Mourinho sues Marca editor

Jose Mourinho - Real Madrid

Goal.com / Shinichiro Ema

Jose Mourinho has filed a civil lawsuit against Marca editor Roberto Palomar for making defamatory comments in an article about Real Madrid coach.

The journalist published an article on September 17, where he referred to the Portuguese coach as “the type of person who leaves after causing an outrage”.

Mourinho feels Palomar has crossed the line with his choice of words, and has subsequently decided to take legal action against the Spanish newspaper.

“This expression is objectively vexatious and the use of it was completely unnecessary to achieve the objective of the article,” a statement from Mourinho’s legal representatives reads.

“Mourinho is fully aware of the importance of the right of freedom of expression, and has not and will never take legal action against rightful criticism.”

The 49-year-old previously sued El Pais journalist Charles Bouvier for calling him a “Nazi Portuguese”.

Champions League Team of the Round: Youngsters Oscar, Isco & Verratti steal the show

The new Champions League campaign kicked off this week and it didn’t take long to catch the imagination. The ball got rolling on Tuesday, when Real Madrid came from behind to secure a thrilling 3-2 win over Manchester City, while emerging heavyweights Paris Saint-Germain and Malaga proved they could more than hold their own with emphatic victories. Wednesday also threw up some exciting ties, most notably Juventus’ resilience coming to the fore in the 2-2 draw with competition holders Chelsea, and Barcelona’s unconvincing 3-2 success against Spartak Moscow. Goal.com is on hand to distinguish the most impressive players of the round.

CFR Cluj marked the end of a four-year hiatus from the Champions League in style, beating Braga 2-0. However, they had to thank goalkeeper Mario Felgueiras, who produced a string of fine saves against his former club. At right-back, Guillaume Gillet‘s all-action display ensured Anderlecht nullified AC Milan in a 0-0 draw, while Thiago Silva was his domineering self on his PSG debut against Dynamo Kiev and managed to get on the scoresheet. Partnering the Brazilian is Schalke’s Kyriakos Papadopoulos, who excelled in shutting Olympiakos down, and on the left, Marcelo warrants his place following a swashbuckling shift for Los Blancos, compounded by a fabulous curling finish.

Toni Kroos is fast making a name for himself at Bayern Munich, as he followed up his screamer against Stuttgart at the weekend with a similarly spectacular strike in a 2-1 win over Valencia. Juventus needed inspiration after falling 2-0 down to Chelsea, and it came in the form of Arturo Vidal, who acted as the catalyst in the Italian champions’ comeback at Stamford Bridge. Marco Verratti has been a revelation for PSG since his transfer from Pescara in the summer, and he set up a goal and displayed great maturity against Yuri Syomin’s charges, despite his tender age.

Attacking places were hot property in the first week of the Champions League, with the likes of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo missing out. However, there was no getting away from Oscar‘s splendid double to give Chelsea a commanding early lead, as he flourished as his side’s No.10. Stationed in front of him are Armenian prodigy Henrik Mkhitaryan, who came up trumps in Shakhtar Donetsk’s 2-0 win over Nordsjaelland, scoring both goals for Mircea Lucescu’s men, and Isco, whose pair of strikes lead Malaga to a memorable 3-0 opening-day success over free-spending Zenit St Petersburg.

Goal.com readers back Manchester United to win the Champions League

Over a fifth of Goal.com readers believe that Manchester United will win this year’s Champions League, despite being knocked out in the group stages last year.

The Red Devils, who kick-off this season’s campaign against Galatasaray on Wednesday night at Old Trafford, picked up 22.66 per cent of the vote.

Defending champions Chelsea, who have seen their talisman from last season, Didier Drogba, depart for Shanghai, polled in second placed with 20.12%.

Barcelona, now led by new manager Tito Vilanova, rounded off the top three with 15.07% of the vote, meaning nearly 85% of readers believe a team other than the favourites will win the Champions League.

Having started their campaign with a win against Montpellier, 14.74% of readers backed Arsenal to go all the way this year.

Meanwhile, Real Madrid, helmed by two-time Champions League winner Jose Mourinho and victorious against Manchester City on Tuesday, only polled in fifth with 11.72% of the vote.

Serie A champions Juventus were the highest ranked club outside of Spain and England, but only picked up 5.6% of the vote.

Manchester City, despite winning the Premier League, were only backed by 3.66% of readers, and Bayern Munich, Champions League finalists last year, came eighth with 3.35% of the vote.

Big spending Paris Saint-Germain picked up just 0.75% of the vote, and AC Milan, who have reached the final three times in the last decade, only managed 0.57%.

The results mean that 66.18% of readers expect an English team to win the Champions League, while 26.79% predict the winner will come from Spain.

Borussia Dortmund, Man City and Real Madrid, despite being the reigning champions of their respective leagues, are all fancied less than teams who finished below them last season.

Ramos still a key player for Real Madrid, insists Arbeloa

Alvaro Arbeloa - Real Madrid

Alvaro Arbeloa – Real Madrid

Alvaro Arbeloa has made it clear that Sergio Ramos remains a “very important” player for Real Madrid following his absence in Tuesday’s Champions League clash with Manchester City.

The Spain stopper was somewhat surprisingly benched in favour of Raphael Varane for Los Blancos‘ 3-2 win over the English champions, but the former Liverpool man has leapt to the support of his team-mate.

“Sergio Ramos is our vice-captain, and one of the best centre-backs in the world,” Arbeloa was quoted as saying on the official Madrid website.

“The coach makes the decisions and we have to respect them. Other players like [Mesut] Ozil and [Karim] Benzema did not start either.

“However, they are all still very important for Real Madrid.”

Ramos, 26, has made six official appearances for the Santiago Bernabeu side this term.

Cartoon of the Day: MOU-REKA! Real Madrid rediscover their winning DNA

Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho appeared less than happy with his side going into the Champions League clash with Manchester City at the Bernabeu on Tuesday night.

“At the moment, I have no team,” Mourinho said after the Spanish giants suffered a 1-0 defeat to Sevilla in La Liga.

But Mourinho had changed his tune entirely after watching his side come from behind to beat the Premier League champions 3-2, courtesy of goals from Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo.

“It’s good because the DNA of my team is back,” Mourinho said.

He added: “We could lose and I would be proud, but we cannot lose matches like we did in Sevilla and Getafe and my happiness is not just about the three points, it is about the DNA of my team being back.”

MOU-REKA! Madrid rediscover winning DNA