Real Madrid has been under a cloud this season. It has been Valencia, Barca, and now Sevilla that have challenged for the La Liga title. But there is optimism at the Bernabeu now as a group of South American youngsters who have been creating waves have signed on. The new signings include Fernando Gago, Gonzalo Higuain, and Marcelo.
Gago is already being compared to Fernando Redondo, the legendary Real player who played defensive midfielder and beloved at the Bernabeu for his outstanding playmaking abilities. Gago previously played for last season's ill fated Boca Juniors who lost the Apertura title in a stunning upset to Estudiantes. It will be interesting to see how Gago shares his time on the field with that of Guti, Real's playmaker, whose place on the team has been tenuous at times. Higuain, a former River Plate player who claims both Argentinian and French nationality will challenge Van Nistelrooy and Ronaldo for a place in the attack. Marcelo is a left back who was transfered from Brazilian club Flamengo and should bolster the defence led by Fabio Cannavaro, who at times has looked extremely flatfooted.
Creaky jointed and George Best's favourite whipping boy David Beckham is also working out a new contract that will enable him to stay on at Real. Fabio Capello has a real juggling act to follow this second half of the season.