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ICYMI – the alley edition

December 14, 2011

In case you missed it – Ponferradina vs. Real Madrid [2011-12-13, Copa del Rey round of 32 ida, 0-2].

There’s nothing like a win to help the healing process, no?  (Not that I ever lost my optimism, despite the result this past weekend.)  As José Callejón said at the conclusion of the game, “somos el Madrid y tenemos que salir a ganar siempre y cumplir el objetivo” (we are Madrid and we always have to go out to win and achieve our goal).  That was exactly what Madrid did, leaving the Liga behind and putting themselves in a good position to move to the next round of the Copa del Rey in their defense of the title.

ONE.  With Iker back in Madrid and Sergio on the bench, Marcelo started the game as captain.  And with Xabi absent, Esteban Granero took over the posing.  It’s a team effort!

TWO.  Ponferradina may play in the Segunda B division, but they have fantastic fans, and a wonderful atmosphere at the stadium.  This was the scene welcoming Madrid to El Toralín, a giant poster covering one end of the stadium that was inspired by Star Wars.  The sign says, “in a region very close by, the republic of El Bierzo is facing the Empire, the white Empire, which during decades has reigned supreme in all corners of the universe, with players from another galaxy and attracted by the dark side of the sport.”

As you can see, Iker, Sergio, Cris, Mou and company are the bad guys, and Ponferradina’s players are of course the good guys.  I love it!

Later on, when Cris came out of the game, he surprisingly enough got an ovation from about half of El Toralín, which made a nice change from the usual boos and death threats, and which showed these fans have class.

THREE.  As the Iker-Sergio pairing was separated, we had Cris and Marcelo doing the pre-game hug and kiss.  And Cris also chatted with his opponents while waiting for the game to begin, such as Borja Valle, whom Cris apparently recognized from a report that Cuatro did on Ponfe.  After the game, Borja said that Cris was very nice, and revealed that he had gotten Cris’ shirt.

FOUR.  Once again, José Callejón took advantage of the opportunity he had, scoring and trying to help others score.

I love his spirit.

Cris scored Madrid’s second goal, and his celebration was a bit more subdued, but I’m glad to see him back on track, since I hate seeing him sad.

But the best part of that goal celebration has to be the interaction between my favorite bromance of José and Gonzalo.  They are so adorable together!

FIVE.  After the game, Sergio tweeted this photo of him and Calleti, saying that José dedicated his goal to him.  As José also made a sort of hand next to the ear gesture, which they are replicating here, does that mean that Sergio never hears José when he tells him “I love you”?

SIX.  A couple of Cristiano moments: the look of utter concentration on his face before taking a free kick, and asking for a hug.  Okay fine, he was actually complaining to the referee that he was fouled.

SEVEN.  XIT got a bit of playing time – yay!  Mesut was supposed to check in with him – he changed his shirt and everything – but when Raúl Albiol got sent off, the plans changed, and it was Sergio who got to go in.  He, like Mesut, showed off a bit of skin while preparing to enter the game.

Here is that moment as a photo, since I know you’ll want it.

EIGHT.  Poor Chori, he didn’t have the best night.  First, the rain completely drenched him and made his shirt transparent (making it a good night for us), and then he got sent off.  That sums up the game he had nicely.

NINE.  Jesé made his long-awaited debut in an official game, coming in for Cristiano Ronaldo in the 78th minute.  After the game, he said debuting was a “great satisfaction” and something he had dreamed about since he arrived at Real Madrid at the age of 13 (he’s now 18).  Jesé also revealed what Mou had told him right before he checked in: “he told me to stay calm, to fight and to do the things I do with Castilla.”  The canterano also said he thought about his family, his father and brother specifically, right before he went on, and that he saved his shirt from the debut, which his teammates signed on the plane ride back to Madrid.

TEN.  I love my canteranos, despite their sometimes questionable hair.

ELEVEN.  The Xabi Alonso pose section.™

I’m sure Xabi was posing wherever he was, but unfortunately, it wasn’t in this game, so there are no images.

TWELVE.  The Mou corner.

Before beginning his press conference, Mou thanked Ponferrada for the support they gave Madrid, saying, “I’d like to say that we played in a city with wonderful people who received us with a lot of affection and good manners.  We played in a stadium with a party-like atmosphere and it’s a pleasure to play here and a pleasure to come here.  For me, it has been a pleasure and this is the great thing about the Copa.”

He also had comments ono several other subjects.  Mou slipped in a little attack on those people who had criticized him for using Pedro Mendes against Ajax, saying, “with the result in our favor, I decided to put Jesé in.  Many people wanted to see him as a right fullback in Amsterdam.”  He also praised José Callejón, saying, “each minute he plays, he does with motivation and I like his attitude very much.”  Hopefully enough that he’ll consider using José more, no?

Mou also said that Benzema, Özil and Pepe would play the return leg at the Bernabéu on Dec. 20 because they are taking that game seriously, despite going in with an advantage, and that the South American players (Marcelo, Higuaín, Kaká and Di María) would not be playing in that game, as they will be allowed to start their vacations earlier than the rest of the team, since they’ll be making longer trips to go home for Christmas vacation.

THIRTEEN.  Other notes.

Ponferradina’s Brazilian player Yuri said after the game that he exchanged his shirt with Kaká, and spoke to Mourinho for 10 minutes, after the latter came up to him after the game to say hi and to say that he hadn’t known that Yuri was playing here.  The two had met in Portugal back in 2003-04, when Mou’s Oporto played Yuri’s Gil Vicente.  In addition, Yuri also sang “Ai se eu te pego” for COPE, as it’s one of the songs constantly on play in the Ponfe dressing room (the other is Rihanna’s “We Found Love”).  Have a listen here (the singing starts around the 4:30 mark); he also said he’ll sing it if he scores in the Bernabéu.

Madrid spent the hours prior to the game eating, listening to Mou’s chat, resting and meeting the fans.

The entire team plus José Mourinho left their hotel to sign autographs and pose for pictures with the fans who had congregated outside, despite a persistent rain.  The team wanted to thank the fans in Ponferrada for the warm welcome they had received the previous night.

Both Sergio and Nuri were very accommodating, with Sergio acceding to posing with a baby (go ahead and take a break from this post to start fantasizing, I don’t mind), and Nuri leaning back to make sure that he would fit in a fan’s photo/self portrait.

Madrid returned to training on Wednesday, as they started preparations for this weekend’s Liga game against Sevilla.

Meanwhile, at Castilla, we got this adorable picture of MFC Álvaro Borja Morata Martín and Carva in the locker room.

And over in Hamburg, Ronaldo and Zizou combined with an all-star team to beat Hamburger 5-4, but the real winner was the people of Africa, as benefits from the Match Against Poverty are going to combat hunger in the Horn of Africa.

Ronie and Zizou’s team included many of their former teammates at Madrid, such as Míchel Salgado, Luis Figo, Fabio Cannavaro, Claude Makélélé, Fernando Hierro and Steve McManaman (El Macca!).  Can you spot some of them here?

30 Comments leave one →
  1. December 14, 2011 16:01

    Thank god Sergio didn’t drop that baby…

    • December 14, 2011 19:46

      LOLOLOLOL!!! I saw that and couldn’t help but think… that mum must be a real fan. I love my pony but wouldn’t hand him my infant.

    • maria permalink
      December 14, 2011 20:46

      hahahahahahaahahahaha!! awesome!! let’s just say he’s adorably clumsy!!

    • December 15, 2011 14:55


  2. Sarah, Madrid permalink
    December 14, 2011 16:14

    Salgado, is this Claude next to him!! :O…., look at this elegant Zizo..

    Anyway, I love your post more than the game, Jose the only guy who had a a good game, the rest *yawn*, but that said the atsomphere of the fans was amazing, Cristano goal was good, what I loved the most how everyone was happy for him.

    Ramos with a baby………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

  3. mokia permalink
    December 14, 2011 16:38

    Una You are fantastic! I never read anyone else’s match reports after losses, but i read yours simply because you are so optimistic and dont go around bashing our players who didnt perform at their best, and so on. You are the best. This was another great post after a nice little win that will soothe us for a bit and your liveliness is always uplifting 🙂 Thank you for continuing what you do Una! ❤

  4. manie permalink
    December 14, 2011 16:42

    O man I didn’t know Macca was playing! I love Callejita, I hope he gets more playing time, but I was especially happy to see Jese play even though we were down a man.

  5. noviana noor aisyiah permalink
    December 14, 2011 16:51

    when i saw Jese about to come on, i’m screaming and have a tears. oh i’m such a baby

  6. December 14, 2011 17:27

    fisrt of all- Zidane and Ronaldo playing together, oh a dream.

    I did not see the game but the description sums it all quite nicely.

    I have to admit that I did not expect Callejon to be so good. Indeed, his attitude is great and I really begin to adore him for his game. Great form lately and he seems to be very calm about the place he’s in, humble and calm.

  7. GinaM permalink
    December 14, 2011 17:31

    Great match review, unfortunately was at work and couldn’t watch the game.

    I wish I could watch the game somewhere I’d like to see the ovation for Ronaldo. I haven’t seen that in such a long time. I wonder why so many people don’t like him, he’s been so good since he came to Madrid. I hope he can win us some silverware this year to boost his spirit again!

    hahaha love the part about Sergio and the baby, you said it and we were alllllllllllll thinking it 😉

  8. December 14, 2011 17:41

    It seemed, going into this, that Cristiano almost lacked confidence. I’m glad to see him score and put the weekend behind him. Here in the US they will not let go that he didn’t score against Barcelona. It’s quite annoying. Maybe it’s that I’m “protective” of my team but I always hear this tone in their voice like they find it funny.

    I hope Mou gives Callejon more playing time! I have serious love for him. He does everything right whenever he DOES get to play. So proud of him!

    Albiol definitely had a game to forget. My feed for the game was crap, so I missed his second yellow but he wasn’t playing great. It’s okay though because we still got the result.

  9. Jen permalink
    December 14, 2011 18:32

    “(go ahead and take a break from this post to start fantasizing, I don’t mind)”– Sometimes it really feels like you’re in my head…

    haha You’re the best, Una!

  10. amouria permalink
    December 14, 2011 19:35

    “Thank god Sergio didn’t drop that baby…”……hahahaha, that’s a great comment!

    I love the way the public received our team and players, we should go there more often, this will definitely boost our players’ morale..

    Albiol? well, some friends say that he now has a constant nightmare: Farane, who is more stable, mature and skillful despite his youth.
    Best thing for him and real madrid: go somewhere else. I am sure that the Mou is bringing him in to convince Perez that he is disastrous! sorry for his fans…

  11. December 14, 2011 19:48

    I love this team so much. Thanks for an excellent post Una. I’m looking fwd to seeing us at Seville.

    PS: When does the team break for the hols, and when do Sunshine, Pipa, Kaka and Dobby get to go home?

    • unamadridista permalink*
      December 15, 2011 14:33

      As soon as their last game is over, on Dec. 20. Apparently the South Americans will get to leave two days earlier.

  12. jessica permalink
    December 14, 2011 20:57

    the atmosphere was incredible…im starting to really like José Callejón. he has so much potential

  13. ThatPerson permalink
    December 14, 2011 22:11

    Oh. How did I not know they were playing in Hamburg! I would have watched it.

  14. December 14, 2011 23:40

    Love our team!! Sergio holding the baby is so classy. There’s no team like Real Madrid, I don’t care how many times Barcelona beats us.

  15. Pammie permalink
    December 14, 2011 23:55

    I love the beginning of the copa del rey season for this reason- big teams visiting small stadiums (and winning this time, yay!). It’s a pity that the weather was so bad. Their banner was original and funny and looked great!

    look at the pirate’s bouncy locks in the snood gif ❤

    It's great that Calleti can show his talent, I also hope he'll get more playing time. Does he have a secret handshake with Pipita now? xD

    I hope that Jesé's debut wasn't the last time he played with the first team this season.

    thanks for another beautiful icymi!

  16. December 15, 2011 00:14

    That’s the first picture of Callejon that Ive seen with “sitting” hair @ 10. He looks a little different.

  17. Jess permalink
    December 15, 2011 04:12

    “does that mean that Sergio never hears José when he tells him “I love you”?” hahahha this is great!!!

  18. @ulonghaz permalink
    December 15, 2011 06:54

    i couldn’t find Macca in the pic…

    • unamadridista permalink*
      December 15, 2011 14:34

      He’s the one partially covered by Cannavaro’s head.

  19. December 15, 2011 07:18

    YES. I loved the crowd cheers game night too. Was really jealous at how festive and respectful they were. I’m glad Real Madrid paid them back by leaving their hotel early to sign autographs 🙂

  20. oli permalink
    December 15, 2011 08:31

    oh, callejita’s crush on sergio.

  21. Ash permalink
    December 15, 2011 08:50

    Such a fun post! I LOVE the Star Wars poster–so great to see fans who are creative and classy.. there are ways to promote rivalries and sportsmanship without degrading players or throwing in racism. And it seems they appreciated it too—that’s sweet of them to have a signing session outside the hotel [I know that has to get old]. Quick question for you: Did you have any comment on the whole Marcelo refusing to shake Pique’s hand thing? I realize the media has completely had a field day with it, so typical.. didn’t know if there was some incident between the two or if it was just a bad moment

    • unamadridista permalink*
      December 15, 2011 14:38

      Even Piqué said there was nothing to it, that it was probably just the heat of the moment, and there’s no need to give it any importance.

  22. Greta permalink
    December 15, 2011 14:35

    Hehe, how wonderful is it, that you wrote about the Match against Poverty, too?
    In fact, I’ve been there at the stadium and it had been UNBELIEVABLE to see Ronaldo, Zizou and Figo LIVE!! Be sure, it’s been wonderful 😀

  23. December 18, 2011 06:34

    that picture of OFC, i just want to pinch his adorable little cheeks!

    callejón is rapidly becoming my favourite of our new signings. he’s a great player and seems like a great person, too. 🙂

    it’s nice to see captain sunshine in action! even though a few usually key players were missing, we still shone through, which just shows the depth of talent on this team!


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