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race car drivers for a day

October 21, 2011

Remember those days when Iker Casillas drove a silver PT Cruiser with stuffed animals in the back?  For the last several years, however, he’s been driving an Audi, among other things, as the German automaker has sponsored the team since 2003 (Iker is the only player to date back to before that time) and allowing its players free use of their cars, giving them a new model each year.  On Thursday, Audi planned a fun afternoon of karts at the Carlos Sainz Center and also presented this year’s cars to the players.

You could tell that it was going to be a good day, despite the thumbs-up and Iker’s plaid shirt, because look at Kaká in the back and what he’s doing to Antonio and José!

All 23 of the players were present for the event, as was FP, but José Mourinho was a notable absence, probably because it wouldn’t make him happy to see his players like this.  Prior to the start of the race, the players posed together, in their racing outfits (specially made for this occasion; Álvaro Arbeloa’s read “Vareta Fly” instead of his last name like most of the others) and with their personalized helmets (the karts were personalized as well with their names and numbers).  Some (Higuaín, Altintop) decided to pose with their helmets on, while others held them or set them on the ground.  Several had their safety glasses on as well.  I like the suits!  They remind me of men going off onto a mission in space!  They all look pretty hot in them, but some of their shoes did not go well at all.

Of course, there had to be hijinks during the foto de familia.  Iker would not let go of Kaká’s ear, while Kaká could not stop hitting Pipita’s helmet.  Gonzalo did the same with Altintop.

Fifteen of the players participated in the karts race.  Carvalho, Albiol, Coentrão, Khedira, Altintop, Higuaín, Lass and Sahin sat the race out, apparently due to advice from the team’s doctors.

The participants were divided into two groups in the qualifying race: Spaniards and foreigners.  In the group of Spaniards, the result was the following: Granero, Callejón, Sergio, Arbeloa, Adán, Iker and Xabi.  For the foreigners, the classification looked like this: Benzema, Marcelo, Di María, Pepe, Özil, Kaká, Cris and Varane.  The top 10 finishers advanced to the final.

Of course, our boys were in a good mood during the event.  Arbeloa accused Sergio of acting like Lewis Hamilton, while Iker scolded Granero and Sergio for going too fast (ah, Grandpa Iker).  Iker finished near last place, in part because “speed scares me,” as he confessed to Antonio Lobato, who provides commentary for F1 races and presented the event yesterday, before the race.  He also said Arbeloa and Adán colluded to get him stuck.  On his Facebook, he also compared Marcelo to Massa, called Arbeloa and Sergio “Fernando Alonso’s distant cousins” and made fun of Arbeloa for not finishing in the overall top five.  I would have thought that Iker would be better, since kart racing was part of the 2008 edition of the Iker vs. Rafa charity event (back then, the karts were also supplied by Carlos Sainz).

Several other moments: Callejón overtaking Sergio, Xabi zooming off by himself (I always imagined he would drive like this, with just one hand on the wheel, the other placed elegantly by his side), and Cris complaining to Carlos Sainz after he missed out on a spot in the final (by the way, Carlos Sainz is a renowned madridista, and he even ran for club president once).

Xabi ended up last due to a problem with the motor of his kart.  He complained, “I have the bad luck of Alonso this year,” which made Carlos Sainz laugh (Fernando Alonso also had problems with his car throughout this past F1 season).  Xabi also tweeted, “Alonso had technical problems with the kart.”

Meanwhile, Rafa Varane crashed into a wall while trying to make a curve (by the way, he doesn’t have a driver’s license), Ángel did the same, and Pepe made some dangerous maneuvers.  Karim won the “foreigners” race and Pipita applauded him.

The final race had Granero in pole position, with the rest of the grid made up of Benzema, Ramos, Marcelo, Pepe, Adán, Arbeloa, Callejón and Di María.  Mesut had earned a place in the final, but decided not to race.  Karim, who started fourth, managed to take the lead with the help of Marcelo and led the race until the fifth lap, during which Esteban sped ahead of him.  Several more laps later, Esteban Granero was the big winner, beating the favorite Karim Benzema, who finished second.  Who would have thought that Karim would place so high, given his penchant for crashing cars?  Sergio was third.   Arbeloa, who hates losing, tweeted, “I had an incident in which I was forced off the course.  I hope it’s investigated by the authorities…”

Look who set a day record for the course!

Meanwhile, Khedira, Altintop, Sahin and Mes must have been bored watching their teammates race around (save the first race when Mesut participated), so they tweeted and posted things to Facebook instead.  Iker did the same, after his glorious run.

Iker also shot this adorable video with El Pirata and Pipita, where he took on the duties usually carried out by his girlfriend, Sara Carbonero.

IC: What are you feeling right now?

EG: Well, qualifying was really easy, and now well… I think it will be just as easy now and I’m going to win.

IC: You think you’ll win?

EG: I think I’ll win.

IC:  By cheating as you did before, no?  Bumping into people from behind…

EG:  No, no, no… Losers always call those who did better cheaters.

[Esteban and Gonzalo talk, but the background noise is too loud.]

P: I have a lot of money bet on you!

IC: Done?

P:  You’re the one asking questions!  You’re really boring…

IC:  No, it’s that this is going on to Facebook.

P:  ¡Métele onda!  On Facebook… Iker, you’re boring.

After that, the boys received their Audi cars for this year.  FP spoke a few words at this time, during which the boys fidgeted and looked bored, both those who could understand what FP was saying, and those who didn’t.  Raúl Albiol was the first to receive his car, and Iker the last, so the boys were also impatient while waiting their turn.  José Mourinho also got a car, despite not being present at the event.  All the players went home in their new cars, with the exception of Varane, who had to get someone to drive his, as he doesn’t have his license yet.  This of course earned him applause from his teammates.  And the boys are such good car models, no?

The Marcelo show.  Marcelo looked really excited to be driving, and when Pepe leapt into the air on the way to collect his car, like he had just won the car in a contest, Marcelino collapsed laughing.  He’s adorable in so many ways!  And it doesn’t matter what he’s doing, he’s just full of sunshine.

Look at that expression!

With regards to the cars, Cristiano Ronaldo chose the most expensive one, an R8 Spyder, worth €186,000.

Sergio’s was the second most expensive, an S5 Coupe with a price tag of €85,900, while Mou’s blue A8 normally sells for €75,000-83,000.  Álvaro Arbeloa chose the cheapest car, a Q3 worth “only” €42,475.  The most popular car was once again the Q7, with over half of the team selecting that model.  Sergio and Iker were the last two to get their cars.  Sergio did a runway walk to the car, while Iker had to collect his co-pilot, his purse, before he could leave.

Here is the list of cars and players.

Q7: Albiol, Adán, Callejón, Sahin, Pepe, Di María, Altintop, Kaká, Coentrão, Khedira, Carvalho, Iker.

Q5: Higuaín.

Q3: Arbeloa.

A8: Mou.

A7: Granero, Lass, Marcelo, Xabi.

A5 Sportback: Varane.

S3 Sportback: Benzema.

S5 Coupe: Sergio.

RS5: Özil.

R8 Spyder: Cris.

A couple more observations: look how much the helmet flattened Marcelo’s hair!  He went from big and poufy to flat and lifeless.

Liga BBVA quizzed Cris and Iker to see if they have the same requirements for cars.  Both chose security over design, comfort over dynamism, and tradition over vanguardism (Iker says, it’s because I’m very old fashioned), while Cris preferred sportiness and Iker economy.  Cris also chose a sports car over an SUV, which was Iker’s choice.  As for emotional over rational, Cris went for the latter, while Iker couldn’t make up his mind and chose “both.”  They also differed in the last question, with Cris choosing gas and Iker diesel.  Who do you resemble more?  I’m more like Cris…

And though I don’t have time to do a fashion post, I have to say that there are a couple of things that need to be burned: Pipita’s jeans and Iker’s purse.


A couple more moments from Thursday’s team party event.  While waiting for the cars, Marcelo decided to tease Pipita Higuaín, first by caressing his leg (slow motion on the right) and then by biting his shoulder.  Gonzalo rewarded him with a slap on the back.  I love these boys!  And I love Xabi in the back, watching calmly.

Prior to that, we had Cris starting his warm-up, which soon turned into a dance.  I love that too!  And when asked who would win the race, Cristiano said, “I will, because I’m the best driver.”  Before anyone starts criticizing him for being conceited or arrogant, check out what he does after – raise his eyebrow and crack up.  Before, he was being sarcastic.  Now, he’s joking.

Ahh, we found the only thing that can make Sergio’s hair look less than perfect: a helmet.  Luckily for him, there aren’t many opportunities for him to wear a helmet anytime soon.  He won’t be racing anymore, skiing, riding motorcycles…

Here’s the moment where Xabi’s car died.  The workers at the center tried to fix it, to no avail, so Xabi had to abandon the racecourse.  Meanwhile, FP was looking just a bit nervous watching the players race around.

The boys had to go through a crash training course before they could hop into the karts, during which José and Álvaro joked about how they were going to drive.  And in the audience later on during the race, Rafa, Mesut, Nuri and Sami cheered on their favorites.  Iker was more interested in his phone (seriously, practically the only time he wasn’t looking at it was when he was racing and getting the car).  He doesn’t know what he was missing.  I’m sure given the opportunity, most of you would have your eyes glued to the guys on the racecourse and immediately around you, no?

26 Comments leave one →
  1. October 21, 2011 17:24

    I giggled all day yesterday seeing the pictures and videos of them racing. This was so awesome!

    Just an observation. It wasn’t Arbeloa who posed with his helmet on. It’s Gonzo. Arbeloa is kneeling in the front, almost right in front of him. It drove me crazy yesterday until I figured it out. And it took me a LONG time.

    Why am I not surprised that Benzema placed so high? And what is it with Xabi being so goofy lately? I haven’t seen him act like this in a long time! Like, since Liverpool. I love it!

  2. rojafan permalink
    October 21, 2011 18:06

    Bravo Pirata! And don’t you think the R8 should be renamed the CR7? This was such a fun post to read. I can’t tell you enough how much I look forward to reading your blog and see what you have to say every day!

  3. amouria permalink
    October 21, 2011 18:06

    there are a couple of things that need to be burned: Pipita’s jeans and Iker’s purse. YES, please add to them ALL Iker’s shirts…they are so annoying in terms of colour and design…

  4. bbBenz permalink
    October 21, 2011 18:58

    Benzema looks good in that suits! like a real racer 😀
    how lucky are these boys..

  5. October 21, 2011 19:43

    As soon as I saw the pictures go up on facebook I was waiting for this post and I must say you did not disappoint! These boys!! Ah they make me smile so much, I’m just sitting in the Uni cafeteria grinning like a loon and I’m sure everyone else around thinks I’m crazy. But thank you! This post was superb, I love the Marcelo show! He really is a ray of sunshine though all the boys really were adorable. One quick question though, what does “¡Métele onda!” mean? Thanks again! Great post : )

  6. Meg permalink
    October 21, 2011 20:09

    “Iker had to collect his co-pilot, his purse, before he could leave.”

    This statement made me LOL. Oh, Iker, why are you so attached to that ugly murse?

  7. October 21, 2011 20:33

    Million dollar Q – what the hell do our boys put in their murses?!!

    Also, we have the cutest (in every sense of the term!) team ever!

    • emily permalink
      October 23, 2011 06:23

      CR pulled a banana out of his once.

  8. mar permalink
    October 21, 2011 20:46

    whoa! that looks so funny!
    if you need help in burning pipita’s jeans i’m in!
    and out of the boys taste in the cars i like more cris and varane’s.

  9. Sarah, Madrid permalink
    October 21, 2011 21:46

    Who thought Kaka will be such a joker!!
    I love how Granero won, the best thing ever!!
    Benzema has this ” oh this is my scene, I am totally dominating this one” ;)!!

    Iker video get be the best, how many vidoes get to have iker, pirata and pipa in the same one! Iker making fun of arbeloa for losing, really, grandpa iker, it is not like you were leading :p ( I love him!!)! alonso can pull anything while looking like a total boss!!
    This is get be the best team on the planet, seriously!! How hot, good looking, handsome, boss, funny, cute, adorable a group could be!!, I kind hoped Mourinho will be there, any idea why he didn’t show? Btw, Audi I wasn’t there either, can I get a car :p!
    I dont get cars, but I pick anything that is coupe!! it wont hurt being driving around by Sergio either

  10. October 22, 2011 00:19

    Hahaha! Kaka putting devil horns. Oh, the irony! Hehe.

  11. October 22, 2011 00:27

    Oh, Varane! Must’ve been hard for him to walk down that stage! Hehe. Top stuff!

  12. Jenny permalink
    October 22, 2011 01:41

    They’re to cute! :3 I love events like this when they all just together having fun (and acting a bit like little boys ;D)

    To the video from Iker: I think Pipita is saying something like he has bet much money on Esteban being the winner, or am I mistaken?

    • Sarah, Madrid permalink
      October 23, 2011 19:42

      This is what I get too! Although I am not 100% sure since una pretty much get more than I did in the video! But Pipita is such a funny person!

  13. mickymacky permalink
    October 22, 2011 06:20

    i know i’m gonna sound totally ignorant but… are the cars given to the players for FREE or are they only loaned for a certain period or… what? please… i hope someone explains 😦

  14. JCF permalink
    October 22, 2011 07:49

    Haha the best part about Kaka giving Jose and Antonio ‘rabbit ears’ is that you can barely see the tips of his fingers over their very tall hair! XD

  15. Iram permalink
    October 22, 2011 10:15

    ikers purse is bigger than mine!!! and I’m a girl!!! jeeez 😛

  16. georgia permalink
    October 22, 2011 10:51

    why wouldn’t they all choose the most expensive ones?? hahaha i know i would!

  17. October 22, 2011 11:52

    I will never get tired of posts like this! These guys seem to have such a blast together. I just want to know how Xabi keeps a straight face when Marcelo is acting like such a clown. Sunshine is a perfect description for him.

    Why am I not surprised that Granero ended up winning? My guess is that both he and Xabi had the strategy all planned out and both would have finished in the top 5 had Xabi not had mechanical problems. Even the pic where Xabi drives off ahead of everyone and is waving looks like he’s practicing for his victory lap.

    I’m not surprised at all that Xabi chose a black car for it’s elegance and then wore clothes to complement it for the model pose. Class all the way.

    Sergio on the runway…now there’s a thought! 😀

    And I lost count of how many times I laughed out loud at your comments, Una.

  18. Happy permalink
    October 22, 2011 14:00

    Congrat Granero~~ And Iker, you are really a good papa, but Ramos and Marcelo won’t listen to you, haha

  19. Sonny permalink
    October 22, 2011 15:47

    LOL, in the gif with Cris warming up/dancing, you can see what looks to be Marcelo’s head (he has the same black shirt on) start bouncing up and down down there.

  20. October 23, 2011 01:13

    Great week, the team won two important games and they seem to have fun racing. I just saw the music video they posted on YouTube, you probably loved all the thumbs up. 😛

  21. black widow permalink
    October 24, 2011 03:01

    i think this is my favourite post ever. 🙂 they are all so adorable, and really are a piña, aren’t they? you can see the affection they have for each other shining through in everything they do, but especially things like this. it’s wonderful.

    i love iker’s interview (“you’re boring!” HAHAHAHA!) and i absolutely adore how he posts all this stuff to facebook for our viewing pleasure. it’s the best! and i also love how he’s still on about arbeloa, leftover from their race. heh. and look at him all flirty with kaka during that photo, bwahaha! what i wouldn’t give to be kaka’s ear there! ;p

    it’s only fitting that if xabi couldn’t win, then his disciple would. of course el pirata won, and looked too cool doing so, as well. even with car troubles, xabi looks so chic and cool–and i am not surprised he drives with one hand on the wheel and one hand by his side. that’s exactly how i pictured it, too! (and of course they both chose the same audi!)

    i’m definitely more like ronaldo than iker in my answers, too, in fact every single one ronaldo answered would have been my answer as well.

    i love the “runway walk” sergio does (ha!) and good LORD, what IS it that iker keeps in that thing? what is it that is SO important that he has to carry it everywhere, like a security blanket? between that and his phone, he’s hopeless! 🙂

    marcelo KILLS me. he’s far more entertaining than the ceremony!

    awww … varane! bless!

  22. Ane Pierce permalink
    October 24, 2011 21:13

    hahahaha…once i realsed Alvaro wasn’t in the top 3 i so knew that was going to have some sort of excuse for…he is hella hilarious
    Xabi, Pipita,, marcelo and iker…in fact no need for names, this team has made my day 🙂

  23. Madridista 4 ever permalink
    February 8, 2012 19:12

    It made it my day! Wonderful pictures and videos! LOL at Marcelo and Higuain….hahahahaa….our squad is the funniest and simply the best!


  1. all set for Málaga! « following Real Madrid…

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