ICYMI – the great expectations edition
In case you missed it – Real Zaragoza vs. Real Madrid [2011-08-28, Liga jornada 2, 0-6].
Cristiano Ronaldo started the season as he had ended the last one, scoring, while Mesut Özil and Xabi Alonso showed their class, vision and overall jefe-ness as they dominated the midfield. And Kaká, despite only playing 14 minutes, was brilliant. Madrid’s start to the season was a good one, compared to the tie in their first game of last season. I’m so excited for this season!
ONE. I could watch the boys stretch all day. And of course, Xabi was doling out instructions like the jefe he is. I think he would look really hot in an army uniform (he and Álvaro should dress up together…).
TWO. More pre-game moments, as you know those are my favorite. After giving his own teammates high-fives, Gonzalo Higuaín hugged fellow Argentine and Zaragoza captain Leonardo Ponzio. Both he and Kaká showed off their gorgeous smiles as they emerged from the tunnel.
THREE. Cristiano scored a hat trick – his seventh as a Real Madrid player – and ended up taking home the game ball. Meanwhile, Xabi Alonso also scored a goal, his second of the season (if you count the Supercopa), meaning that he has already doubled his output of last year, when he scored just one goal in the Copa, against Murcia. I’m loving the little shoulder massage Cris gave to Mesut, and how Marcelo mussed up Xabi’s hair!
However, my favorite goal celebration of the night was Marcelo and his pirueta. I’d love to see him and Sergio coordinate something and flip together!
Oh, Marcelo… I wonder what he was trying to say here? And poor Mesut, waiting patiently for that high five.
It looks like Cris has carried over his patented goal celebration to this season. Also making it to this season is the hair-grabbing celebration – for his goal, Kaká was rewarded with some hair pulling from Sergio Ramos (notice that Sergio has both his hands in Ricky’s hair) and José Callejón. Maybe that’s why Pepe prefers a shaved head… When José scores his first goal, I wonder if his hair will move if his teammates celebrate like this…
Pepe also has the right idea in trying to pull up Karim’s shirt, and how adorable is Marcelo’s little face?
FOUR. I didn’t think it was possible for Iker to look more like a banana, but he proved me wrong while making a save, as he curved his body just like a banana. Seriously, back up a few steps and look at your monitor – he looks exactly like a banana, and the captain’s armband even provides the little black part at the top! With that said, he’d be a particularly delicious banana…
Against Zaragoza, Iker played his 421st game in the first division, moving him past Santi Cañizares into sixth place in the most number of Liga games played by a goalkeeper. Iker’s next goal is none other than Ricardo Zamora, who is in fifth place with 455 games. By the way, Iker has started 419 of those 421 games, and kept a clean sheet in 142 of them. His winning percentage is 63 percent.
FIVE. Random moments – Marcelo putting on his left boot before the game (love the color) and Mesut Özil winking at Kaká as he came out, and then high-fiving his teammates.
SIX. Sergio, front and back. The back has to be included so we can admire that gorgeous hair (again).
SEVEN. The halftime also provided some cute moments, from Iker (he doesn’t need to be doing anything for me to consider it a cute moment, he just needs to be there) to the newest bromance of Gonzalo Higuaín and José Callejón (remember that Trofeo Bernabéu moment?). Notice Gonzalo’s hand on José’s back… I definitely approve of this pairing.
EIGHT. I wonder if he missed the sixth goal.
NINE. Cris showed off his full repertoire of frustrated expressions during this game. I love how intensely he lives the games, despite the score, or how much time is left.
TEN. I love post-game moments too, because I adore seeing rival players hug it out. And remove their shirts, though we just got one flash from José Callejón last night.
ELEVEN. The Xabi Alonso pose section.™
What else is there to say besides jefe? I know I sound like a broken record, but that’s the perfect description for him, no? Especially since it’s also a Xabi Alonso-approved word.
TWELVE. The Mou corner.
In his post-game press conference, Mou praised his men for playing seriously, and for being motivated and concentrated until the last minute. He was also happy that this season started out with a win, in contrast to last year’s tie against Mallorca, though he also wants his players to score: “the most important thing is winning, but I like for my players to score goals. His (Cristiano’s) happiness depends a lot on if he scores but the important thing is that we won today.”
THIRTEEN. Other post-game declarations.
Cristiano was satisfied with the result of the opening day: “we have to congratulate the team, which played well, and if I scored, it’s thanks to them. They help me and I help them, it’s like that. It doesn’t matter if I score 10, 20 or 30 goals in the end, since it’s the team that matters. We’re a team and that’s how we’re going to win the Liga. We won’t win anything if we’re not all together. I’m going to try and collaborate with my goals, but collective results are the priority. We started out in the best possible way, and we shouldn’t focus on what others do, but rather on winning our games and thinking about us.” He also said that no one at Madrid is untouchable and had praise for Kaká.
(Notice how Cris has Marcelino’s hair between his fingers… And by the way, though I wasn’t too sure about the gold when I heard about it, I do like this season’s jerseys, both home and away. Can’t wait to see the red one!)
Meanwhile, when asked about his goal, Xabi said, “it’s anecdotal, the important thing is that we won. The goal helped because it happened at the beginning of the second half and it gave us tranquility.”
And Sergio tweeted that “I want to dedicate this victory to my great friend Antonio Puerta and his family. He left us four years ago today.”
FOURTEEN. Other things.
- I adore this video from the fan session in Zaragoza. After all, it starts out with Raúl Albiol bopping Álvaro Arbeloa on the head with a globe. Then we get some fun histories. The father of the family with the globe says that the globe represents the universality of Madrid, and that their one-year-old son “doesn’t know how to say ‘Hala Madrid’ yet but he will learn.” We also hear from a member of the Peña Los Blancos in Belarus, which has 80 members despite being “such a small country.” But my favorite one has to be the “lifelong culé” woman who’s about to get married to a madridista de corazón (I mean, their wedding invitation is a Marca mock-up, mentions their affiliations and has the “opinions” of the cracks!). The future groom says the question wasn’t whether she’d marry him, but whether she’d convert to Real Madrid if they did, and the girl says, “yes, I’ll do it for love.” The video ends with a bunch of cute kids professing their love for Madrid.
- a nice gesture from Real Madrid: they ordered their press department to bring some players out into the parking area, so that the radio journalists could interview them, as these journalists were prohibited from entering the stadium. That’s because the Spanish Liga wants broadcasters to pay a new fee of about €15 million to transmit the games live, and so far the radio stations are refusing to do so, so they were banned from all the stadiums where games were being played (though Sevilla allowed the journalists to enter the Sánchez Pizjuán).
- jajajaja!!!!! The sign says, “anti-Mou glasses.”
- David Mateos went to visit his former teammates at their hotel before the game on Sunday, as he was prohibited from suiting up for the game.
- Madrid doesn’t return to training until Wednesday afternoon, as this week is an international week.
FIFTEEN. Over in Cuenca, Castilla beat Conquense 2-0 behind goals from Omar and Denis as Nacho was expelled with a direct red card, leaving Castilla to play with 10 for the last 25 minutes. This game also saw Pedro Mendes debut for Castilla (after the red card to Nacho, Alberto Toril took out Denis and put in Pedro), and the return of Dani Carvajal after almost a month out due to the injury he suffered in the U-19 Euro semifinals. He ended up being the captain once Nacho was removed. The boys’ next game is on Sunday against Albacete at the Di Stéfano.
After the game, Dani said, “being the captain of the best filial of the world means a lot, but it’s anecdotal, the most important thing is the win and to continue moving forward.” Does that sound familiar? Xabi said almost the exact same thing! I love players like these.