October 25th, 2010
01:32 PM ET

Mourinho spin is misleading ... Real are ready to become champs

Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates another goal-scoring performance for Real Madrid.
Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates another goal-scoring performance for Real Madrid.

A lean, mean scoring machine. That is what Real Madrid have turned into over the last few weeks. Even though Jose Mourinho has moved to dampen expectations in his first season at the Bernabeu, it looks as though this team could win it all.

Do you remember when Real were criticized for being defensive and boring after they managed to score only nine goals in the first seven matches of the season? Well since then, they have hit the back of the net a whopping 18 times in the last four games! Right now Los Blancos are simply irresistible.

So what has changed at the Santiago Bernabeu and why have they been so quick to fire on all cylinders? It´s quite simple. It all comes down to hard work and discipline.

Expectations at Real Madrid are always high. Sometimes unreasonably high. Just ask Vicente del Bosque and Fabio Capello, both of whom were pushed out of the club after winning the Champions League and Primera Division respectively.

It´s not enough to triumph. You have to do it with style. When Mourinho walked into the Bernabeu´s front door he warned the fans and the president, in a press conference, that it would take at least a season for the team to reach its potential. A pre-emptive strike which worked wonders. The first few games were mediocre, but the warning shot had been fired. Therefore, the team did not face a barrage of criticism. Mourinho was questioned, but the tone was far from belligerent.

The truth is that it has taken a lot less than one whole season for Real to start firing on all cylinders. As a matter of fact, it is hard to imagine them playing much better than they are now. They brushed Milan aside with ease and have smashed a combined 12 goals past Deportivo and Racing. Mediocre teams, but teams that in the recent past have given the Merengues some trouble.

So onto the hard work and discipline. First of all, it is clear to see Mourinho has found his starting XI. Even though the performances in the first few games were far from impressive, he has stuck with the same players game in and game out. Therefore, these 11 players have assimilated his playing style and tactics very quickly.

Some reserves like Pedro Leon, Karim Benzema and Lassana Diarra have had some minutes, but there is no rotation right now. And the Special One has already stated that he will not take the upcoming Copa del Rey match lightly. Last season Real lost to a third division side, and on Sunday Mourinho fired "If you repeat last year´s performance against Alcorcon, you are dead!"

There has been industry from the players as well. Starting with Cristiano Ronaldo, who continues to mature as a player with every game he plays. His productivity is quite staggering. After the four goals scored this weekend, the Portugal international has 44 in 46 games for Real Madrid since he signed before the 2009-10 season. That is the best record ever at the club. Better than the goalscoring ratios of Raul, Di Stefano, Hugo Sanchez in their first 50 games for Los Blancos. Simply spectacular.

Another player that has to be praised is Mesut Ozil. The play-maker had already shown during his last season at Werder Bremen and at the World Cup that he had the potential to be a star, and he is now delivering for Real. Protected by two strong defensive midfielders, Sami Khedira and Xabi Alonso, the 22 year-old has set the rhythm for his side. An impressive feat for someone who must still be adapting to a new league, language and culture.

So how far can Real go? It may still be early but if they continue in this vein of form, they will challenge for every honor. And then, Mr. Mourinho, it will be hard to contain those expectations of immediate success ...

Posted by ,
Filed under:  Football
soundoff (37 Responses)
  1. joy


    October 25, 2010 at 3:17 pm | Reply
  2. Ismaila

    Mou is unarguable the best coach in d world

    October 25, 2010 at 3:33 pm | Reply
  3. dodo

    i think real madrid without ronaldo they cannot achieve what they are achieving now.real madrid they are doing well coz ronaldo is playing well, nothing else.

    October 25, 2010 at 4:49 pm | Reply
  4. Brahim

    you forgot something!! how about FC Barcelona?
    they will win the cup for sure!

    October 25, 2010 at 5:01 pm | Reply
  5. walebalogun

    hi i just want to say,i love cnn news so much.

    October 25, 2010 at 5:20 pm | Reply
  6. jamster

    yeah madrid is in impressive form, i can't wait for el classico,it's going to be amazing

    October 25, 2010 at 5:24 pm | Reply
  7. Varun


    Team which hasn't faced strong team yet (AC MIlan doesn't count, have you seen them play? they are abysmal)

    Barca have played, Bilbao, Valencia, Athletico, and will face Sevilla next week,
    Who have Madrid faced?

    This is classic Author Trolling syndrome,
    aka get some really provocative title for the article and get comments,

    Well you got me, but you'll be found out at the end of the season.

    October 25, 2010 at 5:32 pm | Reply
  8. CmonYouReds

    The win over AC Milan wasn't that impressing considering the Italian side's recent lack of success in European cups. The true tests for Real are yet to come... don't get too ahead of yourself Pedro.

    October 25, 2010 at 5:46 pm | Reply
  9. emeka

    Ithink it takes a special touch from a special one like mourihno to revive madrid

    October 25, 2010 at 5:57 pm | Reply
  10. teddy 4rm ghana

    i think mourinho will win every trophy in spain including the champions league

    October 25, 2010 at 5:57 pm | Reply
  11. Joan

    obviously, pedro pinto si from portugal, and he loves mou and ronaldo... they just won some of the worst teams of the spaninsh league!!!!!!

    remember this article in may, pedro, when barça wolud have won the league!

    October 25, 2010 at 6:35 pm | Reply
  12. dodo is retarded

    and messi with barca??? stop hating. without messi barca would be nothing either.

    October 25, 2010 at 6:49 pm | Reply
  13. Lamzy

    Yeah finally!!!!!! So proud of this team and coach! This year might just be it. There is passion, commitment and quality to achiever enviable things. Even the unusual patience with lethargic Benzema( we are not patient fans) seems to point to the fact that maybe we are finally getting it right. Come on bring on barca. MADRIDISTAS!!!!!!

    October 25, 2010 at 7:24 pm | Reply
  14. taneri

    it has nothing to do with ronaldo
    he is overrated

    October 25, 2010 at 7:26 pm | Reply
  15. Messiah

    Are you serious Mr. Pedro Pinto??? I mean, REALY??? In my humble opinion, you have to beat the best in order to be the best! You first win a championship; this sustains your champion efforts and status. Next, you come back the following year to defend the champoinship and solidify that your club are real champions and it was not just a fluke to win yet another championship. IF Real wins this year, then and only then will I take off my fitted championship Barcelona hat to them. But in the mean time sir, lets stick to the facts "Only the facts ma'am" There is a whole lot of the season and Nov & april matchups should be filled with action.
    "Real Ready to Become Champions" come on man, who are you kidding, stick to MLS????

    October 25, 2010 at 8:05 pm | Reply
  16. David Saxon Jones

    This story is yet another example of a journalist creating a bandwagon without substance. Let me explain: A team go on a run of draws or narrow 1 goal wins or losses and that team is deamed ordinary. Suddenly the same team go on to a run of wins with free flowing goals and suddeny they are the best team in the world who will win everything. A run of even 8 games in a season of 38 is neither here or there, especially at this point of the season. There is a long way to go and as a result, anything can and will happen. No doubt Real are a fantastic team and certainly like all big clubs, they have the potential to win every competition thay play in. Will it happen? Only time will tell but to start talking about trebles now is absolutely ridiculous. Injuries, ill health, suspensions, bad refereeing decisions and sheer bad luck are all things that are likely to happen in such a long season. Mourhino is without doubt a great manager and all he is saying is lets just be realistic. If he starts shooting his mouth off and stating we will become champs for sure, and it doesn't happen then this same journalist and the others will all crucify him. This is not a news story, this is just story creation for the sake of it, based on nothing!

    October 25, 2010 at 8:46 pm | Reply
  17. Elliot

    If Ronaldo would quit taking dives then maybe I'd hop on the Madrid bandwagon. I watched 15 minutes of a recent game and he acted like he broke his leg four times in that span. Ridiculous.

    October 25, 2010 at 9:00 pm | Reply
  18. Onochie donchie

    Pedro u are right in all wenge madrid is one of de best team at moment up mourinho up ronaldo

    October 25, 2010 at 9:04 pm | Reply
  19. Albert Comelles

    bona nit a tothom!
    Just one "but" to this display of enthusiam: is it likely that the journalist, Pedro Pinto, may be waving here his "real" colours? This is what we call a "rethoric question" in my country.
    Just for the clarity's sake, I'm not portuguese, but català.

    October 25, 2010 at 9:36 pm | Reply
  20. Leo

    Real is great to watch. The question remaining is: when it comes to decision time, which Ronaldo will play? The genius or the princess? If anyone can get him to become a winner it is Mourinho.

    October 25, 2010 at 10:37 pm | Reply
  21. meks

    I'm not completely sold on real madrid yet. At the moment they are overwhelming teams with speed and aggression, so scoring goals come easy for them. With all the money real madrid have spent, the level of football being displayed still has ways to go in terms of comparing them with their arch rivals. In barcelona, it seems every single player in the team, is a playmaker. Unfortunately for madrid, playing beautiful in not mourinho's style.

    October 26, 2010 at 3:25 am | Reply
  22. Nabeel saed

    They are a big team, with a abig football history coupled with big name players with a big name coach. Fantasttic is only they can do.

    October 26, 2010 at 8:45 am | Reply
  23. Amanuel Babu

    Mr.PEDRO it is too EARLY to Predict like You.It is Really too Early!
    You will see what is going on with Real Madrid.I'm sure you will never see them this year in quarter final of champions league.It is good to support any club you like.But,some times it is better to be LOGICAL.
    Anyways I like your comment on other things.

    October 26, 2010 at 10:10 am | Reply
  24. Alloysius

    The team is quite impressive now unlike when they kickstarted this season.They will go places, and i have great trust and believe in the managerial capabilities of mourinho to see them through.Up real....

    October 26, 2010 at 12:00 pm | Reply
  25. Dr. Cajetan Coelho

    The season has just begun. Senhor Jose Mourinho is a cautious guy. One needs to wait and watch. Real still has to face powerful teams from Italy, England, Germany and France.

    October 26, 2010 at 2:08 pm | Reply
  26. David Saxon Jones

    I would also like to add to my earlier comments, and this is no disrespect to Spain or Spanish football but we do have to be honest. The gulf between Real, Barcelona and the rest of La Liga is ridiculous. Really there are ony 2 teams in La Liga and they are so far ahead of the rest of the league that you have to question this as a real problem for Spanish football. You only have to look at last seasons points totals of both Real and Barca against that of the rest of La Liga. It will be really interesting to see how far the top 2 Spanish clubs will go in the Champions league this year, I say this because if they are not being tested regularly in the domestic leagues then one could argue that they could suffer when playing the other top European powerhouses. If you look at the way English clubs have dominated European club football over recent years with having all 4 or at least 3 of the 4 English qualifiers regularly acheiving the Semi and Final berths, is it a coincidence that the English clubs face more domestic competition more regularly and are therefore toughened. This is not me being patriotic, this is me questioning the viability of having a 2 team league and just asking the question.

    October 26, 2010 at 7:44 pm | Reply
  27. Messiah

    Mr. Pinto, Now this is more like it! "Real Madrid held by minnows Murcia in Copa del Rey" This makes it two years back to back!

    October 27, 2010 at 1:00 am | Reply
  28. fussball :)

    @dodo, October 25th, 2010 4:49 pm ET
    The same way that Barcelona is depending on Messi and Chicago Bulls were depending on Michael Air Jordan!
    It is rare to find a team that works 100% as a block and that all players are at the same level.

    October 27, 2010 at 10:41 am | Reply
  29. alehandro

    Murcia 0 Real Madrid 0!....Anything can happen. It's way too early for such grandiose statements and predictions.

    October 27, 2010 at 2:51 pm | Reply
  30. marcos from Brazil

    They might be ready to be champions... But the question is... Will they be? Well as I ca see only time can tell... Good luck to all teams!

    October 28, 2010 at 3:37 am | Reply
  31. Lou-honie

    The success of any team begins in the mind. Jose Mourinho has instilled psychological advantage in all the teams he has been to. This is just a classic case of "Been there, done that". Onwards, onwards, Los Blancos.

    October 28, 2010 at 1:38 pm | Reply
  32. Akinlade paul

    Akinlade paul Nigerian, Real are just impressive by now they still have a longway to go,all the best.real

    November 1, 2010 at 11:29 am | Reply
  33. guilbert purcia

    I love CNN & REAL MADRID.

    I am happy what the Special One is doing & I am hoping this year the Madridistas will finally Smile. Cheers!

    November 1, 2010 at 11:56 am | Reply
  34. Jokos Interbiz

    sometimes its not about coaching but the capacity to transmit winning mentality to ur players. he has this traits in abundance. he has used it well in chelsea and Inter Milan. Why not RM? with the way he is going, I think Barca is already jittery. u can see it in the way they have laboured to beat average teams. A team that beats AC Milan can equally beat Barca, Manu, Inter or even chelsea if that mentality is spirally modulated. And mourinho I know is never complacent and will never be. Ladies and gentlmen, the chicken has come home to roast. up! up!! the special one .

    November 1, 2010 at 1:22 pm | Reply
  35. C.H.A

    Real will beat Barca at the classco this month. You like it or not they will also advance in CL.

    November 2, 2010 at 5:40 am | Reply
  36. Nsimbe Ibrahim

    Barcelona being the champions that they are will definately give mourinho and his boys a run for all those trophies.

    November 6, 2010 at 1:04 am | Reply
  37. segun taiwo

    Mourinho should be optimistic and focussed.love u ccn. You are doing a wonderful keep it up.

    November 28, 2010 at 10:10 am | Reply

Post a comment


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.