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for your Monday…

March 28, 2011

… more news briefs!  I think it will be like this until international week is over, since there’s just not that much news.

ONE. The reduced team returns to training today with a session at 10:30h, and things are also back to normal in other ways, as the session is behind closed doors and there will not be a press conference.

TWO. Gisela Dulko announced in Miami this weekend that in July, she’ll marry Fernando Gago!  She revealed this to explain why she would not be representing Argentina in their Federations Cup series against Japan.  It also appears to mean that Fer is not expecting to be called up for the Copa América, which takes place from July 1-24.  Gisela is the number one ranked tennis player in Argentina (and is 47th in the world), and the two of them apparently met in the Master Series in Madrid in 2009.

THREE. Meanwhile, Álvaro Arbeloa’s wife Carlota was the madrina (godmother) of canterano Roberto Soldado’s son Enzo in his baptism yesterday.  This caused Álvaro to tweet, “Enzo had the most beautiful godmother!”  Courtesy of Roberto’s tweets, we also found out that Alba took a great nap of one and a half hours in the middle of all the celebrations, prompting Carlota to tweet back that they’re going to make him come up from Valencia every day to make her go to sleep.  Much like Esteban Granero and Juan Mata, Roberto and Álvaro’s friendship was forged when they were in the cantera together – I love it when canteranos stay friends!

More on Álvaro and Roberto’s friendship: when Álvaro came to Real Madrid in 2001 to play for their juvenil team, he met Roberto at the Sek residence, and he says they had a lot of fun together, from playing doubles padel to horseplay.  Though their paths subsequently diverged, they maintained contact, and as you can see, their wives are also good friends.  Roberto attended Álvaro’s wedding, but Álvaro didn’t make it to Roberto’s because it was on the same day as the 2008 Eurocopa final.

And Carlota also exchanges tweets with Borja Valero’s wife Rocío.

FOUR. Marcelo is already back in Madrid to receive tests after bruising his ribs during a training session with Brazil on Friday.

FIVE. Real Madrid decided to feature on their web site this article about how this season is the first time since the 1999-00 season that Madrid is still alive in all three competitions at this point of the season.  That just reminds me that that was back when Vicente del Bosque was coach and how unfair it was that he was fired after bringing home La Octava that season, and La Novena two years later, along with two Ligas.  But perhaps Spain wouldn’t be World Cup winners right now if Real Madrid hadn’t done this, no?  I’m sure that’s how they would like to spin it.

SIX. Rafa van der Vaart spoke with AS, as he’s considered The Expert in Madrid’s upcoming CL clash with Tottenham, being the only one to play for both teams, as you really can’t count Jonathan Woodgate.  Highlights:

on Damián: he’s the best thing in my life.  He speaks Spanish and English, and he’s always asking me, “Papá, why don’t we have a swimming pool here?”  Because there’s no sun here!  It’s not the same as Madrid (laughs).  Both father and son continue to have a special affection for Real Madrid.

on returning to play at the Bernabéu: it’s a dream for me.  I knew before the draw what was going to happen.  I told my teammates, “I’m sure we’re going to face Madrid.”  And it happened.  It’s going to be very special.

on leaving Madrid: I felt very bad because I was leaving the best club in the world, with bittersweet feelings.  I still have good contacts in Madrid.  I like their people a lot.  I didn’t leave like Wesley.  He felt resentment.  He didn’t understand why he was sold and he wanted to stay with Madrid.  That’s why he was very upset with the club.  In the preseason, I spoke a lot with Mourinho.  But I wanted to play all the games and in Madrid there are exceptional players, and I wasn’t going to stay if I wasn’t going to play.  Plus, I also wanted to play with my national team.  Right now I’m very happy in London with Tottenham.  I like the city.

on the connection with the Bernabéu fans: I also love them.  I have a very good relationship with the entire madridista family.  They know that when I was in Madrid, I went through a tough time with my family, and with football.  In that time, the only thing I could do was work hard and not speak badly of the club.  They value that effort.  If I score a goal in the Bernabéu, I will celebrate it, but with respect.

SEVEN. José Mourinho was interviewed by “En Confianza” on Veo7, and he said the following things:

– I really don’t like it when the Bernabéu sings my name.  Obviously I’m grateful, but I prefer them to sing the names of the players, as they’re the ones that need the support.

– nothing will happen if we lose to Barcelona in all three competitions.  It would be unjust because we’ve worked hard, but it would be a logical consequence of the sport.  The difficult thing is to still be fighting for all three titles in April.  Only we, Barcelona, Manchester and Inter, I think, are left.  That means that we’re doing things well and the small things will be decisive.

– the players are my family, my people.  If I don’t protect them, what will I do?  Teach them to how to kick penalties?  They do it better than me.  I teach them how to play as a team, how to become a group and to feel that there is a leader behind them who is there to protect them.

– I read the Bible and I pray, but I never ask for things related to football, because I believe personal things are incomparably more important than football.

– I haven’t visited the Prado yet [perhaps a group trip should be in the works?] and Madrid is the perfect city to work in.

– I don’t think about the bad moments, I think about the good ones because they’re the ones that help me to move forward.

– I only envy one thing about Pep Guardiola, which is that he has a press that is always with him, supporting him and his work.  I don’t have this in Madrid; the press doesn’t always support me.

– I would like to continue many years in Real Madrid because this would mean that I’ve done things well and they’re happy with me.  After that, I would like to return to England and end my career with Portugal.

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15 Comments leave one →
  1. IsaBella permalink
    March 28, 2011 11:35

    Una already knows how much I love Alvaro so thank you for this wonderful story (although I do read all his tweets 😉
    It’s funny what Mou says about not having visited Prado yet, Prado was the first place I went during my first stay in Madrid 😉 I can organize a group trip for the boys and Mou right away 😀

  2. soshy permalink
    March 28, 2011 11:59

    Una I have to ask, who is Gisela Dunko? I love your blog btw 🙂

  3. March 28, 2011 13:42

    Mou really is a interviewer’s dream. All the quotes above are awesome. the firs four are my favorites. I love the way he thinks.

    And how cute is Damian?

    I’m reminded by Wesley and how he left Madrid again. That always makes me sad and gets me thinking “what if?”. I think he’s the player I regret the most leaving Madrid.

  4. kaciekaciekacie permalink
    March 28, 2011 13:55

    Oh Rafa.

  5. March 28, 2011 19:16

    Oh, and I completely forgot to address this… Congrats to Fernando Gago! Where have I been? I follow BOTH tennis and RMCF, how come I didn’t hear about them dating?

  6. nicole permalink
    March 28, 2011 22:17

    what is the prado-
    what is it that happened to wesley

    • IsaBella permalink
      March 29, 2011 19:29

      Prado is the national museum in Madrid.

  7. Cosi permalink
    March 29, 2011 00:48

    Aww can’t wait to see Rafa back in Madrid 🙂

    “I prefer them to sing the names of the players, as they’re the ones that need the support.” Would be a normal reply, but coming from Mou, it’s classic!

    Thx Una! 😀

  8. LosBlancos permalink
    March 29, 2011 02:31

    Not to be rude but, I highly doubt Sergio hit someone with his car and none of the Spanish papers got wind of it…

    • nicole permalink
      March 29, 2011 11:32

      that’s what i was thinking too..strange..

    • IsaBella permalink
      March 29, 2011 17:50

      probably because it happens everyday that a fan throws her/himself at a player’s car and it was not such a big deal. besides, nothing happened to the girl.

  9. nicole permalink
    March 29, 2011 11:33

    but then what would be the purpose of making that up-

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