in case you missed it – the neighborly edition
In case you missed it – Getafe vs. Real Madrid [2011-01-03].
Well, Getafe played a great game, but we came away with the win, a great start to 2011, no? I’ve always liked Getafe, even before all the canteranos started going there, for their history, and because at times I just got frustrated with Real Madrid and needed another nearby team to support, and of course Atleti was out of the question and I’ve never liked Rayo Vallecano, so Getafe was it. (And what a golazo from Dani Parejo last night, no? He made an excellent impression on his probable future boss.)
Cristiano showed why Madrid can’t be without him, shouldering the offense – he had three opportunities in the first seven minutes! Di María also had a great game, but the headlines are all about Kaká, who returned after six months out.
One. Let’s start with some fun moments. Xabi and Álvaro danced their way to forming the wall, and Cristiano showed just how cold it was in Madrid last night.
Two. Goal celebrations! Cris sucked on his thumb for Junior, Ozil kissed his ring (or where a ring would be if he were allowed to play with one) and Cris and Marcelo danced their way through the third goal celebration. Was it because Kaká was on the bench that they decided to celebrate this way?
I love how the rest of the team has their game faces on, but Marcelo and Cris are in their own, animal-inspired world.
Three. Pregame fun. Jordi gets a hug from Álvaro (they both should have tweeted about this; poor Jordi only tweeted that his finger was injured because Ozi stepped on it), and Miguelito gets a wink from Cristiano. I love it when former teammates remain friends!
Four. Kaká came in in the 72nd minute for Benzema, showing that he’s recovered from the knee surgery, and that the 14 hours of therapy a day (it all added up to 580 hours in the gym and 230 with the physios) had paid off. His last appearance with Madrid was on May 9 vs. Athletic, and with Brazil it was July 2, with surgery taking place on Aug. 5.
Richi (yes, I’m going to call him that from now on) said after the game that he was “very happy to return to the field and play a game,” and that “the team is playing well right now and I have to earn my place.” He admitted that “I’ve had very difficult moments. What I missed most were the small things: attending the concentración, training, being together in the locker room, playing in front of the fans… I missed the joy of playing.” He thanked his wife, his parents, his parents-in-law and his friends, adding that “I’ve received a lot of text messages from friends, former teammates and people who are happy with my return. I thank them all.” Richi also thanked “Mourinho because he’s helped me a lot during this entire time, he gave me a lot of confidence.”
And a detalle on the part of Kaká: he wished Higuaín a fast recovery, saying, “I spoke with him before Christmas. When a player is seriously injured, he feels very alone and even though the others try to help him, he feels alone in that moment. We have to be by his side, tell him he’s going to play again and be the great player that he is. I hope he can return as soon as possible, and I wish him all the luck in the world.”
He also tweeted this.
Five. Iker, frustrated and bossy.
Six. It looks like Ozi is in much better shape now, compared to before! His tummy is much flatter now, and I see some definition there too (hopefully it’s not just shadows).
Seven. Iker and Sergio affection: Sergio leans in for their customary pregame kiss, and then pats Iker on the ass later on during the game. Oh, to be Sergio in those moments…
Eight. Álvaro Arbeloa was expelled after receiving his second yellow, which means he’ll be out for the Villarreal game (see, I told you… when will there be a game when all our defenders are available?)
When he lifted up his jersey to reveal that he was wearing another shirt underneath, everyone (ok, me) was disappointed. And I love how he always comes out with tape for his socks.
The sending off also meant that Esteban Granero couldn’t get in the game, which would have been very special for him, since he used to play at the Coliseum. He was even on the verge of checking in and all. Pobrecito. Instead, Mou put in Garay to shore up the defense.
Nine (I). Front and back™ – the Real Madrid edition.
Álvaro Arbeloa. He clearly didn’t think the ref was doing a good enough job.
Iker. With a man who has clearly been inspired by his style right behind him. That man needs glasses, and to be saved from himself.
Bonus backs. In the first one, if I covered up the numbers, could you tell which one was Sergio and which one was Sami?
Nine (II). Front and back™ – the Getafe (players who are former canteranos) edition.
Jordi Codina. Love the pink jersey and the matching gloves. Hoping Adidas will pick this color for Iker some day.
Was I a bit mean in making the gif for his back?
Miguel Torres. Technically, it’s a front and a side, but who’s complaining with that thigh staring back at you?
Dani Parejo. Fabulous hair.
Ten. The (reverse) Xabi Alonso pose section.™
With his supposed
friends hijacking his usual poses here, here…
… and here – all over the place – is it any wonder that Xabi is the only one not to pose with his hands on his hips in this picture? (He’s the second one from the left).
Xabi started talking with the refs right after the game ended, and continued as they made their way into the tunnel.
Eleven. Postgame fun. Cristiano shows once again why time and time again others cite him as one of the most friendly and supportive players on the team. He hugged former teammates Miguel Torres and Pedro Mosquera after the game. I imagine if Pepe – the número uno canterano cheerleader – had been there, he would have done the same.
Twelve. The Mou corner.
José M. said after the game that it was a “strange” game…
…but that the team had deserved to win…
…even though “I didn’t like my team as a team…
… it’s not the time to criticize and I can only say positive things about my team…”
…because this was the first game of the year and so not a good indicator of anything. He also described Kaká as a “súper jugador.”
Mou also left us with these moments. On the left, it looks like he’s
listing the 13 errors expressing his displeasure with the refereeing, and on the right, he sort of pulls a Pep Guardiola – but in this case, it was because Di María had collapsed on the ground injured and Mou wanted to make sure he was ok before the game was resumed.
Thirteen. Other notes: Pedro León got a big round of applause when he stepped onto the field with the other substitutes, and Rubén de la Red watched the game from a palco. He also got a big cheer. Also in the stands: Sergio Canales and Fernando Pacheco, the descartados. It looked warmer on the bench.
Fourteen. Looking ahead: Madrid held a closed training session today at 11:30h to begin preparing for the second leg of their Copa del Rey round of 16 game against Levante on Thursday in Valencia.
Fifteen. And Gonzalo Higuaín returned to Madrid yesterday from Buenos Aires. He was greeted by a crowd of journalists, but didn’t want to comment on anything, limiting himself to “I don’t want to talk, it’s not the right moment. I’m calm, I feel better but there’s still some time to go. When the decision is made I’ll talk.” Pipita met with the medical staff and Mourinho today to discuss the next step, which basically means when and where he’ll be operated on.
It’s really no surprise that he decided to wear one of his favorite black quilted jackets, no?
I hope you enjoyed this ICYMI – I had a lot of fun writing this one!!!