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yesterday’s news & events

May 18, 2011

Yesterday, golf to help children.  Today, a game to help earthquake victims!

The Apascovi Foundation and Sergio Ramos held the fourth Pro-Am charity golf tournament yesterday at the RACE golf club.  Among the Madrid players who showed up to support Sergio and the foundation were Iker, Jerzy Dudek, the A-team and Pepe, as well as Rubén de la Red, Diego López, Jordi Codina, Pepe Reina, Vicente del Bosque (with son Álvaro!!)…  Golf seems to be very popular with goalkeepers, with the exception of Iker, no?  The tournament helped to raise funds to reconstruct installations that the foundation runs to improve the quality of life for disabled persons and their families.

Sergio disappointed me with his golf outfit.  I really expected something brighter and more colorful.  I miss Guti.

Sergio told “El Larguero” that his collaboration with the foundation came about because he has a friend with a child with Down’s Syndrome, and one day he passed by the installations to see the child and they started talking about helping the foundation out.  He said, “it touches your heart, there are many kids with many problems.  Just getting a smile out of them allows you to go home satisfied, it’s priceless and it costs you nothing.”*  At the event, the padrino said, “it makes us very happy to be able to help children in need,” while Pepe said, “it’s always important for us, as public figures, to contribute.”  Sergio also spoke about the game to be played in Murcia tonight to help those affected by the Lorca earthquake: “the news of the game was well-received by the team.  If we have the power to collaborate with the people of Lorca, we will be there.”

Sergio and Pepe also spoke about their contract renewals, as each are about to sign new (and improved) contracts.  Sergio assured those present that “there is almost an agreement” in his contract renewal, and he also told “El Larguero” that his dream is to retire in Madrid.  As for Pepe, he said he and the club have already spoken, and they know what he wants.  He added that “my priority is always Madrid.”

Xabi arrived with Álvaro, and both of them looked fantastic in their sunglasses, no?

Those present also spoke about “el caso Busquets.”  Sergio said he was happy “for Busquets, my teammate on the national team, but it doesn’t seem fair to me that the only one who was maligned by all this was Mourinho.”  Meanwhile, Raúl Albiol had this to say: “it’s not a very nice thing to do, whether he’s a national team teammate or not.  But I’m happy for him, because he’s a good guy and no one wants to lose out on a final.  It’s clear that he made a mistake in insulting a teammate.  I’m not the one who sanctions players nor do I work for UEFA.  They must have seen the video, and they must have seen it was not punishable.  We all know what he said, you can see it perfectly in the video.  You don’t have to be very smart to see what he said.”  And Álvaro stated, “UEFA is the one who decides, and we know that we can expect anything from them.  But I’m happy that Busquets will be able to play.”

I expect that some of you might be surprised and disappointed (I am) to find out that these three players are happy for Busquets.  I can’t claim to know what they’re thinking, but perhaps their attitude is that since UEFA did not see fit to punish Busquets, there’s nothing they can do about it.  And since they all know Busquets personally, perhaps they know that he’s not racist and he just let the moment get to him.  This is of course not an excuse for his behavior.  It could also be that they’re trying to assure people that the clásicos won’t affect La Roja.  Or else it could be that there are some Spaniards who are not as sensitive to race issues as others are.  They simply cannot understand why certain actions are viewed as racist by others, either due to ignorance, denial or because it’s simply accepted.  Take a look at these articles (here and here) from three years ago after F1 driver Lewis Hamilton was racially abused in Barcelona, as they explain how things were and to a large extent still are.  It also might be that there are things that we (the fans) don’t know about the case, but that the players do.  We don’t know what they say and what they do in private, when they don’t have 20 microphones in their faces.

Pepe had a different (and better) take: “everyone saw what Busquets said to Marcelo.  I have spoken with him, but I think the images speak for themselves.”  In a conversation with COPE, he said it hurts him to have things like this happen to a teammate.

A little more on this issue:  UEFA’s spokesperson Thomas Giordano said recently during an interview that the organization wouldn’t have investigated Busquets if Madrid hasn’t sent a report and video showing Busquets calling Marcelo a “monkey.”  What happened to UEFA’s stand against racism?

And will we ever find out who started this thing?  UEFA says Madrid, Madrid says UEFA…

Meanwhile, over in London, Kaká was presenting Adidas’ new Predator boots along with five other football players, including Fernando Llorente.  There, he said Madrid had a “good” season and that it’s a privilege to play alongside Mesut Özil: “I feel happy to have a teammate like that.”  Ricky also used the opportunity to clear up any doubts about his future: “I’m in Madrid and I want to be in Madrid.  That’s the only truth in this matter.  I’m not thinking about returning to Italy or Brazil, nor do I want to try my luck in the Premier.  I’ve been here for two years, we have a great group and I want to continue.”  He also said it’s almost 100 percent sure that he won’t be playing in the Copa América.

And when questioned about the Busquets case, Ricky said, “we want to fight for our rights, not only for us, but for the benefit of everyone who loves football.”  He also supported Madrid’s fight against UEFA: “I believe that Madrid has images, reasons and sufficient facts to bring on actions such as these.  It’s polemic, but not negative.  They’re fighting for their rights, not only for those of the players.  They’re doing it for the good of football.”  SÍÍÍ.

According to several media outlets, Emmanuel Adebayor won’t be traveling with Madrid to Angola, where the team will play a friendly on May 25.  Manu asked the club to be excused from the trip, as memories of the attack on his national team in January 2010 on Angolan soil are still fresh.  It wasn’t a demand or an outright refusal, just a request, and the club understood him perfectly.

And congratulations to Jordi Codina, who announced that he became a father again on Monday, with the birth of Lucca!  He tweeted, “I now have two!  I hope that he will be a great as Claudia…”  Now Claudia will have someone to kick the balls to her while she practices being a goalkeeper!

Álvaro Arbeloa tweeted his congratulations, saying that he (and his wife, I presume) went to the hospital to see Lucca, but Jordi wasn’t there because he was “out on the town.”  Jordi tweeted back that he had called Álvaro, but he didn’t pick up.  I love football friendships that survive the test of time and the change of teams!

* the presenter also teases Sergio about how all trophies are being dropped, and Sergio shoots back, the Copa del Rey didn’t fall, I threw it.

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26 Comments leave one →
  1. maddy permalink
    May 18, 2011 11:21

    i’m so glad you shared your thoughts on the comments of arbeloa and others regarding busquets. my initial reaction was anger, but now i too feel that maybe they are all sick of all the drama and they are trying to play it down and move forward. however, i felt that they could have been more tactful and worded their statements differently, but we dont know what they were thinking and what goes on behind the scenes.

  2. May 18, 2011 11:45

    I’d rather not discuss my disappointment with some of the comments regard Busquets because I understand that there is pressure to support their national teammate, etc. Instead, I’m going to squee over Jordi’s newborn, congrats to the familia!

    “Sergio shoots back, the Copa del Rey didn’t fall, I threw it.” Hahahahaha, but I thought “she jumped”!

    Also, I appreciate the club’s understanding about Manolito not wanting to travel to Angolo. What a terrible nightmare for anyone to experience…

    Thank you as usual for keeping us updated on our favorite team, Una 🙂

  3. Chloe permalink
    May 18, 2011 12:53

    Kaka is so perfect. I know the other players are just trying to avoid controversy etc but I absolutely love that Kaka said the things he did and just said it outright. Precious soul.

    and I don’t think anyone should be surprised that you are disappointed…

  4. Sarah, Madrid permalink
    May 18, 2011 12:57

    See, I may side with the fact that Busquets is not actually a “racist” and he was trying to provoke Marcelo in the game, BUT BUT his choice of words what make me disrespect him even more because he choses the one thing that hurt couple of his teammates before ( Alves and Etoo) and shared with a fellow player similar to them, that what make it a douch bag move to me and sickening, it didnt look like he did it when Marcelo provoke him or when he was angry, no it was a choice of word to hurt Marcelo, that’s why it is shameful and disrespecting to his mates before our players. Nothing justify what he did, racist or not!

    Sorry! I understand that SNT should be supportive of each other, but they didn’t have to be happy ( although I read the explanation and it seems like something that they all agreed to say) this part could have been skipped, but again they have their own NT to worry about, it is a tough situation, I loved Kaka response about the issue, loved how he defended the club and of course Pepe will defend his Marcelo, I thought he kept it civizled, I thought he may say something out of line 😛 ( I mean in defending Marcelo, not something against Pepe), Good Pepe!

    Anyone else think Cris called Nani and asked him to take a good care of Kaka because he was sitting next to him, keep him entertained and everything 🙂

  5. Cindy permalink
    May 18, 2011 13:15

    Hello Una, how are you. I just want to reitate that your blog is wonderful and thank you for allowing everyone (Cules & Madridista ) to be able to read and post alike.

    Why hasn’t the club come out and support Marcelo? Why is their “OFFICIAL” statement seems to be about point the finger at UEFA. I’m just mad that it seems only Iker, Pepe, Kaka, have come out in support of Marcelo.

    Maybe I’m missing something but honestly if Sergio, Albiol and Arbeloa say that they are happy about Busquests playing in the CL final…well I can’t look at them the same way again. I guess his position in the NT will not be affected at all.

    My race makes me more sensitive to this than it might be to other people, but this really rubs me the wrong way. Did a spokesperson for Uefa really say this:
    “UEFA’s spokesperson Thomas Giordano said recently during an interview that the organization wouldn’t have investigated Busquets if Madrid hasn’t sent a report and video showing Busquets calling Marcelo a “monkey”.

    Are you KIDDING ME. WTF. Here was an opportunity for UEFA to make a stand and say NO TO RACISM and they just put their head in the sand and did nothing. When no one speaks up about racism and homophobia, it’s a little hard for real change to happen. They seem content to maintain the status quo and shrug their shoulders as if to say, “Yeah, it sucks, but its not my problem.”

    At this point, the only people I really feel for are Marcelo and the other black and Asian players who suffer daily from taunts and chants while their leagues and governing boards trot our RESPECT and SAY NO TO RACIAM ads feigning support, yet failing to act when presented with an opportunity to show the fans they’re serious about racism.

    Right now I’m so disillusion with the “Beautiful game”.

  6. asma permalink
    May 18, 2011 13:31

    Thanks for all the news Una and I absolutely agree with you on the Busquets thing. I was reading some football news and shocked to find out that Sergio Ramos ‘was happy’ for Busquets. I thought I misunderstood or the article was a poor translation of Spanish. I’m simply appalled! What with that arse UEFA and now Sergio whom I consider an image of Real Madrid! And those twins as well. Well done to Pepe and Kaka for having some backbone.

    Maybe we don’t know who Busquets really is, maybe he’s a saint in real life but common sense tell us that any decent, well mannered person will not call another person ‘monkey’ because of his colour! And to hear people are happy for him for getting away with this..well I would say that he’s a damn fine actor!

    • Kathryn permalink
      May 18, 2011 23:40

      i dont really think they are happy for him in the sense that he got away with calling marcelo a monkey. I think Ramos said it because if the SNT have a lot of issues in the next world cup a lot of the blame will be put on Sergio because of all of the drama he has stirred up during the clasicos. But they really should have supported Marcelo i mean look at him who wouldn’t love that adorable grown man i mean he has braces AND an afro it cant get much better then that!

  7. Lorelei permalink
    May 18, 2011 13:40

    I’m disappointed in Sergio, Albiol, and Arbeloa’s comments. I don’t care if they’re being diplomatic for the sake of the national team or if they’re all suffering from cognitive dissonance–it’s unacceptable. Marcelo is not just their teammate; he’s one of the captains of their club and he deserves their support far more than Busquets. It’s just sad that not only does Marcelo have to endure racist chants from opposing fans, not only does he have to endure a racist insult by a fellow player, not only does he make a statement only to have authority figures disregard it, he has to see some of his teammates basically give up on the case.

    As for Busquets, he may very well be a nice guy and he may not be a racist, but what he did was racist and that action deserves to be punished. I usually don’t condone violence, but a large part of me wants President Obama to punch Busquets in the face when he meets him so he will finally have a legitimate reason to roll on the ground clutching his face.

    • suzanne permalink
      May 18, 2011 19:49

      amen lorelia! everything you said!!

    • Kat permalink
      May 18, 2011 23:42

      ” I usually don’t condone violence, but a large part of me wants President Obama to punch Busquets in the face when he meets him so he will finally have a legitimate reason to roll on the ground clutching his face.”

      THIS LITERALLY HAD ME ROLLING ON THE FLOOR LAUGHING! after the last clasico i was thinking to myself ” I oughta slap Busquets and Alves so they actually having something to cry about”

    • Gilly B permalink
      May 19, 2011 14:29

      Ditto!

  8. May 18, 2011 13:47

    I was very disappointed and angry by the lack of support that Marcelo seems to have got from his own team mates. They really didn’t have to say what they did.

    I am feeling so, so bad for Marcelo. It must be horrible to be in his shoes right now. It may not count as much, but yesterday I went and ordered a new team jersey with Marcelo’s name at the back. It’s my small way of supporting him right now.

  9. manie permalink
    May 18, 2011 14:08

    As much as it makes me happy that Kaka says he wants to stay, I wonder if that will be the case. I used to watch milan games just for Kaka and I really think he can be great for us, when he’s fit, so hopefully he gains back his place in the team.

    With respect to what the guys said about the busquets case and other charges, I’m glad Pepe and Kaka spoke out. I’m disappointed with what the others said, because Iker didn’t say anything to that extent that he’s HAPPY busquets can play and he’s the captain of the national team (if they were trying to show that there are no problems). So yea, just a bit disappointed.

    Thanks for the roundup, excellent as usual.

  10. May 18, 2011 14:16

    So much news today! Thanks for a wonderful recap as usual. It’s great to know about all their charity work. Honoring the crest off the pitch by giving back 🙂

    Kaka responded to the UEFA shenanigans in an admirable way. While I wish the other guys didn’t give Busquets so much credit, you’re right–we don’t know what’s going on behind closed doors and there are a lot of things to take into consideration about their comments beyond face value.

    I’m glad that Adebayor’s request was granted. The thought of having to go back to a place with such terrible memories… ::shudder::

    “The Copa del Rey didn’t fall. I threw it.” And the true nature of the copacidio rears its head! 🙂

  11. IsaBella permalink
    May 18, 2011 14:21

    yeah, definetely we expected something at least green or blue in Sergio’s outfit and he dressed pretty decent, nice change 😉
    I really try not to focus on the Barca problem anymore, I have enough of this and I just wish it could dissappear. There is nothing we can do about UEFA being so terribly not-objective and influenced by the Barca team. It’s very sad indeed but I just try to forget about it not to get any more angry. I really liked what Pepe and Kaka said about the case, though.

  12. May 18, 2011 14:31

    Sorry, Una. But how did Iker show up to support Sergio and that foundation? He didn’t play golf with Ser, right? I’m really confused.

    • May 18, 2011 16:22

      The players didn’t have to play golf to show their support. Showing up and meeting the fans was enough.

      • May 18, 2011 17:38

        Sorry, I tried to but haven’t read any news(except from your blog;)) or seen any pics about his showing up for such foundation… So I mistook that he took apart in golf but only not caught by photographers…

  13. Laura permalink
    May 18, 2011 16:33

    Ugh, really disappointed. If they didn’t want to get drawn in, they could have said simply “UEFA has seen the footage and made their decision,” they didn’t have to add that they were happy for Busquets. I don’t care about the affect on the Spanish NT, if they want to maintain good relations they could express their happiness for him privately. In attempting to assuage any media concern about the NT they’ve publicly supported condoning racism.

    The fact that Albiol goes out of his way to say “We all know what he said, you can see it perfectly in the video,” even takes away the possibility that he thinks the reason no punishment is a good thing is that nothing racist was said. In trying to support both his club and his national teammate, he’s basically said that he thinks missing out on a CL final is too harsh a penalty for racism. I’m a big Albiol fan, or I was, but I’m really disgusted right now. Fed up with UEFA, fed up with Spain’s attitudes, fed up with athletes I admire letting me down.

  14. yts permalink
    May 18, 2011 17:32

    i am too heartsick over the busquets situation to say anything more about it, but i wanted to mention how glad i was that the club respected ade’s request and aren’t bringing him to angola…. since he’s come to madrid, my opinion of him has been almost entirely reversed. i know it’s not likely, but i hope he stays.

  15. jean permalink
    May 18, 2011 18:09

    To be honest, Im really disgusted with the whole thing and I wish we would just all move on since nothing is going to change at the UEFA.Here was a perfect opportunity to take a strong stance against racism but what does Uefa do?Ignore the issue.
    I dont know what will make them (theUefa and other football organisations ) take a positive outlook towards racism.
    Sergio and company Im very disappointed by their comments:(.I understand we need to be diplomatic but brushing the issue aside is tarnishing the image of a great sport.

  16. DebS permalink
    May 18, 2011 19:00

    I’m not sure what to think about the guys’ comments about Busquets. I can only hope that it was because of the national team alliance and not that they were truly “happy” for Busquets. It would also be interesting to actually hear how it was said. For example, was it something similar to what a jilted ex would say when asked what he thought about his ex’s marriage to someone else. “I’m happy for them”? Knowing full well that the person is just trying to be “politically correct” and not saying what they really feel. I guess seeing what other comments were made by the guys, particularly Albiol, I sense that at least he wasn’t at all happy with the outcome and for the right reason.

    That being said, I wish they could have said something more along the lines of what Pepe & Kaka said. Truly this was a perfect opportunity for Sergio, Arbeloa & Albiol to clearly denounce racism and support Marcelo (and other “non-white” footballers (and fans, for that matter) ) and they chose to be “PC” instead. Sadly, I think that if they were the ones that it happened to, they might have had a different response…one more along the lines of Pepe.

    Not that I usually sympathize with players like Dani Alves but I have to think that in some small way, Busquets comment has affected them as well. I really have a hard time buying the whole “Busquets is not a racist” story. You just don’t make that kind of comment if you don’t feel that way. You just don’t.

    I am really proud of the guys for doing things for the good of others. It is good to see them setting the example for others. I can’t imagine the joy that they bring to the people they are helping.

  17. Sandra permalink
    May 18, 2011 19:10

    I must say Sergio has been really disappointing me these last two weeks. It´s such a shame because of his charitable heart and astounding looks. First he says that he doesn´t understand what Busquets said because he doesn´t speak that language, what a pathetic excuse I don´t speak a word of Spanish nor am I a spaniard but it doesn´t take an A+ science student to know what he´s saying his offensive especially if he has to cover his mouth then he has the mucho morro to say everyone should forget about the incident and move on that football has no memory. I realize that he doesn´t want to get involved and wants to move on from the drama (as much as we do as well) but this is racism we are talking about you can´t just tell people to move on from these things even though I don´t expect from him since he´s never had to deal with it. It really made me upset to hear this from him and now all he has to say is that he is happy for Busquets what a joke. It´s funny how Busquets has openly disrespected him on the field time and time again yet he choses to stick a loyal teammates nose in the sand, i´m positive that if the roles were reversed the Barcelona players would´ve defended their own team members before even mentioning their happiness for someone of the national team, heck Pedro and Busquets threw Iker under the bus in a recent interview by saying he´s unprofessional and is biased towards them because they are from Barcelona and Iker is their own team captain what a damn shame. I´m glad upon reading the first bit from Albiol´s response however I wish he had stopped before continuing. Im just so hurt for Marcelo but i´m happy he has Ronadlo and Pepe to stand up for him seeing as not even a quarter of his teammates have the balls to defend their own but i´m sure had he been a white spaniard they would´ve been quick to take his back. Just like all Sergio can say is he´s angered about Mou (and i am too!) but come on second Captain way to protect your squad.

  18. black widow permalink
    May 19, 2011 04:30

    i applaud kaka and pepe for their comments and forthrightness. i wonder if the reason they spoke a little more directly about things is not only their cultural bond / solidarity with marcelo, but also because they don’t have to worry about being as politically correct as the others, as neither of them is on the SNT. regardless, i’m glad they said what they said.

    if it were up to me, busquets would be off the national team, period.

  19. Gillian permalink
    May 19, 2011 04:58

    Xabi leaves me speechless!

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