today’s news bulletin
ONE. A couple more special moments from Sunday’s game against Real Sociedad, courtesy of Cuatro and Canal +’s “El Día Después.”
Before the game, Cris was giving Manolito instructions in English. On the right, they are “the ball, to your head.”
Iker tried to fire up his teammates, and when there’s a language barrier, gestures will do. A thumbs up is unfortunately universally understood.
Yesterday, we had Cristiano breathing. Today, we have Xabi. I also love the way he clutches his shirt. And Cristiano must have no voice after games, with all the amount of shouting he does. It seems like he’s saying “falta” (foul) here.
Cristiano wasn’t the only one giving instructions to Adebayor. Kaká was too. Football, broken down to the simplest terms: “We pass the ball. Stay there.” And check out Xabi in charge!
TWO. The Laureus awards were handed out yesterday in Abu Dhabi, and there was several former and current madridistas there (and all looking fabulous in their suits and tuxedos).
One of them even won an award – the only and only Zinedine Zidane, who received the lifetime achievement award. The award was presented along with a video, in which two of his former Madrid teammates spoke. David Beckham said that Zidane was “a real genius, the best” while Raúl said of Zizou’s goal in the 2002 Champions League final, “everyone remembers his magnificent goal.” And the sweet Zizou dedicated the award to wife Veronique, also in attendance, because they’re celebrating their 20th wedding anniversary. Madrid fan Rafa Nadal also took home a trophy, for sportsman of the year, and the Spanish national team, which includes five Madrid players, won the team of the year award.
The charity football game organized by the Laureus Foundation was also filled with ex-madridistas. Manolo Sanchís captained one of the sides, and Iván Helguera, Steve “Macca” McManaman and Christian Karembeu played. (I see that neither Iván nor his wife Lorena’s dress sense has improved since they left Madrid.) Fabio Cannavaro couldn’t play as he’s injured, but he did say that “I keep Madrid in my heart and I keep up with their news. I know that in the Liga, there’s a gap between them and Barça, but it’s not definitive, and you always have to keep an eye on Madrid.” Luis Figo was also in attendance.
Rafa was asked about “his Madrid” at the Laureus Awards, and this was his response: “I’m can’t say that the team is doing badly, but Barcelona distorts the reality of Madrid. The season has been fantastic, and that of Barcelona has been abnormal. The team that Madrid has is young and it’s prepared for anything. But when you face up against a rival like that, you can only applaud. Having such a formidable rival can also be positive – I’ve had to face the best in history, Roger Federer. It demands me to give 100 percent, which makes you improve. And Madrid has an opportunity to learn.” I love the slicked back hair!
THREE. Aitor Karanka recently spoke with COPE’s “Así son las mañanas” and this is what he had to say:
On Mou: I met him six months ago and of the people that really know him, I think everyone admires him. And when you meet him, you have no doubts about that. From the first moment, he became the real star of this team, with his normal and open way of managing the locker room, so that everyone who works with him wins.
On the team: We were happy with the team that we had, and the arrival of Adebayor helped to make it more complete. You have to keep in mind that Canales is 18 years old and he has to learn and mature, the same with Pedro, since being in Getafe and being in Real Madrid are different things.
On his role: As a player, you’re always complaining about the coaches and now that you’re in that role, you understand what the coaches think when you complain. And in my role as the assistant coach, I’m here to help the players in this respect.
FOUR. Vicente del Bosque spoke with “El Larguero” last night and proved once again he’s a gentleman, and that I hold grudges much, much longer than he does. When asked about whether Real Madrid owes him some kind of tribute (YES!!!), he said, “Real Madrid is special because they don’t owe me anything. I was very happy in this club and I was there for so many years that it’s actually me who owes them something.” He also said he would not return to coach Real Madrid.
Are you nostalgic yet? Zidane, Figo, Macca, Sanchís, Karanka, Helguera, Karembeu, Raúl, Becks, Del Bosque…. I kind of wish it were 2000-2003 again. But since it’s not, here is the rest of the news, which features current Madrid players.
FIVE. Cristiano Ronaldo flew to Switzerland yesterday, and here’s what happened at Barajas. Cristiano was wearing a cap and sunglasses in an attempt not to be recognized, but when your cap AND jacket are covered with the Gucci logo and your outfit is kind of flamante (and complete with your trademark huuuuge belt buckle), you will be recognized. Well, that and the presence of his two travel companions, a certain Ricardo Carvalho and a certain Marcelo, as well as the Real Madrid shopping bag that Cris was toting around. I want to know what’s in that bag, and why it’s worn out at the bottom? What has he been carrying around in it? All that = not low key at all.
Marcelo soon left to take his flight (to France I presume), leaving the two Portuguese alone. They headed to their gate for their flight to Geneva, and Cris wanted to wait in a corner. However, Carvalho insisted on having a coffee, so he dragged Cris to a café. The waitress there couldn’t believe her eyes. Cris sat in seat 1A on the flight.
And then “Ricky” Carvalho (that’s what he’s called by his Portuguese national team teammates) flew right back. He had to abandon the country’s concentración in Switzerland due to pain in his left leg. He has already returned to Madrid to speak with the team doctors and hopefully be ready for this weekend’s game against Espanyol.
SIX. Kaká, in an interview with Globo TV, said of this season: “in the summer, a lot of things were said about me, about my exit from this club. But Mourinho came and told me, ‘don’t pay attention to that, I’m counting on you and you’re staying here.’ He was always there for me in my recovery process and now he’s giving me opportunities. Due to my own limitations, I can’t give him everything he’s asking of me, but I’ll soon recover my speed and return to my best level.” Since he wasn’t called up for Brazil over this international break, Kaká flew to Paris yesterday with Caroline for a mini-vacation. He also said in the interview that the names they are considering for their baby girl are Natalie, Julia, Sophie and Isabella. Which ones sounds best next to Cristiano Jr.? I’m imagining the wedding invitations already.
SEVEN. Late news: David de Gea is injured, and so Tomás Mejías was called up to fill his spot on Spain’s U-21 team. They play a friendly tonight against Denmark in Guadalajara. Yay, a Real Madrid player finally made that team!