the Friday news round-up
I can’t believe we are at the tail end of the season already! One more (official) game, and it’s adios to the 2010-11 season!
A couple more moments from Wednesday’s game in Murcia. The bench was once again the place to be, despite the absence of Marcelo, so thank goodness Cuatro focused a camera there. We got to see Pepe and Cris make funny gestures, Mou crack up and all three of them doing the wave – yes, Mou too!
We also witnessed Cris preparing his legs to play, and his very fun warm-up – running circles around Pepe!
And I forgot to include this in yesterday’s postgame wrap-up post, but here are Antonio and Sergio C. from Sergio’s twitter. Speaking of Sergio C.’s twitter, he became the third player to recommend the movie Midnight in Paris, after Xabi Alonso (of course) and Esteban Granero. It’s not the only movie showing in Madrid, by the way. And El Pirata also informed us via twitter yesterday that he shot an ad for Adidas Originals.
Madrid has announced the signing of midfielder Hamit Altintop from Bayern Munich to a four-year contract. These signing announcements before the end of the season take all the guesswork out of the summer months, no? I’m not going to speculate on who’s in and who’s out, but if you are interested in those things, here are two articles (in Spanish): AS says that José Callejón and David Mateos are both in (Callejón’s signing is expected to be announced next week), while El Confidencial has Dudek, Garay, Gago, Pedro León and Lass leaving, Sergio Canales on loan, and the incorporation of Tomás Mejías and MFC. It appears that Dani Parejo won’t be returning. There are also a bunch of names being talked about.
Good news for fans in the U.S.! As expected, the Philadelphia Union announced a friendly with Real Madrid for July 23 (21h local time) at the Lincoln Financial Field, during Madrid’s American summer tour. We got a good sense of the club’s priorities, because the Union’s MLS regular season match against the Seattle Sounders was rescheduled to Oct. 8 so that the Union could play Madrid. But who can blame them?
Manu Adebayor spoke to AS about his future, Mourinho and Cristiano Ronaldo recently. Highlights from the interview:
on his time in Madrid: it’s been sensational. For me, the most important thing is for there to be understanding between the footballers and the coaching staff, and that’s what I found here. This is a club that can and should win everything, and also one in which I feel very loved. I would lower my salary demands to stay; I’ve done that before. Whatever is necessary, because there’s no better club in the world. I love Madrid, I want to continue here. My friends tell me that I seem happier, including when I’m on the bench.
on Mourinho: it’s important to be loved by your coach, to know that I have a role on this team. When I arrived, I spoke with the míster and he told me, “I know you, my opinion of you is not going to change, I want you to be here a long time, enjoy yourself.” And now, he’s told me once again that he wants me to stay. But the final agreement is not in my hands. You learn every day from Mou, but what he’s achieved is to bring back hope and happiness to me. He’s a good, calm person, he laughs all the time, he jokes around a lot.
on Cristiano: we laugh a lot during training sessions, and we speak on the phone. We’re the same age, from the same generation.
Kaká and Marcelo will miss out on the Copa de América after the Brazil coach Mano Menezes excluded them from the preliminary list of 28 players who will play two friendlies next month (the final list of 22 players will be drawn from that list). Menezes revealed that he spoke with Kaká two weeks ago and came to the conclusion that he’s not completely recovered yet. He has not ruled out calling Kaká up in the future. After the fantastic season that Marcelo had, I’m surprised that he was left out, but this means more rest for him, and we all know how hyperactive he has been all season, so that’s not a bad thing from the fans’ point of view.
Espanyol player Iván de la Peña (aka Lo Pelat) announced his retirement yesterday, so there were many tributes and looks back at his career. These three photos are from El País, and all were taken in 1996. On the left, we have Iván with José Mourinho during their time at Barcelona. In the center, we have Iván with Raúl during the 1996 Summer Olympics, and on the right, we have Iván facing off against Athletic’s Aitor Karanka.
Meanwhile, the RFEF has done their best not to deplete Castilla due to national team call-ups. Julen Lopetegui’s U-19 team called up Dani Carvajal, Pablo Sarabia, MFC Álvaro Borja Morata Martín and Fernando Pacheco for a concentración at Las Rozas from May 22-28, and then the elite round (to qualify for the U-19 Euro) in Switzerland from May 29 to June 6. The Federation will permit these players (along with those from Mestalla and Sevilla Atlético) to leave the concentración, play with their clubs on May 28/29 (the vuelta game of the first playoff round) and then re-join the U-19 team. This way, they’ll only miss the first game of the second play-off series if they manage to eliminate Alcoyano.
And here’s another picture from Castilla’s training session yesterday at the Bernabéu of those Castilla boys who have debuted with the first team (Juanfran debuted last season). What happened to Álex? You would think that his teammates would have at least called him over to pose for the photo when they were told what the photo was to represent, especially Nacho, no? Update: I get it now. Álex has not debuted in the Bernabéu yet, unlike these six.
And to end on a good note (to start your weekend off right), here are some modeling shots of Xabi, Ángel and Esteban for Adidas.