Pre-Season Preview: Real Madrid
We take a closer look at the Spanish giants.
Everton’s victory over Juventus and Real Madrid’s triumph against LA Galaxy has set up a mouth-watering meeting between the two clubs at Dodger Stadium on Saturday night.
Like on the Blue half of Merseyside, it has been a summer of change at the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu. Here we take a closer look at the 32-time La Liga champions..
Name: Real Madrid
When do we play them? We face Los Blancos in our second game of the International Champions Cup tournament on 3 August at 5pm local time (1am on 4 August in the UK).
Where? The game is in Los Angeles at Dodger Stadium, the 56,000 capacity home of the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team.
How can I watch it? If you can't make it across the pond, Darren Griffiths and Graeme Sharp will be behind the microphone commentating for evertontv's live coverage of the game. Click here for details on how you can watch the broadcast.
Who’s their boss? Following the departure of Jose Mourinho at the end of last season, Real headed to France in search of their 11th manager in 10 years and confirmation of Carlo Ancelotti’s switch from Ligue 1 champions PSG arrived on 25 June. The former Italy midfielder has also managed Reggiana, Parma, Juventus, AC Milan and Chelsea and last season took his tally of major honours as a coach to eight. The 54-year-old's best spell came at the San Siro, where he won one Serie A crown, a Coppa Italia and two European Cups.
Who’s their best player? Cristiano Ronaldo is Madrid’s star man and is seen as one of the greatest players in the world at present. The former Manchester United forward is known for his pace, skill, flair and finishing ability and last season he finished with 55 goals in 55 appearances for Los Blancos. Having taken over the famous number seven shirt worn by the great Raul, he is already on his way to becoming one of Madrid’s most successful ever players and has notched a staggering 201 goals in just 199 outings for the club.
Who’s their unsung hero? Raphael Varane. The French youngster produced a number of notable displays for Madrid last season despite his tender years and even managed to displace the experienced Pepe at the heart of Real’s defence. The 20-year-old scored in both legs of Madrid’s Copa del Rey semi-final victory over Barcelona and also made his France debut against Georgia in March.
How did they get on last season? It turned out to be a disappointing season at the Bernabeu, though they did at least have one piece of silverware to show for it. Real started the campaign by beating Barcelona in the Spanish Super Cup, only to go on and lose out to their great rivals in the league by 15 points. They were knocked out of the Champions League by Borussia Dortmund in the semi-finals and ended the season losing to city rivals Atletico Madrid in the final of the Copa del Rey.
Any Everton connections? Midfielder Thomas Gravesen left the Blues to join Madrid in January 2005. The Dane only made 36 appearances for the club, scoring once before joining Celtic in August 2006. Royston Drenthe was signed in 2011 on a season-long loan deal from the Spanish side. He went on to turn out 27 times for the Toffees, scoring four goals.
Have we played them before? Yes, but only once. It was in the Santiago Bernabeu trophy in 1987. Madrid came out on top, winning 6-1, with Paul Power scoring Everton’s solitary goal.
Have they been active in the transfer market? A busy summer has seen four high profile arrivals at the Bernabéu.
Playmaker Isco joined from Malaga for a fee of €30million, while midfielder Asier Illarramendi was recruited from Sociedad after Real parted with a similar amount of money.
Central-half Daniel Carvaja moved to the Spanish capital after Los Blancos paid Bayer Leverkusen €6.5milllion and Brazilian midfielder Casemiro’s loan from Sao Paulo was also made into a permanent transfer.
The notable departures from the Spanish capital during the close season have both been to Napoli. The Italian outfit paid €12million for defender Raúl Albiol and €35million for Argentine forward Gonzalo Higuain.