Real Madrid coach Vanderlei Luxemburgo has
complained about the lack of balance in his squad and said he warned
club officials about the team's weaknesses when he took charge at the
end of last year.
"I knew this squad would have problems facing up to playing on Sundays
and Wednesdays and I said that to (director of football Arrigo) Sacchi
and (vice-president) Emilio Butragueno when I met with them, " the
Brazilian told Radio station Onda Madrid.
"We don't have a squad that is balanced enough to play so many matches
in tough competitions...I would like to change the positions of some of
the players but I just can't do it."
Luxemburgo, who is the third coach in charge of Real this season, got
off to an excellent start when he steered his new side to a seven-match
winning streak at the start of the year.
At the same time Real signed Denmark international Thomas Gravesen from
Everton during the January transfer window in an attempt to add some
steel to their attack-minded midfield which contains Zinedine Zidane,
Luis Figo and David Beckham.
But league leaders Barcelona withstood the pressure and Real dropped off
the pace once more after costly defeats against Athletic Bilbao,
Deportivo Coruna and Getafe.
Real are now 11 points behind Barcelona in second place in the standings
with just nine games to play. The two sides meet at the Bernabeu on
Eliminated from both the King's Cup and the Champions League, Real face
the prospect of a second successive season without winning a major
trophy, something that has not occurred since 1992.
Luxemburgo dismissed suggestions that one of the reasons why the team
had failed to live up to expectations was that he had been told that the
club's high-profile players had to feature in the side on a regular
"No one from the club, not even the president himself, has told me that
Beckham has to play or Ronaldo has to play," he said.
And despite the setbacks Luxemburgo said he was confident he could turn
things around at the club.
"I have absolutely no doubt that I can do well at Real because my teams
have always been competitive, aggressive and have played good football."