MADRID - Brief news from La Liga ahead of
this weekend's matches:
Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho and director general Jorge
Valdano have their differences on some issues but both want
success for the club, according to captain and goalkeeper Iker
"Jorge has his way of behaving and the coach has his,"
Casillas, who was responding to reports of a rift between the
pair, told reporters after Real knocked city rivals Atletico out
of the King's Cup on Thursday to advance to the semi-finals.
"In a relationship there are always differences about some
things but deep down what both want is for Real Madrid to be as
successful as possible."
Former Argentina international Valdano said the reports
about his relationship with Mourinho had been blown out of
proportion and the club should focus on matters on the pitch.
"Everything's been exaggerated regarding my relationship
with Mourinho," he said in a television interview. "We have to
strive to calm the situation down and focus on football in order
for the team to have prestige in every competition."
Real's Germany midfielder Sami Khedira was forced off in
the 82nd minute of the Atletico game after hurting his right
ankle and club medical staff confirmed he had suffered bruising,
the club said on their website.
It was unclear whether he will be available for Sunday's
match at home to Real Mallorca.
Leaders Barcelona, who have a four-point advantage over
second-placed Real at the halfway stage of the season, will
benefit from having their club record 28-match undefeated run
ended by Real Betis, according to coach Pep Guardiola.
Second-division leaders Betis beat Barca 3-1 in the second
leg of their King's Cup quarter-final on Wednesday, although the
Catalans won the first leg 5-0 and went through to the
semi-finals 6-3 on aggregate.
"After this run of matches without losing it seems like
everything is plain sailing but it's all a big effort and this
will help us to grow," Guardiola said at a charity event on
Thursday. Barca host Racing Santander on Saturday.
Guardiola has yet to sign a contract extension beyond the
end of this season, saying he needs more time to think over his
future, but Barca goalkeeper Victor Valdes is sure he will stay.
"I have no doubts the coach will continue," Valdes said at a
separate charity event on Thursday.
Barca forward Jeffren has picked up another injury, this
time to his left thigh, and will be out for up to five weeks,
the club said on their website.
Jeffren, who turned 23 on Thursday and has been plagued with
injuries this season, damaged a muscle in training.
Villarreal defender Joan Capdevila is excited about the
next two seasons after signing an extension to his contract that
will keep him at the club until June 2013.
"Villarreal's short-and long-term project is very ambitious
and any player would want to be at this club," the Spain left-back told a news conference on Thursday. "My aim is to achieve
something great over the next two years."
Villarreal are nine points behind Real Madrid in third and
host promoted Real Sociedad on Sunday.
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