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more ICYMI moments & other news

March 8, 2011

I got another video feed of Sunday’s game, so I have more moments to share with you!  Sometimes it’s hard to talk about a moment unless you have images that correspond to it, so consider this an addendum to the ICYMI post!  Plus fun anecdotes, stats and interviews!

ONE. Two more stellar moments from the end of the game.  On the left, you can see that Xabi removes his shirt (unfortunately we only get to see his back) and then heads – for some reason – into Racing’s locker room.  And then we have Iker, who once again took off his shorts to give away!  This time, it wasn’t for a fan, but for one of Racing’s ground staff.  And this time, MFC was keeping an eye on Iker’s legs!  He’s probably thinking, worryingly, so this is what goes on in the first division and with the first team!  Will I have to do this?

I also love how Aitor Karanka stood there at the entrance to the tunnel to high five his players as they passed by.

ONE (A). And just to compare, here are Iker’s two shorts removing moments, side by side.  He appears to be highly efficient at removing them.

TWO. Going backwards, more end of the game moments.  I couldn’t resist sharing with you all this moment of my all-time favorite canterano with M(current)FC!    And how boss does the team look while walking off the field?  I just kind of wish Xabi and Esteban were there.  That would have made it perfect.

THREE. Going backwards even more, here are some pregame moments.  The two captains on the left, and then Sergio leading the team in greeting the fans on the right.  I love how uncoordinated the players were – Xabi and Carvalho nearly run into one another and Adebayor just looks confused while turning around in a circle (maybe he got dizzy?)  They should coordinate on which way to turn.  Sergio should just yell, everyone clockwise!  But then he’d have to learn that word in Portuguese, French and German, because “en el sentido de las agujas del reloj” might just be a bit confusing, especially in his Andalucían accent.

FOUR. I think one camera should just be focused on the bench at all times, because that’s where some of the best moments occur.  On the left, we have the team reacting to the first goal – MFC even got out onto the pitch – and on the right they celebrate the second goal.  I love the embrace between Jerzy Dudek and José Morais!

Later on, Jerzy simply could not believe a penalty had been called, while MFC – being his usually adorable self – had faith in Iker, saying “he’ll stop it.”  And how cute is Mesut making his way down the high-five receiving line with that big grin on his face?

FIVE. And if you can take even more adorableness: according to AS, while the team was on the shuttle bus between the gate and the airplane in Santander, Mou pointed at Xabi and asked him, “how is The Phenomenon’s back?”  He was referring to Álvaro Arbeloa, since he had just thought of him while looking at Xabi (I love that he made this mental connection)!  Xabi’s response was, “good, good, he’ll be back by Wednesday or Thursday” and he said it like a doctor, making people laugh.  Then Mou asked Antonio Adán how David Mateos is doing in Greece.  The reply was, “I believe they won 4-0, and he even played as a midfielder.”  Mou replied, “so, does he speak Greek yet?”

I love this because it shows that, polemics and hypocrisy aside, José Mourinho really cares about his players.  And that this love is mutual.

SIX. Speaking of Mou here are some Mou-ments.  The moment when Mou was trying to get Marcelo’s attention was adorable, for Aitor and then Silvino joining in to help (picture the shouts of “Marcelo” getting progressively higher in pitch and then harmonizing), and then for Marcelo’s look of who me?  And I’m loving that forehead rubbing too!

Mou used multiple languages to get his directions across to his multilingual team.

And when Adebayor didn’t respond to “Manu,” Mou went for “Manuel”!

SEVEN. Without Cristiano, the person in charge of taking penalties is Xabi Alonso.  However, in Santander, it was Emmanuel Adebayor who took the shot.  He had asked Xabi if he could take it and also got Mou’s permission.  This of course reminds of us last year, when Xabi asked Cristiano if he could take the penalty against Villarreal.

EIGHT. Stats: Mesut Özil is now worth 24 goals for Real Madrid, or about a quarter of Madrid’s total, having scored nine and assisted on 15 others (11 in the Liga, three in the CL and one in the Copa).  His 11 Liga assists is good for second in the championship.

And another player who proved his worth at El Sardinero was El Pirata.  Esteban Granero provided 75 passes in the game (62 of which were good ones), compared to the lower averages of Lass (42/37) and Sami Khedira (42/36).  In terms of defense, his numbers also outshine those of Sami and Lass: he recovered six balls, the same as Khedira’s average and one more than that of Lass.  Picture from AS, which has a slightly boring interview with him.

Meanwhile, Karim Beznema has scored 21 goals this season (with Madrid and with France), but 15 of those came in the last three months, from Dec. 8 onwards.  Six of his seven goals in the Liga were scored on and after Jan. 23.  I wonder how Mou got into Karim’s head and flicked on the switch to turn him into a hungry, ferocious, goal attacking “dog”?

NINE. On the subject of Mesut, his fantastic performance in Santander has all the newspapers spilling ink on him, and while some of it we already know, it’s worth repeating just because of the adorableness factor.  AS tells us that he’s still taking classes in Spanish (five hours a day, three days a week), that he often goes out to eat with those he’s become closest to: Khedira, Marcelo, Pepe, Higuaín and Di María.  With Cristiano, he plays Texas hold ’em and ping pong.  And in his house, he has a Madrid-Barcelona foosball table and a special room for his shoes.

TEN. And here’s Marca’s take.  I call it Zozil.

ELEVEN. Álex Fernández spoke with RMTV yesterday about one of the happiest days of his life, his debut with Real Madrid.

In it, our favorite redhead revealed that his stomach hurt, and while he thought it was hunger, ABMM knew better and told him it was nerves.  Then “Mourinho told me go warm up, at the moment when Adebayor took the penalty… you think that all the work you’ve put in is finally compensated.  And Morata and Casado were saying, ‘come on, your moment has arrived!’  I was completely out of it, and they were saying, ‘we’re talking to you and you didn’t even realize it!’  I was completely focused and had no idea what was happening around me.”

Álex also thanked Mou for the confidence he had in him, and for “treating me like one more on the team.  He told me to do the same things I do with Castilla and that gives you confidence when it comes time to play.”  It seems like all the canteranos who have debuted this season have said the same thing, no?  We also find out that the shirt of the debut went to Álex’s mother (whom he presumably gets his coloring from) and the second shirt for his grandmother.  Also of note: Álex would have liked to have all his teammates sign his shirts, but he couldn’t, since the marker wouldn’t show up on the black material.  And that his football references are Xabi Alonso and his brother Nacho.

By the way, what is up with all the posing next to the camera?  I don’t get it at all.  And I wonder if Madrid paid for his taxi to the TV studio!  Love the hug with the taxi driver!  Video here.

TWELVE. Rubén de la Red spoke to COPE’s “El Partido de las 12” last night (listen here).  They started with his words from his retirement press conference back in November, and just hearing all the pain and longing in his voice made me tear up (he too said hearing it again made him emotional).  In his chat with the radio program, Rubén said:

– you never know if he’ll be able to play football again, since medical technology is progressing rapidly.

– he likes coaching and says it’s fulfilling (sí que me gusta y me llena).

– when asked whether he reports to FP or Mou, he laughed and said neither, since his boss is the coach of Juvenil A.

– he’s gone through bad moments, with all the tests he had to submit too, and from not knowing what was wrong with him, which is the worst thing because you can’t move on with life.  And especially because it came during the moment when at last his dreams of playing with Madrid and with the national team (completely unexpected, he said) had come true.  But as Rubén’s an optimistic person, he knew that there was nothing he could do to make things better, so he had to accept the reality and move forward, with the help of his wife and kids.

– the team captains were kept up to date with what was going on.  As for Madrid, they told him he wouldn’t play again, that they wouldn’t pay him for the years of contract he had left, but they would find a position for him in the club.  He has less contact with his former teammates now, because of his work with Juvenil A.

– at the beginning of the season, Mou met with all of his players, including Rubén, who still had a ficha, and the impression Rubén got from that meeting is that Mou is a great person, because he knew his situation, and was very concerned about it.  Mou also told him that he would count on him as part of his coaching staff if he wished.

– then Rubén is asked if Madrid plays better with or without Cris, since he’s on his way to becoming a coach.  Rubén says both, and also says that as a coach, for his way of being, he’d be a lot more calm than Mou.

We also find out that Rubén is on twitter!  And how fun that he also abbreviates his last name as Guti!  His FB is here.

THIRTEEN. Journalist Cristina Cubero told “Punto Pelota” that Raúl was the first person to call Pep Guardiola to ask about his health after hearing all the problems he was having with his back.  Raúl and Pep have been great friends for many years and it was always a joy to see them together when they were playing for the national team!

FOURTEEN. And looking ahead to this week’s game: Madrid returns to training this afternoon to start preparing for Saturday’s game against Hércules.  The Valencian team will be without Royston Drenthe (who has recovered from his muscle problems) as he isn’t allowed to play against Madrid, and also former canterano Tote, who tore the ACL of his right knee against Almería, ending his season.  We’ve seen a spate of similar injuries recently in the Liga, so I can only say that I hope everyone recovers quickly and completely!  (Rubén sent Tote ánimos here).

FIFTEEN. Madrid has finally let us know what’s up with Kaká, telling us that he had started having problems with his right knee after the game against Deportivo.  He then got tests done, which showed a light edema in the knee, with an expected downtime of 15 days.

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29 Comments leave one →
  1. superfan permalink
    March 8, 2011 13:06

    Adorable stuff all over the placeee!! 🙂 Una, would you mind sharing the link to the video of those cute moments? 🙂 It’ll be greatly appreciated. And really, thank you so much for the post-game posts you make! 🙂

  2. radhika permalink
    March 8, 2011 13:08

    Raul and pep…thatsss soooo sweeetttt 😀 !!! Wish raul hadn’t left this year !!

  3. Pammie permalink
    March 8, 2011 13:09

    You’ve got great eyes UM, thanks for spotting stripping Xabi! I wonder when he figured out that he was going into the wrong dressing room. 😀

    Thanks for keeping us up do date with Ruben de la Red! He looks great on this photo (who am I kidding, he always looks great)

    I also like the Granero photo, though he should learn more about gel use. 😛

    • Pammie permalink
      March 8, 2011 13:13

      “Mou pointed at Xabi and asked him, “how is The Phenomenon’s back?” He was referring to Álvaro Arbeloa, since he had just thought of him while looking at Xabi (I love that he made this mental connection)! Xabi’s response was, “good, good, he’ll be back by Wednesday or Thursday” and he said it like a doctor, making people laugh. ”

      omg that mental connection, must not think slashy thoughts 😛

  4. Mani Thangadurai permalink
    March 8, 2011 13:30

    Wonderful to hear of Raul’s calling up Guardiola in spite of the obvious Madrid-Barcelona rivalry, proof that sportsmanship and compassion know NO barriers! A classy gesture from a classy human being and a GREAT sportsman!

  5. March 8, 2011 13:39


    I wonder how Mou got into Karim’s head and flicked on the switch to turn him into a hungry, ferocious, goal attacking “dog”?

    He gave him some playing time, that’s how.

    • Nurul permalink
      March 8, 2011 16:46

      Agreed. I think it was really just that, as well as him trying to prove his worth, what with Adebayor’s presence…

    • DebS permalink
      March 8, 2011 19:52

      That and I do think the competition of Adebayer helped too. It just seemed to me that his form picked up once Adebayer joined the team.

      I’m sure also that much of his scoring issues were mental. So perhaps the encouragement of his teammates, coaches, family, etc. helped too. It seemed that the guys genuinely like Karim and really want to see him do well. I am sure that most of them can sympathize with him too.

  6. PepperPots permalink
    March 8, 2011 14:18

    OMG! The Zozil thing! Hahaha. And dear heavens, Ozil looks like Bruno Mars in the last picture! HAHAHA.

    • Ally permalink
      March 8, 2011 16:39

      I was thinking the same thing: Hey, he looks like Bruno Mars lol 😛

    • lalitta permalink
      March 8, 2011 23:04

      Hahahah that’s so right!

    • March 9, 2011 00:23

      hahaha!! that’s what I thought too!

  7. March 8, 2011 14:43

    Always happy to read about Rubén.♥
    And I will follow him on twitter now!

    Thanks for that great entry!

  8. mumblo permalink
    March 8, 2011 14:56

    The Phenomenon? I wonder how he got that nickname? Was it sarcasm about how he hurt his back? Was it in earnest? Or is it a nickname Alvaro gave himself? They all seem equally possible to me. Also love Xabi’s response; however, I pretty much imagine him answering every question, no matter how mundane, in an authoritative voice.

  9. IsaBella permalink
    March 8, 2011 15:28

    I just stop by to say hello to everybody from Madrid 😀 going to explore the city some more now.

  10. Nurul permalink
    March 8, 2011 17:10

    Such a great post, Una!
    Adding on to Point #9 – just read this post:
    http://si-nagini-si.tumblr.com/post/3711461480/mesut-ozils-performance-against-racing-santander

    Ozil making the news, not just in Spain! I saw it earlier today, and it filled me with so much pride!

  11. andrea permalink
    March 8, 2011 17:11

    whom he presumably gets his coloring from<-HAHA alex
    nice little moments, great post!

  12. amy permalink
    March 8, 2011 17:23

    ahh so much xabi news this time its wonderful. thanks again!

  13. Annee permalink
    March 8, 2011 18:25

    The Phenomenon? I guess the love affair isn’t over yet.

  14. DebS permalink
    March 8, 2011 20:02

    Granero did play really well, imo. Even the commentators said so.

    Speaking of commentators…here’s some quotes from Ray Hudson about Mesut made during the RM/Racing game:

    “It’s visionary football by the ex-Schalke man, the ex-Werder man.”
    “What were they thinking only asking 15M Euros for this wonderful little genius called Mesut Ozil?”
    “He’s very much like Lionel Messi; he’s just like the little boy that everybody loves to have as a next-door neighbour.”
    “He seldom ever plays plays a card out of his hand that isn’t the right one. He’s gotta be a hell of a poker player.”
    {Ozil free kick goes awry} “Well, that’s obviously a defective ball.” lol

    He also “slipped up” and called Ozil “the greatest player on planet earth”. This is the phrase he always uses for Messi (his absolute favorite player).

    I’m glad to see that he’s finally getting the recognition he deserves. 🙂

    • lalitta permalink
      March 9, 2011 12:27

      “Well, that’s obviously a defective ball.”
      Lol, that was funny said!

      I live in Scandinavian and the commentators here also praised him to the clouds.
      The thing about Mesut is, not only is he a great player, he i also so humble and sweet. He is indeed the playmaker in RMA, and everyone loves to watch him play because of the talent he ownes. And yes, I am also thrilled to see him getting the great praises that he deserves!

  15. Pam permalink
    March 8, 2011 22:02

    I think Pep assisted in Raul’s first ever goal for La Roja. They (and the members of the present Seleccion) are the kind of players that make La Roja popular with Football fans around the world.

  16. March 8, 2011 23:59

    Una, would you link me to the video you used for these gifs, please? I’d love to watch it. Thank you! 😀

  17. Maisoun permalink
    March 9, 2011 01:41

    OMG the middle two Zozils are HOT!!!!

  18. ulong permalink
    March 9, 2011 06:51

    thanks for Ruben’s twitter and FB page info 😀

  19. March 9, 2011 16:54

    Una, sorry to bother you again, but could I get the link to the video, pretty please? 😀

    I love those gifs and would love to watch the video. Thank you so much!! 🙂

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