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ICYMI – the hot (weather and our players) edition

July 25, 2011

In case you missed it – RM vs. Philadelphia Union [2011-07-23, pre-season friendly, 2-1].

The good news is that Madrid finished 3-0 in their tour of the United States.  The team played well in the first half, and not so well in the second half.  As Aitor Karanka said after the game, it was the poorest showing out of the three games, so I’m not going to talk about that.  Instead, I’ll just focus – like I usually do – on the the players… and I’m sure that a lot of you went to the game – and the previous ones in LA and San Diego – and have anecdotes too, so send them over if you’d like, along with pictures, and I’ll dedicate a post to that!

ONE.  The intense heat and subsequent sweating may have meant that some players’ hair gel wasn’t working, so a lot of them seemed to be concerned with how their hair was doing.

TWO.  Continuing with the hair theme, Cris and Kaká attempted to cool down before going onto the field for the second half by pouring water down their throats and on their heads.

THREE.  The two goals by José Callejón and Mesut Özil came in the first 11 minutes.  One of the best things about José Callejón is that he is already a Crackòvia character.

FOUR.  Cris spent some time before the game signing autographs.  How sweet of him.

FIVE.  Iker is quite the boss out there – on one play, he gave Karim Benzema a good, hard shove into the correct position, and on another, he passed the ball while sitting on the field.

SIX.  If Zinedine Zidane continues to sit on the bench for the games, I’m going to have a hard time concentrating on the game itself.

SEVEN.  Marcelo Sunshine moments.  I love his little expressions and gestures!

EIGHT.  The Perfect Profile makes its debut for the new season on this blog.

NINE.  As Cris started the game on the bench, we got to see a couple of his pre-game rituals at the half.  He went from juggling a ball with tape in his hand to sitting on the bench, taping up his wrists.

The Union’s goalkeeper Faryd Mondragón also took advantage of Cris being out there on the field at the half to take a picture with him.  Cris should have smiled!

TEN.  A couple more moments – a smiling Karim Benzema, and Pepe putting the corner flag back up after knocking it down.

ELEVEN.  Iker said after the game that though the balance of this tour is positive, the team still needs to get to know each other, between the new guys and those that have been there for a while.  He also said they’ve achieved having a winning mentality, which was their goal for this pre-season.  When asked whether the team really does lack a forward, as the míster has said on more than one occasion, Iker replied, “whatever the míster says is welcome.  We’re happy with anything to improve the team.”

TWELVE.  The Xabi Alonso pose section.™

Xabi was back, and so was the posing!

And a little XIT.  Xabi would be proud of that smoldering look that Esteban threw out.

THIRTEEN.  The Mou/Karanka corner.

Aitor Karanka spoke to the press after the game instead of José Mourinho, saying that they had played better against the Galaxy and Chivas, with the negative thing about the tour being the injury to Nuri Sahin.  He also said that his role, as well as that of the others, on the team has not changed despite Mourinho becoming general manager.

FOURTEEN.  Prior to the game, several of the players decided to take a walk around Philadelphia, concretely to the Rocky Steps in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.  Iker, Álvaro Arbeloa, Raúl Albiol, Sergio, Esteban Granero and Xabi Alonso posed for pictures there and in front of the Rocky statue, looking like all the other tourists there, except that they were wearing their Real Madrid gear.

Whose pose do you like the best?  I’m disappointed that no one thought to imitate that pose…

FIFTEEN.  Álvaro also tweeted this photo of him showing off a gift he had received from a fan (apparently, Esteban Granero had passed the gift on to Álvaro).  But what’s more interesting is what the other guys are doing on the bus.  Kaká’s looking at his iPod, Iker is once again glued to his mobile phone, Jesús is being chatty and Rafa gazes out the window.  I hope someone is taking care of that boy!

Meanwhile, Iker posted these photos from the team bus.  He thought that not enough of them were wearing their matching UCLA caps in the first one, so he went back and got another shot where he, the A-team and Esteban Granero were all wearing the same hat.  How adorable!  Xabi can even pull off that backwards cap (note to Sergio: you can’t).  Esteban must know he’s not at that level yet, because he was the only one to wear the cap as intended.

One more picture from before the game, showing how attached to the caps the guys are – some of them returned to Madrid wearing them as well.  I wonder whose idea it was to get matching hats?

Iker also posted this photo of him with “the grand goalkeeper” and “fantastic person” Faryd Mondragón, adding that the team had won, that they had been dying in the heat, and that they’re happy to go 3-0 on the U.S. tour.  As you can see, it looks like even the record temperatures and the suffocating heat were not enough to separate Iker and his base layer.  The biggest mystery in the world is what would be enough to persuade Iker to not wear that layer.  The second biggest mystery in the world is what exactly does Iker carry around in that purse.

SIXTEEN.  Madrid left Philadelphia and the United States as soon as the game ended, arriving at Barajas at around 14:30h on Sunday, after a seven-hour long flight.  The team gets today off before returning to Valdebebas on Tuesday for a training session at 10h.  Their next game is the friendly in Berlin against Hertha on Wednesday.  As you can see, our players continued to favor not very attractive headwear and not very attractive ways of wearing that headwear upon their arrival back in Madrid.

Iker reverted to the third person to describe his happiness upon returning home (although it probably had more to do with the fact that he was writing in English).  Iker wrote on his Facebook, “I arrived in Madrid now!  He finished the U.S. tour.  Now monitor the preparation of the new season in Madrid.  He is happy to return home.  Hugs to all!”  And “she” is happy you’re back at home, Iker.  Esss true!!

SEVENTEEN.  I thought it was so cute how Jorge Casado and Nacho Fernández, though with the first team, tweeted their support for their teammates on the U-19 team, and how Jorge still refers to Pablo Sarabia as a teammate!  And the U-19 team was doing really well, beating Serbia 4-0 on Saturday behind a MFC Álvaro Borja Morata Martín hat trick!  He of course got the game ball as a souvenir, and all his teammates signed it.  Meanwhile, Dani Carvajal participated in a dancing celebration for the one goal that MFC didn’t score, the second one that was the work of Juanmi.  Watch the goal and celebration here.  With this win, La Roja qualified for the semifinals of the U-19 Euro, though they’ll have to wait and see the result of the third game to know whether they will finish first in the group or not.  The team got a rest day yesterday, which they spent in the pool – pictures of all four of our U-19 playes shirtless here.

By the way, when MFC was asked which player he’d like to play with one day, his reply was “Van Nistelrooy.”

He also spoke to AS on Sunday, saying he is very happy with his hat trick, and that he’s very grateful to his teammates, but that the important thing is that the team has qualified for the semis.  ABMM also said he’s received a lot of congratulatory messages from Spain, and that he’s following all that’s going on with Madrid via the Internet and from what people tell him over the phone.  He added that he’s content with his situation and his contract renewal, that he feels he has the confidence of the club, and that his hope is to continue with Madrid.

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22 Comments leave one →
  1. Cherrycake permalink
    July 25, 2011 12:32

    Thank you fot all that footage, Una! I really felt with the boys suffering in the heat. Berlin will probably cool them down thoroughly, though. This has to be the shittiest, wettest and coldest german summer for al long time. Lets hope, nobody falls sick!

  2. mickymacky permalink
    July 25, 2011 12:44

    “…and Rafa gazes out the window. I hope someone is taking care of that boy!”

    I saw a video of them in UCLA and at one point it showed Rafa being driven all alone in a golf cart. I don’t know the guy but I kinda felt a little sad when I saw that…

    Anyway, it’s good to have the boys back in Madrid. I really hope there are no more injuries and damn I’m missing the Argentines!

  3. Sarah, Madrid permalink
    July 25, 2011 13:24

    I have the same thought about zidane.
    We spoke too soon about iker dropping the man purse when the team first time arrived, now WE HAVE this, the hat invading if the squad.

    Players looked deadly tired in this game, even Jose who in one my point of the game couldn’t continue standing up and sat.

    I love you una again for keeping us updated for the details. Everything. I will try to thank you every chance I get

    About Spain u-19 I love them, I love capti sarabia ( who I think of him as a Madrid player on a loan), word now that morata might seriously considered for our first team, hope sooooo.

    Btw our players is like the best on social networks, I love them, thank you for whoever convinced them to do a twitter, fb. Adorableness!

  4. July 25, 2011 15:02

    Oh Unamadridista, I am so busy now that I cannot follow the matches, so your blog is my only source of information lately, and what a source it is!

    Thanks for all the reports, I am really loving all the news, stories, and – last but not least – the gifs. And thanks for the Marcelo Sunshine moments – adorbs!!!!!

  5. July 25, 2011 16:17

    What does ICYMI mean ?

    • July 26, 2011 19:09

      In Case You Missed It

    • Sukriti permalink
      July 26, 2011 20:21

      in case you missed it.

    • jellyace permalink
      July 27, 2011 15:49

      In Case You Missed It — which I do because we get no TV coverage of the RM matches!

      • jellyace permalink
        July 27, 2011 16:02

        And we are truly grateful to Una for her ICYMIs!

  6. EVITA permalink
    July 25, 2011 16:24

    I was at the Philly game, and it was great for the first ten minutes, and then they played like warmed shit. I wasn’t that happy with the second half…

    Also, Iker looked like a Chiquita banana in his kit.

  7. emily permalink
    July 25, 2011 17:00

    FABulous post, as always, Una! Muchas gracias!

  8. Erika permalink
    July 25, 2011 17:58

    I was dying in the heat and I deal with this humidity all the time … I love these boys. 🙂

  9. Jill permalink
    July 25, 2011 21:38

    kudos to all the boys for playing in during out heat wave. it was hot and sweaty sitting at the top of the stands but at least we got a nice little breeze for a bit!

    after the game ended when everyone was still on the field either Mondragón or one of the other union goalies grabbed (his?) two kids and ran over to where cris was to get a picture

  10. Kristine permalink
    July 26, 2011 04:06

    Great Post as usual Una! It’s so cool to have actually experienced some of the moments you posted! Seeing our team in the flesh was absolutely thrilling aside from the hideous temperature!
    The guys were staying right around the block from me but I just couldn’t get synced up and kept missing them! I was even supposed to go the art museum on Saturday and plans got changed. We all know that story, so bummed out that I missed them!

    The first half was exciting but you can see the heat got to them in the second half, I felt terrible for them. I was near death by then, I can’t imagine how they felt.

    Sergios hair is so shiny! and his thighs….I just wanted to run down there and bite them. He’s so beautiful.
    I was overwhelmed by the real beauty of our team, they are even more gorgeous in person.
    Iker was really riled up.
    Xabi is the boss! even with a very wet and see thru kit! yum. he was drenched.
    Arbeloa is very focused. AND SO HANDSOME!
    Ozil has magic feet, seriously.
    Carvalho and Pepe are real workhorses.
    Marcelo is ridiculously adorable.
    Benzema is looking more relaxed and comfortable. And he looks good with a tan.
    Its weird because on television, Cris and Mou seem larger than life, but I don’t think they stood out in person.
    The atmosphere was great, and I was so happy to be a part of it.
    Hooray for my first Real Madrid game! (won’t be my last, thats for sure)

    • Casey permalink
      July 27, 2011 07:16

      Which hotel were you staying at? I was at the Le Meridien on the opposite side of city hall from where they stayed. Couldn’t believe it!

  11. Abby permalink
    July 26, 2011 04:48

    In reference to #14, I gotta go with Sergio’s as best pose because, without even seeing his picture first, I made the same pose in the same spot a few hours later!

  12. July 26, 2011 05:02

    This game was miserable for fans! I can’t imagine what it was like for the boys! I took a shot of Arbeloa as he walked off the field right in front of us. He just looks destroyed. And he didn’t look nearly as bad as Ozil did. Poor kid…

    Once again it was incredible to see our boys. They are amazing. I was struck by a couple of things. 1) How incredibly light Ozil is on his feet. TV just doesn’t do it justice. It’s like he’s floating. His feet seriously never seem to touch the ground.
    And 2) by how incredibly gorgeous all of them are in person! As soon as I saw Albiol, all I could think of was how good looking he is in person. It’s incredible. And Kaka… What a beautiful and just incredible man!

    Okay, fan girl moment is over… Once again you did an incredible job. I just can’t wait for the start of the season!

  13. SierraGutierrez permalink
    July 26, 2011 15:42

    Something put a dampner on the game for me; have you seen this yet!?:

    http://ontd-football.livejournal.com/3512496.html#cutid1

    Other than that, glad our boys are having so much fun pre-season, even if their headgear is a little controversial! 😀

    • Kelsey permalink
      July 28, 2011 20:33

      I know! This was so sad!! I feel so bad for her

  14. Alyssa permalink
    July 26, 2011 18:06

    My first time seeing Real Madrid!!! I’ll always remember July 23rd (twenty of Jul? *cough*Iker*cough*), 2011 as the day my dreams came true! 🙂

  15. Anna permalink
    July 26, 2011 21:42

    One of the most amazing nights ever. Sure it was hot, but I just can’t believe I was in the presence of such football greatness. It still seems surreal that I saw the Real Madrid team in the flesh. Ahh…I can’t wait for next year!!

  16. EVITA permalink
    July 27, 2011 02:02

    Wow! I’m sorry that happened to you! I had a great time, and the people around me where actually fun and nice.

    I wish you the best in getting a hold of the jersey!

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