an assortment of random things
It is what the title says, an assortment of random things…
¡Feliz año nuevo chino!: for all their fans in China, Madrid prepared a “Happy Chinese New Year” video, with Iker, Xabi and Kaká brave enough to try speaking Mandarin.
Training things: Pepe returned to action in the game against Sevilla, and on Sunday’s session, there were lots of big smiles due to that fantastic game.
We also saw Xabi doing recovery work (he busily poses away in the background during the training video)…
… and Iker too! He got his cast off, but his hand is still protected.
In previous days, we had Marcelo once again being all affectionate with MFC, and Sergio showing that multitasking is not really his thing.
The international break: our boys did quite well during this recent international break. In the Portugal-Ecuador game, Cris and Fábio combined for a golazo, though that was not enough as Portugal ended up losing 2-3. Spain beat Uruguay 3-1, and Sergio is now just one cap away from his 100th game with Spain, which he should get before he turns 27 (!), as Spain has two World Cup qualifiers in March before Sergio’s birthday. Mesut and Sami’s Germany beat Karim’s France 2-1, with Sami contributing the game winner off of a spectacular pass from… who else but Mesut? Argentina took on and beat Sweden 3-2, with Pipa chipping in a goal and Ángel an assist. Luka also contributed an assist as he helped Croatia to overcome South Korea 4-0. And the best part: no injuries!
Benzema self portraits: the latest in cheesiness. And if that’s his house in the photo on the right, it looks very, very bare. He doesn’t even have furniture to put his things on and so he just leaves them on the floor!
RvN: Marca interviewed Ruud van Nistelrooy ahead of the Real Madrid-Manchester United game, as he knows both teams very well. The things that stuck out for me:
- on whether he’ll go to the Bernabéu: yes, of course. I have already planned the trip and it will be a partidazo. I have the opportunity to watch it from a box, but I’m also considering watching it in the stands so that I can enjoy the atmosphere more. The Bernabéu is incredible during Champions League games [it is indeed INCREDIBLE]… I’m going to Madrid to enjoy the game.
- on what kind of treatment Cristiano can expect to receive from Old Trafford: I’m sure that they will applaud him. I was there when the statue of Sir Alex was inaugurated and they showed a message that Cristiano had taped on a big screen. The fans stood up and applauded. They love him over there.
- on whether he misses playing: I’m good with my decision. I’m happy with the decision I made. I was able to decide when to retire, which was important for me, since I have my pride and when I began to notice that I wasn’t the same as before, I told myself, it’s time to give this up. Now I’m enjoying my family, I can plan vacations, go skiing… I enjoy football as a fan and I think about the projects that I’ll have in the future. I’m happy right now.
Sergio and Chori: I love the “Hala Madrid” on the bulletin board. And how sweet that Sergio supports his girlfriend’s clothing line, though I hope the cap is as far as he will go.
Sami’s website: Sami launched his new website, and in the Madrid section, there are videos of Mou, Cris, Xabi and of course Mesut talking about him. Cris said he likes Sami a lot, that he’s a great guy and that he’s very funny when he jokes around (which apparently doesn’t happen to often). Xabi also says Sami is great, while Mesut calls him a “friend” and “brother” and says he’s very important to him. There’s also a “making of” video, where Sami dances around quite dorkily and also poses shirtless! As much as I loved those images, I wouldn’t have put in a video that allows you to see that the “out and about” photos are all Photoshop creations and not real. Surely Sami could have taken one afternoon to walk from Sol to Cibeles to the Prado for some pictures?
New press policy and international break: these are the two reasons why there has been a plethora of interviews with some of our players lately. And the best part is, they are in English, and I don’t have to translate! Xabi spoke with BBC’s Football Focus, while Sergio spoke to The Guardian (here and here) and Cris was interviewed by UEFA. He also spoke with AS, who presented him with a birthday cake. Highlights from that last one:
- on his mother saying she did not want to die without seeing her son playing in Madrid: when I decided to leave Manchester, there were other big clubs that wanted to sign me. But what I wanted the most from the time I was a kid was to play for Real Madrid. And I didn’t stop until I achieved that. The Bernabéu filled to the rafters with 90,000 fans for my presentation was impressive. I will never forget that image.
- on Rafa Varane: he is learning a lot, he’s grown as a player and as a person and I’m sure that he’s going to be a top centerback. He’s fast, he jumps very well and he’s calm. He’s already getting experience despite his youth. He’s humble, and for me, in a few years he’s going to be one of the best centerbacks in the world. I have no doubt about that.
- on Mourinho: everything has been resolved and everything’s good. The things that happen in the locker room should stay in the locker room.
- on Alex Ferguson: I have a great relationship with him and it’s going to be a great moment for him and for me to see each other again. It will also be special for me to return to Old Trafford and the fans there, who always treated and who continue to treat me well. I have a lot of affection for them.
- on Sara Carbonero’s statements: it’s not my responsibility to talk about certain things, but this issue is a bit delicate and I believe it was something that shouldn’t have been done. However, people are free to say what they think, although I don’t think she did well, because what happens in the locker room should stay in the locker room and those things should not be revealed to the press. But I repeat that each one can say what they want and think.