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Iker’s anniversary & other news

September 12, 2011

The web site provided some lovely vintage photos (saves me from digging into my own collection) and I was as excited to see some of our former players as I was baby Iker with the chubby face of a 14-year-old, the inability to grow a beard and a full head of hair.  Alberto Rivera!  Pre-Pig Noise Álvaro Benito!  Tote!!!!  That golf cart!  That Liga!  Wow, I’m almost at the Javi (!!!)-level with the exclamation marks!

Iker celebrates the 12th anniversary of his debut with Real Madrid today!  (It should be a holiday for all madridistas.)   On Sept. 12, 1999, he made his debut at San Mamés, about nine years after he joined Real Madrid (July 1, 1990), the only team he has ever played for.  Iker was only 17 that day, and playing at one of the toughest stadiums in the Liga, but he exhibited those qualities that many years later, converted him into the best goalkeeper in the world, and captain of both club and country.

Figo!  Rulo!  Savio!  El Moro!!!!  Roberto Carlos!!

On that day in Bilbao, Iker had the support of captain Fernando Hierro, who took the goal kicks during the game to take some pressure off of Iker.  The game ended in a 2-2 tie, but he turned in a great performance and helped his team to earn a point.  Later on, he would say, “that’s the strongest football memory I have up until now.  I went from playing in Segunda B with Real Madrid C to playing in San Mamés.  Imagine the change: from three journalists to 50, from 1,500 spectators to 50,000… it was a brutal change.”  Now, 576 games later with Real Madrid (422 in the Liga), he’s ranked sixth on the club’s all time games played list, and only six from overtaking the legendary Paco Gento.

Raúl Bravo.  Not exciting.

Iker reflected on this day today on his FB: “well, 12 years ago today, I debuted with Real Madrid.  I have thousands of memories from that day, thousands of wonderful moments, but the most important thing is that that day was the beginning.  I remember that when I got on the bus to go to Bilbao the day before, Toshack asked me how I was.  I told him I was good.  And he responded, “that’s great, because you’re playing tomorrow.”  And I took a deep breath… it’s been 12 years.  It’s too soon to say, but a lot has happened since then… and hopefully things will continue happening.  Thank you all for your wishes!!!!”

¡¡¡¡¡MIGUEL!!!!!  One of the few men that can make me overlook the thumbs up.

Real Madrid TV has also prepared several special programs celebrating this date, and hopefully they’ll make them available online so you all can watch them.

Madrid continued preparing for its Champions League debut on Monday, with a morning training session.  Those 10 field players who had started against Getafe had a less intensive workout on Campo 2, while the reserves had a more normal, high intensity workout on Campo 3.  The latter group was joined by the canteranos Jesé, Pablo Gil, Merchán and Raúl Ruiz, all of whom had not been called up for Castilla’s game against Coruxo yesterday (which ended in a 1-1 tie after Castilla unfortunately conceded a goal in injury time).  The goalkeepers did their special exercises on Campo 4, while Kaká worked out by himself to recover from the blow he suffered on Saturday.  The players trained with the Champions League ball, to get used to it.

AS reports that although Dinamo has reserved a space for José Mourinho in the presidential box for their upcoming CL game against Madrid, Mou has decided to watch the game from his hotel (remember, he’ll be serving the second game of UEFA’s mandated four-game suspension for his comments after the first leg semifinal game against Barcelona).  By staying in the hotel (the team will be bunking down at the Hotel Regent Esplanade), Mou will have the possibility of communicating with his staff via phone or iPad.  Aitor Karanka will also be giving the press conferences before and after the game.

In an interview with AS, Karim Benzema was asked why he, Cristiano and Mesut Özil have such good chemistry.  His response:  “you must know that the three of us are friends off the field, and this helps when we play together.”

And here’s a fun moment prior to the Madrid-Getafe game, where Adrián Colunga pointed out – and rightly so – that Dani Güiza bears more than a passing resemblance to Hamit Altintop.  He did spend a couple of years in Turkey!  And how sad is it that this is the closest we’ve been to seeing Altintop at the Bernabéu this season?

11 Comments leave one →
  1. Sarah, Madrid permalink
    September 12, 2011 14:52

    *whip tears*….Iker spent 12 years with us in first team, I quite wonder if players made anything specail for him in the training session, no?….

    I will always remember his debut and the fact he always wear his emotions on his sleeve, just brust into tears with every win, who can ever forget his SUPPPPPPPPER sub in 2002, where he took over the defense in screaming and letting everyone know who is the boss in just 21 years old. Iker will always be the best GK in history for me and I hope for the another 12 years to come.

    and EL MOROOOO!!!!!! MIGUEL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. September 12, 2011 17:01

    Tears in my eyes right now. So proud to have been crushing on this wonderful man for over a decade. :’P

  3. September 12, 2011 19:28

    omg that picture of Iker and miguel <3_________<3

    and i demand another 12 years of Iker in various vegetable/fruits jerseys screaming at his defenders, ugh i love my capitan so much :''3

  4. Pipita permalink
    September 12, 2011 19:41

    Una, that’s not Raul Bravo, it’s Cambiasso. Your mind it’s playing tricks on you! 🙂

    Great job with the blog as always. Keep it up!

    • unamadridista permalink*
      September 13, 2011 14:07

      You’re right, it’s because I meant to put this photo, not the other one. I’ll go change it…

    • Sarah, Madrid permalink
      September 13, 2011 14:16

      lol! I was wondering the same too, Raul Bravo!!..surely is so much missed 😛

  5. Alyssa permalink
    September 13, 2011 04:37

    Awww he looks so uncomfortable in a suit in that photo with Figo. Now he just oozes class and sex. I appreciate the change hehe. Otherwise, it’s incredible how little he’s changed. He still gets that little boy look when he’s excited. I love it so much…and him :). Hala Iker! ❤

    ps. Is his thumbs up just so epic in that photo that his pinky shot out too? haha

  6. black widow permalink
    September 13, 2011 07:34

    feliz aniversario, mi amor!

  7. Hazel permalink
    September 13, 2011 15:49

    Good thing Miguel Torres can make you ignore the thumbs up. Iker’s thumb + pinky sign is just cringeworthy! 😀

    Una, if you don’t mind me asking, how old are you? I’m just curious since you seem to know so many players and you’re familiar with so many things RM-related. I understand if you don’t reply as it’s not exactly polite to ask, but I’m just really curious. For the record, I imagine you to be around 23 or so. But then you seem to know SO much! 🙂

    • unamadridista permalink*
      September 14, 2011 12:11

      I’m a bit older than 23, it’s just that I’ve been a Madrid fan for a long time.

  8. SunnyK permalink
    September 14, 2011 02:32

    Iker is the first player whose career I’ve been following since the start and I wish him 12 more happy years at Real Madrid!

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