yesterday’s news – the fun edition
One. The team had lunch together yesterday at El Espigón restaurant (they only seem to go to restaurants in that area north of the Bernabéu, don’t they?). This was the idea of the captains, to unite the team even more four days before the game against Barcelona, and of Xabi, since it was his birthday and he wanted to celebrate with his teammates. Kaká was the only absence, as he’s still in Brazil. The Germans were the first to arrive, and Sergio the last, because he was busy with presenting his charity game.
The menu was composed of appetizers fried fish, rice with lobster, Iberian ham, seafood; main dishes sea bass, sirloin steak or entrecôte; and fruit or pastries for dessert.
I’ll wait for more pictures to do a fashion post, but if I don’t get around to it, here are some of my thoughts: Mesut really loves those v-necks; Cristiano surprises no one by showing up in a Gucci jacket; Pedro León and Iker obviously share the same affinity for plaid; and Iker’s cardigan reminds me of Paddington Bear. In a good way. See the rest of the pictures here.
Two. Real Madrid’s web site gave us some vintage pictures of Iker to celebrate the 13th anniversary of his first call-up, on Nov. 25, 1997 (his first day at Real Madrid was July 1, 1990). On that day, Madrid was about to travel to Norway to play Rosenborg, but Illgner and Contreras were both out, and then Cañizares suffered an injury, so Iker was called up, with team officials going to his cole, the Instituto El Cañaveral in Móstoles, to look for him. He was of course surprised by the call but not fazed, not even by the fact that he had to borrow a suit from his father because he didn’t own one. Also on that trip was one Aitor Karanka, today Iker’s assistant coach. Can you spot him? Iker had a great time in Norway, playing in the snow with his teammates and taking a walk around the city. He didn’t end up playing in that game, but the season ended with Madrid lifting up La Séptima in Amsterdam.
Wow, I hardly recognize Santi Cañizares! His hair has changed so, so, so much! And ahhh, memories of when Kelme used to dress Madrid!!! Iker probably loved that outfit and was super excited to wear it.
The video accompanying the article also gives us some images of Iker as a kid – he’s so adorable, and still has the same face, no?
Three. Speaking of players from that 1997-98 squad, and because he’s in one of the above pictures, Defensa Central spoke with Fernando Morientes, and here are his thoughts on the actual team. El Moro says that it’s Özil who has caught his attention out of all the signings this season, because of his tremendous individual qualities, and because he has something different about him and is distinct from the rest. But his favorite player on the team is still Iker Casillas, because he’s the captain, he’s a product of the cantera and because he knows what the essence of the team is. Fernando called himself “un madridista de corazón.”
Four. And speaking of Iker, he appears in a new Mahou ad with David Villa to promote the Barcelona-Madrid game. It looks like the book he’s reading is Los Secretos, although it has a generic cover on it.
Hotel staffer: Excuse me, but someone left this envelope for you in reception.
Iker: For me?
Hotel staffer: It has to do with the clásico.
Iker: Thank you.
Villa: What’s up Iker?
Villa: Let’s have a Mahou after the game?
Iker: Good, ok, perfect.
Villa: Let’s make it a loser pays all? [Please. David Villa would never use that emoticon. The smile is too big.]
Villa: You up for it?
Iker: Yes, of course!
Villa: You’ll always have the chance to go double or nothing in the return leg.
Iker: Or you, phenomenon!
In case you can’t tell, I love his profile! And the fact that he looks a bit like Alejandro Sanz in that first picture.
Five. The three amigos (that’s what I’m going to call them, until Kaká comes back) headed to the Caja Mágica to support Real Madrid’s basketball team when they took on Olympiacos. Madrid ended up playing their best game of the season in beating the Greek team 82-68 in Euroleague play.
Pepe looked like he was concentrating on watching the game, and he must have had a hard time ignoring his two box-mates, since they were joking around. How cute is Marcelino???
P.S. Khedira and Canales were also at the game, but apparently not as interesting for the photographers even though they were sitting right next to the Portuguese-speaking trio.
P.P.S. Cris was wearing a burgundy leather jacket. And I think Pepe needs some styling tips regarding scarves.
Six. Yesterday was of course Xabi’s birthday, and he got applause and hugs from his teammates and coaches before yesterday’s training session. And later that day, a dinner with Álvaro Arbeloa (and probably others) – who wouldn’t want that for their birthday? And obviously, having lunch together was just not enough.
And they all tweeted about it. Álvaro wrote, “we’re going to have dinner with Xabi and Nagore to celebrate Xabi’s birthday!” And after the dinner, Nagore tweeted, “there’s nothing like a good dinner amongst friends…” And Xabi’s is quite self-explanatory.
Where are the pictures?
I’m also including two tweets that Nagore sent earlier this month. If you’re not jealous of her already, then you most certainly will be after you read what she tweeted.
Nagore was asked how she felt about Xabi coming in second on Don Balón’s best-looking footballers poll, to which she replied, “I already saw with my own eyes how handsome he is… I can’t stop looking at the cover of DT and I’ve been with him for years.” And in another tweet, she wrote, “I would really love it if he won the Ballon d’Or. I would like this recognition for him.”
Seven. In the “is this really news” category, we have the information that Sergio Ramos is no longer wearing earrings. Cristiano stopped a while back as well, but there are plenty of other players who still wear them, including some of the Argentines and Özil. By the way, canteranos are not allowed to wear them at Valdebebas.
Eight. And of course, yesterday also saw the presentation of Sergio’s charity game for Africa.
Nine. And in “we’re all doomed” category, Abercrombie & Fitch will be opening up a store in Madrid next month. Luckily for Gerard Piqué, they’ll be opening one up in Barcelona too.