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first day of work for el club de mis amores

July 13, 2011

Madrid held two training sessions on Tuesday, the first day of work for the 25 players who are in Los Angeles preparing for the pre-season.  The four healthy new signings – Nuri Sahin, José Callejón, Raphaël Varane and Fábio Coentrão – exercised for the first time with their new teammates.  The session started with Mou saying a few words, and then came stretching, strength exercises and exercises with the ball.  As for the afternoon session (where the players broke in the sleeveless training shirts), Xabi Alonso more or less sat that one out, as he had a problem with a toenail.  The rest of the players practiced tactics in defense and in the attack.  Zinedine Zidane and Miguel Pardeza watched both sessions.

Yes, the first day and Xabi is already posing!  He hasn’t lost a step!

The goalkeepers are… bright.  And it’s been confirmed, Iker’s boots and his jersey don’t match.  Another season of mismatching for our capi.  Plus, the other three make Iker look tiny (I remember reading somewhere that Tomy Mejías is the tallest player in the cantera).

In the morning session, Cristiano showed off the two stripes he has shaved into his head (one more and Adidas will be clamoring to sign him from Nike), which curiously enough, Karim Benzema seems to be allowing to grow out.  By the way, Ginés Carvajal, Jesé’s agent, revealed that he advised his player not to style his hair like Cristiano, because he wants him to be seen as an individual.  In the afternoon session, Cris showed off those legs.  I bet MFC Álvaro Borja Morata Martín is sad he’s missing out on this!

They will have another double session today, at the same times as on Tuesday.

In between the training sessions, José Mourinho, Cristiano Ronaldo and Iker Casillas spoke to the press, alongside their LA Galaxy counterparts Bruce Arena, Landon Donovan and David Beckham.  This was Mou’s first time speaking to the press in almost three months.  And he made good use of the occasion, telling everyone that there’s no need to pressure the new players: “I read that poor Sahin is going to be the new Zidane and poor Varane will be the new Hierro, at the age of 18.  They don’t need this type of comparison.  I ask for calm and for them to be allowed to work.”  As for the first day of work, his players “are very tired after their vacations and the first session.  This afternoon they’ll be even more tired and tomorrow, still more.  And after that I’ll have to give them a bit of oxygen… There are new, young players who need time to adapt.  They need tranquility and these games are good for them to integrate themselves onto the team.”

Mou also warned people to keep their hands off of Iker.  In response to a question about whether Iker would want to play in the U.S., Mou shot back, “he still has 10 years left in Madrid” (Iker responded by saying that football is developing in the U.S., but there’s nowhere else like Spain).  Mou also talked about the resignings of Pepe and Sergio: “I’ve known that for a long time.  Real Madrid seems to be changing, because now the press knows when they have to know, not like before, when they knew before the players.  Now, they only know when we want them to.”  I love it!  But Madrid’s site says that Pepe and Sergio received the congratulations of their teammates for their contract renovations, but since it’s not a new thing, that seems kind of strange, no?

And he expressed his happiness that the team is very young, with an average age of 25, “though Iker is a very old guy in Madrid, how old are you?  Thirty?  (Iker nods.)  He’s the second oldest player on the team.  Our philosophy is to sign players with bright futures.  We have a team with a lot of potential, one for many years.”

Meanwhile, Iker, who was bored and fidgeted when the press conference was in English, said in Spanish (too bad, because “ees true” would have been perfect after that statement of Mou, especially because he talked about the same thing), “we have a very young team that is still forming.  But they’ll bring a lot of happiness to the club.  With that said, here there’s no patience, results are always demanded immediately, but you have to keep in mind that our team has many new players.”  He also said, “I’m happy because there are four goalkeepers from the cantera and I’ve always said that the best goalkeepers come out of here.  They have promising futures and I’m happy that there’s so much confidence in the young people.”

When it was Cristiano’s turn to speak (he spent some of the time when it wasn’t his turn studying his nails), he talked about Fábio Coentrão, saying that he was “happy and excited.  It’s an opportunity for him to mature and he’s going to give it his all.  He’ll show what a great player he is.”

Mou also had the nice gesture of congratulating Becks for the birth his “new baby girl” at the start of the press conference, doing it on behalf of the “entire Real Madrid family,” and adding that Becks is very beloved and respected in that family.  (Landon then got the first question, and he said, looking around, I’m very surprised that I got the first question and everyone laughed.)  Later on, Becks said, “I spent four magnificent years in Real Madrid and… I’ve got many friends still there, friends as players, the fans, throughout the club as well, so to be facing Real Madrid for the first time since I left – it’s emotional, because you get attached to a club, you get attached to the people of a club.”  Given Madrid’s super-high rate of turnover, the only players left from when Becks was there are Iker Casillas, Sergio Ramos, Marcelo, Higuaín and Gago, and the latter three only spent half a season with David (and two of them aren’t even in Los Angeles).  So, I think we can conclude that when David was referring to the player-friends on Madrid, he was talking about Iker.

Here they are, expressing everything with just one glance.

Who can blame Becks, look at this profile!!

Back in Madrid, the four players left out of this pre-season tour were scheduled to arrive for training at 10h.  Sergio Canales was the only one to arrive on time, about five minutes before 10.  Peter Lion and Drenthe were about 10-15 minutes late, and Lass didn’t show up until around 11:15h.

And over in Argentina, Gonzalo Higuaín, Ángel de María and Fernando Gago all played in Argentina’s 3-0 victory over Costa Rica, with Ángel scoring the third goal.  They’re now in the quarterfinals, and all of them played well in this game.

Meanwhile, Juan Carlos and David Mateos were presented as Zaragoza’s newest players, along with Edu Oriol and Abraham Minero.  Pablo Sarabia got an official announcement stating that he was moving to Getafe, why wasn’t this same courtesy extended to these two players?  It won’t be long before we see these two again, because we’re playing Zaragoza in La Romareda in jornada 2.  And in jornada 3, we host Pablo Sarabia’s Getafe.

David’s jeans hurt my eyes.  And poor David and Juan Carlos, they might have thought that by leaving Madrid, they would no longer be forced to pose with their thumbs up.  Unfortunately, they were wrong.

And Álvaro Arbeloa has informed us that Raúl Albiol is setting up an twitter account soon!  (It will probably be Álvaro doing the setting up, since Raúl seems to be a bit spacey and forgetful…)  That means that our wish from the last pre-season in Los Angeles, that all four of The Four Musketeers would get on twitter, is coming true!  However, Raúl won’t be able to register the user name “albiol18,” because that’s his brother Miguel’s account.

Meanwhile, the Honorary Musketeer still isn’t on twitter, but he and his iPhone are quite consistent with their Facebook updates.  Iker posted two photos yesterday.  For the first one, he wrote, “what do you all think about this photo?  My coach and my sporting director of the first team!  We’re looking ahead to this new season that is just beginning with the desire to exceed what we did last season!  It won’t be easy but we have to try!  Hala Madrid!  It’s been 13 seasons with the club that I love, how long ago San Mamés seems!”  I love his description of Madrid as “el club de mis amores” because that’s exactly the way I feel.  As for the picture with Kaká, Iker wrote, “a lot of people have asked me for a picture with the great Kaká, so here is the phenomenon…”  Their pose is adorable!  If Iker hadn’t already been reunited with his love earlier, then I would say that Kaká has a shot at being another one of them…

34 Comments leave one →
  1. @ulonghaz permalink
    July 13, 2011 12:16

    I can’t help myself from giggling when I saw the picture of Iker and Beck…
    they were looking to each other eyes with so much affection.
    no one in this world matter, they are belong for each other.
    so cute. But why didn’t Iker hold Beck’s jersey and Beck hold Iker’s jersey.
    It would be perfect…

    It’s too bad that the LA Galaxy vs Real Madrid game wont be aired in Indonesia.
    anyway, streaming welcomed 😀

  2. July 13, 2011 13:11

    Oh, how lovely!

    Great conference with Mou, I have to watch it, I missed him!

    Becksillas reunion and Iker + Kaka= adorbs!

    Is it only me or wouldn’t anyone of you also expect that Iker would be so, well, affectionate, in his facebook posts? I always had thought that once he starts using twitter or facebook he would be more kinda serious, preaching, you know. His posts, however, melt my heart even more than I suspected, so lovely!

    oh, and I see you there, Sergio Ramos, posing like a boss in the middle of the first pic! LOL

  3. July 13, 2011 13:45

    Awww the last picture tugged my lips to smile 🙂

  4. Sandra permalink
    July 13, 2011 13:48

    Una do you know what time the afternoon training sessions are and when they are open to public?

    • July 13, 2011 15:39

      The afternoon sessions are scheduled for 17h so far, and in general they aren’t open to the public, but the club will open one or two sessions.

  5. amouria permalink
    July 13, 2011 14:06

    “Ginés Carvajal, Jesé’s agent, revealed that he advised his player not to style his hair like Cristiano, because he wants him to be seen as an individual.

    Who is Jesé? I kept asking !!

    • July 13, 2011 15:40

      A forward and one of the six canteranos on the U.S. tour. He was promoted from Juvenil A to Castilla this season.

  6. Cat permalink
    July 13, 2011 15:42

    I am really excited about this season… and super excited that I am going to be at the Philadelphia game! But WHY is it starting so late? 9pm? I will be tired the day after – but it will be SO WORTH IT!

    Una – thank you so much for this blog. I come here everyday and always leave with a smile.

    • July 13, 2011 15:45

      9 pm is not late! Games in Spain regularly start at 10 pm (even on Sundays and weekdays), and one of the Supercopa games will start at 11 pm.

    • cisarovna permalink
      July 14, 2011 04:21

      I am going to the game in Philly too. I was wondering if it started at 9 due to tv broadcast schedule. Maybe they will carry it on ESPN2 or something.

    • black widow permalink
      July 14, 2011 04:33

      don’t talk to me about being tired … it will end around midnight and then i have a 9 hour drive ahead of me to get home! but as you said, so worth it!

    • @ulonghaz permalink
      July 14, 2011 06:37

      late is when you watch Madrid game after midnight.
      yes, that is us in Indonesia, due to time difference the game aired between 11 PM until 6 AM
      but yes, it IS worthed 😀

  7. July 13, 2011 16:03

    Aaaaaah! The pictures with Iker and David are adorable! That look! Aaaaah!

    And I had the same reaction when I saw Iker and Kaka’s picture on Facebook. I love how Iker is clutching to Kaka’s neck.

    I also liked that picture with Iker and Cristiano. Their smiles are so dopey.

  8. Sarah, Madrid permalink
    July 13, 2011 16:16

    The yellow WOW!

    awwwww, iker-beck moment is like time stopped for them, this is the moment I was waiting for!

    Not long ago iker was playing side by side to Zizo, I love this! I love his pic with kaka, oh be aware cristano, someone is competing for your spot ;).

    I am soo exicted for the seasoooooooon, I can sense few bro-romances developing, includin cristano, coentroa, ozil, suhin :P.

    • Sarah, Madrid permalink
      July 13, 2011 16:24

      Yeah, if any help for fans who will are going to see RM in LA, here is a tip : apparently they like to talk walk around in Rodeo drive in Beverly hills after 6pm, this is for stalking purposes :P!

      But, this is as a friend told me, I am not 100% sure either. I am trying to help you see them!

  9. July 13, 2011 16:52

    So Lass decides he doesn’t want to go to LA and then he shows up more than an hour late to the first training session… he really loves giving me reasons to dislike him.

    And I LOVE those pictures of Iker with Becks and with Kaká, he looks handsome as always 🙂

    • July 14, 2011 12:01

      I thought thought it was strange that Peter Lion would show up late too. Allegedly, he wants to stay and work hard at Madrid and yet he shows up late? Not the best way to impress the boss, imo.

  10. July 13, 2011 17:25

    The pic of Iker and Kaka is soooooooo lovely! so innocent and make me feel really happy that we still have Kaka till now, and luckily our capi for a long long time.

  11. Iram permalink
    July 13, 2011 17:36

    thanks una, I have missed these posts. It looks like everyone is healthy and happy and that’s a good sign for this season. (Yuck to the bright yellow jerseys the goalkeepers have to wear)

  12. superfan permalink
    July 13, 2011 17:41

    Oh my god. Iker and Becks = ♥♥♥. And as usual, your side comments were funny! 🙂 Thank you for these news, Una. 😀 Cannot wait for the match!

  13. Miss Kaká permalink
    July 13, 2011 19:13

    Do you know where I can watch the full video of the press conference. I would love to see Casillas speak ’cause there aint any video (that I have found) that shows when he’s talking.

  14. Cammy permalink
    July 13, 2011 23:17

    Una, I am here at UCLA! Today both Iker and Arbeloa gave their training jerseys to fans. Xabi did not practice since he was the first one in the activity center. He stopped to give autographs and spoke to fans in English. Arbeloa has a sense of humor and seems to be a crowd favorite. Iker signed from end to end and is so nice to the fans. He is usually the first one out. Is Sara in LA? It seems Iker is always in a hurry.

    • July 14, 2011 10:45

      No, Sara’s been presenting her regular segments, so she’s in Madrid.

    • Alyssa permalink
      July 14, 2011 11:52

      You have NO idea how jealous I am! That sounds amazing! I saw Spain play in June and even though the USMNT signed autographs after their training session, Spain wasn’t allowed to. Now knowing that those boys would have been that amazing, I’m even more upset with the Massachusetts police. Enjoyyyy for all of us! 😀

    • July 14, 2011 12:02

      how cool was that to see them in person?! You’ll have to keep us updated :p

  15. July 14, 2011 02:09

    The Iker and Becks picture would’ve been perfect if they were holding each other’s jersey =). What is the likelihood that Raul’s account would be set up on a day with the multiple of 5? haha july 15th…20th…

  16. black widow permalink
    July 14, 2011 04:34

    that photo of becks and iker grinning at each other like a pair of fools in love made me giggle. so precious!

  17. July 14, 2011 04:36

    Do we know by any chance when the open to public training will be @ UCLA.
    I live in LA and am going to the game on Saturday but would also love to check out the training too.

  18. Interista Madridista permalink
    July 14, 2011 08:16

    Do you know when they will be practicing this week on Thursday and Friday? Double sessions again?

  19. rhea permalink
    July 14, 2011 08:50

    Just discovered your blog, una, and I’m absolutely charmed. I love that you follow the canteranos as well; too often only the first team gets attention. (Not that I don’t love them!) I’ll be here errday.

    Also, I’ll be at this week’s match, and I’m trying to figure out how to dodge security, and magically get Iker (in addition to Sergio and El Pirata obviously) shirtless. And possibly shortless. Or maybe a secret video camera in the dressing rooms instead? Any advice?

  20. Hala_Madrid permalink
    July 14, 2011 09:52

    Una thank you so much for this blog. I took some really good pictuers of Cristiano if you want them i can email them to you. Specially those of his legs, but i have to confess that i’m in love with Nacho OMG he’s the cutest one. I took a picture of him and he blew me a kiss ahh his kiss was enough for me…i’m gonna become his biggest fan, from now on. I feel blessed to have them here in LA we’ll take good care of them and returned them back to you guys hotter than when they came =)

  21. Alyssa permalink
    July 14, 2011 11:44

    Favorite part of this: hands down it’s Iker and Becks staring longingly at each other! It’s doesn’t take more than a Becksillas reunion to make me grin uncontrollably!

  22. Jessie permalink
    July 14, 2011 17:21

    love the pics of iker and cris

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