yesterday’s news & events
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.