Real Madrid vs. Fiorentina: Winners and Losers from Warsaw Friendly
A motivated Fiorentina side beat Real Madrid 2-1 in Warsaw on Saturday.
Mario Gomez and Marcos Alonso scored the goals for La Viola, who overcame Cristiano Ronaldo’s opener for Los Blancos to post an impressive win over the European champions.
Granted, Madrid looked content to cruise through the 90 minutes in the Polish capital, and while one of their players, in particular, appeared keen to put in a performance many of his teammates simply went through the motions.
There were several other takeaways from the friendly encounter, and over the next few slides we’ll highlight just a few of Saturday’s winners and losers.
Winner: Angel Di Maria, Who Had Something to Prove
With rumours continuing to swirl regarding his future with Real Madrid, Angel Di Maria did everything he could have done against Fiorentina to catch the eye of both his own manager, Carlo Ancelotti, and those various others contemplating bids for his services.
One of those, according to The Mirror, is thought to be Manchester United’s Louis van Gaal, whose own side lost 2-1 to Swansea earlier in the day.
Di Maria, quite simply, was Madrid’s best player against Fiorentina, and he picked up an assist on Cristiano Ronaldo’s opener.
Loser: Xabi Alonso, Whose Giveaway Allowed Fiorentina to Equalise
Xabi Alonso had a night to forget in Warsaw on Saturday.
The Real Madrid midfielder played only the first 45 minutes against Fiorentina, but it was enough to gift the Serie A side a mid-period equaliser following a terrible giveaway in the centre of the park.
Looking to play a back-pass to Marcelo, Xabi Alonso could only watch on in horror as Alberto Aquilani ran onto the ball and crossed for Mario Gomez to head into the back of the net.
Winner: Alberto Aquilani, Who Was a Difference-Maker
Aquilani, who was much-maligned during his brief time at Liverpool, has enjoyed something of an Italian renaissance at Fiorentina.
On Saturday against Real Madrid the 30-year-old was a difference-maker for his side in a 2-1 win.
Not only did he set up the Gomez equaliser, but he also hammered a shot off the bar not long after and generally combined well with both David Pizarro and Borja Valero.
Winner: Cristiano Ronaldo, Who Just Can’t Stop Scoring
It doesn’t seem to matter if it’s a domestic fixture, a European final or a pre-season friendly in Poland, Ronaldo simply can’t stop scoring.
He scored twice in Real Madrid’s 2-0 win over Sevilla in the UEFA Super Cup match last week, and on Saturday he netted once again—albeit this time in a losing effort to Fiorentina in Warsaw.
He was also withdrawn after 45 minutes—a precaution, no doubt, with Madrid’s Spanish Super Cup first leg against Atletico Madrid drawing close.
Loser: James Rodriguez, Who Has Yet to Make a Madrid Impact
James Rodriguez looks a bit off the pace this month, although given his standout performance at the World Cup it should only be a matter of time before he’s back in a purple patch of form.
Still, early returns have been less than exceptional for the Colombian, who was acquired for €60 million last month.
Winner: Borja Valero, Who Was Anticipating This Match
Borja Valero began his football career as a Real Madrid trainee, and on Saturday he got to face his former club in Warsaw.
It was an occasion the Spaniard admitted to be looking forward to.
“Clearly, it is a special game for me, as I grew up in the ‘cantera’ of Real Madrid, and naturally I’m happy to face them,” he remarked prior to the match, as per Football Italia.
The midfielder was generally Fiorentina’s best player against the European champions, and at 30 he’s showing no signs of slowing down.