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more bits and pieces

June 27, 2011

I want to be on vacation too…

On vacation: Álvaro Arbeloa posted this adorable photo of his family at Disney World… little Alba looks fascinated by Pluto!  And I’m so happy that Álvaro’s shorts are not cuffed.  You think Carlota’s shirt was a recent purchase, from Boston perhaps?  And I have to say it again: Álvaro looks so hot in sunglasses.  More pictures of footballers on vacation at the end of the post.

Here’s to a fast recovery: Hamit Altintop will undergo surgery on his back today.  He hasn’t played a game since March 19, and he will be in recovery for three to four months.  When he was in Madrid earlier this month, the club merely said he was looking for a house, when in fact he was undergoing a revision in the Clínica Sanitas-La Moraleja.  According to AS, it will be Hans-Wilhelm Müller-Wohlfahrt, Bayern Munich and the German national team’s doctor, who will be in charge of the operation, though Dr. Carlos Díez will be there as well.

¡Bienvenido!  Raphaël Varane will be in Madrid today for his medical and his contract signing (it’s a six-year contract) with FP and JAS (Mou is already on vacation) at the Bernabéu.  Zidane is also expected at the little signing ceremony.  Varane won’t be presented until two months later, during the Trofeo Bernabéu, the same as the other three confirmed signings to date – Sahin, Altintop and Callejón.  The 18-year-old will also take advantage of being in the Bernabéu to visit the museum.

In yesterday’s Marca, they reported that Varane is still studying.  His mother Annie, an English teacher, says that football isn’t everything for them.  Due to his training schedule, Raphael had to drop out of school and start distance classes in the school that Lens set up in their installations.  His schedule looked like this: he got up at 06:30h, ate a breakfast of cereal and hot chocolate, then studied two hours of German and two more of math, if there wasn’t a training session in the morning.  However, those aren’t his favorite subjects – economy and sociology are.  Raphaël would then study more before dinner.  And, he speaks English without any problems, thanks to his mother.

On the left, Raphaël is with Jonathan, his cute nine-year-old brother, who plays for one of Lens’ youth teams.

Clearing things up: a lot has been made about Fernando Gago’s comments to ESPN Argentina, which have been reported as “Barcelona is the best team in history… They are well above Real Madrid and the fans do not want to admit it. Last season, the fans thought we could finish above them, but it was impossible.”  But if you listen to the interview, he says that Barcelona is one of the best teams in the world, in the history of football.  As for the statement on the fans, his response was this: “obviously, the fans want to beat them (Barcelona)…   So the fans were hurt because they won the Liga and the Champions as well… they really don’t see the difference (between the two teams).  Perhaps a player, or someone who analyzes the game can see it, but the fan doesn’t see it, because for them, their team is the best.”

Speaking of Argentina: all four of our Argentines – Ángel di María, Fernando Gago, Eze Garay and Gonzalo Higuaín are on the final list for the Copa América. Gago is the only one to have participated in one before, the 2007 edition.

Reader contribution: Sasha Twen sent in this video in which Cristiano Ronaldo, Pepe, Marcelo and Sami Khedira appear to promote Saudi Arabian pay TV channel STC Sports.  She also tells us that wallpapers are available here, and provided this cute moment of Pepe and Marcelino.

And a bit from a Marca editorial today that I quite liked: “while Real Madrid has spent 20 million between the Turkish Sahin and the French Varane, and perhaps another 45 million on the Brazilian Neymar, the U-21 Spanish national team, in which there are no footballers from Madrid, has become the brilliant champions of Europe.  So while Madrid is dropping a lot of money on important players, they’re ignoring the national product – only Callejón has been brought back – and mistreating the cantera.  I doubt that Sahin is better than Javi Martínez and I don’t think Mata has any reason to be envious of Neymar.  The opposite.  While these two young Spanish players are world and U-21 Euro champions, Sahin and Neymar – with great futures in front of them – have a lot to demonstrate.  And they’ll also have to adapt to a new country and a new language, which won’t be the case with Milla’s boys.  Why is FP not signing any of the cracks of the U-21 team and instead looking for a galáctico outside of Spain?  If Spanish football is showing that our country has the best players, why go outside to look for something when you have the best around the corner?  When he returned to the presidency, Florentino promised to Spanish-fy the team.  Stay true to your word.”

Plus, it also gives me an excuse to post a picture of my beloved Javi (!!!) and our former canterano, Juan Mata.

Speaking of canteranos: four of them have been called up to play for the U-19 team in the preparatory phase (July 4-15) for the U-19 Euro, which will take place July 16-Aug. 1 in Romania.  Those four are Dani Carvajal, MFC Álvaro Borja Morata Martín, Álex Fernández and Pablo Sarabia.  Twenty-three players form the team at this moment, but only 18 will be playing in the tournament.

More vacation pics: Guti and family in Ibiza, Raúl and family in Menorca (both via Diez Minutos; how cute is Raúl with María, and it’s great to see how much in love he and Mamen are), Kaká and family in Miami (love the matching swimsuits), one more of Sergio in Ibiza…  He’s now in Marbella.  Looks like he finally stopped wearing the cap, and I’m loving the yellow swim trunks!  By the way, Iker’s on vacation in New York, and Sahin is in Turkey!  More Raúl, Mamen and the gang here, and more Guti here.

18 Comments leave one →
  1. Maria permalink
    June 27, 2011 11:12

    Una, that was Pluto, not Goofy ;DDDDD

  2. Sarah, Madrid permalink
    June 27, 2011 13:31

    I am in love with the Kakas! They are so adorable, unbelievable. Ramos THE RAMOS! Staying true to his colors 😛

    I agree with Marca, the first thing they are saying that make sense from the beginning of the summer, I already said it in another post, we have an amazing castilla players and what a SNT, WHY look outside, including Varane too, why not Mateos!

    • Neha2 permalink
      June 27, 2011 17:23

      I think it’s about us strictly looking at the abilities of the footballers, and not the nationality. Ofcourse, I’d like more Spaniards in our roster, but Varane has been highly praised by the likes of Zidane and a few guys from Lens too. Garay and Mateos are good, but if we were to ask the experts, they do not seem to be even close to Varane, especially if we look at the future value.

      Sahin is the same. He was, arguably, the best player in Bundesliga, had a “Xabi”-like role in the winning team and has played BRILLIANTLY all year long, and he cost us only 10 million euros, but we should buy Javi Martinez because he’s a spaniard? Even if he’s not as experienced or as cheap or as good as Sahin?

      Altintop is a versatile player. Who should we buy instead of him, to cover the role, Mourinho is looking for? Parejo??? That wouldn’t make sense, as he is not versatile enough, and Altintop came for free!

      We got Callejon, though!

      Personally, I think that some spaniards are blinded by the fact that… they are spaniards! With no disrespect, but that’s my opinion. Like the Marca-article that stated that “Javi Martinez is as good as Sahin” or that Mata is close to Neymar..Those statements, I’m sorry, are simply not true.

      • Neha2 permalink
        June 27, 2011 17:26

        Oh,and let me just add… I think that when we get back to be a winning team (AKA beating Barca ), we’ll give Canteranos more chances and try to “Spanishfy” or team, but until then, I completely understand the team for strictly focusing on skills and abilities instead of nationality.

        • June 27, 2011 19:10

          I really do not agree with this . It is not just about having Spaniards in the team, the fact is those players like Javi and Mata are pretty successful,skillful AND do not need time to adapt to a new culture and language. Plus the most important part is that the Spaniards understand the true meaning of playing with a club like RM and all the scrutiny and pressure that they would face. Varane will have a lot to prove but Javi for example will adapt faster.

          If we are not gonna use our cantera while spending lots of money on training them, then whats the point? For selling them cheap and then watching them become world champions?

          How much money have we spent on foreigners and how many of them were worth it? Do we want more Robinhos and Gravessens? Or even Kakas with more time injured than playing? Are you sure that Neymar and Varane for example will be like Cris and Mesut? Cris is a star and Mesut proved himself in the Bundesliga and the World Cup. Javi plays in la liga and the SNT, he already knows what to expect if he comes to RM.

      • Sarah, Madrid permalink
        June 27, 2011 18:19

        I get that real madrid went through period of changing coachs and system and we want to win first in order to start using cantera, I am not speaking about spainsh players only, I am speaking about cantera youth products – Raul was promoted before we being a european champion, I think the fact that we had a striker from our castilla who was sharp and amazing help us in winning title.

        I have nothing against getting players from different nationalities in Real Madrid, that’s real madrid startegy since the days of De Stefano.

        But, we should also mix between both ok get Varane but why go not give Matoes a try before sending him away, I love Mata and I think this guy has proved himself already by being part of w-c 2010 spain, he may not played much BUT he did manage to get playing time in qualification and he is called a world-winner as much as Arbeloa and Albiol do.

        I honestly don’t think that Neymar is better than Sarabia, Sarabia this guy is golden and very talented, Morata or Jesulu who will die to play for our club, why not invest in them, why do we have to pay millions!

        Take risk! I am happy with the signing we already have, BUT I am so against Neymar, I don’t want us to pay this amount of money on developing player.

        All I have to say is right now, I am not on borad with Neymar signing that’s it, I see our youth are worthy of place too.

  3. Jessie permalink
    June 27, 2011 14:53

    that commercial was pretty cool. nice to see everyone having fun on vacation

  4. Maddi permalink
    June 27, 2011 16:02

    Thanks for the update Una!
    I love Alvaro and Carlota! And of course their beautiful daughter! Why is it that I don’t live in a tourist-y place anymore?! No famous person is going to come to where I live… 😦
    I don’t know much about Varane (I saw a few cool youtube compilations though) but if he’s good enough for Mou and Zidane, he’s good enough for me!
    I hate it when newspapers twist things around to sell news. On (God, why do I even read!??!) Madridistas and Cules alike where bashing/making fun of Gago when he was simply deliberately misquoted. UGH, there are some times when I HATE the media, and this is one of them.
    I liked the ad! I don’t think I’ve ever seen Cris in red shoes (but then again, I didn’t pay attention to his shoe color before I started reading this blog)
    Everytime I remember that Mata was a caterano a get a little sad. But at least we have some very sucessful ones of ours here like Iker and Alvaro.
    I love Raul and Mamen!!!!!!!! They are and will probably always be my favorite sports couple. 😀 Unless Mesut and Lira get together. WHICH THEY SHOULD!!!

  5. emily permalink
    June 27, 2011 17:30

    As I started reading this post, seeing Altintop’s name and then Varane, I couldn’t help but question what RM is doing with all of these ‘hired guns’ from other countries. The ESPN commentators were even talking about it during the match on Saturday that there are two players from Barca and none from RM on the U21. There are a few more who came through Barca’s youth system but are with different teams now. Is the quality of RM’s youth system just not there? Why aren’t they ‘finishing’ these players to what the head coaches expect? I can imagine that the socios are having a hard time watching this team become diluted. I know I am.
    So, what a surprise when the Marca editorial comes up. All of my thoughts, exactly.
    So, the Arbeloa’s were in Orlando?! Or is that the eurodisney? It’s hard to tell the difference…

    • June 27, 2011 19:22

      I think it is the Orlando park because Carlota was talking about suffering from jet lag on twitter.

  6. Pipita permalink
    June 27, 2011 18:36

    Una, you should post this video with the Albiols, it’s the making of…

  7. June 27, 2011 19:21

    I agree with the bit you posted of Marca’s editorial. I just don’t get why we are looking far when the quality is available nearby. I guess its as the saying goes ‘the grass is always greener on the other side’.

    Those vacation pics are only making me feel jealous, I have to work when those guys are all over the world enjoying a luxurious vacation. ( On an unselfish note, I hope they enjoy and come back energized and ready to train hard for the Supercup in August)

  8. IsaBella permalink
    June 27, 2011 19:36

    The Goofy pic is making me swoon, I simply adore them 🙂

  9. June 28, 2011 04:25

    Who’s the girl with Sergio?

  10. Alyssa permalink
    June 28, 2011 22:34

    IKER IS IN NEW YORK?! How do you know this? What has he been up to? Any idea if he’ll be making a public appearance that I could show up at?

  11. Siv permalink
    June 29, 2011 02:15

    How cool is Pepe in that commercial? He gets to eye a flaming ball flying towards him and pretend that it doesn’t matter in the least. I don’t know, but I’m still really skeptical about the signing of Altintop.

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