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it’s time for school portraits again!

September 9, 2011

These boys really are boys, if Thursday’s photo session and training session are used to evaluate them. I didn’t think anything could top last year’s session, with the faces, the sneezing and the “assists,” but it did. Anyway, both the photo and training sessions are covered in this post, along with a Cristiano interview and some things about the Madrid-Getafe relationship!

The photo session

On Thursday, the team posed for this season’s official photos (let’s hope this was the first and last time for this season, as we can all remember how the photos needed to be retaken in the middle of past seasons, whether it was due to a change in the coach or the president…). Included in the official foto de familia were the 23 first team players, the coaching staff, president Florentino Pérez, honorary president Alfredo di Stéfano and the football director of the team, Zinedine Zidane. I love how the players joked around, with Esteban Granero patting Kaká’s face, and then making him into a temporary pirate, as well as Pipita holding up two fingers, with Mesut correcting him into the four favored by Sergio Ramos! I wonder if Sergio spent some extra time on his hair these past few days, knowing that this session was coming up…

Zizou looks great in his suit, no? And I wonder what was going through Mou’s mind as he watched his 23 chosen ones – probably a job well done, since he got everyone he wanted and got rid of everyone he didn’t want. We also got a glimpse of the three long-term injured players – Khedira, Sahin, Altintop – for the first time in a while (Khedira is not expected to make it to the Getafe game). Prior to the session, the players chatted with Di Stéfano, with Higuaín especially attentive of his compatriot. And I love Iker’s expression below.

The team took individual photos (of course with their thumbs up), a group photo and FP also posed with the captains (Iker, Sergio, Marcelo, Higuaín), the five new signings for this season (Sahin, Callejón, Altintop, Varane, Coentrão) and the five canteranos on the first team (Iker, Granero, Arbeloa, Adán, Callejón – I hate that there’s only one real canterano in the group, as in he didn’t have to leave before he became valued and gets regular playing time).

Plus, we got an overload of The Perfect Profile, from the training session and the photo session!

The training session

Álvaro and Marcelo continued posing after the photo session, while Jesús’ shirt got dirtier…

With only two days to go before the game against Getafe, all of the available players were back at Valdebebas training. Gonzalo Higuaín and Ángel di María joined the group, which included four canteranos: MFC ABMM, Álex, Joselu (who for some reason looked just like Javier Portillo in the training video – anyone else think that?) and Jesús. Those footballers who had played two games with their national teams (the four Spaniards, Benzema and the two Argentines) continued with their recovery work, while the other players exercised at a more intensive rate. The goalkeepers did their own specific work. The team will be back in training this evening.

By the way, I hear that Madrid will be wearing their red kits in their Champions League debut against Dinamo next week! Can’t wait to see how that looks!

Cris speaks to Marca…

Marca spoke to Cris at the premiere of his film the other day, and here are the most interesting parts (i.e. the answers I loved).

on the Ricardo Carvalho drama: I think everyone is allowed to make mistakes. He was wrong, I’ve been wrong, we’ve all made mistakes. Another thing is the relationship between Pepe and Carvalho, which is perfect. I spoke to them on Tuesday and I didn’t see any problems. Everyone saw that the other day. If the two of them didn’t have a correct relationship, it would be a problem for the team. We need all the players to understand each other and to get along well during the season.

on the cantera: Morata is very good. We have the opportunity to work with them once in a while throughout the year and they have a lot of quality. Madrid has a good team for the future, not only Morata, but also Juan Carlos, Jesé… there are five or six boys that can become important in a few years because they have a lot of talent.

on new star German player Mario Götze: I’m sorry, but I don’t know who that is. For me, the best German player right now is Mesut Özil.

on Mourinho: El míster Mourinho is first of all my friend, second of all my coach and third of all a person that I admire, one that I’m happy to get to work with and one from whom I learn things every day.

on Cristiano, the brand: I believe I maintain a good connection between Cristiano the footballer and Cristiano the brand. I never mix the advertising work with my work. If anyone observes me each week during the year, they’ll see that my level is always good and that I’m always a professional. Both these parts of my life are well-integrated. It’s true that I like doing advertisements, that I enjoy these things, but I have it very clear that the priority in my life is football.

on the abuse he gets from rival fans: I try to ignore all the provocations because that’s not football. Those who do these things are not good people. I try to concentrate on my team and on the game, and speak on the field. The truth is, I don’t care what the people say.

Madrid’s site also has Cris saying, “I can’t say I have a best friend on the team, because the relationship with everyone is fantastic. We’re like a family.” I love that Cris is being diplomatic, but we all know that he has a soft spot for Marcelo, Pepe and Kaká, and there’s nothing wrong with that!

Random Madrid & Getafe-related things

I love this quote from Getafe president (and Real Madrid socio) Ángel Torres on “Al primer toque” the other night: “Real Madrid has a more physical potential this season. They have a very direct football, and technically they have very good players. Barcelona plays from memory although after five years there are a lot of people who are beginning to get bored by them. It’s true that they’re in the midst of a very good cycle and that they’ve run over Madrid, but I believe this year, with the reinforcements, Madrid will begin functioning.”

Speaking of Getafe, Peter Lion won’t be able to play against us, but Pablo Sarabia will. They’re just two of the very many players who have made the journey from Madrid to Getafe: Rubén de la Red, Esteban Granero, Jordi Codina, Miguel Torres, Adrián, Roberto Soldado, Dani Parejo, Pedro Mosquera. Only Juanfran Moreno (who signed for Castilla and has debuted with the first team) and now Peter Lion have gone the opposite way.

For more on former Castilla captain, law student and friend of PF Juan Mata Pedro Mosquera, go see this interview Defensa Central did with him. Highlights below:

on missing Real Madrid: yes, you do miss it. Madrid is the club that made me grow as a person and as a footballer. I owe everything to Madrid and I’ll always be grateful. In addition, it’s an incredible club. There aren’t many teams like Madrid and you always miss it.

on a possible return: there is always that option, but I’m very happy with Getafe and I think it will be a lack of respect to think about another club. At the moment I’m happy here but I will never close the doors to anything.

on playing in the Bernabéu: it’s an incredible sensation. I arrived in Madrid when I was 12, and I would pass by the Castellana (the avenue that the stadium is located on) and say, “let’s see if I’ll get to play there one day.” Now I’ve achieved it and it’s a great sensation and a reward for all the hard work.

on the cantera: Morata is a good player, he has an eye for the goal and he’s showing that. Juanfran has a lot of abilities as well. I believe that both of them, if given a chance on the first team, will respond. I have no complaints about the policies towards the canteranos. The club treats their cantera very well. Having opportunities is another thing, because Madrid is a big club and it’s logical that they sign players to respond to the expectations that the fans and the club have. In that sense, if you do well in Castilla, the opportunity will come, but it’s very difficult.

31 Comments leave one →
  1. manie permalink
    September 9, 2011 13:29

    I love CR’s answers in interviews now. He’s grown so much from before but somehow his answers have remained, for the most part at least, pretty interesting. I’m also excited to see the red kit in Zagreb…this might be really dumb of me to ask but do you know Una what color Iker’s kit is?

    • unamadridista permalink*
      September 9, 2011 15:58

      He has black and also yellow.

      • manie permalink
        September 10, 2011 01:59

        Sorry – I meant which color he’ll be wearing with the red kit. It won’t happen (right?) but yellow + red would be THE BEST fruit salad of a team.

        • unamadridista permalink*
          September 11, 2011 11:19

          It already happened with Spain at the 2008 Eurocopa – Iker wore yellow (but more of a pale yellow than the bright yellow of this season’s shirt) and his teammates wore bright red.

  2. September 9, 2011 13:41

    Cuteness overload. There isn’t any other term for this photo shoot.

    Cris: I’m sorry, but I don’t know who that is. For me, the best German player right now is Mesut Özil. – hahahaha I love this! Hearts in my eyes and all that!

  3. Sarah, Madrid permalink
    September 9, 2011 14:20

    We are the hottest, the most adorable club ever! I love Mourinho and Zidane moment when they were looking at the 23 players! I love how Don Stefano always happen to posses this sense of humor to make our players giggle.
    I can’t wait to see the new Roja shirt :p! Yaaay I love that Sarabia will be playing and I might be one of these few fans to be looking forward to him doing great against us!

    • emily permalink
      September 9, 2011 19:55

      I will be sad that there is no Peter Lion. But, Migi Torres will make up for it. Chances are we will see quite a bit of him, too, because RM will be on offense most of the day!! You know, that’s the only problem with watching them on TV now. We are on offense so much, we never get to see San Iker in the picture!
      Sarah, I really enjoy that you come in and talk to us in English. Are you from Spain, or elsewhere?

  4. Gilly permalink
    September 9, 2011 14:38

    Never mind Sergio’s hair, what about the beard? How could he just shave off that sexy thing? Ugh *shakes head* Aside from that, the photo shoot looked fun as usual. They have a great rapport with one another:)

  5. Van za Man permalink
    September 9, 2011 14:45

    Morata is also from Getafe, no?

    • unamadridista permalink*
      September 9, 2011 15:59

      Yes, but I was only talking about players who have debuted with the first teams of both Madrid and Getafe, and he didn’t.

  6. IceX1992 permalink
    September 9, 2011 14:55

    If I am correct Morata was a youth player that played for Getafe to 🙂 but he went to Madrid then

    • unamadridista permalink*
      September 9, 2011 15:59

      Yes, but I wasn’t talking about youth players alone, but rather those who have debuted with the first teams of both Madrid and Getafe.

  7. conflictedinspain permalink
    September 9, 2011 14:59

    Ok, I’m ready for Mesut to get a haircut already. I wonder what his intentions are… Trying to grow it like Sergio’s (who he so obviously favors for fashion selections, etc.)? I miss the longer on top, shorter on the sides ‘do.

    And Cris’ response to the question about Goetze? Priceless. I think he’s trying to win me over.

    • emily permalink
      September 9, 2011 20:04

      Perhaps Mesut is working towards the Gordon Gekko?

  8. Pipita permalink
    September 9, 2011 17:19

    Iker is not the only “real” canterano, Adán is too!!!

    • unamadridista permalink*
      September 10, 2011 15:40

      I don’t count him because he doesn’t get any playing time, and I see him leaving in the future because he’s good enough to be a starter on many teams.

  9. September 9, 2011 17:28

    higuain is really cute with the peace pose!

  10. emily permalink
    September 9, 2011 19:50

    I am going to have to get me one of those red shirts.
    And, yes, oh yes, this is my favorite thing. What an amazingly handsome team…
    Who wants to be Benz and Pepe in those walking and hugging gifs??? *wish wish wish wish wish wish* ^_^

  11. Alyssa permalink
    September 9, 2011 20:08

    Morata must have DIED when he found out that Cris talked mainly about him when asked about the cantera 😛

  12. rojafan permalink
    September 9, 2011 21:02

    Kaka and Granero–too cute. They obviously bonded during the international break!

  13. September 9, 2011 21:20

    Ahhh…these guys are way too cute! Truly boys in men’s bodies!

    Pirata and Kaka are too adorable, especially when Granero makes Kaka into a pirate.

    Xabi’s expression is priceless in the “stationary” picture of Ozil, The Ramos & Pipita. If nothing else, it helps distract us from Pipita’s “thumbs up”. 😐

    I love how Pepe is right in the thick of things, i.e. his pic with Sahin & Altintop. He seems to take it upon himself to make sure everyone feels part of the team. Since it seems that a lot of the “bonding” happens during practice and the concentration, I can see how those that are injured, especially the new guys, might feel a bit distanced from the rest of the squad. Hurry and get better guys!

    I loved Cris’ comment about Ozil. I’m with ya on that one, Cris. And the respect that Cris shows Zidane when he offers to shake his hand is adorable. And people still want to say he’s conceited? I just don’t see it.

    “Barcelona plays from memory although after five years there are a lot of people who are beginning to get bored by them.” hehehe

  14. YouNeverWalkAlone permalink
    September 10, 2011 01:50

    OH my god XD that .gif of Mesut and Hiquain and Sergio XD It’s like they think putting four fingers up is cooler than the two or something XD

  15. Erica permalink
    September 10, 2011 03:29

    Wouldn’t Adan count as a real canterano as well as Iker?

  16. Tasha permalink
    September 10, 2011 03:32

    Sergio, Pipita, and Ozil are such rebels! Instead of giving the photographers a thumbs up they hold up every finger on their hand except for their thumbs. =D

  17. September 10, 2011 06:38

    hehe, look at Xabi judging those thumb-ups of Higuain’s in that picture with Oezil and Sergio! And why does Sergio have 3 fingers up (so he doesn’t have 2 like Pipita or 4 like Oezil?)? The angle in that gif with Coentrao makes him look really cool hehe.

  18. Hala_Madrid permalink
    September 10, 2011 07:20

    I dont know about you guys but Ozil is getting hot. At the beginning when he first arrived to Madrid i didn’t think he was good looking but as the time has passed i’m starting to think he’s cute. Maybe hanging out with CR7 and Ramos has helped him, he’s got a tan long hair hmm.. can’t wait for him to get in a better shape jus like Cris and Ramos 😉

  19. black widow permalink
    September 10, 2011 08:08

    it’s nice that OFC is getting so much praise from the big boys, una! 🙂

    i see the “i. casillas” is here to stay. interesting. does he think we’ll confuse him with unai or something?

    i love the little gif with iker and pepe! speaking of pepe, i thought he was the fourth captain? it’s higuain? did that change? i could have sworn pepe was fourth last year, no?

    • unamadridista permalink*
      September 10, 2011 15:42

      No, it’s been Higuaín since Diarra left.

  20. amouria permalink
    September 10, 2011 10:02

    Una, I am embarrassed to ask the following question, but can’t help it..

    Is it possible that you translate this Q-A from Mou’s press conference yesterday?
    it only appeared in, here:

    ¿Pueden plantar cara el resto de clubes a Barça y Madrid?

    Al Barça no sé, al Madrid todos. Todos nos pueden ganar.

    Many thanks

    • unamadridista permalink*
      September 10, 2011 15:45

      Will the rest of the clubs stand up to Barça and Madrid?

      I don’t know about Barça, but everyone will towards Madrid. All of them can beat us.

  21. Laura permalink
    September 10, 2011 10:07

    I had to laugh so hard about the Mario Götze/ Mesut Özil comment.
    He better inform himself, since Dortmund is playing CL this year, too. And since Nuri left, Mario is definitely their best player.
    Also I hope that Real has to play against them and then I will wonder what Cris will say about the guy he obviously don’t know. =)

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