Skip to content

second to last day in Los Angeles

July 22, 2011

Mou’s just relaxing… and no, that’s not Zidane, that’s Carlos Lalín.

Madrid held their second-to-last training session at UCLA on Thursday afternoon, a light recovery session for the 21 healthy footballers (the non-healthy ones are Nuri Sahin, Sergio, Sami Khedira and Xabi Alonso).  Those players who clocked up the most minutes during the game against Chivas – Marcelo, El Pirata, Cristiano, Benzema, Mesut and Coentrão – had an easier session than the rest.  The players went through stretching, a warm-up, strength exercises, rondos and tactical movements.

The session was closed to all (the press was supposed to be allowed to watch the first 15 minutes, but then Madrid took away that privilege), except if you were a guest of one of Madrid’s sponsors (there were 400 lucky souls who fit that criterion) or someone famous.  The latter was the case of actor Will Ferrell (or Will “Ferrer” as Madrid’s web site called him, Spanish-izing his last name) and Ultimate Fighting Championship fighter Caín Velásquez.  Will chatted with Mou and Iker, and received a signed shirt from Iker (he too can be a banana!).  Meanwhile, Caín met his idol, Cristiano Ronaldo.  That feeling is apparently mutual, as Cris follows the UFC.  They exchanged gifts – gloves for Cris and a signed shirt for Caín on which Cris wrote, “for my friend Velásquez, with affection.”

You ar de besss ack-torrrr en de worrl… esss true!

Pobrecito… too bad he didn’t stand up to Madrid’s photographer, I’m sure the photographer would have backed down.

The last session will be on Friday morning at 10h, and this session will also be closed to the public and press.  There also won’t be a press conference after.  The team will travel to Philadelphia in the afternoon.

Real Madrid has formally announced that in a board of directors meeting, they approved the new organization of the club that includes José Mourinho as “sporting manager” and coach of the first team.

The Bernabéu also has new seats on the benches!  (Us spectators will have to continue to do with the hard plastic chairs, unless you’re lucky enough to be in a palco.)  The new seats are black, have heating/air conditioning, adjustable backs and a “sporting” design.  There are 47 total seats, 22 for each team and three more for the field delegate.  They all have the logo of Audi, as that company sponsors Madrid, and the seats were made in the same way as those found in Audi’s sportiest models.  The first time the new seats will be used will be on Aug. 14 in the first leg of the Supercopa de España.  I bet Rubén Suárez can’t wait for the next time Levante plays in Madrid!  Pictures here.

Over in the world of social networking, I like that Sergio used his twitter to support a good cause – on Wednesday, he tweeted about the food crisis affecting the horn of Africa, with two million children suffering from malnutrition and 500,000 at risk of dying, saying that we can help by collaborating with UNICEF.  Get more information here (Spanish) or here (English), and make a donation here (Spanish) or here (English).Meanwhile, Juan Mata responded to his best friend (we can thank the cantera for that) Esteban Granero’s musical recommendation tweet by asking how he was doing, and saying that there’s not many people who can do what Esteban does, provide a sheer variety of musical recommendations each day.

And Iker continues to delight with his Facebook posts.  His latest song recommendation is U2’s “With or Without You” (his favorite songs are much, much, much more romantic than the fare that Esteban likes) and he also posted this photo with Daniel Craig, saying that Daniel had the nice gesture of posing with him and that he was grateful for how friendly he was.  Once again, I love it when our boys show their fan-side.

In Belgium, Queen Fabiola showed her true colors (in the good sense) by wearing a pin of the Real Madrid escudo during celebrations for that country’s national day yesterday.

Well, both the queen and Real Madrid are royal, so it’s not such a big surprise!  Or perhaps it’s because it matched well with her white and purple outfit?

Anyway, two years ago during another official act, Queen Fabiola, who is a madrileña, wore the same pin, which is made from gold encrusted with small diamonds.  Shortly before Fabiola married King Baudouin more than 50 years ago, she and the king met with the directors and team of Real Madrid, who had traveled to Belgium to play a game against Standard Liège.  The king wanted to know more about the symbols of Real Madrid, and so one of the directors took the pin off his lapel and gave it to the king.  And I guess Fabiola’s kept it all these years.

Castilla kicked off their 2011-12 pre-season on Wednesday, with their first training session.  Alberto Toril had 18 players at his disposal, including the new players: fullback José Antonio Ríos, who comes to us from Sevilla Atlético, and goalkeeper Carlos Molina, who previously played in Cartegena and is a Real Madrid C player, although he will train with Castilla for the moment.  Lucas and Óscar Plano were also promoted to Castilla from RMC, and Jesé and Omar from Juvenil A.  Javi H., José Zamora, Raúl Ruiz and Cristian López have also returned from loan spells.  The absences are those six players currently with the first team in the U.S., and the three players playing in the U-19 Euro in Romania.

Speaking of that tournament, the U-19 team played Belgium twice in two days in their Euro debut.  On Wednesday, with Spain up 1-0 thanks to a goal from MFC Álvaro Borja Morata Martín, a huge storm forced the stoppage of the game in the 18th minute.  As the Belgians refused to re-start the game, it had to be played all over again, which the teams did on Thursday.

And Spain got their revenge, winning the game 4-1 behind four golazos, including a penalty (provoked by MFC) from Pablo Sarabia, who was the team captain, and a goal by MFC in injury time.  Pablo (I’ll consider him a Castilla player until this tournament ends), Álex and MFC started the game, and Dani Carvajal came in as a substitute midway through the second half.

I have a thing for captains.  It’s true.

12 Comments leave one →
  1. July 22, 2011 12:54

    It’s cute how excited Iker seems to be about getting his photo taken with Mr Bond, while he doesn’t seem as excited about Will Ferrell. 😀

    It’s sweet that Queen Fabiola kept the pin all these years and is still using it!

  2. Sarah, Madrid permalink
    July 22, 2011 13:31

    “Pobrecito… too bad he didn’t stand up to Madrid’s photographer, I’m sure the photographer would have backed down”.

    I kind hope he did!

    Iker hair is looking good lately, or I am imagining stuff lol. I like the yellow kit, it really makes Iker looks YUMMY!

  3. July 22, 2011 14:37

    I hope you continue to consider Sarabia a cantera product and “on loan”. I believe that ALL of us expect a lot from him in the future…in the white shirt of Madrid. .

  4. Matt permalink
    July 22, 2011 15:30

    Do you know what time the team will arrive in Philadelphia/where they will be staying? I would like to get photos/autographs if possible. Thanks so much!

  5. Pam permalink
    July 22, 2011 17:20

    >> I have a thing for captains. It’s true.

    Then you should mimic a certain captain and say “esss true!” 🙂

  6. Diana permalink
    July 22, 2011 18:46

    I’m headed to Philly tomorrow for the game…so excited! Do you know which hotel they are staying at?

  7. July 22, 2011 19:12

    I have had the best ten days of my life following RMA here in LA and San Diego for forza futbol with media credentials. The training, press conferences, games, press box, pitch access and mixed zones were awesome. UCLA was fantastic as well as the BHH. I loved every minute of it and got to see how human and down to earth these guys truly are and how difficult it is for Mou and staff to coordinate, organize and keep it together. The world press were fun, but crazy (especially los Españoles!!). You guys can check out my trials and tribulations at my website and facebook page. I am exhausted but still living on cloud nine with a smile. It was a dream come true and heaven. I even got Iker to give me some love. Still dazed and confused, but oh so happy. I just had to express my joy. Following your team is just the greatest experience ever. Abrazos para todos. Spain March 2012 Forza Futbol La Liga tour, here I come. Hasta pronto.

  8. July 22, 2011 19:58

    Has anyone else noticed that Benzema and Ozil have been joined at the hip since the team got back together for preseason….just look at photos of all the training sessions…they’re always together laughing and joking aroung and they even sit together on the golf carts that take them to the field….I wonder when did that bromance happened? and they talk a lot so i’m guessing both of them have improved their spanish….I think they are my new favorite duo

  9. jean permalink
    July 22, 2011 21:40

    I love Coentrao hairstyle:)

  10. July 23, 2011 00:50

    I missed the U19 game but read the recap afterwards. Yay for the guys & yay for ABMM! I just knew you’d have to post about that one. Will have to look for a highlights video so I can watch the golazos. 🙂

    I am truly feeling sorry for the guys having to play in Philly. It’s supposed to be 99F without the heat index for tomorrows game. I can’t imagine having to practice/play in that type of heat. We’ve had the same heatwave here in Chicago. Last night at 7:30 p.m. it was 104 with the heat index. So even if they play at night, it’s not going to be much cooler. Thank God it’s a friendly where they can have more subs!

    Well done to Queen Fabiola! Way to represent!

  11. black widow permalink
    July 23, 2011 07:04

    oh, una. my favourite group in the whole wide world, the one i am fanatically obsessed about is … U2. so, for iker — of all people — to say one of my very favourite U2 songs is one he likes very much … *swoons dead*. (that’s it! that’s gonna be the song at our wedding! ;p)

    You ar de besss ack-torrrr en de worrl… esss true!

    i snickered so much when i read this that the woman sitting next to me on the train gave me funny looks. i think “esss true!” is going to become my new catchphrase. heh.

    i’m halfway to philly! can’t WAIT!!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: