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MADRID, Spain (AP) _ Real Madrid signed Wesley Sneijder from Ajax for 27 million euros (C$28.87 million) Monday, the second Dutchman to join the Spanish champion in five days. The 23-year-old Netherlands midfielder agreed to a five-year deal and wass to unveiled at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium later Monday. ``Right now, this is a dream come true. I couldn't ask for more,'' Sneijder told sports daily As. ``I want to play at Real Madrid and I want ...

MADRID, Spain (AP) _ Real Madrid is lining up Chelsea winger Arjen Robben as its next transfer target. The Spanish champions said Wednesday that any deal to bring Robben to the Santiago Bernabeu stadium is unlikely to go ahead before next week at the earliest. ``It is a negotiation which will take place in the coming days or weeks and if the situation is favourable, by which I mean financially, I think that he is a player ...

Real Madrid president Ramon Calderon introduced the former Getafe coach Monday at Santiago Bernabeu stadium. ``This is a happy day for me,'' Schuster said. ``I thank the president and everyone here for giving me the opportunity.'' Schuster will take over from Fabio Capello, who was fired June 28, less than two weeks after leading Madrid to its first Spanish league title in four years and ending the club's longest major trophy drought in 53 years. Schuster, a former ...

MADRID, Spain (AP) _ David Beckham missed a Real Madrid training session on Tuesday to rest his injured left ankle. He was hurt in his country's 3-0 win over Estonia in qualifying for the 2008 European Championship last week, but played in Madrid's 2-2 draw at Zaragoza in the Spanish league on Saturday. Raul Bravo, Antonio Cassano and Miguel Torres also sat out the practice due to injuries. Madrid is unbeaten in 11 games since Beckham was ...

MADRID, Spain (AP) _ Real Madrid coach Fabio Capello admits he was wrong to drop David Beckham earlier this season. Capello benched Beckham in January, questioning his motivation, after the England star signed a five-year deal to join the Los Angeles Galaxy of Major League Soccer. But, since being reinstated by Capello, Beckham has played a major role in Madrid's charge toward a possible 30th Spanish league title. ``The truth is with him we were all wrong,'' ...

MADRID, Spain (AP) _ David Beckham will play for Real Madrid at Zaragoza on Saturday despite a left ankle injury. ``I'm going to travel to Zaragoza and I'm going to play,'' Beckham, who did not train with the team Friday, told sports daily Marca. Beckham could win his first major trophy with Madrid if the team beats Zaragoza _ and FC Barcelona and Sevilla lose _ this weekend. Madrid leads two-time defending champion Barcelona on head-to-head results. Both ...

MADRID, Spain (AP) _ Real Madrid defender Roberto Carlos is reportedly talking to club directors about extending his contract when it expires at the end of the season. ``Great players want to play at Real Madrid and Roberto Carlos is a great player, the best in the world in his position,'' Madrid right back Cicinho told Punto Radio on Tuesday. ``His wish to stay is great.'' Cicinho said he and Roberto Carlos were still making common plans in ...

BRISTOL, England (AP) _ David Beckham has launched a ``School Zone'' website to improve students' soccer skills and educational achievements. The Real Madrid midfielder unveiled his free coaching guide, www.thedavidbeckhamacademy.co.uk during a visit Monday to the City Academy School in Bristol, southwest England. ``I have seen firsthand how boys and girls respond to the coaches at the academy,'' the former England captain said. ``I am extremely proud of the work ...

MADRID, Spain (AP) _ Real Madrid is reportedly confident of signing Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo at the end of the season. In a story headed ``This one will get the Bernabeu on its feet'', sports daily Marca said Thursday that Madrid president Ramon Calderon has made the Portugal forward's signing ``an absolute priority'' even though ``he will cost a fortune.'' Calderon has reportedly been informed by Madrid's sports director Predrag ...

David Beckham's four-year stay at Real Madrid did the Spanish club's finances a lot of good. Too bad about the results on the field. Beckham failed to win a single major trophy with Madrid as the storied club experienced its worst slump since the early 1950s. The 31-year-old midfielder, who signed a five-year contract with the Los Angeles Galaxy on Thursday, will now get a chance to earn some honours ...

River Plate's teenage striker Gonzalo Higuain could soon be joining Real Madrid. ``I'm going to Madrid to continue talks on Higuain's move to (Real) Madrid,'' River's treasurer Hector Grinberg told Radio Marca. River is reportedly demanding 12 million euros (C$18.3 million) for Higuain, who scored his final goal of the Argentine league season in Sunday's 1-1 draw with Velez Sarsfield. The striker, who turned 19 the same day, was presented ...

FC Barcelona and Real Madrid denied having any links to a Spanish doctor at the centre of a major doping scandal. Both Spanish teams said Thursday they reserved the right to take legal action to defend their interests after an allegation in French newspaper Le Monde that Eufemiano Fuentes had treated some of their players. ``Real Madrid wishes to energetically deny any link, direct or indirect, between the club's medical ...

Real Madrid visits Sevilla on Saturday, with the Spanish league's second and third-place teams looking evenly matched. Sevilla boasts a perfect record at its Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan this season but Madrid's away form is formidable, with five wins in six matches. The sides have emerged as the biggest threats to leader FC Barcelona's hopes of a third straight league title. Barcelona has 30 points, while Madrid has 29 and Sevilla ...

Fabio Cannavaro may miss Real Madrid's Spanish league game with Sevilla after spraining his left ankle during training on Thursday. Cannavaro, on his first day back in training following a muscle injury which forced him out of Madrid's last two matches, was hurt by a strong challenge from teammate Ruud van Nistelrooy. The defender reacted angrily and refused to shake hands with van Nistelrooy, news agency Efe said. Cannavaro, Italy's ...

Italy captain Fabio Cannavaro won the Golden Ball award Monday, the first defender in 10 years to be named Europe's best player. Cannavaro, who played for Juventus last season but then moved to Real Madrid after helping Italy win the World Cup, got 173 points in France Football magazine's annual poll of 52 journalists from around the world. Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon was second with 124 points, followed by Arsenal ...

Raul Gonzalez scored in the 52nd minute Sunday to give Real Madrid a 1-0 win over Valencia and move the team three points off the lead in the Spanish league. Raul's third goal of the season came from Roberto Carlos' low cross following a swift break down the left wing which also involved Jose Antonio Reyes. Madrid's victory at Mestalla stadium was its third straight and was achieved without the ...

Valencia badly needs an upturn in its domestic fortunes when it hosts Real Madrid in the Spanish league's standout match this weekend. The champions of 2002 and 2004 began the season confidently, sharing the lead after seven matches and suggesting it could wrest the title from FC Barcelona this season. But since then Valencia has gained two points from a possible 12, sliding down to eighth place, eight points behind ...

Real Madrid aims to end Lyon's perfect record in the Champions League this season and keep alive its chances of finishing top of Group E. Only a victory on Tuesday for the nine-time European champion at its Santiago Bernabeu Stadium will be enough. Anything less will leave the French champions as certain group winners and sentence Madrid to a second-place finish _ and a match against another group winner in ...

Brazil left back Marcelo will join Real Madrid from Fluminense, club president Ramon Calderon said Tuesday. ``We are very happy because he was a pearl which half of Europe wanted,'' Calderon said on the website of sports daily Marca on Tuesday. ``He has come to Real Madrid, continuing what should happen, that the good players have to be here.'' Marcelo, for whom Madrid has reportedly paid six million euros (C$8.8 ...

Real Madrid coach Fabio Capello is considering starting Ronaldo for the first time this season Sunday in a Spanish league match. Capello said he will decide whether to pick the 30-year-old Brazil striker on the day of the home game against Celta Vigo. ``He is improving every day in training and regaining an acceptable physical condition,'' Capello told Madrid's website on Saturday. ``He's not at his best, he needs to lose a little weight, but he seems pretty ...

Raul Gonzalez threatened to leave Real Madrid after a recent defeat, the club president has revealed. Calderon said his captain had told him he was ``suffering a lot'' and ``couldn't sleep'' following Madrid's 1-0 loss at Getafe on Oct. 14, the club's first league defeat of the season. ``He said if the situation continued he would leave and free the club from paying the salary of his long contract,'' Calderon ...

Real Madrid lost its appeal against Ronaldo's one-game suspension on Thursday, likely ruling the Brazil striker out of this weekend's match against FC Barcelona. The Spanish soccer federation's appeals committee said it wouldn't withdraw the yellow card Ronaldo received for an 82nd-minute foul during his team's 1-0 defeat at Getafe last Saturday. Eight minutes later, Ronaldo was sent off for the first time in the Spanish league after receiving a ...

Real Madrid scored two goals in each half to beat Steaua Bucharest 4-1 in the Champions League on Tuesday. Sergio Ramos, back from a one-game ban, headed into the net from 12 yards on a corner kick in the ninth minute. Raul Gonzalez doubled the lead in the 33rd minute from close range after goalkeeper Carlos Fernandes had blocked a shot by Ruud van Nistelrooy. Robinho, starting for the first time this season, beat Klemi Saban to make it ...

Ronaldo was suspended for one game Tuesday and will likely miss Real Madrid's match against FC Barcelona this weekend. The Spanish soccer federation rejected Madrid's appeal against the yellow card Ronaldo received for an 82nd-minute foul during his team's 1-0 defeat at Getafe on Saturday. The Brazilian striker was sent off eight minutes later, following his second caution for making a remark to the referee. Ronaldo's ejection was his first ...

FC Steaua Bucuresti coach Cosmin Olaroiu has described Tuesday's visit of Real Madrid CF in UEFA Champions League Group E as a "great occasion for Steaua and for Romanian football", as his side look to increase the pressure on Fabio Capello's team at the Steaua Stadium. The sell-out match has taken record receipts for a game in Romania and is predicted to draw the biggest television audience in ...

Real Madrid will have defenders Fabio Cannavaro and Sergio Ramos back for Tuesday's Champions League Group E match at Steaua Bucharest (TSN, midnight ET on tape delay). Coming off a surprise 1-0 loss at Getafe in the Spanish league, Madrid's defensive problems will be helped by the expected return of Cannavaro after his knee injury and Ramos from a one-game ban. ``The defense problems were resolved by the recovery of ...

Getafe handed Real Madrid its first loss of the Spanish league season Saturday, using defender Alexis Ruano's 59th-minute header to prevail 1-0. Ruano rose above Madrid defender Raul Bravo to score moments after Spain goalkeeper Iker Casillas had stopped a shot from midfielder Manuel del Moral. Madrid finished the match with 10 men after second-half substitute Ronaldo was sent off in the 90th minute with his second yellow card. Madrid coach Fabio Capello started David Beckham and employed Antonio Cassano ...

Zinedine Zidane was among those nominated for this year's FIFA World Player of the Year award. The former captain of France's national team made the shortlist despite ending his career being ejected from the World Cup final against Italy for head butting Marco Materazzi in the chest. Italians Fabio Cannavaro and Andrea Pirlo, who were named the World Cup's best players along with Zidane, were also nominated for the award. ...

Real Madrid coach Fabio Capello has apologized to Atletico Madrid captain Fernando Torres for calling him ``a cheat.'' ``I like to speak about sport, not offend people. If it has caused offence, I apologize,'' Capello told Cadena SER late Monday. Capello made the remark after Torres was elbowed by Madrid defender Sergio Ramos during Sunday's 1-1 league draw between the crosstown rivals. Ramos was ejected but Capello felt Torres had ...

Miguel Angel ``Mista'' Ferrer and Raul Gonzalez each scored Sunday in Real Madrid's 1-1 draw with crosstown rival Atletico in the Spanish league. Madrid survived the ejection of Sergio Ramos in the 63rd minute to maintain its unbeaten start to the season, although it missed the chance to move level with league leader FC Barcelona and dropped to third place. Atletico, which remained without a victory over its local rival ...

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