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It's been just a few nights since the biggest club fixture in world football took centre stage, as all eyes were on the Camp Nou, where Barcelona hosted Real Madrid in El Clásico.

The atmosphere was electric right up until the 35th minute, when a brilliantly worked goal finished beautifully by the Beast, Julio Baptista, sent the home fans into stunned silence.

Real played a near-perfect away performance of defiant counterattacking to which the blaugrana had no answer as it finished 1-0.

Going into the game the message was clear: no matter the result, Real Madrid would enter the break on top, and Barcelona simply could not afford to lose.

They did, however, and now the future of stars such as Ronaldinho and Deco are in contention, as well as manager Frank Rijkaard.

Seventh Heaven

Real's eccentric President Ramon Calderon had guaranteed a 10-point lead by the winter break many weeks ago and, not for the first time in his tenure, his words were laughed off.

However, his estimate is a lot closer to the truth than most had probably envisioned at the time, with Madrid now having played 17 of the 38 league fixtures, being seven points clear at the top of the table.

Though less convincing in the Champions League and Copa del Rey, Real remain in strong positions to progress in both, as Bernd Schuster's first season at the helm is going as well as he could have hoped.

Smells like Team Spirit

It was the unity, determination and belief that saw los Blancos' exceptional end of season run last year lead them to the title, and despite new management and many new players, that same togetherness is continuing to make the difference this time around.

Much of that can be put down to club captain Raúl. Along with his admirable return to goal-scoring form, his ability to galvanise and inspire the team through all sorts of adversity in recent times has been evidenced by the fact that he receives unrivalled praise for his ability and his attitude from team-mates and opponents alike.

Real's exuberance is not something often associated with top sides on the continent, thus one feels if they can keep that hunger alive along with the flair football to be expected from the nine-time European Cup winners, they could become a truly dominant force in world football once again.

Putting on a Spectacle

Removing the spectacled manager Fabio Capello from the bench was done firmly with the intention of returning the spectacle of ‘attractive football' to the pitch. Don Fabio was sacked at the end of last season despite leading los Merengues to a priceless league championship, allegedly because his style of football wasn't satisfactory for the Madrid fans.

In truth, little has changed. Many myths about Capello considered, the football was never as poor as has been made out; the Italian tactician's success merely came at a price of defamation from usually inferior and less successful counterparts. That's not to say there wasn't a defensive style to Capello's double-pivot football, but it was not bad football by any means; Capello wasn't given the time recreate his great footballing sides of Milan and Juventus at Madrid.

Schuster is now suffering from the same problem purely because, like Capello, he is inheriting a disjointed team and still in the process of building. Neither good nor flair football can transpire by means of pure ability – familiarity and confidence are required amongst the team in order to play with that level of understanding and fluency, and such a thing can only come with time; suffices to say nobody should be given more time than they are worth, but the German tactician has barely put a foot wrong thus far.

Yesterday was the near-perfect execution of counterattacking football. It was ‘good' football; it was ‘Capello' football at its best. Madrid fans were overjoyed, impressed and thoroughly entertained by the skill on show, despite the game being low on goalmouth action. The Madrid board – along with much of the general media – have managed to misconceive the public as simpletons who need hundreds of shots and step-overs to be entertained, when in truth, good football is all they ask for.

Campeon Half-Way There

Real Madrid are half way through the season, but shouldn't be thinking in terms of this season's titles: the cups are far too unpredictable and recent seasons in La Liga have shown that no points advantage guarantees the title.

Instead, los Merengues should be thinking in terms of being half way through their development. Barcelona were powerless against their defense, Valencia were thrashed by their offensive line and Mallorca witnessed their unstoppable resolve – their problem has been bringing these elements together.

The key is keeping their feet on the ground which, to their credit, they have done well so far, but must continue to do. Also, they must play together over an extended period, as past great sides such as Milan, Bayern Munich and Manchester United have done, before they can reach such dizzy heights again.

Should the board stick with Bernd Schuster, as they have vowed, it is his job to continue his good work with some finishing touches to the starting line-up – particularly in midfield – to improve the cohesion and all-round strength in possession. From there, all this young, talented squad will need is time to play together and great success is sure to lie ahead.
 

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It's been a terrific start for Real Madrid. They have opened up a gap at the top of La Liga and not many would bet against them winning back-to-back titles at this stage.

I'm interested to see how far they go in the Champions League this season - they could be genuine contenders to win it.
 

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i personally dislike Real Madrid. I would love to see them lose the Championship. Yes it's true there is a difference between this year and last year's team, they're working well, they look as a team, but for how long?...i said it before and am i'm saying it again: i hope they lose ...to Barca...and see those arogant "galacticos" getting lost in the Universe
 

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i dont dislike them.they're a good team.As for the champions league,its up to them to decide which title is more important;championship or cl trophy extending thier record to 10?
 

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Wazza1989 said:
i personally dislike Real Madrid. I would love to see them lose the Championship. Yes it's true there is a difference between this year and last year's team, they're working well, they look as a team, but for how long?...i said it before and am i'm saying it again: i hope they lose ...to Barca...and see those arogant "galacticos" getting lost in the Universe
wha the feck!!!......They just beat Barca and wtf u mean by the get lost in the Universe..lmao!..just cuz they have Galatico as a nick name..lol

Real Madrid is the 1st European team i know and i have liked them alot so also don't care if United player go to Madrid or vice versa but i think Real is a good team with good depth ofplayers in every positon i can name every postion and they have 2-3 good backups for that Pos..

Barca is the most Arrogant team!..they are just ugh....they have all the players thy can have but still they don't co-perate well..

TBH i feared Chelsea,Barcelona,Ac Milan - but now hell nah i dont fear any...:cool:

The Day we JM left i never feared chelsea again...Barca well when Reyes scored that goal i lost my fear for Barca and for Milan well maybe i still have fear :p

The only team i fear is..INTER Milan :D
 

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you're so wrong.....the only thing they know to do..is to buy buy buy. Look at Beckham he didn't play even 1/4 of the matches he played at United..all he did there was photos....they think that because of their past they are invincible...and you're wrong again....they don't have such a depth of players as you say....beside the first team squad...they have 2 or 3 players that realy deserve to play in the first team....
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Wazza1989 said:
you're so wrong.....the only thing they know to do..is to buy buy buy Look at Beckham he didn't play even 1/4 of the matches he played at United..all he did there was photos....they think that because of their past they are invincible...and you're wrong again....they don't have such a depth of players as you say....beside the first team squad...they have 2 or 3 players that realy deserve to play in the first team....
Feck' u, FFS! All Real Madrid's cash comes from their historic triumphs in Spain,and particularly, in whole of Europe! At least they r not like £hel$ea,whom has won nothin' in Europe at all, and like what u said,buy buy buy just thru the pockets of Roman Abramovic! Real Madrid has no such back-up like RA who can generate cash like a human credit-card,yet they still can buy buy buy,which proves that they are really somethin'!:mad: Just look at their glorious past. The most trophy-laden club in the whole world!

Spanish Primera La Liga-
Winners (30): 1931–32, 1932–1933, 1953–1954, 1954–1955, 1956–1957, 1957–1958, 1960–1961, 1961–1962, 1962–1963, 1963–1964, 1964–1965, 1966–1967, 1967–1968, 1968–1969, 1971–1972, 1974–1975, 1975–1976, 1977–1978, 1978–1979, 1979–1980, 1985–1986, 1986–1987, 1987–1988, 1988–1989, 1989–1990, 1994–1995, 1996–1997, 2000–2001, 2002–2003, 2006–07
Runners-up (17): 1928-29, 1933-34, 1934-35, 1935-36, 1941-42, 1944-45, 1958-59, 1959-60, 1965-66, 1980-81, 1982-83, 1983-84, 1991-92, 1992-93, 1998-99, 2004-05, 2005-06

Copa Del Rey
Winners (17): 1904–1905, 1905–1906, 1906–1907, 1907–1908, 1916–1917, 1933–1934, 1935–1936, 1945–1946, 1946–1947, 1961–1962, 1969–1970, 1973–1974, 1974–1975, 1979–1980, 1981–1982, 1988–1989, 1992–1993
Runners-up (19): 1902-03, 1915-16, 1917-18, 1923-24, 1928-29, 1929-30, 1932-33, 1939-40, 1942-43, 1957-58, 1959-60, 1960-61, 1967-68, 1978-79, 1982-83, 1989-90, 1991-92, 2001-02, 2003-04

Supercopa de España
Winners (8): 1947, 1988, 1989*, 1990, 1993, 1997, 2001, 2003
Runners-up (3): 1982, 1995, 2007
(* Won Copa del Rey and La Liga)

Copa de la Liga
Winners (1): 1984–1985
Runners-up (1): 1982-83

European
UEFA Champions League

Winners (9): 1955–1956 First ever Winners, 1956–1957, 1957–1958, 1958–1959, 1959–1960, 1965–1966, 1997–1998, 1999–2000, 2001–2002.
Runners-up (3): 1961-62, 1963-64, 1980-81

Intercontinental Cup
Winners (3): 1960, 1998, 2002
Runners-up (2): 1966, 2000

Copa Iberoamericana
Winners (1): 1994

Uefa Cup
Winners (2): 1984–1985, 1985–1986

European Cup Winners-Cup
Runners-up (2): 1970-71, 1982-83

UEFA Supercup
Winners (1): 2002
Runners-up (2): 1998, 2000

Latin Cup
Winners (2): 1955, 1957

FIFA Order of Merit
Winners (1): 2004

The FIFA Order of Merit is an award which has only been given out twice before. First is to Sheffield Football Club for being the oldest football club in the whole world. Second is to the REAL MADRID for being the most illustrious club in Europe for the 20th century. :cool:
 

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i realy don't understand why are you kissing real madrid's a** another thing..they're worse than chelsea....chelsea is just a kid beside real madrid........it's my opinion ...they're not what they were in the 50's or when they won all they're trophies....most of them...i'm a United fan..i don't worship other teams like u do....i don't care about them, just everyone thinks that if they were good many years ago..they are the same..now..and that's wrong...i'm ending this discussion with you..it's worthless...it's a free world and i uphold my opinion..and...don't stop swearing..it's not allowed on this forum...even though you switch letters, or don't know how to write that word...it's not allowed..so be more careful...i was polite...so i'll ask the same from you
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Look,I'm not tryin' to kiss whoever's ass. I

red_devils4life said:
Look,I'm not tryin' to kiss whoever's ass. I
Look,I'm not tryin' to kiss whoever's ass. I'm juz giving credit to a team where it's due to be given. Like it or not, I will always stand by my opinion & it will nvr change the fact that they are the most illustrious club of the world in the 20th century. I really cannot figure out why u hate Real Madrid so much? No,there's not a need to answer my question. U know the answer very clear, & I know it too. Obviously,u r juz' showing favouritism. Would u switch United's achievements in Europe for Real Madrid's? I will def',if got the chance to do so. Also,for that mispelling of the 4-letter word, u too know that I'm showin' that little bit of respect for u by replacing the alphabet 'e' for 'u'. However,that's not a need to mispell it anymore since there's no respect left for u already. Read this:

**** YOU! ;) :)
 

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i'm an United fan...and i'm proud of this ....i don't chose the team i want to support bye the nr of trophies...like some do...guess you're one of them.....you can swear all you want....if this is all you know..than..as i said i have nothing to talk to persons like you...see ya...
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Wazza1989 said:
i'm an United fan...and i'm proud of this ....i don't chose the team i want to support bye the nr of trophies...like some do...guess you're one of them.....you can swear all you want....if this is all you know..than..as i said i have nothing to talk to persons like you...see ya...
There's something really wrong with u mister..........when did u even see me sayin' that I support a team by the number of trophies they has won???:confused:
And by that,u presume that I do, sayin' that-'guess you're one of them-',which very unfortunately,u guess wrongly though. One thing u hve to note sir, at the very beginning,the person who started all tis crap is you. Not me,not chiboygeorge, & not anybody else,but you. You are the one who started all this nonsense in the first place, and now u r tryin' to shirk all the responsibility,which I found it's utterly disgraceful. Hearing what u hve said in all ur previous posts,clearly u r not showing Real Madrid any respect at all. If you don't,so why must I show respect to you then??? U don't even deserve it in the very first place.
Last but not least,I found what you said is nothin' but shameful. Yeah,maybe u may hve misunderstood me(I'm givin' u a chance to aplogise sincerely).....but anyway, u can't adjudjed that I support a team by the number of trophies they hve won!:mad: This is nothin' but totally untrue! I myself noe that I'm a Manchester United hardcore fanatic out-and-out & tis fact will never ever change!
Nevertheless,I still stand by what I says earlier at the beginning.
 

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Kiddo... oh my god...you're crazy...i didn't start this thread...i just posted my opinon...about Real Madrid's performance...and you and chiboygeorge, disagreed. He didn't start to swear like you did, he accepted my opinion, i did the same to his...but you real have a mental problem..go to a medic...you understand very wrong everything..so..you can post whatever you want....i don't know why i even bothered to respond to someone like you.have fun talkin' to yourself...bye bye weardo...grow up...
 

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Hey come on', get a life dude! You said that I'm the one who started to swear,but please,oh please, if u hve that little bit of patience in you, go back & check on chiboygeorge's post.........so,who's the first one who started swearing???:rolleyes:
Also,u keep on sayin' that u dunnoe why u keep on replyin' to my posts,then don't reply,simple as! Why did u keep on replying for the past 3 times???:confused: Seriously, ought to be askin' urself that question! Looks like u are the real weirdo man.........even me,a 15 year-old adolescent clearly isn't as wind-up as u do..........:rolleyes: :p
 
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