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ICYMI – the Copa del Rey pre-game edition

April 21, 2011

In case you missed it – Barcelona vs. Real Madrid [2011-04-20, Copa del Rey final, 0-1].

And in case you can’t tell, I am extremely excited with this win, for so many reasons.  So, it might take me a while to produce all the post-game posts that you’re used to (the last thing I want to do now is sit in front of my computer, because I’m still in a very celebratory mood, plus I need a lot of sleep), but I promise I’ll try and be as thorough as possible to get every single awww-inducing and glorious moment!  With that said, on to the pre-game ICYMI!

ONE.  We have to start with the man who made my heart even more madridista, if that was possible, el gran capitán, Iker Casillas.  He’s now won every major trophy on both the club and country levels, and he’s done it while looking absolutely fantastic, no?

TWO.  The team arrived at the Mestalla a couple of hours before kickoff, and they were welcomed by the Bernabéu’s field delegate, the one and only Agustín Herrerín, just as he does when the players emerge from the tunnel onto the field at their home stadium.  Cris and Esteban gave him huge hugs.  I suppose that Agustín watched Esteban grow up, no?

THREE.  Outside, the fans were preparing for the game, including this little one with his white and purple Madrid flags.  The massive “until the end, go Real” sign made the trip with the team, and was displayed on the end where our afición was seated.  There’s still a bit of time to go before we get to the end, but I have very optimistic feelings about it.

Perhaps this sign and El Piquetón are the only things visible from space?

FOUR.  I’m so happy Zizou’s joining the team for non-Champions League events!  We – and Karim – need him around!

FIVE.  As the team headed out onto the field to warm up, Ozi rubbed his face/prayed, Álvaro wondered if he needed a manicure, and Cris had basketball on his mind.  And here’s the obligatory Sergio Ramos moment to keep his fans happy, although he’s probably much too covered up for your liking, no?

SIX.  Oh, Iker…

SEVEN.  The teams may have a fierce rivalry, but that doesn’t prevent the players from being friends.  Whatever Eric Abidal said, Manu Adebayor found it extremely hilarious and even Lass cracked up.  And later on, Sergio C. and his La Rojita teammate Bojan had a little whispering session.

Madrid’s warm-ups look even better next to those of Barça, no?

EIGHT.  Love this picture of Mou.  It could be used in his watch campaign!

NINE.  As the players prepared to come out onto the field, Iker chatted with Gerard Piqué, who later gave Kaká a hug.

Iker also received a hug from his La Roja teammate Pedrito, and Marcelo was very affectionate with his mascot, as he’s basically just a big kid himself.

TEN.  The two heroes of the game (although of course we didn’t know it at this point) before the game, with Iker licking his lips and Cris winking.

A photo for the ages.

ELEVEN.  With Carles Puyol on the bench, Xavi acted as Barcelona’s captain, and he was very affectionate with his Madrid counterpart, his old friend Iker Casillas (Xavi would say after the game that they’ve been good friends since they were 16).  That’s why they saluted each other both before and after the coin toss, in the same way.  They really do love rubbing the back of each other’s necks, no?

TWELVE.  Iker used the same captain’s armband as he had during last Saturday’s Liga game against Barcelona.  In fact, the armband still had grass stains from the Bernabéu on it!

You can barely see it, but all of Madrid’s shirts had a special patch of the Copa del Rey on the left sleeve for this game.

THIRTEEN.  Pep greeting Mou before the game.  Pep was the last one out last night.

FOURTEEN.  (just like Xabi!)  The Xabi Alonso pose section.™  As you can see, our Xabi doesn’t just pose during the games, he’s also very boss before the games.

70 Comments leave one →
  1. April 21, 2011 16:25

    #1 – ‘Absolutely fantastic’ just doesn’t say enough.

  2. maddy permalink
    April 21, 2011 16:27

    what a game!! i can barely keep still!

    my fav pics – mou, xabi, and the one of abidal manu and lass.

    i think ozil was praying in that pic

    • maddy permalink
      April 21, 2011 16:52

      oooo, mesut just made up for his kissy face debacle with a hot shot with zizou!!

  3. April 21, 2011 16:31

    Congrats Una and to all my fellow Madridistas! I am so happy about this win. I have lots of things to say but I am too sleepy ( People at work were laughing at my quiet and sleepy state all day long!)
    I will add other things in your next posts but I really wanted to know what Pique and Iker were talking about. ( I assumed that it was about what Pique supposedly said on Saturday because Iker was looking weirdly at him!).
    The sign from the sky view looked wonderful!

    • Sarah permalink
      April 21, 2011 20:42

      I was wondering the exact same thing when I saw Iker and Pique! I mean, look at Iker’s facial expression, LOL.

      Congrats everyone!! 😀
      Thanks you for your hard work, Una! ❤

    • DebS permalink
      April 21, 2011 21:15

      I was thinking the same thing about the Iker/Pique conversation. I still have to wonder if it really happened because Pique, as far as I have heard, has been the only one to deny it happened.

    • April 23, 2011 02:21

      thank you Sara..I’m really happy 🙂
      we are the champions 😀

      greetings from Indonesia 😉

  4. Louise permalink
    April 21, 2011 16:43

    Oh, Iker. He was majestic. And he looked the part, too.

    Xabi, becoming one with the pitch.

    Thank you, Una, and take your time. We know you’ll get us all of the good stuff from last night/this morning!

  5. April 21, 2011 16:47

    I’d hit on Mou anytime, any day. Do not care how old he is, he’s still hot!

  6. jean permalink
    April 21, 2011 17:07

    Wonderful post as always.Im so happy for Iker, he deserves it.He won everything:) And Cris you prove once again why you are the BEST.
    Everyone played so well yesterday, Angel, pepe, Marcelito, Arbeloa, Ozil, Iker …….well this is a TEAM VICTORY we deserve it:) Hala Madrid.Im exhausted, I stayed late to watch the celebrations, but its absolutely worth it:)

  7. barb permalink
    April 21, 2011 17:41

    I’m so happy that RM won! It also shows that mighty Barcelona don’t always have it their way. As for the last picture, my first thought was “wow, that Xabi really does have nice legs!”
    Fun post as usual – thanks.

  8. Catalanway permalink
    April 21, 2011 17:45

    Barça is not the Copa del Rey champion of 2011. That’s all that happened on Wednesday night at the Mestalla. There are other negatives that you can ponder if you really want to. David Villa still isn’t scoring. Cristiano Ronaldo and Angel di Maria are really fast, and they’re not going to get slower in the next week. Losing to Jose Mourinho is like getting a handful of salt thrown in the eyes. But would any of our players ever celebrate a win in a hat as ridiculous as the one Sergio Ramos put on as soon as the final whistle blew? I don’t think so. Instead of focusing on the unpleasantness of losing to our rival, let’s look at the big picture.

    This is no way meant to be the rantings of a sore loser. Real Madrid played very well, and deserved a win. So did Barça, but Madrid finished off one of their chances; we did not. That’s that. But, it so happens that the Champions League is still going on. You’ve probably noticed that we play this same Madrid squad in the semi-finals coming up very soon. I have a scenario for you. Suppose we were able to win that trophy, as well as La Liga, which most assume is in the bag. With those two trophies freshly won, you’re waiting for a bus in your town, and a man wearing a Real Madrid scarf happens to join you. With Guardiola-like class, you express your pleasure at winning La Liga and Champions League. The Madridista responds, “Well, we beat you for the Copa del Rey.” The big question: Is there any way to avoid bursting into laughter in this scenario? I ask not to belittle Real Madrid’s accomplishment in Valencia, but to make the saddest among us whether losing the Copa del Rey is worth your anguish. I say no.

    The goal going into this season was to win the Champions League and La Liga. Adding the Copa to make it a treble would have been historic, but in no way is that ever a necessity for a successful season. It never has been, and it isn’t now. The titles that truly matter are well within our reach, and losing the Copa del Rey does not change that. So please, for the sake of your health, take a deep breath and relax. It really is not that big of a deal. Beating Real Madrid in the Champions League is where the big money is. If they manage to knock us out of that competition, that’s when you can ask Google about the location of the nearest hospital.

    It’s never a pleasure to lose to Real Madrid. Losing to a Real Madrid side managed by Mourinho is without a doubt much worse. But they hadn’t beaten us since Spring 2008. Check your calendar. It’s 2011. That’s an historic accomplishment, and you should be glad you got to experience it. It probably won’t happen again for either side for a very long time. That’s what made it historic, and that’s why it was bound to end sooner rather than later. When you go to a funeral, would you rather celebrate the life, or mourn the death? So it is with The Streak. We’ve been whipping the backside of Madrid since George W. Bush was still President of The United States. Raise your glass, because not winning the third most important competition of the year doesn’t taint that. Take heart

    Congratulations, you really deserved it. But I have a question for you: Would you rather win a Copa or a Liga? Forget I’m a culé and plz answer honestly. Thank you.

    • April 22, 2011 16:20

      To all my readers: I thought you could use even more laughter in your life right now, and so I approved this comment.

      Love, unamadridista

      • April 22, 2011 16:26

        We love you, Una!!!

      • Catalanway permalink
        April 22, 2011 16:55

        You know what’s funny? The fact that you spend 400 millions euros in 3 years and only have the Copa to show for it… 🙂

        • Lulja permalink
          April 23, 2011 11:36

          Dude, you really have too much freetime.

        • Flora permalink
          December 27, 2011 02:33

          What the heck are you doing on a Madrid blog. Sore loser 😛

      • April 22, 2011 17:31

        Thanks for this Una! 😉

      • maddy permalink
        April 22, 2011 17:45

        talk about confusion!!! love and more love!

      • Ally permalink
        April 22, 2011 17:54


      • IsaBella permalink
        April 22, 2011 18:05

        Una you’re our goddess 🙂

      • Devyn permalink
        April 22, 2011 23:33

        haha I was already laughing and then I read your comment. I could definitely use more laughter in my life 😛

      • Jennifer permalink
        April 23, 2011 03:10

        Where do I go to get my split ribs repaired?


        It’s really hard to laugh and sing “campeones, campeones oe oe oe” and read at the same time.

        But I love you dearly for making me at least try! :-p

      • superfan permalink
        April 23, 2011 09:09

        ooohhhh snapppp!!!! hahahahaha

        You’re the best, Una!!!

    • April 22, 2011 17:55

      What is so beguiling about this post is that Pep Guardiola would have exactly enough class to NOT say what this complete buffoon proposes. Unbelievable. You obviously haven’t a clue about what class really is if that’s your requisite standard. You must have been educated amb senglars.
      Una, this individual certainly seems to now be taking advantage of you. You have an open forum, which is fabulous, but it’s too open to certain individuals whose complete lack of class rivals my own… I’m tired of this person’s arrogant classlessness. Mine too… 😉
      HALA MADRID!!!

    • YouKnowI'mRight permalink
      April 22, 2011 20:43

      Lol I was anticipating a comment from this user. Yours is a ranting of a sore loser, in case you haven’t noticed. Well the Copa del Rey may not mean a lot to your team (in which case, Real Madrid rightfully won the cup since the team may appreciate it more than Barca) but get this, Real Madrid hasn’t won jack since 2008, lost to your team, what, 5 times? Went from 5-0 to 1-1 to a 1-0 victory in a matter of months since Mourinho took over.. No one’s denying that R. Madrid needs a heck lot of improving to but I hardly think that this is the best that they will ever achieve. Can’t wait to see what Mou will do with the club in the next few months!

    • LoveJose permalink
      April 23, 2011 09:42

      Seriously, I have a question for Barca fans as well. If Copa del rey isn’t important at all, as all the culé says,why should Barca put so much effort to reach the final? Instead they should just leave copa del rey in the 1st round. Doing so would make them have even more strength to be 100% concentrated on La liga.

      • April 23, 2011 11:34

        Or, they could just show up and refuse to play, as they did in the 1999-2000 edition.

      • DebS permalink
        April 25, 2011 06:46

        exactly. As much as they want people to believe it’s not important, they DID want to win it so they can say they won the treble. That’s why at the end of the game, the faces of the Barca players were quite sad; Madrid had robbed them of the winning the treble.

        In the past didn’t both Real Madrid and Barca not take the cup seriously? What changed this year? Did once Barca found out that Mou was going to take it seriously, Barca figured they’d better too because, God forbid, Barca got knocked out early and Madrid went on to win it, right? idk, I’ve always wondered that.

  9. IsaBella permalink
    April 21, 2011 18:02

    I’m still so happy that I can’t believe we actually won the Copa. This game proved that Barca is not invincible and that it’s possible to beat them. What a morale boost! 😀
    That said…. Una I adore your sarcasm about the Piqueton, it’s hilarious!

  10. IsaBella permalink
    April 21, 2011 18:04

    Still in a celebratory mood: Una I saw the “Arbeloa” tag so I read the post 😀

    • maddy permalink
      April 22, 2011 17:45

      this guy just gets hotter and hotter in my eyes. what a gentleman!

      • IsaBella permalink
        April 23, 2011 12:39

        I’m a die-hard fan of his, he’s amazing! 😀

  11. Vanessa permalink
    April 21, 2011 18:08

    Amazing post, thank you thank youuu! I woke up with campeones campeones campeones ole ole oleeee stuck in my head and I dont mind it one bit! 🙂

    Iker doesn’t look too pleased to be talking to Pique. I saw a quote from Iker floating around on twitter that he said he and his teammates heard what pique said after last Saturdays game. Do you think that quote from Iker is true? Just wanted to get your thoughts 🙂

    • Vanessa permalink
      April 21, 2011 20:25

      The twitter quote was right, who knew! 🙂 I found the video where iker talks about it from punto pelota

      • Devyn permalink
        April 22, 2011 23:35

        Do you have the link to that video?

  12. suzanne permalink
    April 21, 2011 18:13

    i didn’t even read the words about xabi’s booty pic…drools.
    i love our team. iker and the boys were incredible last night! they deserved their victory. i was very proud with the way they played (almost) the entire match. it was a hard fought victory and it feels fantastic.
    that is one of the hottest pics i have ever seen of mou. our silver fox is such a hottie!!
    i’d love to know what abidal said. that gif was super cute 🙂
    the banner is beautiful :’)

  13. Emily permalink
    April 21, 2011 18:24

    What a fantastic game it was! I should have been a bad student and skip my night class but I don’t think my stomach could handle the nerves! I love all the moments before the game, Lass and Abidal & Sergio and Bojan 🙂

    Thank you, Una. I look forward to your next post!

  14. Erika permalink
    April 21, 2011 18:24

    I love my Spanish babes! 🙂

  15. black widow permalink
    April 21, 2011 18:27

    *sigh* seriously … is there a more perfect human being on this planet than iker casillas?!

    i love, love, love these little moments, una — thank you so much (especially considering how tired you must be this morning!).

  16. Yedu permalink
    April 21, 2011 18:28

    Iker’s interview in Marca “The other day, my uncle Félix told me something fun and curious: in what’s left of the season, we can face Barça four more times: in the return game of the Liga, the final of the Copa and in an home-and-away in the Champions. And he told me, “I prefer that they keep their 5-0 and we spread out our goals and win each of the rest of the games 1-0.” What do you think? (Laughs).”

    Hope we win rest of the Clasico’s and make Iker’s uncle words true.

  17. Jutta permalink
    April 21, 2011 20:00

    Oh, thank you Una. I wish I’d been there instead beeing at home in Finland sitting on my sofa alone…
    I’m so glad for Iker! And for Xabi and the rest!

  18. Pam permalink
    April 21, 2011 20:24

    I am very happy that Iker won the one trophy he was craving for! He played one hell of a game yesterday and it was well-deserved! It was very touching to see him stop by to console Leo Messi after the game when Leo was on the field looking frustrated.

  19. Pam permalink
    April 21, 2011 20:40

    It was hilarious to watch Sergio dropping the cup under the bus. If it was anyone else, I’d be shocked. But, with Sergio, you sort of expect such things to happen as matter of course 🙂

  20. sortacrunchymom permalink
    April 21, 2011 20:41

    Una, you pick the best photos! Iker looks RIDICULOUSLY hot in that first warm-up shot. Dioosssss!

  21. DebS permalink
    April 21, 2011 21:19

    ‘Perhaps this sign and El Piquetón are the only things visible from space?’ 😀

    The Xabi Alonso pose section.™ – definitely a trade markable phrase, Una! 😉

    Take your time on the other post. I’m sure there are so many pictures/videos to sift through and much celebrating for Madrista’s yet to do! Thanks for taking the time to do this post. Fabulous as usual!

  22. Pammie permalink
    April 22, 2011 00:00

    what a great warm up post, thank you!
    oh Xabi…
    I like all the moments of the players of both teams having fun with each other before the match.

  23. Therese permalink
    April 22, 2011 02:30

    There isn’t a more beautiful human specimen than Iker Casillas!

  24. Hazel permalink
    April 22, 2011 04:36

    What I’d give to have Iker look into my eyes like he’s looking at Pique’s! Love that gif. 🙂 It took me an entire day to have the guts to come here and see what you’ve posted. Congratulations to you all Real Madrid fans though. The defense was just so frustrating (for Barcelona fans) and amazing (for RM fans)!

  25. April 22, 2011 06:12

    yeah! the copa patch on the jerseys! I didn’t want to jinx anything at the time but I just had to point out to my friend that the one on the barca jersey is silver =)

  26. Reno permalink
    April 22, 2011 11:40

    Sergio C. and Bojan!! *___* They’re sooo cute ❤
    And hell yes, we don't just have a damn hot team, our coach is really hot too.

    I'm so happy for our boys, they really deserve the trophy!!

    Thank you so much for the post, Una =) Can't wait for more.

    • YouKnowI'mRight permalink
      April 22, 2011 20:46

      Lol! I was watching the game with a friend who was watching football for the first time.. She was ecstatic when the “team with the hotties” won! I’m pretty sure she’ll be watching of all Madrid’s matches from now on 😉

      • DebS permalink
        April 25, 2011 06:49

        the “team with the hotties”

        hahahaha….that’s one way to get people interested in soccer! lol

  27. Samira permalink
    April 22, 2011 12:00

    I think you’re magnificent. Your posts are unmatched, feeding its readers to such an extent they feel they’re basking in contentment. As far as it relates to game posts,(with regards to RM in particular) i personally feel that i have no need to stray outside of this blog of yours to be satisfied. You pretty much have perfected the art of combining detailed information, that fan-girls especially appreciate, with relevant and updated news that is significant to be aware of.

    Have fun celebrating to your heart’s content, we all now you deserve it.

    Cannot wait for your subsequent posts detailing the magnificent moments from the final.


  28. April 22, 2011 15:37

    This win means so, so, so much for all of us, no? Apart from the fact that any title is great for the club, the fact that we beat Barcelona for it, makes it mean so much more. Then, of course, we won it after the Bernabeu draw, and before the even bigger matches for the CL semi… this win could explode with significance if it could.

    I can’t wait for your match posts, Una. But no pressure. We’ll wait until after you’re done celebrating.

  29. Pipita permalink
    April 22, 2011 15:39

    Una, do you know where I can find the complete celebration at Cibeles? I know that telemadrid brodcasted it, but I can’t find it.

  30. Marie permalink
    April 22, 2011 17:28

    To al the cules out there, though highly unnecessary let me tell you why I’m a Madridista. I haven’t been a fan for too long. I’m from the States so football (soccer) is not too important here but after I watched the 2006 WC I saw why my Mexican family was so in love with this sport, it’s beautiful! So I decided I wanted to follow it and maybe it’s bc I’m American but I didn’t want to watch just any football I wanted to watch the best so of course (and this is my opinion you probably think differently) I set my eyes on Spain and more so on RM and Barca. I’ve been told that it’s cheating to like both so I made my choice. You want to know what was the deciding factor? They’re both FANTASTIC clubs. Great! And Barca has been phenomenal in past years, but you cules have been something else (and yes I know I’m generalizing).

    I chose Madrid bc Madridistas are very special. They admit when their team is wrong and when the other team was better, and they’re proud of their boys no matter the score or the number of titles. I’m not saying ALL you cules aren’t also like this but just to prove my point I went onto a Barca blog to see what it was like and it was pathetic. They live to hate RM. They’re obsessed! It seems they love to hate RM more than they love Barca, that’s a shame.

    I think this blog proves how we’re different (and again I’m generalizing for though I have yet to meet a nasty Madridista I’m sure some exist). We applaud and respect our opponent though we show them no fear, but most importantly we’re united in loving our team win or lose, supporting them win or lose.

    Cules will you be happy with your team if they only win the liga? Or will that be a failure of a season for you? If this is the only cup we win this year, I’ll still put on my jersey and be proud. I love this team, there’s no other explanation. Titles are just an extra bonus.

    Oh and one last note: Catalanway stop being so arrogant! You speak as if Barca wins in the semis they’ve already won it all. Man U and Schalke are also still alive in that competition and it’s not by luck.

    Una I don’t thank you enough for what you do. Sorry about my long rantings.

  31. kiki permalink
    April 22, 2011 21:26

    Well, thank you as always Una! We have come a long way, as a young, new side in this season, yes?

    Thank you for the wonderful pics. I was mesmerized by gorgeous San Iker in those 1st two pics for quite a long time… I think Becks was probably quite jealous of the goddess when she got her kiss from our wonderful Captain 😀

    Xabi….. oh, Xabi….

    I love that you show the affection between many of the men of Real Madrid & Barcelona. I wish more fans could understand this. Xavi & Iker being friends since they were 16, for example. Players go out and battle as hard as they can in a match and can still be friends. It’s a good lesson, yes?

    • DebS permalink
      April 25, 2011 06:55

      exactly! Too many people think that if they foul each other or scuffle with one another during a game that all is lost in their relationship. But guys, well many guys, have a uncanny knack for leaving what happens during the game on the pitch.

  32. April 23, 2011 02:27

    Una..I find site is it yours?

    ah Iker’s face looks tense before the games..but still cute 😉

    and it’s surprise that Esteban Granero studied as an ecologist 🙂
    it’s cool and awesome 🙂

    • Lulja permalink
      April 23, 2011 11:46

      Yes, it is hers. It’s also linked on the right side btw. 😉

  33. Jennifer permalink
    April 23, 2011 03:14

    This whole match was bloody fantastic. I think Xabi’s awesome pose there at the end sums everything up perfectly: calm, cool, collected. BOSS.

  34. superfan permalink
    April 23, 2011 09:14

    Thank you so much for your very extensive game coverage in your ICYMI posts!! 🙂 Gaah. Everything’s been said and I have nothing more to add.

  35. April 23, 2011 17:17

    I’m extremely happy and proud of our team! I love everyone in this team so much and I have just started being a Madridista last year. It was a well-deserved win. I still can’t get over how happy I am! This has brought so much joy! Nothing could take this away from us. Here’s to many more titles and cups (Champions League winner, fingers crossed!). To Catalanway, please, go away. You did sound like a sore loser, esp. bringing up points of us getting beat at Champions League and La Liga. No one knows how that will turn out. We just have to wait, prepare for the best, and expect for the worse. I have faith in my team and you have yours. Just don’t come here and blatantly tell us in our face that you will win the other two competitions. Even Barcelona players and Pep never said such things, no?

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