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Christian Schäfer - Der Professor

Can the librarian from Dresden revolutionise football?
Started on 3 April 2016 by Justice
Latest Reply on 25 June 2018 by Justice
Justice's avatar Group Justice
6 yearsEdited

Kovacic In Form Of His Life

Mateo Kovacic Has Started The Season Brightly, Scoring Three Goals In Four Games In August


Real Madrid's Croatian midfielder Mateo Kovacic has started the season in fantastic form, scoring three goals and assisting two others in four appearances during the month of August. The twenty-nine year old was in bright spirits when he spoke to Sky Sports correspondent Michael Balik, and has heaped praise upon manager Christian Schäfer, who had only arrived at the club one month ago.

Mateo, how good has the opening month to the season been from a Real Madrid perspective?

Mateo Kovacic: "It has been a tremendous start to the season for us and we have performed fantastically to have won two trophies in the process. The games against Leicester and Málaga were tough challenges, where we played well to win, but the stand-out results have to be the those against Barcelona. We completely outplayed them in every single aspect and the scoreline showed that."

You've been on the goal trail quite frequently already, scoring three times in four appearances so far. Is this an aspect of your game which you have been working on?

Mateo Kovacic: "My role in the team is not specifically to score goals, but I am very happy to have gotten a few already this season. Last season was my personal best in terms of goal-scoring, I got eleven goals in total. I am happy that I have already made significant progress towards surpassing this total and hopefully, with a bit of luck, I will do so by the end of the season."

How much has Christian Schäfer changed to the training regime since coming to the club?

Mateo Kovacic: "Training with Christian is fantastic. He has given us a clear outline of what he expects of us every day, while allowing us to have an input in to what we feel is necessary. He has been very encouraging and, even though he does not speak so much Spanish just yet, has communicated with the players very effectively. There is a positive atmosphere around the club and he has helped feed that."

This season has seen Real Madrid produce a number of memorable performances already, what shape is the squad currently in?

Mateo Kovacic: "Everybody is very happy with the direction we are going in and we are all very excited about winning trophies this season. We already have two in the bag, which has been of great benefit to our confidence and we now have the belief that we can go on and win plenty more.

Competition for places has never been like it is now; we have many world class players in each position. Everybody encourages each other to improve and to play at a higher level, and that has benefited us to no end. We have a great team spirit and we want to win for each other as much as for ourselves."

What are your personal objectives for the season?

Mateo Kovacic: "I just wish to keep performing at a high level, as I have been doing so far, and to hopefully help the team win some more trophies. I've been at Real Madrid for quite a while now and I hope to make this my most successful season yet."

Previous Update: #66 - August 2023
Next Update: #68 - September 2023
Its great to see players already respecting you so quickly
Really cool to see Kovacic developing as well as he is doing!
Well he looks a little bit threatening... haha
Top player, top manager, I expected no less ;)
An amazing player and under your guidance I am sure he is destined for even greater performances! ;)
Justice's avatar Group Justice
6 yearsEdited

September 2023

Real Madrid Kicked Off Their UEFA Champions League Campaign In Style In September


The month started with an away victory over fellow title-contenders Valencia. Following an international break, Real Madrid returned to action with a home-ground defeat of Espanyol. Galatasaray proved to be no challenge to a rampant Los Blancos side in the opening game of the UEFA Champions League group stages, and confident victories over Sevilla (A), Girona (A) and Mallorca (H) rounded off a successful month for Christian Schäfer's men.

vs Valencia (03/09/2023) Liga BBVA

It was a match of tactical experimentation for Christian Schäfer as he set his team up in an unorthodox 4-6-0 formation. The tactical surprise paid dividends in the end, as Real Madrid claimed all three points.

The goalscoring took place late on, as Cristiano Ronaldo broke the deadlock with fifteen minutes to go when he flicked Bernat's low cross beyond Simon Mignolet in Valencia's goal to give the away side the lead. Valencia equalised through Pero Susnjar, who scored a sensational free-kick from all of thirty yards out. Real Madrid replied immediately as Leonel Cardozo (DC) powered a header in to the top corner from James Rodríguez' corner.

Ismail Azzaoui (Valencia) 9.0

vs RCD Espanyol (16/09/2023) Liga BBVA

The international break allowed Real Madrid players to rest before returning to action against Espanyol. Needless to say, Los Blancos claimed all three points.

An early red card for Espanyol defender Rafael put them under excruciating pressure and Leonel Cardozo got on the score sheet once more, scoring a header from yet another exception James Rodríguez corner. Hirving Lozano got on the end of Alessandro Florenzi's cross to double Real Madrid's lead before Cristiano Ronaldo teed up Juan Bernat to seal the victory.

Alessandro Florenzi (Real Madrid) 9.0

vs Galatasaray SK (20/09/2023) UEFA Champions League

Real Madrid crushed Galatasaray in the opening game of the UEFA Champions League group stages, with French striker Anthony Martial starring in an emphatic victory.

Martial opened the scoring after ten minutes when Toni Kroos picked him out with a 50 yard pass, and the French striker found the top corner when one-on-one. Hirving Lozano found Andrés Cubas on the edge of the area, with the latter curling a shot in to the bottom corner to double the lead. Martial added his second when Real Madrid stole the ball in Galatasaray's half, punishing them in the end. Turkish attacker Okan Kazancı pulled one back before half-time, but Real Madrid substitute Anders Arnesen put the game beyond doubt in the second half following a quick counter-attacking move.

Anthony Martial (Real Madrid) 9.2

vs Sevilla (24/09/2023) Liga BBVA

There was no sense of a European hangover for Real Madrid as they powered their way to an impressive away victory against Sevilla.

Anthony Martial continued his impressive start to the campaign when he got on the end of an Andrés Cubas cross to header in the first goal of the game for Real Madrid. Sevilla won a penalty on the brink of half-time, and Andreas Pereira calmly dispatched the spot-kick to level the game. Real Madrid were not to be denied three points, as Anthony Martial cushioned a header to the onrushing Isco who volleyed Real Madrid's second of the game, before Cebolinha clipped Danilo's cross in to the top corner to secure all three points.

Hirving Lozano (Real Madrid) 8.6

vs Girona (27/09/2023) Liga BBVA

Real Madrid named a much-weakened side against Girona, with rare starts handed to Sergio Rico, Arthur Masuaku and Anders Arnesen, while a number of other fringe players started.

Deputy goalkeeper Sergio Rico was handed his debut against Girona, and he may have been excused for conceding as Michele Foglia opened the scoring with a goal of the season contender, scoring a screamer from distance. Despite Real Madrid's best efforts, they had to rely on goals from substitutes in the final fifteen minutes for victory, as an Anthony Martial brace and a thunderbolt from Hirving Lozano secured the victory.

Anthony Martial (Real Madrid) 8.9

vs RCD Mallorca (30/09/2023) Liga BBVA

Los Blancos rounded off the month with a crushing home victory over Mallorca.

Cristiano Ronaldo opened the scoring with a first-time effort following good play between Anthony Martial and Eden LuaLua. The Portuguese attacker doubled his, and Real Madrid's, tally when he pounced on a loose ball in the box to beat the goalkeeper. Anthony Martial was on the score sheet once more as he had the goal at his mercy following a deflected Danilo cross. Hirving Lozano profited from another Danilo cross, as his shot was too powerful for the goalkeeper to keep out.

Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid) 9.2

Player Of The Month

It was a fantastic month for Hirving Lozano, who found himself in the team more often than not due to the absence of injured James Rodríguez. The Mexican wide-man scored three goals in a productive month as he settled in to his team very well.

Hirving Lozano's Season Stats:
Appearances: 9
Goals: 5 (126 minutes per goal)
Assists: 5 (126 minutes per assist)
MotM Awards: 1

Pass Completion Ratio: 76% (186/246)
Shots On Target Ratio: 84% (21/25)
Dribbles Completed: 31 (3.44 per game)
Tackles Won: 4 (0.44 per game)

Fouls Committed: 2 (0.22 per game)
Fouls Against: 13 (1.44 per game)
Yellow Cards: 0
Red Cards: 0

Average Rating: 8.09


Six wins from six so far in the league finds Real Madrid on top, three points ahead of Barcelona who have a game in hand. Real Madrid's goal scoring record has been superior to anybody else so far, and they will look to keep it that way for the remainder of the season.

Highest Average Rating
1. Neymar (FC Barcelona) - 8.78
2. Hirving Lozano (Real Madrid) - 8.70
3. Andrija Zivkovic (FC Barcelona) - 8.46
4. Andrés Cubas (Real Madrid) - 8.52
5. Mateo Kovacic (Real Madrid) - 8.28

Top Goal Scorer
1. Anthony Martial (Real Madrid) - 5 goals
2. Marco Sangalli (RCD Mallorca) - 4 goals
=. Luis Suárez (FC Barcelona) - 4 goals
=. Juan Muñoz (Villarreal) - 4 goals
=. Hirving Lozano (Real Madrid) - 4 goals
=. Jovan Krkanovic (Granada) - 4 goals

Top Assistor
1. Kiu (RCD Mallorca) - 3 assists
=. Cebolinha (Atlético Madrid) - 3 assists
=. Martin Ødegaard (FC Barcelona) - 3 assists
=. Hirving Lozano (Real Madrid) - 3 assists
=. Neymar (FC Barcelona) - 3 assists
=. Peter Hendriks (Real Sociedad) - 3 assists
=. Bemjamín Vázquez (Granada) - 3 assists

Most Clean Sheets
1. Mathew Ryan (Real Sporting Gijón) - 5 clean sheets
2. Óscar Whalley (Real Zaragoza) - 4 clean sheets
=. Marc-André ter Stegen (FC Barcelona) - 4 clean sheets
=. Nathan Le Guen (Villarreal) - 4 clean sheets
5. Vicente Guaita (Getafe) - 3 clean sheets
=. Juan Carlos Triviño (Real Madrid) - 3 clean sheets
=. Simon Mignolet (Valencia) - 3 clean sheets
=. Álex Remiro (Athletic Bilbao) - 3 clean sheets

UEFA Champions League

The 4-1 victory against Galatasaray puts Real Madrid top of their group. Bayern München and RSC Anderlecht drew in the other game, meaning Los Blancos are clearly on top. Upcoming fixtures will certainly decide the fate of the group.

October Fixtures

An away game against Bayern München awaits Real Madrid next month. This will certainly be the most testing game of the month before Los Blancos face Granada, Athletic Bilbao, RSC Anderlecht and Celta de Vigo. Real Madrid will be expected to pick up a full set of nine points from the league.

Previous Update: #67 - Kovacic In Form Of His Life
Next Update: #69 - Record Breaker Ronaldo
Well that month was a touch dominant...
A decent start to your career at Real Madrid it is fair to say
Cruising may be an understatement
MAT RYAN! Top of the clean sheets, hand that kid a contract Justice! :P
Absolutely dominating at the minute mate, long may it continue!
Justice's avatar Group Justice
6 yearsEdited

Record Breaker Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo Became Real Madrid's Oldest Player And Goalscorer Against Mallorca


In what has been a legendary career to date, Real Madrid captain Cristiano Ronaldo broke two Real Madrid records in their game against Mallorca to round off last month when he scored a brace. The second of Ronaldo's brace was also his 400th goal in the Liga BBVA since joining Real Madrid in 2009, and the Portuguese hero was in good spirits when he spoke to Michael Balik.

Cristiano, how much does it mean to you to have become Real Madrid's oldest ever player and goal scorer?

Cristiano Ronaldo: "I think that it is very significant for me to have earned this bragging right. In the past few years, I have been written off because of my age, but I have proven so far this season that I can continue to perform at the very highest level and to have broken these records set at the biggest club in the world is a firm reminder to the world that I am still a top player."

You have played in 454 Liga BBVA games since joining Real Madrid in 2009, and you now have 400 Liga BBVA goals to your name. How significant is this milestone?

Cristiano Ronaldo: "I have had some great goal scoring seasons playing for Real Madrid and while the goals dried up somewhat in recent years, I have proven so far this campaign that I can continue to score a high number of goals. To think that I have scored 400 goals in this league, now that is an incredible achievement for me. But I only wish that I could scoree 500, or 600, or 1,000. That is the type of person I am, I want to push myself to achieve more all the time."

Six games played, eighteen points won, and currently sitting top of the league. Do you think your team can win the title this season?

Cristiano Ronaldo: "Yes. We have the quality in players and we have performed very well so far. We are confident in our own ability and we know that at our best, we are unstoppable. You only need to look at our results against Barcelona this season, or our victory away to Valencia, to see that we can beat the best teams in this league. We will become champions this season."

Real Madrid have a very big game ahead of them next; a trip to the Allianz Arena to face Bayern München in the UEFA Champions League. How prepared are you for this game?

Cristiano Ronaldo: "We know a lot about them, they have a great history and have won a lot of trophies. But we are more confident in ourselves than we are in their abilities. We are the current champions of Europe, and we were not crowned this by accident. We are the best in Europe and we will prove that against Bayern München."

While your team's goal scoring record has been phenomenal so far this season, there are still a few goals being conceded. Is this something which the team is currently working on?

Cristiano Ronaldo: "We want to be the best team possible in every single area of the game, and that includes the defensive side of the game. We are always working hard on making sure we can secure clean sheets and while we do not have so many clean sheets this season, we have been able to almost completely nullify opposition attacks in most games and we are yet to concede more than one goal in a game this season. I think that shows how strong we are in defense and while we still have room to improve, we know that teams find it difficult to attack us."

How do you rate Christian Schäfer's achievements as Real Madrid manager so far?

Cristiano Ronaldo: "He has been fantastic since he joined the club. He had big boots to fill when Rafa Benítez retired, but Christian has done a marvelous job. We already have two trophies this season and we look very likely to win much more than that by the time the season is over. Christian deserves a lot of praise for this, he has masterminded our successes so far this season."

Previous Update: #68 - September 2023
Next Update: #70 - October 2023
What a player! Hopefully you can get him to join your coaching staff when he retires!
What a hero. As mgriffin said, get him on your coaching team when he's hung up his boots and let him teach the youngsters how to play :D

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