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Real Madrid in U.S

Jesse Torres
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Joined: Mar 25, 2004
Posts: 985
I have never really been into Soccer (Football). I�ve heard of big Soccer names, such as Zidane, Ronaldo, and Beckham, due to the World Cup coverage in U.S. I find the World Cup exciting because it showcases the best the world has to offer. However, I�ve never really been a Soccer fan. It�s not that I don�t like Soccer. It�s just that I am more of a Baseball, Football, and Basketball fan.

This all changed yesterday when a friend had an extra ticket to watch a Real Madrid training session in Chicago. It was phenomenal. The stamina, skills, and movements from the players were AMAZING. The intensity of a Soccer game is unlike anything else. As a result, the training session opened my eyes to the world of Soccer (Football).

Excuse my ignorance but is Real Madrid extremely popular in Europe? Or are they only popular in Spain? I am not that familiar with the team or with Soccer.

Thanks,


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Alan Wanwierd
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Joined: Jun 30, 2004
Posts: 624
It could be argued that Real Madrid are one of the most unpopular teams in Europe! (Along with Barcelona, Manchester United, Arseal, Chelsea, AC Milan)

They represent everything that is bad about the future of soccer. Let me try and explain:
<RANT >
Long time ago in a galaxy far far away... was a game called football. Every village and every town in the land would have a team and locals would show up every other Saturday at 3pm to watch their team play.

Those teams fortunate (i.e. good enough) to be in the top divisions slowly increased their income as the games prestige grew and crowd to their games grew at the expense of smaller teams in lower divisions. When TV rights became an issue the disparity in income between teams grew further thus assisting the big clubs with "purchasing" new talent, taking much needed talent away from smaller clubs who were doomed to a life with smaller audiences in lower divisions.

With public appetite for football seemingly endless, European competitions were devised where the top teams from each country could compete against each other for the ultimate accolade of being "Europes finest club". Interest in this competition was extreme and the TV monies generated such that once again those teams who competed made fortunes and could bolster their squad by purchasing players from less successful, cash-desperate teams.

The end result of this phenomenon is that the quality of football in lower level leagues and even national leagues has been reduced as any player of quality is sucked up by one of the multi-national uber-teams that exist.

In this way football is a good metaphor for life - in a new world order of global economics the rich get richer and the majority of poor get poorer...

< /RANT >

So... to answer your question, Real Madrid are the richest soccer team in the world and if you saw their 1st team playing then you were looking at possibly the finest set of skilled soccer playing individuals in the world. (Certainly better than any 1 team in the world cup since these days these uber-teams are far better than the best players from any single nation). Your suggestion that the world cup showcases the best the world has to offer is probably no longer true - now European Champions league is probably a better standard (but condensed nature of the world competitions makes them a better media spectacle for the non-fanatical specator!)

All that being said - Real Madrid have not been succesful for some time and have disappointed both in the Sapnish league and the European Champions league - so there is an argument that all this talent is wasted since the "team" balance doesnt seem to be right.
John K. Smith
Greenhorn

Joined: Jul 17, 2005
Posts: 5
Originally posted by Adrian Wallace:
Real Madrid are the richest soccer team in the world


Incorrect. According to offical data, Manchester United are the richest football club in the world purely by income. Real Madrid are not even near them, hence the signing of David Beckham to boost their image in Asian and American markets.

About 50% of Spanish football fans support Real Madrid. They are one of the most successful teams in the world, along with the likes of AC Milan.

They are also a member of the G9 - the worlds most powerful football clubs. The biggest teams in the world are all in Europe, since they attract the best by offering lots of money. The main teams in Europe who make the most money by competing in what is known as the "UEFA Champions League" - the most prestigious football tournament for football clubs in the world (watched by around 200+ counties and worth �30M for the winning team on TV revenue alone), are (in no particular order):

Real Madrid (Spain), Bayen Munich (Germany), Manchester United (England) and AC Milan (Italy). These teams usually qualify for the Champions League every year (played every year on qualification by finishing in the top 2-4 in their countries top league). They are usually seeded, which means they avoid each other in the preliminary rounds of the competition.
[ July 17, 2005: Message edited by: John K. Smith ]
Paul Sturrock
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Joined: Apr 14, 2004
Posts: 10336


Excuse my ignorance but is Real Madrid extremely popular in Europe? Or are they only popular in Spain? I am not that familiar with the team or with Soccer.

Madrid are a world brand, and the individual players are extremely popular - just witness the hysteria when Beckham visits Japan for instance. They do command a fairly large following, largely because of the familiarity of their squad, because of an unequalled record of success in European Club competitions, and because they historically play in a very flamboyant, attacking style. Its still kind of considered that the best way for a Real Madrid manager to get himself sacked was to spend money on a defender, when there were attackers to buy. Madrid are however very, very unpopular with any Spanish football fan who supports a team other than Madrid. This is partly because of their wealth (and the protection they enjoy at government level), plain old envy at their success, and partly because they were very much considered Franco's team.

All that aside, I think you were lucky to get a chance to see Madrid 'live'. I'd love to go to the Bernabau and watch them in a competative game. And its refreshing to hear a fan of American Football and Baseball spot the pace an intensity of football.


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Eric Lemaitre
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Joined: Jul 03, 2004
Posts: 538

Hi Jesse !

Excuse my ignorance but is Real Madrid extremely popular in Europe? Or are they only popular in Spain? I am not that familiar with the team or with Soccer.

Yes and no, Real Madrid is extremely famous (not mandatory popular) in whole Europe and remains feared, this is different.

Issue is Real Madrid is very badly managed for managers supposed hiring only the brightest individuals was enough to make the ultimate best team. This is false assumption for as you can guess, strongest individuals have a strong tendancy to remain individual on the field, as if they were the single part of the team. This is why the global team talent is far inferior to its added individual talents.

I don't want especially to boast as a french, but the very best counter example I know is the french team which won 1998 soccer world cup. They had some really good individuals (such as Zidane as you quoted), but its real strength was homogeneity, every individual was totally devoted to make the whole team win, which allowed them to win against teams with stronger individuals but much weaker team spirit. For example at one crucial match (can't remember which one), every attacker was watched by 2 defenders to counter them, so french team couldn't mark with his attackers. Then the remaining unguarded players had to adapt and attack at their place, and it was Turam, an excellent defender but no attacker at all (even as a kid when he plaid soccer for fun at school he simply never scored), who succeeded in scoring 2 times, making his team win.

The best teams are homogenous, where all players work for whole team's interest but not their personnal one, and this is not the case of Real Madrid by nature as it is built now.

Best regards.


Eric LEMAITRE
CNAM IT Engineer, MS/CS (RHCE, RHCX, SCJA, SCJP, SCJD, SCWCD, SCBCD, SCEA, Net+)
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Eric Pascarello
author
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Joined: Nov 08, 2001
Posts: 15376
    
    6
Thought I would share this...


On July 28, four-time MLS Cup Champion D.C. United will take on English Premier League Champion Chelsea in a historic match, going down in the record books as the Clash of Champions!


http://dcunited.mlsnet.com/MLS/dcu/fans/2005/offers/clash.jsp

Eric
Paul Sturrock
Bartender

Joined: Apr 14, 2004
Posts: 10336

It would be worth seeing Chelsea. They are possibly ahead of Madrid at the moment in terms of having quality players in their squad. A less attacking team, but getting a chance to see Lampard, Robben, Terry, Cech, Duff, Wright-Phillips, etc. would be worth it.

Might be a bit of a mismatch though.
Mark Spritzler
ranger
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Joined: Feb 05, 2001
Posts: 17249
    
    6

There is actually a conversation happening over my shoulder regarding tickets to the game against the LA Galazy. The clients and their buddies here all have tickets to that game and they are all excited about going.

Me, I'm not a soccer fan. I tried playing it in JR High, but they make you play in the Rain, Cold, Snow and Mud.

Mark


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Roger Johnson
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Joined: Feb 24, 2004
Posts: 311
i bet Real Madrid is the soccer version of 2004's los angeles lakers.

i remember seeing a t-shirt on a cowroker, which reads: "offense wins game, defense wins championship."

as a huge fan of soccer in the past and huge fan of basketball now, i think "unselfishness" is the #1 gradient of good team, i bet it is the same for all team sports.
Axel Janssen
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 08, 2001
Posts: 2164
Yet in 70ties and at least in Germany and I think in England, too, most players were from the region of the club they played for. The richer teams had 2 guys from other country and 2 or 3 guys they bought from another national club. But the core of the team was from the region.
I guess it would be more fun, but unfortunatedly there is no way back.

On the other hand I like to watch this Chelsea, AC Milan, FC Barcelona, Real Madrid, Bayern M�nchen, because they have a very high standard. Though the real fun is to watch them loose against a team which is weaker on paper, but better this one day.

In US this are only friendly matches. The real emotions and important matches are in Europe. I was in Dortmund when their enemy Nr. 1 (Schalke 04) lost in last minute the national championship against Bayern M�nchen (enemy Nr.2 for Dortmund fans). Their own team did not win anything, but among them it was atmosphere like group sex, because they were so happy that their enemy Nr. 1 did not get the Cup. Those emotions make soccer really big here.

... and in 2 years we all will see reapearance of Borussia M�nchengladbach in UEFA Cup or (even better) Champions League
[ July 18, 2005: Message edited by: Axel Janssen ]
Peter Rooke
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Joined: Oct 21, 2004
Posts: 801

This all changed yesterday when a friend had an extra ticket to watch a Real Madrid training session in Chicago.
- Never liked Cricket much until I went to a one day international event. Watched England lose to the New Zeland team, but I started to like the sport. Guess it helps to keep an open mind

Yes, Real Madrid have all the big names in football. But since they sold Claude Makelele (to Chelsea), they have not been a winning team (IMHO). Having the biggest star players, does not mean that they are the best team. Never thought that Beckham was Man United's 'best' player (brilliant at passing, and free kicks), but Paul Scholes was always a better all round player. Beckham was Man United's best known player.

As for Chelsea, they would be unstoppable if they could sign a world class forward (or maybe two). If they sign the likes of Shevchenko, Henry they would be a complete team. The only odd thing is, even with all the millions that Chelsea have spent, their two best players were from the area and were at the club beforehand; Lampard and Terry.

Maybe there is a future for Football (round ball) in America.
[ July 18, 2005: Message edited by: Peter Rooke ]

Regards Pete
Stev Chaos
Greenhorn

Joined: May 25, 2005
Posts: 7
I didn't realize there are so many soccer fans here. I followed the Game when I was young, even now I still know some big names such as Ronaldo, Beckham, etc. Since my son played basketball , I have had more and more interests in basketball game. Is it a good idea to find a java job in USA, so that I can watch NBA every week ?


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Paul Sturrock
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Joined: Apr 14, 2004
Posts: 10336


Maybe there is a future for Football (round ball) in America

I always think its the way people have tried to introduce football to the States in the past which has been the problem: its always been "top down", that is where people create a league, import some foreign players, and drop the whole lot into some cities in the vague hope people will start paying attention. Given how much Americans clearly love their version of football, baseball, hockey and basketball it a bit much to ask. The same was tried over here with American Football, where an European League was created, but try as they might it always remained a curiosity.

The passion involved in football in some places has to be seen to be believed: Boca Juniors vs River Plate, Rangers vs Celtic, Real Madrid vs Barcelona, Inter vs AC, Roma vs Lazio, Galatasery vs Fenerbache, Ajax vs PSV, Liverpool vs Everton, and the oldest international fixture in the world: England vs Scotland. That sort of intensity has to come from years and years of ground roots involvement. You can't just add some big name players, throw in some cheerleaders and fireworks and expect the same result.
Parag Ballal
Greenhorn

Joined: Jul 28, 2005
Posts: 27
I am surprised not to see Ronaldinho's name anywhere in discussion. He is the Football Player of Year 2005, and had hugely contributed to make Barcelona La Lega champion. I remember reading sometime back that Real Madrid didn't sign up Ronaldinho as beckham agreed to its offer. I feel the club has paid price for that decision, by losing the Cup.
Alan Wanwierd
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Joined: Jun 30, 2004
Posts: 624
Originally posted by Parag Ballal:
I am surprised not to see Ronaldinho's name anywhere in discussion. He is the Football Player of Year 2005, and had hugely contributed to make Barcelona La Lega champion. I remember reading sometime back that Real Madrid didn't sign up Ronaldinho as beckham agreed to its offer. I feel the club has paid price for that decision, by losing the Cup.


ahh yes they may have lost in terms of winning competitions - but in terms of profits Madrid absolutely made the right decision, by having Beckham in the team they have massively increased their brand awareness in the lucrative emerging Asian markets (where he is even more of an inexplicable celebrity figure than elsewhere) and Madrid will now sell a lot more shirts than before. - If they can make the $$$ without needing to win the games then they get good reliable returns for shareholders. THATS what its all about.
Paul Sturrock
Bartender

Joined: Apr 14, 2004
Posts: 10336

Plus Real had at the time very simmilar players to Ronaldinho in Figo and Zidane. OK, neither as as good now, but at the time this was less clear.
Eric Pascarello
author
Rancher

Joined: Nov 08, 2001
Posts: 15376
    
    6
Here is the story on the Chelsea Vs. DC game: http://dcunited.mlsnet.com/MLS/news/team_news.jsp?ymd=20050728&content_id=38255&vkey=news_dcu&fext=.jsp&team=dcu

Eric
Parag Ballal
Greenhorn

Joined: Jul 28, 2005
Posts: 27
If they can make the $$$ without needing to win the games then they get good reliable returns for shareholders


Very true Adrian, Real now pushing to extend Beckham's contract till 2009.
There profit has swollen by whopping 33% this year...main driving reason being worldwide popularity of Mr Beckham..
 
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