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the pre-season continues…

July 19, 2011

Before we start, a couple more moments from Sunday’s session.  As you can see, Cris hops off the cart with boots in hand, and without even letting go of them, begins to work out.  Meanwhile, Sami Khedira and Mesut Özil opted to do some fancy hand movements – or else they were just acting like children – with each other as they walked around during the session.

And now onto Monday’s session…

The hair – it’s all fluffy again!  Hopefully it’s not just the wind…

Madrid held just one training session on Monday, in the afternoon.  Sergio Ramos and Pepe were absent from the session, as Sergio is still suffering back pains and Pepe has a bruise to the right knee.  They stayed in the gym along with the other injured player, Nuri Sahin.  That left just 22 players out on the grass of the North Athletic Field, where they went through a series of exercises.  The next session will be on Tuesday morning at 10h, the first of two sessions for that day.  Pepe is expected to be back for that.

MFC Álvaro Borja Morata Martín is seriously missing out!  Look how much of Cris’ legs we got to see during the session, as he opted once again to hike up his shorts!  By the way, ABMM has now been my favorite canterano for a year, since it was for this reason – him ogling Cris’ legs – last pre-season that he won my affection.  Meanwhile, being a longtime Madrid fan, I judge thighs by The Roberto Carlos Standard, and this picture on the right shows that Cris has gotten closer than most to meeting those high standards.

After the session, the two Frenchmen on the tour, Karim Benzema and Rafa Varane, spoke to the press; here are the highlights (and it looks like Madrid is continuing with pairing up the players by language).  Karim was asked about his self esteem, and he responded, “I have a very high level of self-confidence.  I’m a good boy.  I don’t know what to say.  I’m here to work hard and to triumph; at least, that’s what I would like to do.”  And when asked if he hopes to see Zidane participating in a training session like Aitor Karanka has on more than one occasion in Los Angeles (our assistant coach stepped in as left fullback after Sergio Ramos retired from Sunday’s session), he said, “yes, of course.  He’s a great player.  It’s great for us because he always helps us.  Hopefully one day he will train with us.  It’s great news for us and he helped me a lot.”

Meanwhile, Rafa Varane said (in French) that he chose Real Madrid over all the other suitors because “it’s the team where I can develop the most, and for the coach, who can evaluate me as a player and as a man.”  He also said that he’s very proud to be on this team, that Real Madrid is a “great” club and that he already feels integrated because “I speak with everyone on the team.  The fact that a different language is spoken makes it more difficult, but I understand everyone well.  I get along really well with Sahin and Karim.”  It’s good to see that Karim is doing his big brother duties, as he said he would!

Other notes: AS reports that Xabi Alonso and Álvaro Arbeloa spent their free morning shopping on Rodeo Drive, while the rest of the team stayed in the hotel, either beside the pool or in their rooms.  Emilio Butragueño has arrived in California and has been seen at Madrid’s training sessions.  And the players – in their warm-up suits – also attended an event at the SLS Hotel promoting the visit Madrid, visit Spain tourism campaign – remember some players participated in an ad for this campaign?  The players were made to pose with all the Spaniards together first, then the non-Spaniards.

Of course, we can always trust Pepe and Marcelo to bring their craziness, and Xabi his elegance, to any event they grace their presence with.

Cris and Karim looked thrilled to be there.

Who wanted to pose with whom?  Images from here.

Iker wrote about that on his FB, meeting some of the other Spanish celebs currently in Los Angeles, such as actress Paz Vega, chef José Andrés or actor Jordi Mollà.

On the subject of Iker’s Facebook posts, I have to say, he and I have very similar musical tastes!  The latest song he recommended on his FB, Maná’s “En el muelle de San Blas,” I haven’t heard in so long, but it brings back so many memories.  He also said he got a lot of petitions asking for a picture with Karim Benzema, so he posted one!  It seems that Iker is very receptive to his fans’ desires, because he’s also done the same with Kaká and several other players – so if we all join forces and ask for a shirtless photo, do you think Iker will comply?  He also posted another picture of the United Nations him and his teammates, as well as Óscar Ribot.  This time though, they were having coffee rather than tea with milk.

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13 Comments leave one →
  1. Mouah permalink
    July 19, 2011 16:55

    OH gosh !! I’m French and I can’t even begin to describe how I feel about this post !
    First : Karim and “Rafa” (weird calling him that ^^) they are so cute together, and I love how Karim helps him. I’m so proud of both of them !! Each time they are mentioned I jump and scream my French pride out loud 🙂
    And Second : IKER !! AND KARIM !! I see Karim on and off the pitch with such great players (and I’m a bit jealous :D) but then, seeing him posing with Iker ! His hand on his shoulder !!!! Made my day !!

  2. Alicia permalink
    July 19, 2011 17:04

    I check your blog daily, morning and night and it has been key in Informing my family and I on the team’s whereabouts, providing great pics., and a good giggle from time to time. Lol! I’m a big fan and would like to attend one of their trainings at UCLA with my three kids(Big fans of CR7). Do you know if they will be having a open training for public? Or, where I can see them for a meet and greet? I am available any time. We already got Casillas, CR7, and Ozil’s autograph as we waited outside their hotel but they were really fast and I was unable to take pics with family and them. I would love to get a picture of my son and CR7 if possible before they leave. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!

  3. Ava Mendez permalink
    July 19, 2011 17:16

    is there going to be a ICYMI for the previous game against the LA Galaxy?

  4. mel permalink
    July 19, 2011 19:03

    Not many people can rock a leopard skirt AND a blue flower top, and that woman does not fall into the categori of people who can. What a wierd outfit! Did she not pass mirrors on her way out the door???

  5. danikoko permalink
    July 19, 2011 20:18

    Una, I want to see the team train in Philadelphia. Do you know where they are training at? and what day is the open day session?

    • Hala_Madrid permalink
      July 20, 2011 19:53

      They’re not training in Philadelphia. Their last training is at UCLA and then they flight to Philliy just for the game.

  6. July 19, 2011 20:29

    “Look how much of Cris’ legs we got to see during the session, as he opted once again to hike up his shorts!”

    but Jesé does have a look 😉

  7. Patty permalink
    July 19, 2011 20:31

    Can you please give us a link to Karim and Varanes press conference ……thanks

  8. emily permalink
    July 19, 2011 21:49

    aaahhhhhhhhh… delight…

  9. black widow permalink
    July 20, 2011 03:42

    bloody camille belle or whatever her name is … i bet she doesn’t even know who kaka is! grrr.

    i cannot tell you how thrilled i am our boys are on facebook and twitter. it seriously makes my life, because we get all sorts of goodies we’d otherwise never get. (and the fact that iker actually reads his facebook page comments just fills me with glee even though i’ve never written anything!)

    i love them all so much and can’t wait to see them in philadelphia in just a few days! 🙂

  10. Hala_Madrid permalink
    July 20, 2011 08:53

    Una i have some pictures i would love to share with you but i don’t know how send me your email please =)

  11. Miss Kaká permalink
    July 20, 2011 13:21

    Una, do you know the name of Raphael Varane’s parents? I’ve been searching and searching but not found the answer. I actually don’t know why I want to know their names, but Kaká is my favorite player, so I can almost EVERYTHING about him. And now I’m also in love with Varane, so I have to know EVERYTHING about him too 😀

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