ICYMI – the ¡Hala Madrid! edition
In case you missed it – Real Madrid vs. Osasuna [2011-11-06, Liga jornada 12, 7-1].
What a day it was: for the first time ever, our Madrid was playing at the Bernabéu at noon, on a sunny Sunday. And what a day it was, with Cristiano’s hat trick (his fourth of the season), proof that Nuri Sahin exists, boss Xabi and seven goals in our favor.
I’ve had this idea for a while, and I really wanted to see if I could come up with a post around this idea, so I decided to go ahead and write this one, despite my earlier confession that my blog is boring me. There’s a three-day break now with Madrid/La Roja, so I’ll take the time to reflect on what to do, and carefully read all the comments you left and emails you have sent. (And please don’t feel that you’re obligated to comment on this post.)
Onto the ICYMI:
Real Madrid has a hymn dating back to 1952 (when it turned 50), the one written by Luis Cisneros and sung by José de Aguilar (as opposed to the new version by José Mercé, or the centennial one by Plácido Domingo). It is one of the unique symbols of the club, and played after each game at the Bernabéu. The lyrics perfectly describe Sunday’s game. I won’t translate them because I don’t think I can do an adequate job in transmitting what this song means, but Iker’s second best friend Google Translate (his first best friend is his iPhone, while the third is probably a three-way tie between his underlayers, his purse and his plaid shirts) can give you the gist if you need any help.
De las glorias deportivas que campean por España…
Madrid was on a nine-game winning streak prior to this game, with dominant wins over their rivals, so we were certainly enjoying sporting success both in Spain and in Europe.
… va el Madrid con su bandera limpia y blanca que no empaña.
Prior to this game, Madrid distributed white flags so that the stadium would be festooned in its color during the match.
Who better than club institution Agustín Herrerín to represent the traditions, the authentic, true Madrid? As the players, both substitutes and starters alike, walked onto the field, they greeted him, and in Karim Benzema’s case, very affectionately. I can’t remember the Bernabéu without him.
Or if you prefer someone more modern, there is of course Iker Casillas, who has only ever worn one escudo on his chest, and that is that of Real Madrid.
Iker hadn’t been scored on since Oct. 15, and the goal that broke this perfect streak was quite comical. While Madrid’s players were protesting to the referee and Pepe was on the sidelines waiting to check back into the game after leaving to get medical attention, Osasuna quickly took the free kick and surprised the defense (only Álvaro Arbeloa reacted) and Iker to score their only goal of the game.
… y generoso…
Madrid scored three goals in the first half, with Ángel di María providing the assist for all three of these goals, his eighth, ninth and tenth of the season. Álvaro Arbeloa chipped in with two assists as well.
… todo nervio…
While trying to keep the ball inbounds with his heel, Ángel di María strained his left thigh and had to be taken off the field on a stretcher, in obvious pain.
I love that Álvaro Arbeloa seems to be the one who is responsible for whistling to get the medical team onto the field, and that Iker, Pepe, Álvaro and Xabi all came over to see how Ángel was and to console him.
Tests today confirmed the injury to his left hamstrings, and he’s expected to be out for one month. ¡Ánimo Ángel!
… y corazón…
As soon as Madrid scored their fourth goal and there was some breathing room, José Mourinho sent Nuri Sahin to warm up, helping him to end his personal comeback odyssey, as repeated injuries meant that Nuri hadn’t played since April 17 of this year. The applause started as soon as the crowd saw him on the sidelines. I loved how optimistic Nuri was and how much heart he showed during the entire time he was injured.
After the game, Nuri would say, “before going out, I was a bit nervous. After a few minutes, I felt more secure and happy. I wasn’t afraid.” Upon hearing him say those words, I was hoping he would break into song a la Iker with “me siento seguroooooo….” As you can see, all his teammates were also very happy for him.
Nuri also tweeted, “I am so happy,that i Played my first game for Real Madrid! Such an amazing feeling to play in the Bernabeu Thx everyone for the Support!!!”
… veteranos y noveles, veteranos y noveles…
Cris had things to share with Ángel, while Karim asked Xabi for some advice.
… miran siempre tus laureles con respeto y emoción.
Prior to the game, Cristiano presented his Golden Boot award to the Bernabéu faithful. Cris was looking ahead to the game, so he posed a bit and then when he tried to put the boot back on the pedestal, he was told to go backwards to where his teammates were, waiting to applaud him. And it was fitting, because without them, as Cris would say after the game, he wouldn’t have won this award.
And for a while, everything was golden: the sun shining on the stadium, the boot, the accents on the jerseys and Fábio Coentrão’s hair.
Meanwhile, the crowd serenaded Cris with “Bota de Oro, Cristiano, Bota de Oro,” which they would repeat throughout the game. Pepe also posed with trophy later on, as did Cris and his entourage.
¡Hala Madrid! ¡Hala Madrid! Noble y bélico adalid, caballero del honor. ¡Hala Madrid! ¡Hala Madrid! A triunfar en buena lid, defendiendo tu color. ¡Hala Madrid!, ¡Hala Madrid!, ¡Hala Madrid!
This was Cris’ fourth hat trick of the season, after Zaragoza, Rayo Vallecano and Málaga. These boys have spoiled me, because I wanted Karim Benzema to get one too. Both of them contributed greatly to the win.
And I’m sure Marcelo was super sad he missed out on Pepe scoring, because can you imagine the alegría from that for the Pepe/Cris/Marcelo trio? What would the celebration have been if Marcelino was present?
Enemigo en la contienda, cuando pierde da la mano sin envidias ni rencores…
Well, we didn’t lose, but a member of the rival team did receive a warm welcome from the stadium and from our players. Former canterano Rubén González (remember him?) got a round of applause when he checked into the game for Osasuna. As he ran onto the field, he received a high five not from one of his current teammates, but from his former teammate with Real Madrid B (2003-06), Álvaro Arbeloa. After the game, he hugged Álvaro and Iker (and played with Iker’s ear, how lucky some people are).
… como bueno y fiel hermano.
Madrid’s players came out onto the field wearing shirts that said “Forza Cassano” on the front and the number “19,” which Antonio Cassano wore at Madrid, on the back. Antonio thanked them, FP and Mou today via a letter published on AC Milan’s web site.
Los domingos por la tarde, caminando a Chamartín, las mocitas madrileñas, las mocitas madrileñas van alegres y risueñas porque hoy juega su Madrid.
The game wasn’t exactly in the afternoon and I didn’t walk there, but I was indeed happy and cheerful because my Madrid was playing today, along with many other female fans.
It was so strange seeing the shadow over the fondo sur and the sun over the fondo norte, and seeing the time “13:43h” at the 87-minute mark. After all, some days it’s closer to midnight than anything else at that point!
¡Hala Madrid! ¡Hala Madrid! Noble y bélico adalid, caballero del honor.
Who better to represent the fighting spirit, the hunger to win, a champion, than Cristiano Ronaldo?
¡Hala Madrid! ¡Hala Madrid! A triunfar en buena lid, defendiendo tu color. ¡Hala Madrid!, ¡Hala Madrid!, ¡Hala Madrid!
Several of the other goal celebrations.
We did win in a fair game, and these boys did defend their colors, doing this escudo and this shirt proud. Hala Madrid.
ONE. After the game, Nuri Sahin said, “it was a very good day for me. Thank you very much to all the people that were in the Santiago Bernabéu, my teammates, the coach and the president.” He added, “I’m very happy to play my first game with Real Madrid. It was a difficult time due to the injuries.” And he said all this and more in Spanish! ¡Impresionante! Forget what I said about Mesut Özil making big improvements, Nuri is the standard from now on! He might even be better than Metze! But then again, he did have a lot of time to study. It was also great to see José Callejón get some minutes.
It appears that foreign Real Madrid players learning castellano always learn the following words first: “contento” (also a Sergio Ramos favorite), “difícil,” “temporada,” “partido,” “trabajar,” “afición,” “míster” and of course “gol” (happy, difficult, season, game, work, fans, coach, goal). That was about the extent of Karim’s vocabulary his second season, and where Mesut and Sami are as well.
As for Cris, he said he was happy to have scored, but the important thing is that the team won and played well. He also revealed that he prefers to play in the morning rather than the afternoon: “we’re not used to it but I like playing more during the morning. The experiment turned out well, we played with a good intensity, perhaps we slept well the previous night.” He also joked about how he tried to tip in the ball that ended as Pepe’s goal, and said that Pepe had told him before the game that he would score. Do we have another psychic on our hands? Also of note: in the mixed zone, some Brazilian journalists showed Cris an iPad with a video message for him from Michel Teló, prompting Cris to crack up.
Meanwhile, the ever-cautious and diplomatic Xabi Alonso said the game “was more difficult than it appeared,” and Sergio talked about what a nice gesture it was for Cris to share his award with his teammates: “details such as this make Cristiano a great person.”
TWO. The Xabi Alonso pose section.™
Muy jefe, as usual.
As the game was so early, Xabi was drinking coffee as he went out to inspect the pitch.
I think this is the bossest moment, when Xabi told Nuri to take the free kick: “Sahin, you.” Two words and almost a goal.
This is a new one.
THREE. The Mou corner. In his post-game press conference, Mou had the following to say. By the way, that is certainly one of the most unique scarves I’ve seen, I don’t recall any other managers getting their face on bufandas.
on the Cassano shirts: it wasn’t my idea, my idea was to call Cassano and speak with him because I know him well and I like the kid, we had a great relationship in Italy.
on the refereeing: the differences between some and others bother me. Yesterday I saw Munúa [Levante’s goalkeeper] get a yellow card because he came out 10 meters from his area to protest to the referee. There are other goalkeepers in the Liga that run 100 meters to protest and don’t get carded [hmmm, I wonder who he’s referring to?]. Against Lyon, we scored a goal after taking a rapid free kick, but the goal was annulled and Alonso received a yellow card. Today, their rapid goal is legal. The differences in criteria in identical situations bother me. Despite this, this referee did a good job. One month ago, I said ‘one day they’re going to score a goal off a fast free kick against us’ and now it happened, I was right, but I repeat that it’s not the problem of this referee.
The vest reminded me of Zidane’s inflatable body suit.
on the fans: I want to thank those few people who were behind the goal because if it weren’t for them, I would have thought that the stadium was empty [Mou is referring to the Ultra Sur, and I wish he wouldn’t encourage them or praise them].
on the game time: it’s fantastic, now everyone can go home and have all of Sunday left to do things.
The anecdote came when Mou’s mobile phone went off while he was answering a question about Alex Ferguson. Mou apologized twice (“lo siento”) and said that if this had happened to one of his players or while he was with them, they/he would have to pay a €500 euro fine.
FOUR. Other notes.
– Kaká and Marcelo have been dropped from Brazil’s call-up for their friendlies during the international week, as the Brazilian Football Confederation said Madrid had sent to their medical staff test results showing the injuries.
– El País went around to to speak with businesses around the Bernabéu and fans about the novel kick-off time. Here are some of the reactions.
Raúl, who sells shirts and scarves in one of those stands surrounding the stadium on game days: normally you have to be here eight hours before the game. Today I arrived at 7:30h and I’ll go home at 16h. I will work four hours less and I have to entire day to be with my kids. Today I got up at six, yes, but I prefer this to games at 22h at night. That is an insufferable hour.
Juan, a fan who came from Badajoz: today I woke up at five. This kick-off time is perfect because it gives me time to go home and we don’t have to spend the night here.
Eegli, a waiter at a cafeteria in the Esquina del Bernabéu: the problem is that at this hour, no one wants (alcoholic) drinks… only coffee and pastries.
– former Spanish president and madridista José María Aznar was sitting in the presidential palco next to FP. A general election for legislative seats is scheduled for Nov. 20 (next, next Sunday), and the resulting Congreso de los Diputados will choose a new prime minister. No matter who is chosen, PSOE’s Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba or the PP’s Mariano Rajoy, the next prime minister will be a madridista as both these men are longtime supporters of Real Madrid.
– and while I loved this game, I just have to say that the Athletic-Barcelona game was a partidazo! The game itself was super exciting, and add to that Javi (!!!), Piqué’s own goal, wet Javi (!!!), the atmosphere at San Mamés, Javi (!!!), clingy shirts made all the clingier by the rain, Javi’s pout (!!!), Fernando Llorente’s eyes, Javi’s body (!!!), Barcelona only getting one point, Javi (!!!), the adorable Ander Herrera scoring on Valdés, Javi (!!!)… Madrid has now widened its lead at the top of the table to three over Barcelona.