There's a fantastic little passage in Andres Iniesta's new autobiography, 'The Move of My Life', wherein the Barcelona stalwart recalls the time Ronaldinho pulled a mass ruse on the entire squad in the interest of stoking team morale.
We join the story in 2005, shortly before Barca were set to take on Real Madrid in the Clasico having trailed their table-topping rivals for the first few months of the season.
Granted, we've had a few false starts when it comes to Real Madrid renaming their 'umbleabode, but the latest word on the wire is that Los Blancos could soon be playing their home games at the "Abu Dhabi Bernabeu".
According to Spanish paper AS, Real's president Florentino Perez has been caught on camera admitting to a member of the regional government that the club's stadium will be called whatever the Abu Dhabi investment group IPIC (International Petroleum Investment Company) want it to be called once they flood the place with their endless rivers of petrodollars.
No stranger to serenading stadiums full of people after celebratingseveral of AC Milan's various title victories with a sing-song in the past, Carlo Ancelotti took to the stage to perform a solo rendition of Real Madrid's new 'La Decima' anthem during the Champions League celebrations at a packed Bernabeu last night.
There was a sense of palpable anticipation on the cusp of Jose Mourinho's first ever Clasico contest.
Unbeaten in La Liga, the Portuguese boss seemed to have settled in to his new role well at the Bernabeu. Madrid had already were looking more compact and Cristiano Ronaldo seemed to be flourishing under the tutelage of his compatriot.
Real Madrid's cathedral, the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, is home to one of the biggest clubs on the planet; when visiting the Spanish capital it really is a must for any futbol aficionado, especially if its amatch day.
The whole Real Madrid Island Experience in UAE didn't pan out, but they got Gareth Bale, so their appetite for an ostentatious move has been sufficiently whetted for a bit. Or the next month or so anyway. So with the need to do something big, they'll redesign the Bernabeu to better suit their modern ambitions.
Manchester United DID make a bid for Gareth Bale before he completed his move to Real Madrid, according to the Spanish side's president Florentino Perez. Perez says the Premier League champions made a late swoop for the Welshman, and outbid Real with a Â£100m offer. Bale flew back from Spain to hold talks with United [.
Chelsea star Juan Mata is reportedly a transfer target for Barcelona but Jose Mourinho may block any move because of his ongoing feud with the Catalan club. Mourinho and Barca enjoyed a less than friendly rivalry during his time as Real Madrid manager and even during his first stint at Stamford Bridge.
How do you feel about @MesutOzil1088 joining #Arsenal? Leave your messages for Mesut using the #OzilIsAGunner hashtag pic.twitter.com/fBm41X2pyt Arsenal.com (@Arsenal) September 2, 2013 Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy called Real Madrid president Florentino Perez in a bid to stop him selling Mesut Ozil to Arsenal, according to reports in the Spanish media.
Real Madrid playmaker Mesut Ozil is reportedly having a medical for Arsenal before he completes his Â£42.4m move to the club. It is looking increasingly likely that the deal has been lined up for a while and was merely dependent on Gareth Bale making the switch to Real Madrid. And as Bale was unveiled at [.
Around 50,000 Real Madrid fans are gathered at the Bernabeu to see Gareth Bale being presented. Watch it live in the video above. The 24-year-old has signed his contract and is now officially a Real player. .@GarethBale11 firmando su contrato con el Real Madrid... #WelcomeBale pic.twitter.com/X5TNu0hNYs Real Madrid C.
Eight days ago, Real Madrid constructed a stage for the grand unveiling of Gareth Bale. After months of rumors and negotiating with Spurs, anonymous sources told overeager journalists that the deal was finally done and it was for a world record fee. But a little over a week later and with the transfer deadline approaching, the deal still hasn't been officially finalized and it might not even be for a record fee anymore.
This stage has been positioned at The Bernabeu Gareth Bale's arrival is edging closer #thfc #rmfc pic.twitter.com/S39N4PmYmf Speaking Sport (@BTSportBreaking) August 23, 2013 Spurs have agreed to let Gareth Bale join Real Madrid for a world record Â£86m fee, reports the Daily Mail. The reports claim that Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy signed off [.
Tottenham manager Andre Villas Boas says he isn't sure whether Gareth Bale's transfer to Real Madrid will go ahead. He acknowledged what the world knows that Real are interested in signing the Welsh star but insists he isn't sure whether Bale will move to the Bernabeu. He said: "There is interest from Real [.
This stage has been positioned at The Bernabeu Gareth Bale's arrival is edging closer #thfc #rmfc pic.twitter.com/S39N4PmYmf Speaking Sport (@BTSportBreaking) August 23, 2013 Real Madrid have dropped a big hint that they are expecting to announce the signing of Gareth Bale very soon by building a presentation stage at the Bernabeu.
Manchester United have joined Arsenal in the race for Real Madrid winger Angel Di Maria, according to reports in Spain. Spanish daily Marca claims that French side PSG are also interested in signing the Argentina international. The reports suggest that Di Maria's preference is to stay at the Bernabeu and that manager Carlo Ancelotti would [.
Arsenal are plotting a double-swoop on Real Madrid to sign Karim Benzema and Angel Di Maria. The Gunners are ready to draw a line under a frustrating period of transfer activity with big-money moves for the two marquee signings. And they aim to shake-off their reputation for thriftiness by spending Â£100m before the transfer window [.
Hahaha "@Madrid_2020_: #parecidosrazonables @GarethBale11 vs. @KennyMcEvoy pic.twitter.com/eUW39rMfZ6" Kenny Mcevoy (@KennyMcevoy) August 1, 2013 Daniel Levy has tried every trick in the book to keep hold of Gareth Bale this summer, but it looks like just a matter of time before the Welshman moves to Real Madrid.
Legendary Real Madrid striker Raul has indicated that he believes his former club is being asked to pay over the odds for Tottenham star Gareth Bale. The 24-year-old is widely expected to move to the Bernabeu this summer, but Raul has expressed his concern about the transfer fees being quotes. He told the official website [.
Real Madrid star Sami Khedira will not be moving to England or France this summer, according to his agent. The Germany international had been linked with a move to Chelsea. Former Real boss Jose Mourinho was reportedly interested in signing his former player. The Blues were hoping to tempt Mourinho's former employers with a bid [.
Manchester United are on the verge of closing a deal to bring Cristiano Ronaldo back to Old Trafford, according to the Daily Star. In a far-fetched but detailed story, the paper claims that the very public pursuit of Barcelona's Cesc Fabregas has been a smokescreen for 12 days of careful negotiations to put the deal [.
Ex-Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp says he has heard from more than one source that Gareth Bale wants to join Real Madrid this summer. The 24-year-old is said to have told current manager Andre Villas Boas that he wants to leave during a meeting earlier this week, but he has not officially requested a transfer.
The injury that has ruled Gareth Bale out of Tottenham's friendly against Sunderland is merely a cover story as he forces through a transfer to Real Madrid, according to a Spanish newspaper. Marca irked Spurs supporters with yesterday's splash claiming that Bale had agreed personal terms with Real. They've now followed that up with a [.
A shirt featuring Gareth Bale's name and number has been found at the Bernabeu, according to Spanish newspaper AS. In one of the more tenuous transfer rumours you're likely to see this summer, the newspaper's front page splash contains a suggestion that a 'Bale 11â€² shirt has been found inside Real Madrid's stadium.
Real Madrid striker Jose Callejon is ready to leave the Bernabeu, with Brendan Rodgers' Liverpool interested in a move for the player, according to reports in Spain. The forward struggled to make a long-lasting impression on former manager Jose Mourinho, with most of his 29 league appearances coming from the substitute's bench.
The worst kept secret in football has been officially confirmed: Jose Mourinho will leave Real Madrid at the end of the season. The Special One has been dropping hints for weeks and he is known to be short of allies at the Bernabeu, so the news that he's leaving by mutual consent comes as no [...]
Jose Mourinho may already have started packing ahead of his impending departure from Real Madrid at the end of this season, but it seems that a section of 'Madridistas' are already getting impatient. Yes, they want him out of Madrid NOW!
Los Blancos played out to a 6-2 win over Malaga at the Bernabeu yesterday, which buys them time before Barcelona pick up the La Liga title.
It's pretty obvious that Jose Mourinho is in end-of-term mode at Real Madrid. Not only is he bulk-buying boxes and packaging material ahead of a possible move away from the Bernabeu, he's also indulging in some childish pranks. The Special One threw a piece of paper at Real's head of security during the victory over [.
In the final ten minutes of Borussia Dortmund's Champions League visit to the Bernabeu on Tuesday evening, the Bundesliga side were perilously close to surrendering the 4-1 lead they held from the first leg. As Real Madrid scored two late goals and pushed forward to score a third that would secure a place in the final, the tension was almost unbearable for followers of the German side.
Real Madrid were incredibly generous to Manchester United in the aftermath of the Munich Air Disaster and I think the reason for that basically came down to the relationship that had formed between President Bernabeu and Sir Matt Busby. Both men were kindred spirits. Each liked to play wonderful attacking football, the difference being Busby and his assistant Jimmy Murphy tended to develop their own players, whilst Bernabeu simply scoured the planet and bought home the best talent around.
Robin van Persie, who repeatedly speaks of how much he is loving life since joining Manchester United, is still buzzing about our game at the Bernabeu last week and is looking forward to the big matches ahead.
"I have played a couple of big games for United already and I love that," said Van Persie.
Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho wants to raid former club Real Madrid to sign midfielder Sami Khedira. The Blues are hoping to take advantage of Real's desperate attempts to sign Gareth Bale from Tottenham to lure Khedira to Stamford Bridge. They hope the Spanish side will be prepared to offload the Germany international to raise funds [.
Tottenham have turned down an offer of cash plus their choice of several Real Madrid stars for Gareth Bale. Argentina international winger Angel Di Maria is among the players that Spurs have been offered, but the north London side are still refusing to contemplate letting Bale leave. They want to offer the 23-year-old a new [.
FA disciplinary panels can expect plenty of overtime next season if Manuel Pellegrini succeeds in bringing Pepe to the Premier League. The Malaga boss is widely expected to become Manchester City's new manager and reports in the Spanish media suggest that he wants to make the Real Madrid defender his first signing.
Il Napoli mette paura al Real, al Bernabeu, con l'invenzione di Insigne, ma poi i blancos di Zidane rimontano e chiudono sul 3 a 1 nell'andata degli ottavi di finale di Champions League. Nel finale Mertens ha la chance del 2 a 3, che sarebbe stato fondamentale in vista del ritorno, ma spreca tutto davanti [.