Here is our daily round-up of Madrid tid-bits, following the defeat to Barcelona at the Camp Nou yesterday.
Sombre return to training ahead of Melilla tie
Real Madrid were back in training today ahead of their cup tie against Second Division B side Melilla on Wednesday, after the humiliating defeat at the Camp Nou on Sunday. Coach Julen Lopetegui did oversee the session, but speculation is rife that today could be his last in charge, and that Real Madrid Castilla coach Santiago Solari will oversee the game against on Wednesday.
“We’re not playing well. We can’t blame the coach because we’re the players who are out on the pitch. This 5-1 score line reflects our season so far and the result is what it is,” said Casemiro following the game. But while the players have not pointed the finger at Lopetegui, at least not publically, the board do consider him responsible for the club’s poor run and are expected to imminently announce his dismissal, with Antonio Conte reported to become his permanent replacement.
Conte turns down Milan
With Madrid having maintained contact with Antonio Conte for several weeks now about the managerial position, the Italian has reportedly rejected an offer from AC Milan to take over for under-fire coach Gennaro Gattuso. Since Madrid made first contact, Conte has been keeping a close eye on proceedings at the Bernabeu and, according to what AS has learned, he has already chosen Cristian Stellini to be his assistant.
Isco compiles 250 games
It was not the greatest day to mark this milestone for the Malaga man, but yesterday at the Camp Nou, Isco played this 250th game for Madrid. Since joining the club in 2013, Isco has scored 44 goals and has become an indispensable figure in the post-Ronaldo era. Yesterday, however, was not a day for celebration for the midfielder, and neither was it for Rafael Varane and Luca Vazquez, who compiled 150 and 100 LaLiga games for Real Madrid, respectively.
Pique stands up for Ramos
Following a tangle with Rafinha in the fifth minute, Sergio Ramos was subjected to abusive chanting from the home crowd, who shouted “Sergio Ramos, hijo de puta” (Sergio Ramos, son of a bitch) for a number of seconds. Opponent Gerard Pique was clearly not impressed with the chanting and gestured to the fans to stop by waving his index finger, in a clear act of solidarity with the Madrid captain and Spain central defensive partner.
Following the game, Pique said: "It's a pleasure beating Real Madrid, since it means something more than three points, and it gives you a rush."