'Ronaldo? Ramos is my favourite' – Fernandez

The Deportivo boss has revealed his admiration for the Spain defender, but jokingly admitted he would take either player

Deportivo La Coruna boss Victor Fernandez says Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos is the player he would most love to sign and not Cristiano Ronaldo.

The two sides go head to head on Saturday afternoon, with Deportivo surprisingly ahead of the Champions League winners in 10th place on four points – one more than their visitors this weekend.

Fernandez was asked whether he would be paying special attention to Ronaldo at his pre-match press conference, but instead took the opportunity to reveal his admiration for Ramos.

He said: “We’ll be paying attention to their entire team but one cannot deny that Cristiano is a beacon in their side. He has an incredible competitive drive with a desire to get better, break records and this is quite clear from just watching him play. Despite his recent injury issues, he’s a winner and pulls the rest along.

“My personal favourite, however, is Sergio Ramos. He does everything so well, a leader and world champion. I’d be happy with either of the two!”

Fernandez was also quick to dismiss Madrid’s poor start to the season, which has seen them beaten twice in La Liga in their first three games.

“Madrid have been widely criticised for two games, however they were fantastic in the Supercup when they showed just what they are capable of as a footballing collective.

“It’s unlike them to concede an early advantage to their rivals but the season has just begun. Madrid never give up.”


09 2014
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Ancelotti 'evaluating' Modric and Kroos partnership

The Italian says he will persist playing the pair together but may experiment with several of the other midfielders at his disposal if he feels the need to do so

Carlo Ancelotti has admitted he is “evaluating” the midfield partnership between Luka Modric and Real Madrid new-boy Toni Kroos following the club’s poor start to the season.

Madrid spent €20 million on bringing Kroos to the Santiago Bernabeu from Bayern Munich over the summer, while sanctioning the exit of Xabi Alonso in the opposite direction later in the transfer window.

That decision was greeted with widespread surprise and so far the partnership between Modric and the Germany star has failed to spark into life as the club have stumbled to two defeats in their opening three La Liga games.

“I do not think we need to change anything right now, but we are evaluating this,” Ancelotti told reporters on Friday.

“We have many games until October 5 and we will rotate with both. There are players like Medran, who was with us in pre-season or Marcos Llorente, but the midfield is covered with (Asier) Illarramendi, Isco and Sami Khedira, who will return.”

The former of that trio, Illarramendi, was signed from Real Sociedad last summer and seen as the eventual successor to Alonso’s deep-lying midfield role, only to struggle for playing time under Ancelotti, despite the Italian insisting he remains a big fan of the Spaniard.

“I have confidence in him and I think he will improve as the season continues as he did last season.”


09 2014
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Beckenbauer: If Bale and Ronaldo are worth €100m, Cruyff would be worth billions

The legendary sweeper believes the former Dutch star’s modern day value would easily outstrip that of the game’s two most expensive players of all-time

Former Germany star Franz Beckenbauer says Netherlands legend Johan Cruyff would be worth billions if sold today.

The famous sweeper, who won five Bundesliga titles, three European Cups, one World Cup and one European Championship during his illustrious playing career, says Cruyff would have been worth significantly more than modern-day players like Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo.

“When players like Bale and Ronaldo are worth around €100 million, Johan would go in the billions!”, the 69-year-old was quoted as saying by Bild.

The former West Germany star also says Barcelona are a bigger club than Bayern Munich, where he spent 13 years as a player.

“Barca is a leader in the world, even in terms of tradition,” said Beckenbauer.

“There was already legendary [Barcelona] teams in the 30s and 40s. In Bavaria it was not until 1965 that the Bundesliga got it right.”

The former defender also went on to talk about Bayern’s current team, led by Barcelona coaching legend Pep Guardiola, and said the German giants are not in danger of signing too many Spanish players.

“Not at all,” he continued. “Spain has for years dominated world football. To get these players I see as appreciation for all the Bundesliga. “

He also touched on the Bavarian club’s evolution in philosophy since Guardiola’s arrival.

“There must be a healthy mix [of philosophies]… Tiki-Taka is only possible with [Barcelona players Lionel] Messi, [Andres] Iniesta and Xavi.

“[Bayern stars Franck] Ribery and [Arjen] Robben live on their solo runs. This is a different kind of football,” he added.


09 2014
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Real Madrid won't sell Ronaldo to Manchester United, admits Van Gaal

The Dutchman admits he would welcome the arrival of the Portugal international but thinks the European champions would probably not be prepared to part with the player

Louis van Gaal says Manchester United signing Cristiano Ronaldo from Real Madrid next summer is ‘possible’ but ‘unlikely’.

Reports have suggested that the Portugal international will push for a move back to Old Trafford at the end of the season.

But while the United boss concedes the club would always explore the possibility of a deal, he believes the European champions are unlikely to allow the forward to leave.

“It’s always a discussion in the papers. I don’t think the media will buy Ronaldo,” said Van Gaal.

“When it is possible, it is what I have always said with Falcao, players like Ronaldo give a lot extra to selection, to the team, but I don’t think Real Madrid will sell him.”


09 2014
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Mourinho admits Real Madrid desire

The Portuguese trainer left the Champions League holders after three seasons in charge to take over at Chelsea but has hinted that he has unfinished business in Spain

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has suggested that he would jump at the chance to return to former club Real Madrid.

Mourinho spent three years in the hotseat at the Santiago Bernabeu between 2010-13, winning the 2012 Liga title and 2011 Copa del Rey.

However, a failure to secure a Champions League trophy – Real were eliminated in the semi-finals in all three of Mourinho’s seasons in charge – ultimately cost the Portuguese coach his job.

Chelsea moved to bring Mourinho back to Stamford Bridge quickly and after a third-place finish in a campaign of transition last term, the Blues are red-hot favourites for this season’s Premier League title.

Though expressing delight at fulfilling a career goal in securing league titles in England, Italy and Spain, Mourinho has suggested he has unfinished business in the Spanish capital.

He told TVI: “If I could go back today, would I go to Real Madrid? Yes. Clearly, yes.

“It was an experience as a coach and as a man, I would again repeat [my time there], without thinking twice.

“I left Real Madrid with a fantastic relationship with the president, the executive director and the entire club after making a decision which was best for my career.

“You won’t hear me talk about what happened in the past, whether it be positive or negative.

“I am a happy man [at Chelsea], I am going to matches and training with great joy and I am not a person who likes to be talking about the past.

“This is the only time that I’m not thinking about the next stage of my career. Before I always thought about what would come next.

“I prefer it as a place to work and for my family and social life. I returned here because the club has a different project.”


09 2014
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