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all set for Levante!

January 5, 2011

Our boys (and a few men) held the last training session before tomorrow’s Copa del Rey round of 16 second leg game against Levante.  Five canteranos (the as-of-late habitual Pacheco, Juanfran and MFC, as well as old favorite Juan Carlos and new face Castilla goalkeeper Jesús) were invited to the session to join 21 footballers from the first team.  Absent were the injured Dudek and Higuaín, as well as Cristiano Ronaldo, who had a cold, and Mahamadou Diarra who is still out dealing with personal problems.

The very layered Iker kept his eye on Marcelo, while Xabi posed discretely in the background.

Under Pepe’s watchful eye, Sergio made friends with the canteranos.  It’s my favorite two!

And as always, it’s great to see the boys smiling, joking around and hugging each other.

José Mourinho called up 20 players for the game against Levante, including the five canteranos who trained with the team this morning.  Iker, Marcelo, Xabi, Albiol, Di María and Ozi will be rested for this game, along with the ill Cristiano.  So, the group that will travel to Valencia tomorrow at 11:15 in the morning (the first time the team is traveling to an away game on the day of the game – Mou explained after the first leg that it was not a lack of respect towards Levante, but so that his players could spend Jan. 5-6 with their families) looks like this:

Goalkeepers: Adán, Jesús, Pacheco.

Defenders: Carvalho, Pepe, Ramos, Mateos, Arbeloa, Garay.

Midfielders: Gago, Kaká, Lass, Granero, Canales, Pedro León, Khedira, Juan Carlos, Juanfran.

Forwards: Benzema, Morata.

It looks like Antonio Adán and MFC will get the first starts of their career!

Every time I see this picture of Juanfran, I think it’s Fernando Verdasco.  I don’t think they look alike in real life, just in this picture.

The team will resume training on Friday for this Sunday’s game against El Submarino Amarillo.

22 Comments leave one →
  1. Deb permalink
    January 5, 2011 15:00

    I sure hope everything is okay with Mahamadou Diarra and it’s nothing serious. Seems to have been going on for a bit now.

    Hopefully the couple days off will help Cris get up to par. I was really surprised when he played only a day or two after we learned he had strep throat. I was afraid that he had hurt himself in the last game as he seemed to be wincing (an ankle maybe?) as he was walking off the pitch after the Getafe game.

    I’m really pulling for the canteranos. It’s such a bid deal for them to get playing time and I hope they have great games.

    Even though they will be missing some of the regular starters, it’s still a pretty strong team. I really hope Canales has a good game too. Maybe it will boost his confidence a little.

    • HermosaChica permalink
      January 5, 2011 17:50

      True, the Diarra issue has lingered on for quite some time now. I hope he resolves whatever difficulties he’s facing as soon as possible.

      Yes, I remember seeing that as well. My heart drops whenever I notice our players pulling uneasy facial expressions during matches.

  2. IsaBella permalink
    January 5, 2011 16:00

    Cristiano seems to be getting ill very easily… too much time outside with no cover on his head 😉 As far as tomorrow’s game is concerned, I supposed that a half of the team would be free to party as the first leg ended up 8:0 😉 and it is a very nice gesture of Mou to let them spend Jan 6th at home: that is when they give missing Xmas presents in Spain.
    Antonio Adan has already played this season: it was when Jurek Dudek got off the pitch injured in the 45th minute of the game.
    It should be easy tomorrow but fingers crossed anyway 🙂

    • Miche permalink
      January 6, 2011 03:59

      I think she means that Antonio was subbed in last time, so this will be his first time being in the starting eleven of a match. 🙂

      I’m considerably less nervous because of what the boys were able to accomplish in the first leg. I’m hoping we score a handful tomorrow, too, but mostly that everyone performs well.

      • IsaBella permalink
        January 6, 2011 15:24

        I hope so too, unfortunately I’m at work so I may miss some of the game…

  3. amouria permalink
    January 5, 2011 16:54

    and Karim as well….we need him to be consistent for heaven sake!!!!!!!!!!!

    • bbBenz permalink
      January 6, 2011 06:56

      i’m sure he can do it:) Hala Karim!!

  4. Barbara permalink
    January 5, 2011 17:53

    I hope Sami has a really good game & gets a chance to score a goal. Thank you for the interview, I hope he & Mesut are fitting in well with the team. I hope Diarra & his family are alright.

  5. Lily Montella permalink
    January 5, 2011 18:04

    Tomorrow’s game is very exciting I can’t wait to see Morata play!!!!

    Also I hope diarra is fine sounds like he’s been having some serious family problems.

    Good Luck Boys Hala Madrid!!!

    • Deb permalink
      January 6, 2011 21:35

      I would love to see Morata score. Maybe then Mou can see him as an option for forward.

  6. Lauren permalink
    January 5, 2011 18:38

    Honestly I love it that you call Özil Ozi!

    • IsaBella permalink
      January 5, 2011 23:56

      you should hear how it’s pronounced, fabulous 🙂

  7. Ange permalink
    January 5, 2011 19:53

    awwww Sergio y Raul I love that pic!!!! 😀

    Thanx Una!!!

  8. January 5, 2011 20:20

    I really, REALLY hope we get a goal from Morata tomorrow! That would be so exciting. Also, Sergio with the canteranos is too cute.

  9. Deisi permalink
    January 5, 2011 21:18

    As much as I love the regular starting 11 I’m really looking forward to seeing the canteranos play and Canales too!

  10. Ashlee permalink
    January 6, 2011 03:05

    I really really hope that the Canteranos get a chance to shine. Morata especially. Aside from the fact that he’s quite talented, he’s got such a little hopeful face and kind eyes. If that isn’t enough to will a goal, I don’t know what is.

  11. LaBlanca permalink
    January 6, 2011 08:21

    have you seen this?

    • HermosaChica permalink
      January 6, 2011 11:21

      Thanks LaBlanca! Haha, their trainings seem so fun!! And I love how Pepe got a special mention for being the canteranos’ guardian 😛

      • IsaBella permalink
        January 6, 2011 12:25

        HermosaChica: the training is actually very boring but yes there are some funny moments 😉

        • HermosaChica permalink
          January 6, 2011 12:40

          Well it would get tedious if you did relatively the same thing every day. But I can’t help getting excited whenever I see them all together smiling!

      • IsaBella permalink
        January 6, 2011 13:24

        It is definetely more boring for the person who watches it from the side (after half an hour I just go for a walk and come back in the end 😉 than for them personally. Still, as you said routine can be overwhelming sometimes.

    • emily permalink
      January 6, 2011 17:15

      >> to 1:02

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