I miss them all already
More bits and pieces… you better get used to this, because the majority of the posts during this summer break will probably have this format.
They’ve got moves: to start off with, a couple more moments from the game against Almería, with a focus on the dance prowess of Cristiano and Manu Adebayor. I hope you’re not tired of seeing moments from this game, because these moments have to last us until the end of July!
Postgame fun: and a couple of people commented about wanting to see these moments, so here they are: Manu interrupting Cris’ postgame interview, and Mou waving and patting his heart at the fans who kept chanting his name.
Welcome back: José Callejón became the 2011-12 season’s third signing when it was announced that Madrid and Espanyol had come to an agreement to sell José back to Madrid for €4 million (one million less than the buyback option). He had left Castilla to join Espanyol in 2008 for €1.2 million, after scoring 21 goals for Castilla in the 2007-08 season. His contract is for five years. And for those of you who don’t know, José has a twin brother, Juanmi, who is also a Madrid canterano. At present, he plays for Córdoba.
Back when his hair was normal…
During his farewell press conference, Callejón said, “I’m happy because I’m going to the best club in the world. This is not an opportunity that you can let escape. My only option is to return to Madrid to stay, and I’m going with hope and a desire to work, and it will be up to the míster to decide. I like Madrid’s philosophy of recovering players from the cantera.”
His talent aside, I do like this signing because José is a canterano and is also Spanish, and Madrid needs that at the moment, given the almost certain departures of Peter Lion and Sergio Canales and the UEFA stipulation that a team must have at least eight “national products.” This might also be part of the reason why we’ll see David Mateos back as well, as he’s set to return from his loan spell to AEK Athens (where he also won the domestic cup). Plus, José is already a character on Crackòvia!
Training young Spartans: Álvaro Arbeloa was quite happy about Callejón’s return, which he was asked about during the presentation of his summer campus yesterday afternoon. In the La Foresta municipal center, he said, “I’m really happy to have him with us. I coincided with him in the cantera. It’s very important for me, as a canterano, to have canteranos there. He’s had a fantastic season and I’m sure that he’ll contribute a lot.”
Álvaro also agreed with Mou’s message regarding fair play and the fight against racism: “we don’t presume to be the standard in the fight against racism or for fair play. There’s another organization that does it, but they’ve been unmasked. We hope that next season, there won’t be different criteria and the same ones will be used to measure everyone.” You tell them Álvaro!!
The campus is for children between the ages of six and 14, and will take place in July.
It’s for “work”: Iker and Sara flew off to Johannesburg, South Africa yesterday, along with a team from Telecinco (the word “work” is in quotations because I don’t believe constantly flipping your hair around while a camera films you can be considered work, when you’re supposed to be talking about sports). Telecinco is producing a special about La Roja to coincide with the first anniversary of their World Cup victory, and they’ve “hired” Iker to be part of this report, which will be filmed this week in South Africa (he probably would have tagged along anyway out of his free will). Knowing Telecinco, they are probably going to make Iker and Sara repeat The Kiss, and then air it endlessly on their insufferable gossip shows, as they really know how to commercialize the relationship their reporter has with the captain of the Spanish national team. Anyway, the special is called “The day when we lived a dream” (El día que vivimos un sueño), and will take a look back at the final against the Netherlands, with new footage, and visit some of the sites that were so important to the Spanish national team in their quest for World Cup success.
No beaches yet: our three Portuguese players won’t really get to start their summer vacations until after the Portugal-Norway Euro qualifier on June 4 in Lisbon, as all three – Pepe, Cristiano and Ricky Carvalho – have been called up for it. Meanwhile, Cris spent the first few days of his break in Madeira, hanging out with his family, his girlfriend and his mini me. Cris definitely dressed Cristiano Jr., because he’s in designer gear head to toe. I wonder if Cris is carrying any baby paraphernalia around in that backpack? And note to Isabella: your future husband is adorable!
FORTY: Speaking of Cris, here’s a summary of his pichichi and Golden Boot-winning 40 Liga goals, courtesy of AS. There’s a nice graphic from Marca here as well.
How will he celebrate a goal: Sami Khedira, in an interview with the German Football Federation (I’m translating from the Spanish here, so if any of you German speakers want to provide a better translation, feel free) spoke about Sahin, scoring and not being a superstar. Sami says that he’s not bothered by the competition from Nuri Sahin, and that he’s a great guy and a wonderful footballer, so it’s good for Madrid to have someone of his quality. He also reveals that in the beginning of the season, when he didn’t understand a single word and did not know what the coach wanted of him, Rafa van der Vaart helped him a lot, as he spoke German, and the club did their part as well, by helping him to open a bank account, find a house, take care of paperwork, find a good restaurant… The result is that he feels comfortable in Madrid, where he says life is more relaxed than in Germany, because “fortunately I’m not Cristiano, and although I sign autographs and photos, I don’t feel harassed.” Sami also says he hopes to score a goal next year (please let him dance with Mesut to celebrate).
Neighbors: meanwhile, Mesut Özil told Kicker that the team is “a small family. We send each other text messages on our days off to wish each other fun times with our families…” As for living in Spain, he says, “the culture is different, dinner is at 10 o’clock. And the concept of discipline is different as well. In Germany, my furniture took two weeks to arrive, in Spain, two months” (maybe that’s why Benz lived in a house with no furniture?). And in response to if he’s changed, Mesut responds, “I’m the same person, I have the same friends. I have the support of all the players, especially Sergio Ramos, who is my neighbor.” I guess that means Sergio has finally moved to La Finca?
Too bad no online peñas are allowed: the Peña Ramón Mendoza celebrated their XXIII anniversary yesterday, with special guests Pepe and Antonio Adán. Also present were three Castilla players – Juanfran and the Fernández brothers – and former Castilla player, Miguel Torres. Pepe and Adán thanked all the madridistas for their tireless support throughout the season, saying they are very proud of their fans, and that there will be lots of joy next season. The highlight of the event came when the peña‘s president announced, in the presence of Raúl’s parents Pedro and Marisa, a tribute to their son to take place in the winter.
I’ll believe it when Xabi gives his seal of approval: tomorrow, the Santiago Bernabéu will open up a new restaurant. The Zen Market promises to be the best Asian restaurant in Europe, and takes up a 2,000 square meter spot in the stadium, with space for 250 diners, a salon with seating for up to 400 people and three bars. They will also provide catering for the 10 palcos they own during game days.
News briefs: Eze Garay is the only madridista on Argentina’s list for the friendlies on June 1 and June 5 against Poland and Nigeria, as Sergio Batista is counting on his “B list.” Guti spent yesterday playing in Real Madrid Foundation’s charity golf tournament. And Polish media sources are saying that Jerzy Dudek has an offer from the Seattle Sounders of the MLS.