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ICYMI – the cautious edition

October 31, 2011

In case you missed it – Real Sociedad vs. Real Madrid [2011-10-30, Liga jornada 11, 0-1].

The good news is that Real Madrid had a perfect month, winning all their games in October.  The bad news is they suffered at the Anoeta, barely squeaking by with a win, and without the flashes of brilliance they’ve showed in recent games.  That might have been due to the changes in the line-up, or because it’s been many games in a short amount of time.  In any case, we can’t get too euphoric or expect too much yet, because while we are first in the standings now, there have only been 10 jornadas and so there is a lot of season left.

ONE.  All eyes were on Xabi Alonso, because Real Madrid was taking on his beloved former team, in his hometown.  And Xabi was a total boss out there.  There will be random Xabi Alonso jefe/pose/elegance moments sprinkled throughout this ICYMI, starting with Xabi before the game, looking good on the bench and directing his troops during the warm-up.

TWO.  As we saw in the pictures on Saturday, the boys took a paseo in the morning, checking out the gorgeous vista before them.  But what we didn’t see were how fresquito it was, which caused Marcelo and Cris, who didn’t have the foresight to bring a jacket, to put their arms inside their shirts.  Meanwhile, on the hotel balcony, something made Xabi laugh, and Pipita chased Marcelo around and gave him a little kick to his behind.  ¡Adorable!

Poor Marcelo… look at how much an effort he’s making to explain something to Fábio, and Fábio doesn’t even look over at him!  Xabi had more success with Iker.

THREE.  Our boys were looking quite handsome before the game.  I love how they, especially Xabi, can just sit around or stand casually, and it looks like they’re male models posing for a photo shoot.  The tight sweaters are a nice touch too – check out Xabi’s biceps!

It looks like Xabi Alonso and Álvaro Arbeloa have found a substitute for the A-team while Raúl Albiol is out, Antonio Adán!  For his part, he’s probably missing his inseparable Esteban Granero.  While they were chatting, Xabi Alonso was explaining what the predecessor to the Anoeta, Atocha, was like, and probably how he used to watch games there.  Meanwhile, everything made Marcelo giggle, and his laughter made everyone else laugh.

FOUR.  Xabi being muy jefe.

FIVE.  Because these are the types of things I notice.

SIX.  There was only one goal on the night, but that was all we needed.  It was Pipita’s turn to score on Saturday night.

What a great pass from Fábio, and what a great celebration by Gonzalo.

I loved that he ran to the bench to hug Marcelo (no kick in the behind this time), and look at how everyone else is looking on happily!  And per his custom, Iker touched el larguero upon his team scoring.

SEVEN.  Sergio was taking his role as second captain and a team leader seriously as well, encouraging his teammates before the game and going around giving everyone a high-five or a pat on the back.  I love seeing him so involved like this!

EIGHT.  More Xabi, with his gestures, his favorite pose and instructions for Kaká.  I love how Xabi first gestures “come over here” (and with the ball tucked under his arm, how boss).  Then he proceeds to to explain something to Ricky, and Fábio comes over because he knows it’s probably something he should also heed.

NINE.  (It doesn’t matter what I write here, you’re not going to read it anyway, since your eyes will go directly to the photo.)

TEN.  Meanwhile, over on the bench, the antics of Marcelo make Kaká laugh, and even Mou!  At one point, Karim Benzema and Marcelo were imitating Pepe, but they just looked like robots.  By the way, Real Sociedad’s (French) coach Philippe Montanier greeted Karim Benzema and Rafa Varane while the game was going on, as these two players were warming up on the sideline.

ELEVEN. Some rough tackles left our boys, Fábio and Sergio among them, clutching their shins in pain.

TWELVE.  Xabi being súper elegante.

THIRTEEN.  When the referee blew the whistle for the end of the game, Cris was extremely relieved, and his little celebration was mirrored by that of José Mourinho, who then walked out onto the field and started hugging his players, one by one.  Cris had received a lot of abuse during the game, with the normal name-calling and death wishes, and so he also shouted something back on the way to the locker room: “os vais a joder, caralho.”

I loved the hugs!  The rest of the technical staff – Karanka, Rui Faria, Silvino – did the same as Mou, as did the players with each other.  I’ll say it again, I love it!

Aitor Karanka also chatted with Real Sociedad’s starlet Rubén Pardo, whom he once coached on Spain’s U-17 team.

And then came the big moment.  Xabi Alonso took his shirt off.  He should do that in public more often, like every day.

FOURTEEN.  The Xabi Alonso pose section.™  Well, this entire post has been like the The Xabi Alonso pose section™ but here’s more in case you’re not satisfied yet.  I don’t know if it was the return to his hometown, to his beloved club, or just because the stars were aligned for him, but Xabi was in top form on Saturday, no?

FIFTEEN.  The Mou corner.

After the game, Mou said that this was an important win, and that they had suffered.  However, he did have praise for his team: “Madrid knew how to play with weariness, which is very important after five consecutive games and two or three days between each game.  That takes away your physical and mental freshness.  In the second half, we lost quality and danger but we gained mentality and collective strength.”

What a difference a year makes.  Remember Mou’s performance at the Anoeta a year ago, with the bottle throwing after Sergio Ramos’ defensive mistake, and the ten packs of gum he chewed that night?

SIXTEEN.  Real Madrid’s FB gave us this picture of Iker warming up, while Iker gave us this picture of himself on the plane.  He wrote, “I’m on the airplane returning to Madrid, and I’m going to have a Mahou and toast it to the health of the team!  For you all: Arbeloa and the rest!  Jajaja!”

SEVENTEEN.  Other notes.

– after the game, two songs could be heard coming out of Madrid’s locker room: Michel Teló’s “Ai Se Eu Te Pego” (naturally) and Carlos Baute’s “Amarte bien,” which Álvaro just recommended on his twitter the other day.  And not just the songs, but the voices of the players, singing along.

– casualties from the game: Kaká has a bruise to his right calf, while Arbeloa has a bruise in his left quads.

– Real Madrid is giving us the chance to win Gonzalo Higuaín’s shirt from this game.  All you have to do is leave a message, in Spanish on how you would define Pipa’s goal.  He’ll choose his favorite answer and the winner will receive his shirt.

Gonzalo was at a promotional act for Nike on Monday, and looking fine.

– the team had the day off on Sunday, but José Callejón and Esteban Granero still went to Valdebebas to work out.  El Pirata is still recovering from his plantar fasciitis, and both are working hard to hopefully convince the coach to give them more minutes.  Esteban has only played eight minutes this season, while José is not doing much better at 127 minutes.

– the boys were back in training on Monday, preparing for Wednesday’s game against Lyon (again?).  Esteban Granero rejoined the team, and Tomás Mejías was called up as well, making it a total of 21 footballers out there at Valdebebas.  The starters from Saturday’s game stretched and jogged, while the rest of the players did circuit training and worked on the physical aspect of their games.  The absentees were Carvalho, Kaká and Arbeloa.

And here, have some Xabi for this part of the post as well.   The back of Mr. Alonso is just as delicious as the front.

– Castilla beat Leganés 3-1 on Sunday behind two goals from Jesé and one from Óscar Plano.  Castilla is now second in the standings, but the big news was that Jesé got rid of that strange facial hair and was looking like his normal self.

EIGHTEEN.  To end, vintage Xabi, from his time at Real Sociedad, including a goal against Real Madrid.  Vicente del Bosque must be happy that he gets to coach Xabi now, instead of having to play against him.

27 Comments leave one →
  1. Louise permalink
    October 31, 2011 16:18

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for the Xabi-ness of this post! Luckily it isn’t possible to overload on Xabi.

    I’m glad to see he has always been a pre-match dancer 🙂

  2. Mouah permalink
    October 31, 2011 16:37

    Have you heard the story about José Mou Jr ? That poor little thing, with the insults and the crying and all that ?! I guess you did, but man oh man when I read that I was so moved ! Children are just mean ! Sick sick SICK people in this world 😥

  3. Sarah, Madrid permalink
    October 31, 2011 16:51

    Apparently atelti fans were singing Marcelo in their game against Zaragoza, why? I don’t get this.

    3 points, a win we took the lead, I am fine, although I am not a fan of heart-attacking games like this!

  4. October 31, 2011 17:15

    I love, love, love this very Xabi post. That gif at the start and that picture of him in the grey sweater and black shirt… It’s just too much. Too much perfection. Really. It’s actually quite sad, since there’s only one Xabi… siiiiigh.

    And, yes, he should take his shirt off more often!! Someone should start a petition for that to happen. I’d sign that one!

    I really do like the team’s traveling clothes. The grey and the black. They look so sleek and elegant in them, even more so than when they travel in suits (isn’t that weird?).

  5. October 31, 2011 17:46

    🙂 I love the Spanish tutorial you gave us here. I did have to keep looking up google translate with some pretty hilarious results though!!

  6. Bina permalink
    October 31, 2011 18:55

    Thanks Una! Another great post. I just love the fact that there is so much Xabi this time.
    When I saw the scene where Sergio missed the goal and showed off the great thights of his, I new that I would find the picture here.
    But what happened to the layout of your blo? why did you change it? it was genious before!!
    but thanks, thanks, thanks for your genious post, that keep me up to date with this perfect team!!!

    • unamadridista permalink*
      November 1, 2011 13:54

      I didn’t change anything?

      • Bina permalink
        November 1, 2011 18:07

        oh,, ok, sorry… now it looks normal again. I’m not at home so I guess the internet is just so bad your layout looked different… sorry!

  7. Pammie permalink
    October 31, 2011 20:19

    what a treat this post is, filled to the brim with Xabi!! Now I wonder if his friends whistled him as they threatened to. xD
    Xabi giving the shirt to the other Xabi! 😀 I agree he should do it more often.
    to add on to the vintage Xabi section, there’s a bit of him at the subcampeones celebration in this video about the guy he mentioned in today’s tweet starting at 1:07

    my favourite part of the infamous bottle throw is still how almost unfazed Rui Faria was. haha!

    Just what do we have to do to see El Pirata play? It’s getting frustrating.

    I’m a big fan of the grey sweater, oh yes xD

    • unamadridista permalink*
      November 1, 2011 13:52

      Yes, the celebration where Xabi was singing “La playa”!

  8. mumblo permalink
    October 31, 2011 21:03

    Great post Una, but I think it needs more Xabi! 😉 Really, though, can we ever have enough?

    One of the other sites I frequent had an entire post about us currently beign at the top of the table. I didn’t even look at it — as if it’s asking for trouble. Sometimes I get a little superstitious myself.

  9. Adi permalink
    October 31, 2011 23:49

    Wow, I can’t believe I missed watching this awesome game where Xabi took his shirt off. I love this post and wish that all of the posts could be centered around him. ❤

  10. LovesMadrid permalink
    November 1, 2011 00:03

    who gives Xabi a clap on his butt in the second picture??? 😀

    • LovesMadrid permalink
      November 1, 2011 00:07

      aaaaahhhhhh it is Sergio Ramos ….. ❤ 🙂

  11. Kelsey permalink
    November 1, 2011 00:13

    This post could not have been more PERFECT. That shirtless gif… 0.o

    And to add to that last part, I bet Iker is equally glad to have Xabi on his team rather than playing against him.

  12. Alyssa permalink
    November 1, 2011 00:48

    I love how Xabi-centric this post was! But as amazing as all the boss-ness was, my favorite has to be Xabi’s “You want some of this?” look at the camera while his hand is on that perfect behind of his 😉

    Also, Iker seems to be SO excited to share everything with us on facebook now! Even his random dinners with his friends. He’s like a little kid in this way and it’s sooooo adorable!

    ps. I instantly forgave Sergio for not scoring that goal solely because he immediately gave us that beautiful view of his perfect thighs.

  13. November 1, 2011 01:43

    I love you

  14. eny permalink
    November 1, 2011 02:12

    i like xabi since the “the karate kick” accident at world cup 2010, and because xabi i start following real madrid

  15. Tina in North Carolina permalink
    November 1, 2011 03:55

    As always, awesome post, Una! I loved all the Xabi… just proves there really can never be too much of him! Also, I forgot about how much Sergio loves flashing us his thighs!

  16. November 1, 2011 05:07

    Do you know if they play music in the locker room before games as well as after? And what response did Alonso get, does he get a lot of abuse, as much as Ronaldo?

    • unamadridista permalink*
      November 1, 2011 13:53

      Yes, also before games. No one gets as much abuse as Cristiano, but Xabi is quite disliked in the Basque region.

  17. PepperPots permalink
    November 1, 2011 13:12

    I love Fabio’s hair color!

  18. emily permalink
    November 1, 2011 15:21

    “…you’re probably not going to read it anyway…” Read What??? There were words above that picture???!!! ;-p
    How great is this… tomorrow’s CL match vs. Lyon will be broadcast on one of our HiDef networks! (they’re usually not, around here, just regular Def) I will get 52 inches of fabulous, live action, HD (Handsome Dudes). And I have the day off, too! Hoowee! Maybe they will all trade shirts, and pants!, at the end of the match, in HD. I will completely die – there will no longer be a reason to live.
    Mundo Depo has grabbed onto the Joder, caralho incident and run with it, as have a lot of other tabloids. Ronaldo can’t catch a break and then he gets frustrated and makes it even harder for himself. He keeps giving people more fodder. I guarantee, @ this coming weekend’s match, there will be people in the stands with signs telling CR ‘joder’.

  19. November 1, 2011 20:18

    Thanks you Ronaldo and Marcelo (and fellow RM fans) i have had Ai Se Eu Te Pego song and dance stuck in my head for over a week!! 🙂 No clue if im even saying the words right im singing along anyways! 🙂

    As always amazing ICYMI!!

  20. Iram permalink
    November 2, 2011 01:42

    Una, once again such a great post. I loved all the video clips and images of xabi! thanks

  21. rebelannie permalink
    November 3, 2011 17:22

    Fabulous post, like always!!! I sadly missed the game, but knew I’d get all the best moments here! Thank you SO much!
    One can NEVER have too much Xabi!!!

  22. natthaya sarakhon permalink
    November 25, 2011 12:55

    I love so much Iker!!!!!!

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