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weekend update

September 4, 2011

Let’s start with the latest news, Castilla’s game against Albacete!  Juanfran scored in the third minute, but the rivals tied the game off of a penalty in the 56th, and the game ended 1-1.  With Nacho out on international duty, Juanfran was el capitán.  Esteban Granero was on hand to watch his former team (and he was looking hot!), and David Mateos tweeted that he was watching too.

Madrid continued training on Friday, but this time, it wasn’t with Alberto Toril.  Instead, José Mourinho took charge of the session, in which the five available first team players (Kaká, Lass, Callejón, Granero and Adán) were accompanied by five invited Castilla players: Issac, Raúl Ruiz, Antonio Martínez, Víctor Merchán and Óscar Plano.  And on Saturday, these five first-teamers once again worked out in a session that ended with a partidillo against some of the youth-teamers from Castilla, RMC, Juvenil A and Juvenil B.

The “white” team was made up of Adán, Lass, Granero, Kaká, Callejón, plus José María Barril, Sergio Parla and Mario Hermoso from RMC; Diego Moreno and Santiago Taboada from Juvenil A; and Iván García from Juvenil B.  The “red” team lined up Isaac, Antonio Martínez, Víctor Merchán and Raúl Ruiz from Castilla; Álex Díaz, Daniel Suárez, Álvaro López and Edu Payá from RMC; Fernando Román from Juvenil A; and Alberto Lozano and José Rodríguez from Juvenil B.  The game had two halves of half an hour each and occurred under a light rain.  It ended up 1-0 in favor of the white team, as Kaká assisted Moreno for the only goal of the game.  The team won’t be back in training until Monday.

Also on Saturday, Esteban Granero had lunch with his best friend Juan Mata, as well as Raúl Albiol, Álvaro Arbeloa, José María Callejón and Óscar Ribot!  Juanín and the twins had just arrived back in Madrid from national team duty, and had the day off before resuming training on Sunday.  I’m so happy to see Esteban and Juan reunite!  We don’t get to see enough of that!  Anyway, then the boys had a little banter via twitter over who was going to pay for the meal.  Esteban needs a haircut – his hair almost looks like Iván Campo’s here!  This has become quite an Esteban Granero-centric post, no?

Madrid has submitted their “A” and “B” rosters to UEFA for the Champions League.  On the “A” roster, we have the 23 players that make up the first team, plus Castilla’s Pedro Mendes (who will wear the “23”) and Tomás Mejías (“25”).  The “B” list is made up of 10 canteranos mostly from Castilla: Fernando Pacheco (Juvenil A), Nacho, Dani Carvajal, Álex, Denis, Lucas Vázquez, MFC Álvaro Borja Morata Martín, Joselu, Jesé and Óscar Plano.

International results: all of the madridistas did fairly well in their international commitments on Friday.  Spain beat Chile 3-2, with all five of the Madrid players starting.  Our three defenders played the entire game, while Xabi and Iker were subbed out at the half.  Meanwhile, Germany became the first team to qualify for the 2012 Euro, beating Austria 6-2 behind a hat trick from Mesut Özil.  Not to be outdone, Cristiano scored twice as Portugal beat Cyprus 4-0, with all three of our players playing the entire game.  Karim Benzema scored once and assisted on the other goal as France defeated Albania 2-1.  Argentina, with Pipita Higuaín and Ángel di María starting, beat Venezuela 1-0.  Ángel played the entire game, while Gonzalo was subbed out with seven minutes left.  And Rafa Varane played the entire game as France beat Latvia 3-0 in their first qualifying game for the U-21 Euro.

Joachim Löw has decided to let Mesut sit out Germany’s next game against Poland, meaning that Mesut can return to Madrid earlier, as he likes to rest players that accumulate a lot of minutes with their clubs, since it also allows him to test out new players.  Also back by Monday will be the Portuguese players, as they don’t have another game scheduled for the rest of international week.

Both Mesut and Karim have developed quite impressive abs this season, no?

Speaking of Karim, AS reports via “Le Journal du Dimanche” that Karim Benzema was the victim of an extortion attempt recently.  At the beginning of the year, a man contacted someone close to Karim and threatened to sell intimate photos of Karim with an old girlfriend if they didn’t pay up €900,000.  Karim’s lawyer decided to tell the police, although according to the newspaper, his client wasn’t too concerned with these photos coming out.  Anyway, the police set up a trap and arrested the blackmailer, who turned out to be the stepfather of Karim’s former girlfriend.  Karim followed the case from afar and was only informed of the beginning and end of the case.  In related news, he has also denounced a person who pretended to be him on Facebook and used that account to show “perverse” images to a 14-year-old girl.  This caused Karim to also delete his personal account, which was under a pseudonym.

Meanwhile, the vice president of the Portuguese Football Federation has said that they are considering asking UEFA to open disciplinary proceedings against Ricardo Carvalho.  To refresh your memory, Carvalho left Portugal’s training camp on Wednesday, supposedly after a conversation with his coach in which he was told he wouldn’t be starting their next game.  Later that day, he announced his retirement from the national team, saying that he had been treated in a disrespectful manner.  The next day, Paulo Bento said Carvalho had effectively deserted the national team.  However, the federation plans to speak with Carvalho before taking any actions, to get his side of the story.

According to UEFA’s rules, “sanctions imposed by a member association may be extended to UEFA competitions at the request of the federation concerned, particularly in cases of serious offences committed within their jurisdiction.”  In cases related to desertion, the federation has the authority to to ask that the player be suspended for one to three months.  So, if the federation does end up requesting that, Carvalho could miss out on Champions League games with Madrid.

Paulo Bento has since said that he won’t ask for UEFA to open a file on Carvalho.

Meanwhile, Ricardo, in a TV interview with Portuguese media, admitted that he had made a “big mistake” in leaving the training camp without speaking first with the federation.  He explained his reasons for leaving, which had to do with learning that Pepe would start the next game instead of him:  “it was an injustice, because I was working hard, and my teammate [Pepe], who hadn’t trained yet, arrived and was immediately integrated into the starting team.  It’s nothing personal against Pepe; it’s something against the coach… I didn’t feel respected, I felt that I wasn’t needed, which is what I was made to feel like.  I went into the locker room, I changed, I grabbed my bag and I went to the car.  It wasn’t premeditated.  I was furious and I didn’t have the good sense to speak with anyone, which was a big mistake.”

In response to Bento calling him a “deserter,” Carvalho said, “he used military language to call me a deserter.  In the same way, I could call him a mercenary.  When you’re there for money and not for the passion and love you feel towards your country, you’re a mercenary.  I’m with the national team for passion and love.  He’s there because he’s paid to be the coach.”  Despite all this, he added that he hasn’t renounced the national team, and he’s willing to go back if they want to count on him.

Carvalho also said he’s spoken with Mou and other people from Madrid about this, and they have supported him and told him that he’ll always be their number one.

15 Comments leave one →
  1. Sam permalink
    September 4, 2011 15:15

    Granero-centric is more than okay with me! Thanks for all the news Una 🙂

  2. Sarah, Madrid permalink
    September 4, 2011 15:33

    Castilla were intense, no?
    Oh thank you Una for the Camp’s comment made me fall from the chair laughing, no nothing can be as bad as Camp’s, that’s mean haha, but funny!

    Pirata!! How can we meet him?!!…I want stalk him NOW and I love that this post because IT IS ABOUT HIM, we dont see much of him + this picture with previous canteranos aand Albiol is just so lovely!!!

    Poor Benz, I love how cool headed this guy is!! I kind love when our boys stand out in their NT in term of being great footballers and HOTNESS!!…

    and Caravalho, I think he overracted though and isn’t Pepe a starter in Portugal? it doesnt make sense to me, it is nice to see that Mou is assuring his spot, although the players keep repeating again and again, that no-one has secured a place in starting XI in real madrid, no?

  3. Ros permalink
    September 4, 2011 15:40

    Thanks for the updates. I don’t mind a Granero centric post every now and again.

    I was really sad to hear about the Portuguese team issues, and hope they can be resolved quickly, and without Madrid losing Ricardo Carvalho for the champions league games.

  4. September 4, 2011 16:15

    Mourinho is a very good manager, he work with a great team.

  5. Sam permalink
    September 4, 2011 16:15

    Just as a correction…Carvalho didn’t leave “training camp on Wednesday, supposedly after a conversation with his coach in which he was told he wouldn’t be starting their next game”.There was no conversation, he left after deducing from Pepe joining the starting team while he was with the other group that he wouldn’t be a starter in their next game. He and Bento pretty much said there was no conversation before to cause him to leave or after he left.

    Oh, and Carvalho needs to get over himself. The only thing that was disrespected here was the Portuguese shirt. If he just plays for the love and passion, then it wouldn’t have killed him to be a sub for one game. Instead, he ran off like a little kid and after that compounded the problem by issuing that ridiculous statement about being disrespected and stating that he quits. Blatant overreaction. Also, he had his chance in defense against Cyprus in their first game and he and the defense (which did not include Pepe, as he didn’t play that game) let in 4 goals. It wasn’t all his fault but maybe Bento wanted to try a different approach this time around and felt Pepe (even though he joined the NT later than others) was the most crucial defender they missed the last time and he would be starting regardless of whether he missed one or two little practices.

    Also, Mou and people in Madrid telling him he will always be their number one is absurd. Hopefully they were just doing so to appease his obviously massive ego, because if he runs into a bad patch of form, what then? Nobody else will be given a chance just because Carvalho might get mad about loosing the number one place you told him he will always have? Crazy.

    • emily permalink
      September 7, 2011 16:50

      I agree with you on several of those points. I felt similarly about him just storming off the field. I came over as a bit childish… These are highly competitive people and I suppose that his fire burns pretty hot inside, to start with, and he perceived an injustice, so that just made him burn hotter. It shouldn’t have happened and he needs to go back and apologize to his teammates, if he hasn’t done so already.

  6. black widow permalink
    September 4, 2011 19:16

    una, i’d love to hear your thoughts on something: do you think granero is not good enough to be on the national team? i find it puzzling. i think he’s top quality, and i know spain is spoilt for choice when it comes to footballers, but i find it strange that his national career stopped at the U21 level. i suppose it’s because he doesn’t get enough playing time with RM (another team spoilt for choice) but i still find it strange he’s never been called up, as far as i can remember (or am i missing something?).

    • unamadridista permalink*
      September 5, 2011 09:21

      It’s like what you said, he doesn’t get enough/consistent playing time with Madrid, and Spain has some very, very talented midfielders already, so trying to break into the team is hard.

      • black widow permalink
        September 5, 2011 17:43

        yeah, that’s what i figured. i feel badly for the guy. on the one hand, i’m sure he loves/respects his international teammates, but on the other hand, i’m sure it must be frustrating/sad to be overlooked to know you’re good, but not quite good enough.

        thanks! 🙂

  7. TuTu permalink
    September 4, 2011 21:25

    (btw on my phone not everything is being shown for some odd reason)

    Congrats to all the boys on NT duty. They are doing awesome. Poor Carvalho but personally if I was him I would not comment on what Bento is saying and just talk to the big guys. In the end of the day everything will come out and he’ll look like the bigger person. I do love the money vs passion comment though. =)

    Karim seems to always be a target of blackmailing (or something awful). No wonder he doesn’t talk or perform on the field…does anyone blame him? When I read his part I freaked out a bit I know I’m “friends” with a Karim Benzema on facebook but it was a fan thing then the person pretended to be him. Now I am not sure if the page still exist since I never go on. It is a pity he had to delete his personal account. (if only we were his selected fb friends….damn it! hahahaha) BUT WOW HOW LOW IS THAT MAN….to use his daughter like that. How disguising! Its funny because last night I saw a post of all this ex/girlfriends I can’t help wondering if it was one of those girls.

  8. Resa permalink
    September 4, 2011 21:43

    I love Esteban-Granero-centric posts *-*
    Good job, una – with all those pictures of our pirata (especially with the ‘Ray Ban’ one) you MADE MY DAY!

  9. Kim permalink
    September 5, 2011 11:22

    You’re awesome! You always make my day 🙂
    Hope to see more of Ozi’s abs!!!!

  10. September 5, 2011 11:42

    Ughh, all this international duty. I’m anxious for Liga to really get rolling! Nice post madridista!

    The quailty matches put in by our internationals shows the confidence brewing from within Real right now.

  11. September 6, 2011 09:03

    Real Madrid will win this year the ‘La LIga ‘ Champinship.

  12. jean permalink
    September 6, 2011 19:46

    It is my hope to meet one of these guys one day.Btw Arbeloa is the twitter king.

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