CARSON, Calif. -- It almost seems like too much to ask for a team nearly guaranteed to cram more than 50 games in a season to engage in a month-long preseason campaign that stretches from Spain to both coasts in America.
And yet, that's precisely what Real Madrid is being asked to do.
After downing Real Oviedo in Madrid and surprisingly falling to Benfica in Lisbon, Portugal, Real Madrid was instructed to go west, far west. Southern California was Los Merengues' first stop in the United States, facing old colleague David Beckham and the LA Galaxy at the Home Depot Center.
Despite the torturous travel schedule, midfielder Esteban Granero seems grateful that the 32-time La Liga champ is being put to the test early and often before embarking on the defense of its most recent domestic title.
"Preseason for Spanish teams is very long," Granero admitted, "but participating in these types of games is important because it helps us grab hold of a good rhythm and build up our speed."
Real Madrid thrashed Los Angeles in the end, putting up four goals when it seemed at times that the visitor just as easily could have scored six or seven. Granero was proud of the victory, noting that it speaks highly of his team to beat a squad in midseason form.
"Last year, [Galaxy] was the league champion, so it's always hard," Granero said. "For any champion, it's hard to maintain a team's base [and they've done that]."
Asked if the sheer number of preseason games had any negative impact, Granero was clear.
"Surely, we're preparing adequately. The team is well prepared for next season."
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