Top Stories

Morning Ticker: Injuries mount for Real Madrid, Everton lose Yakubu and Riquelme shines

Wesley Sneijder (AP) 

Could things get any worse for Real Madrid?

Perhaps Sir Alex Ferguson succeeded in putting a hex on Ramon Calderon's squad as the reigning La Liga champions are enduring a hell of run of bad luck. First they sell Robinho and score no real replacement, then they lose Ruud van Nistelrooy for the season to a knee injury. Now a trio of injuries to key players threatens to crush Real Madrid's title hopes before Christmas.

Wesley Sneijder, Pepe and Miguel Torres are all out with injuries following the team's recent loss to Getafe. You can add those names to the following players who missed the Getafe match due to injury: Gonzalo Higuain, Arjen Robben, Mahmadou Diarra, Fabio Cannavaro, Gabriel Heinze and Ruben De La Red. That's nearly a full first-team's worth of star talent out.

As if things weren't bad enough, the suddenly fourth-place squad is poised to be severely short-handed for its showdown with FC Barcelona in two weeks. Considering how well Barca is playing these days, things could get real ugly.

And somewhere, Alex Ferguson is laughing.

Here are some other stories from the weekend:

Yakubu out for the season

Everton striker Aiyegbeni Yakubu is out for the season after suffering a torn Achilles early on in Everton's 1-0 win vs. Tottenham. The Nigerian striker played just 10 minutes on Sunday before hobbling off.

Yakubu's injury, coupled with Louis Saha's subsequent hamstring injury has the Toffees scrambling for some attacking help. Look for Everton to go shopping once January rolls around, though it remains to be seen just how much money David Moyes will be given to spend.

Riquelme double keeps Boca in first

Argentine playmaker Juan Roman Riquelme netted a pair of goals to help give Boca Juniors a 2-1 win over Racing Club on Sunday.

Riquelme notched a first-half penalty to open the scoring, then volleyed home the game-inning goal in the second half.

Here are some highlights:

What do you think of the above stories? Is Real Madrid finished? Who do you see Everton buying to replace Yakubu? Will Victor Anichebe step up? Will anybody catch Boca in Argentina? More importantly, do you see Riquelme finishing out his career in Argentina, or will a European club try to bring him back across the pond.

Share your thoughts on these and any other stories from Monday morning or the weekend in the comments section below.


  1. @Raghu

    Yes he is a God at Boca that cannot be touched which is why his ego is so inflated. He was a cancer at Barcelona and towards the end at Villareal. His Parguyan teamate Caceres spoke out about his lack off work ethic this season and he was crucified for speaking out and Maradonna has questioned Riquelme commitment since returning to Boca

  2. Oh, and Ives – like other posters, I also like the coverage of the Argentine league. It is a good league to follow.

    Unfortunately I only see what I get on Setanta every once in awhile on a Sunday late afternoon.

  3. Unfortunately I think Doug is right. Riquelme is a brilliant player who is fun to watch – but at his age and with his diminishing pace, a team has to be built around his talents and I don’t think that’s going to happen overseas anymore. One of the real questions is if he will continue to be featured in 2010 or if he’ll be over the hill by then.

    I totally don’t agree with the previous poster who said he doesn’t have any heart or dedication. That’s ridiculous. He’s the heart and soul of Boca and the local community near La Bombonera.

    It would be awesome if he came to MLS like Schelletto and played a few years. I gave up my DC season tickets a few years ago, if Riquelme was playing for United – I wouldn’t miss a game.

  4. John, I didn’t have access to the Fox Sports Espanol TV sked, which is why I didn’t include those games, not because I actually think early-round FA Cup matches are more important. If I have access to the sked then I’ll include it. Simple as that.

  5. p.s.- i complained in your weekend tv listing on how you didnt include the boca juniors-racing game (which was live on fox sports en espanol) and look at what a great game it ended up being.

  6. Bad, bad news for the Toffees. I hope Anichebe steps up but Moyes will still need to bring in someone during the window. Likely on loan than a transfer.

    Would have liked to see Jozy but that’s a pipe dream even before Villareal’s manager saying no one will be loaned out.

  7. btw, since when is robben being injured count as news? they should make a special report for him titled-players back from injury who will be injured again within 3 weeks

  8. i hope riquelme makes it back to europe but i think that ship has sailed. In order for him to be at his peak you have to build a team around him like Pelligrini did. Had Riquelme not butted heads with him he might still be there. Im not sure too many coaches would take a flyer on him now. Theyve already seen him screw up a Villareal team who was built with him as the focal point. He basically pulled a Stephon Marbury on them. One wonders what would have happened had he scored that penalty against Arsenal in the Champions League semifinal

  9. Arjen Robben is hurt? NO! NOT HIM!

    It’s amazing we haven’t hurd of injury clauses in contracts yet. This guy averages what, half a season of playing time per year? And he makes six figures per week? A bunch of horsecrap if you ask me.

  10. Real Madrid is by no means done, but a very thin squad is getting progressively smaller. The upcoming games against Zenit and Barca are of the utmost importance and fielding a team with Saviola and Drenthe up top just isn’t going to cut it.

    I am very interested to see what happens during the winter. We always hear rumors with Madrid, but this time they have to acquire some talent. Whether they will be able to land Di Maria or Huntelaar is doubtful but they needs some serious help if they hope to have a chance to compete.

  11. I realize that Kevin Doyle has just signed a new contract but as the top goal scorer in the Championship, I would think that Moyes would have to be looking at him.


Leave a Comment