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all set for Deportivo!

February 26, 2011

The pregame, preview post.

They almost look like speedos.  And I love that fist bumping between Sergio and Álvaro.

Madrid trained yesterday afternoon before traveling to A Coruña later on that evening.  All 22 of the healthy players (Higuaín and Khedira are the only injured ones) worked out on the field.  As you can see, it was a lot warmer in Madrid yesterday than it has been recently, meaning the gloves, hats and mufflers were noticeably absent!  Several of the players even wore short-sleeved shirts for first time in a while (I can’t wait until it’s warm enough for them to break out the sleeveless tops!) and some were in shorts as well.  And as you can also see, Cris didn’t waste any time in hiking up his shorts to expose his legs once again (one of many examples).  Too bad MFC wasn’t around to witness this.

A tattoo of his number?  Why does he have a glove tan?  And that’s quite a grip that the Benz has on Esteban.

The list of the players called up for the game against Dépor is as follows.  Sergio Canales suffered a sprain to his left ankle during the training session, so he was absent, while Pedro León was once again left off due to the coach’s decision.  Cristiano made the cut, and Iker also made his return after sitting the last jornada out due to suspension.

Goalkepeers: Casillas, Adán, Dudek.

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

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

Forwards: Cristiano, Benzema, Adebayor.

On the other side, we won’t get to see a player I really like, Juan Carlos Valerón, as he injured his right leg during his team’s training session and didn’t make the final cut.

During his press conference, Mou was his usually witty, ironic, straightforward self.

Regarding the scheduling of games, he said, “I speak, I speak, I speak… but since I’m not anyone, I don’t have the power to influence decisions and what I do say will make them laugh, so it’s not worth it to talk about it… some have it easier, because it appears they choose when they want to play.  However, we’re not friends of whoever it is that decides the times.  And you know it as well as I do.”

When asked why his team is one of the most carded in history, Mou replied, “it’s very easy to card our players.  There’s no uniform criteria and for identical actions, there are teams with many cards and those that are more protected.  For us, what would normally merit a yellow card is red, and what merits nothing is yellow, and if orange cards existed, we would receive those too.”

The love affair between Mou and Álvaro Arbeloa continued when the coach complimented the defender as “a player the coach can always count on.  He’s always available and prepared to play minutes.  He’s never the best player on the field, but that’s not his role.  He controls his direct rival completely and he’s a team player, and I like that a lot.”  He added that he likes all seven of the defenders at his disposition, although he will have to choose four to play, two to be on the bench and one to watch from the stands.

And as for summer signings, Mou gave us this pearl:  “next year, we’re going to have to buy another first division team so that everyone can play.  Mateos will be the 25th player, Morata will be here and be the 26th, [José] Callejón the 27th, [Javi] Márquez the 28th, Javi Martínez (!!!) the 29th, [Fernando] Llorente the 30th, Kun the 31st, [Cesc] Fàbregas the 32nd, [Dani] Parejo the 33rd, [Borja] Valero the 34th, [Didier] Drogba the 35th, [Diego] Milito the 36th… in June we’ll have more than 50 players on the squad, so we’ll have to buy another one.”

Part of the press conference was in English.

Madrid then traveled to A Coruña (a wonderful place!), where they will play Deportivo at 22h tonight.  They arrived in the Galician city at around 20h in the afternoon, where they were greeted by a group of fans.

Not only is he carrying a purse, he’s also carrying it like a woman.

Sergio Ramos and Jerzy Dudek were tasked with meeting the fans, and from the photos, it appeared that the fans were mostly kids and babies!

And Sergio tweeted some pictures from the team’s dinner, including a photo with Fernando, the team’s bus driver.

I like how all the Spaniards ate together!  And how Ricardo Carvalho is holding a slightly eaten orange in the other photo!  These are the kinds of tweets I want to see!  And especially with no – that’s right, no – thumbs up in sight, despite Sergio having made it a trademark in tweets involving his teammates!

Meanwhile (since some of you mentioned this), two days ago, Álvaro Arbeloa talked about his stone eating dog, Bauer (the tweets have since been erased).  He tweeted, “I have a dog who eats stones.  Do you know what happens next?”  A couple of people answered, “he shits stones,” to which Álvaro replied, “yes, that!”  He also said he would build a house if it were bricks.  Álvaro also revealed that Bauer was named for 24‘s Jack Bauer.

And a picture of Bauer, the stone eating dog.

Emmanuel Adebayor and Pepe are both celebrating their birthdays today; it will be 27 for Manu and 28 for Pepe.  The latter said that it was partly okay that they were celebrating this day on the road, far from their families, because “we’re with the rest of the players and we are a family.”  As for birthday gifts, both of them said a victory against Deportivo would be nice.

But what’s with Pepe’s arm-full of bracelets, as you can see in the training picture above and these?  It makes him look like Sara Carbonero, and she’s definitely not a style idol.

Interviews:  Mesut Özil spoke with La Sexta; he had some interesting things (Zidane was his idol and Cristiano is the perfect player) to say but I was riveted by the backwards cap.  No, no and no.  He looks super silly.

Meanwhile, El País had a nice article about former Deportivo player Álvaro Arbeloa.  In it, his coach during his time at Dépor, Joaquín Caparrós (current Athletic coach, and also the coach who gave Sergio Ramos his debut in the first division while with Sevilla) said of him, “he’s the prototype player that every coach wants to have, for his qualities as a person and for his consistency.  And because he’s very smart; he knows what each coach expects of him.”  Caparrós went on to say, “he’s one of those footballers who, at the beginning, doesn’t form part of your plans.  But he ends up creating a spot for himself due to his consistency.  He knows what the conditions are and he exploits them.  It happened with me, with Rafa Benítez, with the national team and now with Mourinho.”

In his press conference yesterday, Mou said of Arbeloa, “I like Arbeloa a lot because whether he plays one minute or 90, he always does it with the same concentration.  He’s a team player… he controls his rival and never lets him win.”  And Arbeloa has even convinced Mou to start him over Marcelo and Sergio Ramos at points during this season.

Meanwhile, Dépor’s Alberto Lopo recalled their times together:  “we lived in the same building in the center of A Coruña, me on the sixth floor and Álvaro on the second.  He would either come up to eat or I would go down.  We used to play a trivia videogame and he knew all the answers because he always likes to stay informed.”  As for his footballing skills, Lopo says, “he has such a high level of concentration that even if he has a bad day, you can’t tell.  It’s a virtue that not all footballers have.”

And when we last played Dépor in El Riazor, Guti of course had a spectacular taconazo that led to a Benzema goal (we won that game 1-3, behind a goal from El Pirata and two from Karim; it was Madrid’s first win at the Riazor in 19 years).  It ended up being his last assist with Madrid, and something that has defined him.  El País took a look back at that play by interviewing the man responsible.  Guti told the newspaper that he wasn’t trying to play pretty football, but just that a backheel pass was the easiest and most practical option at the moment to get the ball to Benzema.  He added that he will always remember this goal because it reminds him of his “last great moment with Madrid.”

José María also says he’s bohemian, because a bohemian is “someone who likes to stay at home [then how is GUTI a bohemian?], a solitary person who shies away from crowds, someone who can feel satisfied and happy two hours after feeling like the most unfortunate man in the world.”

Guti will provide commentary on the game tonight on SER’s “Carrusel Deportivo.”

32 Comments leave one →
  1. IsaBella permalink
    February 26, 2011 11:14

    ‘The love affair between Mou and Alvaro’ – I love that Una 🙂
    I couldn’t be happier about Jurek signing autographs with Sergio, it made my evening, they look so great together.
    Alvaro’s dog is the cutest thing ever 😉
    ekhm… a bohemian is someone who is rather out all the time, like a vagabond…. solitary emotionally, yes, but definetely not away from crowds… at least this is how I understand it.

  2. Anna permalink
    February 26, 2011 11:55

    Does Guti know who Guti is!

  3. osobol permalink
    February 26, 2011 12:07

    Mou was being sarcastic about the summer signings quote, right????

  4. rina permalink
    February 26, 2011 12:39

    amazzzzzziiiing!thank your for this post Una! Hey i wanted to ask u:”Is it true that u’re a spanish journalist”?

  5. Milleca permalink
    February 26, 2011 14:02

    Oh Mourinho. How I love you so.

    And Happy Birthday to Pepe and Manu!

  6. ana permalink
    February 26, 2011 14:23

    sucks that álvaro’s tweets were deleted. twiitter was being a bitch that day 😦
    he’s adorable y es un frikazo de los más grandes.

  7. Maddi permalink
    February 26, 2011 15:27

    I just want to pick up Alvaro’s dog and snuggle with it. Its cute pink tongue!! Its expression!! Its soft brown fur!!

    And Fernando Llorente would be a dream signing…

    Happy birthday to Pepe and Manu!!!

  8. February 26, 2011 15:38

    CR is too silly. Is he looking a little skinny or is it the aspect ratio of the production media?
    AA’s piedra pooping poquito pero es perfecto.
    “Satisfied and happy after feeling like the most unfortunate man in the world.” ??!! Guti sounds very ALONE. lonely isn’t very bohemian. He needs a pick me up. Can we get his agent’s address and have him forward greeting cards from all of us? Cards with nice pictures and happy sayings. including interesting photos of oneself may help, as well.
    *pondering cost of postage to Europe*

  9. Ally permalink
    February 26, 2011 15:59

    Aww, Álvaro has a cute dog!!
    Mesut looks super silly indeed.. and Iker needs to get a backpack or something. No more purse 😉

  10. Whiskey permalink
    February 26, 2011 16:03

    Oh Una you need to cut poor Iker some slack with this murse thing -and him carrying it like a woman – at least in this instance as he looks like he is about to sign some autographs, so maybe that is why he is carrying it that way 🙂 I do like the bag actually. and at least he doesn’t throw like a girl!

    and the stone eating aside, Bauer is too cute – i just love pugs.

  11. automatic writing permalink
    February 26, 2011 16:20

    Dear Una!

    Thanks alot for this post and all of your others. I read your blog everyday and i love it!

    I was wondering if you could translate the interwiew with Mesut Özil to english so me and many others here who dont speak spanish could understand.

    Yours faithfully

  12. Pipita permalink
    February 26, 2011 16:35

    Una, Kaká and his wife is in this months issue of Hola! An article about this is a must, they are perfect couple nr. 2, after Xabi and Nagore.

  13. HermosaChica permalink
    February 26, 2011 18:45

    Oh Cris, will you stop taunting us?! Take them off already!!

    Haha, is Marcelo wearing a headband? And I think we’d all have a tight grip on Esteban if we had the chance to grip him at all, but I don’t think any of us will aim for the neck/shoulder area. 😉

    No. I absolutely refuse to let Iker’s murse grow on me.. REFUSE.

    I think I’ll refrain from elaborating on why or how much I was excited when I saw Sergio holding that baby. I’m not really looking for any death threats from the Sexio Ramogasm Fan Club. 🙂 But damn, look at his arm in the photo with Dudek.

    • IsaBella permalink
      February 27, 2011 15:20

      ‘look at his arm in the photo with Dudek.’ – I can’t stop looking at it 😀 poor Jurek, looks so small there….

  14. Moola permalink
    February 26, 2011 19:02

    Do my eyes deceive me, or is Xabi wearing glasses in those pictures?

  15. ChristinaLFP permalink
    February 26, 2011 19:27

    awwww Guti i miss him so much and for some reason he seems lonely ( i hope thats not the case)

  16. Maisoun permalink
    February 27, 2011 00:15

    That picture of Sergio and the baby *DIES* omg SO freaking cute!

    ….Im just going to pretend that he’s OUR child….yes I said it!!! 😛

  17. lalitta permalink
    February 27, 2011 02:26

    Hahaha I saw the picture of Mesut before the coment and i said to my self, Una just got to something about that ridiculous hat on his head. The gangster style does not fit you sweet ozi go back to your pale-sleeping-bambi-eyes-look that we love. However it is cute how much he adores Cris. Ask him to marry you already, will you! Btw a quick q: why is Sara not a style icon? – I thought she was super hot in spain?

  18. February 27, 2011 04:13

    Awww Mesut looks super-cute in that pic! 😀

    Una, do you live in Sapin or how did you get the La Sexta video to work? It seems to be working only in Spain. 😦

    • February 27, 2011 16:41

      Ok, let’s see if it shows up on youtube then.

      • February 27, 2011 19:39

        I’m not sure if it’s only working in Spain, but I’ve been trying to watch the video for 3 days now and every time I try, it says “En estos momentos este vídeo no está disponible, disculpe las molestias.” I also tried to watch other videos on that site but always with the same result.

        If you’re not in Spain and you can watch the video, then there must be another reason why it’s not working for me. I wonder what it is. 😦

        I also tried to find it on YouTube but it doesn’t look like anyone uploaded it.

  19. Paul Galactico permalink
    February 27, 2011 05:02

    I wonder if Pedro Leon and Canales were on the squad, would they be eating with the big boy Spanish or outcast to their own little table??


  20. Hala_Madrid permalink
    February 27, 2011 05:53

    AHHHHHHH we didn’t win so unfair!!! Where the heck was our luck? We so deserved to win that game, back to 7 points so dissapointed =( But i do have to say that they tried so hard. Ohh well let’s hope Barca pinche soon.

  21. RMFan permalink
    February 27, 2011 23:56

    aww Mesut looks silly and cute!
    and I’ve also been trying to find that video on You Tube..:S because I can’t watch it either :S please if it shows up tell us!:)
    Lovely post as usual 🙂

  22. realwarda permalink
    March 1, 2011 14:25

    estas personas son tan adoreable

  23. March 2, 2011 06:22

    LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE IT 🙂 thank you so much and I want to driiiiiiive the Madrid bus ahaha hell yeah!! Too bad we couldnt take the 3 points vs Deportivo la Coruña 😦 booo

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