The club returned to double training sessions Thursday. The same 23 men reported to Valdebebas at the 10 o’clock session. The keepers worked separately with coach Silvino Louro, while the others did their usual stretching routines. The final practice match featured notable stops by Fernando Pacheco & Antonio Adán.
The blue team took the victory thanks to a goal by Esteban Granero.
Smiles were on the faces of the players & coaches when they stepped back on the practice pitch.
The afternoon training focused more on ball movement, & the team separated into small groups practicing rondos (ball retention in tight spaces).
Another day of training begins again at 10 am tomorrow.
In other news. The club has finally confirmed all of the summer friendlies. The first will be against Real Oviedo just five days away.
Valencia & Real Madrid have come to a pre-agreement for Fernando Gago’s transfer. He will be presented at 6 o’clock Friday evening. It is reported that Gago agreed to a 50% pay cut in order to join Los Che for four years. Valencia will also finalize Sergio Canales’ move for an estimated €8m, which includes a buyback option after two seasons.
Karanka: “The outcome of the league has not been decided. We’ve been saying this for a long time. We know who we are & where we stand. We said this two months ago when some people believed we could be greeted as champions at this stage, & we said it again three days ago when everyone thought we would lose. We’ve always been confident. We must continue working hard, fighting & believing in ourselves.”
Cristiano: “The team is in good form, confident & ready for its next game. I’ve been one booking short of a suspension for two months, but I’m behaving myself.” [videos: English / Spanish]
Callejón: “I always try to do my best. I’ve supported Real Madrid since I was a kid, & I always will.” [video: Spanish]
Alonso: “My booking was circumstantial. These things happen in a match, & I was reaching my limit.” [video: Spanish]
Ramos: “Taking three points was vital after drawing against Valencia. A team like Real Madrid lives with pressure, but we know how to withstand it and we have to be ready for everything. Each match is a matter of life and death. We earned an important victory tonight. Everything turned out well and we’re calm.” [videos: English / Spanish]
Pepe celebrated his 150th official appearance with the club Wednesday night.
Cristiano Ronaldo became the 1st player to score 40 goals in consecutive seasons in the history of Europe’s top 4 leagues (Spain, England, Italy, Germany).
Real Madrid is the 1st club to score 2,000 away goals in the Spanish league.
Sergio Canales, who is on loan to Valencia, made his return to the pitch after a long recovery from a knee injury back in October. In less than 10 minutes on the field, he assisted a goal (88’) against Rayo.
[Posting this because Canales is still a RM player—just on loan.]
Sergio Canales could be sidelined for three to six months after partially tearing the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) of his right leg in Sunday’s draw with Athletic Bilbao.
Valencia’s chief medical officer, Dr. Jorge Candel, confirmed the injury & reported that recovery could be a minimum of three months. However, if surgery is required, that time down could be doubled to six. An arthroscopic exam will be performed either Thursday or Friday by Dr. Francisco Sanz at the Moraleja clinic in Madrid.
“We hope to have a complete diagnosis as soon as possible. If the ACL is completely broken, then we will have to perform a surgical procedure. If not, then we will evaluate our options,” announced Dr. Candel. The surgery he could undergo involves replacing his tendon, either artificial or donated.
Canales took to Twitter to express his appreciation to his fans, “Thank you so much everyone for your support. Now I’m only thinking about recuperating as soon as possible & being near the team in support.