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ICYMI – the substitutes edition

November 25, 2011

In case you missed it – Real Madrid vs. Dinamo Zagreb [2011-11-22, Champions League group stage, 6-2].

Once more, it was a fantastic night of European football at the Bernabéu, where even the wet weather could not dampen the enthusiasm we have for our team, as they really put on a show for us.  The best thing about the win, besides clinching first place in the group, was that many of the players who don’t usually get too much playing time or opportunities to shine got to play, and did very, very well.

This post is going to be more on the lines of a regular ICYMI, since I don’t have time to get all elaborate, as these posts take up a huge amount of time.  And I’m already reluctant to post in the first place; I’m continuing because you all seem to want it.

ONE.  Prior to the game, the Spaniards were left alone, while the poor French players were subjected to the whims of the Real Madrid photographers.

TWO.  They look good at regular speeds, but great in slow motion.

THREE.  I could tell it was going to be a fun game from the scenes in the tunnel: Xabi stretching by sticking out his ass (it’s in picture form later on in the post, because I know you all very well), and Cris and Pepe tapping Sami on the ass as they walked by.  Sami was all like, who was that???

FOUR.  Somos una piña.

FIVE.  Six goals on the night, not too shabby (Xabi?), right?  (Though you had to feel for Ivan Kelava, el pobre).  I loved that José Callejón celebrated by pointing at the escudo on his shirt.  He gets it, because he’s a canterano.  Speaking of that, he’s in good company – the only two other canteranos who have scored two goals in a Champions League game are the legendary Raúl and Guti.  José’s reaction to finding himself in such select company: “joder, madre mía.”

Together, these three men combined for five goals.

Is that “puta madre” that Mesut said right after scoring his goal?  Meanwhile, I love that Karim was only expecting a high-five from Gonzalo, not a leap into your arms kind of celebration.  And I love how enthusiastic Pipita was, despite that goal being the sixth on the night.

SIX.  The usual subs being given a chance meant that we got this unusual scene at the stadium: Cristiano, Pepe and Iker on the bench.  They should have been happy, as they were dry and warm on those very comfortable seats while everyone else just got wet.

Cris smiled when the fans in the stadium responded to the Dinamo Zagreb fans chanting “Messi, Messi” by singing “así, así, así, así gana el Madrid.”  And Iker?  He was biting his nails before the game even started.  Hopefully he has more faith in his team.

SEVEN.  I love this photo, especially the angle.

EIGHT.  Do you think that at this precise moment, José was thinking, “not the hair, not the hair!  I spent 15 minutes coaxing it up before the game!”?

NINE.  Though Cris didn’t play, he did provide some entertainment, and a hug.  As the team was getting on the bus to go to the hotel on Wednesday morning, Cris trudged up the steep slope that the bus was parked on, exaggerating his effort.  Notice that he had to pose for the Real Madrid photographers – and of course, they demanded a thumbs up.  At the start of the second half, Cris was seen hugging Agustín Herrerín.  Adorable!

TEN.  The good news is that El Pirata played his first CL game of the season, which will make him less attractive in the (theoretical) winter transfer market, as he won’t be able to play in the Champions League with any other team.  Hands off everyone (except Mou)!

ELEVEN.  Sergio Ramos started the game as captain, as Iker was on the bench.  After he came out at the half, the captain’s armband passed on to Gonzalo Higuaín.  After the game, Pipita said wearing the armband was “a great joy.  It’s my first time in the stadium in front of all these people after so many years here, and I’m very happy.”

TWELVE.  After the game, Gonzalo talked about how “today, everyone could see how well I get along with Benzema.”  Meanwhile, Antonio Adán said he was happy that he got to play, although a bit pissed off because the rival scored two goals on him.  He revealed that he had been calm, “because my teammates have supported me and given me security during the entire week” (he induced from Mou’s chats that he would start).  He also said he doesn’t know who will play in the Copa del Rey, as the rumors are that he will instead of Iker.  Meanwhile, Esteban showed his maturity by saying, “Mourinho is a great coach and if he doesn’t use me, it’s my fault.”  He also cleared things up that he has no intention of leaving in the winter.  “El Larguero” also asked El Pirata if he’s still playing the piano, and he says “very little, at times and only at home.”  Too bad!!!!

The best declarations came from José Callejón, who ended a fantastic week in which he had been Mou’s pony, a model citizen and now a goalscorer two times over, with the Bernabéu singing his name.  Callejón, Callejón…  Plus, neither the rain nor his teammates managed to flatten his hair, and I love that dimple! 

on the number of people who called him after the game: I don’t know how many there are, I received dozens of calls and messages.  The most special one was from my brother, we spoke for a little while.  He was happier than I was.  We’re very close.  He always wishes me the best.

on his brother: we tell each other everything [awww!].  He always tells me to have patience, that I’m good and that’s why I’m here among the best.  And that if I received this opportunity, it’s because I deserve it.  He’s doing well also; Hércules is the leader of the second division.

on whether he thought about celebrating his goal by jumping on Mou’s back: (laughs) yes, the thought entered my head, but not in a serious way… it’s better for people to just leave this alone.  People have already joked about this too much.

on how long it took for him to realize that the míster was on top of him: two or three seconds… when he started speaking, I realized it was the míster.  What was I going to do?  I had to accept it like a champion and celebrate… anyway, he doesn’t weigh very much.

THIRTEEN.  The Mou corner.

Mou said the following in the press room after the game.  He described his team as having “hunger,” “excellent motivation” and “a desire to play well” during this game, “which is what happens when you don’t play a lot.”  He mentioned that Nuri Sahin is doing his “pre-season” at the moment, because he still lacks rhythm, confidence and security, which is “normal, because he has suffered a lot.  This game has been great for him.”

Mou also sent his best wishes to Barcelona’s assistant coach Tito Vilanova, who had undergone an operation on his parotid glands earlier that day: “I hope he returns quickly to his family and Barcelona.  I would like to see him on Dec. 10 on the bench and healthy, and we’ll all have the pleasure of greeting him.”

FOURTEEN.  The Xabi Alonso pose section.™

This is how Xabi showed up.

This is how he stretches.

I absolutely adore that as the teams were walking on the field, Fábio Coentrão was getting last minute advice from Xabi.

Xabi only played one half, though we didn’t miss him too much in the second, as XIT came in.  While Esteban did take charge at times…

… he also showed there are still some things to learn.  After all, Xabi would never allow anyone to deny him the ball, and he would never bounce off someone like Esteban.  Xabi would have been the one in control of the ball, or if he didn’t have it, he would find some way to get it, and he would be the one standing his ground.

FIFTEEN.  Sergio tweeted this photo of the andaluces.  I have two complaints/suggestions.  One, that Sergio is wearing too much clothes, and two, that José needs to drop that shirt to the floor right now.

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24 Comments leave one →
  1. Alyssa permalink
    November 25, 2011 17:00

    You’re right, you do know us very well! This post was perfect!

    I love that the fans in the stadium wouldn’t stand for chants of Messi’s name…and I love that Cris recognized it!

    There’s also a great amount of Xabi in this post to keep me thinking about him on his birthday :). Sidenote though, is there any way we could make him stop aging so he could never ever leave us?

  2. Vix permalink
    November 25, 2011 17:22

    So great that Granero got some playing time! He’s got the right attitude but needs more game experience if he’s to match Xabi.

    A fantastic game!

  3. Maddi permalink
    November 25, 2011 17:37

    What a great game! Sr. Herrerin is so adorable. It would have been hilarious if Callejon had jumped on Mou!

  4. jessica permalink
    November 25, 2011 17:52

    awww thanks for this post! was not sure if you were going to post it but thanks a ton! i love these ICYMI

  5. Gabriela permalink
    November 25, 2011 17:59

    What’s up with people chanting Messi’s name everywhere? This trend is ridiculous and has to stop. I don’t understand why people have to be so stupid…
    I hope the rumors of Adán playing in the Copa are true. And I hope Varane will get more playing time too. He didn’t play much for us yet, but he impressed me every time.

  6. noviana noor aisyiah permalink
    November 25, 2011 18:23

    if i’m not wrong. is callejon have a twin brother right?
    i love adan. hope he will get a chance to play in copa del rey. he deserves it. he’s playing good.

  7. noviana noor aisyiah permalink
    November 25, 2011 18:24

    hey una. i wlould love to know you much more. please write something about your biography! would looovvvvvvveeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee to 🙂

  8. Jackie permalink
    November 25, 2011 18:56

    When you talk about how privileged we are to be Madrid fans — it’s so true, for all the reasons you mentioned. I couldn’t possibly not love them. But we’re also privileged as fans because we’re lucky enough to have your fabulous blog. I’m always so happy to read your commentary — the pictures are just a bonus! Of course I hope you’ll only keep doing it as long as it’s a fun hobby, and not if it begins to seem like work. But I do want to tell you how grateful we all are and how much we love what you do. Thanks Una!

  9. November 25, 2011 18:58

    I’m in the I LOVE YOUR ICUMI posts! And yes, your regular ICUMI posts rock just as much as much. Yes, the body edition was terrific, but hell this too is amazing! Thanks for posting this Una.

    “así, así, así, así gana el Madrid” – I for one, love this chant. I refuse to take it in the manner our opponents sing it and celebrate it for what it literally says. Also, I love the fact that I’m actually picking up a bit of Spanish thanks to my amazing team and you. Thanks! 🙂

    On that note, I found it hilarious that the cameras caught Mesut saying puta madre. hahahahah – good for you Bambi!

    El Pirata – I’m so glad that he’s staying with us. Wish he could play more often though. He deserves more play time than what he gets.

  10. Année permalink
    November 25, 2011 20:58

    Jose is so adorable. It’s great to see him have such a big week. It’s understandable why he doesn’t play as often, but it just seems wrong that such a good player rarely plays. I can’t imagine many teams in any league where he wouldn’t be starting just about every game. It’s a compliment to depth of RM’s talent. His quote about realizing it was the mister on his back made me laugh.

  11. JayR permalink
    November 25, 2011 21:11

    I’m really grateful you still post and this one in particular, because sadly I had to miss the match and without your recaps, I’d be totally lost and not in the know about what happened (and you wouldn’t want to deprive me of the spectacular xabi rearviews, right?!)
    I second your criticism of the picture sergio tweeted!!

  12. Pipita permalink
    November 25, 2011 21:27

    Love this post as well as all the others!

    And Una, I know that you think that the photografers is demanding thumbs up from the players, or at least that you want to think that it is so. But it’s the other way around. When the players see a camera they love to give a thumbs up. Sorry for breaking the news Una. 🙂

  13. sneezy permalink
    November 25, 2011 21:59

    Fantastic post as usual Una, so sad that you feel like giving up cause this is the BEST web page for the team EVER – please reconsider x

  14. November 26, 2011 00:44

    “he best declarations came from José Callejón, who ended a fantastic week in which he had been Mou’s pony, a model citizen and now a goalscorer two times over…”
    lol, you and your funny comments.

  15. November 26, 2011 00:52

    Hehehe Where does Sergio get his clothes from ?? lol
    Great post just like the rest of yours. Thank you 🙂

  16. maria permalink
    November 26, 2011 02:42

    I absolutely loved the substitutes edition… it was kinda like the underdogs game, and they all played so beautifully!! Callejon is just so adorable, I hope he gets more minutes from Mou!! Loved pipita and karim playing so well together, what amazing job they did to finish the unstoppable nasty rumors regarding the two of them!! I just wish benzema had scored that one last goal he missed at the end of the game. Such a beautiful play finished with that overhead kick, witch exploded on the crossbar!! he deserved that hat trick, after the “partidasso” he had made =) not even gonna go through how much I die for pipita with the captain armband!! he looks great with it (and without it… he just looks great all the way).

  17. November 26, 2011 05:59

    I was so happy that Esteban got to play! He still has a lot to learn as XIT but I hope he can actually get to play with Xabi more often!

  18. JCF permalink
    November 26, 2011 07:00

    I love Iker but it’s really nice to see Adan get some playing time as well! 😀 Thanks Una for doing this post!!

  19. bbBenz permalink
    November 26, 2011 09:34

    Xabi oh Xabi..

  20. Greta permalink
    November 26, 2011 12:08

    girl. I love this blog.

  21. asma permalink
    November 26, 2011 15:00

    Thank you Una for still posting the ICYMIs. I don’t mind if it’s not elaborate, this is enough for me especially behind the scenes going-ons. If you are happy to post it short and concise, we are even happier in reading it. Thank you!!

  22. kiki permalink
    November 26, 2011 16:23

    Una! I could comment & comment, but you always say everything I’m thinking (but more eloquently) plus you say all the things I wish I had thought of! You are a wonder! 😀

    Cris trudging up the ramp like a bored schoolboy is so cute!
    I am very happy for José C., to be recognized as he deserves (& yes, “drop the shirt!” & yes, “Not the hair, not the hair” LOLOLOLOL
    Pipita as Captain! Yeah!
    What a glorious bench, I am glad to see Esteban & Nuri, but most especially Xabi’s butt & the way he looks as he arrives……*SWOOON* :))))))

  23. November 28, 2011 16:48

    great post about a great match!!!

    It’s weird to see Iker on the bench, but of course, Adan has to play, it is crucial for him to play to learn but still I cannot get used to seeing someone besides Iker in the goal!

    I did not see that macth, but once again, I am saved by the ICYMI! Thansk Una!!!! (but if it takse too much of your time you can do it the way that is more comfortable for you – I amk really great for what’s being done, but it has to be fun first and foremost for you!)

    I am also happy for Callejon, every player deserves a great week like that!

    Besos!

  24. ama permalink
    November 28, 2011 17:14

    I’m just getting back from vacation (it was a holiday here in the States) and catching up on the games I missed last week–I tracked the updates on Twitter but there’s nothing like watching our boys in action. I’m so grateful we still have your posts, Una–they’re essential in times like these. Mesut saying “puta madre” after he scored is priceless, Callejón’s dimple is sooo cute, and I need posing Xabi in my life.

    (Personal opinion: not only is Sergio wearing too many clothes in that picture, he’s wearing really ugly clothes. I guess that’s not unusual for him.)

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