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the Friday news update

February 25, 2011

Have a great Friday, and hopefully Madrid will have a wonderful Saturday!

ONE. Marcelo is now Spanish!  Last week, he went to pick up his new Spanish passport, meaning he now has double Brazilian and Spanish nationality.  In terms of football, this means that he no longer occupies a non-EU spot on the squad.  That leaves Ángel di María and Ezequiel Garay as the sole non-European Union players on the team, since Kaká and Fernando Gago hold Italian passports, Higuaín and Adebayor French and Pepe Portuguese.

TWO. Jean-Michel Aulas, president of Lyon, has given us another wonderful quote about Karim Benzema.  Last year’s was of course the statement about how Karim lives alone in a house with no furniture.  This time around, Aulas said, “I was with him [after the game] and the truth is that he’s in much better shape than he ever was here.  He has incredible abdominals.” He went on to say that he believes this is due to Cristiano Ronaldo’s influence, since he and Karim are good friends and Karim has copied what Cris does to stay in shape.  Perhaps Cris can work on Ozi next?

THREE. The final of the Copa del Rey between Madrid and Barcelona will be at 21:30h on April 20 at the Mestalla.  Both clubs had wanted it to start at 20:45h, while the RFEF had wanted a 22h kick-off time, so I guess this is sort of a compromise.

FOUR. Cristiano’s bruised left ankle has improved (no surprise there, since he seems to always manage to recover quickly – knock on wood) and he was able to take part in yesterday’s training session.  It will be up to José Mourinho to decide whether to play him in Saturday’s game against Dépor.  Cris and Andoni Iraola are the only players in the Liga to have played every minute; however Iraola is suspended for Athletic’s next game against Valencia due to accumulation of cards.

FIVE. Israeli president Shimon Peres passed by Valdebebas on Thursday (he was concluding a four-day state visit to Spain), where he got to meet with the team.  Accompanied by Florentino Peres Pérez and Emilio Butragueño, he toured Valdebebas, watched the team’s training session and got to meet all the players and José Mourinho.  Iker, in his role as captain, was tasked with the introductions.  According to The Jerusalem Post, Peres had an “particularly warm handshake and congratulatory comment” for Karim Benzema, who of course scored against Lyon on Tuesday.  He also “exchanged compliments and small talk” with the other players, “asking them about their positions on the team or telling them how good they looked on the field.”  Hey, I would do that last part too!

Thoughts on the vest Mou wore over his training sweatshirt?

Iker then presented Peres with a jersey with his (Iker’s) number and the president’s name on the back.  Peres in turned called them “symbols of peace” and invited the entire team to Israel as his personal guests.  Previously, he had also received a replica of the Santiago Bernabéu in silver, to which he said, “that’s where you win your games.”  He also specifically requested a photo with Cristiano, which to the Portuguese player of course means just not him, but also his besties Marcelo and Pepe.

(I wonder if Iker and Sergio got a chance to practice their English on Peres as well as their English listening skills?  And just like with Ochocinco, I’m sure some of the players were wondering who in the world that man was.)

SIX. While the first team was busy being symbols of peace, the youth teams were receiving a lecture on the benefits of good nutrition.  The players received advice on how to improve their general health, such as which foods have anti-inflammatory effects and which help to prevent muscle tears.

I’m only including this because MFC Álvaro Borja Morata Martín was there and looking a bit bored in the moment when the photographer snapped this photo (I’m sure the players were fighting to sit in the back).  The only other interesting thing about this is that if you go see the other photos on Madrid’s site, you’ll notice that some players are wearing cleats, others are wearing normal sneakers and others are barefoot.

SEVEN. Iker may no longer be able to wear his neck muffler anymore, at least in CL games!  The International Board, at FIFA’s request, will meet in Wales next week, and one of the subjects they will debate is the neck mufflers that players wear to protect their necks.  They’ll take a vote on whether to prohibit the accessory, since some believe there are risks involved.

EIGHT. According to AS and Marca, the following players are on Madrid’s summer agenda (I don’t usually write about rumors, but I just wanted to keep you informed on these players, since they are all canteranos and I would love to see any, all or a combination of them back):

José used to have normal hair.

Dani Parejo (Getafe): Madrid has already told Getafe that they want Dani back this summer, and FP himself has confirmed that the team is considering this.  Madrid would pay €5 million to bring him back.

José Callejón (Espanyol): the other name mentioned by FP.  He went to Espanyol from the youth ranks of Madrid (he never debuted with the first team) in 2008 for €1.2 million (Ramón Calderón’s doing), and the option to buy him back has already expired.  However, there is a clause in his contract that says that Madrid can match whatever is offered for him.  His buyout amount is €8 million.

MFC (Castilla):  he’ll make the move from Castilla to Madrid, as Mou has already stated several times.  Álvaro has scored 11 goals this season, including a hat trick.

David Mateos (AEK): Mou approved his loan so that he could get some playing time, but wants him back in Madrid.

Borja Valero (Villarreal): Mou likes him a lot, and he had a great game in the Bernabéu against Madrid (and yesterday against Napoli).  Borjita (as Álvaro Arbeloa calls him) is a former socio of the club, where he spent 11 years out of the 25 of his life.  Last year, he said, “my heart belongs to Madrid.  I dream of wearing this shirt again.”  Valero debuted with the first team in 2006 in the Copa del Rey at the hands of Fabio Capello.

The current canteranos on the team are Iker, Antonio Adán, Esteban Granero and Álvaro Arbeloa.  The last two had to leave the white house to make their fortune before returning to the club.

NINE. The variety of tweets we got yesterday:  Xabi supports twitter in Basque, Álvaro and wife Carlota have dinner with the hottest couple in town, Kaká is charitable and Sergio celebrates his saint’s day.

TEN. To end, a couple of pictures of a younger Karim Benzema, from a Marca video.  Once he got past a certain age, that hairstyle didn’t work anymore.

38 Comments leave one →
  1. ulong permalink
    February 25, 2011 11:48

    cute teenage Benzy 😀

  2. IsaBella permalink
    February 25, 2011 12:12

    Our boys are very lucky: they get to meet the important world officials *sigh* I sort of envy them in that matter as I study political science. I would gladly trade places with them. 😉

  3. Cindy permalink
    February 25, 2011 12:32

    Una thank you so much. I know that everyone has already said that you do a wonderful job, but it bears repeating again and again. Your blog is fantastic.
    Here’s to a great Friday and an even better Saturday with Madrid winning, and who shall not be name losing or drawing.:)

  4. February 25, 2011 12:49

    nice news Una, thank you! karim looked adorbs!

    And I envy both Alvaro and Xabi for spending the time with eachother and their awesome wives. I also envy the restaurant they were in and all its guests for spending time in the same place and breating the same air as the RoyalCouple of Real Madrid that are The Classy and Nagore. My heart melts now, when I remember their awesomely romantic photoshoot, ooooh!!!!!!

    in other news, I saw the screen shots of Serhiiooo Ramo’s RealRamos interview, they did paint his cute little face with some heavy make up, no? Cutie pie ;-)) I also have something to say about his Ramos’Hair, but I will think that through and post later LOL

    • IsaBella permalink
      February 25, 2011 14:08

      I agree abt the makeup, definetely too much powder, but he looked gorgeous anyway *_* though the sweater color was a bit risky, wasn’t it?
      I’m all for Sergi’s new hair 😀

    • nicole permalink
      February 25, 2011 16:22

      hey, where did you see the screen shots?

  5. Jennifer permalink
    February 25, 2011 13:59

    “Thoughts on the vest Mou wore over his training sweatshirt? ”

    He misses Pipita so much that he’s started dressing like him. Maybe even borrowing his clothes.

    Also, I refuse to believe Mr. Aulas without, at the very least, some photographic evidence of these “incredible abdominals”. C’mon, Benz…

  6. Ariadna permalink
    February 25, 2011 14:02

    Unaaaaaaaa.. You’reee the Best!!
    I’m in Madrid for the weekend… and since their is noo home game..
    Do you know where we can spot players: clubs, lounge bars, restaurants, neighbourhoods???

    Ohhh this doesnst sound Stalkerish at all..

    • February 25, 2011 15:20

      Well, the team is away for all of Saturday, and most things are closed on Sunday, so I don’t know if you’ll get lucky.

      • Ariadna permalink
        February 25, 2011 17:10

        but there are some players left I think… like Pipita, Canales etc…
        Do you know if they go out? Buddha Bar, New Garamond, Pacha, Gabana??

        Causeeeeeeee I really need my RMA injectionnnnn 😉

    • IsaBella permalink
      February 25, 2011 15:49

      I believe there will be no training on Sunday so well, you will have to be VERY lucky…. 😉

  7. xoxo permalink
    February 25, 2011 14:56

    Lol at Aulas’ comment. (I want to see proof of those ‘incredible abdominals’!)

  8. bbBenz permalink
    February 25, 2011 15:01

    Una do you happen to have the link to that Marca video about Karim? he’s adorable! the one in blue jersey kinda looks like Shia LaBeouf

  9. Cris permalink
    February 25, 2011 15:04

    I would love to have Borja Valero back. I think he is a GREAT player and would fit perfectly here… His performance against Napoli yesterday was outstanding! I love his style of playing and sometimes I watch Villarreal games only to see him carrying the ball…

  10. lalitta permalink
    February 25, 2011 15:32

    benzema kinds of look like the actor Shia Labeouf when he was a teen, no?:

  11. mila_casillas permalink
    February 25, 2011 15:37

    Good to hear Cris is back.

    As for the Israeli president… Meh. I’m just going to block out these images from my memory.

  12. nicole permalink
    February 25, 2011 16:25

    which saint is sergio talking about?

    • IsaBella permalink
      February 26, 2011 10:53

      saint Sergio 🙂 it’s like a name’s day 🙂

      • nicole permalink
        February 26, 2011 16:58 i said before stupid question week for me:)..i don’t quite understand but thanks..

        • IsaBella permalink
          February 27, 2011 15:16

          you know, there is a tradition (in my country as well) that each day of the week has its Saint e.g. Saint Sergio, therefore on this day you celebrate your name’s day 🙂

        • nicole permalink
          February 27, 2011 22:29

          okay cool..thanks for the help:)

  13. Annee permalink
    February 25, 2011 19:53

    Alvaro was quite busy on twitter yesterday with the tweets about his little pug (Bauer? Does he have a third now to go along with Mulder and Sawyer?) eating and pooping stones. Poor little guy.

    I love how even with the vest on you can see see Mou’s JM. In case anyone forgets.

  14. Laykin ** permalink
    February 25, 2011 20:04

    How long has Marcelo been wearing braces? I noticed in the CL game and now again.

  15. LaBlanca permalink
    February 25, 2011 20:31

    Una have you seen Álvaros tweets of his dog? So cute thing!! And hes eating stones! :O

  16. Kristine permalink
    February 25, 2011 23:13

    Sergio had his hair chemically straightened, I think. Guess he doesnt like his fluffy hair, hence the gelling and straightening.

  17. February 26, 2011 06:06

    wow, copa del rey final on the 20th? aren’t they also playing barcelona on the 17th for la liga? that’s a huge dose in such a short period of time. I think Cris has already been working with Ozi =P In the group picture, Ozi looks like he’s just found something really amusing in his hat!

  18. nadi permalink
    February 26, 2011 18:11

    Una, why did you remove my comment?

    • February 27, 2011 14:36

      I hope you don’t mind, but I prefer to keep this a safe zone from non-football debates, including political ones…

  19. February 27, 2011 14:17

    Totally agree with the Shia Le Bouf comparison! That’s the first thing that popped into my head when I saw the picture.

    And so funny that Cris pulls his BFFs with him into the picture!


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