El Centrocampista


While most Madridistas would say 2011 was a good year, especially the latter half of it, the fact remains it belonged to Pep Guardiola and Futbol Club Barcelona.

Going into 2012 however, fans of Real Madrid have every reason to feel optimistic about their club’s prospects of finally wresting the La Liga trophy from the firm grip of their bitter rivals.

Even the most ardent Mourinho fan would struggle to suggest his side came close to matching the achievements of the Catalans last season, in fact they would be downright lying as the club’s solitary trophy, the Copa Del Ray was deemed only good enough to drop under the celebration bus by Sergio Ramos.

Apart from showing that Iker Casillas doesn’t have much to fear for his number one shirt, Ramos provided the best moment of 2011 in a comedic sense, and allowed the creation of some twitter jokes to rival those about Mad Mario.

All that aside, Barcelona took La Liga and the Champions’ League, showing Mourinho that Real simply had to improve if they were to even come close to genuinely rivalling them.

The first real sign of the work which took place over the summer came in the Super Copa, with Real unlucky to lose the two-legged tie.

After a difficult couple of games including the loss at the Ciudad de Valencia to a brilliant Levante however, the side finally found some form.

Real have not looked back since, and despite again losing to Barça at what seems to be their home from home, the Santiago Bernabeu, Los Blancos went into the winter break top of the table having just thumped Sevilla 6-2.

Critics point to having lost el clásico again, but in truth the chances were created and eventually the mental block against beating Barcelona will surely break.

The summer signings have fitted in well, and the return of Jose Maria Callejon has been a great success – the young Spaniard has impressed and already has one foot in Mourinho’s starting line-up.

In addition to the new arrivals,  Angel Di Maria has been in fantastic form and even Kaka has looked like getting back to his best once more.

Not to mention Cristiano Ronaldo who scored 43 goals last year and continues to defy all expectations.

Recent history has shown however that Barcelona have a habit of riding any challenge and emerging stronger, whether this will be the case this season, only time will tell.

What is certain is that fans of los blancos have a sense of anticipation that has been absent in recent seasons – the progress has been made at the Bernabeu, and the results are clearly visible.

Florentino Perez must also be feeling quietly confident as the season goes into a new year – seeking some vindication for the unprecedented control he has handed his Portuguese coach.

It has been a tough few seasons for the president who has tried and failed to let both the board and the ‘galticos‘ run the team in the past.

Now he has placed his faith in the self-proclaimed ‘special one’ and you get the feeling that if that fails, it will be back to square one.


  1. marco

    4 January, 2012 at 13:10

    Heard it all before, even from the experts!!, this article is called ‘Comforting yourself’.

    • Rebecca

      4 January, 2012 at 15:06

      I do take your point, but if it is a choice between writing this and oh dear god we are doomed we may as well hand barca the league and ucl now and drop the copa under the bus, I would rather say this.
      Not to mention the fact Real look far better than they have in a long time, and went into the winter break 3 clear and top of the ucl group for the first time since 07 when they won the title.
      ‘comforting myself’ would be to write that Real are a great second this year to the best club side ever to play football. Being optimistic and expectant is what this article is doing, and if I did not believe it I would not write it.
      I am not saying real will walk la liga but I am saying they have the best chance in years to win a couple of decent trophies.

  2. Iain McMullen

    4 January, 2012 at 14:07

    It does seem to be a recurring claim from those who follow los blancos, and they have fallen short more than once after proclaiming that ‘this is our year’, but there is no denying that Mourinho has moulded the strongest ‘team’ of players Real Madrid have had for quite some time.

    Whether it is enough to knock Barcelona off their perch, only time will tell but the title and the Champions League will be a lot harder to win this season for the Catalans.

  3. BL

    4 January, 2012 at 16:36

    Not the type of article I have come to expect on this site, I’d like to see more in the vein of unbiased journalism. Fan-wank articles are not why I started reading here. The excellent coverage of the smaller sides, stadium histories etc are what drew me in and I’ll ignore this pointless article… after I click ‘submit comment’ of course 🙂

  4. Iain McMullen

    4 January, 2012 at 18:02

    “The excellent coverage of the smaller sides, stadium histories etc are what drew me in”

    You’ll be happier tomorrow then BL, we’ve got all that and a little bit more…

  5. the ref

    4 January, 2012 at 19:07


  6. Leo

    4 January, 2012 at 20:05

    Wouldnt it be nice for you and other die hard madrid and mourinho fans to keep it shut for once, win the trophies and talk later? Comeon, we ve heard it all before, every year is your year and it doesnt happen. In the supercup, the fact is Barca hadnt regrouped after the summer and they still beat madrid and the consolation was that it was 3-2, just a goal apart. However, if people had cared to check, they would have seen that three of madrid’s goals were from fumbled corner kicks! But no, you spoke of closing the gap, well its now back to 3-2, and me thinks the gap is widening! A liga trophy without beating Barca is a trophy but its not the sweetest!

  7. Heath Chesters

    5 January, 2012 at 19:48


    Not when Granada beat them at home this Sunday!


    (Sponsored by me having my fingers AND toes crossed!)

    • Heath Chesters

      5 January, 2012 at 20:38

      *This Saturday that is…

  8. Shooflenifty

    1 February, 2012 at 11:16

    Mince. Written by a woman. Stick to knitting love.

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