Real Madrid Betting: Cristiano Ronaldo gets Hat Trick against Athletic Bilbao

Real Madrid CF v Athletic Club - La LigaThe 2014-15 La Liga season is going nicely for Cristiano Ronaldo, who’s already netted 13 goals in six appearances for Real Madrid. His latest three goals came courtesy of Sunday’s match against Athletic Bilbao during a 5-0 rout. Thanks to his latest effort, Ronaldo is now tied for the La Liga record for hat tricks (22) with Alfredo Di Stéfano and Telmo Zarra.

His first goal against Athletic Bilbao was a header off a Gareth Bale pass. 10 minutes into the second half, Bale found Ronaldo for another goal. Cristiano then unselfishly squared up Karim Benzema to make the score 4-0 in the 69th minute. Ronaldo completed his hat trick with two minutes remaining in the match by bouncing the ball of his body and into the net.

If not for some exceptional stops by Bilbao goalie Gorka Iraizoz, Real Madrid might have made this game even uglier. But regardless, the 5-0 victory shows that Real Madrid has shaken off some early-season sluggishness.

ronaldo-vs-athletic-bilbao-1“We still have room for improvement,” Ronaldo said. “The team played a good match and scored five goals without conceding, we are very pleased.”

With the victory, Real moves past Atlético Madrid into fourth place with 15 points. Atlético Madrid, the defending La Liga champions, now fall into fifth place following their 3-1 defeat at Valencia. FC Barcelona is currently leading all La Liga teams with 19 points. And with their 2-0 victory over Rayo Vallecano, they’ve become the first team in league history to avoid giving up a goal in the first seven contests (19 GF, 0 GA).

Going back to Ronaldo, he definitely looks to be over the knee injury that limited him throughout the 2014 World Cup. While CR3 played in all three of Portugal’s matches, he wasn’t always his dynamic self as the Portuguese bowed out in pool play. But now that he’s averaging over two goals per match, it’s clear that Ronaldo is set for another huge season in La Liga play.

Manchester United beats Real Madrid 3-1 in Record US Game

real-madrid-manchester-united-michiganAs if the enthusiasm behind USA in the 2014 World Cup wasn’t proof enough, a record match between Real Madrid and Manchester United is further proof that soccer is growing in America. The preseason friendly, which was held at Michigan University Stadium in Ann Arbor, drew 109,318 fans – an attendance record for a soccer match in the US. The previous record was set by the 1984 Olympic gold medal game between Brazil and France at the Rose Bowl, when 101,799 fans showed up to Pasadena, CA.

As for the result, Manchester United finished off a perfect run through International Champions Cup pool play by beating Real Madrid 3-1. They’ll now play in the ICC final on Monday in Miami, while Real Madrid, last year’s ICC winner, is going home with a disappointing 0-2-1 record.

Manchester United definitely came out with plenty of fire for a preseason friendly. Midfielder Ashley Young quickly scored a goal thanks to an assist from Danny Welbeck. Real Madrid was able to tie things up on a penalty kick to make the score 1-1. However, this was as close as they’d get since Young added his second goal in the 36th minute. He tried sending a cross to Wayne Rooney in the middle, ultimately missing his target, but finding the inside of the right goal post instead.

real-madrid-manchester-united-michigan-2Javier Hernandez added a third goal in the second half after an outstanding play. Shinji Kagawa sent him a deep pass, and Hernandez slid feet first, heading the ball into the goal while at an awkward angle.

Gareth Bale played a big part in Real Madrid’s attack. He had some good shots on goal and ultimately converted on the aforementioned penalty kick, which would be his side’s only score. Overall, Real Madrid looked pretty good in the second half after sending multiple shots at the goal early on. Man U goalkeeper David De Gea even had to make a diving save on Asier Illarramendi’s shot in the first minute of the second half. But like so many Real Madrid shots throughout the afternoon, Illarramendi’s attempt was kept out of the net by De Gea.

It was largely thought that Cristiano Ronaldo wouldn’t play at all in this match. After all, Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti ruled the star out due to a left knee injury that he suffered during the World Cup. But much to the fans’ surprise and delight, Ronaldo entered the match at the 72-minute mark. This substitution actually drew the loudest cheers of the game.

real-madrid-manchester-united-michigan-1Moving forward, Manchester United figures to be a feared team when the English Premier League rolls around. They had a down season last year after finishing 19-12-7 (W-L-D) and missing out on Europa League qualification. However, they’re back with a new manager in Louis van Gaal and a fresh outlook. So don’t sleep on Manchester United with regard to English Premier League betting.

As for Real Madrid, they looked a bit shaky at times during ICC pool play. However, nobody’s counting them out since they won the 2014 UEFA Champions League Final after beating Atlético Madrid. Assuming this momentum continues and Ronaldo can get completely healthy, Real Madrid will definitely be a team to watch in La Liga betting.

James Rodriguez to cash in on World Cup Fame with Real Madrid

james-rodriguez-real-madrid-dealJames Rodriguez was definitely the breakout star of the 2014 World Cup. The Colombian midfielder scored six goals, which was more than any other player this summer and the performance earned him the World Cup Golden Boot award. Now it looks like Rodriguez is set to cash in on his spectacular play since Real Madrid will pay a fortune to buy out his contract from AS Monaco.

Rodriguez has agreed to personal terms with Real Madrid for €7.5 million per season, and the only thing left to do is for both teams to come to a financial agreement. According to the Daily Mail, the current holdup seems to be Monaco’s insistence that Real increase their offer from €75 million to €85 million. But regardless of how this all plays out, it seems to be a done deal since Rodriguez is reportedly house shopping in Spain’s capital city.

The main question now is where Rodriguez will fit into Real Madrid’s plans. The front line includes Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Karem Benzema while Real also bought Toni Kroos’ contract from Bayern Munich for $30 million. There’s midfielder Angel di Maria to consider here as well, however, reports suggest that he’ll be sold to make way for Rodriguez. This would put the 23-year-old in a familiar attacking midfielder role with Ronaldo, Bale and Benezema playing ahead of him.

It’ll be interesting to see how Rodriguez performs when he arrives in Madrid. Last season, he only scored nine goals for AS Monaco before emerging as a star and dazzling everybody in Brazil’s World Cup. As Bleacher Report predicts, Rodriguez could one day be looked at as the replacement for Ronaldo’s firepower. The do-it-all Portugal striker dealt with a number of injuries last season, which carried on into the 2014 World Cup. And while Ronaldo very well may bounce back from these injuries, his age doesn’t suggest that he’ll be playing at a world-class level for much longer than 3-4 years.

This is where Rodriguez comes into play because he’s already shown flashes of brilliance, yet still has plenty of room to grow as a player. But as for now, Rodriguez looks to fit into the midfield along with Kroos and Luka Modric.