Things are always interesting at Real Madrid, and they manage to stay on course, even if it’s leading nowhere, despite the inner problems, now revolving around the Iker Casillas – Pepe – Jose Mourinho line. In footballing terms, Cristiano Ronaldo is close to 200 goals for the club on another flat display, mostly enjoying the fact that Angel di Maria and Kaka have their own issues to prove and sort out in the final weeks of the season.
At this point of the season, the off-pitch drama is more interesting than the attempts of keeping things interesting on it are. Pepe supported through recent comments the man Jose Mourinho hates more than anyone else, Iker Casillas, prompting the media, the players and Mourinho himself to treat as figure like Casillas with a bit more respect for what he’s achieving with the club and the national side over the years.
Pepe did start for Real Madrid, as Mourinho doesn’t have the luxury of chucking out players who talked him off, trying to show he’s still giving it all in an attempt to catch up with Barcelona, but it seems that if it wasn’t for the Copa Del Rey, maybe he would have been gone by now. There’s a feeling of an ending, of more than just a season coming to a conclusion. Luckily there are enough players with something to prove to the club or potential buyers to keep the ship going in the right direction.
Valladolid seems to come to life when playing Real Madrid, even if it ends up with a loss. No one expected the 4-3 thriller between the two sides, as the visitors took the lead twice in the first half before cracking under the pressure. The defensive unit that included Pepe, Coentrao, Carvalho and Nacho didn’t really impress in the way it handled the Vallodlid attacks, and all the compliments in the world towards Diego Lopez didn’t help him have a decent, confident performance, for once.
Up front, things were more of the usual. Cristiano Ronaldo didn’t look to anyone but himself, and found the net twice and could have made it much more had he been in better form. Looking quite athletic and healthy, it goes to prove just how good of a team Dortmund are, completely keeping him out of the match during the second leg in Madrid, which might have been the difference between a Champions League final or being left at home.
Angel Di Maria and Kaka were the players on the field, with excellent passing and pushes forward. Kaka scored the most important goal of the match, the one that gave Real Madrid their first lead, before coming off in the 67th minute. Angel Di Maria was also substituted after a goal and an assist to start the match with, and his excellent passing all match long seemed to be the difference between a Real Madrid that’s about to lose for the first time at home to a team that keeps its almost flawless record at the Santiago Bernabeu.