day three at “oook-la”
This morning, Real Madrid announced that Álvaro Arbeloa’s contract has been extended to the 2015-16 season!
In his four seasons with Madrid (this is counting the 2004-05 season when he played two games), our canterano has played in 123 games and has scored three goals. He told the web site that he’s very happy and proud, that it’s an honor to be part of this club, that the míster has brought out the best in him and made him a better player, and that he’s very thankful to all the fans who have given him their affection. Too bad they didn’t ask him any interesting questions, such as who Pipita is going to choose as his bestie this season, when he (Álvaro) is going to race Iker again or who else he’s going to convince to join twitter, and if he’s taking suggestions! (I would vote for Marcelo.)
Tuesday was another double session day, where the intensity was ramped up. Rafa Varane was able to join his teammates for the morning session after training apart from them the previous day. However, Xabi Alonso was unable to finish the session, leaving before it ended due to some pains in his right ankle. As he was driven off in a golf cart, he told some fans who wanted his autograph that he had landed poorly on the foot. He didn’t participate in the afternoon session, instead working out in the gym. Meanwhile, Fábio Coentrão left the afternoon session early, as a precaution after feeling some pain. As for José Campos, his work in the pre-season so far consists of helping the four canteranos to improve their shot and speed.
The boy band shots are back! I seem to associate those with the pre-season, although with no new signings or canteranos this year, we might not get “proper” (posed) ones. I see that Karim still has not perfected his “sexy face” yet… that might explain why he needs both a Blackberry and an iPhone, so that he can take lots of practice photos.
The team received another visit on Tuesday, this time in the form of one John Coughran, an American who had played for the basketball team between 1975-78. He’ll also watch Madrid take on the Galaxy on Thursday. I hope Sergio didn’t get any ideas from John’s western-style shirt… I can totally see Sergio’s mission for this time in the U.S. as getting a pair of cowboy boots (and whatever color jeans is missing from his collection).
Pepe spoke to the press in between the training sessions. Regarding the team, he said, “we’re working very hard and the team is on its way to a very high level so that when we begin the competition, we’ll be ready. We know each other much better this year, and it’s also the third year with the míster, so we know his mentality much more and we’re much more capable of playing in all the competitions.” He also said he wasn’t worried that Madrid hasn’t signed anyone yet, since “last year we won the Liga with the same footballers who are here.”
During his comments to the press, he also sent some encouragement Kaká and Coentrão’s way. When responding to a question about Ricky, Pepe responded, “Kaká is a fantastic player. He’s part of our team. I’m happy to share a locker room with him. We understand that he’s a Real Madrid player and we have to give him all our affection.” As for Fábio, Pepe said, “he doesn’t have to demonstrate anything to anyone. My signing was also questioned, and thanks to God I had the luck of having things go well for me. The fans love me and I’m happy. Fábio is a new boy, he’s spent his whole career in Portugal, he had a bad experience in Zaragoza and now he has the opportunity to play for the best club in the world. He has a lot of quality, and I believe that Fábio and Marcelo are the best fullbacks in the world and it’s a privilege for Madrid to have both of them. I’m sure that the fans will also give him their affection.”
Today’s Pipita phrase: “Menos mujeres que en una película de guerra,” courtesy of Álvaro Arbeloa’s twitter. This one is much easier to translate: “there’s less women (here) than in a war movie.”
The boys haven’t been sharing many too many shots from their time in LA, so luckily Mesut came to the rescue, giving us this cute photo from the team bus. Like Iker, he also got tan!
And here are a couple of moments from the baseball game the other day. As we can see, Xabi is very skilled with a bat (there’s really nothing he’s not good at, is there?) while Gonzalo Higuaín isn’t as good. In the video, he appears to blame his lack of success on Calleti’s pitching, and later on, he does connect on a few balls. I wonder if he uttered a “Pipita Quote” when he swung and missed; I’m sure he has a repertoire for any occasion or situation.
As for Castilla, they tied Guadalajara 2-2 in their latest friendly, with Óscar Plano and Raúl de Tomás scoring for our second team. This was the team’s first taste of second division football, as Guadalajara is also in the second division. Lucas and David Mateos, who played in the game, had dinner afterward with Joselu. In other news, Castilla has signed 21-year-old Borja García from Córdoba for four years and a reported €1.5 million. Although Borja, a midfielder, is coming to us from Córdoba, he played youth football with Rayo Vallecano and is from Madrid.