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in case you missed it – the !!! edition

April 10, 2011

In case you missed it – Athletic vs. Real Madrid [2011-04-09, Liga jornada 31, 0-3].

Well, the starting line-up came as a big surprise to everyone, especially the inclusion of Pepe as a midfielder, the first time ever he’s played in that position in Madrid, but it worked out very well.  We also got to see several habitual subs (Albiol, Garay, Arbeloa, Granero) start, and Kaká played a full 90 minutes, the first time he’s done that in more than a year.  Okay, enough technical talk, because really, for me this game was about seeing my beloved boys AND my beloved lions, especially one Javi Martínez (!!!) together on one field.

ONE. The sidelines were where old friends were re-acquainted, and current friendships reinforced.

Before the game started, Sergio Ramos hurried over to the Athletic bench to hug his former coach Joaquín Caparrós, for whom he has “special affection.”  Meanwhile, Xabi chatted with his former Real Sociedad teammate Igor Gabilondo as the two of them warmed up, with Xabi even holding onto Igor for support.  And Marcelo felt the urge to touch Cristiano.  Who can blame him?

TWO. You know, if you squint, that little hole in Iker’s hair disappears.  I guess I will be walking around squinting from now on then.

THREE. Random moments, part I: Sergio, Pepe and Esteban congratulate Ángel on provoking the second penalty.  Earlier, the wonderful and summer-like weather in Bilbao meant that Álvaro finally stopped wearing a shirt underneath his jersey, so that when he dried the ball with his shirt, we got to see his impressive abs.

Bonus Sergio abs!

FOUR. The bench last night had to be one of the most talented and expensive in history, as next to José Mourinho and his assistants were Jerzy Dudek, Marcelo, Ricky Carvalho, Xabi, Mesut Özil, Cristiano and Manu Adebayor.

FIVE. Random moments, part II: Cris wags his finger, and Ángel rolls and rolls (he might have exaggerated just a bit, no?).

SIX. The goals.  The first and second goals were quite similar, in that Ángel di María’s efforts led to penalty calls, and Kaká converted, though he shot to different sides.

El Fideo is the footballer who has provoked the most penalties in the Liga, with six (Racing, Athletic, Getafe, Racing, and the two last night).  Madrid has had a total of 10 penalties called in their favor this season.

The third goal was all Cristiano, and I loved the celebration, where he danced to the sideline to hug Marcelo, who was warming up.  Pepe of course caught up with them and joined in the hug.

Next to Marcelo on the sideline were Adebayor and Özil, but of course they didn’t dare impose on that moment between these three best friends, or brothers, as Marcelo had described Pepe and Cris in his Real… interview.  Instead, they just hung back and clapped politely.  Love their big smiles!  And it’s great to see that only a few Athletic fans don’t have class here.

SEVEN. The obligatory Iker moments.  I’m squinting.

Iker got a very undeserved card.  He said after the game, “I went to pick up a piece of paper that had been thrown and the referee thought I was wasting time, although that wasn’t my intention.”  The referee also wrote up one of Madrid’s medical staff members, Daniel Martínez Oyamburu, for “entering the field in the 30th minute while play was stopped, without my authorization, to attend to a player [it was Pepe] who was lying on the field.”

EIGHT. Random moments, part III, starring Sergio Ramos.  I’d like to see what other tricks he has up his sleeves, and I’m not just referring to on the football field.

NINE. I thought it was very cute how Pipita applauded his best friend Eze as he came out of the game.  After the game, Madrid returned to the capital without these two players, as they had to stay overnight in Bilbao after they were chosen to be drug tested, meaning they couldn’t make it to Sondika in time to leave with their teammates.  That wasn’t great for them, but at least they had each other’s company – unpleasant things are always more bearable when your best friend is right next to you, no?  For Athletic, the two chosen ones were Fernando Llorente and Mikel San José.

TEN. More sidelines fun.

ELEVEN. José Mourinho made sure to give his assistant boss instructions before he checked in.

And as soon as Xabi entered the game, he began directing traffic, telling El Pirata what to do (it looks like Esteban already knew).  And later on, during Cristiano’s goal celebration, Xabi had more things to say, even though Madrid had a three-goal lead and 2/3 of the game had already been played, and some were still celebrating the goal.

TWELVE. Kaká was fairly clean-shaven again, so he was looking like his normal self.

THIRTEEN. Other notes:

– some of the loudest boos came when Cristiano was subbed into the game, even though before the game, he was seen happily posing with children decked out in Athletic’s shirts.  When Xabi checked in, there were also boos, but not as much, presumably for his Real Sociedad past and loyalty, and his Real Madrid present.  And when Madrid scored on penalties, there was the famous “Así, así, así, así gana el Madrid!” chant.

– coincidentally, the last game that Gonzalo Higuaín started was against Athletic.

– Esteban Granero received his fifth yellow card of the cycle, meaning that he’ll miss next week’s clásico.

– Real Madrid basketball beat Regal Barcelona 77-72 last night in the Caja Mágica, and they’re now tied for first place in the ACB.  What a great week they had!  And let’s hope the football team does the same!

FOURTEEN. After the game, I felt all happy inside when I saw the boys of La Roja hugging.  Here, we have Fernando Llorente with Álvaro, Xabi and Iker, and later Andoni Iraola hugged Álvaro and Esteban.  Too bad my Javitxu (!!!) was already on the bench by this point, and no shirts were removed!

FIFTEEN. The Xabi Alonso pose section.™

I’m so disappointed there wasn’t a camera in front of Xabi.  It looks like he had some trouble putting on his shirt!

The section is a bit sparse today, because Xabi didn’t play too many minutes.

SIXTEEN. The Karanka/Mou corner.

Aitor Karanka spoke to the press after the game, where he complimented Pepe (he had a partidazo as a midfielder), Kaká (impressive) and Di María (when he plays, he plays at 120 percent.  His speed, dribbling and verticality opened up the game).  Karanka revealed that Mou had known for some time that Pepe could play well in the center of the field.

When asked why he was talking to the press instead of Mourinho, Aitor explained, “this isn’t the first time that I’ve spoken, this is the 10th time that I’ve given a press conference.  We have a different way of working than other clubs.  The míster is not disrespecting anyone, much less an institution such as Athletic.”

And Joaquín Caparrós, furious with the referee, alluded to Mou when he said after the game with regards to the refereeing performance: “I could take out a piece of paper now” (with the errors that the referee committed).  He talked about 23 errors, though later on in the press conference, it increased to 25.  Curiously enough, the day that Mou did that back in December, the referee was the same as the one in this game, Clos Gómez.

SEVENTEEN. Other postgame declarations:  Kaká thanked José Mourinho “for all that he’s doing for me.  He’s helping me to grow as a footballer and he’s a great coach.”  Meanwhile, Iker reflected on playing once again in the stadium that saw him debut: “it’s been many seasons since I debuted here, the time has flown by but it’s always different to play on this field.  After the Bernabéu, this is the most special stadium, with a special public.  Whenever Madrid plays here, the game is considered a final, which is good for us because it helps us to concentrate and not relax from the first moment.”

EIGHTEEN. Tweets: Álvaro tweeted this photo of the A-team on the bus after the game.

He also revealed today that it’s been 100 days since he last drank Coke!

NINETEEN. Looking ahead: Madrid began preparing for the Champions League quarterfinals second leg today, with a training session at 11h.

Meanwhile, Castilla plays the leaders of their division, Lugo, at home today at 17h, in their most important game to date in the Toril era, as this game could help them solidify their playoff chances or even bring them closer to winning the division.  This is the equivalent of next week’s Madrid-Barcelona game in Division 2B!


As I had said earlier, I was súper excited about this game, because there are several leones that I love very much, and cover extensively over on my other blog, and the Madrid-Athletic match-up meant that I could write about them here without feeling guilty or off topic!

So, here’s the special bonus section on two of the Athletic players that I have a lot of admiration (among other things) for, Javi Martínez (!!!) and Fernando Llorente.  There are loads of other Athletic players that I love, but I’m focusing on these two, since they should be more familiar to you, and because they’re the best looking guys on the team.

Although I have to add, I lost a bit of interest in the game in the 61st minute, when Javi (!!!) was subbed out.  I missed his pouting (look at his lips over there on the left!), his marking and his thighs, a lot.

Indeed, there were several (!!!) moments.

Yes, Javitxu (!!!) was so fantastic last night.

Too bad the rules of the game meant that he had to wear a shirt and shorts.

Javi (!!!) received a yellow card for complaining.  It was his fifth of a cycle (and his 10th of the season), meaning he has to serve a one-game suspension, and the game he’ll miss is one I’m sure he doesn’t want to, as it’s against his old team, Osasuna, and at his old home, the Reyno de Navarra.

Once he was subbed out, he spent his time on the bench looking despondent and biting his nails.  I’ve never paid so much attention to an opposing team’s bench in my life.

Fernando Llorente didn’t have a great game, but he did look good, though I’m sure that’s not any consolation for him.

The hair was perfect, as usual.

We’ll end this post with this wonderful picture, between Fer’s hair and Iker’s smile lines.

30 Comments leave one →
  1. IsaBella permalink
    April 10, 2011 16:24

    A great result in San Mames, I’m very proud of our boys 🙂
    “Marcelo felt the urge to touch Cristiano” – jajaja this is hilarious! 😀
    “And it’s great to see that only a few Athletic fans don’t have class.” – Una did you hear what the grada was chanting after a faul on LLorente (I don’t remember well if it was him though)? “Sergio Ramos, hijo de p***” – that was very rude, in my opinon, especially because it wasn’t Sergio who knocked LLorente down (it was Albiol). :/
    BTW, thank you for Alvaro’s abs 😉

  2. sortacrunchymom permalink
    April 10, 2011 16:45

    “You know, if you squint, that little hole in Iker’s hair disappears. I guess I will be walking around squinting from now on then.”

    LMAO! I think Iker should eventually just embrace the balding and cut his hair super short. His face is GORGEOUS, and I think he would still look hot.

  3. Maddi permalink
    April 10, 2011 17:02

    I was so worried when I saw the starting lineup, and now I’m scolding myself for doubting! We played a great game, and I’m so glad to see Kaka scoring.

    Oh Iker. I’ll still love him, even when he looks like this: 😦

    Ugh Iker’s card was so stupid. However, I’m glad most of the players (except poor Esteban) arn’t going to miss the Clasico.

    Fernando and Javi (!!!) !!!!!! Fernando is my favorite non- RM player for sure. I still think he looks just like Patrick Swayze 🙂

    I hope we win the Clasico!!!!!!!! Ugh I hope that will silence the annoying Barca “fans” that troll everywhere saying stuff like “5-0 Hahahahahah”.

  4. April 10, 2011 17:14

    “I’d like to see what other tricks he has up his sleeves, and I’m not just referring to on the football field.” – AHAHAHAHAHA! Una! So naughty!!

    I love Cris’s goal celebration. It’s like the first thing that goes into his head after scoring is “I need to find Marcelo to celebrate!”

  5. Rachel permalink
    April 10, 2011 17:26

    why didnt you talking about ALBIOL push Athletic’s #18
    lol its really impressive moment

    • April 10, 2011 23:09

      Because there are 90 minutes of moments to sift through and I can’t cover all of them, and I prefer to focus on the positive ones.

  6. mar permalink
    April 10, 2011 18:21

    nice review as always thnx!

  7. April 10, 2011 19:05

    Great match. I too lost interest in the game when Javi was subbed LOL

  8. April 10, 2011 19:34

    1.Please Una, just ignore Iker’s hair, this is agonizing.
    If you ignore it, it will get better believe me! *am I in denial?*. I hope it doesn’t reach a point where I would want him to just shave it all off! On a good note, I think he looked extra hot last night, I don’t know why. I loved his chuckle when the ref gave him a yellow!

    2. That was an expensive bench for sure, I was glad that Mou rested them.

    3. The booing, insulting and throwing stuff is to be expected in this match but I think they behave better in daylight.They are noisy fans- the type I like but can’t they just encourage their team more than insulting ours?

    4. Cris’s goal was very nice. Ángel is a penaly causing machine! I was laughing at him, he should reduce the number of rolls, other refs may not give a penalty if he exaggerates – but who am I to say anything? It works for him!

    5. I love the la Roja boys’ affection for each other!

    6. And lastly- The Kaká situation is just too weird, or is it only me that thinks we were/are not getting the full story. He suddenly returns! the last thing we knew about him before he returned was that there was a week which was important for his knee. So what happened to him? Was it all psychological? He wasn’t training with the team and then suddenly he comes out, trains and gets called up immediately and gets playing time in both games!

  9. Barbara permalink
    April 10, 2011 21:02

    Why does it take so long to be drug-tested? I thought all the players had to do due was submit a blood/urine sample? Besides performance-enhancing drugs & steroids, what other sustances are they tested for? (Just curious –I’m a pharmacist)

  10. Mani Thangadurai permalink
    April 10, 2011 21:40

    There is NO better way to come back from a serious injury than by scoring goals, and even though they were both penalties, it could only have done the number 8’s confidence a world of good. One hopes that this will herald the second wind for Ricardo Izecson dos Santos Leite; he is in my opinion too sublime a talent to be sidelined for long!!

    And in great time for the ‘Super Series’, I might add!!

    • Mani Thangadurai permalink
      April 10, 2011 22:01

      Also, WHY is Jerzy Dudek NOT in the photo on the bench when the other six outfielders are clearly seen?!

    • April 10, 2011 23:22

      Hear hear. I too miss Kaka and it’s great to see him back in great form. He’s had a great return considering how few games he’s played yet how much impact he’s made in those few games.

      • Mani Thangadurai permalink
        April 11, 2011 13:14

        And it’s that sort of impact which should ensure that he stays at Madrid, hopefully!

  11. Esperanza permalink
    April 10, 2011 21:43

    That Pipa-Eze moment = ♥ I wish someone made a gif of it

  12. Ange permalink
    April 10, 2011 23:16

    UNA… UNA … UNA… What can I say ….

    1. Marcelo touching Cris … even though I don’t like Cris (most of the time) i have to admit… he is very sexy…

    2. I don’t know what you (& other ppl) are talking about … I don’t see a bald spot … (i do..but i don’t)

    3. (sounding like Samanta) POOOOOOR … FAAAVOOOOOOOOR … ALVARO ARBELOA!!!!! really I saw that & I … whislted and & I was like Thank You Lord!!!! & then I was … Una better put that in post!!!! jejejeje … Alvaro too me is the BEST PLAYER IN REAL MADRID!!!! he got everything just right!!!! Sergio Ramos … thank you for that pic Una!!! 🙂

    5. Cris & his finger *lmao* … I can see him doing that to Cris Jr. …. & Di Maria … well he is no angelito … & I can’t stand when he exaggerates … because it can come back and bite him in the booty … That and it drives me crazy when they(players in general) do that!!! but o well w/e it takes to win right….
    6. Kaka … so happy for him … to play all 90 mins & score to penalties … I soo proud … & Cris gooool very intresting.. I wish Pipita would have scored … 😦 … & has for the Marcelo thing … it is sooo cute … the Bilbao fan … *lmao* I really can’t stop laughing … & am I the only one that notice that guy in the coner near the ppl taking pictures… Is it me or is her trying to pull the Cristiano Ronaldo look…
    7. Iker.. I just love him in blue …. its my favorite color … but yea .. lets all ignor him losing his hair… & focus on WTF the ref was thinking … That ref was HORRIBLE!!!! but w/e … we can’t do anything about it …

    8. “…starring Sergio Ramos. I’d like to see what other tricks he has up his sleeves, and I’m not just referring to on the football field.”
    Ummm…. I don’t know … what to say… actually I do … but I think your blog is suppose to be PG .. PG13 … soo I’ll just say switch a word Sleeves … with a word that starts with Sho … & it can be a height or you can wear it… *lmao* …

    9. & the rest of the post what can I say I only notice The A Team, Iker, Fer & Javi … I LOVE LA ROJA!!!! (no matter what team they play) THANK YOU!!! for a great post …. LAST PIC WAS SOOO GREAT!!!!

    Next week … no matter what the results are …. I think it’s going to be a good game I will still hope for 12-12 game …. Can I ask you to do La Roja post on it … since 13(12 since Puyi wont be playing) of the players are from the SNT .. & even though it’s not a La Roja match … I would just love to see GIF of Xavi

    • IsaBella permalink
      April 11, 2011 15:27

      I agree with you on Alvaro, to me he is the best Madrid player, too 🙂

    • DebS permalink
      April 11, 2011 16:01

      “& am I the only one that notice that guy in the coner near the ppl taking pictures… Is it me or is her trying to pull the Cristiano Ronaldo look…”

      hilarious! good catch! That guy is SO a Cris wannabe!

  13. April 10, 2011 23:27

    “- Esteban Granero received his fifth yellow card of the cycle, meaning that he’ll miss next week’s clásico.”
    nooooo =(

  14. IsaBella permalink
    April 11, 2011 00:35

    oh, just noticed the bonus photo 😉 you pamper us Una.

  15. ebrahim permalink
    April 11, 2011 01:07

    Thank you.

  16. Firestarter permalink
    April 11, 2011 05:44

    Una you are a bad influence on me… i couldn’t stop staring at Javi!!!
    i had to slap myself for a moment hahahaa ^___^u

  17. Hala_Madrid permalink
    April 11, 2011 06:34

    AWWW UNA Thanks so much for sharing….. my loves are always going to be Cristiano and Sergio Ramos but i wouldn’t mind your Javi lol he’s super cute too… not to mention Llorente =) i’m glad our boys did a great job and even though we’re 8pts away from Barcelona i would like them to play a really good game on Sat por el orgullo Madridista and for us too..HALA MADRID!!!

  18. April 11, 2011 10:59

    Iker’s smile lines – simply sublime.
    The playing time has been sparse this season for our lovely Aitor Ocio. Was really hoping this would be the day he got the call from the skipper, but no… Really missing that superior torso on the field of play. It’s just not enough to stare at the zillions of tasty pics of him online. o-O mm mm mm
    Una – I must have missed your field raid. ;-). They must have known you were coming and stopped you at the gates. STUPID SECURITY!

  19. DanaScully permalink
    April 11, 2011 15:43

    Hi Una, new here – LOVE your blog (!!!)

    “…starring Sergio Ramos. I’d like to see what other tricks he has up his sleeves, and I’m not just referring to on the football field.”

    I know… I would like to know too……… If by any chance you get across such information, please do share.

    “Bonus Sergio abs!”

    Nice abs… even nicer when in motion.

    Did Sergio accumulate his 10th yellow card in this game?

  20. Karlie permalink
    April 11, 2011 16:30

    Hola! I just wanted to say first of all that I LOVE your blog and I look forward to each of your posts since stumbling upon it almost a year ago. Your ICYMI posts are among some of my favorites and your commentary always makes me laugh.

    As for this last match I was very impressed, I agree. In fact I’ve been impressed with the team lately. The players were spectacular against Bilbao and against Tottenham. I think the unfortunate events with Gijon (though I like to pretend it never happened) motivated them into thinking “let’s not let that happen again” because the result of their bounce back was amazing. They never fail to entertain and make me proud and while a little nervous for next weekend’s el clasico, I’m also excited to see even more amazing football!

    Keep on doing what you do, it’s awesome 🙂

  21. Mel permalink
    April 11, 2011 22:44

    Sergio abs is always much appreciated.

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