Sunday, July 24, 2005

Real Madrid to 'show no mercy' in Japan

Real Madrid have warned that they will show no mercy against troubled Tokyo Verdy in the first of two pre-season friendlies in Japan on Monday. The Spanish giants take on a Verdy side who have conceded 26 goals in their last six games and have just fired Argentine coach Osvaldo Ardiles, Reuters reports.

"Verdy may have problems but that doesn't concern us," Real captain Raul told a news conference after the team's arrival in Japan on Sunday. "We will still be trying to score as many goals as possible. All the players are proud to be part of this Real Madrid team and we will be looking to prove our strength tomorrow."

Real Madrid beat China's Beijing Guo'an 3-2 on Saturday in the third game on their lucrative six-match pre-season tour. China state newsagency, Xinhua, reported that heavy rain dampened Chinese fans' enthusiasm for Real's super stars. Only a little more than half seats of the stadium, with a full capacity of more than 70,000 people, were occupied in contrast to the sellout crowd in the United States where Real played their first two tour games:

Right before the start of the match, more than 600 RMB yuan tickets had been sold at the price of 200 yuan by scalpers out of the stadium, and the 180-yuan ones depreciated to 40.

In an internet survey conducted by the web company sina.com.cn, over 96% of participants thought that Real came to China with the sole goal of making money. About 62% said they wouldn't support Real for sure if they came again, and another 27% said they were bored by the super star show and wouldn't be crazy as before.
Real Madrid play J-League side Jubilo Iwata in Tokyo on Wednesday before finishing their trip with a friendly in Bangkok