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Galacticos get Real

sports Updated: Aug 10, 2009 14:07 IST

Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema led Real Madrid through their first pre-season practice to kick off the world most expensive club’s second ‘Galactico’ era at the Valdebebas training camp on Friday.

New coach Manuel Pellegrini spoke to the team briefly ahead of the training session that included most of Madrid’s 29 players except Brazil playmaker Kaka, defenders Sergio Ramos, Raul Albiol, goalkeeper Iker Casillas and midfielder Daniel Parejo. They will join the team on July 27. the training session also included five new players.

Striker Ruud van Nistelrooy and midfielder Mahamadou Diarra trained for the first time after missing a major part of the last season due to knee injuries.

Real still chasing Liverpool’s Alonso

Real Madrid are still chasing Liverpool midfielder Xabi Alonso, sporting director Miguel Pardeza said on Friday.

“Madrid should not rule out an option until it has been finally closed off,” Pardeza said at a news conference.

I turned down United: Benzema

Karim Benzema has revealed that he rejected advances from Manchester United, Barcelona and Internazionale before agreeing a move to Real Madrid.

“There were quite a few clubs that contacted me, like ManUtd, Inter and Barcelona, but I decided to come here,” said the fourth new arrival to be unveiled by the Spanish giants.

Fabregas on his way to Barcelona?

According to reports, Arsenal skipper Cesc Fabregas could be on his way to Barca if the Spanish champs are willing to cough up $40m for the midfielder.