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in case you missed it – the recovery edition

December 5, 2010

In case you missed it – Madrid vs. Valencia [2010-12-04].

Well, at least we always have Cristiano.  It’s a good thing he recovers quickly, no?  Because he helped us to recover from the Barcelona game by turning this game into a win.  To quote Alejandro Sanz, he’s the “pomada pa’ to’ los dolores.”

One. To get your attention from the very beginning, footballers stripping.

Two. The gametime fashions.  Álvaro Arbeloa, who had previously said he would never wear a long-sleeved shirt, stayed true to form in his short-sleeved shirt, but added another layer underneath.  Meanwhile, Iker was on the polar opposite end (in more ways than one), as he wore what looks to be a full-length body suit, but probably was just a pair of tights and a long-sleeved shirt.  He also had a neck warmer.  I still can’t get used to seeing Iker with sleeves.

Three. Mahamadou and I basically had the same reaction for a good part of the game.

Four. But then it was Cristiano Ronaldo to the rescue, with two goals just when we were about to lose all hope.

You might be wondering why Marcelo was just standing around when Cris celebrated his first goal with the banquillo.  It was because he got his very own chest bump shortly after.

After both goals, Cris gave high-fives to his midfielders.

And of course, he had to bask in the attention of the crowd, after this genial play.

Five. Mario Vargas Llosa got to do the saque de honor before the game.  He’s a fan of Madrid, and is also the director of the Real Madrid chair at the Escuela de Estudios Universitarios, which is attached to the European University of Madrid.  He also he’d like to write a book about Cristiano.

Six. More Cris.  I love, love, love how expressive he is.

And of course, the taconazo.  If that had gone in…

Seven. Also at the game: Zidane, who was sitting next to Jorge Valdano.  Neither looked too happy at this point in the game.

Eight. Karim Benzema must stay very hydrated, because each time he’s shot on the bench, he’s holding a water bottle or drinking from it.

Nine. What would a post be without Iker?  Even when he’s running, pulling up his socks or just staring, he’s fascinating.  Plus, that profile…

Ten. The Xabi Alonso pose section.™

There are many imitators, but only one Xabi Alonso.

Xabi was looking fierce on Saturday.  Love the glowering and the pursed lips.

Eleven. The little fight that broke out in the second half.  I love how the person on the ground always gets ignored as the fight develops around him.  Álvaro was all fired up, and of course it was Xabi trying to play peacemaker.

Along with Iker – gran capitán!  A personal highlight – Xabi continuing to pose in the background while Iker helps Pepe up.

Twelve. MFC Álvaro Morata spent part of the game warming up, but did not find himself getting any play, so we have yet to see him debut.  But at least he got to sit on the bench, unlike David Mateos and Antonio Adán, the descartados before the game.

Thirteen. Iker is a great teammate.

Fourteen. Front and back.™

Raúl Albiol.  What a great game he had, especially considering he doesn’t get regular playing time.

Cristiano Ronaldo.

El Pirata.


Sami Khedira.


Fifteen. The Mou corner.

He really wasn’t as active as he usually was, and explained why in his press conference after the game.  At one point, the ball went out of bounds and Mou picked it up and handed it directly to Sami Khedira.  This moment was replayed, to contrast it with another similar moment, I suppose.

In the press conference, Mou said the most important thing was to win, because it’s not easy to know how to respond after a game like the last one.

When asked about his starting line-up, with Benzema on the bench and Cristiano as the only real offensive player, he said it was “because if Valencia scored first, we wouldn’t have the psychological strength or the self esteem to change the result.  That’s why I decided to do this.  It wasn’t a message for anyone… It wasn’t the day to play a great game or to score many goals, due to the quality of the rival.  My team responded well, and here we are, once again winning.”  And on why he wasn’t seen giving a lot of instructions to the players, Mou said, “in this game, my team couldn’t feel pressured, not from me or by outside comments.  My team needed stability and we gave it to them, allowing them to play without fear of losing or playing a good game.”  ¡Grande Mourinho!

He praised Benzema, saying his entrance changed the game, allowing the team to dominate and win.  And on the performance of Arbeloa and Albiol, he was equally complimentary: “they’re two important players, very good, serious and team-oriented.  They work very hard and have played well each time they’ve played this season.  Albiol started his first game in the Liga and he was fantastic.  It wasn’t a problem not having Ramos and Carvalho.  I knew they would respond.”

Watch a video here on calm Mou.

Sixteen. The game on twitter:

Jordi Codina watched the game, and praised both Iker and Cristiano.  He also defended Cris, saying that he received more kicks than he gave out, and that he doesn’t complain a lot.  When someone accused him of being anti-Madrid, Jordi replied, “you know where I played before, don’t you?  I say what I think… although at times it may hurt my friends…”  ¡Grande Jordi!

And Kaká was quite brief in his tweets about the game.

Seventeen. Other notes: There were signs in favor of Sergio, such as “Sergio Ramos – eres grande” and “Estamos orgullosos de ti” (Sergio Ramos – you’re great; We’re proud of you).  And it was great to see former canteranos Roberto Soldado and Juanín Mata!

Eighteen. Looking ahead: Madrid held a closed training session today, the first in their preparation for their Champions League game against Auxerre on Wednesday at the Bernabéu.  Meanwhile, Sami Khedira will miss the next game against Zaragoza after receiving his fifth yellow card during this game.

44 Comments leave one →
  1. Maisoun permalink
    December 5, 2010 23:03

    Ugh this is the first ICYMI post where I actually MISSED the game….I dont like how lost I feel 😦 anyways theres still things I would like to comment on! 😉

    Arbeloa fighting?! That has to happen when I miss the game right? It kind of looks like he got shovey after he kind of trip over Pepe haha I get mean when Im embarrassed too, unless he was fighting for another reason that I wouldnt know about since I MISSED the game lol Lets see how many times I can express my despair over missing a RM game 😛

    I like to think Lass’ thigh/ass flash was a little tribute to absent Sergio, who needs to recreate that flash moment as thanks when he returns 😉

    So neither Sergio nor Carvalho were at the game?

  2. December 5, 2010 23:07

    I’m so happy we won but not much cuteness from the players. Miss Sergio. 😦

  3. Ranya permalink
    December 5, 2010 23:31

    I just wanted to say that your posts are always fantastic! I love everything about this blog and I really appreciate your keeping us updated 🙂

    Also, the Xabi Alonso pose section (TM) cracks me up every time!

  4. Andrea permalink
    December 5, 2010 23:41

    Great post, Una! Just had to say that when I saw Cristiano and Marcelo chest bump, I HOPED that you would have a gif…and I was not disappointed! I loved that moment 🙂

    In the first goal celebration gif, it looks like Pepe is seeking out Marcelo, wondering why he’s not joining in. Too cute!

  5. Barbara permalink
    December 6, 2010 00:03

    Thank you as always for the great pictures & game comments. Why does Sami have to sit out after 5 yellow cards-is that a rule? (sorry just started watching soccer & don’t know all the rules).

    • December 6, 2010 00:37

      Yes, in La Liga you get an automatic one game suspension after accumulating five yellow cards.

    • Ange permalink
      December 6, 2010 03:18

      you are from America aren’t you cause you put Soccer instead of football…well just wanted to tell you your not alone I just started following in June right before the World Cup started…& i sometimes don’t understand the rule either…

      • Barbara permalink
        December 7, 2010 18:03

        yes, I’m from America & even though I usually only watch Spanish,German & Italian leagues, I still slip & call it soccer. The TV channels are all called “Soccer” over here too. I’m getting better – I’m hoping to move to Europe in the next 2 to 3 years. I just started following the teams & the players during the World Cup & I love it!!!

  6. Reno permalink
    December 6, 2010 00:16

    Finally!! =D
    Felt like I’ve waited forever…
    Una, thanks for writing the match reports, I really enjoy reading them! Must be quite hard work, but I can reassure you that it is really appreciated =)

  7. Kristine permalink
    December 6, 2010 00:20

    What a sigh of relief! This game made me soooo nervous. Anytime they even got close to the goal I kept screaming “Just do it”!

    Thank you Cris for pulling through! He really is a treasure, and such fun to watch! That laughing gif is priceless!

    It was a serious and frustrating game, but all of our guys played well. I fall more and more in love with Marcelo DiMaria and Ozil everyday. Seeing Granero, Albiol and Arbeola play, and play well was soooo great! Yay Team!

    I missed Sergio mucho! Can’t wait to see him on the pitch again. Hopefully, he will be rested and feeling better and stronger when he comes back.

    Time for winning again! Wahoo!

  8. eruhin permalink
    December 6, 2010 00:42

    Hello, una, I have a question, maybe you know why does Iker wear his socks inside out?? Another superstition or what?

    And I just wanted to tell you that I absolutely adore both your blogs and the ICYMI posts are the best!:D

  9. Ariadna permalink
    December 6, 2010 01:01

    I Miss Pipitaaaaaa… ❤

  10. Cosi permalink
    December 6, 2010 01:41

    This game was so frustrating- thanks Cristiano! Great post- as usual, Una! I definitely missed Sergio, though…

    And I love how neckwarmers are supposedly a NEW footballer ‘fashion accessory’, acc to the BBC. They clearly are not Iker fangirls. 😉 Must say that I do like the long sleeves on the captain.

    Winning streak is on now! Yah!

  11. Cosi permalink
    December 6, 2010 01:47

    (quote) “I love how the person on the ground always gets ignored as the fight develops around him.” (/quote)

    lol! ALWAYS, so true!! Sweet to see Iker picking Pepe up after the skirmish.

    And I also hope TSO gets more animated again (although bravo for toning down the pressure) so we can have another funny Crackovia!!

  12. Ange permalink
    December 6, 2010 03:11

    THANX UMA!!! …. I always love reading your blogs… & they better score against Zaragoza at least 4 or 5 goals…

    & my comment on the game… I love that uniform on Iker the baby blue….love it..super happy 2 see Alvaro & Chori play…

    Cristiano Ronaldo…what can I say about him…besides the fact he looked sexy like always a show with him…it funny…its entertaining…& sometimes you want to tell him become an actor & go into movies…cause some of his face…they are over the top…

    & was I they only one that thought or wanted Alvaro to score…Cause I felt that they should have scored one more…that it should have been 3-0…& I missed Sergio Ramos..& then we wont see him in Champions…thats not fair

  13. Laura Lopez permalink
    December 6, 2010 03:32

    I love your posts 🙂
    And I’m sure Cristiano is also:
    “Remedio para toda clase de errores” and
    “Receta pa la desilusion.”

  14. dev permalink
    December 6, 2010 03:34

    Una, i don’t know if you have seen this song about Pipita, but its pretty cool.

  15. Sayu permalink
    December 6, 2010 07:18

    i love this post so much una! ❤ mouhamadou 's expression was really funny :)) i am loving the A-team more and more everyday 🙂

  16. Marie permalink
    December 6, 2010 07:51

    Yay! Great post! I’ve literally been stalking your blog waiting for this haha. Sorry if I sound like a creep but you’re my favorite Madrid ‘outlet’.
    I’m so glad we won! Let’s keep the wins coming!
    And Mourinho, God he’s just great! I can’t get enough of that intelligent man!!
    Saludos desde TX 😉

  17. Hala_Madrid permalink
    December 6, 2010 07:53

    Thank you!! I was nervous throughout the whole game, but once again our team proved us that they are back. Although, to be honest with you i didn’t like the way they celebrated the goals. It seemed to me like they left Ronaldo all by himself : ( when he fought for this victory. Maybe i’m over reacting but i thought it was kind of mean. Anyway, I love all the boys and of course i missed Sergio Ramos as everybody else did. Thank God it was only a game. Hala Madrid! and thanks again UNA.

  18. December 6, 2010 09:56

    As usual, a lovely post. I however still feel the bitterness of the 5-0. I could even see it in the eyes of our coach, preferring to settle on the bench. Somehow, the team needs a huge victory to recover, we need it too.

  19. noelle permalink
    December 6, 2010 10:06

    ❤ iker…. he's so sweet =), even tho i'll always think of raul as the captain, iker is not disappointing, he's doing a fine job in raul's place

  20. Manzanova permalink
    December 6, 2010 12:11

    I love the random boat (or whatever it is) passing behind Ronaldo in one of the gifs.

    Mou looks like the Emperor from Star Wars in the last pic collection.

    • Cosi permalink
      December 7, 2010 05:45

      Evil emperor- hilarious!

  21. Wendy permalink
    December 6, 2010 12:13

    Xabi had tweeted..does anyone know what the tweet said….

    • December 6, 2010 13:32

      Xabier Lete is a Basque singer and poet who recently passed away, so Xabi was saying RIP Xabier Lete.

    • December 6, 2010 13:32

      Xabier Lete is a Basque singer who recently passed away, so Xabi was saying RIP Xabier Lete.

  22. December 6, 2010 13:00

    I was a bit scared before this game, good that Cristiano came to the rescue! I love how bossy Xabi is, oh!

    Thanks for great summary and gifs (Lass!) and pictures! I am so loving the Xabi section!

    and I missed Serhiooo too, I am still not over his Puyol-slapping but I am slowly forgetting it and starting to miss his cute face on the pitch! He brings a lot to the game, I see it especially now when he wasn’t there!

  23. Whiskey permalink
    December 6, 2010 13:37

    Great highlights as always Una. I am bummed I missed seeing Llosa at the start, he is such a terrific author and clearly has great taste in football teams as well. Our broadcast of the match didn’t start until 15 mins in due to the Barca/Osasuna “planes, trains and automobiles” mess. Grrr. Oh well, loved the 2 goals, a lovely pass from Ozil to Cris and then a quality second from Cris. When I read your comment about Cris being expressive I read too quickly and thought you said “expensive” :). He is that too I suppose. Thought Arbeloa had a great game as well.

  24. Kristine permalink
    December 6, 2010 15:12

    I was just on the Real Madrid site, and now I’m worried about Sergio! As much as I like Arbeloa, I don’t want him taking over Sergio’s spot! wahhhhh! Oh, please don’t let this happen.

  25. Gillian permalink
    December 6, 2010 15:19

    My favorite thing: seeing Cris hug Mesut. So adorable.

  26. mila_casillas permalink
    December 6, 2010 18:05

    Cristiano, thank you for saving us even though you were still injured. Benz did change the dynamic of the game when he came in. Now that poor Pipita is out for a bit (I missss him!) it is Benz’s chance to prove himself yet again.

    Still, fingers crossed that Pipita recovers soon.

  27. Kat permalink
    December 7, 2010 02:43

    This is the first time since the El Classico that I was able to visit any webiste that even mentions that match. I’m still reeling from it. But the Valencia win helps!

    Oh, Una, have you heard about Guti’s car accident?

    • December 7, 2010 14:09

      Yes… he claims he wasn’t drunk.

      • Kat permalink
        December 8, 2010 15:33

        According to reports, though, his blood alcohol levels were at 5 times the legal limit. I hope that’s not true, though.

  28. emily permalink
    December 7, 2010 05:01

    That taconazo would have been the goal of the decade… too bad the skinny white guy saved it. Great effort on the post, Una!!

  29. December 7, 2010 06:39

    oh yeah Karim, take it off, take it off!!!!!!!!!!! awww why you stopped?? jk

  30. December 7, 2010 06:44

    pipita’s song has a catchy beat , me like

  31. killer permalink
    December 7, 2010 13:29

    There are rumors, Cristiano has fallen out with his spanish team mates.
    I think his 2nd goal was not celebrated by every1. Methinks the first one as well.

  32. Sayu permalink
    December 7, 2010 13:50

    question, why did the 2nd goal wasn’t celebrated enthusiastically?


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