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adding fuel to the fire…

January 29, 2013
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Last week, Marca reported that during the lunch between Florentino Pérez and the two captains, Iker and Sergio had told the president that if Mourinho continues as coach next season, various players, including some of the most important ones, would ask the club to consider offers for them.  The article went on to say that the relationship between players and coach had deteriorated and the situation had reached a boiling point.  That same day, FP convened an extraordinary press conference to say that “it’s completely false that the captains gave me an ultimatum regarding the coach, or anything like it… what was published was a lie.”  Later that day, the club released an official statement from Iker and Sergio, which said “we want to show our support to our coach, José Mourinho, for whom we have the greatest respect,” and rejected the use of their names for “such information that we label in its entirety as false.”

Now, Sara Carbonero, journalist and Iker’s girlfriend (and contributor to Marca), has come out to say, among other things, that “as we all have seen, the atmosphere in the locker room is not good at all” and “it is widely known that the players are in complete disagreement with their coach right now.  There is a division in the team…” during an appearance on the Mexican program “La Jugada.”

True or not, this response directly contradicts the “respect” and “unity”* that Iker and Sergio spoke about in their statement, which makes us doubt them.  This is what I have a problem with.  Because if we doubt them, the two captains, who can we believe?  Who can we trust?  Fairly or not, everyone assumes that Sara gets her information from Iker, and therefore for her to say these things, it’s like they have Iker’s stamp of approval and are in fact his thoughts.  The person who is going to come out of this looking bad is Iker, and he’s not just any player, he’s the captain and flag bearer of the team and club.  He’s a symbol of the club, but now there are many who believe the club is better off without him, due to his choices and these controversies.  And Sara is not only saying Iker is a liar, she is also essentially saying that Florentino Pérez is one as well (she described him as nervous, alluding that he was like that because he was lying).

* Though Sara may not support Real Madrid as a fan, she is connected to Real Madrid through her boyfriend.

Sara is a journalist and therefore she can say whatever she wants.  She’s not an idiot either.  However, she must have known when she started dating Iker that her professional and personal lives would overlap, and that it would put both of them in awkward positions, create conflicts of interest and hurt their credibility.  In fact, when asked by ¡Hola! magazine back in 2009 (before she started dating Iker; I’ll see if I can dig up the actual issue and provide a better photo) whether she would date a footballer, she responded, “no.  Obviously, I prefer not to mix those things.  If this is your job, then the last thing you should do is go out with a footballer.  I’m not considering that… right now the most important thing for me is my work, and getting credibility, and therefore the last thing I would do is date a footballer.”  What happened next?  She went out and dated a footballer, and not just any one, but the captain of the biggest club in Spain and of the national team.

The best thing she could have done was refuse to comment on this issue, which would not hurt her credibility while preventing a conflict of interest.  After all, she had to know most of the interest in getting her thoughts is not because she’s a serious journalist (which she is), but because she’s Iker Casillas’ girlfriend, and the conclusion is that he must talk to her about what goes on with his team.  Maybe she is just trying to prove herself to all those who believe she’s not a serious journalist, and that she got her current position due to her choice of boyfriends rather than any talent or qualifications.  If that’s what she’s doing, then she made a poor choice; there are many other ways she could prove herself if she feels she needs to.  In fact, wading into this issue just makes her look opportunistic.

Here’s the video from Sara’s appearance on “La Jugada,” and my transcript of what was said.  The two questions (out of three) asked show that Sara was asked to contribute to this show because she’s Iker’s girlfriend, not because she’s a journalist.

Gracias Sara indeed.

Sara, what’s up with Iker?

It was one of worst news for Real Madrid, the injury to Iker Casillas, the first one in his almost 14-year career.  He’s had to stop, to step away for a period of time.  As you know, he suffered an incident in the game against Valencia, an accidental kick from his teammate Arbeloa, which fractured the thumb of his left hand.  He has already been operated on, on Friday, everything went well, Iker will be out two to three months.  He’ll miss the Copa del Rey games against Barcelona, the Champions League round of 16 games against Manchester United, and everyone believes that this is a very important and sensitive injury for Real Madrid.  What did Madrid do when faced with this situation?  They have already found a substitute, out with the old, in with the new [what?], the new goalkeeper is Diego López, although that name might not be familiar, he’s from the cantera and last played for Sevilla.  Mourinho liked him and so he was brought in to compete with Antonio Adán, who is right now the starting goalkeeper following the injury to Iker Casillas.  Adán and Diego López will now compete for the starting spot.

Many things have been said about what is going on inside the locker room… what’s going on there Sara?

Just a few days before this injury to Iker Casillas, there was another big piece of news, a lunch between the captains and Florentino Pérez.  Florentino Pérez likes to eat with Iker Casillas and Sergio Ramos, to speak about various issues, bonuses, the team.  What happened?  Well, a few journalists from Marca reported that Iker and Sergio backed the president into a corner, giving him an ultimatum saying he had to choose between them or the coach, José Mourinho, and that they gave Florentino a list of players who would refuse to stay with the team if Mourinho continued on as coach [actually, the article claimed that Iker and Sergio didn't give any names].  Right after this front page story was published, Florentino convened a emergency press conference, and I have to tell you, that’s not the usual course of action, and not something that Florentino regularly does.  But in this moment he wanted to clear things up, to say that everything that was published in the newspaper was a lie, that during the lunch they only spoke about money, of the bonuses, and that in no moment did they blackmail him into doing anything.  We saw that the president was very angry, as well as very nervous, making us believe that the atmosphere inside the locker room, as we have all seen, is not good.  That’s why there was this blackmail attempt, but he said no, that had not happened, although it is widely known that the players are in complete disagreement with their coach right now.  There is a division in the team, and we have to wait and see until the end of the season to see what will happen, whether Mourinho will leave, because he has many open battles to fight right now in Real Madrid.

[The last question was about Carlos Vela, Real Sociedad's Mexican striker.]

Will the FP/the club react to the latest declarations?  Find out on the next episode of “Real Madrid: Soap Opera.”

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32 Comments leave one →
  1. January 29, 2013 12:48

    I am so upset and angry about this. Sara is a grown woman who is a professional. She knows exactly what she was getting into when she said this.

    The person I feel sorriest for is Iker in this whole mess. He has come out looking the worst despite how ever much he had to do with his girlfriends decision to talk.

    Real Madrid – where the drama never stops. That should be our logo for this season. *cries*

  2. Sara, Madrid permalink
    January 29, 2013 12:52

    You know what is the most annoying part is, the team is just getting back right into track, you seen that our presi, our captains all support Mourinho, Varane in his press also confirmed it,
    Getafe game you can see how everything is getting right back on track, then comes Sara her comments is absolutely ridiculous, I get she is a journalist, however she is just supporting the marca lies that been spread around that our club had to come out and say it is false, she basically called Iker a liar on national tv because she is chosen to work in a newspaper that their purpose is never been about the good of RM!

    Gracias Sara indeed, as if we need this! Iker is getting all kind of abuse through his pages, madridistas has lost touch to reality, so seriously Sara Gracias for doing this, you been a great help to already one of the worse seasons that Iker ever have in Real Madrid, yeah worse that Real Madrid have in recent years.

    Still no one will take you seriously because we don’t take any of these journalists who spread these lies seriously anyone, if they are not lies, WE DON’T NEED TO KNOW WHAT’S HAPPENING IN THE DRESSING ROOM OF REAL MADRID, I personally as a fan I don’t want know about backstage problems, that’s not why am supporting Real Madrid.

    • rexina permalink
      January 30, 2013 02:02

      i never like Sara from the beginning. i dont like the way she talked about Real Madrid. Whatever comes from her mouth is always hurt me as a madridista. Does she ever think before she speaks?? she just need to considering her position as Casillas GF. i mean, when she said something about what happen in the locker room, she should be a bit diplomatic. Why on earth Casilllas should date this Witch!!! (i’m so sorry to be rude. it just because i’m so sick with all Sara words from the beginning ) *so sad.. we receive this kind of drama while we need to unite because Barcelona is gonna be our opponent.

  3. January 29, 2013 12:53

    This makes me see her even less as a journalist and more of an opportunist.
    But, yes, these little soap operas write themselves, don’t they?

  4. moumou permalink
    January 29, 2013 13:23

    I can’t find words to describe my anger and disgust with what she and her friend (our captain) are doing…why? why betraying us? why destroying our club? why you hate Real Madrid? RM gave you everything…

    We must get rid of Cassilas

    • January 29, 2013 16:39

      What?! Really, so that’s what you have concluded over this whole mess. That we get rid of our beloved captain and backbone of our team?

      I respect other peoples opinions, but I fail to grasp your logic here. Sara shoots her mouth off and we should get rid of our capi who has been with us since he was a child. How does that even make sense at all?

  5. January 29, 2013 13:35

    Thank you so much for the translation.
    And I couldn’t agree more with your opinion.

  6. nadia permalink
    January 29, 2013 13:52

    I’ve never liked her. Fact is, she can’t be unbiased when she’s dating a football player. It’s like a music journalist would start dating a musician. It’s personal and that’s a fact. I hope they’re happy togheter and god bless but their choice to date each other is incredibly stupid. Especially for Sara regarding her career.

  7. Pammie permalink
    January 29, 2013 14:09

    Just when we thought we’d get a breather. soap opera indeed! You never know when the next twist is around the corner xP

  8. Lilach permalink
    January 29, 2013 14:10

    It’s simple – everyone has said what Sara has said, but when Sara says it, you can’t regard it as if it is speculation and lies like you do the other journalists. She’s Iker’s girlfriend and therefore your first thought is that she’s speaking the truth. Why would she lie about her own boyfriend? So she’s either speaking the truth from information she’s hearing from Iker, or she’s completely lying and then, it’s completely ridicolous that Iker would take that because it’s ruining him as a person and professional, plus, why would anyone want to stay with a person like that…

    The worst thing is it comes after a great game and result on Sunday and right before the clasico. Gracias Sara!!!

  9. wandering-much permalink
    January 29, 2013 14:11

    I do not know what to believe anymore but I just hope this team fights to the end. No one is bigger than the team.

    iHala Madrid!

  10. Manie permalink
    January 29, 2013 14:25

    Thanks for talking about this, Una. What worries me the most is exactly that Iker must have permitted her to say these things on TV, knowing full well it would pit him against Florentino (and I expect the rest of the board, who are likely behind the president, no?). That to me is the most worrying.

    And it sucks. I really think (and I think you do too) that Mou has been excellent because he has brought stability and winning back. Honestly, now I am confused about whether all those coaches like poor Pelle were not pushed out by Perez or the media, but by the team members. That is a horrible thing to think.

    Gracias Sara for sure.

  11. Ros permalink
    January 29, 2013 15:43

    What in the world!? I have wondered you thoughts as I read the recent reports because they have made me so frustrated. I like to believe the best about people, but it seems that everyone is trying to bring out the worst in everybody else, especially anyone related to the club.

  12. Ane permalink
    January 29, 2013 18:07

    I think it’s not fair to blame her for the atmosphere at Real Madrid. Come on, even a kid would see the lack of serenity in Real. They may deny it all they want but you can see it from the moon and the only ones to blame are the coach and players, they just don’t know how to handle all this.

    Of course it’s unfortunate what Sara said, but at the same time it’s something the entire press is talking about since a week ago, it’s nothing new. The only problem is that it comes from the mouth of Iker’s girlfriend. I don’t think she should censor the news just because we don’t like to hear it from her.

    And to call Iker a mole, I don’t even have words to say how aberrant that is.

    Maybe it’s time for Real to start building up the team they were and that starts in the lockeroom, not at Marca or As. And blaming Sara Carbonero for a thing that all the journalists in Spain already said makes no sense.

    • rani permalink
      February 1, 2013 08:41

      “but at the same time it’s something the entire press is talking about since a week ago, it’s nothing new. The only problem is that it comes from the mouth of Iker’s girlfriend.”
      .. that is why Una name it “Adding fuel to the fire”. Sara should be more wiser and carefully when say something about her BF club. Since she is our Capi future-wife-to-be, i think some how she’ll become a madridista family. so in my point of view, at least she needs to try more elegant and clever when asked about Real Madrid ‘kitchen’.

  13. January 29, 2013 18:46

    This season has been so frustrating. Just when things started to look a little better after the recent wins, this happens. My first thoughts were that Iker had asked Sara to tell those things to the media and even if it wasn’t so, she must’ve had some kind of “permission” to speak. Iker, as the captain, should create unity to the team but it feels that he’s doing the opposite. Especially after even Florentino came and denied those rumours.

    I never believed things were right at the locker room (and I don’t like Mou..), but the problems should be kept away from the media. This club really is like a circus.

  14. Camilla permalink
    January 29, 2013 18:46

    This girl…. How could she say this?? Her boyfriend is the damn captain!!! Right after he says it’s all fine, she does this.
    When other people say it, you can say it’s all especulation, but, like I said she’s his girlfriend… Right before we go up against Barça :/ oh dear….

  15. Jennie Culhane permalink
    January 29, 2013 19:16

    Well, I certainly dont like the.way Mo has treated Kaka

  16. Angel S permalink
    January 29, 2013 20:31

    Sara did add fuel to the fire. I absolutely agree with you, Una, in that she could have handled this a lot better. Poor judgment on her part … but everyone makes mistakes (not sure how comforting this is….) :\

    I don’t agree with the sentiment found in the comments above me that “because she’s dating Iker, what she is saying must therefore reflect Iker’s opinions” or the sentiment that “Iker must have allowed her to say these things on TV.” There’s a smidge of sexism here.

    As you correctly pointed out, Una, Sara is a journalist and she’s entitled to say whatever she wants based on her findings. That people will assume her source is none other than Iker Casillas is almost natural since she is dating him… but also sexist because it assumes that Sara is merely parroting what Casillas is saying (i.e., incapable of her own thoughts).

  17. Luz permalink
    January 29, 2013 20:59

    So, I didn’t know about this until I read your post but afterwards I flipped through a couple of other Real Madrid Blogs just to see what they said about this issue and boy has it/she caused a stir.
    After F. Perez’ press conference, the official statement from Iker and Sergio, and the great win against Getafe, I actually thought that the drama was over – the fire had successfully been distinguished but Sara has added new fuel to the fire.

    I was actually starting to like her despite of the whole “Ronaldo being selfish and too individual” – saga a couple of years back and her double standard regarding dating footballers – you can’t help who you fall in love with, the heart wants what it wants.
    I must admit I have always seen her more as presenter then a journalist and the fact that she wanted and wants to be taken more seriously as a journalist makes me doubt her judgement or lack thereof. I highly doubt that she will be taken more seriously because of her statements due to the drama that she has created which in the end only benefits Marca and their sales rate. Moreover, this also hurts Iker and his reputation because (as you rightly write) she’s his girlfriend and everything she says or writes will always be associated with him – despite the fact that she’s a person in her own right and speaks (hopefully) only HER mind. Regarding Iker, I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt there is a reason why he’s captain and representative of the world’s greatest club.

    Hopefully the team can overcome all this drama tomorrow and beat Barcelona to show Marca and Sara true team unity between the players and Mourinho.

    ¡Hala Madrid!

  18. January 29, 2013 21:54

    What a fucking disaster…

    How can Iker be associated with this woman? They’re on opposite sides of the spectrum.

  19. January 30, 2013 00:20

    I think that Sara is, first and foremost a journalist, secondly she is Iker’s girlfriend, so she has the right to report anything she deems fit and it doesn’t necessarily mean that she is reporting Iker’s opinions, which people often think is the case. But I think in this scenario all she did is explain what Marca has already said, so she wasn’t really adding fuel to the fire, she was merely restating previous accusations.

  20. emi permalink
    January 30, 2013 00:23

    Very disappointed by Casillas. Santo Iker is gone. Doing (or allowing) these things at this time of the season and 24h before the clasico is very low. It’s clear now that he cares about his own interest more than the club’s. Or he must be very dumb, which I doubt.
    Oh and the Carbonara… nothing to say but “talk is cheap”.
    Gracias Sara.

    Glad to see you back Una! Your authentic posts were missed :)

    • January 30, 2013 13:44

      He didn’t ‘Allow’ this. He isn’t ‘Gone’. She spouted off on her own, as a ‘journalist’. Which, really, she isn’t. You are simply parroting what other individuals with virtually no contact with this team are saying behind the mask of anonymity that is the internet. These baseless comments are infuriating to anyone with common sense and decency who is an honest and true fan of this team. Keep your off-the-cuff, uneducated, incendiary, divisive bullsh!t to yourself!
      This isn’t what the majority of real fans believe.

  21. rose permalink
    January 30, 2013 02:58

    i understand that her job is to be a journalist that comments on these things, and that her employment by marca creates a conflict of interest with her being iker’s girlfriend. however, this is not the first time she’s chosen her loyalty to her employer over iker. she also caused a lot of trouble when she talked about cristiano being ‘selfish.’ the first time, i might have given her the benefit of the doubt. this time, it seems more like a calculated move to boost ratings. iker deserves better.

  22. January 30, 2013 09:40

    This whole thing is crazy. I can’t get any point of Sara. What she said only shows us how she used her relationship with Iker to gain her own fame, which is ridiculous. And how came that she just splited those words without thinking twice? What can she get from backing Iker into corner? Has she ever cared about Iker, exactly?

  23. January 30, 2013 14:23

    ” After all, she had to know most of the interest in getting her thoughts is not because she’s a serious journalist (which she is)” l o l

    never forget:
    http://www.as.com/futbol/articulo/sara-carbonero-cristiano-siempre-fue/20100920dasdasftb_42/Tes

  24. Marie permalink
    January 30, 2013 20:48

    Oh Sara.
    I wish she understood that she is putting Casillas in a tight spot by making these comments. Clearly she must know that her ‘knowledge’ of things in the locker room, where she doesn’t belong, are going to be traced back to Iker.
    This makes me think she’s either stupid (which I doubt) or she’s just dating Iker for the opportunity. Because let’s face it, if you loved your bf you wouldn’t be trying to ruin his credibility and therefore his career.
    I understand that she’s a journalist but how can you add to the fire that is causing your significant other problems?
    Stupid.
    Absolutely stupid.

  25. vina permalink
    February 1, 2013 17:06

    that’s why i never liked sara in the first place. what an F!!!

  26. anabel permalink
    February 3, 2013 20:14

    I do NOT think she’s a serious journalist

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