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AS.com | 30/12/2012
1. Winning 'number ten'
Real Madrid haven't won the Champions League since 2002. Mourinho broke the curse of going out in the last 16 for 6 years on the bounce and has taken them to the semi-finals two years running (against Barça and Bayern). But the fans' dream about getting their hands on number ten on 25 May at Wembley. They are set to play Manchester United on 12 February in the last 16, with the return leg on 5 March.
2. Cristiano's contract renewal
The Portuguese star has 169 goals in 170 games (an average of 0.99). He has been a favourite among the Madrid fans ever since he was unveiled in July 2009 in front of 85,000. He currently sports the finest goal average in the club's history ahead of Puskas (0.93) Pahíño (0.86) and Di Stéfano (0.77). He doesn't want a new deal (his current contract runs out in 2015) because he is unhappy with the president; Madrid and 'madridismo', on the other hand, are very keen to see him stay.
3. A new coach
Rafa Benítez told Spanish radio station Onda Cero on 21 December: "My future? I know certain things, but I'm not going to talk about Madrid because I shouldn't." The 16 point gap that has opened up between Madrid and Barcelona has eclipsed last season's record-breaking campaign (100 points and 121 goals) and the fans want new blood. Löw, another name being linked with the club, dodged the issue only a few days ago: "Mourinho's contract runs until 2016," while Lippi also said something similar from China.
4. Signing Spanish players
The squad currently has nine Spanish players on the books (Casillas, Adán, Ramos, Albiol, Arbeloa, Xabi Alonso, Callejón, Morata and Nacho). Mourinho has only signed one Spaniard out of his 12 transfer requests: Essien, Modric, Sahin, Altintop, Varane, Coentrao, Callejón, Adebayor, Özil, Di María, Carvalho and Khedira, and Madrid fans have been finding it difficult to work out how the likes of Cazorla, Silva and Javi Martínez have gone to play abroad...
5. Signing Falcao
The Colombian has muscled his way into the 'Pichichi' (top scorer) battle between Messi (26) and Cristiano (14). The Atlético Madrid striker currently has 17 in 16 league games this season, and, although under contract until 2016, he is rumoured to be on his way sometime soon: "At some point I'd like to play for a different team." His father also repeated one of the player's lifelong ambitions: "My son dreams of playing for Madrid."
6. Backing young players
Madrid fans want more involvement from La Fábrica in 2013. With Mou it has barely moved forward. This year he gave José Rodríguez and Cheryshev a chance, while Morata had his moment of glory against Levante by grabbing the winner. However it has all been short-lived - although Mou has given 27 young players their debut, he has hardly used them since. Jesé and Raúl de Tomás deserve their chance in the New Year. Young players are the future...
7. Recovering the club's dignity
"Dignity is not just some cheap philosophy, it's dying on the pitch," Mou said after the 3-2 win against Manchester City. These values are in contrast to 2001, when Florentino put Valdano in charge of the blue book. "One cannot argue against referees. It is a sign of weakness. Madrid never complain," were just some of the guidelines. Almost 7,000 voters want to see a return to this Madrid.
8. Playing better football
Madrid have lost the punch and powerful footballing style they possessed last season. Only against Barça in the Supercopa and the league match in the Camp Nou did they shine. This year Mou has resorted to using Ramos as a striker, a sign of desperation. Modric, brought in to improve from last year, has only started 10 out of 26 games.
9. Mourinho staying
Mourinho has 20 titles under his belt and many fans would like to see him stay. Between 2004 and his arrival in 2010, Real Madrid had only won four trophies: two Ligas and two Supercopas. After two seasons with 'los blancos' the Portuguese had won three: one Liga, one Copa del Rey and one Supercopa; hence the reason why many want to keep him at the club.
10. Florentino staying
2013 is election year. Florentino has now reached four years in his second stint as president of Real Madrid. In 2009 it didn't even reach the ballot boxes; Florentino was the only candidate and was named president. He brought in Pelligrini and signed Cristiano, Kaká, Benzema, Xabi Alonso, Albiol, Arbeloa, Granero and Garay. This year there is Cristiano's contract renewal and Mourinho's future at the club (his contract runs until 2016) on the table.
11. Another president
Although there are no official candidates, there are members that are considering it and working with future candidates for the elections. In the last Assembly, Madrid changed the Regulations to accede to the presidency. It was approved with 997 votes in favour and 100 against. To be a candidate it is necessary to have 20 years of seniority as a member and guarantee 15% of the budget with a banking institution registered in Spain.
12. The Copa del Rey
This trophy came last on the list of AS readers' priorities. On 9 January, Madrid play the second leg of the last 16 against Celta (they lost in the first leg 2-1). In theory they will face Barça in the in the semi-finals if both get through. The Copa del Rey was Mou's first trophy, when they beat Barça in the final in 2011 with a goal from Cristiano, the first success in the competition for 22 years.