Interesting things that are not worth their own posts…
ONE. I see that some of you are already writing off Madrid in the Liga this season, but if you’ve been following this team for a while, you know that they have the capacity to make comebacks, and that Barcelona has stumbled in the past as well. I for one will continue to believe in this team until the end.
The players themselves said after the game that not all hope is lost.
Granero: we’re not losing hope with the loss of two points. We have a lot of potential and we can win the Liga.
Arbeloa: it would be crazy to say the Liga is out of reach. They were two important points, because in this competition all points are important, but we’re not going to give up now… we have to try and win everything.
Sergio Ramos: it’s too early to say there’s a winner of the Liga now. Obviously, we’re going to continue fighting for the title.
Kaká: we still have the segunda vuelta ahead of us, and there’s still a lot left to play.
TWO. Data from the primera vuelta show that Cristiano Ronaldo was the most-used player on the squad, and that 14 footballers have played 89% of the minutes in all three competitions.
Cristiano has played 2,526 minutes out of a possible 2,700 (30 games), and is followed by Iker with 2,520 and Marcelo with 2,338. The rest of the 14 are Xabi (2,283), Carvalho (1,927), Di María (1,927), Özil (1,891), Sergio (1,889), Pepe (1,862), Khedira (1,833), Arbeloa (1,661), Higuaín (1,379), Benzema (1,257) and Lass (1,078).
After that, the gap is quite large. The 15th position is filled by Albiol, with 792 minutes. He’s followed by Pedro León (563), Granero (540), Canales (332), Diarra (312), Kaká (156), Adán (135), Garay (107), Gago (101), Mateos (79) and Dudek (45). Three canteranos fill out the rest of the list: Juanfran with 20, Sarabia with 18 and MFC with 16.
THREE. Over in Chicago, Gonzalo Higuaín will meet with Dr. Fessler on Wednesday (the doctor had a fully booked schedule on Tuesday and couldn’t fit Gonzalo in). If he passes the tests, then he can return to Madrid on Thursday. Pipita is feeling much better and has spent the last week resting in the hotel, and taking walks in the morning and afternoon.
FOUR. Other injury news: Jerzy Dudek should be back in practice with the team this week.
FIVE. The Copa del Rey game on Thursday means that Iker’s nomination as a UN goodwill ambassador will once again be delayed. The new date is Jan. 24 in Zürich.
SIX. Speaking of Switzerland, José Mourinho will be named in Geneva this afternoon as an ambassador of deLaCour watches, and he will present the limited edition Mourinho City Ego Collection.
SEVEN. Carles Puyol told Portuguese web site Maisfutebol that he worked with José Mourinho during his first years at Barcelona, and that “he’s a good person and a good coach… the titles he won speak for themselves.”
See that Barcelona fans? A coach, not a translator. Right from the mouth of your very own captain. So get over it.