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April 8, 2011

Why are those shorts so long?

Madrid held their last training session this morning before tomorrow’s game against Athletic Bilbao (and Javi!!!!!!) in San Mamés!  Karim Benzema returned to the fold, meaning only Fernando Gago and Peter Lion were left in the sick bay.  In the 15 minutes that the session was open to the press, José Mourinho stayed on the bench, speaking with Miguel Pardeza, leaving Aitor Karanka to guide the group.  Later on, Mou also ceded his spot in the sala de prensa to Aitor.  I wonder if this is because Athletic is of course Aitor’s former team?  Or is it to continue the tradition from the primera vuelta, as Karanka also spoke to the press before the home game against Athletic due to Mou’s suspension?

Please tell me that’s a piece of fluff and not the beginning of a bald spot… and are Sami and Mesut dancing?  Cute!  Plus, that is quite a grumpy face on Álvaro, no?  Maybe he didn’t get Crouchy’s shirt, or Xabi paired up with El Chori for the dancing exercise, leaving Álvaro alone in the corner!

Despite Karim’s reappearance, he didn’t make the cut for Bilbao.  Sami Khedira didn’t either, as he has the flu.  The rest of the healthy players did make the list, so the convocatoria looks like this:

Goalkeepers: Iker, Adán, Dudek.

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

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

Forwards: Cristiano Ronaldo, Adebayor, Higuaín.

As stated earlier, Aitor Karanka spoke to the press at Valdebebas this morning.  This was his ninth appearance before the press this season.

Our assistant coach told the journalists that the “it’s clear that this is the most important game for us because it’s the next one.  In this club, while it’s still mathematically possible (to win the Liga), the team will continue competing, and in addition, other clubs are playing for their own means as well.  We have to compete until the math says no, out of respect for everyone.”

When asked why Benzema was not called up, Karanka said that “the doctors, Rui Faria and the míster were keeping track of how he was recovering, but we don’t want to hinder his evolution, which is going well, as there’s no need to risk anything.”

Aitor also explained why he was speaking to the press instead of Mou: “it’s not anything strange for me to come out, Mou wants all of us to learn and I’m happy to shoulder this responsibility.  Mourinho told me yesterday that I would speak today.  It was his decision, since he knows that I spent many years with Athletic, and in addition, on Tuesday there will be another press conference in London.”

And like his boss, he refused to reveal any details about the starting line-up.

The rest of the news from yesterday and today:

ONE. In case any of you will be in Bilbao this weekend, here are details of Madrid’s trip, from Athletic: today, they’ll take IB 2828, which leaves from Madrid at 19h and arrives in Bilbao at 20h.  The team will stay at the Hotel Silken Gran Domine, and depart Bilbao after the game on Saturday, on IB 2829, which is scheduled to take off at 21:15h.

TWO. Another picture of Kaká’s stubble.  I wouldn’t have thought he could grow it so thick!  It makes him look a lot older!

THREE. Castilla defender Dani Carvajal was recently interviewed by Defensa Central, and he had some interesting things to say about the team from the perspective of a canterano.

on his origins: I played for a team in Leganés (Madrid), which was called Lemans, and I spent three years there.  I played against Madrid in the Torneo Social, and after my first game in this tournament, I received a call on the following Tuesday asking me to sign with their Alevín B team.  That was my first year here, and I was 10 years old.  Now I’m 19, and this is my ninth season with the club.  The truth is that you never get tired of learning here.  The fact that you’re playing with the best day in and day out makes a player progress.

on going to watch the team at the Bernabéu: I’ve followed Madrid since I was small and each time I can, I go to the Bernabéu to support the first team.

on debuting at the Bernabéu: one of my dreams is to walk onto the field at the Bernabéu, with all the fans cheering.  Debuting in this grand stadium will be a dream come true.  My Castilla teammates who debuted at the Bernabéu this year have told me that debuting there is the grandest thing, that seeing so many people makes the field look immense, that after the first sprint, they were already fatigued.  Álex, who is a good friend of mine, told me that when Mourinho told him that he was going to enter the game, he asked for someone to pour some water on his hands, because they were trembling, since he was so nervous.  I hope I can experience that sensation as well.

on his nickname: my teammates call me “piecitos” (little feet) because my shoe size is a 45 even though I’m not very tall.

FOUR. Madrid is in the Euroleague Final Four for the first time in 15 years!  Last night at the Caja Mágica, there was indeed magic, in an atmosphere reminiscent of Tuesday night at the Bernabéu, as Madrid beat Power Electronics Valencia 66-58 in game 5 of a best of five quarterfinal series to qualify for the Final Four in Barcelona next month.  On May 6, they’ll take on Maccabi Electra in one semifinal, with the other one being disputed between Panathinaikos and Montepaschi Siena (the defending champions Regal Barcelona, which could have played in their home city, did not qualify).  The final will be played on May 8.  I guess their cringeworthy photo session also worked its magic!

Four members of the first team showed up to support their basketball counterparts: Cristiano Ronaldo, Esteban Granero, Antonio Adán and Sergio Canales.  All of these players have attended basketball games in the past, but I thought Álvaro Arbeloa would be there as well, since he loves the NBA!

I wonder if Esteban picked up that shirt last summer?  And Cris’ outfit is horrible!  The jacket does not match with the shirt, the shirt is covered in Gucci logos and therefore not attractive at all.  And is Sergio’s friend the same one as here?

Esteban had previously notified us via twitter that he was going to support the team, and it looks like MFC Álvaro Borja Morata Martín might need a bit of help with the English as well (he thought it was the “Final Ford” instead of the “Final Four”) for which I’d be more than happy to volunteer!

And I was happy to see two players from the only Spurs team that matters tweeting their excitement, since I am a (San Antonio) Spurs fan:

FIVE. And this is the present German President Christian Wulff got from Spain’s King Juan Carlos during a meeting in Berlin yesterday.  Mesut has an interesting signature, no?  If I hadn’t known that was his signature, I wouldn’t have been able to guess.

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20 Comments leave one →
  1. Henrik permalink
    April 8, 2011 16:00

    that doesn’t even look like Mesut or Ozil it looks more like “gum ei”!

    And if Nemo wrote the other part too he has really bad hand writing!

  2. Lulja permalink
    April 8, 2011 16:18

    “For Christian Wulff President of Germany from BAMBI”
    That’s what I read there!

  3. IsaBella permalink
    April 8, 2011 16:35

    That first Sergio picture is LOVELY, thanks a zillion Una 😀
    I truly hope that Alvaro is ok, he looks pretty down….
    is anyone going to San Mames this weekend? if so, have a great time and take a lot of pictures!!
    when I saw “the final ford” I immediately thought abt Crackovia but then again there is no Alvaro Morata character, no? 😉

    Mesut’s autograph looks great, eh…. 😦

  4. Didi permalink
    April 8, 2011 16:39

    “Plus, that is quite a grumpy face on Álvaro, no? Maybe he didn’t get Crouchy’s shirt,”
    Hahaha, apparently not!

  5. ich permalink
    April 8, 2011 17:03

    sigh..
    now i’m getting too conscious of iker’s hair.
    sorry guys, but sometimes i think it’s better for him to just shave his head bald.

    woops.. dont curse me.. hahaaha

  6. April 8, 2011 17:49

    OOh, what a game that will be. As I said earlier, the bright light at the end of the tunnel that this week is for me. I cannot wait!!!!!!!

    thanks for the updates UnaMadridista!

  7. emily permalink
    April 8, 2011 18:00

    Looks like His Highness got some dude named Jim C. to sign that shirt…

  8. Vanessa G permalink
    April 8, 2011 18:20

    Sergio’s legs look quite silky smooth today, wondering if he is trying to get Kaka’s Gillette deal??!! 🙂 just kiddinggg

    • Henrik permalink
      April 9, 2011 20:44

      All footballers shave their legs 😛

  9. Bekah permalink
    April 8, 2011 18:54

    FINAL FORD…. so adorable!

    Can’t wait for the match and, of course, Javi (!!!)… I hope I can watch!

  10. Cat permalink
    April 8, 2011 20:09

    I think Young Sergio’s friend is his brother.

  11. pnylove415 permalink
    April 8, 2011 21:38

    So many blogs with mentions or pictures of Alex recently, I am truly a spoiled girl 😀 Thanks Una! Perhaps I can repay the favor by running onto the court, ripping off some jerseys, and taking pics at the next Spurs game? SA is only a couple hours from me!

  12. DebS permalink
    April 9, 2011 09:20

    lol @ Arbeloa It looks like he wanted to cut in but neither Ozi or Sami would let him. :'{

  13. SunnyK permalink
    April 9, 2011 17:19

    Re: Kaka looking older with facial hair.

    Sorry to disagree, but for me this man NEVER ages! I want to know his secret. It’s amazing how he only looks slightly older from the time he was a teen to now!

  14. Gillian permalink
    April 10, 2011 00:52

    Sami and Mesut are made of cuteness.

  15. Pam permalink
    April 10, 2011 07:03

    Ozil’s signature looks easy to forge 😉

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