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all set for Barcelona (once more)

April 27, 2011

Well, it was a dreary day without a new episode of The Marcelo Show, even Iker was bored…

(check out his new gloves!)

… but luckily we had José and Pep (since everyone is on an informal, first name basis now) to keep us entertained.

But first, the training session.  Yesterday afternoon, the team held their last practice session before facing Barcelona tonight at the Bernabéu (20:45h).  Twenty-one players took part, with Manu Adebayor and Ángel di María returning to the fold.  Absent were the injured Sami Khedira and Fer Gago, while Ricardo Carvalho is still enjoying a mini-vacation, as he is suspended from this game.

Look at Iker judging Mou!  He’s thinking, I could get my shirt off quicker and more gracefully…

Kaká also rejoined the team, after missing out on the last two sessions as he had traveled to Brazil to be with his wife and newborn daughter.  He arrived in Madrid two hours late, but still in time to make the training session – he went directly to Valdebebas from Barajas (they’re not too far apart anyway).  A little anecdote from his arrival: when Ricky tried to pay his €54.90 parking ticket, the machine wouldn’t accept his credit card, and so he had to pay cash to the attendant.  After he left, the cashier, a girl, asked, “who was that man?”  This reminds me of the time that Kaká took a taxi to the Bernabéu for the concentración but didn’t have any money to pay the taxi driver, so he had to borrow money from Diarra!

Out of those 21 players who trained, 19 were called up for this game.  The two odd men out were – no surprises here – Peter Lion and Sergio Canales.

Goalkeepers: Iker, Adán, Dudek.

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

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

Forwards: Cristiano Ronaldo, Benzema, Higuaín, Adebayor.

At the training session, Cris also practiced his super jump (he got really high, no?)…

… as did Manu, with Marcelo as well.  They even did a celebratory dance after it.  Cris should try jumping over Adebayor next!  That would be a real challenge!  Meanwhile, the Portuguese speakers stood around plotting… it looks like Cris is the ringleader!

Prior to the training session, Mou spoke with the press (Marcelo was there too, but everyone was more interested in what Mou had to say).  Before the session, Mou was in a joking mood, winking and gesturing at a journalist.  And during the session, there was a small change, in that he used the words “Barça” and “Pep Guardiola” for the first time ever, instead of “them” and “he.”  When asked what he thought about the referee assigned to the game, Mou said, “more important that the assignment of the referee and the pressure (on UEFA) not to assign Provença is that we’ve started a new cycle.  Until now, we had two groups of coaches, a small one, a very small one, that doesn’t speak about referees, and a larger one, which I belong to, that criticizes referees when they make important mistakes.  It’s made up of a group of people like me who can’t control their frustrations, but who are also happy to praise the work of a referee if he did well.  Now, with Pep’s declarations the other day, a new era has started, with a third group, made up of only Pep Guardiola: a group that criticizes the correct decisions of the referee, which is something I’ve never seen in my life… this is a group that criticized a linesman for making a correct and difficult decision” [Pep had spoken about the offside call against Pedro in the Copa del Rey final during a press conference].

Later on, Mou said, “for Pep to be happy, it appears that the referee will have to make a mistake.”

He also said that “I don’t have a magic potion to help beat Barça.  The only thing I can do is work hard and honestly to help my players.  I don’t want to be viewed as someone who has a magic potion.”  He was then asked what he said to his players in order to motivate them, if he didn’t have a magic potion.  The response was, “first of all, I have to motivate myself, because when I’m motivated, it’s easier to motivate my people.  I’m the same motivator that lost 5-0 in November.  The words that I spoke to play players weren’t mine, they were from a guy named “Alberto,” Alberto Einstein.  He said one day, ‘There is a driving force more powerful than steam, electricity and atomic energy: the will.’  This guy Alberto wasn’t stupid; with will you can do things.”

Mou answered questions in Spanish, English, Italian and Portuguese.  Marcelo also spoke to the press, but what he said was not interesting at all compared to the two coaches.  He also took questions in Portuguese, and was so much more talkative than he was in Spanish!  He looked adorable – look at those big eyes!  You can also see that his face is healing.

In response, during his press conference, Pep Guardiola began with the following: “Since Señor Mourinho got informal with me (by using the “tú” form), I’m going to get informal with him as well.  He called me Pep, so I’m going to call him José.  I don’t know which of these cameras belongs to Señor José… I suppose all of them here.  Tomorrow at 20:45 we’re going to see each other on the field.  Off of it, he’s already won.  He’s won during the entire year, during this entire season and in the future as well.  I will give him his personal Champions League off the field.  He can go home and enjoy that…  In this room (Madrid’s press room), he’s the fucking boss, the fucking man, the one that knows the most in this world.  I don’t want to compete even a single instant with him.  I just want to remind him that we spent four years together, he knows me and I know him.  Then later on, if he wants to judge based solely on the declarations made after the Copa del Rey, by what the print press wrote and what Florentino Pérez’s friends wrote, if he wants to pay more attention to all of them than to our friendship, well not friendship, the relationship we had, he has every right to do so.  He can continue reading Alberto, or continue reading what the friends of Don Florentino Pérez write, the press of Madrid.  He can decide what he wants.  The only thing I did was congratulate Madrid, but he only believes what Florentino’s friends said.”  (Read more here if you want.)

Pep also claimed Sergio is incapable of thinking for himself, because he believes Mou had instructed Sergio to say that he expects a clean game: “six years ago, he convinced those of Chelsea to say that and now those from Madrid… I know it was the club that told Sergio Ramos what he had to say.  I try to learn a lot from Mourinho on the field and nothing off of it.”

It looks like Mou has really gotten into Pep’s head and messed it up a bit!

At 20:45 last night, the players called up for the game gathered at the Bernabéu to change clothes and board the team bus to take them to the Mirasierra Suites to begin the concentración.  Once again, I have to say I love the blue shirts on the boys!  Everyone looks great, no?  And are they all taught to salute like that?

As Madrid’s arrival at the stadium coincided with the end of Barcelona’s training session there, we got to see a few scenes of the La Roja players greeting each other.  It appears that no one can hate El Chori!  And unlike some other players, he’s friends with more than one player on the opposite team.  Here, he’s saying hi to Pedrito and Piqué.

The colors of his top and jeans make him look like a doctor in partial scrubs.

Meanwhile, 1,700 police, security guards and health workers will be watching over the security related to the game, which is considered “high risk” by the government of Madrid.  Each of the entrances to the stadium will be guarded in order to prevent illegal objects from entering, while the goddess Cibeles will have her own personal security detail, to prevent any damage to her from fans wanting to celebrate the victory of their team at the plaza.

¡¡¡Vamos campeones!!!

32 Comments leave one →
  1. maddy permalink
    April 27, 2011 10:02

    i personally feel mourinho could have avoided stirring up the situ… i dont necessarily disagree with the things he said but there’s no peaceful way to say it so why say it at all…

    plus, mou’s comments could jinx us where a CORRECT decision could go against us tonight and cost us the game. then what do we do.

    pep’s response is just ridiculous.. man up boy.

    • Cosi permalink
      April 27, 2011 17:32

      Completely agree, i’d prefer the Mou Silent Treatment which was a mind game in itself, but there it is, I guess I’ll just be on my knees til the game proves us right or wrong!

      And c’mon Senor Guardiola leave Sergio out of it! 😛

      Thanks for the post, Una!! You rock! Bss X

      • Cosi permalink
        April 27, 2011 20:33

        Also, Cristiano and Marcelo look like they’re playing Leapfrog: Superhero Edition. Hahaha! Amazing. Cmon, boys!!

    • daniel ikemba permalink
      April 27, 2011 17:39

      Interesting. Mou getting “blamed” for speaking the truth? If Guardiola cannot handle the truth and wants to throw the “we were friends” card, then thats his business! Guardiola is a punk! he forgets that he supported Preciado during preciado’s classless personal attacks on Mou? I guess at that time, he forgot “he was friends with Mou for 4 years?”

    • Vanessa permalink
      April 27, 2011 18:25

      I totally agree, i wish he didn’t add more fuel to an already feisty fire. Perhaps there is a reason to Mou’s madness that i cleary don’t understand. 🙂

      Maybe 4 clasicos is too much for anyone to bear?! 🙂

  2. April 27, 2011 10:09

    Pep went a bit bonkers there didn’t he? I read about this last night with my mouth kinda open. What ever happened to the ‘gentleman’ Pep – the image that has been sold to the world?

    I can imagine what would happen if Mou said the same things; he’s get publicly lynched. So much for Barca’s great image. Hypocrisy like this disgusts me.

  3. April 27, 2011 10:19


    I hope we kick ass tonight. Reading about all the vitriol that the ‘saintly team’ is spewing made me temporarily see red.

    Also is it true that Sandro Rosell said that if Madrid wins the Champions League, then their team should stop playing? I read that on one of the footy sites and was wondering if this was true. I mean, it has to be false right? There isn’t any way he would say something like this right? Right?

    • daniel ikemba permalink
      April 27, 2011 17:55

      Sandro Rossell is NOT an intelligent man. His comments clearly shows that. Madrid , statisitically, is currently the best teams in the tournament, with Machester United at second place.

  4. mar permalink
    April 27, 2011 10:51

    Wow mou really managed to mess up pep. Pep’s response was not classy at all.

  5. Alice permalink
    April 27, 2011 10:56

    hey una, i dont mean to kill the buzz, but do you know anything about this?

    RT @barcastuff: A Barcelona fan was stabbed to death by a Madrid supporter in a discussion after the cup final in the city of Benidorm. #rip [informacion]

    And if yes, is it just a rumor or what?

    I hope it’s not true!! 😦

    #halamadrid!! (i know this isn’t twitter but… yeah hahah)

    • April 27, 2011 15:17

      Yes, I saw that reported, but the discussion doesn’t seem to be the sole reason why this occurred.

  6. Milleca permalink
    April 27, 2011 10:57

    Wow, if all of this referee issue is true then justice be hopefully served today. It’s amusing to see Pep lose his cool, but Mourinho… I have no words. I haven’t seen such a courageous man as he is, as much as he is a troll and likes to bend people with his mind games. A great man, as well as a very dangerous one.

    On that note, Hala Madrid!

  7. April 27, 2011 12:32

    Really hope we win tonight and we can see that celebration. Perhaps cris will try jumping over marcelo as a celebration instead of the dancing that they do. Would be very intresting indeed. Hala madrid we will hoepfully win tonight.<3

  8. superfan permalink
    April 27, 2011 13:48

    HALA MADRID!!!!!! Let’s do this!!

  9. DebS permalink
    April 27, 2011 14:02

    Hahaha…how scared does Marcelo look when Cris is trying to jump over him?! Cris can jump incredibly high! Adeboyar too but his jump wasn’t as high as Cris’. Who knew leap frog was part of training?

    Pep…ahhh the wolf in sheep’s clothing has finally emerged. His beef is with Mou so why drag Sergio into it. Sergio is incapable of thinking for himself? Totally uncalled for, imo. So, what? Xavi & Busi (and Pique, for that matter) ARE capable of thinking for themselves? pfft Look how well that’s working out for them.

  10. April 27, 2011 14:31

    1-Things between Mou and Pep got really entertaining! I just hope that these things don’t produce negativity and ill feelings on the pitch between the players.

    2- I don’t like to see whatever kind ( intimate, don’t know each other well or professional!) of relationship the national team players have with each other get worse because of this succession of clasicos. I enjoy the banter but I think that after tonight’s game everyone should relax things off the pitch. My nerves can’t tolerate those two games and those word wars are not helping!

    3-Marcelo is so adorable! Only one capable of making me smile at this time of day!

  11. April 27, 2011 14:40

    That video of Kaka borrowing money from Diarra was too funny!!

    It does seem like Mou has gotten to Pep, finally. Whether that will hurt us or hurt Barcelona remains to be seen. Personally, I don’t like it when Mou knowingly stirs up controversy like this. But this is part of the entire Mou package and arguably part of what makes him a genius. I just really hope that their friendship isn’t ruined permanently.

    But, anyway… Hala Madrid!

  12. Whiskey permalink
    April 27, 2011 15:04

    I can’t remember ever being so nervous for a match! The jabs back and forth between Pep and Mou were fun to listen to, but all that ultimately matters is what happens on the pitch tonight. Hoping for a good, clean match – and of course a Madrid win 🙂 no doubt there will be lots of things for you to report on Una!

  13. IsaBella permalink
    April 27, 2011 15:15

    wow! with that amount of “pasta” on my account and the machine doesn’t accept my credit card, sounds really increible 🙂
    “Pep also claimed Sergio is incapable of thinking for himself” – that’s a much too far fetched assumption (!!), although I do believe that the players know very well what to say and what not to; it comes from the club policy.
    Fingers crossed for tonight!! 🙂

  14. Emily permalink
    April 27, 2011 15:39

    It was totally out of character for Pep to blow up like that. I honestly think he looked rather silly saying those things and it was rather rude of him to say that Sergio can’t think for himself. Sergio’s a smart guy and he’s been playing for a long time, he doesn’t need the club to tell him what to say. Whatever.

    I hope today’s game is a good one and there’s not BS and definitely no bias from the ref.

    ¡Hala Madrid!

  15. April 27, 2011 15:40

    Oh Jose’s mindgames. I am not a total fan of them, I have to say. They can be bright and all, but not always necessary. I am not surprised he now is playing one (with the goal of making Pep angry and insecure), but I am more surprised that Pep seems to have gotten involved in them. I personally love Pep, even as an RM fan, I just love him, so with both coaches I like doing things I do not particularly love, I just decided to ignore it all and focus on the game instead;-))

    having said that, I hope that the game will be fun. I have two main worries:
    – lack of Ricardo Carvalho
    – cards situation of other players (looking at the next game and possibly a final).

    anyway, I cannot wait!

    • Ros permalink
      April 27, 2011 19:34

      I like what you had to say about mindgames, “A.” Mourinho seems to understand people and situations very well; that is one of the things that makes him such a great coach. But I don’t think that just because you have the ability to mess with people’s heads, you should. I’m not a big fan of Pep, and this hasn’t endeared him anymore to me, but I did feel a little bad for him.

      About other things, I liked the little bit at the end of the post about Raul Albiol. I think it would be very difficult to hate a guy with such a fun grin. 🙂

  16. April 27, 2011 16:36

    wt happened to my sweet Pep?


    oh i see

    good job mou, i love when madrid uses their superior trolling skills

  17. Sanchez permalink
    April 27, 2011 17:43

    I hope and pray things turn out for us tonight otherwise karma will be a major slap in the face. I know Pep has always been a little two faced from the start and now he’s really showing himself. Fine if he and Mou want to play slaps but that wasn’t nice to talk about Sergio like that why take a jab at someone who hasn’t done anything to you? It’s like two friends fighting and dragging the other friends child into it not cool at all. I hope his kids don’t learn from him they are still young and influential.

    Marcelo looks very frightened he’s so cute that kid I have a hard time looking at him as a father. I love the Brazilian/Portuguese crew they liven things up on the squad.

  18. April 27, 2011 18:11

    Am I the only one who sees this as a carefully constructed way to rally his players? No!
    It occured to me last night after reading the details oif the presser, and then there was an interview on The Football Show this morning with a journalist who echoed my thoughts exactly. This is going to be the writing on the bulletin board that he will use to motivate the team. Pep’s definitely got a fire in his belly, but he also wants his guys to have it, too, because they are all hurt and tired and fire is what they will have to get them through this next week. Hopefully, RM’s fire has more fuel to burn.

  19. jean permalink
    April 27, 2011 18:44

    Gd luck to the guys! And Iker Octopus predicted that We are going to win.Hopefully he is right again this time.

  20. barb permalink
    April 27, 2011 19:30

    I only really started watching football after the World Cup and thought that Barcelona had some of the coolest players (after RM, of course) and that Pep was a gent. I’ve seen and heard enough by this point to be really tired of some Barca players mouthing off; and this latest episode proves that even Pep can pop his cork in the right circumstances (while in a pressure cooker…).

    As for Mou – take him as you find him – brilliant, eccentric(?) and someone who takes great pleasure in taking pokes at anyone who presents themselves as a target.

    Keeping all fingers and toes crossed – Good Luck Madrid! 🙂

  21. PMom_GA permalink
    April 27, 2011 19:51

    FYI: Iker the octopus predicts RM will win CL finals berth.

    Now it’s off to batten down the hatches (again) as tornado alley appears to be heading to SE USA in a full steam ahead, damn the torpedos mode. Only the 6th time this spring under tornado watch/warning.

    • DebS permalink
      April 28, 2011 20:47

      I saw that the south got hit hard by that storm. So sad to see. :'{

      Hopefully, things weren’t as bad in your part of Georgia.

  22. April 27, 2011 20:42


    • DebS permalink
      April 28, 2011 20:48

      my thoughts exactly! I have to wonder if Pep was trying a mind game of his own….trying to get under Sergio’s skin so he would take it out on the Barca players and get sent off again.


  1. a season’s worth of Mouisms « following Real Madrid…

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