ICYMI – the Madrid edition
In case you missed it – Real Madrid vs. Getafe [2011-09-10, Liga jornada 3, 4-2].
Despite not looking as great as they had two weeks ago against Zaragoza, Madrid beat crosstown rival Getafe in their Liga home debut, thanks to our forwards, with Karim Benzema scoring a double and Cris (despite the dubious penalty call) and Pipita (who needed just one minute or so to get into the game) chipping in a goal each. With that said…
ONE. … was Iker sporting a mustache????? Now I like the clean-shaven look, and I got used to the beard, but I don’t think I like the mustache. Luckily, Iker didn’t seem used to it either… hopefully it will be gone soon, because it looks like a villain mustache, and it’s ruining The Perfect Profile.
TWO. Once again, the minutes before the game provided us with some adorable moments. As Pipita walked out of the tunnel to the bench, he played around with his towel. And Cris had a fun time warming up.
THREE. Moments from the goal celebrations. José Mourinho celebrated Madrid’s third goal by going to congratulate Cristiano, who had provided the assist that ended in a goal for Benzema, as Cris was on his sideline and Karim all the way on the other side of the field. The two of them hugged before the rest of the players approached to celebrate with Cris as well. And of course, Cris dedicated his goal to Cris Junior, who was at the stadium with grandma Dolores and (future stepmother?) Irina.
I love how tight the hug is!
Is this Cris-Ricky celebration a new thing?
FOUR. I like how this moment prior to the start of the game and this other moment of the players waiting for a corner kick look almost like choreographed dances.
FIVE. I also love how intensely Cris lives these games. He plays with so much passion, no?
SIX. Esteban Granero, aka Xabi-in-training, didn’t get a lot of playing time, but he did manage to give us some poses in the five or so minutes he was out there on the field. A mini-Xabi indeed.
SEVEN. A couple of random moments that I liked – Sergio running his ass off, almost literally, and Iker warming up before the game, allowing us to appreciate how bright his kit really is.
EIGHT. Cris was unable to score off of a chilena, but he did look spectacular trying, no?
NINE. Fun gestures from our players and coach. It must be a Portuguese thing. And I like how Carvalho has his hands positioned as if he were praying, and then he dropped to his knees, making it look like he was continuing with the prayer.
TEN. The camera persons were kind to us, panning up Cris and Xabi’s bodies.
ELEVEN. And Mesut was kind to us too. I wonder if he and Karim have exchanged ab exercise tips?
TWELVE. The moments after the game are precious too. First we had Iker and Miguel Torres – both of whom had removed their shirts and were unfortunately wearing another layer – chatting as they headed to the tunnels. And Sergio applauded la afición and winked at one of the referees. Only Sergio.
THIRTEEN. Speaking of Miguel Torres, here are a few shots of that extremely handsome man and canterano. He hugged a few of his former teammates before the game, but there were just four of them (Iker, Sergio, Pepe, Marcelo) which shows how hard it is to stay on Real Madrid.
FOURTEEN. The Xabi Alonso pose section.™
Poor Xabi, he hurt his right ankle midway through the first half, but it did give us some nice close-ups, allowing us to learn how to remove a boot with class and how to grimace elegantly.
Some of Xabi’s other poses during the game…
I love how he always pulls at his shirt while putting his hands on his hips.
FIFTEEN. After the game, Karim Benzema told the media, “I’m 100 percent. I have a lot of confidence in myself. Mourinho and the president also have confidence in me and that helps me.” He also praised Higuaín, saying, “he was great. The two of us always want to score and help the team.”
Meanwhile, Iker, just two days away from the 12th anniversary of his debut with the first team, said, “it’s almost been 12 years since my first game. I was 18 years old and quite nervous. That day, I laid the first stone for the foundation that has brought me to where I am today. With the passing of time, I’ve become more responsible and mature. It’s true that when you look back, you realize what you’ve gone through is great. I hope there are still many titles to come. I will always remember Sept. 12.”
And Pablo Sarabia spoke about his return to the Bernabéu: “the day that I debuted, these fans were here and I remembered that.” After the game, he chatted with Aitor Karanka and greeted Chendo, while Xabi did his runway walk off the field.
SIXTEEN. The Mou corner.
In his press conference, Mou said he wasn’t satisfied with how his team played: “today I’m not happy with the team, I didn’t like it. Although we deserved to win, I didn’t like it. Our rival scored two goals and could have scored three or four. Getafe was very well-organized and they made the game difficult for us. We didn’t play well, so we have to think about why not.” Mou knew this, because “I know they studied us well, because I heard Luis García’s instructions for his players during the game.”
Mou also admitted that the penalty was not a penalty: “it’s not a penalty, that’s a fact. It was a clear foul, because Cristiano doesn’t dive like others, especially when he had already gotten a yellow card; it’s not a penalty. The penalty resulted in a score of 2-1, but it arrived when we were dominating the game and goals would have come in some way or another, but speaking of the penalty, I have to say that it wasn’t a penalty.” Will he be sanctioned for doubting the referee?
He also spoke about how the Liga is not easy at all, despite the picture the media want to paint: “I have to think about what happened here and why we played like that. We’re going to have some games where we only have two days to prepare and this can’t happen again in the future. The problem is that we’re inundated with written and spoken information and opinions about how the games are easy in the Liga. If I coached Getafe or Levante, I wouldn’t like for anyone to say how there is so much difference between the two teams on top and the rest, because the coaches are professionals and the players are as well and they prepare for the games to win them.”
Karim Benzema came in for some praise: “he’s good. He’s transformed himself and the merits are his own, with a bit of help from me and from Zidane, and possibly also Blanc. He has a fantastic attitude and people can see that… After that, Higuaín came in, and also scored. I have two great center forwards.”
Meanwhile, Luis García, in a José Mourinho-esque move, got himself thrown out of the game in the 85th minute for criticizing the refereeing. He later said this about his expulsion: “the truth is you can’t say anything, you can’t say anything to the referees, because the only thing I said was that Güiza was fouled and even Mourinho went up to them and told them I hadn’t said anything” [Mou told the referees, “why did you expel him, if he didn’t do anything?” Mou of course has plenty of experience with this]. However, this is what the head referee wrote in his report: “Luis García was sent off for the following reason: he shouted, ‘what refereeing, this is embarrassing!’ while making gestures of disagreement with the refereeing, even after he had been warned by the fourth referee to stop.” Now he can go commiserate with Mou.
SEVENTEEN. Other game notes.
– the first ovation of the night came when the scoreboard flashed the 2-2 tie between Real Sociedad and Barcelona. Then José Mourinho got one several minutes into the game, along with the chanting of his name. Silence descended when Xabi Alonso had to receive treatment to his right ankle, as everyone knows how important he is, and when he walked off the field with the doctors, he got an ovation. Özil also received applause for his part in the first goal of the game (that was some beautiful passing, no?). And of course, the goalscorers were also lauded.
– Peter Lion watched the game from the tunnel. Speaking of the tunnel, I think this little gate looks very tacky and out of place! I understand that Madrid received a lot of money from Emirates to advertise them, but there is such a thing as too much, because everywhere you looked in the stadium, it was Emirates this and Emirates that. And this just looked silly.
– one of the items on the agenda during the assembly of socios at the end of this month (Sept. 25) is a proposal on the renovation of the Bernabéu. The plan is to build two new plazas, one along the Castellana and the other on the corner of Concha Espina and Padre Damián, as well as a new private underground parking lot under the Castellana. But that’s not all, because the stadium will also get a new façade, all the seats will have a roof over them, and solar panels will be installed to make the stadium green.
The extra land for this project comes as a result of an exchange between the government of Madrid and Real Madrid. Madrid had received a parcel of land in Las Tablas (in the north of Madrid) as part of the agreement to sell their old Ciudad Deportiva to the government. However, that land was subsequently designated as public, and so it wasn’t possible for Madrid to own it. The government gave them instead a parcel of land between the Castellana, Rafael Salgado and Concha Espina, right next to their stadium; another in Carabanchel, whose development will finance the new roof of the stadium; and a third in Valdebebas, which the club will use, as it’s located very close to their new Ciudad Deportiva.
To me, it looks like the stadium got wrapped in plastic, you know, like those machines they have at airports that wrap your suitcase in layers and layers of plastic wrap.
EIGHTEEN. Today’s training session.
The team was back in training on Sunday morning, as they are making their Champions League debut this week. Sami Khedira (¡por fin!) rejoined the group, and trained with those players who didn’t get any or many minutes yesterday: Callejón, the twins, Lass, Higuaín, Granero and Varane. Those who started the game had a light recovery session, while Kaká stayed indoors recovering from a blow he received against Getafe.
NINETEEN. The Castilla update.
Castilla, meanwhile, is playing Coruxo at 17h on Sunday. Alberto Toril has Pedro Mendes, Nacho and Denis back from international duty, as well as Isaac, as Jesús was called up with the first team. Sixteen players were called up for the game, with Zamora and Ríos left out due to injury and Merchán, Pablo Gil, Raúl Ruiz and Jesé due to the coach’s decision. This is a bit of homecoming for Joselu, as he’s from Galicia (despite being born in Germany), his youth team is Celta de Vigo, and he even made his professional debut with them (in the second division).
As the team drove to Vigo to take on Coruxo, a very long drive, they spent their time tweeting, and also setting up Joselu on twitter! One of his first tweets was to Denis: “this is complicated… the great Cheryshev is helping me to program this.” Once he got the hang of it, he managed to tweet a photo of him and Denis listening to music.
Jorge Casado advised everyone to follow Joselu: “at last my brother Joselu is on twitter! It’s about time! Follow him!!! A great footballer, a better person.” Juan Carlos, despite moving away, also got involved: “my little brother Joselu is here! I love you.” Juan Carlos also tweeted that “I’m missing the great Jorge Casado” which prompted Jorge to tweet back, “I do miss you, I think about you a lot.”
Meanwhile, Denis tweeted this photo of “Giorgio” Casado, his neighbor on the bus, and Jorge returned the favor, saying, “he’s not talking, he’s posing” regarding this picture. MFC tweeted that he was next to Álex and provided proof.
Álex was tweeting as well, wishing Pablo Sarabia luck against Madrid, and saying that Dani Carvajal is “for me, the future of Real Madrid.” Once in Vigo, we found out that MFC was rooming with Jorge Casado and Joselu with Óscar Plano. P.S. Denis also called MFC ABMM “the Killer of Castilla.”