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all set for Ponferradina!

December 13, 2011

We have to move on from the Liga, because our defense of the Copa del Rey begins tonight, in cold and most likely rainy Ponferrada at 20h, against Ponferradina.  As Sergio said, “this escudo always requires you to look forward.  Tomorrow, the defense of the Copa begins.  Our hopes are intact.  Hala Madrid!!”

I love how Sergio has developed, both on the field and off.  He now reminds me of another certain centerback from Andalucía who came from outside and ended up becoming a symbol of this club…

On Monday afternoon, Madrid held their first and only training session (they got Sunday off) before tonight’s Copa del Rey round of 32 game against Ponferradina at El Toralín.  Eighteen footballers, 15 from the first team and three canteranos (Jesús and Jesé from Castilla and Fernando Pacheco from RMC), participated in the session.  The absences were Ricardo Carvalho, due to injury, and Iker, Pepe, Coentrão, Lass, Xabi, Di María and Benzema, who were given an extra two-day mini-break (a “deserved” one, according to Mou) by the club.

Prior to the start of the session, José Mourinho gathered his players around him and had a little chat with them.  Later on, he said, “the chat which I had was five minutes long and I was explaining to everyone, those who were going to debut in the Copa and those who hadn’t played before in this competition, the history of this competition and that difficulties that other teams have had.”  However, certain media outlets, such as Cuatro, preferred to say that Mou was signalling out some of the players for blame for Saturday’s game.   I see how being owned by Telecinco has affected Cuatro.

Only one player from the training session missed out on the call-up, Álvaro Arbeloa, as he’s still not fully recovered.  The rest of the call-up is as follows, with only four defenders, so Sergio may see a shift in position again.

Goalkeepers:  Adán, Jesús, Pacheco.

Defenders: Varane, Marcelo, Albiol, Sergio Ramos.

Midfielders: Altintop, Khedira, Granero, Sahin, Özil, Callejón, Kaká.

Forwards: Cristiano Ronaldo, Higuaín, Jesé.

In his press conference, Mou wanted to talk about the Copa del Rey, but it was inevitable that he would be asked about the Liga.  In response, he said, “if in this moment you give me the opportunity to change our position with any other team in Europe, I wouldn’t change.  I wouldn’t change for anything.  We’re the best team in the Champions and first in our domestic competition, so why would we want to change with anyone else?”

Later on, Mou reiterated this: “I’ll tell you the truth, the truth, the truth, I wouldn’t change our situation for that of anyone.  Of anyone.  In the Champions League, we are the best team in the history of the Champions, no?  Six games, six wins, the best goal average, the team had the best qualification in the history of the Champions.  In the Liga, no one has more points than we do.  I look ahead and I don’t see anyone, and we’ve played one less game.  There are three possibilities: at the end of the year [2011], we end up first tied with Barcelona, we end up first with one more point or we end up first with three more points.  That’s why I wouldn’t change our situation with anything….  There’s no inferiority.  They have the same number of points as us, and on Saturday they can have one or three less than us.”  He went on to say that what happened on Saturday won’t affect the team, and that they are taking this game seriously because “if we look at the recent history of Madrid in the Copa, they’ve always had difficulties against inferior teams.”

Mou also revealed that Sahin, Varane and Altintop would start, “but don’t ask me to give any more starters.”  He said these three need to play: “I have the belief, with each passing day, that Varane will start in Real Madrid for 10 years, from his 20s to his 30s.  He’s a great player and a child, he’s only 18 years old despite his maturity as a person and as a player.  And the other two need to play due to their injuries.”  Mou also said that Cristiano was “sad but he’s traveling (to Ponferrada) because he wants to help.”  That just shows what kind of player Cris is, no?

Finally, José summed up things in “two words: we’re leaders.”

After the training session and press conference, Madrid traveled by plane to León, and then by bus onto Ponferrada.  At the airport, 700 people waited to greet them (Sergio stopped briefly to sign a few autographs, as did Mou, causing traffic behind him to back-up), but that was nothing compared to the 2,000 people awaiting them at the Hotel Celuisma in Ponferrada.  If Cris was trying to disguise himself, it’s wasn’t working.

Other news.  On Sunday, Álvaro Arbeloa used twitter to give out some movie recommendations.  He said The Princess Bride is in the top 20 of his favorite movies, and described it as “una peli jefa jefa de amor.”  He revealed that he likes romantic comedies, including any with Julia Roberts, who is a “crack,” such as Notting Hill (which also happens to be my favorite movie.  And who is imagining Iker and Álvaro watching that movie together now?).  Alvarito also recommended Big Trouble in Little China, Love Actually, The Break-Up, The Lake House and of course footballer favorite The Notebook (which is of course Javi (!!!)’s favorite movie).  Yesterday, his cousin Gonzalo came to watch the session at Valdebebas, as it was his birthday, and the two of them posed together.

As for Castilla, they beat Marino de Luanco 3-1 on Sunday to remain leaders of Group I of the Segunda B division.  Nacho, Óscar Plano and MFC Álvaro Borja Morata Martín scored for Castilla.  Nacho was sent off with five minutes to go.  After the game, he tweeted, “great victory to continue as leaders!  I’m sorry Álex, but I’ve already scored two more goals than you.  Let’s go Castilla.”  Jajaja!!!!

Jorge Casado and Joselu had watched the game together at Jorge’s house, as Jorge was sanctioned for this game after getting sent off against Oviedo, and Joselu had some problems with his knee and so he was unable to play.

And Dani Carvajal tweeted this photo of him, Tomás Mejías and “Peter Mendes” (I love that Pedro is called Peter, just like Peter Lion!) on the super long bus ride back to Madrid.  Jajaja at Peter!  That is a very green apple.  Plus, MFC’s phone wasn’t working (he has since gotten it fixed), so he used Álex’s phone to tweet and say thank you to everyone for their support.

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18 Comments leave one →
  1. PepperPots permalink
    December 13, 2011 09:41

    Cristiano does look sad. 😐

  2. Sarah, Madrid permalink
    December 13, 2011 09:55

    Hala Cristano, I just want to show support and hug him. Mourimho press conference was pretty confident and I liked it!! Excited for the game today.

    I too think that Ramos had improved a lot, now think he needs to step it during games in becoming onfield leader!! He has potential to do so.

    Yes sure if Mourinho was the blaming players, definitely that will be open for press jeje, go castilla, Nacho is like the Ramos of castilla no, he sent off every game and so :p

  3. @ulonghaz permalink
    December 13, 2011 10:17

    awwww, our little boys is so adorable

  4. maria permalink
    December 13, 2011 12:13

    Pipa just tweeted news from Marca that Karim was nominated as French player of the year!!! I just love Pipa, and how great of a character is he!! Showing off the merits of his team mate, who in theory people like to call his “competitor” for the same spot as center forward of Madrid!! “Felicitations” to Karim for the well deserved nomination; and specially enhorabuena to Pipa, for having great personality in and out of pitch!!! I think he also deserves to be praised for everything he’s done and does for his team!! He represents the colors of Madrid so well, with the pride and “raza” of a real “canterano”. I’d love to watch gonzalo play a little more as a starter, along with benzema… and I hate comparisons between them both!!
    Karim plays with class, has a lot of skills with the ball, always creates spaces, connects very well with all his team mates. Plus he’s versatile and plays amazingly well as a creation player on the left side.
    Pipa is a real fighter who never gives up, he’d leave his skin on the pitch if he had to. He’s a “driller”, a goalscorer, he always gets the job done!! I absolutely die for Pipa!! Balon d’or for humility, companionship, “raza” and leadership!! One of the bravest player out there!!

  5. antrea permalink
    December 13, 2011 12:56

    That last picture is freakin’ hilarious 😄

  6. December 13, 2011 13:34

    Hala Madrid! I hope we do really well today.

  7. manie permalink
    December 13, 2011 13:38

    Mou’s press conference was so great. Great recap.

    • manie permalink
      December 13, 2011 15:58

      Also I really hope that Jese debuts today. I agree with what you’ve said before, about the value of playing once and then never again, but I do want to see him rewarded for how well he has been playing.

  8. cisarovna permalink
    December 13, 2011 13:47

    Una some of your recent posts have been great. Sorry I do not always have a chance to comment. I am glad the clasico is over, I am not depressed about the outcome and ready to move on to the next games. I am glad some players who have not had many minutes will get to play in this game. I also hope more cantera will have time in the Copa, along with pirata, alley, and Adan. I also wish them all (and you as well) a healthy and happy holiday. HEALTHY players is my wish for the new year.

  9. superfan permalink
    December 13, 2011 15:06

    Arbeloa’s movie recommendations are flawless. Especially Notting Hill and Love Actually!!!

  10. emily permalink
    December 13, 2011 15:16

    The Arbeloa family genetic material appears to have a dominant hotness factor.

  11. Gabriela permalink
    December 13, 2011 15:51

    I immediately think of you (Una) and Iker whenever I watch Notting Hill (which happens to be one my favorite movies too haha). Now Arbeloa will join the party of ‘people I remind of’ when watching this movie!
    I guess there’s just no way to not like this movie! It’s amazing!

    I love what Mou said in the press conference! Somos líderes!

    These jornalists that create their own news out of nowhere instead of reporting the facts make me so angry. I just can’t understand them. Why do they study so many years to just go there and make up news is beyond me. Sportive journalism is becoming more and more of a joke everyday. This is sad!

  12. Dia permalink
    December 13, 2011 16:03

    OMG, Arbeloa is a handsome, dog-loving, romantic…….could there be anything better? No, I think not. This man wonderful. Just wonderful. I hope his wife appreciates how lucky she is.

  13. December 13, 2011 17:59

    tomi mejias is stunning

  14. Kay permalink
    December 13, 2011 18:18

    The Princess Bride?? Can this man get any more perfect? (as perfect as his finely formed abs?) I don’t think so.

  15. maripili permalink
    December 14, 2011 01:56

    I’m still so sad about the loss against Barcelona. I thought that this time would be the time
    Real would win. And when they scored so soon… I was so full of hope. But as Sergio says, time to move on.

  16. December 14, 2011 03:30

    alvarito has very girly taste in films! jejejeje! that’s too cute. 🙂

    i LOVED mou’s comments about not wanting to trade with anyone else. when he talks like this, i’m proud of him and i support him and i believe in him wholeheartedly. hala madrid!

  17. nikki permalink
    December 14, 2011 09:42

    “In the Champions League, we are the best team in the history of the Champions, no? Six games, six wins, the best goal average, the team had the best qualification in the history of the Champions.”

    Is he for real?? Oh Mou, you so funny.

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