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Cristiano Ronaldo incredible hat-trick record for Real Madrid

Ronaldo has struck an incredible 19 HAT-TRICKS for Real Madrid since 2010… and his latest one is just perfect


August 28 – Zaragoza (A) League 24, 71, 87 (won 6-0) 63min
September 24 – Rayo Vallecano (H) 39, pen 51, pen 84 (won 6-2) 45min
October 22 – Malaga (A) 23, 28, 38 (won 4-0) 15min
November 6 – Osasuna (H) 23, pen 54, 58 (won 7-1) 35min
December 17 – Sevilla (A) 10, 41, pen 85 (won 6-2) 75min
February 12 – Levante (H) pen 45, 50, 57 (won 4-2) 12min
April 11 – Atletico Madrid (A) 25, 68, pen 83 (won 4-1) 58min

2012-2013
September 30 – Deportivo La Coruna (H) pen 23, 44, pen 84 (won 5-1) 61min
October 3 – Ajax (A) Champions League 42, 79, 81 (won 4-1) 41min
January 9 – Celta Vigo (H) Copa del Rey 3, 24, 87 (won 4-0) 84min
January 27 – Getafe (H) League 62, 65, pen 72 (won 4-0) 10min

How does Ronaldo's perfect hat-trick compare to these

Peter Crouch (Liverpool v Arsenal 2006/2007)

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink (Chelsea v Tottenham 2001-2002)

Joel Pohjanpalo (Perfect hat-trick in three minutes 19 seconds for HJK Helsinki)

WILL OLD TRAFFORD'S BOBBLY PITCH SLOW HIM DOWN

The inconsistent playing surface at Old Trafford has caused difficulties at times for Manchester United this season – so much so that Darren Fletcher has not been able to play on it.

But it could prove a blessing in disguise when Real Madrid – and ex-United star Cristiano Ronaldo – come calling in the Champions League next month.

The less-than-perfect pitch is coming towards the end of its lifespan – having been laid six years ago.

And it was again noticeable on Saturday, when large areas started cutting up during United's FA Cup tie with Fulham.

Muddy: The Old Trafford turf kicks up as Javier Hernandez shoots during the recent match with West Ham

Muddy: The Old Trafford turf kicks up as Javier Hernandez shoots during the recent match with West Ham

But it won't be re-laid until the summer – meaning Ronaldo and co will have to make the best of it as they try to get past United into the last eight.

Earlier this month, Sir Alex Ferguson said the surface had 'collapsed' and that it was so heavy, Fletcher, who was trying to make a return following a bowel condition, was unable to make progress.

Ferguson said: 'We have had six great years out of the pitch. Our groundsman, Tony Sinclair, has done a fantastic job. But it is looking tired now and I think we will have a new pitch in the summer.'

Iker Casillas major doubt to face Manchester United

United handed Champions League boost as Casillas fights to return from broken bone

By
Lee Bryan

PUBLISHED:

10:17 GMT, 24 January 2013

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UPDATED:

11:44 GMT, 24 January 2013

Iker Casillas is a major doubt for Real Madrid's Champions League double-header with Manchester United after breaking a bone in his hand.

The World Cup winner suffered the injury in his side's Copa del Rey quarter-final victory over Valencia on Wednesday when team-mate Alvaro Arbeloa kicked him while clearing a ball in the area.

Madrid will assess the injury before deciding what treatment is required while Adan Garrido is likely to deputise for the Spanish No 1.

Iker Casillas

Iker Casillas

Blow: Iker Casillas has broken a bone in his hand, making him unlikely to face Manchester United next month

Casillas will miss Sunday's La Liga clash with Getafe and the second leg against Valencia next week.

He is also also struggle to recover in time to face United at the Bernabeu on February 13.

'When I tried to close my fist it hurt. It's just the thumb. The fact that it has nothing to do with the wrist is good,' Casillas said.

Meanwhile, the club said in a statement: 'After carrying out initial x-rays…
it has been confirmed that the footballer Iker Casillas has suffered a
fracture at the base of the first metacarpal on his left hand.

'It will be assessed again by a specialist later today to decide what treatment will be followed.'

Real Madrid's goalkeeper Iker Casillas

Real Madrid's goalkeeper Iker Casillas

At war Casillas and manager Jose Mourinho have been at odds in recent weeks

The injury to a key figure comes at a delicate time for Mourinho with Europe's elite club competition resuming in just over two weeks.

Casillas has just been restored to the starting line up after the manager controversially dropped him for the league games either side of La Liga's winter break.

The decision provoked angry reactions from home fans and fuelled media speculation about possible dressing room rifts even though Real's defence has started to tighten up of late.

Casillas's injury follows reports in Spain that suggested he, along with team-mate Sergio Ramos, delivered an ultimatum to president Florentino Perez.

Main man: Casillas' injury will be a blow to the Spanish champions ahead of the Champions League last 16

Main man: Casillas' injury will be a blow to the Spanish champions ahead of the Champions League last 16

The pair want to see the back of the
Portuguese at the end of the season and have told Madrid chiefs that
they will seek their own move away should Mourinho be retained.

The 2011 Copa del Rey winners will face a high-profile clash with great rivals Barcelona if the holders can beat Malaga in their quarter-final second leg at the Rosaleda.

The scores are level at 2-2 after Malaga snatched a late equaliser in last week's first leg at the Nou Camp.

Barcelona firing under Tito Vilanova

New boss Vilanova has Barcelona firing heading into Champions League opener

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UPDATED:

07:31 GMT, 18 September 2012

Tito Vilanova is quietly stamping his authority on the Barcelona team and they head into their Champions League Group G opener at home to Spartak Moscow on Wednesday with La Liga's only perfect record.

It was a daunting task to step up from assistant to replace Pep Guardiola in the Nou Camp hot seat, taking over from a fans' idol who won a record 14 trophies in his four years in charge.

Vilanova, who turned 44 on Monday, did not command the instant respect that the former Spain international Guardiola had accrued, but he has quickly shown he is not afraid to plough his own furrow.

On song: Barca have made a strong start to their La Liga campaign

On song: Barca have made a strong start to their La Liga campaign

At Getafe on Saturday, Vilanova rested World Player of the Year Lionel Messi and Brazil international Dani Alves for a fixture Barca have often struggled with, and at a venue where champions Real Madrid fell 2-1 last month.

The side were also shorn of Andres Iniesta, Jordi Alba and Alexis Sanchez, and during the Guardiola era often struggled with the so called 'FIFA virus' after breaks for internationals.

It had been a year since Messi was last rested for a league game and after Barca were held 2-2 at Real Sociedad, Guardiola never left him out again.
Vilanova's side, however, came through with 4-1 victory at Getafe, displaying the zip and hunger that had at times been missing towards the end of Guardiola's reign.

'The philosophy and method of working is basically pretty similar, but we have a new coach, a new form of doing things and we are very happy about him being with us,' Iniesta told www.uefa.com.

Back in action: David Villa has been among the goals

Back in action: David Villa has been among the goals

'He knows us very well and I am confident things will go well.'

Cesc Fabregas played in Messi's 'false nine' role and he helped set up the first goal for Adriano, before Messi entered the fray in the second half to bag a quick double, and another substitute David Villa notched the fourth.

Barca have a doubt over defender Alba who missed Saturday's game with a virus, and forward Alexis who is recovering from a muscle problem.

Captain Carles Puyol joined Iniesta on the injury list when he suffered a twisted knee ligament in the Getafe game, that has put him out for up to six weeks.

Vilanova's opposite number Unai Emery is having a tougher time settling in at Spartak, Russia's most popular and successful club with nine domestic titles between 1992-2001.

Rested: Messi came off the bench to score twice against Getafe

Rested: Messi came off the bench to score twice against Getafe

They have only taken one point from their last three league matches after being held to a 2-2 draw at unfancied Kuban Krasnodar on Saturday.

'Crisis I don't think so,' said the former Valencia boss Emery, who joined the Moscow club in May.

'We're working hard as a team but we are still a long way from a finished product. We're still trying to find the best way of organising our attack.'

After missing Europe's premier club competition last season, Spartak qualified for the group stage by beating Turkey's Fenerbahce in last month's playoffs.

The Muscovites will be without injured captain Sergei Parshivlyuk (knee), Brazilian striker Welliton (thigh) and Argentina defender Nicolas Pareja (calf), while Dutch midfielder Demy de Zeeuw is suspended.

Jose Mourinho slammed by former Real Madrid president Ramon Calderon ahead of Manchester City clash

Shut it, Jose! Real manager slammed for attack on his own stars on eve of City clash

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UPDATED:

10:13 GMT, 17 September 2012

Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho is at the centre of a row over after slating his own team on the eve of the Champions League clash with Manchester City.

Mourinho blasted his side after they slumped to their second defeat in four La Liga games this term which left them eight points adrift of leaders Barcelona.

The Portuguese claimed he 'didn't have a
team' following the 1-0 reversal to Sevilla, comments which have riled
former Madrid president Ramon Calderon.

Hush: Mourinho has been hammered over comment made about his own team

Hush: Mourinho has been hammered over comment made about his own team

'Mourinho's comments don't help the team in any way. The players could just as easily say that they don't have a coach right now,’ Calderon stated to RAC1.

'It would be better to see these losses as incidents. I imagine that the players are not too happy with Mourinho's comments.

'I believe that the team is fully committed to the team. The players are giving their all out there on the pitch.'

Stuttering start: Real are already trailing way behind leaders Barcelona after another defeat

Stuttering start: Real are trailing way behind leaders Barcelona after another defeat

Stuttering start: Real are trailing way behind leaders Barcelona after another defeat

Mourinho has been forced onto the defensive early into his third season at the Bernabeu with the future of Ronaldo at the heart of much speculation.

He was probed on Saturday night about the relationship between Ronaldo's mood and the team's performance.

Focused: City boss Mancini knows the club are facing a sterner test than the one they faced at Stoke

Focused: City boss Mancini knows the club are facing a sterner test than the one they faced at Stoke

Focused: City boss Mancini knows the club are facing a sterner test than the one they faced at Stoke

'I do not think it has anything to do
with it,' he said.

'Today's match was no different from those against
Getafe and Granada, which we won.

'So I don't think that the rumours of the last couple of weeks have anything to do with it.

'It is about a state of mind and of two or three who aren't thinking like the rest.

'They are the minds of players who are not committed and for whom football is not a priority in their lives.

'There aren't many involved and it's complicated, but I'm coach and if there are those less committed, then it is my fault.'

The Premier League champions travel to the Spanish capital on Tuesday desperate to put in a better performance in the tournament than they did last season when they failed to get out of their group.

And City boss Roberto Mancini has acknowledged the European opener is his biggest game since he took over at the Etihad Stadium in December 2009.

'It's a fantastic moment for everyone at the club,' he said. 'When you play against Real Madrid, they are the history of football for 100 years. They have won everything.

'Real Madrid don't have only Cristiano Ronaldo – the best player in the world with Lionel Messi – but they have 18 top players.

'I think these can be incredible moments in the career of every player, because we play against a team with 100 years of history.'

Carles Puyol ruled out for six weeks with knee injury

Veteran Barcelona captain Puyol ruled out for six weeks with knee injury

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UPDATED:

12:22 GMT, 16 September 2012

Crocked: Puyol could be out for six weeks

Crocked: Puyol could be out for six weeks

Barcelona have been dealt a blow with the news that their captain Carles Puyol has been ruled out for up to six weeks with a knee injury.

The veteran defender missed Spain's Euro 2012 triumph with a similar problem and he has been ruled out again after coming off injured in the 4-1 win over Getafe on Saturday.

Puyol, 34, has strained the posterior cruciate ligament in his left leg and will undergo further test in Sunday to determine the extent of the damage.

Barca boss Tito Vilanova said: 'It’s always a problem when you lose players like him. We know how important Puyol is to the team.

'He played well throughout the match, he brings a lot to the team. Hopefully we can get him back soon.'

Puyol is certain to miss Barca's Champions League opener against Spartak Moscow on Wednesday night, while he could also be ruled out of next month's league clash against rivals Real Madrid.

Barcelona maintain perfect start but Real Madrid crash again

Barcelona maintain perfect start but Real Madrid crash again

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UPDATED:

22:42 GMT, 15 September 2012

Lionel Messi climbed off the bench to score twice while his fellow substitute David Villa was again on the mark as Barcelona continued their 100 per cent start to the new Primera Division season with a 4-1 victory over Getafe on Saturday.

Adriano capitalised on good work by Cesc Fabregas to notch a 32nd-minute opener before the visitors added three more goals in the final 16 minutes to seal their fourth win in four league outings.

Barcelona's Lionel Messi

Hard to handle: Barcelona's Lionel Messi

Messi doubled the lead from the penalty spot before the Argentina ace made it 3-0 four minutes later. Getafe pulled a goal back through Pablo Sarabia's deflected strike but Villa had the final word with a brilliant piece of finishing in stoppage time to complete the scoring.

Getafe came into the game on the back of victory over defending champions Real Madrid who sank to a successive defeat, losing 1-0 at Sevilla to fall eight points behind Barca.

Piotr Trochowski lashed home after 69 seconds and Madrid could not find a response, instead counting themselves lucky that not one but two of their players avoided red cards that could easily have been shown to Gonzalo Higuain and Angel Di Maria in separate incidents.

Madrid had scored 12 goals combined in their last two visits to Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, but only fleetingly threatened the goal here as they looked lost in their own uncertainties for long periods.

Perfect 10: Messi celebrates with after scoring

Perfect 10: Messi celebrates with after scoring

Valencia earned their first league victory at the fourth time of asking after easing past newly-promoted Celta Vigo 2-1 at the Mestalla.

Sofiane Feghouli gave Valencia an early lead and although Celta equalised soon after through Michael Krohn-Delhi, the hosts claimed the points thanks to Aly Cissokho's 50th-minute winner.

Valencia, who have finished third in each of the last three seasons, had only managed to pick up two points from a tough start to the campaign which included trips to big two Real and Barca.

Malaga maintained their unbeaten start to the league campaign with a comfortable 3-1 win over Levante thanks to goals from Javier Saviola, Joaquin and Francisco Portillo.

Not impressed: Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo and Sevilla's Fernando Navarro

Not impressed: Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo and Sevilla's Fernando Navarro

Saviola deservedly put the hosts in front after 26 minutes with a simple finish from Isco's fine through ball, but Levante were level a minute after half-time when Michel thundered in from outside the area.

However, Malaga's lead was restored 12 minutes later when Saviola's cute pass found Joaquin free inside the area and his calm finish gave Gustavo Munua no chance.

And, despite losing Sergio Sanchez to a second yellow card three minutes from time, Portillo sealed all three points with a controlled volley in the last action of the match.

Gloom: Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo (L) and coach Jose Mourinho

Gloom: Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo (L) and coach Jose Mourinho

Real Madrid 3 Granada 0: Luka Modric makes first start

Real Madrid 3 Granada 0: Ronaldo steals show as Modric makes first start

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UPDATED:

21:02 GMT, 2 September 2012

Cristiano Ronaldo stole the show from new boy Luka Modric by scoring a brace in Real Madrid's 3-0 win over Granada, their first in La Liga this season.

Madrid displayed little of the attacking flair they possessed to topple Barcelona in the Spanish Supercup earlier this week, but Ronaldo's first league goals of the campaign proved more than enough against a modest Granada side.

Former Tottenham playmaker Luka Modric made his first start for Real Madrid, and looked good in the centre of the park before being substituted for Mesut Ozil in the second half.

Looking good: Luka Modric made his first start for Real Madrid in their 3-0 win over Granada

Looking good: Luka Modric made his first start for Real Madrid in their 3-0 win over Granada

Show-stealer: Cristiano Ronaldo scored two goals in a routine victory for the champions of Spain

Show-stealer: Cristiano Ronaldo scored two goals in a routine victory for the champions of Spain

Modric – who cost Real Madrid
33million from Tottenham – drew an early save from Antonio Rodriguez in a promising display for boss Jose Mourinho.

Ronaldo bagged two well taken goals before leaving the pitch grimacing and clutching his left leg following a mistimed tackle by Borja Gomez that cost the Granada defender a second booking.

With Granada down a man, Gonzalo Higuain scored in the 76th to seal the much-needed win. The defending champions had only one point after the first two games of the campaign.

Ronaldo opened for Real when he slotted Jose Callejon's pass between Rodriguez's legs from a tight angle on the left side of the area.

Ouch! Ronaldo had to be substituted after a strong challenge from Borja Gomez

Ouch! Ronaldo had to be substituted after a strong challenge from Borja Gomez

But just like in the previous two matches against Valencia and Getafe, a nervous looking Madrid retreated after going in front, giving Granada the chance to advance.

Granada forwards Floro Flores and Youssef El Arabi both came close before Ronaldo tested the Granada keeper once more before the break.

Mourinho sent on winger Angel Di Maria for Callejon at the start of the second half to try to jump-start his attack again.

The Argentina international was instantly in the thick of it and slid a through ball to Ronaldo cutting toward the near post. Rodriguez did well to block his first shot, only to see the ball fall to Ronaldo's feet for him to fire into the open net.

The Portugal striker chose not to celebrate his goals, apparently still displeased with his poor displays in the league so far.

Reduced to 10 men after Gomez's sending off, the visitors fell apart at the back, leaving Higuain alone to tap in a cross from Karim Benzema to cap the victory.

Nice moves: Modric moved for 33million from Tottenham

Nice moves: Modric moved for 33million from Tottenham

Good shift: Modric was replaced by Mesut Ozil in the second half

Good shift: Modric was replaced by Mesut Ozil in the second half

Tottenham and QPR chase Esteban Granero from Real Madrid

Real could let 'Pirate' Granero walk the plank to Spurs now that they're mateys…

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UPDATED:

07:39 GMT, 28 August 2012

Fantasy football 2012

Tottenham could benefit from their new partnership with Real Madrid by securing a deal for midfielder Esteban Granero.

The Spanish giants are prepared to let the 25-year-old leave the Bernabeu after signing Luka Modric from Spurs.

But Andre Villas-Boas faces competition from Queens Park Rangers as the transfer deadline draws near, according to Madrid paper Marca.

Target: Tottenham are keen on Real Madrid midfielder Esteban Granero (L)

Target: Tottenham are keen on Real Madrid midfielder Esteban Granero (L)

Arsenal came close to signing ‘The Pirate’ last year, while Liverpool were knocked back earlier this summer.

But Modric’s arrival and the increasing likelihood that Kaka will stay at Madrid has made versatile Granero a potential sacrifice.

Real deal: Luka Modric's switch to the Bernabeu has opened a new partnership between Madrid and Spurs

Real deal: Luka Modric's switch to the Bernabeu has opened a new partnership between Madrid and Spurs

Lassana Diarra, who is wanted by AC Milan, is another midfielder who could leave Jose Mourinho’s squad in the next few days.

Like Modric, former Spain Under 21 international Granero can operate well both in attacking and defensive midfield duties, but he has struggled to hold down a regular first-team place since signing from Getafe in 2009.

Michael Laudrup named new Swansea manager

Dane deal! Swansea appoint new boss Laudrup as replacement for Rodgers

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UPDATED:

10:36 GMT, 15 June 2012

Swansea are set to confirm Michael Laudrup as their new manager, replacing Brendan Rodgers at The Liberty Stadium.

Laudrup emerged as the front-runner for the job in the last few days and he has put pen to paper on a deal in south Wales.

The 48-year-old, a former manager at Brondby, Getafe, Spartak Moscow and Real Mallorca, has previously spoken of his desire to manage in the Premier League.

Swansea, who finished 11th in their debut Premier League season, have been without a manager since Rodgers accepted the Liverpool vacancy in May.

More to follow…

Heading to Wales: Michael Laudrup is expected to be the new Swansea manger

Heading to Wales: Michael Laudrup is expected to be the new Swansea manger

Roberto Martinez wanted by Olympiacos

Martinez wanted by Olympiacos as Greek club ponder bid for Wigan boss

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UPDATED:

09:09 GMT, 26 April 2012

Roberto Martinez could be managing in the Champions League next season as Olympiacos plan a move for the Wigan boss.

The Greek club are on the hunt for a new boss after it was announced their Spanish manager Ernesto Valverde is leaving this summer.

Martinez would be offered a two-year deal, a much-improved pay deal than he receives from the Latics plus the chance to show of his managerial skills against the best Europe has to offer in the Champions League Group.

On the move Martinez could be heading to Greece

On the move Martinez could be heading to Greece

Wigan's recent stunning form has seen them pull clear of the relegation zone following victories over Manchester United and Arsenal.

But Olympiacos have got Martinez on their shortlist as Wigan continue their battle to confirm their Premier League status for next season, according to The Mirror.

Olympiacos sporting director Darko Kovacevic has drawn up the shortlist which also includes Valencia boss Unai Emery and Getafe coach Luis Garcia.