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ICYMI – the optimism edition

July 20, 2011

In case you missed it – Real Madrid vs. LA Galaxy [2011-07-16, pre-season friendly, 4-1].

Well, this was an exciting and optimistic start to the new season, as we got to see our new players and canteranos alike shine, and we got a goal-fest as a bonus!  José Callejón, Joselu, Cristiano and Karim Benzema scored the goals, Fábio Coentrão had a fabulous game while playing all over the field, Kaká showed glimpses of his former self and every player participated, with the exception of the two goalkeepers Tomás Mejías and Jesús.  I have a good feeling about this season!

ONE.  The goals.  While the goals were all fantastic and showed the merits of teamwork, I loved the goal celebrations more, for showing how much of a piña this team is, even with all the new incorporations and at such an early stage in the season.  It’s great to see how integrated the new players are!  I especially loved Joselu’s Castilla teammates cheering for him after his goal, and Karim Benzema looking towards Zinedine Zidane on the bench after his goal.

TWO.  Prior to the game, Joselu snapped a picture of Nacho with Cristiano.  That’s quite endearing, no?  I mean, Cris is his teammate, yet he’s still a bit starstruck.  And Cris shared a laugh with Mou, another cute moment.

Meanwhile, Iker and David shared a hug after they did their captain duties together, and it was great to see that big smile back on Kaká’s face!

THREE.  Alright, who’s the corn cob and who’s the banana?

FOUR.  Raúl Albiol was the captain in the second half, as Iker, Sergio and Marcelo all took a seat on the bench.  That was unexpected, but he wore it with dignity.

FIVE.  A couple of Sergio moments.  He was smiling early on, but not later when one of the Galaxy’s defenders snapped his own headband in Sergio’s face – ouch!  But the good part about that was that the cameras focused on Sergio putting his hair back into place.  Once again, his hair is so bouncy and shiny!

SIX.  If I had to bet money on which players would wear their collars popped, I would definitely have put my money on these two.  And I would be a bit richer now.

SEVEN.  We have the luxury of one of the deepest benches in the world, and one of the best looking ones as well!  I bet even Zidane could go out there and play some quality (and elegant/handsome) minutes if he wanted to.  It’s great seeing him there.  As Mou said, “I don’t think he’s going to sit on the bench during official games, but at the moment, he will during the friendlies.  I feel comforted having him at my side because he’s one of us, because we’re a different group than last year, because he has an hierarchical position inside the organization, but he’s a man of football.  He knows the dynamics of the group, the joy, the weaknesses and the difficult moments that the players and coach go through.”

EIGHT.  Cris didn’t look too happy to start the game on the bench, and I see that Karim still has not conquered his habit of biting his nails.

NINE.  We got a little preview of the changes in jersey numbers, if those players that Mou is not counting on end up leaving.  Mesut Özil, as expected, took the “10,” while Coentrão wore the “15,” Callejón the “21” and Varane the “19.”  Sami Khedira also changed his number, to the “6.”  It appears that Nuri Sahin will take the “5.”  And I have to say, the gold looks better than I expected, not as tacky as I thought it would be.  But maybe we have to wait for the names, because then there could be an overload of gold on the back.

TEN.  Poor Iker, not even 25 minutes into the game and he was probably already hoarse.

ELEVEN.  We also got a glimpse at how flexible our canteranos are.

TWELVE.  After the game, Cris said the team was happy, and all the hard work they had put in showed.  He added, “Coentrão, Callejón and Varane were great.  I’m happy because we’re going to bring a lot of happiness to our fans.”  Sergio Ramos also praised the newcomers, saying “we’re happy with their perfect integration.  They’re going to help this team to grow, without a doubt.”  Callejón called his debut and goal “a dream come true, without out the help of my teammates I wouldn’t have been able to score.  I’m happy with the victory, the goal and because the team is becoming perfect… In this short time I’ve been with Mourinho, he’s showed me why he’s the best coach in the world.”  Another debutante, Jesé, also expressed his contentment with his debut.

THIRTEEN.  As for Becks, he said after the game that he “misses Madrid, the fans and everything related to the club because I felt like they were my family.  They’ve always treated me well.”  He called Real Madrid “the biggest team” and José Mourinho “a great coach, a great man and, what is most important, a gentleman as well.”  Becks concluded his statement by saying that he hopes Madrid wins everything this year, as “I spent four exceptional years in Real Madrid and I have great friends and great memories there.”  He also sent the fans his regards, saying that he misses us and loves us a lot.  Awwww…. we miss you too David!

My favorite moments from the game were definitely the interaction between David and the Real Madrid side, from the hug that José Mourinho gave him after he was subbed out…

… to the joking around and hugs on the field with the likes of Kaká and Marcelo…

… to the high-five with Sergio, and the moment we had all been anticipating, the reunion of Iker and David.  I wonder what language they spoke to each other?  If I remember correctly, David’s Spanish vocabulary consists of “joder” and Iker, well, perhaps he told David in Spanish that he missed him and added “esss true” in English.  Or perhaps they didn’t need words; a simple glance was enough to convey all the emotion they felt.

Iker, Sergio and Kaká also posted pictures with David after the game.  Iker called him the “great” David and “a good friend and wonderful person,” Sergio said he was “unique” and “a phenomenon” and Ricky described him as a “great friend.”  I had forgotten that Kaká and David were teammates for a short time with AC Milan!

FOURTEEN.  I don’t know if I’ll bring this section back this season, but for now, here’s a “front and back,” because, as I said before, we could all do with a bit more Marcelo in our lives.

FIFTEEN.  The Xabi Alonso pose section.™

Xabi only played one half, so there wasn’t that much time for posing.

That’s why you get bonus XIT as well, to make up for that!

SIXTEEN.  The Mou corner.

After the game, Mou said he was happy, because “it was a complicated game and we played with a lot of intensity.  Winning is not the most important thing.  What is is for the team to get into shape and I liked their attitude.”  He complimented Coentrão, saying that he played “very well” and “showed his potential.”  Callejón and Varane were also praised: “Callejón was good and Varane played a serious and complete game.”  He also warned, “we can’t promise titles, only hard work.”  That’s all we expect, Mou.

SEVENTEEN.  Looking ahead: Madrid plays their second friendly tonight in San Diego, against Chivas Guadalajara.

22 Comments leave one →
  1. July 20, 2011 18:38

    the ICYMI iss back!!! Una that was close before the next game 😛

    Ill post more later when everything loaded. As for the first pic! Just love that pose of Joselu. Gosh his 2nd goal with the first team now. That will be some battle in the Castilla. Morata just scored for Spains U-19.

  2. Miss Kaká permalink
    July 20, 2011 18:54

    If you only knew what that laugh between Ronaldo and Mourinho was about 😛 they checked out Sami Khedira’s girlfriend. LOL.

  3. stijn permalink
    July 20, 2011 19:26

    what time do they play?? Central european time?

    first comment btwt

    luv your blog, makes my gf a lil’ bit more intrested in real madrid 😉

  4. ashley permalink
    July 20, 2011 19:37

    I am so proud of all of them! Yay! We’re gonna have a wonderful season, I can feel it 🙂

    Anyway, I love the The Xabi Alonso pose section! I snapped a lot of pictures of Xabi during the game… he was actually posing A LOT; too bad ESPN didn’t show them 😦

    And LOOOOOOL at Karim! And Cris and Nacho– how cute!

  5. Lisa permalink
    July 20, 2011 20:14

    Great post Una, lovely goals – I hope we play like this during the Liga!

  6. Pipita permalink
    July 20, 2011 20:17

    Una, I think you’ve missed thie picture of Ronaldo. OMG, it’s a must see!

    • July 21, 2011 18:53

      Thanks for this. It’s a beaut! 😉

  7. mar permalink
    July 20, 2011 23:41

    wow, our boys are back! lovely celebrations. the colars do look really good in both of them and i like the gold colour now that i see it on them…
    great post (as always)

  8. Alice permalink
    July 21, 2011 00:10

    In case you haven’t seen this: hold on to your trousers, Una!

  9. July 21, 2011 04:41

    Yep it’s really a big surprise to see Capi Chori! (although a bit depressed not to see Capi Banana longer) I thought it would be Xabi or…Cris 😛
    Una, could you do me a favor, giving me some knowledge about deciding who’s the captain in Real Madrid case? For example, all players of 2rd half came to Real in or after 2009 summer. So then count on the accurate date? Or. just see who’s the most suitable to be named the Capi?
    Thanks 🙂

  10. July 21, 2011 04:54

    There were so many things that were enjoyable about this game…of course, the one thing I took from it…”Wow. I love the new kits, especially with the boys all tan.” Lovely. 😉

  11. black widow permalink
    July 21, 2011 05:37

    becksillas. the most beautiful word in the whole wide world. we all know david is iker’s one true love!!!

  12. July 21, 2011 10:38

    Love this entry. Thank you so much Una.

    Please do keep the front and back section! I for one LOVE checking out the amazing shots. I mean, Pipa himself rules this part! :o)

    • Maisoun permalink
      July 23, 2011 03:06

      I second this! Please keep the Front & Back section!! The white home kits were just made for that section of ICYMI posts haha

  13. Allbe permalink
    July 21, 2011 13:16

    Becksillas in my ❤

  14. Nurul permalink
    July 21, 2011 18:22

    Una – what do you mean when you call the team ‘a piña’? I’ve always wondered.

  15. fatima permalink
    July 21, 2011 20:13

    A couple of friends and I were at the game and for a second when that yellow card happened, we thought it was meant for The Ramos, as a Real Madrid game isn’t complete without Sergio getting a yellow amirite? Haha.

    But it was an awesome game and the atmosphere at the stadium was even more awesome 🙂 Coentrao was really, really good too. And I remember that every time they would show Ronaldo on the big screen, everyone would just go nuts and start screaming for him. Mind you, this was when he was still on the bench even.

  16. Sol22 permalink
    July 21, 2011 21:55

    It was an amazing game. I had seats in the 4th row right next to the goalie. They looked great and I really like the new uniform. I was a little sad that my vacation finished to soon and I was not able to attend the game in San Diego. It was worth the trip out to california to see the best team in the world play. I’m hoping if they come back next year I can see more than on game 🙂

  17. superfan permalink
    July 22, 2011 05:43

    I just want to say that I am so happy the guys are back! I cannot wait for the season to start!! And like you, Una, I also have a very good feeling about this coming season. Fingers crossed that we get to raise the 10th, the 32nd, the 19th, and the 9th!!! 😉

    And thank you for your usual awesome ICYMI post! 🙂

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