x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Calderón offers win bonus

Real Madrid's desperation to turn around a poor run of form has led to the president Ramon Calderón offering his players a cash bonus.

MADRID // Real Madrid's desperation to turn around a poor run of form has led to the president Ramon Calderón offering his players a cash bonus if they can win five games in a row. Calderón has reportedly offered each player an incentive bonus of ?120,000 (Dh555,000) for a grand total of about ?2.5 million if the defending Spanish champions can string together five wins. "Last season we were the team with the most goals scored, the fewest goals allowed and we set a new record for points. And all of this happened only a couple of months ago, not 10 years," Calderón told Madrid's players and coaching staff at a team function on Friday, according to various media outlets.

Calderón is counting on league victories over Recreativo Huelva, Getafe and Sevilla and the Champions League wins against Zenit St. Petersburg and BATE Borisov. Calderón stopped short of six straight wins with victory against leader Barcelona at the Camp Nou necessary to achieve that. Calderón gave Madrid players a hefty bonus last December following a 1-0 win over its old rival, which it trails by five points in the table.

"It was an important lunch because there was tension," the defender Michel Salgado said. "We need to relax and be united like we had been the past two years. This team is strong." Real are without a win in three league matches, with speculation continuing that the coach Bernd Schuster could be fired if they loses to Recreativo. *AP