Real Madrid aim for Champions and La Liga success

What next for Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho? Last season he became the first coach to win Spanish, Italian and English titles leading him to suggest a change to the nickname given to him in Britain -- "the special one".

"They should call me 'the unique one' after winning those titles," he said in an interview on Portuguese television.

After breaking Barca's run of three La Liga victories and seeing Pep Guardiola into retirement, conquering the Champions League is the main objective for Madrid in the coming season.

For a club with an almost unhealthy obsession for European football's premier trophy, anything short of a 10th title will be considered failure, Mourinho admitted while addressing US coaches on the clubs recent tour.

"This season we'll look for the Champions League and the League. We aspire to win the title and go a step further in the Champions, where we have fallen in two consecutive years in the semis," he said.

"Los Blancos" set Spanish records with 100 points and 121 goals last season, beating Barca to the title by nine points.

But although Mourinho sees both his squad and Barca's as the best in the world he believes La Liga will be more of a challenge this coming season.

"The league is a very strong, beautiful league, because the teams are very technical and that's the reason I'm in Spain. I want to be where the best league is but I don't think the champion will reach 100 points or score 120 goals," he said.

"These are numbers to stay in history for a long time."

Madrid, who play Valencia at the Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday, will begin the season with almost the same squad that ended Barcelona's run last term.

Those title celebrations were marginally overshadowed by news that Argentinian striker Gonzalo Higuain could be leaving for Paris Saint-Germain after six seasons in the Spanish capital.

Mourinho however convinced the striker, who contributed 26 goals last season, that he still has a part to play and once again he will compete with French international Karim Benzema for a place alongside Cristiano Ronaldo in the side.

No club in Europe can afford to leave goalscoring talent like Higuain or Benzema on the bench and Mourinho cleverly got the best from both players last season.

Add Ronaldo to the mix, who scored 60 goals in all competitions last term, and it is easy to see how Real can compete on all fronts.

To back that up that fire power midfielder Jose Callejon has been Mourinho's top scorer in pre-season with five goals while Angel Di Maria added four.

In addition Alvaro Morata, a free scoring 20-year-old forward with two first team appearances, has been added to the squad.

With Raul Albiol, Alvaro Arbeloa and Di Maria all signing contract extensions Mourinho is achieving a stability at the club that has been rare to find in recent years.

Xabi Alonso is still performing at a high standard and with a defence built on the backbone of Sergio Ramos and Pepe it will interesting to see if Madrid's strength will be too much for a Barca side coached for the first time by Tito Vilanova.

Mourinho's only efforts to strengthen his squad appear to be the protracted attempts to sign Luka Modric from Tottenham to add to a midfield that could be without Nuri Sahin and the Brazilian Kaka as the club tries to balance the books.

Whatever happens before the end of August, "the special" or "the only one" has made it clear that standards have been set very high for the season ahead.


Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • PSE to sell Makati and Ortigas offices
    PSE to sell Makati and Ortigas offices

    Set to move to a unified headquarters in Bonifacio Global City in 2016, the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) has issued plans to sell their offices in Makati and Ortigas. PSE President Hans Sicat issued that PSE means to sell the offices, but that they may also opt to rent them out instead. …

  • ‘Inland areas could be exposed to tsunami-like waves’
    ‘Inland areas could be exposed to tsunami-like waves’

    While strong earthquakes cause tsunamis in coastal areas, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) warned that inland areas could also be exposed to tsunami-like waves, or seiche, if located near or around bodies of water. In a recent earthquake awareness seminar in Muntinlupa, Phivolcs supervising science research specialist Joan Salcedo explained that a seiche is a large wave similar to a tsunami, triggered by strong ground shaking from an earthquake or volcanic …

  • China gives ‘gentle reminder’ to Phl, warns small nations
    China gives ‘gentle reminder’ to Phl, warns small nations

    China gave the Philippines a “gentle reminder” last Tuesday that Beijing will not bully small countries but warned these nations not to make trouble willfully and endlessly. “Here is a gentle reminder to the Philippines: China will not bully small countries, meanwhile, small countries shall not make trouble willfully and endlessly. The Chinese Foreign Ministry also said that China would continue to build other civilian facilities on relevant maritime features in the disputed Spratly Islands …

  • Back-channel diplomacy pushed for Phl-China dispute
    Back-channel diplomacy pushed for Phl-China dispute

    The Philippines should consider backchannel diplomacy to prevent its territorial dispute with China from deteriorating further, Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said yesterday. There are a lot of Filipino businessmen with businesses in China and they have friends and connections there. Let’s utilize that, ask them to talk to their friends on how we can resolve this matter peacefully,” Marcos said. …

  • Phl, Japan to deepen ties amid China sea claims
    Phl, Japan to deepen ties amid China sea claims

    Japan and the Philippines are set to bolster security ties when President Benigno Aquino visits Tokyo next week, the latest move by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to beef up cooperation with Southeast Asian nations facing China’s growing naval ambitions. The two sides will likely agree to start talks on a framework for the transfer of defense equipment and technology and to discuss a possible pact on the status of Japanese military personnel visiting the Philippines to facilitate joint training and …

  • Phl, Vietnam troops play soccer on disputed isle
    Phl, Vietnam troops play soccer on disputed isle

    Vietnamese and Philippine troops played soccer and sang karaoke on a South China Sea island yesterday in a sign of the growing security ties between the two Southeast Asian nations most at odds with Beijing over the contested waterway. Cooperation has blossomed between Hanoi and Manila since they shelved decades of enmity over their competing claims in the Spratly archipelago to try to counter China, whose creation of artificial islands in the region will allow it to project power deep into …

  • Noy swears in 50 newly appointed AFP officers
    Noy swears in 50 newly appointed AFP officers

    President Aquino administered yesterday the oath taking of 50 newly appointed generals and officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in a simple ceremony at the Rizal Hall of Malacañang Palace. …

  • Taiwan’s peace call on claimants of disputed territories welcomed
    Taiwan’s peace call on claimants of disputed territories welcomed

    The US on Tuesday welcomed Taiwan’s call on all claimants to disputed shoals, reefs, rocks and islets in the South China Sea and West Philippine Sea to exercise restraint, refrain from unilateral actions that could escalate tensions, as well as to respect international law as reflected in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. “With regard to the maritime claims and the claims to sovereignty over land features in the South China Sea, our position is that maritime claims must …


Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Poll Choice Options