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waterpolo > football (soccer? Soccer.)

July 16, 2011

You knew that I would start with this picture, didn’t you?  Álvaro Arbeloa was the first one to tweet this photo (Iker also posted it on his FB and Sergio on twitter), saying that the white team had scored a dominant victory over the capless/blue team, though some of the ‘losers’ looked quite victorious.  He then proceeded to list the winners: Fly (Álvaro himself), Pirata (Granero), Trufas (Xabi), SR4 (Sergio, of course), Unai (Iker), Tony (Antonio Adán) and Tommy (Tomás Mejías).  I’m disappointed with the last two nicknames and the SR4.  Surely they could have been more original?  And is Álvaro the only one who calls Iker “Unai”?

Click to enlarge, it’s worth it!

On the other team, we had Marcelo, Rafa*, Joselu, Jesé, Nacho, Kaká and Casado.  It looks like they played Spaniards on the first team vs. other nationalities on the first team plus current canteranos.  I love that they all have their arms around each other (except for poor Jesé in the back), that Iker is trying to sit on the ball, that little strand of hair on his forehead and that water got into one eye (and what is he wearing?), that Rafa has joined in the fun, that Kaká is trying to do something to Sergio, Tony’s dimple, and that there is just one thumbs up in sight (why, Álvaro, why?).  And how about the fact that Iker is about 10 shades more pale than everyone else?  The only thing I’m disappointed about is that there are no more pictures from the game, or preferably, the moments when the guys were walking between the pool and the locker room.  Seriously, they need to spend more time around pools.

* writing “Rafa” reminded me of Rafa van der Vaart, so I thought I would write Rafa V.  Well, both of them are that too!  So, I went back to Rafa a secas.

Anyway… the rest of the post seems a bit boring compared to what I started with.  It was another double session for Madrid on Friday, with the only difference being that the entire morning session was open to the press and fans alike (seriously, all of you there have seen more of Madrid in four days than we had the last four months in terms of training sessions and press conferences).  Around 500 fans sat in the bleachers watching José Mourinho directing his players, cheering on and applauding the team continuously.  After lots of strength exercises and exercises with the ball, the players disputed a mini-game, with Cristiano, Coentrão and Özil scoring for the “skins” and Sergio Ramos finding the net twice for the “shirts.”  Meanwhile, the afternoon session was closed to all outsiders, so that they could practice strategies for tonight’s game against the LA Galaxy.  This one also concluded with a mini-game, with Sergio and Joselu scoring.  The team won’t return to training until Sunday afternoon at 17h.

The two happiest, yet saddest, pictures from Friday.

Xabi Alonso and Xabi-in-training (Esteban Granero) spoke to the press after the first session.  Xabi talked about how there’s no need to obsess over titles, since it’s still too early, and the best thing would be to allow things to happen naturally.  He also called Zidane’s presence with the team “positive” and “important.”  Meanwhile, X-I-T said for the 101st time that Mou has confidence in him: “I’ve said it 100 times, I have the confidence of the coach, the club and myself as well.  New footballers that play in my position have come, but others have left, which shows that they have confidence in me.  I’m ready and I have the possibility of playing.  We will all be important.”

Both were also asked about Madrid’s signing policy.  While Xabi demurred and said the team makes the decisions and the players don’t judge them, Esteban stated that he’s always in agreement with the policy.  When Esteban was further quizzed about the cantera and their future, he said, “I spent many years in the cantera and what is in place now is a privilege for the boys.  They’re being treated better now by the first team than they ever were.  There are players who constantly train with us, there are four or five here in Los Angeles that have real options, they play games… I’ve been in the cantera and I’ve seen this few times, they should be grateful for the confidence that the coaching staff has in them.”

Back in Madrid, the four descartes are also doing double training sessions.  However, theirs are a bit different, as they mostly just jog (pobrecitos, as the heat is sometimes unbearable in Madrid in the summer) and the ball is nowhere to be seen.  Sergio Canales will be lucky, as he and Fernando Pacheco join the U-20 team today to start preparing for their World Cup, which starts in about two weeks in Colombia.

23 Comments leave one →
  1. Sarah, Madrid permalink
    July 16, 2011 12:52

    THIS PIC just put on a smile on my face in the morning, it is a new background yes IT IS!

  2. July 16, 2011 13:15

    That Photo.. that photo is epic… I have been laughing at it the whole day !! and now this post makes it even more hilarious.

  3. July 16, 2011 13:18

    Haha nice polo picture!

  4. Ava Mendez permalink
    July 16, 2011 14:14

    why are those pictures happiest yet sad?

    • arshjot permalink
      July 16, 2011 17:38

      Coz of all the thumbs ups, i believe

    • July 16, 2011 18:45

      Cause everyone’s happy in it but with the thumbs up!

    • July 16, 2011 19:06

      The thumbs-ups!! *sigh* Kaka, why???

    • emily permalink
      July 17, 2011 00:58

      too many thumbs… una has become thumbophobic from having to look at some RM photos.

  5. Pammie permalink
    July 16, 2011 14:47

    If yesterday couldn’t already have been perfect in the Real Madrid area with Xabi and the pirate giving a press conference, Alvaro had to top it all with this photo, which is simply amaysing and funny and makes me love these guys even more if that is even possible. Blessed be Álvaro and his twitter. xD
    Good to see that they included Varane in the fun.

  6. July 16, 2011 15:12

    Una, thanks for the explanation of those nicknames: Fly (Álvaro himself), Pirata (Granero), Trufas (Xabi), SR4 (Sergio, of course), Unai (Iker), Tony (Antonio Adán) and Tommy (Tomás Mejías).
    And could you make a post about the stories behind those nicknames? I’ve no idea how come the Fly, Trufas, and Unai(although we all know it’s Iker’s brother).
    Many thanks!!!

  7. Kristine permalink
    July 16, 2011 15:43

    That pool picture is the best picture ever! I’m so jealous of the Californians, I hear they aren’t going to have an open practice session in Philly! so disappointing.

    The two happiest, yet saddest, pictures from Friday….Hahaha! Una, you crack me up.

  8. July 16, 2011 16:36

    That picture! AAAAAAAAAAH!! I think that is my favorite team picture ever! It’s all sorts of adorable!!

  9. July 16, 2011 20:26

    that picture is PRECIOUS. what a delight. they look like a bunch of happy campers, caught in the middle of plotting something.

    probably the first and the last time when I do not find the water polo hats unbearable, they look adorable in them here!;-))))

  10. Alyssa permalink
    July 16, 2011 22:18

    I stared at that water polo photo for at least 30 minutes! There’s so much going on! Iker’s face! And Marcelo is cracking up! And Álvaro looks like an adorable baby in a bonnet! And how does Xabi still look like a boss in a ridiculous cap thingy? And WHAT are Sergio and Kaká doing? Hahaha it’s so amazing!

    Why does Álvaro call Iker, Unai? Don’t you usually call the younger brother, the older brother’s name? Oh Álvaro…

  11. emotionalism permalink
    July 16, 2011 22:40

    LOL that is probably the best picture ever.

  12. SierraGutierrez permalink
    July 16, 2011 23:41

    They are so adorkable! :’)

    Aaand, only 4 hrs 20 mins to go! :O aaaahhhhhh!!! Hala Madriiiid!

  13. emily permalink
    July 17, 2011 01:00

    The look on Iker’s face is priceless. It JUST MAY have even made Sara crack a smile. Or possibly even, dare I say, laugh?

  14. bbBenz permalink
    July 17, 2011 06:52

    Benzama Y U NO JOIN THEMM!! cute picture and i love pale Iker 😉

  15. Erica permalink
    July 17, 2011 07:27

    Haha, this is so adorkable. I love our boys for doing this and even more for posting it.

    [ok, not to be a perv or anything, but since you posted a giant version of this pic, I couldn’t help but notice there is *something* going on with Marcelo’s crotch area. Not sure if it’s a shadow or what, but it looks like something is not properly contained in his shorts that should be.]

  16. Jason MacDonald permalink
    July 18, 2011 07:15

    Do they have an open practice on Mon or Tues of this week? If so, what time?

    ps. Nice work on the blog

  17. Jessie permalink
    July 18, 2011 14:57

    love that first picture, but where’s cristiano?

  18. July 19, 2011 05:38

    Best water polo picture ever!!!! I don’t know if its the caps they were wearing but they look like overgrown adorable babies! Seriously how can you not love this team?! Their dynamics seem so natural and wonderful!! 🙂

    All this Real Madrid news has made the past week fllyyyy by! 🙂

  19. July 20, 2011 11:15

    who cares who won? This pic is epic! =)

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