ICYMI – the euphoria edition (III)
In case you missed it – Barcelona vs. Real Madrid [2012-04-21, Liga jornada 35, 1-2].
As Pepe declared after the game, “we are Real Madrid, and betting against Madrid is always risky.” With that said, there’s really no need for any more introduction to this post on (almost) everything that happened once the final whistle blew, so here we go…
FIFTEEN. I’ll be quiet after this so you can relive and bask once again in the pure joy of seeing Madrid win at the Camp Nou, but I have to point out that before Iker started celebrating, he took the time out console Carles Puyol and Víctor Valdés. That is the mark of a true captain, and once again I will reiterate that Real Madrid and Spain are so lucky to have him.
SIXTEEN. The celebration!
The team of course took the time to thank all the brave fans who cheered on the team at the Camp Nou, with Pepe pointing at the escudo.
As the players headed into the tunnel, Benzema, Özil and Coentrão gave their shirts away to fans in stadium. Later on, Pepe gave his away at El Prat. Meanwhile, Álvaro Arbeloa tried to mess up Xabi Alonso’s interview, while Pepe once again showed off that escudo he loves so much.
SEVENTEEN. We got a glimpse of what happened in the Real Madrid locker room (though I think we would have preferred long, nice hard looks, no?) thanks to the photos that Sergio and Iker tweeted/posted. Sergio tweeted, “three more points towards glory, let’s continue working” and this photo below. Later on came a photo of him and “El Mariscal.” Oh Pepe, why did you have to position yourself there and block Esteban and José?
And this picture is of course memorable for Mesut Özil in his underwear and that bulge… It was sweet of Iker to hold up Rafa’s shirt too. but let’s be honest, we all noticed that about 20 minutes after we saw the photo, no? (That would be 15 minutes staring at Mesut and five at Sergio’s belly tattoo.)
Now, please tear yourself away from that photo and keep reading (don’t worry, you can return to it later, I won’t judge you).
EIGHTEEN. Once the boys had showered and changed, they started giving interviews.
Iker and his teammates were all cautious and not too euphoric yet (as compared to the rest of us!), repeating several times that the Liga has not been won yet. Nevertheless, Iker (and his perfect profile) said his team had taken “a giant step” forward, that the game was a nice one and it wasn’t easy at all. Showing his captain qualities once again, Iker asked that everyone be “respectful” with Barça because there are still four matchdays left to play. He also said he would give his team a “10” in all areas.
I also adored what Esteban Granero said: “it’s not the first time that we’ve been superior here, but the difference is that today we won.” And putting his psychology studies to good use, El Pirata said, with regards to the last several results at the Camp Nou, “we don’t have any psychological problems, but in the past we deserved more than what we achieved and today we did it.”
This is what Mesut Özil and Sami Khedira had to say; it’s a word for word transcription from their statements in Spanish. I think it’s quite easy to understand. Mes is still a bit hesitant while speaking, and Sami seems to want to speak a lot more, but is limited by his vocabulary. His Spanish flows quite nicely already, so go Sami! Mesut: “nosotros somos muy feliz, hemos jugado muy bien, es difícil para nosotros, pero hemos jugado muy bien, ganamos es muy importante para nosotros y ahora soy feliz.” Khedira: “yo sé es un gol histórico, pero para mí es muy importante la victoria, para el equipo es muy importante ganar en el Camp Nou y sí, hoy es día perfecto.”
NINETEEN. And then when Cris was giving an interview, Pepe came up behind him. Meanwhile, several of the boys returned to the field, to check out the stadium, which was empty except for the small group of Madrid fans, who were still singing and cheering and celebrating.
Xabi then took a seat in the stands, and at 22:56h, he tweeted this photo with the message, “relaxing and listening to Belle and Sebastian.”
He caught the eye of ESPN journalist Fernando Palomo, who tweeted that Xabi was “contemplating, reading messages on his mobile phone, sitting in the stands of the Camp Nou,” along with this photo. Palomo also informed us that “Mou came out of the tunnel to take a picture of the empty field.”
TWENTY. Aitor Karanka also preached caution at his press conference, reiterating that “the Liga is not finished yet. There are still games, very important points to be played. In the Bernabéu, we have two games that could make us champions. And we have to continue working hard.” As for Cristiano, Aitor remarked, “Cristiano has made us used to seeing great moments. There’s nothing new to say about Cristiano, he simply affirmed that he’s the best in the world.” Mesut also came in for some praise.
TWENTY ONE. Xavi didn’t speak after the game, but luckily we had Andrés Iniesta (“I don’t have the feeling that Madrid was superior”) and Sergio Busquets (“I believe we were better than they were”). The next day, at a press conference, Xavi opened his mouth and said, with no hint of irony at all (unlike the rest of Barça), “this team does know how to lose, we showed that in the final of the Copa [when you refused to shake Álvaro Arbeloa's hand?], and when we don’t win, we try to give a good image.” He did break with his standard practice and throw a bit of praise in Madrid’s direction by calling the team “effective.”
TWENTY TWO. Around 500 fans gave Madrid a raucous sending off at the airport in Barcelona, and then the team boarded their flight to return to Madrid, with Marcelo sporting very flat hair. Another 500 received the team upon their arrival in the capital, chanting and cheering.
The players boarded their bus directly from the tarmac, disappointing that fans waiting in the arrivals hall and around the airport. The reason given was that there were no security measures in place. My friend was very disappointed that the bus then headed to Valdebebas instead of Cibeles, where many madridistas were celebrating.
That’s because a couple thousand fans had amassed at the Plaza de Cibeles to celebrate Madrid’s victory over Barcelona. No incidents were reported, other than the massive traffic jams that resulted from the people dancing, jumping, singing and running around on the roads. Even bus drivers, security guards and street sweepers joined in the festivities!
And over in Sevilla, the kickoff time of the Sevilla-Levante game had been moved back from 22h to 22:30h so that people could watch all the post-game coverage from the Barcelona-Madrid match. That of course meant that the game would end on early Sunday morning! Only in Spain! To show their anger, Sevilla fans threw tennis balls onto the field, and held up a sign reading “stop the game, Mou is speaking.” Shouldn’t it be Karanka? They also chanted, “I’ve had it up to here with Barça and Madrid.”
I haven’t, not at all, with Madrid I mean, so ¡Hala Madrid!