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literally, following Real Madrid…

July 27, 2011

Several of you have sent me pictures and reports of your experiences with Real Madrid during their U.S. tour, so I just wanted to share them with the rest of you!  It’s interesting for me to see the perceptions of football (or soccer, as Iker has said) in the U.S., and how the team behaves when they’re not in Madrid!  Plus, I can see my influence in the number of posing pictures I received…

Magda and Alyssa went to the Madrid game in Philadelphia, and both provided their observations from the game, with Magda also supplying the photos because she was the “official photographer.”  Magda: “I really didn’t mind Xabi’s clothes sticking to him.”  [Who would?]  Alyssa: “Xabi must be giving posing lessons because this match was FULL of sexy poses. Iker couldn’t last a minute without posing. I thoroughly enjoyed the view from the pack. Other frequent posers were Granero (not surprising), Kaká and Adán and Tommy Mejías (while on the bench).”

Alyssa: “we sat in the 6th row behind the goal where Iker was in the first half of the match. Almost every section of the stadium was split between Madrid fans and Union fans except that the section next to ours held the Union’s rhythm section. They were chanting and drumming throughout the match. A friend of mine who grew up in Philadelphia told me that Union fans (called Sons of Ben) are always insane. It must have been hard on Iker having them right behind him [don’t worry, he’s had a lot of experience at San Mamés and the Reyno de Navarra] but he still sent many smiles and waves our way. Also, it was across the field from us so I couldn’t see well, but Iker gave his shirt away at halftime. Oh how I love that man. Esss true!”  She goes on to heap more praise on Iker: “I have to admit that I wasn’t very happy when I saw that Iker would be wearing yellow this season, but in person, he looks AMAZING! I don’t know what it is but it works for him! I saw him wear green for La Roja in June and the yellow is definitely better on him! I’m pleasantly surprised!”

As you can see, they were sitting close to the goal that Iker was defending, so Magda got some nice pictures “of him and his cute little butt.  Also he seemed to take some lessons in posing from Xabi in this game because all of the 45 minutes that he was on, he was posing!  The heat made the clothes stick to all of our players, and Iker’s underwear lines are visible because of this. And of course I couldn’t resist taking a close-up picture of Iker’s butt… this is just a zoomed out version of the last picture but I just love the expression on the face of El Pirata.”

Magda: “I noticed how all of the Portuguese speakers sat together of course. I was not pleased that Coentrão separated Cris and Kaká.”

More from the bench, according to Magda.  During the first half (left), the players were “laughing and joking with each other.”  As the second half rolled around, “it looked like our boys couldn’t stand the heat. Iker and Sergio were nowhere to be seen in the second half. It looks like all of the ones that were subbed out + Sergio decided not to come back out onto the field.”

Magda: “I wish more of them decide to wipe their sweat with their shirts and show us some abs. Benzema knows how to make us happy… Varane switched shirts with someone and showed us his perfect body.”  Alyssa: “The heat definitely affected them. I’ve never been that drenched in sweat in my life…  I’d say the most affected were Iker and Kaká. Iker never went more than a couple minutes without wiping sweat away and when he could, he walked closer to the bench asking for water. Whenever Kaká wasn’t involved in play, he looked almost ready to collapse. Benzema also seemed more exhausted than most but that’s probably because he played for so long. One plus side of the heat, their uniforms stuck to them like spandex. I felt bad for them but the view was incredible! There was also all the shirt-lifting to wipe off sweat! Ohmywow!”

Alyssa also went to hang out outside their team hotel, and got to see them boarding the bus.  Alyssa says, “they were all very friendly and smiled and waved at the fans. Mourinho even continued waving periodically while seated on the bus. Also, there was a little boy in the crowd whose birthday was that day and didn’t have tickets to the match. Real’s staff gave him and his mother (most likely his mother) tickets! This whole club is full of incredible people!”

As for Cristiano, “the stadium was full of people wearing Ronaldo jerseys but who couldn’t recognize a single other player on the team since they didn’t have their names on their shirts. Cris was very aware of his popularity though and took every opportunity to show off. It was actually adorable!”  Meanwhile, with regards to the fan interaction, “from everything I saw, Cris, Iker and Marcelo were the best with the fans and Kaká was the friendliest. The babies of the team (canteranos + Rafa) were all very shy but in the cutest way.”

Erika says, “the game was a packed crowd and I think you’ll be happy to know that the one and only Xabi and XIT both started the game. I thought it was kind of funny because all but one of the Portuguese speakers played in the second half. I really LOVE Fábio, so I hope you include a lot of him this season. I’m very happy at the work they have done while in the U.S. I think this is going to be a great season. And while they may have only scored two goals and it was in the first ten minutes, I think it’s important to note that they did not have much time in Philadelphia to relax and get used to the climate. It was like death out there. I had already sweated through my new jersey before the game had even started!”  She also added, “Xabi is always is some kind of pose.”  Erika managed to capture Iker stretching and waving!

Rukan writes in with these observations: “before the game, Marcelo, Pepe, Fábio and Cristiano were sitting on the bench and Kaká stood in front of them and there was a huge crowd in the stands yelling for them but they all ignored it except for Kaká who waved a few times. I heard other people saying that it was rude, but I thought it was kind of funny since many of the fans were being obnoxious.”

“Zidane was hanging out on the field prior to the game.”

“They did A LOT of stretching which was nice of course haha and plus it was ridiculously hot, so there was a lot of shirt lifting.”

“Avid reader” Niraj also sent in a few pictures from the game, including warm-ups, and some action from the corner.  That’s a lovely angle for Esteban, no?

J. writes in with a fun anecdote: “I was fortunate enough to meet many Real Madrid players over the weekend in Philly. They really are a nice group of guys. Especially Iker – he is so classy and genuine. A true captain in every way! And Sergio has a sense of humor – he signed my ‘drop it like it’s hot’ Copa hat! Wasn’t sure if he was going to understand it or be embarrassed/upset when I asked him to sign it, but he chuckled. So cute!”

And Cammy has a couple more anecdotes and observations from the time Madrid spent in Los Angeles.  She writes, “I have a funny story for you. I took my copy of Vogue España for Xabi to sign at their hotel. I told the guy in front of me that if he wanted Xabi to stop in our area, he should flash the picture of Nagore to Xabi. So when Xabi came out with Arbeloa and Albiol, both guys pointed to the photo and Xabi comes towards us with a big grin. He was a bit shy about the Vogue pictures but he had a big smile while signing it” (below left).

And another one: “last Friday, I happened to see Xabi and Granero outside the UCLA student store. It was just before the morning session and there were not too many people around. In the afternoon I again happened to see Granero and Arbeloa leaving the student store. I don’t think they were able to buy anything when the video of them shopping was taken so they went back when it was a little quieter. Looks like Xabi bought Jon a foam UCLA ball and bat.”

(And at some point, they all bought those matching hats.)

Cammy says, “Iker spends the most time with the fans, working the line from end to end. Xabi too will stop and sign. Cris will do a few but at the hotel he does more autographs. I think the guys are warming up since it seems all of them have been giving autographs. First couple of days Varane, the new guys and the canteranos were very shy but now they do go out to sign.”

Fatima was also at the Galaxy game, and she tells us that the game was “awesome! And the atmosphere, with all the fans being there, was even more so.”  She was most excited to see Sergio Ramos, and says regarding Iker posing, “he has learned well from Xabi.”

She also managed to capture the moment Mesut Özil’s shirt came off, saying, “what an improvement from last year’s photos when he first joined the team.”

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18 Comments leave one →
  1. georgia permalink
    July 27, 2011 14:02

    Ahhh! I wish Real Madrid would come to Australia! Unfortunately all we have is AFL and cricket (which is full of ugly men who get drunk and punch people)

    • Addy permalink
      July 28, 2011 04:47

      hahaha, Andrew Symonds reference with the ‘get drunk and punch people’? =p

  2. emily permalink
    July 27, 2011 14:34

    Thanks for opening up your space to the other fans, Una. Super stuff. The heat wave up north is really astonishing. It’s been cooler here in Florida (only in the 90’s!)hah!

  3. maddy permalink
    July 27, 2011 14:42

    real madrid definitely has the most loyal, most dedicated female fans!!! HALA MADRID

  4. manie permalink
    July 27, 2011 15:44

    This was so great! I wish I could have gone…guess I’ll have to make it out to Madrid!

  5. superfan permalink
    July 27, 2011 17:02

    Thank you so much for sharing your experiences! So jealous. There are reports in my country that a wealthy businessman is planning to bring Real Madrid’s football and basketball team here. I am so crossing my fingers for that to be true, even though I find it kind of impossible. Gaaah.

  6. Diana permalink
    July 27, 2011 18:57

    Love reading about everyone’s experiences with the team here in the States. I was at the Philadelphia game, and one thing that struck me was the Barcelona fans that showed up with derrogatory statements about RM and/or CR7 on signs or right on their skin. Do RM fans do this at Barcelona games? To me it just seemed like why bother coming to a game just to be a hater? Why spend the money, time, effort? What jerks.

    Overall, though, there was a great atmosphere, despite the heat and humidity. It was a thrill to see the team play in person. My kids and I were giddy seeing so many RM jerseys in one place (I live in Maryland and there seem to be more Barcelona fans here).

    Also, the new kits with gold and white look a lot better in person than they do on the RM website. My boys got new jerseys and we love them…that was a pleasant surprise!

    • July 31, 2011 01:37

      It’s not just Maryland, there are generally more Barca fans everywhere nowadays because of the massive bandwagon following they have attracted in recent years. Yes a lot of Barca fans seem to go to Real Madrid games just to act like idiots. They are probably just jealous of CR7 and wish they could be in his shoes if only for a day. What can you say, some people are just insecure so they act like buffoons to try and cover it up!

      Glad you had fun at the game. I’ve been dreaming of seeing Real Madrid play for so many years, looks like it will finally come true next year as I’m planning a trip to Spain!

  7. Kat permalink
    July 27, 2011 22:22

    I went to the Union-Madrid game it was awesome! in fact i was sitting in row 17 behind the goal madrid was defending the first half so i wasn’t very far away from Magda and Alyssa! 😀

  8. black widow permalink
    July 28, 2011 01:15

    it’s so nice to relive it through the eyes of others! 🙂

    i had a second-row field level seat for the philadelphia game, but then the family of 5 sitting in front of me left at half time (union fans) and so the guards said we could take their seats. fantastic!

    they all looked so hot and uncomfortable during the first half — iker in particular looked like he was wilting from the humidity and heat. i wasn’t at all surprised when he was subbed out, pobrecito!

    photos are here, and i make no apologies for the heavy iker bias!

    herbalife world football challenge 2011
    • Alyssa permalink
      July 28, 2011 18:23

      Never apologize for an Iker-bias! It’s how we should live our lives! Haha. But I have to admit, my favs of your photos are the ones of Xabi stretching. WOW!

  9. erica permalink
    July 28, 2011 02:11

    hahaha carvalho on the first one looks like he’s saying “talk to the hand” 🙂

  10. July 28, 2011 05:00

    Thanks to all who sent in pictures/commentaries. ❤

    I felt so sorry for the guys. We had the same heatwave in Chicago and it was brutal, even at night it was still in the 80's with the heat index.

  11. Iram permalink
    July 28, 2011 10:50

    Thanks to everyone who shared their photos and stories. These Real Madrid guys sound so genuine and earthy.

    Una, out of curiosity, have u ever gotten anything signed by ANY past/present RM player?

  12. mari permalink
    July 29, 2011 01:59

    @superfan – you filipino/a?! are you referring to MVP? I read about it, too. He did mention of the plan for RM bball & fball team tour and i think if there’s anyone who can bring RM here, it’s definitely him! Let’s keep our fingers crossed! 🙂

    • jellyace permalink
      July 31, 2011 17:45

      mari, I thought superfan was you!

      To all who contributed, I loved, loved reading about your experiences and ogling all your pictures! So sorry you had to suffer the heat but it was worth it. What can I say, Una has taught you all so well!

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