U.S. Men's National Team

Report: Real Madrid eyeing Onyewu

Oguchi Onyewu 1 (Reuters) 

Oguchi Onyewu has apparently caught the eye of none other than mega-million-spending club Real Madrid, who could land the U.S. defender if its bid for Liverpool defender Alvaro Arbeloa falls through.

That's what Spanish website Mundo Deportivo is claiming in a report released today. The report suggests that Real Madrid would sign Onyewu, at least in part, as part of a plan to make headway in the United States and establish it as one of the most popular clubs in this country.

It is the silly season though, so reports from foreign websites must always be taken with a grain of salt. In general, Spanish newspaper Marca is the top source for Real Madrid news and the paper's website has nothing on any Onyewu interest.

Also, the Deportivo report suggests that Onyewu would be an alternative to Arbeloa, a fullback by trade (though someone who can play centerback badly if needed). The story also suggest that Onyewu can play as a central defender and as a fullback. Listen folks, Onyewu is a beast in the air and a solid centerback, but he would get torched like a fried turkey if he played right back in La Liga.

Could Real Madrid use Onyewu? Absolutely. To date, the club has only added Raul Albiol to a defense that lost Fabio Cannavaro and came into the summer needing reinforcements. Onyewu would provide a solid option, though there are some questions about whether Onyewu's distribution out of the back would be good enough for a team that plays like Real Madrid. Also, the idea that Real Madrid would want an American player to make inroads in the United States makes perfect sense.

Real Madrid joins Fiorentina, Palermo and Ajax as the four teams most recently mentioned as contenders for Onyewu's services, with Fenerbahce appearing to have faded from the picture.

What do you think of Onyewu possibly going to Real Madrid? Love the idea? Worry about his playing time in a World Cup year? Would you rather see him in Italy?

Share your thoughts below.

  • JB

    How much defense does a team with Ronaldo,Kaka, Benzema, possibly Ribery as well as subs like Huntelaar, Robben, Raul need to play? Its not like this is a team that is going to be playing 1-0 games every week. Onyewu would probably be as valuable for his contributions in the air and on throw-ins.


  • mike ruze

    So they want to sell jerseys and increase their popularity in the US with a player not quite good enough to be on their team….

    Kinda like what Barca does with Rafa Marquez


  • KCB

    IF IF IF Real Madrid take Gooch then they better play him, otherwise I’ll have yet another reason to HATE Real Madrid.


  • dhawk

    Gooch’s agent has told another website that they are in negotiations with Ajax and issued this statement as well, “We are in serious discussions with a few clubs at the moment. A decision should be taken next week.”


  • pat

    Gooch is no where near good enough to get a sniff of the field in Madrid. He played a good tournement in the Confed Cup and a good season in Belgium (yea Belgium, not england italy spain france holland or portugal) Forget madrid, go to a mid table side in either Italy France England or a top team in Holland and try to make an impact before trying to jump from minnows (Belgium, USMT) to the biggest fish in the sea (Madrid).


  • Joe

    Gooch has the foot skills of a keeper. He has no touch what so ever. There is no way this rumor is true. No team would have Kaka, Ronaldo, Robben, Raul and then Gooch in the back.


  • Pat

    If Gooch can go to Real and play consistently, this is an ideal move, but I dont want him going somewhere where he could be riding pine for a long time in a World Cup year. The money would probably be too good for him to pass up though.


  • DMEE

    it appears joe and I are the only sane ones who chose to post today. but i’m not surprised ives posted this about his golden boy.

    gooch is not a good player. he will never ever ever play for madrid, ever.


  • mexicanbluefish

    He could benefit just by practicing with Real Madrid. I vote Sí!


  • Jacopo Belbo

    Look. This is utter crap. I love Gooch but he played in BELGIUM! BELGIUM! There is now way he is good enough to start at a top team in EPL, Serie A or La Liga but he is plenty good enough to start for a mid-table team in those leagues which is precisely where he should go. It is about playing … plus nobody in their right mind should want to be part of the ‘defence’ (and i use that word in the loosest of possible senses given how abominable Real have been at preventing goals) that will only be so much window dressing for the “all ego, all offence, all the time show” they are creating over there at Real.


  • Josh

    I hope it’s just a silly rumor, b/c I loathe Real Madrid. It’d be a great opportunity for Gooch if the rumor’s true, but I’d prefer he go to a less obnoxious side, such as ANY OTHER TEAM IN EUROPE!!!!


  • snedecor

    Don’t take it too serious… El Mundo Deportivo is a sport newspaper based on Barcelona, so they don’t have first-hand info of Real Madrid’s future signings, Marca or As are the best way of being informed about Real’s movements


  • Rastafari

    Real is just trying to fill the seats at its US games.. I bet nothing comes of it.


  • gerald

    I don’t believe that one and that would not be a good move for him at this time


  • Renny

    I’ll believe it when I see Gooch in a Real jersey.

    That said, wouldn’t it be cool to see him and Rafa going at it for corners in La Liga?



    DMEE – Gooch isnt a good player? What are you basing this on?

    Gooch has progressed & grown nicely over the past few years and I think it would be great to see him at any La Liga, Serie A, or EPL team. Yes, he played in Belgium. He was a dominant force and led his team to championships and into Champions League. You might as well be saying that Donovan can’t make it in Europe b/c he plays in MLS. Broad generalizations like that are small-minded.


  • SJQuakesFan81

    I would rather see Gooch play at a mid-upper English team: Fulham anyone? Everton, Aston Villa, even newcomers Wolves would be a good fit. And, if after a highly successful EPL campaign, Real comes knocking again, then the time would be right for him to step up to one of the world-class teams.


  • Tomas

    I agree with many of you – Gooch, while OUR guy, isn’t good enough for Los Blancos. I like the fit much better with Ajax. Fiorentina might work because they are in dire need of a center back. However, what many people don’t realize is that Fiorentina is an elite side in Serie A (qualified for Champions League 4 years in a row). I’m not sure he could cut it there, but he would have a MUCH better chance at getting playing time there than at Madrid given their need. That said, I have read nothing that suggest La Viola are interested.


  • Warren

    At first I though this was really cool, but they might treat’em like nothin and just bench’em. Now I really want him to go to Italy, that’d be awesome.


  • kpugs

    I completely agree that Gooch is a center back and only a center back. I also think it would be an awful move to go to Madrid, where he could be lost on the bench.

    I think Gooch is just barely good enough to play for a top club in ANY league, just not a club like Madrid where some of the best players alive can’t buy a minute of playing time.


  • Mike

    DMEE –

    If you are saying Gooch is not a good player, then you are not sane.



    I think a lot of you guys are off base. If the guy gets a chance to go to one of the biggest clubs in the world, he should go and fight his ass off to get on the field.

    One thing Gooch has done recently is raise his game against quality opponents and there is no reason he can’t continue to do that. Worst case scenario is that he doesn’t make it at Real and gets loaned out or transfered. THEN he can go to one of these other teams and finish out his career.

    But the worst thing he can do is aim his sights lower and lower his expectations. I want players in our USMNT that have the belief and desire to do and be better. Dare to fail.


  • flatlandkid

    There are only three guys on the US team that have proven they can play agaist the best talent in the world consistently AND beat that talent. Onyewu is one of them.

    The key there is ability to excel in the big time, when it counts, do you just boot the ball as hard as you can or do you make good decisions, when your legs get tired do you drift behind the attacker or do you put your head in there and break it up?

    Gooch should go to a TOP TEAM (champions league) but the trick is who will play him everyday? The question of IF he should go is answered, the only question left is where?


  • JoeW

    1. Gooch signing with Real Madrid would be terrible. We don’t want him going to a club where he’s going to mostly sit and where it will be a battle to get him released for NT friendlies and camps.

    2. Peterlin has a Danish passport. Basically, what Everton did was take a cheap flier on an EU player (or what is the equivalent of one). From what I’d read, there is no indication he’s competing for first team action but was simply viewed as a cheap, athletically outstanding, high work-rate D-mid that was worth taking a chance on.


  • jloome

    You might as well be saying that Donovan can’t make it in Europe b/c he plays in MLS. Broad generalizations like that are small-minded.
    Then again, Donovan has now crapped out twice, so maybe he can’t make it in Europe.


  • Sterlinho

    For arguements sake:

    Even riding the pine could be good for him in Madrid. Where else would you defend against Kaka, Ronaldo, Raul, Van Nistelrooy, Benzema, Robben, Sneijder & Huntelarr in practice EVERYDAY? The World Cup would be a cakewalk after that and CONCACAF qualifying would seem like a joke.



    Then again, Donovan has now crapped out twice, so maybe he can’t make it in Europe.
    I wouldnt say he has crapped out twice. I would say on the first he didnt give it a chance and came home b/c he didnt like Germany. The second, he walks into a team in midseason & had moments where he played well. Also, that’s not the easiest team to break into – Podolski is a starter for the German national team and had trouble getting minutes.


  • US Soccer Fan

    IF Gooch could raise his game at Real Madrid –quite possible– to become a regular starting CB, well that would have to be a dream come true for both Gooch and for US fans.

    I think Real would have requirements of Gooch, a standard he hasn’t yet had to measure up to. I’d swear, though, Mr. Onyewu is getting better and better and perhaps has two more gears left in his potential.

    If he played regularly for Real Madrid one has to like what that would do for his game, and in turn the USMNT defense. 🙂


  • 123

    Players in Real Madrid who have played as CB: Pepe, Albiol, Garay, Metzelder, Ramos, Heinze, Miguel Torres, Raul Garcia (and even Gago). So they have a couple of world class CB’s and a handful of guys who can play there if needed (some of them not very well). I can’t see how they would sign one pretty good defender more, unless it’s all about marketing in the US. Playing him in Copa del rey and maybe some matches against Osasuna and Sporting. In those matches he could maybe shut down Mate Bilic and Walter Pandiani. Then use him to sell Ronaldo shirts in US.


  • jsd

    If he gets an offer he has to go to Madrid. Doing otherwise would be unfathomably foolish. To me, there is no downside for Gooch. He will be a member of one of the top teams in the world (and not have to play against, or look foolish, against them). I liken it to finding out the hot girl in school likes you and turning her down because it may not work out. You just say yes and if/when it goes south your no worse for the wear because you have credibility with all the other hot girls. Just do it.


  • kevin

    man normally i would be so pumped at the prospect of this and say he should definitely go for it, but given that this is a world cup year it’s a way harder decision


  • George

    He needs to start every match. Playing 3v3 at practice with the guy who greases Ronaldo’s body is not going to do him any good. He needs to make sure that he will start and not become Adu/Altidore 2.0


  • Keith G.

    I would much rather see him in a Bayern Munchen jersey, but to see an American playing for Real Madrid would be huge. I am not a fan of Real at all but if he where to actually get some playing time with them, it would make a huge impact in this country.


  • Hush

    Onyewu is not good enought?LOL But I guess Shirkov (Moscow) is good enought to sign with Chealsea for $29mill.lol How about Valencia to ManU?LOL I have always said that an American can play at the highest level if given a chance! Some Euro’s are still biased towards Americans, so getting time is tought.

    Onyewu would be perfect for RM in the middle when facing the Premier teams in the Champions League. Corner and set plays is where they make their mark. Onyewu would be deadly! The fact is, LA liga really only has 3 teams that can compete day in day out, Barca,Villa,A-Madrid… No biggie there.


  • RLW2020

    if madrid is interested does that mean that Valencia, Villareal, Sevilla, La Coruna, and other Liga sides that could use an improvement at CB are also interested? how often do players jump from the belgian league to Real Madrid? i am saying that Ajax or Palermo would be better fits, right now, as he climbs the world football ladder.


  • Leonardo

    Gooch = awesome.

    proud of him if this falls through, and still proud if it doesn’t. that other Turkish team is pretty badass too.

    ok, what if he is benched? does this mean he gets to train every day with Kaka/Ronaldo and all those incredible players? win/win baby!


  • Fulham Pete

    I know it’s not timely, but the last time I saw a 6’5″ fullback his name was Brandon Jacobs and he was sharing carries for the Giants.


  • jjraines

    I can’t believe all the naysayers here. Onyewu (an American) at Real Madrid — that would be HUGE for U.S. soccer! I also called this a few days back, saying why not? Indeed why not — he’s class (don’t give me this crap he doesn’t belong “anywhere near” the field for a team like Madrid) for relatively very, VERY cheap. They should do it, he should do it, and unlike what some of you are saying, this is a WIN WIN. Please let it be true.


  • Scott in Houston

    Way to go Sg — way to “break” a story on Onyewu signing with Real Madrid on the morning that he’s announced by AC Milan.


  • Aaron

    Ives – can you confirm the ESPN story about Onyewu to Milan? I’ll believe it when I hear a solid confirmation. if he can play great move though


  • Sg

    That’s what I meant. Don’t know why I wrote Real. Read it on goal this mrng


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