It also makes him very difficult to close or dispossess, he is the complete midfielder for River Plate.  

6. His Vision Makes Him a Constant Threat in the Final Third

Having started his career as an attacking midfielder, Palacios has maintained plenty of those attacking attributes making him more than just a midfield engine. Showing intelligence far beyond his years, Palacios has been praised for his excellent vision, providing probing forward balls for the River Plate front line. 

He contributes to his fair share of goals with three goals and four assists from 19 league appearances for River Plate. It benefits River Plate’s attacking style greatly and should easily translate to any side with willing runners ahead of him. 


Huesca 0-1 Real Madrid: Report, Ratings & Reaction as Bale’s Strike Seals Victory for Los Blancos

Real Madrid moved up to fourth in La Liga as they ran out 1-0 winners over Huesca on Sunday afternoon.

After a scrappy few minutes in the opening, it took a piece of technical brilliance to open the scoring. Gareth Bale found some space in the Huesca box and stroked home a wonderful volley from Alvaro Odriozola’s cross to net his fourth league goal of the season.


Both sides seemed to struggle with the conditions and chances were hard to come by during the rest of the first half. Thibaut Courtois had to be at his best to keep his side ahead with a top save midway through the half and, not to be outdone, Aleksandar Jovanovic made an equally decent save to deny Bale a second goal of the afternoon.

Huesca started the second half on the front foot, but they were unable to convert a host of golden opportunities in front of the goal. Madrid responded with a few chances of their own, but Jovanovic stood tall in the Huesca goal to ensure that the hosts remained in contention.


The Real Madrid defence were forced to hold firm during the closing stages and were almost caught out right at the death, when Courtois tipped a speculative long range free-kick on to the bar.

Here is a breakdown of the afternoon’s events.


Key Talking Point

Considering how poor the conditions were, this was never going to be an easy afternoon for ​Real Madrid and they had to ride their luck to come away with all three points. Huesca looked particularly lively in the second half and, if they were more lethal in front of goal, Santiago Solari’s side could have been facing another embarrassing away defeat.

Sociedad Deportiva Huesca v Real Madrid - La Liga

Once again there was something severely lacking from Real Madrid’s play. The transition from defence to attack was often too ponderous and, with the exception of Bale, their front line was far too predictable. Huesca seemed to find it relatively easy to deal with the likes of Karim Benzema, who looked completely uninterested for the whole 90 minutes.

The win moves them back up to fourth in La Liga, but they still remain five points off Barcelona who are sitting pretty at the top of the league.

Player Ratings

Starting XI: Courtois (7); Odriozola (7), Ramos (7), Varane (6), Carvajal (6); Modric (6), Llorente (6), Ceballos (6); Bale (8), Vazquez (6), Benzema (5). 

Substitutes: Valverde (6), Isco (6), Asensio (5).

Star Man – Gareth Bale

The nature of the game meant that it was always going to take either a moment of magic or a moment of madness to separate the two sides.

​Bale was able to produce the former early on in the match and he was Madrid’s most threatening attacking outlet all afternoon. He was also very unlucky not to have come away with at least a brace for his efforts.

The Welsh winger is yet to really hit top gear this season, but Real Madrid supporters will be hoping that this performance will help to change all that.

Worst Player – Karim Benzema

​Benzema may be one of the most divisive strikers of the 21st century. For all of his positive attributes, the simple fact of the matter is that he doesn’t score enough goals – at least for a striker who is leading the line for a team as established as Real Madrid.

He had little to no effect on the match this time around and it was a surprise to see him stay on the field after appearing to struggle so much at the top end of the pitch.

Looking Ahead

Real Madrid have already secured their place in the knockout rounds of the Champions League, but they will be looking to top their group when they host CSKA Moscow on Wednesday.


Paris Saint-Germain Prepare to Rival Real Madrid for Eden Hazard as Ligue 1 Giants Plot Summer Bid

​Paris Saint-Germain are reportedly preparing to go head-to-head with Real Madrid in the pursuit of signing Chelsea talisman Eden Hazard this summer.

The tenacious forward has been hotly tipped to leave Stamford Bridge in 2019 after spending six years at the club. At the age of 27, Hazard is now arguably in his prime, and is apparently keen to take on a new challenge while he’s at the top of his game. The Belgium international has made 223 appearances for Chelsea to date, scoring 76 goals.

Wolverhampton Wanderers v Chelsea FC - Premier League

According to the Mirror, PSG could rival Los Blancos’ move for ​Hazard this summer, as they look to bring in another dazzling talent to their side. The Belgium international has reportedly been in contract talks with the ​Blues for some time, but has been reluctant to put pen to paper on a new deal reportedly worth a staggering £300k-per-week.

With PSG’s mega-spending having seen them face a ​fresh Financial Fair Play investigation, it does seem unlikely that the club will shell out another enormous sum of money for a new big money player. Furthermore, Hazard has previously stated his ambition to play for ​Real Madrid, and it would be an odd move to return to Ligue 1, where he previously starred for Lille.

Chelsea fans will undoubtably be concerned with the prospect of losing their star player, who has helped his side win two Premier League titles during his time at the club. However, the club arguably need to invest money in a number of areas across the squad – particularly attack and defence – and could use the Hazard windfall to bolster their ranks.

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In other news, ​Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri has claimed that his side beat the ‘best team in Europe’ on Saturday evening, as the Blues pulled off a shock 2-0 win over Premier League champions Manchester City. The former Napoli boss said that his side were lucky not to concede early on, but also that their performance throughout deserved the result.


Picking the Best Potential Real Madrid Lineup to Face Huesca in La Liga on Sunday

Real Madrid have flattered to deceive so far this season and, despite winning eight of their last ten, currently reside fifth in La Liga. 

However, Sunday’s assignment is an opportunity for Los Blancos to get back on track, as a win against bottom of the league Huesca could see them climb as high as third depending on results elsewhere around the country.

Manager Santiago Solari was able to rest much of his star-studded squad for Thursday’s Copa del Rey tie, fielding a team largely made up of periphery players. The Argentine will have an almost fully fit squad to select from for this weekend’s tie with Toni Kroos and Casemiro likely to be the only first-team absentees.

Here’s a look at how Los Blancos could line up on Sunday.

3. Goalkeeper and Defenders

Thibaut Courtois (GK) – After missing the opening two games of the season, Courtois has not missed a minute of football in La Liga since. But the Belgian has been far from his best in Madrid colours thus far, keeping only four league clean sheets. 

Dani Carvajal (RB) – The 26-year-old has endured a season blighted by injury so far, meaning he has featured only seven times in La Liga this term. It is no secret that Carvajal is an integral part of this Real Madrid side, as the Spaniard is yet to lose a game in any competition this season where he has played the full 90 minutes.

Sergio Ramos (CB) – Ramos is yet to miss a minute in La Liga this year and has continued his impressive habit of scoring goals from the back. The Spaniard has already notched four times in the league this season, making him the club’s third top scorer behind Benzema and Bale.

Raphael Varane (CB) – The World Cup winner suffered a torrid display against Eibar a fortnight ago but appeared to recover quickly as he submitted an assured performance last time out against Valencia. The 25-year-old has already procured 16 trophies with Real Madrid and will be desperate to bolster his cabinet’s stock further this season.

Marcelo (LB) – Marcelo is another defender who has suffered with injury woes this season and has appeared just eight times in the league for Solari’s side. Lamentably, in seven of those eight appearances, the Brazilian has seen his team concede at least once. As a result, both Marcelo and his fellow defensive allies will be desperate to register a clean sheet on Sunday against a side who have scored just four times at home.

2. Midfielders

Luka Modric (CM) – Should the Croat feature in Sunday’s game, it’ll be his first appearance since picking up the coveted Ballon D’or trophy earlier this week. Despite appearing in all 14 league games this term, Modric has picked up only two assists which is far too low of a return for one of the game’s most creative players.

Dani Ceballos (CM) – The 22-year-old is regularly utilised from the bench however in the absence of Toni Kroos and Casemiro, Ceballos has grasped his chance and is fortunate enough to learn from and play alongside the best in the business.

Marcos Llorente (CM) – Llorente is slightly further down the pecking order than his midfield colleague Ceballos, however the Spaniard has also been granted his chance in light of Madrid’s current shallowness in midfield. He played the full 90 minutes of their crucial win over Valencia and will be hopeful of more game time this weekend.

1. Forwards

Gareth Bale (RW) – The Cardiff-born phenomenon was faced with the ominous task of replacing one Cristiano Ronaldo this season, since the Portuguese winger fled the shores of Spain last Summer. Bale has performed well so far, scoring six times in all competitions. However, the former Tottenham man has not scored now for ten league games and will be keen to buck that trend on Sunday.

Karim Benzema (ST) – Benzema has also helped to fill the Ronaldo-shaped void in Madrid’s attack this season, with the Frenchman contributing nine goals and five assists in all competitions so far.

Lucas Vazquez (LW) – The tricky winger opened his La Liga account for the season in last weekend’s win over Valencia and will be hoping to forge some goal scoring form now having scored just once in 12 league appearances this term.


River President Admits Negotiations Will Continue With Real Madrid Over Exequiel Palacios

​The president of River Plate, Rodolfo D’Onofrio, has admitted the club “can’t cut” the career of Exequiel Palacios amid his proposed transfer to Real Madrid.

Palacios, 20, is set to play at Los Blancos’ home this weekend, as the second leg of the Copa Libertadores final will take place at the Santiago Bernabeu following crowd troubles in Argentina ahead of the proposed date of the second leg in November.

Boca Juniors v River Plate - Copa CONMEBOL Libertadores 2018

It could be the first of many games that Palacios plays in the Spanish capital, with his current club president at River Plate stating that talks between the two parties are set to continue following the final.

Speaking to ​MARCA, he said: “We are not currently talking about Palacios but about 20 days ago [Madrid director Emilio] Butragueno spoke to Enzo Francescoli about the player, but with a view to continuing negotiations later.

“The economic differences between Real Madrid and River are very large. It’s very difficult to retain a player, but history tells us that the player sees a future opportunity and we can’t cut his career.

“The club can’t be closed and must open themselves up to negotiation. That a player from River goes to Madrid is also prestigious for River.”

The midfielder has been courted by the ​La Liga for some time such is his talent, as Rodolfo D’Onofrio paid tribute to the Argentine midfielder ahead of his expected move to ​Real Madrid.

He added: “He’s at a great level, but I think it would be good to play for one more year in Argentina. However, that is not my decision. We will negotiate, Madrid know that.

“He is very young but he is very serious, and seems older than he is. A very complete player. If they really love him, the move would be ideal for both the player and Real Madrid.”