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all set for Espanyol!

February 13, 2011

Madrid held their last training session in Valdebebas yesterday afternoon before today’s game against Espanyol.  Aitor Karanka oversaw the session, as his boss was in France watching or spying (depending on who you ask) the game between Saint Étienne and Lyon, since the latter is Madrid’s next Champions League opponent.  All 23 of the players available from the first team (only Pipita is still in the sick bay) trained, meaning that Pepe and Jerzy Dudek are healthy and fit again.

So, the call-up looks like this.  Pepe and Dudek are back, as is Sergio Ramos after serving a one-game suspension.  Pedro León and Sergio Canales were left out due to the coach’s decision.

Goalkeepers: Casillas, Adán, Dudek.

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

Midfielders: Khedira, Alonso, Lass, Granero, Gago, Kaká, Özil, Di María.

Forwards: Cristiano Ronaldo, Adebayor, Benzema.

In the absence of José Mourinho, Aitor Karanka spoke to the press (as much as I like Mou, it’s good to have a little variety in the press room, no?).  He didn’t reveal who would start tomorrow (he said it has been decided for some time, but not even the players were to know until tomorrow), but said Karim is well after the brutal kick he received while playing for France, and that Pepe is 100 percent again.  He also expressed his happiness that everyone came back healthy from the international break, with the arrival of Emmanuel Adebayor, and that the competition he brings is good for Benzema.

Karanka also made sure to stress that the presence of Mou in France did not mean that Madrid values the Champions League more than the Liga, as “the míster has a different way of working than everyone else.  He’s used to doing things like this.  It’s something normal for him.  Today he went to see that game but he knows that the most important one is the one we have tomorrow and he’ll be there.”

As stated earlier, Mou was absent from the training session – although he had prepared with Karanka beforehand what he wanted the players to work on – because he had flown by private plane with José Morais to Saint Étienne to watch them take on Lyon in a game where the visiting team ended up winning 4-1.  José Morais (sitting to Mou’s right) is responsible for studying rivals and gathering information on them.  They were also accompanied by Óscar Ribot, the head of press.  After the game, they flew directly to Barcelona to meet up with the rest of the team, arriving at the team hotel around one in the morning.

The team had traveled to Barcelona after the training session, arriving in El Prat around 20h.  As you can see, Iker’s purse made the trip.  Minus that, everyone looked great in their team suits.

The players headed to the Juan Carlos I hotel, where Emmanuel Adebayor and Cristiano Ronaldo were tasked with signing autographs and posing for pictures with the fans.

Let’s hope Madrid takes advantage of Barcelona’s tie yesterday against Sporting (finally, we have something good to say about Manuel Preciado, no?)!

Fun fact:  Esteban Granero scored the first-ever official goal in the Cornellà-El Prat, which he did back on jornada 2 of last season (Sept. 12, 2009), when Madrid beat Espanyol 3-0 behind goals from El Pirata, Guti and Cristiano.

And in other club news, Real Madrid will be taking on Barcelona in the Copa del Rey final.  But I’m not talking about football here, but basketball!  The final of the basketball Copa del Rey will take place tonight at 18h in the Palacio de los Deportes (giving Madrid a home court advantage), after Sergio Rodríguez helped Madrid to make a huge comeback to beat Power Electronics Valencia 69 to 59.  Madrid had been trailing 19-42 at one point in the second half.  In the other semifinal, Barcelona defeated Caja Laboral 92-73 to set up everyone’s favorite match-up.  If Madrid wins tonight, it will be their first Copa del Rey title in 18 years.  ¡Suerte!

Meanwhile, Castilla will be looking for their sixth straight victory when they take on Deportivo B this afternoon at 17h in the Alfredo di Stéfano and to maintain their playoff position with 14 jornadas left.  Good luck to the little ones too!

And in case there were people still thinking the Mesut Özil twitter account was real (meaning you don’t believe Álvaro Arbeloa), Kaká tweeted yesterday that it’s definitely fake, which Álvaro reiterated, as he couldn’t resist saying, “I told you so…”

And Sergio is now responding to tweets in English, though he hasn’t tried tweeting a message on his own in English yet.  I wonder how he’s learning English?

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16 Comments leave one →
  1. IsaBella permalink
    February 13, 2011 12:57

    It’s soo great that Jurek is back in the first team! I’m very happy about it. 😀
    yes! Barca drew and it would be fantastic to catch up these 2 points, let’s do it boys. fingers crossed.
    learning English is a pretty easy and available task, especially for a guy like Sergio, but I’m super happy (jajaja saying it like him…) that he’s making progress. fingers crossed for Sergio as well.

    • DebS permalink
      February 14, 2011 14:16

      You really think English is pretty easy? lol there are some people here who have trouble with it, even though they’ve lived here their whole lives. hahahaha….there are just so many exceptions to the “rules” that it makes it hard for many people, I think.

      Sporting Gijon played outstanding yesterday. I almost thought they were going to get the 3 pts from it. Figures Daveed would not befriend the post yesterday 😐 Now I’m just waiting for the ICYM. I’m SO happy that I didn’t! 😀

      • IsaBella permalink
        February 14, 2011 17:36

        No, I meant that it’s possible to learn it almost everywhere. It’s not like, e.g. Swahili, where it’s hard to find an expert of it 😉

  2. KDJ permalink
    February 13, 2011 13:41

    I already knew that @officialozil23 is not real since the beginning, bcos they once tweeted thay they’re from some ozil fan club forum, or something like that. I don’t know why ppl thought it was real, bcos they never actually said that they’re the real ozil. But they do adapt to first person way of speaking, so it seems like it is Ozil himself tweeting.

    I was jumping up and down in joy on Barca tie yesterday!! But we cannot rely on their messing up all the time, right? It doesn’t seem right and legit if we win bcos the other fail. I always think that this year is not meant for Madrid to win the la liga, cos Barca is just to powerful at the moment. We just have to be patient, next year will be different. we’re just starting to get the hang of it. Ooooh.. I cannot wait to see our boys next season, full strength, great coach, and great dynamic. We see it forming already this season.

    • DebS permalink
      February 14, 2011 14:20

      As the coach for Sporting said, Barca is not invincible. We are no more relying on Barca messing up than they are on us. It’s the way the game is in tight title races….no matter which sport you are talking about….who ever makes the least amount of “errors”(read: losses) wins the league.

      It’s too early to give up on Madrid yet, imo.

  3. mickymacky permalink
    February 13, 2011 15:17

    oh, Sergio, some help is paying off!

    good luck with Espanyol 😉

  4. mar permalink
    February 13, 2011 15:34

    ¡buena suerte! To both teams! Tonight is the perfect change to catch up with barca, nothing is lost yet!

  5. JulieFromParis permalink
    February 13, 2011 15:45

    Good Karim’s ok, Not a surprise though since he recovered quickly after this outrageous “De Jonged” kick ( The “De jonged” adj. being the intellectual property of some fellow kickettes btw 😉 ) . It’s always surprising to see how importt he is for the NT ,well not surprising because i know how talented he is… but he is all smily and confident when on national duty …. un titulaire indiscutable pour l’ EDF.

  6. JulieFromParis permalink
    February 13, 2011 15:48

    And yesss Sergio , your English is perfect (well, from my French perspective at least). A cookie for you.

  7. RealLisa permalink
    February 13, 2011 16:58

    It’s good to have Pepe and Dudek back. Te esperamos Gonzalo a ti tambien! Pobrecito baby Sergio. I don’t understand why Mou never let him play. But I’m happy that despite that, he doesn’t want to leave Madrid. For the other Sergio (the Stallion), I really(!) hope he won’t receive another card tonigh.
    I love Mou and his tactics, and I love Karanka who substitutes perfectly. I’m sure one day he’ll be a great coach.
    My father’s a Madrid supporter, but he otfen watches Barca’s games, because they play beautiful football, and he told me about their tie against Gijon. I couldn’t believe my ears, I was soo happy, and I too hope that our team will take advantage of it.
    Álvaro is definitely Twitter King the First, and Kaká Twitter King the Second. Because we’re a royal club with sangre azul, I’m expecting this kingdom to be transmitted on Twitter as well, so that we can follow the whole family tree there.

    Seriously Sergio?? Now you’re starting to speak English, when I’ve already learned Spanish? Tsk, tsk, tsk *shaking head in disagreement*

  8. Pam permalink
    February 13, 2011 17:37

    Una, does this note with your email address have anything to do with Sergio’s style of English? 🙂

    Please be patience with me, as no help is going on – unfortunately – so it might take me a while to respond.

  9. Stella permalink
    February 13, 2011 19:56

    Naaw! Sergios tweet, it so cute. Happy that he learns english (finaly), so I can talk to him if I meet him. Kaka and Cr7 was following the fake Özil twitter and even I understand that it was a fake one. Busted! But look at Özil (in the first pic), he is really brown (or orange). He was so pale against Italy even Serg and Benz looks tan. Maybe they have spraytan in the locker room now! Me like!

  10. suzanne permalink
    February 13, 2011 20:50

    so close to them losing 3 points yesterday. dammit villa, you are just suppose to score for spain (lol). but i’m just worried about what we do. i will be proud regardless of where they end up as long as they don’t give up again like they did after the 2-6 scoreline for the rest of the season.

    oh sergio. i want to hear you speak english. google translate (or publists) could type the answers that you do. but i’m glad you are learning 🙂

    of course mou was spying :rollseyes: he was being a coach. i’m sure he’s the only coach on earth that ever goes to scout the opponent :rollseyesagain: everything he does people will complain and insult him about it. good thing our mou’s like a duck…just lets it roll off his back.

  11. dewi arum nawang wungu permalink
    February 14, 2011 07:43

    Hello, Una! I’m arum, real madrid fans from Indonesia (hehe, is it far enough from your country?). I have to say that i’m fallin in love to your blog! I always re-watch it. You’re so detail. Even for a small things like mimic and gesture of the players.

    Always share your post as much as possible, no? hehe.
    Loves you.

  12. lalitta permalink
    February 14, 2011 14:00

    unamadrista what is your name in twitter? i would like to follow you 😀

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