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all set for Zaragoza!

August 27, 2011

Madrid trained in the morning behind closed doors and the web site declined to provide pictures, so we’ll have to “make do” with this adorable footage of Castilla preparing for their game (more on that later on in the post).  Back to the first team, 20 players were called up for tomorrow’s game against Zaragoza at La Romareda (20h).  Álvaro Arbeloa has recovered from the injury that kept him out of the last few training sessions, and made the cut, as did Marcelo who had to leave the game on Wednesday with a blow to his right ankle.  One canterano, Mandi was called up to round out the midfield.  Altintop, Sahin and Khedira will miss the game due to injury, and Esteban Granero’s absence is due to the coach’s decision.

Goalkeepers: Iker, Adán, Tomás Mejías.

Defenders: Carvalho, Pepe, Ramos, Coentrão, Arbeloa, Albiol, Marcelo, Varane.

Midfielders: Kaká, Özil, Xabi, Callejón, Di María, Mandi.

Forwards: Cristiano Ronaldo, Benzema, Higuaín.

In his press conference, José Mourinho confirmed the rumor that Nuri Sahin has a new injury, which was why he did not play in the Trofeo Santiago Bernabéu game and why he was not called up for the upcoming Liga game.  Sahin’s history looks like this: while with Borussia Dortmund last year, he injured his right knee on April 15 and missed the rest of the season.  Then he sprained his left knee (grade I) during the first day of Madrid’s pre-season, and has been in recovery since.  Today, Mou said that Sahin re-injured himself on Tuesday during the team’s training session, and AS reports that it’s a grade II sprain to the internal lateral ligament of the left knee, which could keep him out three to four more weeks.  Thus, Fábio Coentrão will accompany Xabi Alonso in the midfield tomorrow, “because we don’t have anyone else, though I prefer him on the wing.”  Mou also said that Özil will start as well, and gave Kaká some praise, saying “he’s my player and he’s worked very well from the first day… I’m happy to look over to the side and see him there.”

Mou also took the opportunity to deny the reports that he had impeded Pedro León from going to Getafe, saying “that couldn’t be further from the truth.  I would like for him to leave.”  He said that JAS and Zizou are working on facilitating the exits of the unwanted players: “we have to respect their contracts if the players don’t want to leave but they knew from the first moment that they weren’t part of our plans.  The case of Lassana is not our decision.  The cases of Gago, Drenthe and Pedro León are, and we’ll see what happens from now until the 31st.  If Lass doesn’t find what he wants, he’ll return to work with the team and he’ll be an option for me because I never wanted him to leave.  If the other three stay, they won’t be options for me, because they’re not part of my plan.  If they stay, they stay, it’s not a problem for me.”  ¡Pobrecitos!

The next training session won’t be until Wednesday, as next week is an international week.

Tomorrow’s game against Zaragoza will be special for many of the Madrid players, as it’s the first game of the 2011-12 Liga season.  For Álvaro Arbeloa, it will mean a return to his first club and his hometown (though he was born in Salamanca, he considers Zaragoza his home.  It’s also where he met Carlota).

For Fábio Coentrão, it will also be special (or bring back bad memories) because it’s a return to La Romareda for him.  Fábio was loaned out to Zaragoza by Benfica three years ago, during the 2008-09 season.  However, his time in Zaragoza was not especially memorable, as he only played seven minutes in the five months he was there.  He looks exactly the same as he did three years ago, no?

It also would have been a special game for former Real Madrid players David Mateos and Juan Carlos Pérez.  David won’t be playing tomorrow, as he’s contractually prohibited from doing so, and he’s quite disappointed (as he expressed via twitter.  He also seemed to be a bit envious that Sergio Canales can play with Valencia against Racing).  Juan Carlos can’t play either, because his transfer has not been completed yet.  The LFP has Juan Carlos coming from Sporting de Braga instead of Real Madrid, so they sent all the transfer papers to the Portuguese club.  That’s because the LFP considers that Juan Carlos’ transfer was paid for via a private investment fund overseen by Jorge Mendes, who negotiated to have Juan Carlos first transferred to Sporting de Braga and then Zaragoza (Zaragoza has debts of over €100 million and is in bankruptcy protection).  One other Zaragoza player, Rubén Micael, is in the same situation.

Anyway, before all this was revealed, when Juan Carlos was asked what he would do if he scores, he replied, “I don’t know if I will celebrate, but I don’t think so, out of respect for Madrid, where I was many years and where I learned to be a footballer.”  M (former) SFC trained several times with the first team last year, and his impression was, “they’re normal people that welcome you with affection and treat you very well.”  The duo also talked about their former coach: “the image that the world has of Mou is what’s convenient for him and for the team (Juan Carlos nods).  It’s good for the footballers because what Mourinho really does is protect the player and for all the criticism to be directed at him.”

The team met again at Valdebebas late in the afternoon to head to Zaragoza.  On the way there, Iker posted this picture of him and his thumb.  Focus on the smile lines, focus on the smile lines…

The team arrived in Zaragoza in the later afternoon.  I wonder what amusing thing Xabi and Álvaro were talking about?  Other observations: I guess they don’t have team footwear this year.  Iker travels super light, no?

Once at their hotel, native son Álvaro Arbeloa and Raúl Albiol headlined the autograph session.

And Castilla is also in action tomorrow, against Conquense in Cuenca (12h).  Real Madrid’s web site spoke to MFC Álvaro Borja Morata Martín and Jesús Fernández.  Neither said anything new, but MFC did relate his experience during the Trofeo Santiago Bernabéu game.

He said, “playing in the Trofeo Santiago Bernabéu game was an immense joy.  Each time canteranos from Castilla are called up to the first team, we try to give it our all.  Many of the players on the first team are world champions or have a Ballon d’Or, and when you work with them, you try to learn from them.”

Isn’t he adorable?  Also adorable: Castilla players past and present, and their friendships.  With regards to the latter, Jorge Casado tweeted a picture of Denis on the bus ride to Cuenca, saying he had the honor of sitting next to Denis, to which Denis replied, the honor is mine, chatungo!  And Jordi Codina was very happy that both his good friends Roberto Soldado and Adrián González scored in the Valencia-Racing game, but what he really loved was the “best moment from the game – Rober and Adrián hugging after the game.”  Jordi was also happy for Juan Mata.

15 Comments leave one →
  1. Sarah, Madrid permalink
    August 27, 2011 19:25

    Hello Una, Any idea about the problem with the boradcasting :(!
    I want see the first game of liga live!!

    • Sarah, Madrid permalink
      August 27, 2011 19:27

      Oh yes, Nuri!!!!!!!, is he trying to keep hamit company!!!!!, he is suppose to be the bargain of the summer! We signed him too early so he will join first! I don’t like this!

  2. gabriela permalink
    August 27, 2011 19:38

    I hate what is happening to the unwanted players and how the club/Mourinho is handling the situation. I won’t be surprised if they start shit talking Real Madrid when they leave :/ I wish the club would deal with it in a classier way.
    And Granero been left out “for coaching decisions” makes me a bit unsure, as it brings me memories of Peter Lion. He spent almost the whole last season left out “for coaching decisions”! I hope this will not be Granero’s future.

    I’m starting to get annoyed with Khedira’s (and now Nuri’s!) constant injuries. We should keep Lass and make him a starter while we still can. We can’t count on Khedira for a long time, unfortunately, and his sub-to-be hasn’t even debuted yet because of injuries! What the hell is happening to them?
    Even though Lass is a bit violent for my tastes, at least he’s not injured once every month.

  3. yakub permalink
    August 27, 2011 19:43

    What is going on with Sahin? Injured again and out for 3-4 more weeks? And i thought Robben was the glassman. If this is going to be the trend for the rest of the season then Lass is not going anywhere. I wonder if he’s going to get his 10 back or it will be 23/24 this season. Anyway, good luck to the boys in tomorrow’s game. Hala madrid.

  4. Tasha permalink
    August 28, 2011 02:43

    Thanks for posting this today! Im so happy that Im able to read this before my power goes out here in the East Coast of the US b/c of the hurricane. Wish us luck!!

  5. daniel ikemba permalink
    August 28, 2011 03:10

    I am alittle bit annoyed with Mateos. He is either the most stupid person in the world or he is just being an idiot. When he signed the contract with Zaragoza, did he not review the clause that states he will not play against real madrid? if he did not agree with the clause, why did he sign the contract? Why is he acting like this is the first time he is being told he cannot play this game? did he not see that drenthe was not allowed to play last season? What is this false sympathy he is trying to court?! what an idiot!

    • unamadridista permalink*
      August 29, 2011 15:08

      He’s neither the most stupid person in the world nor is he an idiot. What’s wrong with being disappointed that you can’t play? I don’t think he had much of a choice with the clause, and it certainly wasn’t that big to be a deal breaker. I’m sorry, but he’s not the idiot here. People who don’t understand his situation are.

  6. mar permalink
    August 28, 2011 11:19

    (quoting):The duo also talked about their former coach: “the image that the world has of Mou is what’s convenient for him and for the team (Juan Carlos nods). It’s good for the footballers because what Mourinho really does is protect the player and for all the criticism to be directed at him.” ~ that;s the impression thta i got at some point and it;s good i like it if it really hapens this way,it’s like Mou is a father to them!

  7. cloudy permalink
    August 28, 2011 12:56

    hi una!

    i love your blog! like i really really love it 🙂 i’m excited for tonight’s game against zaragosa, shame i wont be able to watch any of their matches as they don;t show it here in my country 😦 do you have any suggestions on where i can watch the games online? i was dying that time when you were on vacation as i had no madrid news 😀 anyways love your blog! hala madrid!

  8. August 29, 2011 07:18

    oh el Pirata! I hope he features prominently in Mou’s plans this season…I’m starting to get tired of this “new players getting injured” thing. Altintop who? Buena suerte to Gago, Lass, Peter Lion and Drenthe!

  9. August 29, 2011 16:49

    I am so jealous they get paid to play with beach balls!

  10. antrea permalink
    August 30, 2011 03:41

    Ugh, Nuri Sahin barely had any injuries for the past few years (only a head injury that forced him to wear a plexiglass mask) and then now, boom, his knees are made of glass. I hope you can strengthen up those knees, boy!

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