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ICYMI – the granito de arena edition

May 19, 2011

In case you missed it – Real Madrid vs. Murcia [2011-05-18, friendly, 2-2].

This was a heartwarming game, from the gestures of support for Lorca prior to the game to the entrance of Chendo at the end!  I am so happy and proud that the club I support and love does things like this.

ONEWe have to start with the end.  Sergio tweeted these two adorable pictures from the plane ride home.  On the left, I can’t pick who is the most adorable one – is it Sergio with his huge smile, laughing Iker with those wonderful smile lines, or Cris making an unexpected appearance in the background?  Even Sergio tweeted that “the surprise is that Cristiano is also there.”  On the right, it’s Sergio and the “legendary Chendi.”  Luckily, Sergio wasn’t able to convince Miguel to pose like him.

TWO.  Back to the beginning: the players from both sides entered the field carrying a sign stating “todos somos Lorca” (we are all Lorca) between them.  The Murcia team also had this on their shirts.

I liked how the two players behind the captains did the sign of the cross almost in unison, and how Mesut (“he never knows what’s going on”) looked lost and didn’t know whether to continue holding the sign, to walk to the right, where to go… until Manu gave him some directions.

THREE.  A moment of silence was held before the game.  I like Manu’s pose.  And as you can see, there were some unusual faces in the starting line-up, most notably Peter Lion, Sergio Channels, Mandi and Pablo Gil.

FOUR.  The goals were the least important thing last night (other than to provide entertainment), but Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo scored for Madrid, and Pepe was so dedicated to the cause that he scored a goal for Murcia.

FIVE.  The surprise (though I expected something like this) came with about 10 minutes left, when 49-year-old team delegate Chendo checked into the game, wearing Carvalho’s number 2 jersey (his number during his 16 seasons at Madrid), and, as we found out later, Esteban Granero’s boots.  The last time Chendo had put on a Madrid shirt in June 1998, during a friendly against Atlético in La Rosaleda, his last game as a Madrid player.

He started receiving applause and cheers when the crowd noticed him warming up (and check out the smiles on the Madrid players’ faces too!)…

… and then chants of “Chendo, Chendo” when he was about to check into the game, and during the game as well (the crowd also chanted José Antonio Camacho’s name, because they wanted him to suit up as well).  Pepe had the nice gesture of running over to give the captain’s armband to Chendo.  (And calm down Aitor, it’s just a friendly!)

On the field, Chendo made some hard fouls, but as you can see, the rivals understood.  After the game, Chendo said, “I had to stop the rivals any way I could, because my physical state didn’t allow any other ways…”

Chendo revealed that his presence in the game was all José Mourinho’s idea: “he told me that it was a special day, that I was in Murcia and it was to help a good cause.  I took Carvalho’s shirt because he wasn’t going to play.  The truth is that I’m very grateful because those were 10 very happy minutes for me.”  He also received applause from the team (“they congratulated me and there was laughter”) and from the crowd (“it was all very beautiful and emotional, the ovation I received when I went to warm up and then the debut in the Nueva Condomina”).

He also told COPE that he was happy that his son Edu (who plays for Alevín A) could at last see his father play (Edu’s 11).

SIXSpeaking of captains, there were four last night.  Iker started the game as captain, and when he was subbed out, he handed the armband to Sergio.  Sergio checked out at the half, and Pepe started the second half as captain.  And when Chendo came in, Pepe passed the armband on to him.  On the current squad, only Iker has played more games with Madrid than Chendo.

SEVEN.  There was a lot of excitement on the sidelines as well, which is inevitable when you have Kaká, Benzema, Pepe and Cristiano Ronaldo warming up.  Kaká grinned, Cris showed off a mini-stegosaurus hairstyle and Karim winked.

This has got to be the best-stocked bench in the world.  Since Madrid brought their entire available squad and intended to use everyone, there wasn’t enough space for everyone on the bench, so some sat on the ground.  And as you can see both above and below, Cris was determined to show off those legs.

EIGHT.  More Cris, who was in a good mood (lots of smiles) last night.

NINE.  On the flip side, Raúl Albiol and Esteban Granero took the game quite seriously and played very intensely, as you can see from their gestures.

TEN.  Mid-post quiz.  Who do these fine culos belong to?

ELEVEN.  Cris wanted to do a chilena, but didn’t have enough space, so he settled for a taconazo.  Meanwhile, Sergio did his best Zidane impression.

TWELVE.  Four canteranos made their “unofficial” debuts with the first team: Dani Carvajal, Óscar Plano, Pablo Gil and Mandi.  Dani said after the game that “we dedicate the game to the people of Lorca, the reason why we’re here today,” while Óscar said, “we know they are having a bad time and we’re trying to help them.  This game is for them.  Seeing so many people here was spectacular.”

Pablo wore number 36, Carvajal 37, Mandi 38 and Óscar Plano 39.

THIRTEEN.  It’s quite unusual to see Iker leave the game, so here are those moments.  He removed his gloves, passed the captain’s armband on to Sergio, saluted the crowd, greeted Jerzy and then tossed his gloves into the crowd.

FOURTEEN.  Pedro León got an ovation when he left the game, not only because he’s from Murcia, but also because he used to play in the Nueva Condomina as a Murcia player.  And when he left, Pablo Gil checked in, which was nice, because it meant that there would still be a player from Murcia on the field defending Real Madrid’s shirt.

FIFTEEN.  Post-game declarations:

Xabi: during hard times, nice gestures are the things that can help people to overcome the situation and start believing again.  We tried to do our bit in the best way we know how, which is by playing football.  With this small gesture and and the enthusiasm and vitality of the city, I’m sure they will recover.

Pedro León: Chendo looked great and he told me that he really liked playing in his homeland once again.  I always like to play here because I consider myself part of Murcia.

Granero: Madrid tries to help out whenever they can, but today we have to thank everyone who came out to see us in Lorca and to fill the stadium, because their help is also very important.

Canales: it’s important to be here, to try and help the people of Lorca in any way we can, because they deserve it.  I hope they recover soon from this tragedy.  In life, there are things that are more important than a Barça-Madrid game.  These are also the things that make a club great, because they’re there with the people when they need them.

José Antonio Camacho: (he was asked what he thought when he saw Chendo running onto the field) well, I could have played too, although I’m in worse shape than Chendo.  It was a very nice gesture, the culmination of everything Madrid has been these days.  Bringing their people here to play… things like this are what make this club great and all of us madridistas feel very proud of the club.

SIXTEEN.  The two coaching staffs.  Many of those on the Murcia team have connections to Madrid: José Manuel Meca and Mista are both former canteranos, José Antonio Camacho had a long and storied career with Real Madrid and Javier Miñano was the fitness coach under Vicente del Bosque (his family is from Cehegín, Murcia, although he wasn’t born in the province).

And nine players from Murcia have played with Madrid (the first team): Camacho (577 games), Chendo (497), Antonio Ruiz (89), Macanás (55), Borja (37), Javi García (29), Meca (14), Peter Lion (14) and José Antonio Rubio (11).

SEVENTEEN.  The Xabi Alonso pose section.™

As you can see, Xabi is like The Pied Piper – where he goes, the kids follow.

EIGHTEEN.  Bonus Xabi-in-training, since Xabi didn’t appear until the second half.

NINETEEN.  The Mou corner.  Yes, this is it.  Mou stayed on the bench the entire game and other than for the half, didn’t move his ass until the end of the game (this moment).

TWENTY.  Everyone wanted a piece of Chendo.  We already saw Sergio’s tweets, but Álvaro also tweeted this photo of the A-team plus Esteban, which El Pirata re-tweeted, adding that Chendo wore his boots and is a crack!  I can’t believe those guys roped Xabi into posing like them.

And Iker posted this picture on his FB to congratulate Ricky Carvalho for his birthday!  He called Ricky “abuelito” and then in English, “grandpather.”  If this makes Carvalho the grandfather, then Iker will tomorrow become the junior grandfather.

TWENTY ONE.  And this post has been updated as well, if you want to go take a look!

Answer to quiz in item TEN: from left to right – Pepe, Benzema, Xabi Alonso and Dani Carvajal.

24 Comments leave one →
  1. Kirstin permalink
    May 19, 2011 12:26

    Dear Una,

    If Real Madrid’s perfect, then so are you! Oh, I loved loved loved this post–lotsa smiles here and there 🙂 I literally laughed out loud at this comment of yours: “As you can see, Xabi is like The Pied Piper – where he goes, the kids follow.” HAHAHHAHA.

  2. amouria permalink
    May 19, 2011 12:26

    what a lovely post.

    In my DREAM REPUBLIC, I will ban the UEFA & FIFA and declare yesterday’s game as the only Legal and legitimate type 🙂

  3. Cindy permalink
    May 19, 2011 12:37

    Was Marcelo there, because I did not see any pictures of him? Very nice of Real Madrid and the players look like they had a great time just playing football.

  4. May 19, 2011 12:55

    I love my club / this team so much. Some of the guys may say daft stuff that makes me wonder about them, but overall, this team just rocks.

  5. Lorelei permalink
    May 19, 2011 13:10

    This game was such fun to watch. And I loved hearing the crowd chant Chendo’s name and cheer every time he touched the ball.

  6. jee permalink
    May 19, 2011 13:13

    20. Iker is bad influence. I see Xabi with a purse too now.

    • May 19, 2011 15:34

      It’s not a purse, it’s a neceser, a toilet bag.

    • DebS permalink
      May 19, 2011 22:12

      hahaha…I thought the same thing at first. But then I thought, ‘no this is Xabi it can’t be a purse!’

  7. IsaBella permalink
    May 19, 2011 13:14

    Sergio Channels!! I love you Una! 🙂
    Pepe scored a goal when Dudek was playing and it was probably his last game with RM… sad 😦
    Los culos son de Kaka, Cristiano y el tercero no lo reconozco… 😉 ahhhh I got everybody wrong… shame on me xD

  8. May 19, 2011 13:17

    Lovely post! No TV station in where I’m broadcasted this match so it’s always nice to see that you got it all covered. I love Iker for always updating news and photos on his Facebook! It’s cute how he apologizes for his English and his mistake of calling Peter Lion a Martian, LOL! Hope he keeps it up! Aww, the A-team and Pirata! I didn’t notice that Xabi made that peace gesture!

  9. May 19, 2011 13:33

    Iker smiles shy with close his mouth while Sergio with big smile and we can see Cristiano’s smile from his eye (1st photo) 😉

    I can’t wait your posting about Iker’s birthday 😀

  10. Happy permalink
    May 19, 2011 13:36

    Love what the club do!!!! I love all the boys and the club of course, I agreed with what Canales said, there are things important than a Madrid- Barca game, and I’m so proud of what the club do. And Mou is really a good man, which can seen from the details.
    I like the first photo!!!! Cris look like hiding like a kid!!!!

  11. Sarah, Madrid permalink
    May 19, 2011 13:39

    This is kind of gestures that I LOVE RM FOR, I can’t even to begin to express my love to this club, with all the madness happening in RM this year, this by far my sweetest moment.

    I can’t believe I actually ticked 2/4 on the quiz, Pepe and Benz lol.

    P.S: Una I started to write recently in his blog, I love your posts, keep up the good-work and I am so happy to see such blog to celebrate our beloved clubs and more important the best fans out-there us Madrid fans!

  12. black widow permalink
    May 19, 2011 14:27

    This whole post made me grin from ear to ear! What a wonderful way to start the day! Muchos gracias! 🙂

    I love that everyone got to play a bit (even jerzy! Even peter lion!) — you’re right, we really do have a well-stocked bench! — and that they were all so well-received. What a lovely and thoughtful gesture for pepe to give chendo the armband.

    The photo of Iker, Sergio and Cris is too precious, I love it. And I saw the “grandpather” photo on FB yesterday and had to smile — I would never make fun of Iker’s english as at least he’s trying, and his english is loads better than my spanish, but that was so adorable! Have I said that I love him enough lately? Happy early birthday, abuelito-in-training!

  13. colon permalink
    May 19, 2011 14:54

    grandpather ♥

  14. Lulja permalink
    May 19, 2011 15:12

    I guessed Pepe and Xabi right! Not bad.
    Plus, Iker’s hair (actually, all of him) looks beautiful in that last pic.

    Charity matches are so so so amaysing, nothing more needs to be added here!

    Thanks Unita!

  15. May 19, 2011 15:46

    I’ve said it in the previous post and I’ll say it again. That picture is adorable. It’s been hours since I first saw that photo, and I still can’t decide who’s more adorable: Iker or Cris. I’m an Iker fan through and through, but there’s just something about the twinkle in Cristiano’s eyes in that pic. AHHHDORABLE.

    OMG, Iker is making music recommendations on his FB page! Will plaid selection tips be next?

    And the Google Translate is still in use! I love how he turned spelled grandfather with a “p” because the translation for “abuelito” was “grandpa”. Absolutely adorable. I really hope it’s him, and I’m thinking it is because if it was some PR person, you’d think he’d hire someone with better English. What do you think, Una? I’d like to hear your thoughts, as I am not really familiar on how PR works for the Madrid players and the team as a whole.

    I love the gif of Xabi and the children following him around. I’d do that to if I were within 10 ft. of him… And yes, what did the other A Team members say to get Xabi to pose with a peace sign? Maybe he was just overwhelmed by happiness for Chendo.

  16. May 19, 2011 15:47

    Excuse me…is there a clear pic or gif of Iker helping Ser with the armband? The referee was between them and the camera unluckily. How I wish to see them kiss and pass the armband, just like Raul and Guti did before…

  17. jean permalink
    May 19, 2011 16:08

    Lovely post as usual.And I love both pics taken by Sergio,Adorable:).
    Gd for RM to support gd causes like this.

  18. May 19, 2011 17:38

    One of my favorite posts this year. The game looked like a lot of fun and I loved all the details you picked out. Thank you!

  19. Owl permalink
    May 19, 2011 21:09

    Hey una i LOVE your blog! i check it everyday for updates 😀

    one question, i notice iker’s been uploading his photos via Facebook for iPhone. I thought he was a Blackberry type not letting go of it throughout the world cup?

  20. Katherine permalink
    May 20, 2011 19:32

    Ohhh Iker. I can’t get over “grandpather”
    I actually will not be able to think of anything else for the rest of the day


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