Real Madrid

  1. Nike Versus Adidas: Who Made the Better 2015/16 Football Kits?

    There may be a few other kit manufacturers on the battlefield-like Puma or the newly involved New Balance-but for the most part, Adidas and Nike are the rulers of the football kit market. Ahead of the 2015/16 season, these two sporting gear companies held nine of the 11 most valuable kit manufacturing contracts in all of soccer. Judging just on contract price, Adidas was winning the battle at the start of the season, holding all four of the most valuable kit deals (Manchester United, Bayern Munich, Chelsea, and Real Madrid). Nike's top soccer properties, meanwhile-Barcelona, Manchester City, and Paris Saint Germain-aren't quite as high-grossing, since those deals were all signed two or more years ago.

    But what about aesthetic and performance? Whose jerseys look better this season and whose kits have been worn by the better-performing football clubs? Read on for Soccer Box's rundown of who made the better football kits for the 2015/16 campaign.

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  2. Hire and Fire a Management Problem in English Football

    The 2015/16 football campaign is barely half done at this point, and the English Premier League has already been a bloodbath in terms of management shakeups. Liverpool sacked Brendan Rodgers; Aston Villa fired Tim Sherwood; Sunderland dismissed Dick Advocaat; Meanwhile, other managers like Louis van Gaal (Manchester United) and Steve McClaren (Newcastle United) could very well not last until the end of the season in their current positions.

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    A New Sacking Record

    The Premier League's turnover rate has been modest compared to that of the Championship, too. Indeed, England's second professional football tier has sacked a combined total of 10 managers so far this season. In fact, according to the LMA

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  3. Three areas for Real Madrid to address before transfer ban takes effect

    By Karl Matchett.

     

    Real Madrid are still challenging in La Liga and the Champions League this season, but know they are facing a transfer ban for up to two windows, currently due to start in summer but which may be appealed and deferred until next January.

     

    Zinedine Zidane is newly installed as manager and has taken over a side built with players signed for the likes of Rafa Benitez and Carlo Ancelotti, and has immediately shown a preference to go with a 4-3-3 formation to make use of his famed "BBC" attack, placing Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo either side of Karim Benzema. It's certainly a talented front line, but Real have frequently found themselves without at least one due to injury this season and at times the depth isn't quite there in Real's squad to not suffer a drop-off in quality when first XI stars are missing.

     

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  4. Five out-of-favour La Liga players who could be shrewd winter acquisitions

    By Ameen Rabbani.

    As we enter the final week of the January transfer window, clubs around Europe will undoubtedly be looking to La Liga in the hope of finding a winter bargain to bolster their squads for the six months that lie ahead. Here's five out-of-favour players who could do with a change of scenery from Spain's top flight and make a difference elsewhere.

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      1. Denis Cheryshev

    It was somewhat surprising that Denis Cheryshev was given the nod to continue at Real Madrid this season despite enjoying a largely successful loan spell at Villarreal in 2014-15. As suspected with Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and

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  5. Has Cristiano Ronaldo Won His Last Ballon d'Or?

    On Monday, January 11th, Lionel Messi won the FIFA Ballon d'Or Award for the fifth time. The win has seemed, for a while now, like a foregone conclusion. Messi led Barcelona to a treble victory in 2015, was the soccer club's top scorer during the 2014/15 season, and has even recovered from a lengthy autumn injury with grace. Cristiano Ronaldo may have led Leo in terms of goals scored, but Messi was probably the right pick for the best footballer in the world.

    Still, as Messi takes the Ballon d'Or and breaks Cristiano Ronaldo's two-year winning streak, one has to ask if we will see Ronaldo lift that trophy again. Or, for that matter, if Messi's fifth Ballon d'Or will be his last.

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    The Glory Years

    At this point, it's understandably difficult to imagine a Ballon d'Or ceremony

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  6. New Manager Zinedine Zidane Scores Big Win in First Match at Real Madrid

    If there were any doubts about Zinedine Zidane's appointment as manager at Real Madrid, they've surely been silenced following his first game in charge of the football club. The Vikings haven't necessarily had a poor season so far, but they did struggle to stay consistent and keep audiences entertained during the brief coaching reign of Rafael Benitez. Now, though, with Zidane in charge, Real Madrid have burst out of the gates with a thrilling 5-0 win against Deportivo La Coruna.

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    No Goals for Ronaldo

    Perhaps the most notable thing about the match, other than the fact that it was Zidane's first on the Real Madrid sidelines, is that Cristiano Ronaldo didn't score a single one of his team's five goals. Instead, Gareth Bale was the clear man of the match, scoring

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  7. There Is No "I" in Team: Is Professional Football Becoming to Self-Oriented?

    One of the big rumors of the 2015/16 season was that Real Madrid's best players-particularly Cristiano Ronaldo-were not playing their best football because they didn't like or respect manager Rafael Benitez. Especially in the wake of the Vikings' 0-4 defeat at the hands of Barcelona in November, soccer pundits everywhere were speculating that Ronaldo was trying to orchestrate an exit from Real Madrid, in favor of a return to Manchester United.

    Similar stories have abounded in other parts of the European soccer world. At Chelsea, for instance, as the reigning Premier League champions dipped further and further into an insurmountable rut, speculation abounded that the club's players were unhappy with the leadership of Jose Mourinho. The Portuguese manager did have a notable row with star player Diego Costa in late November and was reportedly snubbed by several players when he returned to Stamford Bridge to address the team one last time after he was sacked.

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  8. Atletico Madrid Back in Front as La Liga Heads into 2016

    What a difference half a year makes. Last May, as the sun set on the 2014/15 La Liga season, Atletico Madrid weren't even particularly close to defending the title they had won a year before. The Mattress Makers finished the 2014/15 campaign in a respectable third place. However, their point tally of 78 was so far from Real Madrid (92) and Barcelona (94), that Atletico was hardly even in the same league, quality-wise.

    Fast-forward to the first week of the New Year, though, and Atletico Madrid are back in the driver's seat, their consistency putting them above the flashier soccer squads of both Barca and Real Madrid. The Mattress Makers did lose one of their festive period fixtures, falling 0-1 to Malaga just five days before Christmas. However, Atletico followed that match up with two consecutive shutout victories, beating Rayo Vallecano 2-0 on December 30th and topping Levante 1-0 on the second day of the New Year.

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  9. Rafa Benitez Sacked by Real Madrid

    Rafael Benitez has been sacked as Real Madrid's head coach, following the football club's middling draw against Valencia on Sunday. The 55-year-old Spanish manager-who has previously served coaching stints with Valencia, Liverpool, and Napoli, among others-had only been in charge at the Bernabeu for seven months. However, from very early on, the writing appeared to be on the wall for Benitez.

    Last spring, when Benitez was hired, fans, soccer pundits, and even (reportedly) Real Madrid players were still heartily upset over the unceremonious sacking of Carlo Ancelotti. Ancelotti, of course, had helped the Vikings win a landmark 10th Champions League title in 2014 and had coached the soccer team within one of Barcelona's greatest squads ever in the 2014/15 La Liga. Benitez had big shoes to fill from the beginning, and rumors that Cristiano Ronaldo was unhappy with his appointment (to the point of looking for a transfer elsewhere) certainly didn't ease the pressure.

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  10. What Does the January Transfer Window Hold for Real Madrid

    Real Madrid have an immense amount of talent that they put on the soccer pitch every week. Between Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema, Gareth Bale, James Rodriguez, Luka Modric, Isco, and Sergio Ramos-to name just a few of the great players at Santiago Bernabeu-Real Madrid should have one of the best football teams in the world. What looks great on paper hasn't translated to greatness this season, though. The Vikings have played solid but unspectacular football in the La Liga since Rafa Benitez took over as manager, with recent losses to Cadiz and Villarreal underlining a somewhat confounding lack of consistency.

    Add a disqualification from the Copa del Rey, and it's not difficult to see why some fans in the Real Madrid home jersey 2015/16 are ready for their club to kick Benitez to the curb. In fact, it's really on the Champions League-where Real Madrid won five of their six group stage matches, led by Cristiano Ronaldo's stunning 11-goal performance-that is keeping the 2015/16 season

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