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of wishes, futbolín, guitars & more

May 17, 2011

Even though yesterday was a day off for our team, there was still a lot going on.

But first, let’s go back to the Villarreal game.  I know many of you have become addicted to The Marcelo Show, so here is this week’s episode.  As the starting XI lined up to observe the moment of silence, Cristiano noticed that Marcelo had an eyelash on his cheek.  He gently removed it, and then told Marcelo to make a wish, and then blow it away, which Marcelo did.

Iker Casillas had the busiest day of all yesterday, starting with an event sponsored by Mahou, where he met up with David Villa, to take part in the final of the first Copa Mahou de Futbolín.  The two of them both played against each other (with other people) and then teamed up.  Iker, of course, controlled the goalkeeper.  At one point while they were playing together, David scored an own goal and Iker cursed a little (madre mía, Guaje, por tu madre) while El Guaje tried to blame someone else.

They also found some time to speak with the press, during which Iker spoke about Cristiano Ronaldo, UEFA’s decision not to sanction Sergio Busquets and La Roja.  Regarding Cris, Iker said, “only three players in history have achieved (scoring 38 goals in one season), which shows the talent that he has… we aren’t in the running to win any more team trophies, but we can help Cristiano to achieve an individual title.  It’s also important for us that he receives an honor like this one, since he’s one of the best players in the world.”  Regarding the UEFA decision, Iker’s take was “there’s nothing more to say.  We all saw what happened with Busquets but if UEFA decided not to sanction him, well they must know what they saw and what they heard.  There’s no way to change their minds.  Everyone has seen it, everyone sees it.  But if UEFA made this decision, what can I do?”

And with David Villa next to him, Iker of course had to speak about La Roja: “there were 18-19 intense days with four games in which each one defended their own interests and that of  their clubs.  Everything that happened is in the past.  It would be bad if we allowed it to get to us after achieving something so, so important.  When we’re with the national team, we look out for the interests of all Spaniards.”  He added that, “I’m not going to be less of a friend to Xavi, whom I’ve known since we were 15, or of Piqué.  It’s absurd, one thing has nothing to do with the other, and in the end, the day of the Copa del Rey, I said everything (to Villa) and he said everything to me (David laughs) and here we are.  And it’s said that I don’t want to speak with him now?  Please, there are things that you all don’t understand.  Villa is a great friend of mine.  No one had to ask me to have a beer with him.”


David Villa also spoke about UEFA’s decision, saying that “justice was served.”  His take on La Roja was that “nothing has changed… when we return to the national team, everything will go back to normal and we will continue playing well for the team.  In those games, we were not playing as national team teammates but as rivals.  I believe it’s more of an issue with the press than with us.  We didn’t even think we had to meet up to talk about it.  What happens on the field stays on the field.”  This was also his answer when he was asked about Arbeloa’s fouls.

And when asked which team he’d root for in the CL final, Iker said, “may football win.”  The Barcelona press is interpreting this as Iker meaning he wants Barcelona to win, because obviously, only Barcelona = football.  That newspaper also blames Mourinho for brainwashing Iker into not cheering for Barcelona.  As if that could happen.  Iker is almost 30 years old, a very intelligent man and the captain of both Real Madrid and Spain.  He also managed to survive 28 years of his life without Mou.  He deserves a little more credit than that, don’t you think?  Pathetic effort from the Barcelona press.

The next stop of the day (that we know of) was the Santiago Bernabéu, where the Real Madrid Foundation and publisher Pigmalión Ediciones presented a book, “El campo de Bucéfalo,” which was written by Juan Manel Otero Lastres, a member of Madrid’s board of directors.  Iker said it made him “very happy that a Real Madrid director has literature as a passion.  I wish him the best of luck.”  Part of the proceeds from the sales of the book will go to the foundation.  Judging by the cover, the book is about a horse.

Iker also found time to go to AS, to present one pair of the gloves he had worn during the Champions League semifinals to the winners of a contest.  And if the above pictures made you think he was fairly well dressed throughout the day, then check out the back of his shirt.  Yes, it says “The Champions League,” but it’s referring to baseball.  The shirt would look much better without all that on the back.

The Bernabéu was also the site of another act earlier, the presentation of the second Corazón Classic Match, which will take place on June 5 at the stadium.  The proceeds from this year will benefit the Africa Project to develop schools in Africa.  A team made up of former Madrid players will take on a team of Bayern Munich veterans.  The game was organized by the Real Madrid Foundation, the Spanish Olympic Committee and the Comunidad de Madrid.  Marcelo and Aitor Karanka were on hand to support the cause.  Among the former players that will play for the Madrid side are Karanka himself, Rubén de la Red, Alfonso Pérez, Fernando Sanz, Amavisca, Butragueño, Buyo, Chendo, Contreras, Dani García Lara, Figo, Iván Helguera, Iván Pérez, Karembeu, Julio Llorente, Mijatovic, El Moro, Ramis, Fernando Redondo, Santillana, Suker, Zidane.  What a line-up.

No one told Marcelo there was a dress code?

I love that Madrid is doing all these charitable acts.  In addition to the two mentioned above, they are also of course playing a game to benefit the victims of the Lorca earthquake tomorrow.  But what you might not know is that Madrid will also donate the money they collect from tickets sales of the Almería game to Lorca.  Actions speak louder than words, no?  Especially when compared to the actions of other clubs, including one whose only announcement in this area of charitable acts recently was to say that they had moved the UNICEF logo to right above their asses for next season in exchange for some money (before the one or two Barcelona fans who are always critical with me start yapping away, I’d just like to say that Barcelona’s agreement to PAY UNICEF to wear their logo was something I really admired and wished other clubs would do, so seeing them sell out is really upsetting).

And don’t forget, today is also the charitable golf tournament organized by Sergio and the Apascovi Foundation!

We also found out yesterday, when Sporting coach Manolo Preciado spoke to an Asturian radio show, that he had received a call from José Mourinho the day that his (Preciado’s) father passed away.  They spoke for 10-15 minutes.  Preciado said that the call showed that the real Mourinho is not at all like the one that appears in the press room.

Iker wasn’t the only one playing futbolín yesterday.  Gonzalo Higuaín participated in a meet and greet on the roof of the Círculo de Bellas Artes building with 10 fans who won a contest.  Pipita played futbolín with them and then (sort of) accompanied the musical group 84 on the guitar (we know that his guitar is just for show).

Pipa told the press that the entire team is “very happy for Cristiano Ronaldo” and that “it seems abnormal to not win the Liga despite having a player with almost 40 goals and more than 90 points in the Liga.”  He also spoke about Nuri Sahin, saying, “we hope that he brings to us everything he brought to Dortmund.”  We also find out that he’s better playing with his feet than his hands, although he does have a futbolín table at home and plays once in a while.

In other Higuaín news, Gonzalo and a few family members left Madrid for Buenos Aires after being “liberated” by José Mourinho.  Once in Argentina, he’ll begin preparing for the Copa América, along with Ángel di María and Eze Garay, who also returned to Argentina yesterday.  The competition begins on July 1.

The social network area:  Álvaro Arbeloa confessed via twitter that he is a geek, saying it’s due to the influence of his brothers Yago and Raúl.  Meanwhile, Iker continued to be very active on his FB page: he wrote about the Mahou event, said that he tries to read every message and expressed his support for Murcia, posted a picture of Navalacruz where he spent his summers and “bridges” (the Spanish word for a long weekend, puente, literally means bridge), and revealed that he’s learning English (but he didn’t say whether any help is going on).

And he also told us that he had lunch with the Hierro brothers, Fernando and Manolo.  Looks like they’re in the Rincón de Iker!

The last official game of the season, between Madrid and Almería, will take place on Saturday, May 21, at 20h.  Neither team is playing for anything.  The team will have one more game before that, the Lorca benefit game tomorrow at 19h (the team will arrive in Murcia around 11:30h, take a bus to Lorca, go visit the affected area and then rest till kick-off), and a friendly after that in Angola on May 25.  Then… vacation!  The team will return to Madrid on July 12 to start preparing for the 2011-12 season.  On July 14, they’ll head to the U.S.

Castilla found out who their playoff rival is yesterday… Alcoyano.  The two-leg playoff series will take place on May 21/22 in Madrid and May 28/29 in Alcoy.  Castilla will be playing in the Bernabéu, but the date and time are still to be decided.  The idea was to have them play either before or after the first team on Saturday, May 21, at 18h or 22h, but since neither of those times are attractive, the game was scheduled for Sunday at 12h.  (Go to MFC’s twitter to see how confused even he was.)  Entrance will be free for socios and abonados, and €3 for the general public.

In addition to finding in favor of Sergio Busquets yesterday, UEFA also rejected Madrid’s appeal against the unsporting behavior of Barcelona during the first leg of the CL semis.  UEFA also decreed that Madrid has to pay all the costs related to the case.

There also have been no signs that UEFA is investigating Barcelona for the throwing of objects onto the field and the pitch invasion during the second leg, as they had done with Madrid for the first leg, which resulted in a €20,000 fine for the “improper conduct of their supporters.”

And if all that wasn’t enough, UEFA also stated that it was Real Madrid who had reported the racial abuse against Marcelo from Busquets, and that they were not acting on their own initiative.  Ah, so further proof that UEFA turns a blind eye to racism.  Madrid subsequently denied that claim (I don’t know to what end), in which they stated that Marcelo was called to testify and that they were not even notified of the decision, as they had not been the ones to bring it to the committee.

Here’s Crackòvia’s take on the case.  It wouldn’t surprise me if the decision really was made like that, and that that really is what happens in UEFA headquarters.

31 Comments leave one →
  1. Resa permalink
    May 17, 2011 11:31

    Yeah, por qué? That’s what I’m asking myself too … (not only about the back of Iker’s shirt ^^)…
    I was enjoying Iker’s perfect profile and Gonzalo playing the guitar (and reminding me of el pirata with it) … and then …
    I don’t get UEFA’s intentions at all, but I’m sure that I’m not the only one thinking like that …

    But after all I liked what Iker and David said about La Roja. Seeing the national team splitting up internally because of those four games would be the worst case we can get. I hope they all will think about it, just as Iker and David do.

    Great job, una!

  2. maddy permalink
    May 17, 2011 11:38

    when i saw casillas’ shirt, i thought (except for the patch of print above the pocket) – not bad!

    then i saw the back. so close iker, so close..

  3. Pammie permalink
    May 17, 2011 12:32

    The squad list for the Africa project game reads like a dream! Just wow!

    I didn’t understand what they were saying in the crackovia skit, so the funniest part for me was when the judge got excited by the toy in the globe. 😛 It wouldn’t surprise me if it went down just like that. (and por que will never get old!)

    I hope Marcelo wished for La Decima!

    Dear Iker, no stitchery on the back of shirts, okay? 😀 He looks great and I hope he won’t get tired of his facebook page any time soon, because we need something to get us over the pre-season!!

    haha, Pipita faking the guitar again. I’ll miss our Argies on Saturday, but look forward to catch up with them at the copa america (if time zones allow it)

    Since there’s nothing more to play for, I hope the team plays for a brace for Cristiano and a goal for Xabi on Saturday! I think it’s great that the club decided to donate the proceedings of the season finale to those affected by the earth quake.

    Thanks for this detailed news post!

  4. Abi permalink
    May 17, 2011 12:51

    Cristiano is so in love with Marcelo, noh? But who can blame him? Haha. And its almost Iker’s bday.. 🙂 just saying 🙂

  5. Cindy permalink
    May 17, 2011 12:57

    I’m still in a rage from yesterday. Those who do injustice to others will be dealth with a thousand times worse. It may not happen tomorrow or next week, hell it may not even happen for years but justice will be served.

    **sigh** Cris & Marcelo. Seeing the interaction between them tears just started to fall. I bet that Cris was probably with Marcelo yesterday.

    I’m ready for vacation, and I bet the boys are too. Wonderful job as always Una. 🙂

  6. May 17, 2011 13:17

    Morientes will not play for the Real side? What a pity…But I’m looking forward to seeing our first team on the stand 😀

  7. Madrid0332 permalink
    May 17, 2011 13:23

    It seems like UEFA favours Barcelona, because, at the moment, they kinda represent european football and the term “beautiful football”. It would be fatal if the Team of Angels would get sanctioned, especially if were talking about racism.

    I don’t really think that we can do anything about it. We could appeal to the Sports Jury, who’s name I can’t remember. We definitely have a case with the pitch invasion-stuff, but everything else is highly unlikely.

    I just think we need to win. We need to beat these bastards, show their true colours (although most people have already seen them), reduce our own childishness (some comments, whining, and all the recent dilemma) . Then we’ll be favoured.

    But right now, there shouldn’t be any doubt that UEFA is doing this purposely. If FIFA can be corrupt, then why can’t UEFA?

  8. July33 permalink
    May 17, 2011 13:24

    My new motto:

    “Let’s kick racism, and UEFA, out of football”

  9. superfan permalink
    May 17, 2011 13:36

    I have nothing more to say about UEFA and their disgusting behavior. And I wholeheartedly agree with you about the UNICEF matter.

    Wow. I didn’t know how busy the day was for Madrid. So thank you for always updating us with posts like this!! 🙂

  10. debsen permalink
    May 17, 2011 13:59

    Una thanks somuch for posting about the futbolin cup. Iker looks hot (especially when he smiles). I’ll be visiting other websites to find more pix of Villa from the event :). But I love their reactions to the own goal, especially Iker’s and that first picture. Ha ha. Iker – well spoken about La Roja tensions. Seriously, the press needs to cool it with what all the players are thinking.

  11. browneyedgirl permalink
    May 17, 2011 15:21

    Barca newspaper saying that Mourinho brainwashed Iker…please 😀
    I think they brainwashed Villa. With him saying that UEFA did the right thing and that “justice was served”
    Anyway, I’m glad that Real are doing so many charity events. Especially helping out Lorca.
    And Mourinho calling Preciado *claps*.

  12. Betta permalink
    May 17, 2011 15:37

    Thank you Una for this post!
    I must say that I’m getting tired of all this “You started it! – No you started it! – Not it was you!” with the Uefa thing, because I think they’re losing the focus on what all of this is about, which is racism and unsportmanlike behaviours on the pitch.

    By the way, I was wandering if Crackovia is a catalan program, cause I looked up on youtube and all I could find is the TV3 channel with 30 minutes episodes, but they’re all about Barça (well, most of them)..

  13. May 17, 2011 18:12

    I rarely use facebook, but now when Iker is there I am checking it impatiently just to see what’s on his profile. I cannot believe we are witnessing this happening;-)

    Anyway, I just saw that: “Notice to all: I am learning English! I apologize if I’m wrong ….”

    and I need to say – Iker is like my big sports idol, I absolutely adore him, he is The Captain etc. But here he did not manage to win with the Serhio’s legendary “Be patience with me, some help is going on…” LOL

  14. gabriela permalink
    May 17, 2011 19:59

    I love Marcelo’s show! And I love you for not letting us miss any detail of it! It’s my current favorite session on the blog!

    Since Iker said he tries to read all the messages, we should start sending him massive fashion advices – specially about men purses being a no no.

    When I told a friend that Barcelona moved UNICEF’s logo to above their asses, she said “it’s because Barcelona’s ass is mès que un culo” – I spent the rest of my day laughing lol

  15. mar permalink
    May 17, 2011 20:06

    nice update! and the crackovia clip was really funny!

  16. May 17, 2011 20:15

    Hey una –

    Can you confirm translations of comments where both Sergio Ramos and Arbeloa said that they were glad that Busquets was playing in the final? I’m pretty upset – particuarly about Sergio’s comments about Mou being the only one who suffers but I’m considering the translation sources (a Barca blog – very poorly translated and supposedly via I trust your translations. Arbeloa comments here: Ramos comments:

    I can’t help but feel that there are some…nuances…missing in the comments. I wanted to hear your thoughts. I’m also certain that a ton of the interview comments are being left in and certain quotes are being cherry picked. I hate to ask you, but it’s causing a bit of uproar with some fans, so I would love some clarification.

  17. claudia permalink
    May 17, 2011 20:42

    If real was fined for the invasion on the pitch, then why not barca? Heck, the barca invasion was much worse than what happened in madrid. UEFA should not give favors to any club, if the club did something wrong.. they should be punished even if that club’s name is barcelona.

  18. DebS permalink
    May 17, 2011 21:29


    Alright…fess up…which on of you posted this on Iker’s FB page? rofl!

    ‘David Villa also spoke about UEFA’s decision, saying that “justice was served.” ‘ Sigh…and I had so much hope for you David…that you wouldn’t turn out like others on your team. I didn’t expect him to say anything “anti-Barca” but at least he could have thrown in a comment about racism is not acceptable or something similar.

    lol @Higuaín “playing” the guitar! what a poser. 😀

  19. jean permalink
    May 17, 2011 21:32

    First , what a great article again Una.I never get tired of saying this but you are doing a wonderful job.Keep it up!
    I love Cris and Marcelito what a beautiful bromance, that pic just warmed my heart.
    I try to understand how these guys stay professional and play for the same national team even if they dont agree on many principles.But I think that at the end of the day, they love their country (Spain), love the game and dont let their personal differences get the best of them, and thats admirable.But still wont make me like Barcelona and most of their players even if I concede that they have very good players.
    I love what Iker said about Cris.I love his reply concerning the Uefa controversy, very diplomatic and full of inuendos.I also love the fact that RM is doing so many charitable works.
    Crackovia is the best:)
    Yes I know I love many things about this team and its players:) Im sure that Pipita will have a good season next year.And Una did you hear the rumor that pipita has fathered a child?Is it true? No judgement, Im just curious thats all.

  20. May 17, 2011 21:42

    Hi again una –

    I saw your post over on con la roja with translations and a comment round up. Thank you for that.

    I’m trying to understand why some of the players clearly feel that Busquets made the slur but are still “happy” for him. For instance: Albiol: “I’m happy for Busquets, because I know him from the national team and he’s a good guy. It’s clear that he made a mistake in insulting a teammate”

    In this article, Arbeloa seems to also admit that Busquets made the slur

    And then later, he wished him well?! What? I’m so confused.

    And Del Bosque’s supposed comment: ‘Meanwhile, his national team coach Del Bosque was also present and took an opposing stance, after claiming the midfielder may have said the apparent racist word in a different context.

    “He would never use the word in a racist way as he is a good guy,” said the ex-Real Madrid tactician, according to El Pais. “‘

    ::mind boggles::

  21. May 17, 2011 23:10

    I’d love to see more of The Marcelo Show! He always brightens up my day no matter how horrible it has been. Thank you Marcelino<3

  22. May 17, 2011 23:19

    Re: new Barca kit – funniest tweet of the day was from @vrock112: “They have now turned the UNICEF logo into a tramp stamp!”

    I couldn’t stop laughing!

  23. PMom_GA permalink
    May 18, 2011 02:41

    1) Sergio has company now in the Butterfingers dept – but the other guy WAS a goalie!

    Ajax Drops Dutch League Championship Trophy During Victory Tour
    “AMSTERDAM — Ajax goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg usually has a safe pair of hands, but he managed to drop the Dutch league’s trophy from the top of a bus as the team took a triumphal ride through Amsterdam.

    Amateur video taken Sunday shows the trophy fall backward off the bus, apparently after colliding with overhead tram wires. It was handed back by a fan, to the applause of onlookers.

    2) Sergio has extended contract from 2013 to 6/30 /2017. has the story somewhere (that site is so cluttered!)

  24. black widow permalink
    May 18, 2011 07:04

    iker is learning english. that is the most beautiful, amayse-ing, fantastic, glorious, wonderful thing i have read in a long, long, long time. *squee!!* i will practice with him when i see him on june 4!

    i love the friendship between marcelo and cristiano, especially on days like today. i hope cris cheered him up and took his mind off everything. that photo with the eyelash and the wish was *adorable*. 🙂

    i, too, am ready for vacation. i hope our boys go away and get some rest, then come back fresh, recharged, revitalised and ready to seriously kick some barca arse.

    PS: are you going to do a post or something in honour of our boy’s big 3-0?!

  25. @ulonghaz permalink
    May 18, 2011 11:10

    MELTING! My heart is melting, too much Iker in this post with his PERFECT profile every where..


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