problems & responses – part I
I’m still enjoying my hiatus very much, but there have been so many things going on in the world of Real Madrid, and as some of you have asked my opinion on several of them, here is my take on them.
The problem/issue: all the speculation about the relationship between Sergio Ramos and José Mourinho, which peaked with the appearance of Mesut Özil’s jersey under that of Sergio Ramos during the second half of the game against Depor (the photo below has been adjusted to make the contrast of the two jerseys greater; it wasn’t that obvious during the game).
The remedies that make you feel the world is full of Marcelo sunshine, Sergio Ramos thighs and Xabi Alonsos: 1. The fact that the umlaut on the letter “Ö” of “ÖZIL” matched up perfectly with the “O” of “SERGIO”! Or would that be SERGIÖ? 2. The subsequent attention focused on the Sergio-Mesut friendship, allowing us to learn more about it. 3. The calm and rational statements each have made to defuse the situation and the glee of those who want to believe something is terribly wrong with the relationship. 4. The individual qualities that make us like them both so much. It’s quite obvious that while people can disagree and have different points of view on things, they can still have a good relationship based on mutual respect and communication.
Let’s start with the statements. During the press conference prior to the Ajax game, Mou said things such as “I agree with you, Sergio is a great professional,” and “my relationship with Ramos is good,” although he admitted that “my relationship with my wife is much better than my relationship with Ramos” (which is hardly surprising). Much to the disappointment of the anti-Madrid press, Sergio was not “punished” by being benched during the game, and in fact, Mou said afterward that “he played very well… for me, he was perfect, which is what I wanted.”
For his part, after the news came out about his double jersey against Depor (it was reported that Mou had yelled at Mesut during the game and at the half in front of everyone and then had replaced him, so Sergio put on Mesut’s shirt so that he could show it if he scored as a sign of solidarity), Sergio tweeted, “I would like to clear up a few things before more lies and inventions are said and made up. Mesut is a great friend and I told him a while back that my first goal of the season would be dedicated to him, and taking advantage of him being subbed out, I put on his shirt, believing that I could score my first goal. Nothing more. Also, my relationship with Mourinho is good, honest and clear. I respect his decisions and for me he’s the best coach.”
Their teammates also stressed that nothing was going on. Álvaro Arbeloa commented during a press conference that “I don’t think Sergio challenged Mourinho. We know it’s the coach who is in charge. We have respect, confidence for him and we’re mature enough to go speak with him in private. We’re intelligent enough not to start fires. We’ll have more during the course of the year. We’re not going to be stupid and provoke even more.”
In addition, this episode led to a greater examination of the friendship between Sergio Ramos and Mesut Özil (which is something we would all like to learn more about, no?). Marca took advantage of the international break to interview Mesut in Germany, and asked him about the whole shirt incident. Mes replied, laughing, “I think the 4 suits him better than the 10. We’re ‘superamigos,’ there’s nothing else. And we had spoken earlier about how he was going to dedicate a goal to me and that’s why he did that. We’re really good friends… we get along really well and I consider him a great friend. I’ve been in Madrid for three years and we’ve connected really well.” As for Madrid, “we’re a small family. Of course, there are moments where I understand Ramos better than I do others. That’s normal. The good thing about Madrid is that in general, we’re a piña. There’s no envy and we all recognize the merits of our teammates… we’re a marvelous group.”
Such good friends that they even copy each other’s hairstyles!
More tidbits from the interview that don’t have anything to do with the subject of this post, but which I think you all will enjoy: we also find out that Mesut greeted the team from Marca in correct Spanish; that he’s good at cooking, especially Turkish dishes; that he would define himself as “very fun”; that he loves basketball (especially Lebron) and is pretty good at it (see him spinning a basketball at the end of this video here); and that he listens a lot to Turkish singer Tarkan. He asked to do the interview in German, because although “I know Spanish, the problem is that Spaniards speak very fast. When I go to a restaurant, I don’t know what to do. I tell the waiter, ‘slower, please.’ But he repeats it just as fast, so it’s the same to me… and I just say ‘okay.’ I’m still taking classes, but my problem is that when I go on vacation or I go to play with the national team, I forget. I lose a lot when I’m not with my Madrid teammates, but I’ve gotten better at it. I understand almost everything and I can speak fairly well. I can speak well, but there are moments, such as this interview, where I feel more comfortable speaking in German.”
As for a birthday wish (he turned 24 on Oct. 15), Mes would like “health for my family and my friends and many celebrations with my teammates. I hope we win many titles.” When asked about what presents he would like to receive, he replied, “I’ll be the happiest man in the world with an SMS. I just want the people who love me to remember and to send me a message, that’s what I like best.” I hope Sergio has sent him a message!
By the way, they might not be neighbors for much longer, because Sergio has put his house up for sale! Reader NobleSky alerted me to this listing for a chalet in La Moraleja, and as we can deduce from the eagle head (which I still don’t get) in the master bedroom, this is definitely Sergio’s house (how many of you are excited to finally see Sergio Ramos’ BEDROOM? Is it how you imagined it in your fantasies? Jajaja!!!) The asking price is €5.95 million. And as we can see from the other pictures, the master bath could possibly be bigger than most people’s homes (and please don’t tell me that animal print toiletry bag belongs to Sergio), there’s also a gigantic walk-in closet and a zebra pattern rug. Muy Sergio.
Going off a (related) tangent, we got to see that Mou is not the dictator that certain sectors of the press portray him to be through the addition of Michael Essien to the squad. During his first ever press conference with Madrid, the day he signed with the team, he repeatedly referred to Mou as “daddy.” The first question was about his physical fitness, and Michael surprised everyone when he responded, “I wouldn’t have accepted to play for Real Madrid and my daddy if I weren’t fit.” That caused a stir in the press room (for those who understood English) and it continued with his response to the second question about where he’d like to play on Madrid: “I’m ready to play anywhere my daddy wants me to play.”
Iker’s English is so great, no? What an extensive vocabulary! I was kind of expecting him to call Michael his “crony” and talk about difficult parties but sadly he didn’t.
Essien continued to refer to Mou as “daddy” in subsequent answers, and so it was only inevitable that one journalist should ask him why he refers to Mou as “daddy.” He replied, “I use the name and regard him as my daddy because he’s the one who brought me to Chelsea and he knows me very well, we have a very good relationship, he understands me really well and I understand him.” From that point on, the journalists began asking questions referring to “your father Mourinho” and at one point, Essien responded, “Well, Mourinho, daddy, sorry… Daddy knows me very well…,” making everyone crack up including himself.
Days later, in an interview with AS, Mou said, “it’s a sign of affection. Özil also calls me that.” And perhaps this father-son relationship is why Mou answered “Essien” when asked which of his players he’d use to watch over his kids during an interview with CNN, adding, “he’s responsible, he’s funny, he smiles all the time.” Mou also revealed that “Cristiano is a happy boy,” that Albiol is the joker of the team, that the least vain is Higuaín because “he dresses [puts on] the first thing he gets when he wakes up, and he doesn’t come with [wearing] pyjamas because he can’t.” As for the player he wouldn’t trust with his kids, it’s Antonio Adán because “he would teach my boy things that my boy has to learn when he’s 18, not 12.”
And to end with the Mou coverage, a survey by a matchmaking website, as reported by El Mundo magazine, found that 40 percent of Spanish women believe José Mourinho is the ideal man to have an affair with, in part because his facial features speak of a man who is “sweet and feminine.” You can’t make this kind of stuff up.