la liga news

New Madrid chief: Robben is better than Messi

January 20, 2009
By Soccernet staff

New Real Madrid president Vicente Boluda has heaped praise on in-form winger Arjen Robben, insisting he would not even swap the Dutchman for Barcelona ace Lionel Messi.

GettyImagesArjen Robben: In top form now he's injury free.

Messi, who recently finished runner-up to Cristiano Ronaldo in the FIFA World Player of the Year awards, is enjoying a fairytale campaign at Barca and his performances have seen him showered with praise from all corners.

However, Boluda, who took over as interim Madrid president following last week's resignation of Ramon Calderon, admits he prefers Robben to the Argentinian.

"Robben is the more entertaining and I would not change him for Messi. He is the more electric player," Boluda told Spanish radio station Cadena SER.

Boluda also admits he is a big fan of Madrid coach Juande Ramos, who has won five of his six competitive matches since replacing Bernd Schuster in December.

Ramos' current deal at the reigning Primera Liga champions is only until the end of the season, but Boluda fully expects the former Sevilla boss to still be in charge next campaign.

"I think Juande is a great coach and that he is going to continue at Madrid next year because, moreover, he has a clause which says if he wins any title he will continue," added Boluda.

Boluda also said Real Madrid will take their bid to register new signings Klaas Jan Huntelaar and Lassana Diarra for the Champions League to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

UEFA's appeals body said last week the Spanish club's bid to register the pair, who have already competed in UEFA competition this season with their previous clubs, had been rejected.

UEFA regulations say clubs can register as many as three new players for the knockout rounds by Feb. 1 but only one who has already played this season in Europe with another club.

Asked if Real would appeal the UEFA ruling at CAS, Real President Vicente Boluda said: "Yes. Because the club members will demand of us that we do everything possible for Madrid to the end."