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all set for Villarreal!

May 15, 2011

Marcelo’s wearing a headband!!!

Madrid held its last training session before tonight’s game against Villarreal (21h; all the Liga games will be played at this time for jornada 37) yesterday.  Madrid isn’t playing for anything in this game, except perhaps to help Cristiano Ronaldo break the single-season goal scoring record of 38.  Cris has scored 36 goals (37 according to Marca) this season, which is more than what four teams have scored: Depor has only found the net on 31 occasions this season, followed by Almería with 32, Sporting with 33 and Hércules with 35.

The session took place right after a downpour, but that didn’t stop Sergio from jumping Iker or Kaká from showing off his dance moves (who knew?).  Twenty-one footballers took part; the absences were the injured Gago and Khedira, as well as Lass, who is suspended for this game.  Out of the 21, 19 were called up for the game.  The ones left out due to the coach’s decision were the habitual pair of Sergio Canales and Peter Lion.

Goalkeepers: Iker, Adán, Dudek.

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

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

Forwards: Adebayor, Higuaín, Cristiano Ronaldo, Benzema.

The team will have two days off after this game, returning to training on Wednesday for the last game of the season, against Almería.  This will also be Higuaín, Garay and Di María’s last game of the season, as they will be allowed to travel to Argentina after this game.

Aitor Karanka once again spoke to the press in place of José Mourinho.  The first question he was asked was about UEFA’s investigation into Sergio Busquets for alleged racist insults.  Karanka’s response was, “my opinion is the same as what was stated in the communique sent out by the club.  They provided a video showing unsporting behavior from Barcelona, Real Madrid did not denounce any individual players, and it was UEFA that opened the case.”  The journalists persisted, asking if these things should stay on the field.  To that, Karanka responded, “there are images of the incident and everyone has seen them.  It’s true that things that happen on the field… stay there, but there are campaigns against racism and there is proof, so you can’t turn your head away.”

Aitor was also asked if he was affected by the tensions and confrontations plaguing Madrid throughout the season, and whether his own image has been tarnished.  He replied, “my image right now is the image of Real Madrid and of the míster.  I couldn’t be prouder to stand up for this club and to work with the míster.  That’s the image I have and the one I want to transmit, and the one I believe I transmit in all moments.  I said this the first time I spoke in Gijón that this is no problem for me.  I’m happy to be learning, and proud to represent this club.”

(And I get prouder of Aitor each time I hear him.)

Aitor also didn’t want to give the team a grade before the season was over, but said that Iker’s assessment (he gave the team an eight), coming from a person who has been with the team for so long, “makes us satisfied as coaches.”

Following the press conference, the team headed to Barajas to fly to Valencia.  Their flight was delayed by half an hour due to the weather.  Once in Valencia, the team took a bus to Vila-real.

And to my surprise, Iker is still posting things to his FB page.  The latest was this cute picture of him and Esteban on the airport bus.  Look at the Argentines having a powwow in the back.  Do you think the players fight over who gets the seats?

At the team hotel, Álvaro Arbeloa and Ricardo Carvalho posed for pictures and signed autographs for the fans, and struck the typical Real Madrid pose.

Meanwhile, Juvenil C and Benjamín B won their groups yesterday, becoming the seventh and eighth champions of the cantera this season.  Juvenil C beat Concepción 6-2 yesterday, while Benjamín B beat Virgen de la Luz 18-0, their highest goal total this season (Theo scored two of the 18).  Benjamín B’s record for the season stands at 22-0 with two games left, and they’ve scored 230 goals, meaning an average of 10.5 per game!  “Marvelous” indeed!  Video of the adorable kids here.

And Castilla will play their last game of the season tonight at 18h, away to Getafe B (MFC’s old team).  They still have a chance to win their division (they have to win, while Lugo and Guadalajara both have to lose), so go Castilla!  Juanan, Álex and Sarabia are out due to sanction, and Denis and Juan Carlos due to injury.  Speaking of Álex, he’s on twitter now… and it was announced by MFC of course.

AS recently interviewed Nuri Sahin, and he told them that he knows a lot about the history of the club, that he liked the styles of Redondo and Guti, and that it doesn’t matter to him what jersey number he ends up with.  I also liked these sound bites:

on his new life in Madrid: I’m a very family-oriented person, I always like being with my wife and my parents.  I want to create a home in Madrid where my wife and I will be happy.  I live and work for football, not for anything else.

on learning Spanish: I will start classes as soon as possible.  In the Netherlands, I had difficulties in the beginning and at times I felt a bit frustrated because I couldn’t communicate like I wanted to with my teammates.  All the players spoke in English, but that wasn’t enough for me.  In Madrid, I want to learn Spanish as soon as possible.

They are also reporting that Sahin passed his medical in Germany.  Does that mean we won’t get pictures of him posing with a bare chest and thumbs up at Sanitas?  But that’s the tradition!  The signing cannot be complete until we get that picture!

And on Monday afternoon, Iker will face David Villa to play a game during the final of the Mahou Futbolín Cup, the first face-to-face meeting between Madrid and Barcelona’s La Roja players after the clásicos marathon.

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17 Comments leave one →
  1. amouria permalink
    May 15, 2011 11:32

    Oh Una, I want my special corner, the Special One corner!!! kidding of course, I am sure you will post as many pics of Mou as possible after the game…

    • Felix permalink
      May 16, 2011 10:16

      I definitely miss Jose and his wise words. But Karanka is also doing well, anyway.

  2. Ally permalink
    May 15, 2011 11:38

    Wow Iker, keep up the good work 😉 we’re all very happy with the pics you post on FB

    I hope Cris will score tonight and break that record!

  3. asma permalink
    May 15, 2011 12:17

    To that, Karanka responded, “there are images of the incident and everyone has seen them. It’s true that things that happen on the field… stay there, but there are campaigns against racism and there is proof, so you can’t turn your head away.”

    Go Aitor Karanka!!

  4. Pipita permalink
    May 15, 2011 17:10

    http://yfrog.com/z/gy9ntdrj

    Una, have you seen this photo that Morata tweeted. It’s with his primo and they look casi identical.

  5. cisarovna permalink
    May 15, 2011 17:13

    The picture of Sergio, Xabi and Cris is cute, kind of looks like Xabi and Sergio are doing a synchronized dance and Cris is trying to learn the steps. Also Xabi looks “tanorexic” next to the two tanning gods.

    On the topic of the pinchichi (spelling?) I am a little sick of the news articles that say the only reason Cris has so many goals is because he only is ever thinking of himself. I don’t believe he is above criticism, but I thought goals were needed to win games, and him being a forward, I would have thought scoring goals would be considered the right thing for the team in general. I’ll admit, there are times I wish he would pass instead of shoot, but to write off everything he does seems a little extreme.

  6. bbBenz permalink
    May 15, 2011 17:31

    Una have you heard anything about Karim’s £25million Arsenal summer transfer? i need some Enlightenment.., i don’t want him to leave Real Madrid 😦

  7. May 15, 2011 18:19

    I really love Aitor’s press conferences. I really love Aitor.

    also, that picture of Kaka and Marcelo is just the most precious thing!

  8. Resa permalink
    May 15, 2011 20:27

    First of all I have to say that you make me laugh every single time I read “Peter Lion” xD The circumstances that caused this nickname were so funny, and so is your use for it 😉

    I admit myself to be a huge fan of ‘el pirata’, so it definitely made my day seeing him and Iker together on the bus. Iker looks a little bit … how to say … ‘compressed’ next to Esteban 😀 (although he’s about 6cm taller, but who cares ^^)
    Let me leave a statement how disappointed I am that Mou didn’t put el pirata to his once inicial, but … calm down Resa, let’s see whether he gets subbed in or not… I hope he will be 🙂

    Great job again, una – it’s always a pleasure reading about pre- and post-game-news that are so detailed an funny at the same time … what shall I do when the temporada is over? 😦
    Let’s hope for many summer boot camp news 😎

  9. Ariadna permalink
    May 15, 2011 20:39

    Unaaaaaaaaaaaa! I heard Gonza is having a baby with an unkown girl.. do you know if it true? I’m dying to knowwwwww :((((((

  10. debsen permalink
    May 16, 2011 00:00

    Nice to see Iker busy on FB! (Alas though I think his post with Kaka I see a hint of the murse?). Hee hee, Iker “scoring” goals against Spain’s number 1 scorer. I hope he scores some (but my heart belongs to Villa so I hope Villa wins, but I’ll be happy really either way since I love Iker too). Not worried at all about their relations or La Roja relations during the tourney.

  11. alina permalink
    May 16, 2011 00:12

    Do you know if it’s true that Higuain is to become a father ??

  12. Mike permalink
    May 16, 2011 02:00

    Suggestion:

    The Marcelo Section

  13. Gillian permalink
    May 16, 2011 04:41

    IA. I need to see Sahin in the usual thumbs-up picture for the medical.

    LOVE the picture of Esteban & Iker. I guess my Esteban crush is now officially out.

  14. black widow permalink
    May 16, 2011 05:08

    the little benjamín B team is SO CUTE! oh my god, i just want to pinch all their cheeks!

    i love that iker is still updating his facebook, and i hope he continues. that picture is adorable. 😀

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