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ICYMI – the generosity edition

October 27, 2011

In case you missed it – Real Madrid vs. Villarreal [2011-10-26, Liga jornada 10, 3-0].

Another game, another brilliant, intense, spectacular first half from Real Madrid.  Madrid has scored 15 goals in the last four games, and 31 in the nine games so far in the Liga championship.  If they keep this pace up, they can beat the record of 107 that was set in the 1989-90 season.  We’ll just need a couple more hat tricks each from Cris, Benz and Pipa…

ONE.  High-fives and hugs all around, everyone deserves it!

I hope Álvaro was gentle with Iker’s hair…

TWO.  Madrid’s FB page gave us these delightful photos of the boys killing time in the concentración before the game.  While Fábio, Pepe and Marcelo looked at something (Pepe said it was his Facebook page, but I hope they were finding inspiration for the next goal celebration) on Pepe’s laptop, Ricky preferred to read (it looks like the Bible) and Iker watched some TV (perhaps his girlfriend presenting the sports?).  It’s always interesting to get a glimpse into this part of their routine, no?

THREE.  Some coverage of Iker warming up.  The Profile + slow motion = a feast for the eyes.

FOUR.  Three goals before the halftime whistle blew.  I think the best part for me was how some of the boys both assisted on goals and scored goals.  As great as the goals were, the passes leading to them were sublime.  I love the generosity and the team effort.

So, so, so happy for Kaká.  He deserves this.

And the new Angelito is great too, no?

FIVE.  Superman can leap tall buildings in a single bound, while Arbeloaman can leap over the baseline billboard in a single bound.  Close enough.

SIX.  He didn’t get many minutes, but Gonzalo Higuaín inadvertently provided a highlight when the cameras caught him shirtless.

SEVEN.  Luckily, there wasn’t too much pouting or grimacing in this game, aside from these faces from Cris and Mou.

EIGHT.  Iker finally wore the black kit in this game, his 12th of the season.  However, I didn’t expect him to go all out, wearing a long-sleeved black shirt under the jersey and black tights.  Where are the black boots?  The black gloves?

NINE.  Sergio has to continue playing as a centerback.  He’s the boss of the defense when he plays in that position, and I’m liking a back line made up of Pepe and Sergio in the middle and Arbeloa and Marcelo on the sides.  As El País put it, “with Ramos in the center of the defense, Madrid not only closes better, but can also play much more forward because the boy has the physique to cover an ocean at his back and still have enough energy to cover the flank of Marcelo, which converts Marcelo into one more winger.  The attacking adventures of the Brazilian are no longer intrepid voyages.”

TEN.  Speaking of Sergio, who does the kneeling over in pain, clutching the ankle better, Sergio or Xabi?

ELEVEN.  Xabi Alonso got his first rest of the season, when José Mourinho took him out in the 80th minute.  Up to this point, Xabi had played every, single minute in 14 consecutive games (Iker is now the only one who has played all possible minutes).  This also allowed Xabi to feel the affection of the Bernabéu, who gave him a standing ovation.  He has completely won us over.

TWELVE.  Pedro Gil, the captain of the World Cup-winning Spanish roller hockey national team, did the honorary kick-off before the game, a dream come true for him, as he had said several days ago, “one of my dreams is to take the honorary kick-off in the Bernabéu.  Kicking the ball from the center of the field is great.”

THIRTEEN.  After the game, Kaká was a happy camper.  In addition to scoring a goal, he also played the entire game: “things are going well for me.  It’s been some time since I played 90 minutes.  I’m physically and personally good and that helps me to help the team.  Bit by bit, I’m gaining confidence.  I’m happy about everything.”  And he has one more reason to be happy, because he was just called up for Brazil today, for their friendlies on Nov. 10 and Nov. 14.  Kaká’s last game with Brazil was in the World Cup, or 16 month ago.

And Sergio spoke with COPE.  When asked whether he was on his way home, he replied, “no, no, I’m going out.”  They also poked fun at his big red sneakers, and Sergio said “they’re comfortable and that’s what is important.”  The interviewers also queried Sergio about Mou’s rules (one of the rules not mentioned in that article but in the print edition says that the players should eat things with high amounts of calcium such as milk and sardines, as that helps them to fall asleep and sleep well).  In response, Sergio said, “I don’t like sardines” and that he prefers to eat pasta after games.

We saw the big red sneakers in these cheesy modeling outtakes photos Sergio tweeted of himself after the game.  Those sneakers are really… eye-catching, and shiny.  Sergio seems to be the type who gets distracted by shiny things.

FOURTEEN.  The Xabi Alonso pose section.™

I won’t spoil it with words, just enjoy the magnificence that is Xabi Alonso.

FIFTEEN.  The Mou/Karanka corner.

It’s quite strange to not hear anything from Mou, no?

As Aitor Karanka had done the pre-game press conference on Tuesday, he did the post-game press conference on Wednesday.  He told the media that “we’re happy with Benzema and with Higuaín.  One of them plays and scores, the other does the same.  The team benefits from this.”  The team’s objective, according to our assistant coach, is to “continue along this line.  we work so that the best Madrid can be the result, but there are still things left to do.”  As always, cautious.  As for Esteban Granero, Aitor said, “he’s had the bad luck of becoming injured and that makes it difficult for him to enter into the dynamics.  He’s an exceptional boy and we’re going to support him in everything.”

SIXTEEN.  The players had a light training session (consisting of stretching, not posing and shoe tying) midday at the Bernabéu.

SEVENTEEN.  Other things.

The players wore black armbands (or in the case of Iker, white) in honor of Francisco Villar, who passed away earlier that day.  Villar was the secretary of state for sports from 1999 to 2000.

The lovely Xabi Alonso tweeted right after the game, “flying to the Coldplay concert.”  Five minutes later, we got a new tweet: “Coldplay concert is over.”  ¡Pobrecito!  It wasn’t a big surprise, since the game ended around midnight, and Xabi had to shower and change, plus speak to the press before he could leave.

On his Facebook, Iker posted a picture of him in the office of Agustín Herrerín, the field delegate, who is back at work!  He wrote, “he’s been here longer than the field itself!”  Then we got a picture of Iker and Xabi in Agustín’s office, pretending to do some important work, or exploring future career options.

Iker also gave us this photo, drawing our attention to the look on Hamit Altintop’s face, asking what is it that he saw that made him have this expression?

EIGHTEEN.  Today’s news.

The players were back in training this morning, preparing for Saturday’s game against Real Sociedad.  Mou got to order 34 players around at Valdebebas, 22 from the first team (Lass rejoined the team, meaning Carvalho was the only one that didn’t come out onto the field) and 12 canteranos: both Jesús and Mejías, Denis, Martínez, Merchán, Mendes, Raúl Ruiz, Iván González, Joselu, Nacho, Carvajal and Óscar Plano.  Those players who started the game had a recovery session (stretching and jogging), while the other players worked out at a higher intensity.

Sergio tweeted this photo of Raúl Albiol wearing his mask, explaining it as the “re-opening of ‘The Phantom of the Opera.’  With this protagonist, success is guaranteed, I recommend it.”  It’s a good thing the mask is supposed to be indestructible, because several days earlier, Raúl let Sergio try it on.

And the LFP announced today that Madrid’s game against Osasuna, corresponding to jornada 12, will be played at the Bernabéu at noon on Nov. 6.  It will be strange to watch Madrid play before lunch!  Meanwhile, jornada 13 against Valencia will be played on Saturday, Nov. 19, at 22h.

P.S. Best wishes to Giuseppe Rossi for a quick and full recovery!

24 Comments leave one →
  1. October 27, 2011 16:34

    I love Sergio, but I was thoroughly horrified at those sneakers lol! And the posing did make me a laugh a little…..

  2. emily permalink
    October 27, 2011 17:00

    Una – I have been chomping at the bit all morning for this IC!!! So glad it finally popped up on my screen.
    Sergio’s sneakers have me seeing red!
    And, of course you posted about Iker wearing the black uni.
    Speaking of Serg, a few weeks ago i noticed he started wearing white boots again. He’s been in the different black ones for so long recently… And his hair is getting really long, even for him.
    And I copied that image of Iker on his knee, arms fanned out to the side. Love it. It would be great if he had gone ahead and worn black kicks and gloves.

  3. Ally permalink
    October 27, 2011 17:08

    Finally you could update the Iker record/goals conceded statistics. I’d have to say: black suits him 😉

    I’m very happy that the team is doing so great recently 😀 I hope they can continue their winning streak!

  4. Sarah, Madrid permalink
    October 27, 2011 18:01

    Isn’t black is iker’s color? I thought navy was, but really black tops it! I love how Alonso greeted the bernabeu fans, “yes, yes I am great and i know it thank you” in the most elegant bossy way possible.

    I have nothing more to say, other than por favor! Keep Ramos as cb permanently, I love you caravlho! But Ramos is like a hierro we have been looking for for the years!

    If we continue playing like and still improve, I see a lot of celebration happening next year!
    Kaka I am happy for him! I love now how Marca thinks there is something going on between ozil and Mou because he is not playing, really, Marca really?

  5. manie permalink
    October 27, 2011 18:13

    So much to love about this team, I love that you capture so many! I can’t wait until we win everything at the end of the season with our amazing (and, yes, beautiful) football.

    I saw Iker in the black kit and the first thing I thought of was your blog, Una. I don’t what to make of that, but I do love your work!

  6. oliviaRM permalink
    October 27, 2011 18:41

    Bernabeu hardly have any chance to practise their Xabi’s chant….ppl in Bernabeu know about football very well!!!

  7. jean permalink
    October 27, 2011 19:10

    Awwwwww all around.Thas all I could say when I watch these pics.
    Im so happy with the way we are playing right now.
    Thats a lovely post Una. I especially like the title: ” the generosity edition”. Are you considering a career in journalism? You are a very good writer:)

  8. jean permalink
    October 27, 2011 19:11

    Sigh! I wont comment on Sergio sneakers.

  9. October 27, 2011 20:21

    I love this team so much. That’s all. 🙂

  10. October 27, 2011 20:25

    Finally Iker wore the black kit! It just had to come against the yellow submarines 🙂 Good-bye banana:)

    I love seeing our boys in “real life”. They’re sooo adorable.

    Kaka is back! I’m loving his current form.

    “who does the kneeling over in pain, clutching the ankle better, Sergio or Xabi?” Xabi’s looks more realistic but Sergio is in the “ideal position” if you know what I mean 😛

    Xabi Alonzo= Boss. Period.

    The first half was amazing! Especially, the first 15 minutes. We had like 6 or 7 attempts on goal in 15 minutes. The second half was like the one against Málaga, minimizing fatigue, but I wanted to see more goals. Hopefully Cris’s 100th is not too far away.

    Great post Una! 😀

  11. Beanie permalink
    October 27, 2011 20:35

    Una, I completely agree that Sergio is a boss in the centerback position. But when Carvalho returns, I think Mou might move Sergio back to the rightback position. I hope that don’t happen. Who knows how Carvalho will react if he’s not a starter?

  12. Holamachu permalink
    October 28, 2011 00:36

    it’s gonna be a great year for Kaka..and Mes needs a haircut..pronto!!

  13. Anne permalink
    October 28, 2011 00:57

    XABI ALONSO, OMG. I’m so glad Bernabeu is showing their appreciation of Xabi 🙂
    And Kaka. Yay I’m so happy for him!!!

  14. kiki permalink
    October 28, 2011 01:59

    Oh Una! I love everything about this post…EVERYTHING! (with an accent on the Xabi part) 😀

  15. @ulonghaz permalink
    October 28, 2011 02:59

    For the first time, I’ll (and many Madridistas in Indonesia) be watching Madrid at 5PM.
    Can’t hardly wait, I must start collecting snacks for the game 😀

  16. shan permalink
    October 28, 2011 03:33

    1) I agree, Kaká does deserve the success he’s been having the season. I love it.
    2) Ramos is playing like a beast back there in the center. I love it and I love that he’s being recognized for it.
    3) The new Angel is better. I’m starting to dislike him less as. he’s wasting less opportunities and instead handing out fabulous passes

    This game was very pleasing 🙂

  17. October 28, 2011 05:17

    Anyone know what brand Sergio’s shoes are?

    I want a pair!

    • unamadridista permalink*
      October 28, 2011 16:32


      • October 28, 2011 16:46

        How do you know the brand?
        I google it, and I saw some similar, but I don’t saw any equal.

        “Sergio seems to be the type who gets distracted by shiny things.”: Probably is just me, but I see some irony here. I’m wrong?

        • unamadridista permalink*
          October 30, 2011 14:37

          Sergio said so.

  18. October 28, 2011 08:11

    Sergio is playing fantastically as a center back. After the watching him with Spain, I thought right back was his best position but now I have my doubts. As you said, Una, Arbeloa, Pepe, Sergio & Marcelo have played well together. What I have really been noticing is how well others drop back to defense when one of those four push further up the field. Usually it’s Xabi but sometimes it’s Sami. I don’t see other teams do it as well as Madrid does.

    I LOVE the new Angel. His passes were spot on in this game AND no diving!!! Looks like Mou must have had a chat with him and I’m glad he did!

    I also thought Arbeloa’s had really good games the past 2 games. The whole team is playing so much better together. Seems like everyone is in good form.

    I am so happy that Kaka is doing so well but I’m a little sad that it means Mesut either doesn’t play that much or gets pushed out on the wing which isn’t his best position. I’d be a horrible coach as I would want them all to play. lol

    Another great game for the guys. Let’s keep it up!

  19. Didi permalink
    October 28, 2011 09:43

    I thought Real had a fantastic first half!! When they scored two goals in just ten minutes I thought that it would be a goal feast. But it turns out that Real had enough with a 3-0 score. Which is fine by me :). The last few games Ramos played as a centre back and he is doing an amazing job!!! And how hot does Iker looks in his black kit?? No more banana!

    I think that Real is at their best right now. Everyone is in good shape and the players are really united. I have the feeling that this is going to be a fantastic season! HALA MADRID!

  20. PepperPots permalink
    October 29, 2011 06:51


  21. black widow permalink
    October 29, 2011 19:21

    oh, sergio. those trainers look like clown boots! what on earth were you thinking? and he looks so pleased with himself, too! jajajajajaja! i’m glad they’re “comfortable” because they look ridiculous!

    raul looks cute with his mask. i agree–it’s like the phantom of the opera! i wonder how his singing voice is? 😉

    my god, arbeloa is beautiful. (i sound like a broken record!) in that photo where he’s jogging … whoa. lucky, lucky carlota.

    speaking of beautiful, the black kit finally made its debut, and did not disappoint! muy caliente! but then, he could wear a paper bag and i’d love it. a feast for the eyes, indeed. and what i wouldn’t give to lie on that couch and watch TV with him … 😉

    this was a wonderful match (and a wonderful post — thank you!). it’s so heartening to see everyone’s efforts come together and pay off, and i’m especially pleased for kaka. xabi, obviously, deserved his standing ovation. we’re so lucky to have him. (shame he missed the concert, though! coldplay are great live!)

    i loved the photo of xabi and iker in the office … a peek into the future, perhaps?

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