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all set for Zaragoza!

April 30, 2011

Madrid held their first, last and only training session before the Zaragoza game (18h today) yesterday at Valdebebas (they were originally scheduled to practice on Thursday, but were given the day off instead).  Twenty-four footballers partook in the session, including canteranos Juanfran and Nacho.  These two, plus 10 others, had a normal session, while nine of the starters from Wednesday’s game (the exceptions being Iker and Özil, who only played a half) did recovery work with Rui Faria on another part of the field.  Meanwhile, the three goalkeepers did their special exercises.  Khedira and Gago, the only two injured players, stayed inside.  The players were serious during the session, and also extremely affectionate with Pepe, as they know what he’s going through.

Nineteen players were called up for today’s game.  Gago and Khedira are out due to injury, while Mou decided to leave Cristiano, Lass, Xabi, Albiol and Pedro León off the list as well.  Mou said later on in his press conference that Xabi and Lass “are exhausted because they played a lot of time alone in the midfield, with 11 against 10.  In addition, we don’t have a lot of midfielders, and so we need them to be in their best condition on Tuesday.”  As for Albiol, he was rested because “he shouldn’t have to play, because Pepe and Sergio Ramos committed those criminal actions that saw them receive cards and they’re suspended for the Champions.”  No explanation was required for why Peter Lion will be watching from the stands.  And with regards to Cristiano, “it was my own decision.  We have good options up front such as Benzema, Higuaín, Kaká, Adebayor, Di María…” Most of the journalists seemed to believe that Cristiano is being “punished” because he said after the game on Wednesday that “I don’t like playing like this, but I have to adapt.”

Goalkeepers: Iker, Dudek, Adán.

Defenders: Carvalho, Pepe, Sergio Ramos, Marcelo, Arbeloa, Garay, Nacho.

Midfielders: Granero, Kaká, Canales, Di María, Özil, Juanfran.

Forwards: Adebayor, Higuaín, Benzema.

The players won’t have to go through a concentración; they’re cited for the game at 12h today.

The team will present the Copa del Rey to the fans during today’s game.

At his press conference following the session, José Mourinho told the congregated press that “right now I have even more desire to continue here for what this club signifies.  It makes more sense than ever.  The shirt is white and white means something.”  As for Pepe’s expulsion and his subsequent questioning of the referee’s honor, Mou had this to say: “an image is worth more than a thousand words.  I said what I needed to say and I have nothing more to add.  There are those who criticize my words, who criticize the images and believe they were Photoshopped and that the video is fake.  They’re not, the photos and images are real.  I only asked a question; I didn’t accuse anyone.  My question was ‘Why?’  And I’ll probably die without knowing the answer.”  He also said the coach and the team are not to be blamed for the defeat on Wednesday.

As for the upcoming game, Mou said, “we will go out proudly, with honesty and honor because Real Madrid always fights to win.  We have to do that for our fans.”  And when questioned about the psychological state of the team, he responded, “we have morale in all senses.  The season has not ended, it will finish at the end of May, I’m not sure of the exact date, and after that we have a pair of friendlies.  When Real Madrid plays, even if it’s a friendly, we won’t be on vacation.”

Other news:

Madrid has announced that they and Castilla coach Alberto Toril have agreed to extend his contract for two more seasons, until the end of the 2012-13 season.  Speaking of Castilla, the club wants them to play their playoff games (for promotion into the second division) at the Bernabéu.  Castilla is currently tied for second in their division, with three matchdays left.  If they remain in second place, the first game of the playoff series will be held on May 29 at home.  If they end up third, then their first playoff game will be at home on May 22 (which means the club will try and have the Madrid-Almería match scheduled for May 21).

Here’s a photo from reader LaBlanca of Castilla player Dani Carvajal doing a “superjump” over MFC Álvaro Borja Morata Martín.  Keep in mind that Dani is only 1.73m tall and MFC is 1.87m tall (and still growing), and it becomes all the more impressive, no?

As Mou said during his press conference, Madrid will play several friendlies at the end of this season, and it looks like one could be in India and the other Japan.  And another pre-season game has been confirmed, against Hertha on July 27 in Berlin, according to that club.

After the scandalous behavior of Sevilla’s ball boys during last week’s game against Villarreal, where they consistently and frequently threw extra balls onto the field in an attempt to disrupt Villarreal’s play and prevent them from scoring (and this is not the first time Sevilla has employed this tactic), the club has decided that for its next home game, against Real Madrid (and the following one against Real Sociedad), the ball boys will be ball girls, from their female teams.

The Fundación Clínica Menorca held their second charity padel tournament on Thursday to raise funds for the fight against breast cancer.  Taking part in the benefit – playing or watching – were Fernando Hierro, Vicente del Bosque, Rubén de la Red, Miguel Torres, Jordi Codina, Míchel.  Iker and Sergio were supposed to be the patrons, but they believed it would be more prudent for them not to show up, in light of all the controversy stirred up over Wednesday’s game.  Watch a video here.  Rubén looks a bit like David Ferrer, no?

Álvaro Arbeloa will hold the first-ever “Arbeloa Campus” this summer in Tres Cantos (Madrid) for kids aged 6-14, where they can learn about football and meet the head Spartan himself.  More information here.

Anthony Adebayor, little brother of Manolín, is having a tryout with Real Valladolid B, along with four other Togolese players, one from Equatorial Guinea and a Romanian goalkeeper.  The tryout will last indefinitely until the coaching staff and the club decide whether to sign them or not.

And finally, some tweeted photos that I love, from Sergio (it’s almost summer, which means – colored jeans!) and MSFC Juan Carlos.

18 Comments leave one →
  1. April 30, 2011 12:26

    It is better for everyone if only Mou and Pep talk to the press till the game at the Camp Nou. Both of them should relax their tone as well.
    I hated it when Sergio wears colored jeans but now it just warms my heart and puts a smile on my face!

  2. Anna permalink
    April 30, 2011 14:05

    Why is it so hard to believe that Mou is resting Cris ahead of Wednesday because he’s tired and this game doesn’t count? Why does there have to be some dramatic feud? Oh, right, because this is the media…

  3. amouria permalink
    April 30, 2011 14:18

    Christiano? I am with Mou’s decision to suspend him, not because of what he had said, but because he’s been weak and constrained in the last few months. Of course he was the one who brought the king’s cup to us, but in general, his level has been deteriorating since the beginning of the year.
    Lets the lovely triode (benz, kaka, higuaine) try their luck and talent. I wish he does not play in the camp nu.

    thanks Una

    • LaBlanca permalink
      April 30, 2011 22:01

      Ummm. Mou has never said hes suspended him. And I dont think he did because of a sentence he said right after the game from pure frustration.

      Theres was a lot of speculation in the media mixing quotes from different times, thats it.

    • LaBlanca permalink
      April 30, 2011 22:06

      also thought there wasnt anything wrong with the sentence. He said he doesnt like the style but plays because the coach wants. Its his opinion. Players constantly say in interviews that they like a special position more, but they play whereever a coach wants them. Why is it always a drama in RM???? Or better said the media makes a drama of it?

  4. April 30, 2011 14:28

    India and the other Japan – Where and when in India and Japan Una? I can make it to both countries to watch them play!!! I’d kill to watch my team play.

    The recent shitstorm has left me disgusted with the whole scene. Especially when you look at pictures and learn about the direct racism. I just believe in my team, trust in them and Mou and love them to bits.


    • maddy permalink
      April 30, 2011 15:01

      i’m so going to India for the friendly. its right next door! unless bloody exams get in the way again. i tell you, sometimes education is just NOT worth it

  5. IsaBella permalink
    April 30, 2011 14:41

    “Pepe and Sergio Ramos committed those criminal actions that saw them receive cards” – I love you Mou!
    Alvaro the Spartan: I’m starting to like that…. ❤
    looks like Sergio is back to his favorite pose…

  6. thisperson permalink
    April 30, 2011 14:55



  7. Ally permalink
    April 30, 2011 15:18

    That superjump is more impressive than the one from Cris and Marcelo considering Álvaro Borja Morata Martín is taller than little Marcelino 😉
    Sergio’s blue pants: Ouch, my eyes o.O

  8. superfan permalink
    April 30, 2011 15:20

    Sergio and his thumbs-up and colored jeans make everything a little better, no? Haha. This was such a refreshing post to read-away from all the drama!

    And hooray for the ball girls!!! 🙂 So cute.

    Oh, and I really apologize for the expletives I’ve used in my comment in the last post.

  9. April 30, 2011 17:25

    ough bad news!! my TV was be struck by lightning 😥
    and I can’t watch Real Madrid match 😥
    but I always support them !!
    Hala Madrid!!!

    Anyway, Sergio looks so cute and charming with his eye glasses ^^

  10. mar permalink
    April 30, 2011 19:42

    ball girls instead of ball boys?? luckyyyy girls!
    sergio is in fashion this summer with his coloured bright jeans…
    i wish they would come to my country and play too!

  11. Pammie permalink
    April 30, 2011 23:15

    I hope the ball girls behave better. 😉

    I think the first team and the cantera should have a superjump competition!

    I’m not a big fan of funky colour jeans, but it’s so Sergio and he works it 😛

  12. May 1, 2011 07:36

    To Sergio, I request yellow, because I don’t remember seeing you in yellow jeans yet. I love that quote “the shirt is white and white means something”.

  13. LaBlanca permalink
    May 1, 2011 08:44

    thanx a load Una, but isnt Morata 1.91 m already?
    Anyway thats what I call a superjump! Hehe.

    • May 1, 2011 11:33

      I used his “official” height (the one on Madrid’s site) but to reflect this, I added the “and growing” part.

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