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in case you missed it – the one goal was enough (again) edition

January 24, 2011

In case you missed it – Real Madrid vs. Mallorca {2011-01-23, Liga jornada 19].

Well, Karim Benzema must have taken what Kaká and José Mourinho said to heart, because he responded last night and gave us three very important points.  This was his 10th goal of the season (two in the Liga, and four apiece in the other two competitions).  He also received a nice ovation from the crowd at the Bernabéu.

ONE. The goal.  And a great one it was too.  But what I loved were the celebrations – in addition to Karim jumping into Cristiano’s arms, all of his teammates came up individually to hug him.  They all knew how important this goal was for him and they were all happy for him.  All together now – awwww.

Benzema’s teammates also had nice things to say about him after the game:  Marcelo said they have a lot of confidence in Karim, adding that “we’re the first ones to be happy for him.  We have a lot of affection for him and we need to support him.  We hope the goal will motivate him to continue growing as a footballer.”  Meanwhile, Iker advised that “we should leave him alone and not overwhelm him.  He is an introvert but he’s opened up and he has the support of everyone in the locker room.  He’s very noble and he wouldn’t hurt a fly.”  And Carvalho remarked, “we’re happy for him, and the goal was important because it makes him happy and it helped us a lot too.”

TWO. While the players were waiting to come out into the stadium, Sergio adjusted himself, but this time did it with his back to the camera.  Boooooo.  And Cristiano danced his way up the stairs.  I love how he can incorporate his dance moves into anything!

THREE. The starting line-up was a bit unusual, because it featured Kaká, Gago and Granero as the midfield.  At the half, the first two were substituted for Özil and Xabi Alonso, respectively, while Lass came in for El Pirata in the 63rd minute.  José Mourinho’s explanation for this after the game was, “today I decided to change some players because on Wednesday we have an important game.  I managed to rest the midfield that will play in Sevilla.  Khedira is injured but will play on Wednesday.”  He added that, “the team improved immediately following the double substitution at the half.”  (In the end, Xabi got to rest for 30 minutes, because by the 30th minute of the first half, Mou had sent him to warm up, not pleased with how Madrid was playing.)

So, we got to see the rare sight of Xabi warming up on the sideline, and Ozi as well.  Poor Sergio Canales was also spotted warming up, but didn’t make it into the game.  And doesn’t Xabi look like he’s dancing with an invisible partner as he warms up?

FOUR. Cris ended the first half none too pleased with the refereeing team.  I love that look of one-third exasperation, one-third disbelief and one-third self pity.

FIVE. Obviously, Kaká changing his boots on the sideline was more important than the game itself, because the cameras filmed the entire process while ignoring the game.

SIX. Front and back.™

Karim Benzema.

Cris (with bonus Karim).

El Pirata.

Iker.  Once again, the profile beats the front.

A Xabi-esque Kaká.

Lass.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen him smiling this big during a game (or ever!).  He also got feisty at one point during the game.

Ozi.

Sergio.

Xabi Alonso.

SEVEN. Iker and Marcelo had quite a heated discussion at one point during the first half, after Nsue surprised Madrid and his shot hit the post.  Iker scolded Marcelo for letting Nsue advance down his wing, and it was Sergio Ramos who stepped in to mediate by shoving the two apart.

I love that look that Marcelo gives Iker, like he thinks Iker is the silliest person in the world.

EIGHT. The Xabi Alonso pose section.™

In the first half, we had Esteban Granero, and while he was pretty great, he’s no Xabi.  But even when Xabi came in, he still didn’t take corners.

Xabi’s various poses throughout the game.  He’s so classy even when others are arguing.  And I love how he starts barking out directions as soon as he steps onto the field.  The only way he could get more perfect is if we somehow found a way to smuggle Nagore out onto the field.

NINE. Postgame stuff – Álvaro Arbeloa hugged his former Depor teammate, Mallorca goalkeeper Dudu Aouate.

Meanwhile, Sergio Canales, who, as stated earlier, was seen warming up but didn’t make it into the game, stayed at the Santiago Bernabéu long after everyone else – the crowd, his teammates, even most of the security – had left, to train on his own.

I really hope he gets a chance to shine.  He deserves a chance, and not just because we need a Cantabrian to win the Champions League trophy!

TEN. Iker can make even the most mundane of things – swallowing, spitting or raising his eyebrows – look sexy.

ELEVEN. The Mou corner.

Mou, in his postgame press conference, revealed that in regards to getting another forward for the team in the winter transfer market, he doesn’t talk to Jorge Valdano, but rather FP and the general director of marketing, José Ángel Sánchez, but that they haven’t really talked about new signings, even though “we all know that old story about a forward who used to play here.”

There were various signs in support of Mou around the stadium yesterday afternoon, but Mourinho asked that the support be directed towards the team, because “I don’t like individual signs of support nor do I need them, though I am grateful for them.”

He also hugged Rafa’s uncle Mallorca assistant coach Miguel Ángel Nadal after the game.

TWELVE. And another person who appeared to heed Mourinho’s words, besides Karim Benzema, was Álvaro Morata, who scored another goal in Castilla’s 2-0 victory over Celta B yesterday (Mou had said, “Morata needs to score more goals with Castilla”).  This was his fourth goal in three games (though Juanfran deserves most of the credit for this one), with Castilla winning all three.  Jorge Casado scored the other goal for our chiquitos.

THIRTEEN. Álvaro’s tweets following the game.  He said it was a difficult game, that the next time he’ll shoot, and that he’s reading La sangre de los inocentes (by Julia Navarro) and just watched Love and other drugs.

FOURTEEN. Looking ahead, brought to you by Sergio’s secret whispers and Iker’s time-wasting methods.

Madrid started preparing for Wednesday’s Copa del Rey semifinal during today’s training session, which took place at 11h behind closed doors.

And Iker travels to Geneva today to be officially named as a UNDP goodwill ambassador.  He’ll be accompanied by Emilio Butragueño on the trip.

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36 Comments leave one →
  1. mumblo permalink
    January 24, 2011 15:26

    Thanks for this, Una. I had to watch this on my laptop yesterday, so I missed a lot of little details. Your post is amazing as always; I can’t believe how quickly you put this together!

    While I was glad to see the team earn three more points, I’m concerned about how scattered the team seems when Xabi isn’t playing. This is not the first time we’ve seen the team suffer in his absence. I actually find this more worrisome than our striker situation.

    • Annee permalink
      January 24, 2011 16:17

      I agree about Xabi. Not only does he dominate the midfield, but he’s a clear leader as we see every week with the pointing and direction giving. He really keeps things organized out there. I think the flow of RM’s game is off when he’s missing. Great to have, but it’s a huge concern if he’s ever (god forbid) injured.

    • Ally permalink
      January 24, 2011 17:55

      You are absolutely right! Xabi is very important.
      We need someone to fall back on when Xabi is injured or can’t play… Kaka hasn’t reached his old level yet…

      But we also need a striker, a killer, who is always on the right spot to make the goal.

  2. Bee permalink
    January 24, 2011 15:46

    I feel for Sergio C. Obviously, he’s working as hard as his team mates are. But sometimes hard work does not translate into result. Keep trying, bb.

    Anyway, I was so thrilled that the team won. Another game, another 3 points and another win.

  3. michelle permalink
    January 24, 2011 15:50

    i’ve gotta say, the way sergio pushes iker is about ten different kinds of hot. and even sexier is how iker just takes it and doesn’t react. mmm.

    it wasn’t the prettiest game, but we won. i’m so nervous about the game against sevilla.

    ps why do keepers have to be so beautiful? it almost makes me hate when we score lovely goals!

    (and i’m so proud of karim.)

    ohoh and isn’t that miguel ángel and not toni? c:

  4. January 24, 2011 15:58

    Serhio – booooo for not sharing. Iker – Lu-u-u-v the eyebrows. Alvaro – really should have taken the shot. Ni fu ni fa! (so cute) Karim – nice work. Keep it up, big boy. Mou – doesn’t talk to JV. great. Always good to keep those open lines of communication flowing between management! *subtle sarcasm* It’s what makes companies great!
    Perhaps Feisty should be a regular trademarked feature here, Una. It seems to come up a bit. The scolding stare Serhio gave Iker was priceless. Not everyone can get away with that. Ik is always so easygoing. Watching him get mad, like at Vargas last week, is quite thrilling.

  5. Annee permalink
    January 24, 2011 16:14

    Yes, Alvaro, I thought you should have just shot the ball too. His wife tweeted from the game that they (her and the baby) were there to watch papa. How cute.

    I don’t really know in the end how much rest Mesut and Xabi got, but it was an interesting and, I think, good plan by Mourinho. Of course, if they lost or drew it would be another story.

    I was happy to see Lass on the pitch. I think he’s underrated and ignored.

  6. morirsonando permalink
    January 24, 2011 16:28

    Thanks Una! I always look forward to your post (I knew you wouldn’t miss that minor bust up between Marcelo and Iker).

    One thing, Miguel Angel Nadal is the assistant coach at Mallorca, not Toni Nadal–that’s Rafa’s tennis coach.

  7. blitzen permalink
    January 24, 2011 16:36

    Mou needs a haircut. Those little flippy things around his ears look funny.

  8. Andrea permalink
    January 24, 2011 16:46

    Brilliant post as usual, Una. I was so happy for Benz, he (and the team) really needed that goal!

    Did anyone else hear someone shout “OZI!” towards the end of the game? I could swear that I heard it, but I haven’t had a chance to go back and check if I was hearing things or not 🙂

  9. mickymacky permalink
    January 24, 2011 16:50

    wish they could score more… not just ’cause it’d be a massive boost for them , but — selfishly — because i love seeing these guys happy as they go about their goal celebrations.

    and re: iker … yes, that man’s profile should be embossed. never mind that nowadays it looks more like a “I couldn’t even be bothered to borrow Cris’ comb&gel kit”-wind-tousled look.

  10. bbBenz permalink
    January 24, 2011 18:05

    I’m so Happy for Karim! 😀 the lost puppy scored a great goal!!! I’m so happy for him!! keep scoring goals Karim!!

  11. Pat permalink
    January 24, 2011 18:18

    Hi Una , congratulations to your blog. I love it.
    Waiting Pipita’s recovery news.

  12. amouria permalink
    January 24, 2011 18:41

    Great post Una, as usual..
    We always complicate the game for ourselves. The players were already tired, but the technique was equally tiring. Instead of the tiki taka method, which saves 70% of their energy, they had to run like athletes. They have to know that this is football not running exercise. De Maria was dead since three games. He should have been replaced by Pedro Leon or Canales. any way, it is clear that the team is still not fully complete and needs a lot of improvement.
    Yesterday, I was telling my friends, that the best representative of RM identity this year is Benzema. One good game followed by 10 average games.

    • HermosaChica permalink
      January 25, 2011 00:10

      I must admit, I don’t like seeing Pedro underused. I understand it’s not easy to wedge him into random matches, as he’ll need continuity to prove his worth. But his absence has turned “Peter Lion” into a meager “Pete Kitten”.. 😕

  13. raheeq permalink
    January 24, 2011 19:23

    i hate when iker Reprimand his defenders i hope someday sergio will slap him on the face

  14. January 24, 2011 19:31

    I’m always surprised when I read your blog. How you analyze the peoples movements and expressions. For example Xabis warming-up invisible dancepartner, a thing I never would have thought about, but when you write it and I start to think about it, it seems like the simpliest thing to notice.

  15. Danielle permalink
    January 24, 2011 19:59

    yeah ask liverpool how badly things can go without him!

  16. La Pirata permalink
    January 24, 2011 20:02

    This game was so feisty but a win was achieved and players were used strategically. Kudos to Jose for pulling it off. I actually thought Granero did a fine job, distributing and completing passes well and I hope he gets the ability to play more although Madrid is spoiled for choice in midfielders. The addition of Xabi to the field made a great difference indeed and he proves his worth again and again.

    So happy for that Benzema goal and what a beauty it was! I hope he’s on his way to getting confidence and form returning in case a striker isn’t purchased this winter.

  17. HermosaChica permalink
    January 24, 2011 20:26

    Aah, the Sexio adjustment gif..the mind can only wonder 😉 And the secret whispers? Really? C’mon, you’re killing us!

    Haha, I love how Alvaro’s lovingly gazing into Dudu Aouate’s eyes.

    Lass, please keep smiling like that!

    “swallowing, spitting or raising his eyebrows – look sexy” — funny you say that, ’cause it makes my skin crawl when men spit, but somehow, it’s incredibly sexy when footballers do it!

    I was ecstatic when Karim scored! It was obvious that the immediate confidence boost it gave him lasted all through the rest of the match. 🙂

  18. Savannah permalink
    January 24, 2011 20:43

    Thank you so much for putting Morata in it too!! I love him so much!! I really want him to play for Real’s 1st team!!

  19. January 24, 2011 20:50

    I would marry this page if i could.

  20. Zparklemotion permalink
    January 24, 2011 20:56

    Thank you so much for this, I couldn’t watch the whole game, so this was wonderful :))
    I was so happy for Karim, he looked so relieved :3

    • madrista permalink
      January 24, 2011 23:23

      i would also like to say how much i am grateful for you unamadrista to do theese editions! you are awesoooooooooooome, and the front and back pictures you put in .. i mean !!! i loooove you (:

      but i need to ask ppl, are you girls or guys? cuz it is funny how different the opposite sexes are watching a football game …
      i am a girl, and i see it as if it was a catwalk with hotties like sergio ramos and ronaldo, i like the game too, but i think the eye-candy kinds of make me loving it even more 😀

  21. sabrihanna permalink
    January 24, 2011 21:03

    OMG! UnaMadridista I would marry u if i could!

  22. IsaBella permalink
    January 24, 2011 21:15

    It was a really crappy game. Madrid played bad and I was afraid that they were gonna draw again. But finally we got the three points and that’s what matters. The quality of GolTV was better this time than ESPN so I watched the game on the same channel as Una 🙂 I liked the comments, too.
    Sergio show me what you’re doing there at the stairs baby 😀
    BTW Una those stairs are very steep aren’t they? I always break my legs climbing and going down. Cristiano is a better dancer than me 🙂 I’m too short for them. 😉
    Adidad needs to make money on Kaka’s new boots so they filmed the changing 🙂
    Dudu Auate is very handsome: has anybody noticed that but me? 😉

    • HermosaChica permalink
      January 25, 2011 00:05

      There’s something fishy about the goalie’s in Spain. ALL of them are lookers! There must be a secret.. 😉

      • IsaBella permalink
        January 25, 2011 11:25

        definetely agree 🙂 Though Iker is totally not my type he’s one of the best out there, in every meaning of the word ;p

  23. mar permalink
    January 24, 2011 22:21

    great front of sergio! i think he will talk to me in any minute and…
    :O i am turning into a sexio’s fun even though i didn’t like him so much at first….

  24. Kat permalink
    January 25, 2011 00:29

    I find Sergio pushing Iker away extremely fascinating. I just watched it over and over and over… There’s also something hot about the way Sergio got in in between Iker and Marcelo to stop the argument.

    And, is it just me, or has Iker been getting feistier lately?

    And although I’m very, very happy for Karim, we still need another striker. What if he gets injured?

    http://dontaskmetosmile.wordpress.com

  25. January 25, 2011 01:04

    omgggg. sergio canales, why you so precious. i really hope he’ll get his chance one day. ONE FULL GAME. it’ll be amazing. or even like, 75 minutes. *____* he works so hard and everybody knows it. like that one time, against getafe or whatever, he tried so hard and he was such a beast, shouting at the opponents like he’s 26-years-old and could care less even though he’s like a bb, like morata. ;___; GOOD LUCK, CANALES. you deserve some playing time for reals.

    “Obviously, Kaká changing his boots on the sideline was more important than the game itself, because the cameras filmed the entire process while ignoring the game.”

    obviously. ;D

  26. ulong permalink
    January 25, 2011 02:05

    I think Iker needs hair gel 😀

    • January 25, 2011 16:02

      But then we would see how much it’s thinning out in front!!! eeeek! It’s starting to be really noticeable. Let’s all remember back to how thick it used to be!

  27. January 25, 2011 16:16

    awesome edition of ICYMI! Again!

    I was not able to see the game (again) but you make me feel, once agian, as if I saw it!

    I love all the sections, but I need to express the special appreciation for Sexio gif, Iker and Xabi Alonso Pose Section. Presshhious!

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