back to work
The boys are back, and things started out wonderfully, with this photo posted by Iker of him and Raúl Albiol. Iker’s bringing his own type of sunshine, through his Facebook posts and of course that bright yellow jersey! As for Esteban, well he just looked good (as the hair is covered up a bit).
The team returned to training on Tuesday after a two-day break, to begin preparing for this Saturday’s game against Sporting de Gijón (18h). The good news was that Kaká and Álvaro Arbeloa trained at the same intensity as the rest of their teammates. The bad news was that Cris didn’t come out onto the field, as he has suffered a grade I sprain to his left ankle, according to the club’s medical report, and is receiving medical treatment and physiotherapy. No one else was missing, and Tomás Mejías also joined the team for this session.
Álvaro and Kaká looked really happy to be back!
Here are a few more moments before the derby on Saturday. Wondering why Iker was jogging up the tunnel half naked (well, half naked according to his standards)? It’s because he had given away his practice shirt and shorts to fans. Note to self and everyone else: get to stadium early from now on. Meanwhile, Mou and Aitor Karanka were the only ones who refused to get up off their asses during the tribute to Iker’s 127 games with La Roja. Peer pressure had caused Rui Faria and Silvino to rise to their feet, but Mou refused to budge, and Aitor imitated him.
And Marcelo was just being Marcelo, while Xabi was being Xabi. I’d love to see what a conversation between these two are like. As for Sergio: superstition or stairs hopscotch?
Did you know that Madrid is leading the table in the first, second B and third divisions? We all know that the first team widened its lead atop the Liga table to six points after Saturday’s victory over Atleti, and on Sunday, Castilla beat Atlético B 1-0 (Joselu) in their own derby to maintain their lead and become the sole leaders of their group after Lugo tied Tenerife. Castilla has a two-point advantage over Lugo. They are also on a nine-game unbeaten streak. Meanwhile, RMC steamrolled Carabanchel – their direct rival for the lead – 4-0, leaving them as leaders of Group VII of the third division with a two-point lead over Carabanchel. And the basketball team is also leading the Liga Endesa, although they’re tied at the top with Barcelona Regal.
A little comparison between the 2010-11 Madrid and the 2011-12 Madrid, at this point in the season.
place in table: last season, Madrid was in second place, with Barcelona two points ahead. This year, we’re in first place, and six points ahead.
number of points: at this point last year, we had failed on three occasions: two ties against Mallorca and Levante, and one loss to Barcelona, giving us 32 points. This year, we have 34 points, having only lost to Levante and tied against Racing.
goals in favor: last season, there were three games where we couldn’t find the back of the net. At this point, Cris had scored 12, Higuaín eight and Benzema one, giving the team a total of 33. This year, we’ve scored 46 goals already, with Cris scoring 16, Higuaín 13 and Benzema eight. We were only held scoreless on three occasions.
wins: last season, we had 10 wins, with the longest winning streak at seven. This year, we have 11 wins, and a streak of nine straight wins.
goals against: last season, 11 goals had been scored on us. This year, it’s just 10, with the pairing of Sergio and Pepe a big factor why.
The other news from the past several days.
Cris spent the first day of his break in London, attending the final of the ATP World Tour Finals with his brother, where they saw Roger Federer beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
By Monday, he was back in Madrid to attend the AS awards, where he was honored as one of the best athletes of 2011 for his record-breaking goalscoring season. The award was in the shape of an iron heart. Cris said he was honored to receive the award, and he dedicated it to his teammates, saying “I’m very happy, I’m at a point right now where things are going well for me thanks to my teammates and the Real Madrid fans.” During the ceremony, Cris also participated in a magic trick by magician Jorge Luengo, which you can see here. It’s pretty self-explanatory, and watch out for Cris cheating just a little bit!
And much to my dismay, he was once again sporting a very spiky “fashion” hairstyle.
Meanwhile, Sergio was in Sevilla, spending some time in a recording studio. Will we get to hear the results? He also tweeted this video, shot by José Callejón, right before the derby. I’d like to have a word with José, as I’m not too impressed with his cinematic skills. I mean, you have a half naked Sergio Ramos in the locker room, and you can’t even pause on his chest, or pan around the rest of the locker room so we could see what everyone else was doing?? To be fair, José was probably supposed to focus on what Sergio’s legs were doing, but still…
Iker and his cousin Bici were the big winners at a Mus tournament held at El Acebo, with Iker writing, “long live my cousin! Long live me!!!!” However, there was this exchange between Alexis Martín-Tamayo (Mister Chip) and Jordi Codina. Jordi tweeted, “Alexis!! What a disappointment! They’re idiots! I didn’t expect that of you!!!” The response was “they bribed half the bar to get the point that they needed, always cheating.”
And Álvaro Arbeloa was surprised and happy to see that Javi García had joined twitter. I love that Javi still calls Alvarito “capi”! Javi’s appearance on twitter led to a lot of teasing between his former teammates in the cantera, among them Javi Balboa, Rubén de la Red and Borja Valero. I love that they’re all still friends! Alvarito is also starring in what appears to be a promotion for Gillette, alongside Sergio Busquets. The premise of this commercial is that the “Fundación de Ayuda al Hombre Lija” (roughly the foundation to help men get rid of facial hair), which says that women prefer men who shave, has decided to boycott the upcoming clásico if Álvaro and Busquets continue to be bad examples and grow facial hair.
So, the women chase them around, prevent them from doing anything and even try to kidnap them to convince them to shave, all of which puts the clásico in danger. So far, we’ve only seen the first part of the commercial, and I imagine part 2 will be out soon, given that there’s only a few more days left before the big game. I love the expression on Alvarito’s face! Plus, he looks fantastic in that suit and skinny tie!
And the real Guti made an appearance on Crackòvia, going one on one with his beloved alter ego. This is the result.
Do you believe your reputation for being party-loving is justified?
CG: what are you saying, you idiot? With the amount of time I spend going out, the reputation I have for being party-loving is more than justified! I deserve even more!
Do you know how to say anything in Turkish?
JMG: yes, several things. Ekmek, günaydın.
CG: gin and tonic, afterhour, disco club, Turkish is easy, friends!
What is the best thing about being a footballer?
JMG: to be able to do what you love.
CG: what idiots are those footballers who can go out and don’t!
And the worst?
CG: having to play football.
JMG: the worst thing is being recognized on the streets.
CG: whatever, that too.
Are Turkish women or Spanish women better?
CG: the best thing would be a Turkish woman with a Spanish woman. Weah!
JMG: I like women in general, the nationality doesn’t matter.
CG: yes, it’s enough that they have a fantastic body.
Messi or Cristiano?
JMG: there’s no doubt: Messi.
What kind of music do you listen to?
CG: everything: house, trance, techno, minimal German techno…
JMG: Spanish music.
CG: what are you saying, you’re ruining my character!
Finish the sentence: pim…
CG: how great is this guy.