the latest news
ONE. It looks like all of you who purchased Mesut Özil jerseys are safe for the time being, because LFP regulations prohibit Madrid from changing the jersey numbers of its players at the midpoint of the season (understandable), so Manu Adebayor will have to take over the “6” left vacant by the departure of Mahamadou Diarra. But I expect the changes will take place next season, because if there’s anything Madrid is obsessed with and good at, it’s shirt sales.
TWO. Speaking of Adebayor, his flight back to Madrid from Manchester (he went to pick up some belongings) was delayed, so he didn’t make it back to yesterday’s training session in time. He was then expected to train alone in the afternoon, but he didn’t make that either. His presence in Pamplona is thus complicated, because he’ll only have one session with his teammates (assuming he trains today) under his belt before the game, and since he hasn’t played a game since Dec. 1, almost two months ago, he’s not in game shape.
THREE. Alberto Toril, Castilla’s coach, spoke with Radio Marca yesterday, during which he asked for patience to allow MFC Álvaro Morata to mature. He also said that he was sure that Álvaro Borja Morata Martín would have a long career with the first team. Toril also revealed that he talks more with Karanka than with Mou, and that Karanka sends him messages whenever the presence of a Castilla player is required, whether in training sessions or for games. He described Mou as a “coach that keeps track of the boys (of Castilla). Quite a few have debuted already and if this project continues, then more and more will have the chance.”
By the way, with Adebayor’s absence from the training session yesterday, Morata trained with the first team in their session at Valdebebas.
FOUR. Also at the session, though he was limited to just running: Pepe, who has recovered from the muscle injury to his left calf which kept him out for a month. He’s expected to rejoin the team in training next week, and be available for the game against Real Sociedad on Feb. 6. Absent from the session were Marcelo and Xabi Alonso, both suffering from the flu. They were replaced in the session by Castilla’s Luis Hernández and Merchan, respectively.
FIVE. And former canterano Jordi Codina posted these adorable pictures of his daughter Claudia on twitter yesterday. I wonder if she’ll grow up to play football? She’s a natural at posing, by the way.
To make this relevant to this blog, here’s a look at the adorable Claudia as she appeared back in May 2008, as Madrid celebrated winning the Liga. Even then, she had her own jersey! Bonus Iker and Claudia here. And Aitor looks pretty cute in his goalkeeper jersey too!
By the way, I have a Q&A with Jordi from Don Balón, more or less equivalent to Xabi’s from last month. Would you all like to read it?
And: isn’t it sad that this picture was taken just two and a half years ago, and yet the majority of these players are no longer playing with Madrid?