it’s good to be a madridista
In this post: today’s training session, more cute moments from Tuesday and Wednesday, Sergio Ramos takes us to his favorite restaurants in Camas, former madridistas talk about Saturday’s game, and more!
Real Madrid trained this morning, continuing preparations for this weekend’s game against Málaga. In this session, 27 footballers practiced on the pitch, 18 from the first team and nine from Castilla: Jesús, Carvajal, Casado, Iván, Pablo Gil, Omar, Álex, Jesé and MFC ABMM.
Another half year until we get to see the sleeveless shirts again… sigh…
The players were once again divided into those who had started Tuesday’s game against Lyon, and those who hadn’t played, plus the canteranos. The former group stretched and did laps, while the latter group worked out at a higher intensity.
I love how everyone has their serious face on, but Marcelo is off to the side laughing.
Meanwhile, thrown together by their similar situations, Nuri Sahin and Raúl Albiol seemed to be developing an adorable friendship, as they jogged and kicked the ball around. Fábio Coentrão worked out in the gym and Carvalho and Lass continued with their recovery work.
A couple more scenes from Wednesday’s training session – Sergio hugging Pipita, and Marcelo teasing MFC Álvaro Borja Morata Martín – and of course, the other canterano cheerleader, Pepe, was also on the scene.
As mentioned in yesterday’s post, several of the walking wounded were also out on the field. I guess Sami Khedira and Raúl Albiol can commiserate with each other, because they both probably have pain and swelling in their left forehead/eye area.
A couple more moments from Tuesday’s game. Prior to the game, we had MFC Álvaro Borja Morata Martín strolling along the Concha Espina, like any of the other 70,000 or so fans who showed up for the game. And after the game, we had one of Lyon’s players tripping over Karim’s luggage in the mixed zone, which earned him a smile from Karim.
In an interview with AS the day after his brilliant game, Karim Benzema said about the game, “I’m super happy for having scored the goal and for having given the assist, not because I did well, but because it was an important game for Madrid. On the personal level, I had a lot of desire to return and compete because I spent 22 days without playing a game. Physically, I’m in shape.” Karim also admitted that it hurt a little to beat Lyon because “they’re my former teammates, but in football, once you’re on the field, friends don’t exist anymore. I’m conscious that they suffered a lot.” Awww, sensitive Karim! And with regards to the Benzema vs. Higuaín debate, he said it doesn’t worry him in the least, that he’s very tranquil, that when Higuaín scores three goals he thinks it’s great for the team, and that “in reality, my little brother is the one who most needles me about the Higuaín-Benzema debate.” As for the next game, Karim says they’re going to win, and that he’s looking forward to seeing his friend Jérémy Toulalan.
Liga BBVA asked Sergio about his favorite places to eat in his hometown of Camas, and this was the result.
Narrator: welcome to Camas, Sevilla, where a world champion grew up. A family-oriented man with three great passions: football, bullfighting and his loved ones. A crack who does not forget where he came from.
SR: when we have a couple of days off, I like to go to Sevilla, to the countryside, to disconnect there alongside the animals that I have.
N: Sergio Ramos walks along these streets as often as he can. He exchanged the laid back life of Camas for the hustle and bustle of Madrid. The sevillano does not regret it.
SR: you give up many things, but I believe that when you represent a club like Real Madrid, you need to be conscious of what it symbolizes. There are always thousands of eyes upon you, following your every move.
N: when he returns to his hometown of Camas, he never fails to visit the Rincón de Paco.
SR: we always go to that restaurant to eat, because they’re practically family, since we’ve been going there for so many years. I always like to go there.
N: the restaurant has a photo of Sergio as a world champion.
FDLR: he gave that to us when he won the World Cup, he came here one day to eat with his family and he gave that to us. It’s a great souvenir. He’s a great kid, and marvelous as a professional and as a person.
N: La Santina is another of his favorite places. There, the passion for bullfighting and football unite under the sun of Sevilla.
SR: I’ve been going there since I was a kid, both with my father and with my grandfather; we would spend time there instead of at home. Many well-known figures in the world of bullfighting, as well as footballers from Sevilla or Betis, can be found at the bar there. And the food there is excellent, I’m not saying that because it’s in Camas or because my friend runs it, but the food really is amazing.
N: there, everyone believed that Sergio would become a bullfighter.
LMG: Bullfighting has always been so entrenched in Camas, so it’s normal that there’s bit of a bullfighter in him.
N: this is Sergio Ramos: humble, simple, a crack.
Looking ahead to Saturday’s game against Málaga, in his press conference yesterday, Ruud van Nistelrooy was asked if it was special for him to be playing against Madrid. He responded, “it’s a special game for us, and even more so for those who played in Madrid. Madrid is playing well lately, in the last few games they’ve scored many goals, so it’s a great challenge for us. Casillas? He’s a great person and I worked very well with him.”
As to whether he would celebrate if he scores against Madrid, Van Nistelrooy said, “No. I don’t believe so, but I’m not thinking about that. The important thing for me is to prepare well for the game.”
As for Julio Baptista, he told AS in an interview that out of Madrid’s current team, he’s in contact “with Kaká. I also speak to Sergio Ramos and sometimes with Marcelo” (Julio and Sergio played together with Sevilla, and moved to Real Madrid in the same year, 2005). When asked whether they joke around, Julio laughed and responded, “I’ve sent Kaká some messages. And to Iker, who is a great person. I won against Real Madrid in the Bernabéu with Sevilla. There was also a 2-2 game… Sergio Ramos scored a goal and I scored the other, a header. And Real Madrid didn’t win the Liga that year…” [perhaps that’s why Madrid decided to avail themselves of Sergio and Julio’s services, no?] And in response to the talk that Roberto Carlos wants to bring him and Neymar to Anzhi, Julio said, “it’s because he loves me like a brother…” Málaga has said that Baptista may not make it to this game, as he has an injured right foot.
Want more nostalgia? Zinedine Zidane, in an interview with RTL, spoke about the possibility of PSG contracting the services of David Beckham: “it’s good. There are always worries about his age, but he’s a great professional, one who sacrifices for the team and always fights. I adore football, although I wouldn’t be happy if he goes to PSG, because I’m a fan of Olympique de Marseille. Before I got to know him, I had the same impression of him as everyone else, the one that the media transmitted, but then I saw during the three years where we shared a locker room that he was a great person, someone who didn’t mind assuming his errors.”
The vintage pictures are great, no?