Reports Claim Bayern München Star James Rodríguez Blames Zinedine Zidane for Real Madrid’s Poor Form

​James Rodríguez of Bayern München has pointed the finger at one person in particular for Real Madrid’s poor start to the season. 

Real Madrid sit third in La Liga, eight points off of leaders Barcelona, and succumbed to a defeat at the hands of Spurs on Wednesday night in the Champions League. The Colombian was loaned out to the German champions in the summer after falling down the pecking order at the Bernabeu.

Rodriguez in action against Celtic

Rodríguez started just thirteen league games last season, coming off the bench in nine, but despite getting eight goals and six assists, Zinedine Zidane chose to largely neglect the former Porto star.

And according to Spanish outlet ​Diario Gol, James believes that the Real Madrid manager is to blame for his side’s struggles this season. Despite the Frenchman winning back-to-back European Cups, Rodríguez believes the club should have kept Carlo Ancelotti on.

Rodríguez struggled in his new spell with Bayern under Ancelotti, but has showed why he was so highly rated years ago since Jupp Heynckes returned from retirement. 

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The 26-year-old has made five Bundesliga appearances – scoring two and assisting one – but admits to having still not adjusted to life in Bavaria.

“I try to give my all in every training session, in order to show my qualities in our matches. Obviously, I still need to adapt to my new life in Munich,” the 2014 World Cup star added, “but it’s getting better everyday. I like it here.”

Rodríguez is on a two-year loan at Bayern, whose next match is on Saturday evening against Borussia Dortmund at the Westfalenstadion.

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Cristiano Ronaldo Criticises Club’s Transfer Policy in ‘Exposed’ WhatsApp Messages

Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo has exchanged WhatsApp messages with his former teammate Pepe as the club find themselves in crisis. 

Off the back of a poor loss to Girona in La Liga and a humiliation at the hands of Spurs in mid-week, doubts have begun to creep in at Real Madrid – for a side that won the double last season and have won three of the last four Champions Leagues. 

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According to reports by Spanish publication Diario Gol, Ronaldo has slammed club president Florentino Perez in text messages with former teammate Pepe – who ended a ten-year spell with Real in the summer, transferring to Besiktas.

Ronaldo and Pepe both criticised the club’s transfer policy, as Madrid let Pepe, James Rodriguez, Danilo and Alvaro Morata leave in the summer. Zidane’s squad has been trimmed, which means the absences of Raphael Varane, Keylor Navas and Dani Carvajal have exposed Real’s lack of quality in depth. 

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Zidane opted to appoint youth this summer, having seen the success of blooding the up-and-coming Marco Asensio – who has scored four times for Real this season. The average age of Zizou’s signings was just 19, which Ronaldo is sceptical of – as Real need players to perform now, not years down the line in his eyes. 

This has left Ronaldo with fears of a trophyless season with Los Blancos, for the first time since the 2009/10 season where Guardiola’s Barcelona were dominant. Speaking of, Barca extended their lead over Real Madrid to eight points last weekend – as Real sit third in La Liga. 

Speaking after the 3-1 loss to Spurs, Ronaldo said: “We must stick together and not think that it’s such a big disaster. Losing when playing for Real Madrid is harder than with any other team, but we are used to it and I am sure we’ll come out of this run. It’s not nice but we’ll sort it out.”

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Luka Modric Admits Real Madrid Deserved to Lose to Tottenham in Wembley Thriller

Luka Modric has admitted that Real Madrid deserved to be beaten by Tottenham in their Champions League clash on Wednesday night. Holders Madrid slumped to a heavy defeat at Wembley as Spurs ran out comfortable 3-1 winners over Zinedine Zidane’s side.

Dele Alli’s brace and Christian Eriksen’s effort had given Mauricio Pochettino’s side a 3-0 lead before Cristiano Ronaldo snatched a late consolation with ten minutes remaining. 

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Ronaldo complained about Tottenham’s opening goal after the game, with a clear offside decision not given in the buildup, and insisted the result was ‘not a fair reflection of what happened’. 

Modric disagreed with his Madrid teammate though, telling beIN Sports: “Of course, we are disappointed with our performance and the result tonight. I think Tottenham were a much better team, it’s as simple as that, they deserved to win. We need to see what we need to do to get back to where we were before to play like we can.”

The win for Tottenham puts them three points ahead of Real in Group H, with a trip to Dortmund and hosting APOEL Nicosia still to play before the winter break, with Spurs having already qualified for the next round.

“I can agree with you that we were a bit more open than usual,” Modric continued, “Tottenham knew how to use all this space that we left them, and they scored three goals. Like I said, they deserved to win.”

Real face APOEL away in the next round before hosting Dortmund on Matchday Six. A win in either match or a pair of draws will also secure their qualification.

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Cristiano Ronaldo Eyeing Spurs Midfielder as Next Addition to Real Madrid’s New Galacticos

​Cristiano Ronaldo’s Real Madrid side were humbled on Wednesday night in a 3-1 defeat to Tottenham, the north Londoners handing Los Blancos their first Champions League group stage defeat since 2012.

Ronaldo is said to have been impressed by one Spurs player in particular; Danish playmaker, Christian Eriksen. According to notorious Spanish rumourmongers ​Don Balon, Ronaldo has asked Real Madrid president Florentino Perez to sign the Denmark international.

Eriksen scored the third and final goal in Spurs’ resounding victory at Wembley as Mauricio Pochettino’s side – assisted by Borussia Dortmund’s failure to beat APOEL in consecutive games – secured their place in the next round of the competition. 

Dele Alli and Harry Kane again impressed on the night, with Alli bagging the first two goals. Kane returned from a hamstring injury and was on hand to set up Eriksen for his goal.

Madrid are not in danger of failing to qualify from their group though, with Dortmund still five points behind in third place. However, they are in danger of qualifying in second place and could face a draw against one of the top European clubs in the next round.

Meanwhile, Ronaldo seems to believe that Eriksen could fit perfectly into the Madrid’s team. His ability as a creative midfielder could rival those who already fulfil that role for Los Blancos, such as Luka Modric and Isco. 

For now Tottenham go from strength to strength and will be preparing for their next big test – the north London derby against Arsenal in two weeks’ time.

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Cristiano Ronaldo Admits Real Madrid Are Weaker Without Trio of Ex-Teammates & Key Injuries

​Real Madrid travelled to Wembley to play Spurs in a Champions League match that they hoped could turn their current poor form around after a loss to Girona in La Liga last weekend. Instead, they were deservedly beaten 3-1 by an in-control Spurs side and alarm bells are ringing round the Spanish capital. 

However, star forward Cristiano Ronaldo believes there is no crisis at his team despite being three months into the new season and yet to hit full form. Rather, he puts results down to a lack of experience in the side accompanied by injuries to key players, according to reports by Marca.

During his post-match interview, Ronaldo said “People cannot forget the good things that we have done. I do not know what it means to say this is a crisis, people forget the good things we have done very quickly.

We can lose three or four games but there is never a crisis.”

Furthermore, Ronaldo is feeling the difference in the attack without Gareth Bale and Dani Carvajal, who are both out due to injury. The Portuguese forward believes many of Madrid’s important players are either injured or have wrongly moved on. 

 Ronaldo said “The players who arrived this summer have a lot of potential. Pepe, Alvaro Morata and James Rodriguez made us stronger, but those in the squad today are younger.

We also need Carvajal and Bale back.

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It is not a worse squad but it has less experience and that is very important. It’s not an excuse, I’m happy and the alarms are not going off.”

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Champions League Roundup: English Clubs Fly High as German Duo Disappoint Once Again

Tottenham secured an historic result against Real Madrid on Wednesday night to qualify for the knockout stages of the Champions League, beating the reigning European champions 3-1 at Wembley thanks to a brilliant brace from a resurgent Dele Alli. 

Spurs led 1-0 at the half, but a stuttering Real – who lost 2-1 to Girona on Sunday – were ripped apart in the second half. Alli added his second after putting Casemiro on the floor, before Christian Eriksen finished off a lightning counter-attack to wrap the game up. Cristiano Ronaldo grabbed a late consolation, but couldn’t change the result.

For the full story on that incredible 90 minutes at Wembley, Ben Davies’ match report is up ​here. 

Borussia Dortmund‘s recent woes continued at the Westfalenstadion, surrendering a 1-0 lead to APOEL to draw 1-1 with the Cypriot side for the second time in a fortnight. 

Raphael Guerreiro broke the deadlock on the half-hour mark, capitalising on his side’s absolute dominance, but Mickael Pote stabbed home an equaliser early in the second half as the hosts remained winless in the group – now sitting five points behind second placed Real. 

A thrilling game between Napoli and Manchester City at the Stadio San Paolo finished 4-2 to the visitors, but it was the hosts who took the lead early thanks to a stunning team goal finished off by Dries Mertens. 

Headers from both of City’s centre-backs turned the game on its head before Leroy Sane’s foul in the area allowed Jorginho to level from the spot – but the young winger made up for it with a blistering counter-attacking run shortly afterwards; Sergio Aguero picking the ball up to finish past Pepe Reina and become the Citizens’ all-time leading goalscorer in all competitions. 

For more on City’s 4-2 win, finished off by Raheem Sterling, Aarron Bates’ full match report is up ​here. 

Shakhtar continued their impressive form with an 3-1 win over Feyenoord to reach the brink of qualification in Group F’s other game, going six points clear of Napoli with two games to play. The game burst into life early on with three goals in five minutes – the home side roaring back with two goals from Marlos and one from Facundo Ferreyra after Nicolai Joergensen’s opener. 

Liverpool were frustrated throughout a tight first half for the second time in five days, but a delightful flicked goal from Mohamed Salah finally broke Maribor’s resistance four minutes after the break. 

James Milner saw a penalty saved at 1-0, but a slick passing move around the box saw Emre Can fire home the second of the night to secure the points – Daniel Sturridge scoring his first Champions League goal in nearly seven years to round off a 3-0 win. 

For more on that game, Adam Barnish has you covered ​here. 

Sevilla kept things tight behind the Reds with a 2-1 win at home to Spartak thanks to a stunning strike from Ever Banega, leaving just three points between the group’s leading trio with all left to play for. 

The Argentine set up Clement Langlet in the first half for the Spanish side’s opener before firing home a brilliant, swerving strike from the edge of the area on the hour mark to double the lead – Ze Luis’ goal for Spartak providing some late drama. 

In the night’s early game, last season’s semi-finalists Monaco left themselves with a mountain to climb to qualify from Group G – a 1-1 draw against Besiktas meaning that they sit bottom of the group with just two points. Rony Lopes got the opening goal with a delightful curling finish, but Cenk Tosun hit the leveller from the spot after Ricardo Quaresma was fouled in the box.

Porto’s 3-1 win over RB Leipzig kept Besiktas from going through with two games to spare, the Portuguese side leapfrogging the Red Bull-backed side into second place in the group, two points clear of Ralph Hasenhüttl’s men – Danilo Pereira bagging the winner after a lovely chipped finish from Timo Werner cancelled out Hector Herrera’s opener. Maxi Pereira struck in injury time to round out the night. 


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Tottenham 3-1 Real Madrid: Alli Brace Sees Spurs into CL Knockout Stages in Historic Wembley Win

Tottenham stunned the world on Wednesday night as goals from Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen handed Spurs a convincing win over Champions League holders Real Madrid. A late consolation goal from Cristiano Ronaldo did little to disrupt the mood in a historic night in London.

​Both teams headed into the match on the back of a league defeat at the weekend; and having drawn at the Bernabeu in the reverse fixture, each side was eager to get the better of the other – and staple their name to the top of Group H.

The return of Harry Kane gave Spurs a huge confidence boost, as well as Dele Alli’s lifted suspension, allowing the England international to play his first Champions League game of the season.

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On the other hand, Madrid were determined to rectify their wrongdoings at the weekend – following a bitterly disappointing 2-1 defeat to newly promoted La Liga side Girona – aiming to use Spurs’ Wembley troubles to get them back to winning ways.

The opening period of the game started quite lively – half chances arriving for both teams. However, Madrid, a side looking bereft of confidence following their poor start to the season, spent the first half hour looking shaky at the back – something obvious when the home side took the lead on 26 minutes.

A smart diagonal ball from youngster Harry Winks caught the visiting defence off guard. A beautifully connected first time cross from Kieran Trippier fell to the feet of Dele Alli – the 21-year-old becoming the first Tottenham player to ever score against Real Madrid on his return to the Champions League.

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The first half continued to live up to expectation. While Madrid upped their game following on from the goal, handing Cristiano Ronaldo a few opportunities; few clear cut chances were created and Hugo Lloris was never really tested.

Likewise, Tottenham continued to press forward when given the opportunity, but little was done to worry Kiko Casilla between the sticks, and the sides headed into half time with the away side trailing.

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The second half began exactly as the first ended, with both sides determined to break through the opposing defence.

However, the night went from good to great for Dele Alli and his side when the Englishman doubled Spurs’ lead and earned himself a brace. Receiving the ball in the final third, the attacker ghosted past Casemiro, selling the Brazilian into diving in prematurely before rifling a shot towards goal.

The effort took a deflection off Sergio Ramos’ thigh, leaving Casilla in no man’s land, and handing Spurs a 2-0 lead after 56 minutes.

Not ten minutes later, Spurs all but secured the three points with their third of the night. A swift counter attack started by Alli caught the away side exposed in their bid to fight back into the game.

The midfielder rolled in Harry Kane, dragging Sergio Ramos – the lone defender – out wide; who then played in Christian Eriksen to go one on one with Casilla, and the Dane never looked like missing.

In the space of 20 minutes, Tottenham were out of sight.

Alli had the opportunity to complete his hat-trick in the 78th minute, Trippier’s cross picking out the Englishman completely unmarked in the six yard area; but the 21-year-old couldn’t quite connect with the ball properly – instead knocking it well wide of the goal.

Ronaldo pulled one back for the visitors only moments later. the ball fell to the 32-year-old inside the box – the Portuguese striker drilling his volley into the bottom right corner.

However, his effort was to spark no glorious comeback, and Tottenham ended the match 3-1 victors; becoming the first ever English team to beat Los Blancos in the Champions League group stages – securing their place in the knockout stages of this year’s tournament.

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Spurs Handed Huge Boost With Harry Kane Passed Fit for Wembley Showdown With Real Madrid

​Tottenham Hotspur have been handed a major boost, with striker Harry Kane passed fit to play against Real Madrid in Wednesday evening’s pivotal UEFA Champions League clash at Wembley Stadium.

Having taken part in full training without any issues, ​the 24-year-old is set to lead the line for Mauricio Pochettino as Los Blancos roll into north London.

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Ahead of the game, the Tottenham spoke to the club’s ​official website saying there is yet to be a final decision until right before the game, but indications are good that Kane will be fit to start.

Pochettino told reporters: “Harry will be on the (squad) list. We have one more day to assess him but today he was good in training. He trained with the group and was good, at the same level of the team.”

Tottenham Hotspur Training Session

The news comes as a huge fillip for the hosts with Spurs topping Group H, but level on points and goal difference with Wednesday night’s opponents, having scored the same number of goals also. 

Tottenham can book their place in the last 16 with a win over a Real side ​reeling from their shock defeat to Girona at the weekend, with Zinedine Zidane’s men eight points off pace-setters Barcelona in Spain.

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After missing Spurs’ 1-0 loss to Manchester United on Saturday, Kane’s return to the fold greatly enhances their chances of recording a win versus their illustrious visitors – who the Englishman ​continues to be linked with a move to – but Pochettino insisted he would not play if not absolutely ready.

“Now we need to know the feeling from him tonight and tomorrow”, the Spurs boss ​said. “[And] then take the best decision for him, first of all, and then the team. We’re happy. To avoid a risk in the last two games was good for him and we hope he will be in 100 per cent condition to play.”

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Real Madrid Defender Sergio Ramos Wants Barcelona in La Liga Despite Catalan Independence Row

​Real Madrid centre back Sergio Ramos claims he wants his sides’ El Clasico rivals Barcelona to stay in La Liga despite the ongoing row surrounding Catalan independence.

Catalonia, the region of Spain where Barcelona are based, recently declared independence from the rest of the country leading to speculation that Barcelona could breakaway from La Liga, with the Premier League suggested as one potential alternative for Messi and co.

But Ramos, who played the full ninety minutes as Real Madrid were stunned 2-1 away to another Catalan club in the shape of newly promoted Girona on Sunday, claims he would prefer it if Barcelona remained in La Liga.

​Goal.com reports that the centre back told Spanish newspaper Marca: “It’s complicated. I find it hard to believe that the majority want independence and I prefer that Barcelona play in our league.”

Ramos went onto to talk about his experience playing in Catalonia against Girona saying: “On Sunday [against Girona] I felt just as much Spanish as anywhere else. I am more concerned as a Spaniard that our anthem has no lyrics than about the situation in Catalonia. I want our hymn to have lyrics because I feel the healthy envy of seeing other national teams looking up while singing their anthems.

“What I can say or do about it will not change anything. The image of Spain as a country worldwide hurts me as I am Spanish. I do not like this kind of thing to happen, I believe that together we are stronger.”

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Although Ramos says he would like Barcelona to stay in La Liga, the Camp Nou side are currently eight points clear of Real at the top of La Liga, with Los Blancos down in third in the early standings.

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Real Madrid Boss Zinedine Zidane Seen Watching Match Highlights After Girona Defeat

​After a disappointing loss to newly promoted Girona last weekend, boss Zinedine Zidane was seen watching highlights from the game on the team bus a few hours after the match was played out. 

News outlet Cuatro showed the clip and highlighted that Zidane was analysing the game soon after it had happened, proving him to have a very keen eye for detail when looking at what went wrong for Madrid that evening. 

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​​The French boss, who recently won Manager of the Year at FIFA’s The Best Awards along with his team’s star man Cristiano Ronaldo winning Player of the Year, currently sits eight points off pace-setters Barcelona and is being put under a lot of pressure by Madrid fans. Zidane, however, will be sure to learn from the defeat. 

Defender Sergio Ramos said, “We do not ignore the situation in Girona but it is true that it was a bittersweet feeling because we can not leave more points. On the bus we are going to his world, making self-criticism with his films. Zidane is watching the game. The usual thing in this team is to analyse everything the next day.”

​​It is respectable how much effort Zidane puts in as a manager, however Sky Sports’ Guillem Ballague believes that it is his way of managing Los Blancos that could be a hindrance to their performances. 

In a recent ​Sky Sports’ article he said, “But when things start to go wrong you need less of the man-manager and more of the coach. You don’t get that from Zidane. He depends far too much on individual quality rather than the collective team.”

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