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bits and pieces…

August 30, 2011

UPDATE (not worth a separate post, so I’m updating this one): Madrid has announced that Pedro León will be returning to Getafe, and that Getafe will have the right to purchase the player at the end of the season for about €6 million, according to Ángel Torres.  But we won’t see Pedro León next weekend, as he’s not allowed to play against us.  Good luck Peter Lion!

Some bits and pieces of news as we head into this international week… I love watching Spain play, but I hate always having La Liga interrupted just as it begins.

A couple more moments from the game against Zaragoza, including the action on the bench, where Álvaro Arbeloa, Raúl Albiol, José Callejón and Antonio Adán were messing and joking around.  Gonzalo Higuaín and Kaká, meanwhile, kept their eyes (mostly) on the game.  Was Alvarito trying to help Antonio practice his blocking skills?  And then we have Iker and Cristiano’s embrace after the game.  I love them!  Meanwhile, Xabi strutted his way off the field…

José Mourinho will be without 15 of his players when training resumes on Wednesday, due to their international commitments.

Spain has called up five of the players – Iker, Sergio, the A-team – for a friendly against Chile (Sept. 2) and a Euro qualifier against Liechtenstein (Sept. 6), while Pepe, Carvalho, Coentrão and Cris will be defending Portugal in their Euro qualifier against Cyprus (Sept. 2).  France has called up Karim Benzema for their qualifiers against Albania (Sept. 2) and Romania (Sept. 6), while Rafa Varane will be playing with the U-21 team against Latvia (Sept. 2).  Mesut Özil’s Germany will take on Austria in a qualifier (Sept. 2) before playing Poland in a friendly (Sept. 6).  Gonzalo Higuaín and Ángel di María will make the longest trip, as they’re heading to India and Bangladesh for friendlies pitting Argentina against Venezuela (Sept. 2) and Nigeria (Sept. 6).  And Marcelo is making his return to Brazil, as he’s been called up to face Ghana in London on Sept. 5.  Meanwhile, Alberto Toril will be missing three of his players for Castilla’s match against Albacete, as Nacho, Denis and Pedro Mendes have been called up by the U-21 teams of Spain, Russia and Portugal, respectively, for U-21 Euro qualifiers.  Spain will start their defense of the title against Georgia and Portugal takes on Moldova on Sept. 1, Spain once again plays Georgia on Sept. 5, and Poland and Russia will face off on Sept. 6.

Iker was in his parents’ hometown of Navalacruz yesterday, hanging out with the kids from his campus, who have been practicing their football skills for the past week.  The kids are all between the ages of eight and 12, and each got to take a picture with Captain España as he presided over the conclusion of the camp.  They also got to take home a signed ball and diploma as souvenirs.  The day ended with all the participants and teachers, including Iker, sharing a huge paella.  Iker also spoke to the press while at his campus, and he used the opportunity to clear a few things up.

on whether he considers himself untouchable: in today’s football, and even more so in Madrid, any person who considers himself untouchable will have a bad time.  If a player on this team believes himself to be untouchable, his future will be quite dark.

on his relationship with Mourinho: there have been a lot of news, and I don’t like people to talk about me.  I have a great relationship with el míster and I’ve always defended him publicly each time I’ve spoken, and he me.  I understand that there wasn’t a Liga, that people needed to generate news… but there’s nothing to it.  There’s no problem with him, I disagree with him in some things, either in football or personal things, but no one should take it out of context.  They’re happy and fun disagreements.  From the first day, I’ve had a good relationship with him.  I’ve had run-ins with him like any other player, for various reasons, sometimes jokingly, other times not.  But it’s completely false that I have a bad relationship with him.  The situation is completely normal.

on the national team: I’m happy you asked me this question because I haven’t organized a dinner with anyone for Tuesday.  I would like to take this opportunity to make clear that I’m not the leader of this dinner or of anything.  What I had to say to Xavi and Puyol, I already said.  And we’ll speak more when we’re together, but I didn’t organize any dinner and sometimes I’m surprised by news like that.  I don’t want to always be refuting some news, but I have to make this clear.  People don’t know what I spoke to them about, and it’s all speculation and rumors.  What was said between Xavi, Puyol and I will stay between us, and no one should care about it, except the three of us who are the three captains of the Spanish national team.

on his “punishment” during the Trofeo Bernabéu game: any player that is a goalkeeper in Madrid is capable of defending the goal.  Antonio is a great kid and has a lot of quality as a goalkeeper, and I believe everyone needs playing time.  There’s no need to talk more about this.  It’s not the first Trofeo Bernabéu in which I didn’t play nor will it be the last one in which I won’t play.  I agree with Mourinho that Adán is capable of being Madrid’s goalkeeper and I hope that one day he is.

Iker also responded to the kids’ questions.  As always, they ask the best questions.  And Iker provided some great responses!

When you were small, did you think you’d become the best goalkeeper in the world?  No, the truth is no.  When I was small, I played here and I never thought about being the world’s best goalkeeper, I thought about being the best goalkeeper of the village.

What did you think when Mourinho stuck his finger in the eye of…  Well, I didn’t see it happen during the game, the next day I saw the images.  They’re things that shouldn’t have to happen, especially for us players.  I think it should never get to that point because we’d be bad examples for all of you.

How many shots have you stopped?  I don’t know, a lot.

I really can’t believe there are people who believe that Iker doesn’t have his own mind and that he’s being controlled by José Mourinho.  Those people are seriously delusional.

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. August 30, 2011 12:30

    IKER!!!!!!

    I could not agree more with your last sentences UnaMadridista. To suspect of all the people Iker Casillas would be the one whose mind anyone could control, one must be not only delusional but also completely not familiar with Iker as a person.

    I love all of his answers too. Not to mention the pics. Sweet. How he can exist for real?

    BTW I need help – I will be off for vacation and I already worry that I will not folow the blog everyday. Help!;-))))

  2. Sarah, Madrid permalink
    August 30, 2011 12:33

    “I really can’t believe there are people who believe that Iker doesn’t have his own mind and that he’s being controlled by José Mourinho. Those people are seriously delusional”.

    You speak my mind, I am sick of tired of Jose being this AWFUL humanbeing who is the evil in disguise who is even changing our saint to the devil, people are crazy, first they started with iker problem with cris ( awww I love their picture btw!! ), then iker being decaptained, then now with Jose, leave Iker alone!!!! I cant imagine the level of stress this guy is under being the captain of spain, the captain of madrid, trying to balance both, + some people think Morinho dont treat him well, freaking unbelievable. LEAVE OUR CLUB ALONE!!, I bet now that Iker said what Jose with the eye poke did was wrong, he will be dropped from the starting XI by some sources!!.
    I so agree with Iker, when there is no football, newspaper try to sell by making up these news of our club ( as if our club is the only one out there), oh man! if you just can sue them, our club would have gained BILLIONS by now!

  3. arshjot permalink
    August 30, 2011 16:30

    Higuain and Di maria coming to India, yeaaa!!

  4. Alyssa permalink
    August 30, 2011 20:05

    So much Iker! So much love! His lips in that last picture…whoa.

  5. Gigi permalink
    August 31, 2011 03:09

    I love how he laughed when the kid asked him about the eye-poking incident. Have to love the innocence of children, they just lay it out there. And he handled it perfectly, of course!

  6. August 31, 2011 17:35

    Poor Peter Lion. I know he really wanted to stay but for whatever reason, Jose just didn’t see him fitting into the squad. I am glad that he’s able to get a shot at Getafe and hopefully playing time. As bad it is probably hurts Pedro not being able to stay at Madrid, it HAS to be better than not even being allowed to practice with the first team. Best of luck to Pedro.

    and YAY for Marcelito! I’m glad he finally got a call up. Maybe his becoming a Spanish national had something to do with it…meaning they figured if Brazil didn’t call him up, he may be called up for Spain? Who knows…I’m just glad he’s finally getting a chance to play!

  7. black widow permalink
    September 1, 2011 06:09

    i love my boy so, so, SO much. *sigh*

    i loved the way he handled the questions about mou and puyi/xavi. all class, all the way.

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