Sunday, February 22, 2009

Irresistible Raul

AS Barcelona was slipping up at home to cross-town rivals Espanyol, Real Madrid continued its wonderful recent run under Juande Ramos (the bloke who was pushed out of London because he apparently can’t coach, only for the “messiah” Harry Redknapp to keep the Spurs within touching distance of relegation). This time it was an outrageous first half performance against Real Betis, which saw Madrid 6-1 up at the break.

It featured another two outrageous pieces of finishing from one of the best strikers of the modern era, Raul. The diminutive Spaniard, who in the past week has gone past Alfredo di Stefano as Real’s all-time leading scorer and Real’s all-time leading La Liga scorer, continues to produce football and finishing of the highest quality.

If you haven’t seen them, check out the overnight goals. Incredible from Raul.

They now take him to within 34 goals of the all-time La Liga record, and at 31, who would bet against him getting them.

Undoubtedly his best football was during the era when Zidane, Hierro, Makelele, Helguera and co. were conquering La Liga and Europe, but his longevity and quality throughout has been the remarkable thing about his career, and the last couple of seasons has seen him re-produce some of his best stuff. Undoubtedly a bonus for the Bernabeu regulars, who could have been forgiven for thinking they’d seen the best of him.

With Klass Jan Huntelaar seamlessly fitting into things of late, there are ominous signs for Rafa Benetiz’s men ahead of this weeks UCL blockbuster.

As for La Liga, this ninth straight win under Ramos and Barca’s slip-up against Ivan de la Pena’s cellar-dwellers sees Real close to within seven points. With Raul and co. in such fine form, Barca might start looking over their shoulder, and if the quality continues to be so high, it will certainly be worth looking at.


Blogger Adam said...

Never saw too many articles when Barca were tearing up the joint earlier this season TT!

Sun. Feb. 22, 10:23:00 pm AEDT  
Blogger The Round Ball Analyst said...

You know what my work schedule's been like mate :-)

Barca have been irresistible (almost untouchable) this season, and it's been great to see guardiola doing so well after the dire past two seasons. Messi has been a god, the best in the world, and your mate xavi gets better with age, but i've gotta give Real credit for their recent run, and Raul esp. Should make for a fascinating run-in.

Sun. Feb. 22, 10:30:00 pm AEDT  
Anonymous sir alex said...

can't you tell TT is a 'royalist'.
Doesnt comment on other teams that are beating/leading his own!

Mon. Feb. 23, 04:24:00 am AEDT  
Anonymous Ed said...

Raul's second was just sublime, best goal since Robben and Raul both chipped the keeper in one game a couple of months ago.

Messi who? Never heard of him.

Mon. Feb. 23, 09:57:00 am AEDT  
Anonymous wes said...

I can't wait to see what will happen to Liverpool at the Bernabeau. Real look unstoppable at the moment.

Mon. Feb. 23, 01:49:00 pm AEDT  
Anonymous Ed said...

Wes, I have been following Madrid for too long to take anything for granted - they are nothing if not unpredictable. Watching them in the Champion's league in the last few seasons is like watching the Roar in the finals... no fun at all :( - gives me an ulcer.

Liverpool are just the type of team to pull an Adelaide...

Mon. Feb. 23, 06:08:00 pm AEDT  
Blogger The Round Ball Analyst said...

ed and wes, thanks for your comments, some great ucl match-ups, should be riveting

Right now I couldnt give a rats if lpool don’t progress too far, even if it would prove a consolation for what appears to be another epl challenge gone…(yes, guttered)

Wouldn’t a real v barca final be lovely?

Mon. Feb. 23, 09:19:00 pm AEDT  

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