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all set for Almería!

January 16, 2011

The things I didn’t get around to yesterday…

The training session

Madrid held their last training session before tonight’s game against Almería in Almería.  Twenty players trained yesterday afternoon, with the absences of Mesut Özil, who worked out in the gym, as well as the injured Higuaín, Pepe and Dudek, and Mahamadou Diarra, who is still in Mali.

Some players showed coordination with each other, while others didn’t.  Those who didn’t look like they would be the least popular boys at the school dance (if they weren’t famous, hot footballers, that is).

And while I was extremely fascinated by Iker running, his little jog looks boring in comparison to Cris’, since he turned his into a little dance.

Meanwhile, Esteban Granero was looking yummy from the front, and Sergio Ramos from the back.

And of course there was time for disagreements – Sergio shoving Iker – and fun – Xabi’s smiles.

The convocatoria

José Mourinho called up twenty players for the game, leaving out Lass and Mateos, and including Pachecho.

Goalkeepers: Casillas, Adán, Pacheco.

Defenders: Carvalho, Sergio Ramos, Marcelo, Arbeloa, Albiol, Garay.

Midfielders: Gago, Khedira, Canales, Granero, Xabi Alonso, Pedro León, Di María, Kaká, Özil.

Forwards: Cristiano Ronaldo, Benzema.

Fernando Pacheco did not train or travel with the team, because he was playing with Juvenil A yesterday afternoon, a game which they lost 0-1 to Las Rozas.  He took a later flight to Almería to meet up with the team.

Mou’s press conference

In his press conference after the session, Mou talked about several things.  He was asked about the possibility of Ruud van Nistelrooy coming over in the winter transfer market, of which he said, “if he comes, I’ll be happy, but we’ll see what happens.  I know him well as a player and a person.”  By the way, Raúl and RvN were spotted chatting after playing each other yesterday in the Bundesliga.  Apparently, the conversation went like this.  RvN asked Raúl what he should do, and Raúl replied, “return!!”

Of Karim Benzema, Mou told the journalists that the whistles of the fans as Karim was subbed out against Atleti were not directed towards the player, but were motivated by the substitution:  “the stadium was whistling me, because when it was tied at 1-1, I subbed out a forward.  They wanted the team to continue playing with a center forward.  I don’t mind if the stadium whistles at me.”  He went on to say, “I’m happy with Karim.  He’s working harder than ever, and making a strong effort to change his personality as a player and to get to the high level demanded by Real Madrid.  He’s not scoring many goals, because he lacks the mentality of a player that wants to score a lot.  A forward should have this desire, which is almost like an obsession, to score.  If another forward comes, it’s not anything against Karim but rather because the team needs another ‘9.’  He’ll improve, and we support him; he’s going to play a lot of games whether another forward comes or not.  And he’ll score.”

As for MFC Álvaro Morata, Mou remarked, “Real Madrid has their forward for the next 10 years, but they have to be patient (or as Sergio would say, be patience), he will continue working and score a lot of goals with Castilla… We have the hope and the conviction that he will get to the first team and he will write his history in Real Madrid, the same as Canales.”

He also criticized the canteranos, the press and the players’ entourages a bit, saying that “the first division is full of former Real Madrid players who didn’t triumph here because they didn’t know how to wait… who gets to the first team at the age of 17?  Maradona, Zidane or Raúl were phenomenons.  The rest need to be patient.  The fault lies with the agents, the parents or the players who have their head in the clouds.”  With all that said, Mou concluded with “Morata will be more of a man next year, when he should be on the first team, so we should leave him alone for now.”

And when he finally got around to the game – remember that? – Mou said that Ozi will play if he recovers from his problem, but if he can’t, Kaká will start.  Lass was not called up for the game because “I have all the midfielders on the team at my disposition and I prefer to have more offensive-minded ones on the bench like Canales or Pedro León.  I continue to count on Lass though.”

To Almería

After all that, the team traveled to Andalucía.  The four musketeers came off the plane together, as did the inseparable duo of CR and Marcelino.  Thoughts on Sergio’s facial hair?  Good thing it’s there, since it’s a nice distraction from the thumb.

Fernando Gago and Ángel di María were tasked with signing autographs at the team hotel.  Neither Fer nor the fans could raise a smile at one point (why in the world would Real Madrid’s web site choose this picture to represent the autograph session?) but Gago could when it came to posing with Di María, along with their thumbs.  And how cute is Ángel with the little baby?

Other stuff

– fun fact of the day:  Cris, with his 23 goals in the Liga, has scored more than eight teams in the Liga!  Those eight are Hércules (22); Levante (19); Zaragoza, Sporting and Osasuna (17); Almería (16); Depor and Racing (15).

– Franz Beckenbauer has denied making the statements in which he called Mourinho “rude and uneducated.”  He spoke by phone with Emilio Butragueño yesterday, said that he doesn’t know where those words came from, and that he admires Mourinho, one of the best coaches that he knows of, and that they have a good relation.  Butragueño said he would pass on these sentiments to Mourinho.

– and at the request of reader R, Álvaro Arbeloa has confirmed that the following people DO NOT use twitter:  Albiol, Granero, Pedro León, Canales, Özil, Adán.  So if you see any accounts by these players, they are fake.

So far, the only Real Madrid players with confirmed accounts are: Álvaro himself, Xabi, Sergio, Kaká, Cris, Higuaín, Gago (with his girlfriend).

43 Comments leave one →
  1. PepperPots permalink
    January 16, 2011 12:19

    Angel with a baby!!! Wooo!!!

  2. amouria permalink
    January 16, 2011 12:24

    Ruud is supported by all real madrid fans………

  3. January 16, 2011 12:50

    Ozi do have twitter @officialozil23.. -.- tonto…

    • IsaBella permalink
      January 16, 2011 13:38

      I think it’s fake. Someone has already mentioned it in previous comments.

      • Aline permalink
        January 16, 2011 17:20

        I think it’s the true ozil… kk and cris follow him (so cute)
        BTW, I hate when people don’t have “account verified” 😀

        • IsaBella permalink
          January 16, 2011 17:52

          I also hate when I don’t see the blue star next to an account 😉

        • Lulja permalink
          January 17, 2011 18:49

          The comments on his official Facebook are very different, though.
          I suppose it is fake. He would’ve mentioned its existence otherwise!

    • Miche permalink
      January 16, 2011 17:20

      I’m actually quite certain that’s a fake account, as well (for a large number of reasons…).
      Mesut only has an official Facebook page. 🙂

    • January 16, 2011 20:11

      The account is not verified, Mesut has never mentioned having a Twitter account, neither on his official website, nor his Facebook page, you only have to read some of the tweets to know it’s fake, plus Arbeloa just CONFIRMED that the account is fake! What else has to happen for people to believe it?

  4. HermosaChica permalink
    January 16, 2011 12:52

    The facial hair looks great! I hope it stays so we can get a better look at it tonight.
    And that baby has absolutely NO idea what’s going on! 😆 They should seriously let me plop on the desk in front of the players during autograph sessions..

    • IsaBella permalink
      January 16, 2011 13:40

      It really does!! it’s like totally blond and sweet, exactly the same as Xabi’s 😀
      oh they should not let ME plop on the desk, I just might not be able to control myself :p

    • DebS permalink
      January 19, 2011 04:38

      “They should seriously let me plop on the desk in front of the players during autograph sessions..”


  5. IsaBella permalink
    January 16, 2011 13:37

    Sergio shoving Iker: shove me like that please 😀 and I adore his stylistic mistakes when he speaks, it’s cute 🙂 I also love his facial hair: it’s so blond and adorable.
    I keep my fingers crossed for Karim, I wish him all the best and I hope that whoever comes as the new forward will play together with Karim and that they will make a great pair of strikers.
    I really liked what Mou said about the canteranos: that makes sense.
    Angel with the baby: fantastic!!
    Cristiano’s goal record is impressive, I hope he continues like this.
    Xabi’s wife Nagore also has Twitter if anybody is interested: @nagotwit. It’s confirmed as Alvaro himself said that it’s hers.
    BTW Una I envy you for having Spanish teclado, I struggle with my English/Polish one 😉

    • Sunshine permalink
      January 16, 2011 18:03

      Hey IsaBella! I have a question: are you from Poland? 😉

      • IsaBella permalink
        January 16, 2011 22:32

        Yes Sunshine 🙂

        • Sunshine permalink
          January 17, 2011 14:30

          Ohh that’s great! Cause I’m also a Polish girl 😀 I was actually wondering the other day if there are any other Poles visiting this amazing blog 😛 It’s so nice to meet you! 😉 What part of our country are you exactly from?

        • IsaBella permalink
          January 17, 2011 15:12

          nice to meet you too 🙂 I’m from Warsaw, you?

        • Sunshine permalink
          January 18, 2011 00:00

          I’m from Torun, but I hope to move to Warsaw one day 😀 I love your city! 😉 And I assume your name is Iza, am I right? I’m Iga 🙂

        • IsaBella permalink
          January 18, 2011 12:33

          oh thank you 🙂 nice to meet you Iga 🙂

    • DebS permalink
      January 19, 2011 04:44

      “Sergio shoving Iker: shove me like that please” :p

      Looks like Sergio is not happy that Iker has turned his back & walks away. Funny to see that even in practice, Sergio talks with his hands.

      So many guys seem to be going for the “scruffy” look lately… Marcelo, Granero, Sergio, Albiol, Cris, during the Almeria game. It really works on Granero….will have to see how it works on the others once it grows in more.

  6. Marshmallow permalink
    January 16, 2011 13:46

    I like what Mou said about the canteranos. It makes sense!
    Esteban looks very cute, hehe ❤
    As much as I want to see Kaka in the starting line up, I hope Ozi recovers fast!
    I've heard great things about Ruud van Nistelrooy, so I'd like him to get his toosh over to Madrid. Fast! 😀
    Very excited about the game, HALA MADRID! and looking forward to your ICYMI post, Una 🙂

    • YouNeverWalkAlone permalink
      January 16, 2011 21:04

      Yes, but I am very sad. 😦 I like Alvaro Morata a lot and I was hoping he would make it to the first team this year. I suppose that its better for him to be playing with Castilla and scoring goals then for him to be on Real Madrid’s first team but always be on the bench. I don’t know, but I am sad.

      As for Nistelrooy, I’m all for having him back!! It would be great 😀

      And that was a sucky game 😦 I was really hoping for another goal fest like the last time we played Almeria.

      • IsaBella permalink
        January 16, 2011 22:33

        I ma very sad and disappointed with tonight’s score, too 😦 They were supposed to win this and now we’re 4 points behind Barca. Hala Madrid anyway.

  7. Jennifer permalink
    January 16, 2011 14:25

    Is it bad that all I can think of is the potential for another David Bisbal-themed Crackòvia skit? “Di María, di María!”

    I love the dance moves – although the lot on the right look like pre-schoolers in gym class, with no rhythm whatsoever! (Or a bunch of jumping beans, perhaps?) Cris reminds me of , but with the added bonus of a goofy grin.

    Not a fan of the facial hair on Sergio, but then I never am.

    Ángel with the baby is SO ADORABLE. Just so full of cute. (And he’s left-handed. Wonder how his handwriting is…)

    Hopefully Sergio Jr. gets some playing time today, because it seems like we haven’t seen him in ages! (Plus, obviously, he’s not going to improve if he doesn’t play…)

    • Jennifer permalink
      January 16, 2011 14:26

      Oh crap, somehow I managed to not close my HTML there… whoops. Sorry!

    • Michelle permalink
      January 17, 2011 03:14

      Jen, I cannot believe you linked an Alexei Yagudin straight-line footwork sequence on a FOOTBALL blog.

      (That WAS pretty sick, though.)

      • Jennifer permalink
        January 17, 2011 10:04

        But it’s TRUEEEE. I cannot help it. Cris just has skillz.

  8. Dina permalink
    January 16, 2011 16:14

    plz can anyone tell me how we can save pics from RM website since they removed the option??? I REALLY suck at this stuff!!!!!!!!!!
    even the spanish press were fooled then: after Sevilla’s game they published a twwet of Bambi…FAKE? WOW!!!!!!

    • IsaBella permalink
      January 16, 2011 17:54

      I have noticed the saving option dissapearing, too 😦 I have no idea how to save the pictures, though….

    • January 16, 2011 19:56

      That’s exactly why so many people think it’s real even though it’s not. The press wasn’t “fooled” though. They simply didn’t care that it’s fake..

  9. Sunshine permalink
    January 16, 2011 17:50

    OMG! That pic of Esteban is so cute! And I really hope he gets to play more soon, as well as Baby Sergio & Peter Lion (it seems like they haven’t played in La Liga forever!)

    Ohh and I actually love the fact that we can tell exactly who is the guy jogging next to Cris, even if we don’t see him at all! It only takes one look at CR’s grinning face and it’s obvious that Marcelo is there! 😛

    I also love what Mou said about Morata and Canales. They are the future of RM for sure!

  10. La Pirata permalink
    January 16, 2011 17:51

    I really agree with Mou’s comments about patience and actually with a lot of this press conference. Sometimes people focus on things he says that could be seen as inflammatory with him but he makes a lot of sensible, honest points too! And oh, Granero, why so beautiful? Y gracias – brilliant post as per usual.

  11. Maddi permalink
    January 16, 2011 19:03

    I want Ruud too, but in reality, I want RAUL back more!!!!!!! (Impossible, I know…) 😦

  12. January 16, 2011 20:07

    Una, thanks a lot for mentioning that Arbeloa confirmed that the account is fake! I really appreciate that!

    I wish now people would finally stop claiming that the account is real, but they’ll believe whatever they want to believe, I guess. I just feel bad for Mesut.

    Thanks again!

  13. Lauren permalink
    January 16, 2011 22:59

    I don’t know if you guys agree with me but I think it’s the best for Morata right now to play with Real Madrid Castilla although I would love to see him playing again in the first team. Of course I would love to see Sergio Canales too! He should at least get a bit playing time. The last time I saw him playing was last year (lol).
    I think many people think that it’s Ozi’s real account because Cris is following him. But I believe it’s fake because even Alvaro said that it’s fake.

  14. Marie permalink
    January 16, 2011 23:02

    yea that twitter that’s supposedly Ozil’s seems to be a copy and paste of his fb statuses among other things.
    And Mou makes perfect sense. These players have talent, no doubt, but they still have a lot of maturing to do and they can do that at Madrid.
    Great post Una. As usual 🙂

  15. Kat A. permalink
    January 17, 2011 00:12

    “Those who didn’t look like they would be the least popular boys at the school dance (if they weren’t famous, hot footballers, that is).”
    LOL hahaa, this seriously made me crack up. After I started picturing those two clips as a dance, I REALLY couldn’t stop laughing haha.

    I really don’t understand the appeal of the thumbs up. A nice smile would do so much better! Sergio’s not even looking at the fans -_- Love him anyway, especially with the scruff!

    You know, this blog is really making me take notice of other players… like Xabi, Granero, and Arbeloa. The more the see them, the more attractive they look. This team is seriously so good looking… :sigh:

    Hmm… good points, Mou… can one year make that much of a difference? Plenty of players had their first team appearances at 18, like Cristiano! I guess you never know =)

    Your blog is not only entertaining, but informative! I’ve always been very impressed between your balance between reporting the events and your (hilarious) commentary.

  16. amouria permalink
    January 17, 2011 01:33

    The worst was set for almeria. The first and foremost to blame is Mou, who started by a bad system. He tried it several times, but every time it was a disaster. We were able to come back in all previous times, but not in this one, we were tired and had no possibility to communicate clearly. A bad 9 is much better than no 9. That is the lesson.
    The history of La Liga shows that the winter winner is the La Liga winner in 75% of the cases in the last 20 years. I am so upset that we say good bye to La Liga so early…

    • IsaBella permalink
      January 17, 2011 11:13

      I couldn’t agree more. I don’t know about the system but obviously something didn’t work. Of course, winning every time is difficult (if you’re not Barca) but this game was just a must to win if we wanted to go on with the Liga. I’m really very sad that we lost it like this. 😦 I keep on hoping anyway and keeping my fingers crossed for Mou and the boys in Champions League and in Copa.

  17. January 17, 2011 03:23

    aahh!!! the cuatro mosqueteros!!!! i have an idea, everybody that has a twitter ( and follows alvaro, sergio, xabi) tweet them asking for a picture of the cuatro mosqueteros i miss the four of them posing for the camera with the typicall thumps up!!!! so who’s up for this???

    • IsaBella permalink
      January 17, 2011 11:14

      me 🙂

    • Lulja permalink
      January 17, 2011 18:55

      I’ll also ask them whether they know another gesture than that one!

  18. Dina permalink
    January 18, 2011 00:16

    still askin’ for help: does anyone know how we save pics in RM website??? THANX IN ADVANCE! 🙂

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