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a rare weekend without football

August 22, 2011

Here’s how the Bernabéu looked yesterday, with no excited crowds waiting to see Real Madrid take on Athletic, no vendors hawking their jerseys, scarfs and sunflower seeds, and none of that special, pre-game atmosphere.  And of course, no Real Madrid team and no Javi (!!!) and Athletic.

Yesterday’s training session was basically a repeat of the previous one, so I’m just going to cut and paste from the last post; feel free to skip over this part.

On Saturday Sunday, Madrid held another session in the afternoon as they continued to prepare for Wednesday’s Trofeo Santiago Bernabéu against Galatasaray.  Sami Khedira was absent, as he was suffering from the flu, and Mou was also missing those three players that have been injured for some time (I’m tired of typing out their names, so I won’t, and I’m sure you all know who they are), so five canteranos joined the first team.  These five were Tomás Mejías, Víctor Merchán, Pedro Mendes and Mandi from Castilla (where was Morata?  By virtue of his name, he would have made the cut) and Javier García-Noblejas from RMC.  They’ll train again today at 18h 17h.

Mou’s still giving orders, Sergio still looks great with that perfect hair and Mesut still looks like a baby deer.

Prior to the session, Iker Casillas received a surprise in the form of a signed drawing of four of Ricardo Zamora’s most characteristic saves (Iker has emulated three of them, and is only missing the “Zamorana,” in which the forearms are used to block shots).  Zamora is the legendary Madrid keeper and the guy who the Zamora trophy is named after (and Iker has dressed up like him in the past).  Iker (and his smile lines) was presented with this artwork by Zamora’s widow Pilar Galdiano, and said, “I feel very honored, and I really mean that… the Zamora family won’t have to worry because it’s going to occupy a privileged spot in my house.  It’s a pleasure and an honor that you thought about me.”

Meanwhile, Pilar told Iker, “you’re my favorite, and I’m giving you this artwork with all the hope in the world.  I think the best place for it is in your hands.”  She also told Iker that she has faith that he could bust out the “Zamorana” in any moment.  I can totally tell that Iker is Pilar’s favorite, just observe the way she’s looking at him!  And later on, she must have been very pleased when he put his arm around her.

In other Iker news, he was in Navalacruz this past weekend, as he was concerned with a fire near his parents’ hometown that started last Friday (the reason is still undetermined) and which has burned up 500 hectares of land in the Sierra de Gredos.  Firefighters and emergency officials have been battling for days to extinguish the fire, and Iker took the time to visit the firefighters.

Real Madrid has given the pope a signed shirt as a souvenir of his trip to Madrid for World Youth Day.  On the back, it has the pope’s name, Benedict (but in Spanish), and the number 16, since he’s Pope Benedict XVI.  I’m glad most of our boys wrote their numbers by their names, as otherwise it would be quite impossible to tell who was who.  For example, Antonio Adán’s signature looks like it could be Casillas, no?  Cheers for Albiol and Kaká for signing legibly.  I love Álvaro Arbeloa’s very stylish signature, and that is the classiest “14” I have ever seen.  And who signs his name with a smiley face??  I’d like to say Marcelo, but it doesn’t look like it’s our sunshine.

Speaking of Germans, Sami Khedira confirmed on his official FB page (this one is confirmed) that he does not have a twitter account.  He wrote, “today I have some important news to share with you. Lately there was the rumor that I have a Twitter account and I would comment on current events. Everything that has been written there is not from me! I don’t have an official Twitter account. All statements that you can read there were made by a fake account.”  I hope this clears things up for some people.

And PF Juan Mata’s transfer to Chelsea from Valencia for €28 million has meant a payday of €530,000 for Real Madrid.  That’s because FIFA has a rule about transfers in which the clubs the transferred player suited up for from the age of 12 to 23 receives part of the transfer fee for “contributing” to the development of the player.  Juanín of course played for Madrid’s cantera from the age of 15 t0 19.  I wish him the best of luck in the Premier!

Meanwhile, without any Liga news to report on, Marca published an article about the music on the team bus and in the locker room.  As Cristiano Ronaldo said in his Real… interview, “I think music draws everyone in, because everyone likes music, we listen to music before training sessions and games, and it’s part of the Real Madrid family.”  Though Sergio Ramos may be La Roja’s DJ, he has to share the responsibilities when it comes to Madrid, since there is such a variety of tastes.  But they have arrived at a consensus, which is to listen to rock music before games.  So, when Madrid’s bus is heading to the stadium, they listen to classic songs from the Rolling Stones, Bon Jovi, Red Hot Chili Peppers, U2, etc.  I’m sure Esteban Granero is quite happy with this arrangement.

On the days before each game, the players choose what songs they want to listen to on the bus, and Óscar Ribot puts together a mix tape.  He’s the only one who knows what songs will be heard before each game.  The songs vary from ride to ride, but there is one constant, The Faith Keepers’ “Don’t worry bout later.”  You’ve probably heard this song before, perhaps without knowing it, because it appeared in the Adidas ad for the Copa del Rey starring our Xabi, Ángel, Esteban and Álvaro, and the formerly ours Sergio Canales.  Anyway, the song brought them luck, so that’s why they’ve continued to listen to it.

P.S. Despite the band name and the English lyrics, the group is actually from Aragón, which is why there is a shout out to Zaragoza at the very beginning of the song.

12 Comments leave one →
  1. Sarah, Madrid permalink
    August 22, 2011 13:56

    Iker cant fail to put a smile on my face, Ramos gif of dancing, Ramos how much I love you!

    I just keep on wondering, are we going to see Sahin any time soon, I am starting to think we made up this signing in our heads only!

  2. August 22, 2011 14:21

    a sad, sad empty stadium, but it still looks beautiful!

    and oh my, rock music before the game, no flamenco for Sergio? ;-))) But, seriously, I understand. Looking at Sergio’s tase in music, which is slightly better that his fashion taste, but still is not my cup of tea very often, I’d much prefer the Granero’s style. Not to say that this choice is probably also approved by the Classy Boss XA14 himself which is never a bad thing;-))

    Too bad there was no match between RM and Athletic, too bad…

  3. jellyace permalink
    August 22, 2011 16:02

    I was wondering if the team would see the Pope while he was in Madrid.
    Hope those of you in Madrid are surviving the heat wave.

  4. August 22, 2011 16:19

    Oh oh, I know this one! The smiley face comes from Ozil. 🙂 I’d recognize that crazy signature anywhere, and I’ve seen some pictures where he has signed his name on a jersey for the President of Germany, and he does a smiley face with a circle around it. He’s so cute.

  5. August 22, 2011 16:31

    Dani Alves is the best actor ever! But we already knew that.. 😉

  6. August 22, 2011 16:41

    Thanks for the update even after a football-less weekend. And btw, the happy face autograph IS Marcelo Sunshine’s. His is the ONE autograph I recognize lol.

  7. jean permalink
    August 22, 2011 16:53

    Lovely picture of Iker.

  8. Alyssa permalink
    August 22, 2011 19:53

    Iker 🙂

  9. black widow permalink
    August 23, 2011 02:35

    how adorable is senora galdiano in that photo where she’s looking up at him like a fangirl?! too cute. 🙂 iker seems genuinely touched by the gesture. it was lovely of him to visit the firefighters in navalcruz, too — he posted a photo on his facebook of the blaze and it looks pretty awful.

    juan mata playing in the EPL! excellent! he can keep fernando torres company at chelsea. 😉

    • shan permalink
      August 24, 2011 02:18

      the Mata-Torres thing was the first thing I thought of too. Torres can help him adjust well like Reina did for him. And they can be good influences on each other unlike some of those other people on their team… 🙂

  10. Emma permalink
    August 23, 2011 04:57

    Una, I love your blog. I’ve never commented before, but I have to today: I think I know who the smiley face signature belongs to! I went to a couple of the practices at UCLA, and one of the awesome people who stopped to sign my jersey was Silvino Louro.

    He was incredibly gracious and kind to everybody, and I thought the smiley face thing was great. You can see an image of the autograph here:

    Hope this helps!

  11. August 23, 2011 06:33

    woo, classic rock songs! those are the best =D

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