As the calendar turns to August, the 2016/17 soccer season is getting underway. Most of the major European clubs are either knee-deep in preseason tours from China to the US, or are playing friendlies. Some have even begun their European cup journeys. The transfer window is still wide open; rumors and speculation are the order of the day. Instead of another story about Paul Pogba’s supposed medical exam, we thought that you’d rather hear from the fans! So, to get you ready for the new season we asked fans of each club to give you the lowdown on their team’s summer. First up is Real Madrid and Nazmus Sajid from Bangladesh!
- Which league do you follow the most? What are some of the major news, interesting stories that caught your eye in the summer? Did you go to any games in person? Do you have something to rant about as far as the league is concerned?
I generally follow EPL, La Liga and Bundesliga. Among them I mostly follow the EPL. There are so many interesting news and stories that caught my eye in the summer. 1) Paul Pogba’s link with Los Blancos and the Red Devils is one of the most interesting news. Recently Zidane said, “Everyone is interested in Pogba. He is a great player and when you’re with Madrid you always want the best.” 2) Cristiano Ronaldo’s visit to Conor McGregor is also one of the major stories. 3) It is also surprising how Middlesbrough FC is building their squad with the signing of Negredo, Victor Valdes, Fisher, Guzan, Gaston, Barragan etc. 4) Riyad Mahrez transfer rumors are also spectacular. 5) Gonzalo Higuain departed for rival club Juventus in a huge money transaction which is 75.3m pounds. Surely he isn’t worth this much money. 6) Arrival of Mourinho, Conte, Pep in EPL is also an amazing news. 7) Zlatan’s arrival to Manchester, Hummels to Bayern and Gotze to Dortmund arealso fascinating stories. There are so many interesting news which should be mentioned. But it is not possible to mention all of them. No, I have never attended a live match as I live in Asia. So it is difficult for me to attend.
2. How would you describe your team’s summer (transfers, major news, etc) and preparations for the new season?
Transfer Saga:Real Madrid are quite inactive in this summer. They haven’t made major changes in the squad, Though two players recently have joined Los Blancos: Spain international forward Morata joined from Juventus as Real Madrid activated their buy back clause. They re-signed Morata for 30m euros. Los Blancos also recalled Fabio Coentrao from loan. The Portuguese full back spent one year at Monaco in the previous season, but we have Marcelo. Meanwhile Real sold Denis Cheryshev for 10m euros to Villarreal. Alvaro Arbeloa also has gone as his contract finished after the last season. There are also many players who have come back from loan and again gone to other club on loan. So here we can see no significant changes in the squad. However there is also so maybe rumors going on. Real is after Paul Pogba as Zidane is a big admirer of the French international. Real Madrid is also linked with Sissoko. In many newspapers there are also so many news regarding this transfer. Real also linked with Verratti, Matuidi and Matic if they fail to sign Pogba. PSG signed Krychowiak in this summer, so either Verratti or Matuidi may leave to other clubs. At Chelsea, the arrival of Kante has also has made Matic’s future uncertain. There are also several rumors that RM will sell a couple of players. In earlier this summer there were so many rumors that Real are re-singing Alvaro Morata to sell him at a good profit. But Morata’s price tag could force other admirer club to stop the saga. Real also may consider selling Jese Rodriguez. The Spanish forward is being targeted by PSG, Arsenal and Liverpool as many reports claim. Finally, Kovacic also may quit Real Madrid to get sufficient playing time.
Injuries: Let’s come to the injuries of Real Madrid. Madrid’s all-time top scorer Cristiano Ronaldo is of course set to miss first three games of the season because of his knee injury. Ronaldo will miss matches against Sevilla, Real Sociedad and Celta Vigo.
Los Blancos’s preseason schedules are against PSG, Chelsea, Bayern and Reims. Real Madrid only played one preseason match against PSG, losing 3 to 1. Still three more games to go, but in the first match Real Madrid were terrible. In the first half Real named their first team squad but conceded three goals which is disappointing. But in the second half Zidane substituted all the first team players and gave chances to the Castilla team (Real’s second team). Castilla showed a great performance which indicates that the future of this club is quite good. Asensio was the one of the stars of the match. There are still three matches to go. If Real Madrid loses these three matches still there is no worry, as in the last season they had an awful preseason but won UCL. Zidane is the reason why they might do well in the next season. His attitude helps the squad a lot to play as a team. The team spirit is also amazing. So there is hope that Real will compete well with Barca and Atletico for La Liga and Copa Del Rey, and also work hard to retain the UCL title.
3.Season predictions for Top 4, including winner? Who will get relegated?
- Manchester City
- Manchester United
- Real Madrid
- Atletico Madrid
4. Which teams/players are you looking forward to watching? Who will be a surprise (player/team) or disappointment? I am looking forward to watching Arsenal, Real Madrid and Dortmund, as these are my favorite clubs. In addition, I am going to watch Middlesbrough, Hamburg because I think these two clubs can do much better as they have made some great transfer moves. Both team may surprise the world.
Regarding players, Zlatan will be disappointing. He might not able to score so many goals as people are expecting from him. Negredo and Alan Halilovic (HSV) can achieve something good. Gareth Bale may outperform Ronaldo, whereas Neymar may disappoint his fans either in the first half of the season or in the second half. Bailly and Mkhitaryan will do much better with Manchester United. Mario Götze may surprise the world!!!
5. Who will win these awards: player of the year and top scorer? Other relevant awards you care about? Cristiano Ronaldo will win the Ballon ’Or. Marco Reus will be Bundesliga player of the season if he can play every match. From the EPL Mesut Özil will win PFA player of the year award. In La Liga, Messi will win the best player award.
6. Anything else that is on your mind? Where can people find you online? People can find me online on Facebook.