Calderon: Perez is Mourinho's puppet

Florentino Perez - Real Madrid

Florentino Perez – Real Madrid

Former Real Madrid president Ramon Calderon feels that coach Jose Mourinho is running the show at the current, with current supremo Florentino Perez having to play second fiddle to the Portuguese coach.

The trainer was at the centre of attention ahead of this weekend’s 2-0 derby win over Atletico, entering the pitch 40 minutes before kick-off to let the fans jeer him, and the 61-year-old feels the former Chelsea manager is only thinking about himself.

“The only winner of that action was Mourinho. But the president knew what to expect when he brought him to Madrid. He has already shown at his previous clubs that he thinks about himself first,” he told La Xarxa.

“Mourinho has not fooled anyone. It’s not his fault that he was brought in and given all the power at the club.

“Perez is Mourinho’s puppet. He is not in control of anything and has no interest in showing that he is actually the boss at Madrid. He has given the coach all the power.”

A number of recent reports suggested that Mourinho could leave Madrid at the end of the season, but the 49-year-old stressed on Monday that he has no intention of doing so.

La Liga Team of the Week: Cristiano Ronaldo & Lionel Messi star

Barcelona broke the all-time record start in La Liga on Saturday by beating Athletic Bilbao in style at Camp Nou. The Catalans ran out 5-1 winners to take their total in the Primera Division to 40 points out of a possible 42.

Meanwhile, Atletico Madrid are now six points adrift after losing 2-0 to Real in the derby at the Santiago Bernabeu. Jose Mourinho’s men are still 11 points off the pace.

In other games, Getafe upset Malaga, Valladolid surprised Sevilla and Betis got an excellent win at Deportivo La Coruna. Here, Goal.com looks at the standout performers from the 14th round of Liga action.

In goal, Miguel Angel Moya was superb as Getafe held on to beat Malaga and win three vital points for the Madrid-based side at the Coliseum Alfonso Perez.

His team-mate Alberto Lopo also impressed in defence and scored the goal which gave Getafe victory. In Galicia, Nacho set up two goals for Ruben Castro as Betis claimed all three points in an entertaining 3-2 win, while Adriano was also on target for Barcelona in a fine display at home to Athletic.

In midfield, Cesc Fabregas is showing the form which made him a huge hit in England, assisting Adriano and adding Barca’s fourth goal with a fine finish. Mesut Ozil looked back at his best and netted the second as Real Madrid beat Atletico, while Oscar chipped in with a strike and an assist as Valladolid defeated Sevilla.

Lionel Messi closed in on Gerd Muller’s record for goals in a calendar year with his latest double, this time against Athletic, while Ruben Castro also struck twice for Sevilla at Deportivo and Cristiano Ronaldo was superb for Madrid in the derby, crashing home the opening goal with a fantastic free kick, setting up Ozil for the second and hitting the woodwork twice. Carlos Vela was impressive again and netted for Real Sociedad in the Basques’ 5-2 win at Valencia.








Messi will pip Cristiano Ronaldo to Ballon d'Or, says Neymar

Neymar / Superclásico de las Américas

Neymar marca el último penal / Getty

Santos star Neymar believes that Lionel Messi will win the Ballon d’Or ahead of Real Madrid attacker Cristiano Ronaldo following his extraordinary performances this year.

The Barcelona forward has netted 84 goals at club and international level throughout the year, and the 20-year-old feels the Argentina international deserves recognition for his superb displays.

“The winner will be Messi because he has had an extraordinary season,” he was quoted as saying by Globoesporte.

“Ronaldo has had a great season too and so it will be close and exciting, but Messi should be the winner.”

The Brazil international went on to discuss his future, and reiterated that he is not ready to leave his current club for Europe just yet.

“I still dream of coming to Europe, but the right moment has yet to arrive. I’m very happy here at Santos, close to my family and my friends.

“I have no plans to move for the moment, but it’s not because I’m content where I am. My objective is not to be the best in the world, but instead to be happy. Happiness comes first.”

Neymar is under contract with Santos until the summer of 2014.

Real Madrid – Ajax Betting Preview: Why both teams to score looks like a solid selection

Real Madrid welcome the Ajax to the Santiago Bernabeu with little more than pride at stake for Jose Mourinho’s men.

With los Blancos knowing they are through to the knock-out stages in second place, it will be a chance for some fringe players to get a run out in the Champions League, and the Portuguese has already confirmed the likes of Nacho and Rafael Varane will start the game.


However, the Spanish champions still remain overwhelming favourites with Bet365 pricing a home win at 3/10 (1.30) while Ajax can be backed at 9/1 (10.00) to claim their first away win in the competition this season.

While this may effectively be a dead rubber for Madrid, the Dutch side know a win would see them claim third place in Group D and as such, continue their European adventure by qualifying for the Europa League.

Therefore, there is plenty for Ajax to play for and as a result the price of 4/6 (1.66) for both teams to score looks extremely interesting.

This bet comfortably paid out in the first match between the two sides in Amsterdam and looks to have an excellent chance of doing so again this evening in the Spanish capital.

Madrid have only failed to score in one of their last 19 home games in the Champions League (against Barcelona) while this bet has proved the correct selection in each of the last four Champions League matches that Ajax have played.

With Madrid’s defence having an experimental feel to it – along with Nacho and Varane, Ricardo Carvalho is likely to make his first appearance in the competition this season – there is every chance that the visitors will be able to find the back of the net.

For a value bet try backing over 2.5 goals in the first half at 7/2 (4.50) with this bet paying out in both of Ajax´s last two Champions League matches as well as in Madrid’s last home game in the competition.



Sign up with Bet365 for up to £200 in free bets and back Phil’s selections for this match

Phil Kitromilides is a sports broadcaster working on radio and TV in London and Madrid. You can also follow Phil on Twitter.

Juventus, Celtic and the Champions League teams who can clinch qualification to the last 16 on matchday six

Juventus, Benfica, Celtic, Galatasaray, CFR Cluj and holders Chelsea will all be aiming to secure themselves a place in the Champions League knockout stage on matchday six.

With 13 of the 16 available slots already filled by the likes of Real Madrid, Manchester United, Bayern Munich and Barcelona, only Groups E, G and H still have teams vying for a last 16 berth.

The Bianconeri travel to Donetsk knowing that a point against Shakhtar will see them through at the expense of Rafael Benitez’s side, who of course lifted the trophy back in May.

Should Chelsea go out, they will be the first defending champions to be knocked out in the group stage since the European Cup was re-branded in 1992.

Elsewhere, SPL champions Celtic know that they must better Benfica’s result to make it through to the next stage, but will be given heart by the fact the Portuguese side travel to Camp Nou to face the Blaugrana.

Finally, CFR Cluj must better Galatasaray’s result, a difficult task given that they are playing Manchester United at Old Trafford, while the Turks play already-eliminated Sporting Braga.

Before we bring you the qualification scenarios and permutations, here are the Champions League tie-breaker criteria to separate teams that are level on points:

i.) Higher number of points won in the group games between the teams in question
ii.) Superior goal difference in the group games between the teams in question only
iii.) Higher number of goals scored in the group games between the teams in question only
iv.) Higher number of goals scored away from home in the group games between the teams in question only
v.) Superior goal difference from all group games
vi.) Higher number of goals scored from all group games

  • Porto have qualified for the last 16, but can secure top spot if they avoid defeat to Paris Saint-Germain.
  • Paris Saint-Germain have qualified for the last 16 but will finish top of the group if they beat Porto.
  • Dinamo Kiev have already secured themselves Europa League football.
  • Dinamo Zagreb have been eliminated from European competition.

  • Schalke have qualified for the last 16, but can secure top spot if they beat Montpellier.
  • Arsenal have also qualified for the knockout phase, but can secure top spot if they beat Olympiakos and Schalke do not beat Montpellier.
  • Olympiakos have secured Europa League football.
  • Montpellier have been eliminated from European competition.

  • Malaga have qualified for the last 16 as group winners.
  • AC Milan have qualified in second place.
  • Zenit and Anderlecht have an equal head-to-head record.
  • Zenit will qualify for the Europa League if they better the Belgians’ result, if both teams draw, or if the pair win but Zenit finish with a higher goal difference.
  • Anderlecht will qualify if if they better Zenit’s result, or finish with a better goal difference.

  • Borussia Dortmund have qualified as group winners.
  • Real Madrid have qualified in second place.
  • Ajax can clinch Europa League football if they match or better Manchester City’s result.
  • Manchester City will clinch Europa League football if they win, and Ajax fail to pick up three points.

  • Shakhtar have qualified, but can secure top spot if they get at least a point against Juventus.
  • Juventus will secure a place in the knockout stages if they draw in Donetsk.
  • Chelsea can only qualify for the last 16 if they beat Nordsjaelland and Juventus lose. If they do not do that they will play Europa League football.
  • Nordsjaelland are out of European competition.

  • Bayern Munich have qualified for the last 16, but can clinch top spot if they match or better Valencia’s result.
  • Valencia have also qualified and can take first place if they better Bayern’s result.
  • BATE have secured Europa League qualification.
  • Lille have been eliminated from European competition.

  • Barcelona have qualified as group winners.
  • Benfica will qualify if they match or better Celtic’s result.
  • Celtic will advance should they better Benfica’s result.
  • Spartak Moscow have been eliminated from European competition.

  • Manchester United have qualified as group winners.
  • Galatasaray will qualify for the last 16 if they match or better CFR Cluj’s result.
  • CFR Cluj will make the last 16 if they better Galatasaray’s result.
  • Sporting Braga have been eliminated from European competition.
The finale of the 2012 European Championship group stage qualifiers has arrived. With only one more matchday to go, it’s time for the proverbial do or die.

Germany became the first team to join co-hosts Poland and Ukraine in the tournament finals, and Spain, Italy, the Netherlands and England have since followed them.

That leaves the likes of France, Russia, Greece, Portugal, Belgium, Serbia and Scotland, among others, to tussle for the remaining nine spots: four will go to the group winners, one to the best runners-up amongst all the groups, and four more via the play-offs.

Which teams will safely secure automatic entry to the Euro 2012 finals this Tuesday? Who will have to settle for the two-legged play-off? And which nation will have their hearts broken?

First, here is a reminder of the qualification rules:

– Group winners qualify automatically for the finals.

– One group runner-up with the best record (most points in games against the top five teams in the group) will also gain direct qualification.

– The remaining eight runners-up will contest a two-legged play-off and the winners will qualify to make up the 16 finalists.

– If teams are level on points at the end of the group matches, the following tie-breaker criteria will take precedence:
   i.) higher number of points won in the group games between the teams in question
  ii.) superior goal difference in the group games between the teams in question only
 iii.) higher number of goals scored in the group games between the teams in question only
 iv.) higher number of goals scored away from home in the group games between the teams in question only

KEY:
Q = Qualified for last 16
W = Group winners
X = Cannot advance to last 16
E = Qualified for Europa League round of 32

MATCHDAY FIVE:
Bayern Munich v Villarreal
Napoli v Manchester City
  • Bayern Munich will qualify for the last 16 with a victory or a draw on matchday five. They will be guaranteed as group winners if they beat Villarreal and Manchester City fail to match their result.
  • Manchester City can only qualify for the last 16 on matchday five with a win over Napoli. Victory will also ensure they stay in the race to finish as group winners.
  • Napoli will not progress ay further if they lose to Manchester City. A win will not only keep them in contention for a last 16 berth but will guarantee them a place in the Europa League round of 32.
  • Villarreal cannot advance any further in the Champions League. They can only stay in the race for a Europa League spot if they beat Bayern Munich and Napoli fail to win against Manchester City.

MATCHDAY FIVE:
CSKA Moscow v Lille
Trabzonspor v Inter
  • Inter will qualify for the last 16 as long as they avoid defeat to Trabzonspor. A victory will ensure they win the group with one matchday to spare. A draw will be enough provided CSKA Moscow do not beat Lille.
  • CSKA Moscow will qualify for the last 16 as group runners-up if they win on matchday five and Trabzonspor lose. 
  • Trabzonspor cannot guarantee last 16 qualification on matchday five even with a victory and a CSKA Moscow defeat. However, they will be out of contention if they lose to Inter and CSKA win. They will ensure a Europa League spot as long as Lille fail to at least equal their result on matchday five.
  • Lille need a win to stay in the race for a last 16 berth. A draw against CSKA Moscow with a 2-2 score or higher will keep them in contention, provided Trabzonspor lose on matchday five.

MATCHDAY FIVE:
Manchester United v Benfica
Otelul Galati v Basel
  • Manchester United will qualify for the last 16 as long as they avoid defeat on matchday five and Basel lose to Otelul Galati. They will be guaranteed as group winners if they beat Benfica and Basel fail to win.
  • Benfica will qualify for the last 16 as long as they avoid defeat on matchday five and Basel lose to Otelul Galati. They will be guaranteed as group winners if they beat Manchester United, regardless of Basel’s result.
  • Basel must avoid defeat on matchday five and hope Benfica do not win to stay in contention for a last 16 place. They will, however, be guaranteed a place in the Europa League round of 32 as long as they do not lose to Otelul Galati.
  • Otelul Galati cannot advance any further in the Champions League. They will be eliminated from European competition altogether if they fail to win against Basel.

MATCHDAY FIVE:
Lyon v Ajax
Real Madrid v Dinamo Zagreb
  • Real Madrid have qualified for the last 16. They will win the group on matchday five if they beat Dinamo Zagreb. A draw will be enough provided Ajax fail to defeat Lyon.
  • Ajax will be assured of a last 16 spot with a win at Lyon. A score draw will be sufficient as they drew 0-0 at home in the reverse fixture. 
  • Lyon must win on matchday five to stay in the hunt for a last 16 berth. However, they will secure a place in the Europa League provided Dinamo Zagreb do not better their result.
  • Dinamo Zagreb cannot advance any further in the Champions League. They will be eliminated from European competition altogether if they lose at Real Madrid. However, a victory will not be enough if Lyon win against Ajax.