a couple of stories
A couple of Real Madrid stories to amuse you in case you’re not interested in international week and are missing the boys…
Iker posted this picture of him and the A-team yesterday, writing, “Raúl, Álvaro and Xabi are in this photo with me… look at Arbeloa, he’s happy because he beat me in the race. But he’s gullible, doesn’t he know that I let him win?”
Spanish radio station COPE reports a very nice story about José Mourinho (it seems that we don’t get enough of those).
As you know, José Mourinho Jr. (aka the luckiest kid in the world) plays as a goalkeeper with CD Canillas, a club based in Madrid with 700 kids, and which is a feeder club to Real Madrid (Zidane and Ronaldo’s kids have played for them). One day, JMJ saw the mother of a teammate crying in the offices, because her family was going through financial difficulties and she didn’t know if she would be able to afford the fees that would allow her son to continue playing. Shortly after, Canillas received a call from Javier García Coll (who works for Madrid and handles issues related to the players), asking for the number of their bank account. It turns out that Mou, once he found out about the situation, had offered to pay out of his own pocket the fees for 10 of the children, which he did last year and has done this year as well. The annual fee per player is around €700-900, which includes the uniforms.
The president of CD Canillas, José Manuel Álvarez, told COPE, “Mou didn’t do it so others could find out, but we wanted everyone to know this side of him.” One of the mothers of a players who benefited from Mou’s generosity, Pilar Pastor, revealed, “he often goes to watch his son train and play, but tries to do so discretely, as he generates a lot of expectation when he comes, the kids go crazy asking him for autographs, and some of the parents as well.”
Those kids also had a chance to write a letter to him. The one from Mousa Touré, an 11-year-old kid from Mali, reads: “Hola Mourinho, I’m Mousa Touré. Although I’m a Chelsea fan, I like Real Madrid, but not too much, and I play in Canillas. I’ve been told that you paid for the uniforms and the fees for the tournament for this year. I wish you luck for next season. And thank you for everything. I hope you read this, goodbye. Mousa Touré.” Álvarez explains that Mousa has been with them since he was eight, that he makes the round trip to training sessions alone by metro from Vallecas, and that he’s a good student.
Meanwhile, the club’s sporting director Rafa Cano said, “just yesterday, (Mou) was acting as the ball boy for a practice game in which his son was playing,” [I imagine it looks like this, below] and that he’s one more father out there. Cano also said that more parents than children ask to be photographed with Mou when they see him there.
The chef of the Portuguese national team, Luis Lavrador, has revealed to Spanish news agency what Cristiano Ronaldo likes to eat. Lavrador explains, “he eats all kinds of food, like the responsible athlete he is, but what he really likes is fish, concretely sea bream, swordfish and sea bass.” The chef says Cris’ tastes are due to his upbringing in Madeira, as he likes many products typical of the islands, such as fruits, which Cris likes to eat in the form of natural pear, apple or pineapple juices. He also says that Cris doesn’t like sweets. In his 15 years as head chef of the Portuguese national team, Lavrador says that Cristiano, Luis Figo and Deco were the ones most concerned about what they eat.
Speaking of Cris, he’s gotten over the pain in his right hip and is now able to participate 100 percent in the training sessions of his national team.
And in madridista news, meet Pedro Gil. He’s the captain of the Spanish roller hockey national team, the most titled Spanish national team in history, and with them he’s won five World Cups and four European titles. Pedro is Catalan (born in San Sadurní de Noya, Barcelona, though his family comes from Andalucía), and says he feels Spanish. When the national team won their World Cup title last week, he was the only one out there with a Spanish flag. He says, “they think I’m the one who’s making a mistake, that since I’m from there, I have to be Catalan. But Spain is first, because Cataluña is part of Spain, whether you like it or not.”
And to make things worse from the perspective of the people there, Pedro is a madridista – “from the time I was small” – and has a tattoo of the club’s escudo on his left biceps (see it?), which he kisses each time he scores. He says of Mou, “he’s shown that he’s a great coach and he’s going to show that in Madrid as well,” and he also likes Cristiano.
On Wednesday, Pedro received the Sports Merit Gold Medal, just like the players on the Spanish World Cup winning football team (including our Arbeloa, Albiol, Xabi and Sergio; Iker didn’t receive one because he already has one). He was a bit upset at the ceremony though, because he wasn’t able to meet any of the footballers.
But he’ll get a chance soon, as Madrid has invited him to take the honorary kick-off before a game. It was originally scheduled to happen before the Betis game, but Pedro has to play a club game (he plays in Portugal), so they’ll reschedule. When asked who called him, Pedro responds, “I don’t know, I was so nervous that I didn’t even remember to ask their name.”
Meanwhile, the team trained again on Thursday morning. Kaká, Lass, El Pirata, Adán and Callejón joined forces with Raúl Ruiz, Óscar Plano, Kamal, Lucas, Pablo Gil and Mandi to take on Castilla, which meant that José Mourinho and Alberto Toril were both present. Jesús, Carvajal, Iván González, Nacho, Casado, Álex, Omar, Juanfran, Jesé, Joselu and MFC Álvaro Borja Morata Martín played for Castilla. This meant that there were only two players out there who weren’t canteranos. I like that!!! Meanwhile, the injured five (no need to list them out, right?) continued with their recovery work.