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les grandes équipes… the Champions!*

September 14, 2011

From blue shirts to red ones!  Madrid will make their Champions League debut tonight against Dinamo Zagreb wearing their new red shirts!  The shirt was not revealed or sold until yesterday, to build up suspense and expectations.  So far, Xabi and Karim look great, and I expect the rest of the team will as well!  (Red is my favorite color, so I’m really excited for Madrid to wear it.)

Here’s all the latest news on the team as it prepares for the debut…

Madrid traveled to Croatia in the early afternoon yesterday.  On the trip to Zagreb, only 18 fans traveled with the team.  And for the first time, the press did not travel with the team, due to a decision made by José Mourinho.  Pipita and Marcelo Sunshine were their usual adorable selves, while Esteban Granero and Xabi were their usual elegant selves.  I like how Esteban is the only one on the bus not looking at his mobile phone or fiddling around with their music.  And what a gentleman FP is, allowing his wife Pitina to take one of the few seats.

Once in Zagreb, Aitor Karanka and Xabi Alonso spoke to the press.

Aitor on the starting XI: we’re still waiting.  It depends on how the players are, those who started the other day and those who didn’t play.  There’s nothing decided about the starting XI.

Xabi on Mourinho’s absence:  Mourinho is involved not only on the day of the game, but also during previous days.  The work that he does during the week in analyzing the rival and preparing the training sessions are to develop the things he wants to see during the game.  That’s what he emphasizes and what we work on that so that his absence during the game won’t be noted.

Xabi on the red jerseys: it appears that we’ll be playing in red and for my past with Liverpool, I have a special affection for that color.  I hope that the history, as it hasn’t brought good results [Madrid has never won and never scored a goal while wearing this color], won’t affect us and we end with a good result tomorrow.  In addition, I’ve already tried on the shirt and I like it.

Yummy Basque men!!!

In Zagreb this morning, the team had a light, 15-minute stretching session on a field next to the stadium where they’ll play tonight.  Mou took advantage of the excursion to inspect the stadium.  El Pirata looked very eager to get started.

Marca reports that Dinamo’s players are fighting over who will get Cristiano’s shirt.  Their Portuguese player Tonel, on condition of his nationality, believes he has an advantage: “I’m going to ask him for it, I believe that I’ll get lucky.  Some friends from Portugal are coming to see me and they would like to meet Ronaldo, so let’s see if I’m lucky and he gives it to me.”  Meanwhile, Luis Ibáñez has his own strategy: “I’ll try and exchange shirts with him, and I’ll ask for help from my friend Higuaín (Ibáñez is Argentine)… but as far as I know, Cristiano rarely exchanges his shirt.  If he doesn’t want to, I’ll exchange mine with Higuaín, Di María… or with Marcelo.”

A different color, the same spirit.

On the subject of the red shirt, FP and El Buitre visited Usain Bolt last night, and gave him the gift of the red shirt.  I wonder if FP’s neck hurt after this meeting.

Madrid also got three of the club legends who had worn it – Zoco, Pirri and Amancio – to get together and talk about it.  Madrid’s best result out of the three times that they had worn this color previously was on March 7, 1973, against Dynamo Kyiv, when they tied 0-0 thanks to a stellar performance from Mariano García Remón (obviously a much better goalkeeper than coach), which earned him the nickname, “El gato de Odessa” (the cat of Odessa).  Zoco said at the end of the game, he took a picture with the hero of the game, the “cat.”  The three of them say that the new shirt is more or less the same as the old one, “the only difference being the material.  Ours was made of cotton and so when you sweat, it was heavier.  The escudo is the same, which is why we we will always love Real Madrid’s shirt.”  I really love the simplicity of the previous one, without any logos or sponsors, just the escudo.  It’s beautiful, no?

In an interview with Madrid’s web site, Juanfran talked about being the second captain and a favorite pastime, among other things (which weren’t as interesting):

on being a heavyweight on the team: I compare this year with my first one and it’s very different.  Now I try to be closer to my teammates and give advice to the younger players.  The truth is I have no complaints, because both on and off the field, my teammates are the best.  There’s a great atmosphere and that’s very important.  I’m very happy in the club and now I have to show that on the field.

on hunting: I like it a lot.  I can’t practice it because of football, but each time that I can, mostly during the summer, I go with my father to hunt, because it allows me to spend as much time with him as possible.

The photographers were merciful.

In sad news, former canterano (with RMC) Capote (Francisco José Lupiáñez Gaitán) suffered a heart attack while trying out for Lucena, which plays in the fourth group of the Segunda B division.  During a training session, he fainted as a consequence of a heart attack.  The quick intervention of the team’s coach, Rafael Carrillo, who gave him mouth to mouth and put in a tracheal tube, probably saved his life.  He was then transported by helicopter to a hospital.  He’s now in the ICU of the Hospital Reina Sofía in Córdoba.  According to EFE, hospital sources have said that he’s sedated, hooked up to a breathing machine and that his condition is serious.  Capote is only 20 years old.

Capote’s former teammates in the cantera are there for him, with many of them tweeting their support and love: Joselu (Capote, we love you, you can handle anything); David Mateos (you’ll make it, you’re strong!); Morata (let’s go Capote, we’re all with you); Fernando Pacheco (a lot of encouragement, brother, we’re all with you and I’m sure you’re going to come out fighting); Álex (a lot of strength for Francisco Capote and his family, we’re with you); Pablo Sarabia (stay strong Capote, we’re all with you!); Jorge Casado (best wishes for Capote and his family, you’ll make it); Dani Carvajal (Capote, stay strong, your teammates and friends are with you, we love you Capo!!!); Denis (everyone with Capo!  We’ll pray for him tonight!); and Nacho (a lot of encouragement for my teammate Capote and his family, I hope he recovers soon).  Also tweeting were his fellow malagueños Dani Pacheco (all the strength in the world for a great friend, Capote.  You’re very strong brother.  You’ll make it out of this) and Recio (I want to send all my support to my friend Capote.  You’re very strong, máquina, and I’m sure you’ll make it, a hug for your entire family).

And Iker just wrote on his FB, “Capote is a boy that was in our cantera from 2005 until this past summer.  Two days ago, he suffered a heart attack while training with Lucena.  In the name of the entire team and our cantera, we send you a lot of encouragement, Capote.  I’m sure you will win this fight.  We’re with you.”

Indeed, ¡ánimo Capote!

Update: Capote has regained consciousness, as he opened his eyes early this morning, much to the surprise of his family and friends.  He had no problems recognizing them, and is in stable condition.  This is great news!!!  Denis, Álex, Mateos and Joselu have tweeted their joy.

* too bad Nuri Sahin won’t be around to hear the anthem tonight, as he loves it so much that it’s his mobile ringtone (and as you can see, he doesn’t have a promising future as a psychic).

15 Comments leave one →
  1. Sarah, Madrid permalink
    September 14, 2011 12:34

    Animosity Capote… reminds me od de le red! I hope he is fine!!

    I love that color red is being talked about in the club as if it make up a big part of our history..:p

    Btw again, Pirata how could I find him! Although xabi, Ramos, higuain..etc were in the picture, he stood out in it, he is out-bossing his boss! I love him……

    Anyway, hala Madrid!!! La decima! I will miss Jose…

    • emily permalink
      September 14, 2011 23:59

      Animosity may not be the right word for what you are trying to say. Animo is the perfect Spanish word, but animosity is negative – it means ‘strong hostility’ in English. Just thought you would like to know! 🙂

      • Sarah, Madrid permalink
        September 15, 2011 17:58

        I was auto-corrected!….:)

  2. Pipita permalink
    September 14, 2011 12:35

    Nice post Una! So sad news about Capote, I hope he´ll make it.

    It´s kinda of funny that you mixed Dani Pacheco with Fernando Pacheco, you just did it when you wrote it down, because it was the right twitter account.

    “I like how Esteban is the only one on the bus not looking at his mobile phone or fiddling around with their music.”

    You forgot Higuaín! 🙂

    • unamadridista permalink*
      September 14, 2011 16:45

      Yes, yes, I made another mistake. I’ve added Dani’s real tweet and amended Fernando’s name.

      • Pipita permalink
        September 15, 2011 13:30

        I thought you would be happy that I’m correcting the mistakes on the blog, and that I say it to you, but it does not look like it, so I will not do it again. Sorry!

        • unamadridista permalink*
          September 15, 2011 16:51

          Oh, my impression was that you were only here to point out mistakes. Since I seem to be wrong, please accept my apologies.

  3. mar permalink
    September 14, 2011 13:06

    lol at the dinamo players for fighting over cris’ shirt! they are like school boys who will go to a trip and see their star!

  4. Jenny permalink
    September 14, 2011 17:04

    A 20 year-old in intensive care after a heart-attack. I feel beside myself with grief.

  5. September 14, 2011 18:01

    first their coach calls Mou his idol, then their goalkeeper say iker is the best in the world and now the dinamo players fighting over cristiano’s jersey xDDD this team is too cute!!!!

  6. shan permalink
    September 14, 2011 23:13

    I like the red a lot. more so than last year’s choice. and seeing Xabi in it brings back lots of good memories.

  7. Alyssa permalink
    September 15, 2011 00:03

    So sad about Capote 😦

    It looks like red really is bad luck. We played terribly today. These boys need to start being the rockstars we all know they are again!

  8. SunnyK permalink
    September 15, 2011 01:57

    Dearest Esteban Really Cute Faced Granero,

    I hate to be the one to tell you this, but your face is about to be devoured by hair! Please consult the proper authorities ASAP!

    I love the pic where all the serial tweeters are most likely checking into 4Square with their current locations!

    • Gabriela permalink
      September 15, 2011 20:49

      lmao I love your comment about Esteban xD

  9. September 15, 2011 12:38

    Oh, red is my favourite colour and also I am a big Liverpool fan, so I could not be happier seeing the shirts;-) and of course, Xabi brings red to another level when he is wearing this colour!

    and wishes of getting better to this boy Capote, 20 years and a heart attack, poor guy, I hope he gets well soon!!!!!

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