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all set for Sevilla!

December 17, 2011

We found out yesterday that CSKA Moscow will be our rival in the round of 16 of the Champions League.  Madrid will play the first leg on Feb. 21 in Moscow, with the second leg at the Bernabéu on March 14.  But that’s not for another two months, and in the meantime, we have one more Liga game and one more Copa del Rey game before 2011 finishes.  Tonight, Madrid faces Sevilla (22h).  And Xabi prepared for it by doing what he does best, posing and being generally adorable.  Oh yes, and there were the football drills as well.

The team held their last training session before today’s game against Sevilla, on Friday afternoon.  In good news, 22 players from the first team trained (Carvalho remains the only real injured player), along with Jesús and Jorge Casado.  Ángel di María returned to the team after missing out on the last session due the death of his father-in-law, meaning he had to make a trip back to Rosario.  He had trained by himself on Thursday afternoon.  While Marcelo, Gonzalo and Ángel joked around, others tried to fly.

In bad news, not all of the healthy players were called up for the game.  Esteban Granero (why?) and Nuri Sahin missed out due to the coach’s decision.  Ricardo Carvalho and Fábio Coentrão’s absences, meanwhile, were explained by injury (in Fábio’s case, a muscle injury to his right abductor).

Goalkeepers: Iker, Adán, Jesús.

Defenders: Pepe, Arbeloa, Varane, Marcelo, Albiol, Sergio Ramos.

Midfielders: Lass, Xabi Alonso, Di María, Altintop, Khedira, Özil, Callejón, Kaká.

Forwards: Cristiano Ronaldo, Higuaín, Benzema.

Mou spoke to the press before the training session. Highlights:

on how Madrid is doing: last year, we arrived at the end of the year two points behind the leader, and this year we can get to almost the halfway point of the championship with three or one more points than Barça, or be equal.  In any of those three cases, we’re better than last year.  If we have a problem, then rest of you have many more problems than us.

on Mesut Özil’s poor performances as of late: are you French or German?  French?  I thought you were going to ask me about Karim or Varane.

on 2011: in football, it’s difficult to evaluate by year, it’s better to do it by season.  The evaluation of these six months of 2011 for the 2011-12 season is very good, very good, very close to 10.  This gives us positive sensations for the second half of the season… We’re co-leaders of the Liga, we won all our games in the Champions and in the Copa we’ve played one game and we won it.  That’s why the balance is very good.  Let’s see if in tomorrow’s game we can get one point or three to end as the sole leaders.

He also said they don’t intend to sign anyone in the winter transfer market, and also lamented David Villa’s injury.

Following the training session, the models team traveled by plane to Sevilla.

Once at the NH Central Convenciones hotel, Xabi Alonso and Antonio Adán came out to sign autographs and to pose with fans.  Meanwhile, Sergio received a visit from his family, including his beloved niece Daniela.

That is one well-dressed kid!  Maybe he decided to dress up as his idol Xabi Alonso to meet him, because can’t you totally see Xabi in an adult’s version of that outfit?

Iker, meanwhile, was busy posting every minute of the trip on his Facebook, from preparing in the locker room to scenes on the airport bus to having Cola Cao (and a donut).  His iPhone must feel like the 1/! key on my Mac.

Speaking of obsessed with Facebook, what about Karim?  He loves posting pictures of himself attempting to look sexy/cool/nonchalant, no?  Unfortunately though, he usually fails.

Other news.  On Sunday at 15h, there will be the traditional Christmas lunch for the football and basketball teams and the directors of the club.  It will take place at the Bernabéu.

On Thursday, Sergio and his “bro” José Callejón headed to the Rihanna concert at the Palacio de Deportes.  I wonder how much of the actual concert they understood?  They were probably chatting away to each other all night anyway.

As for Castilla, they will be playing their last game of the year today at the EADS against Alcalá (18h), giving them a chance to go into the winter break as leaders.   Captain Nacho will be sitting this one out, as he tweeted: “this Saturday, we have a game against Alcalá.  I won’t be able to play since I was sent off last weekend.  Goals: Nacho 2, Álex 0… I’m sorry brother.”  Cute!

Earlier this week, on Thursday afternoon, Castilla and RMC had their traditional Christmas cocktail, which took place at the Ciudad Deportiva.  Judging solely based on the video and photos provided by Madrid’s web site, the cocktail consisted of Castilla’s vice president Manuel Cerezo speaking, and the players looking bored.  Álex, Nacho and Juanfran got into the holiday spirit by wearing red (check out Juanfran’s red pants).  Plus, I knew that Tomás Mejías was the tallest player in the cantera, but he looked especially giant here.

20 Comments leave one →
  1. Sarah, Madrid permalink
    December 17, 2011 13:17

    Wouldn’t be fun if they have all Madrid players in the same xmas party including Castilla!!

    I am glad you Una mentioned Benzema’s, his pictures are just shocking to say the least, his rap taste in music is pretty well 2pac-yy :P..

    As for the game today, I am nervous actually, Seville game has never been easy, has always been eventful, we have to win so these months of hard work wont go unnotice by ending this year with not being leaders of Liga alone! Hala Madrid, nervous but cant wait for last game before holidays…

  2. gabriela permalink
    December 17, 2011 15:15

    someone please teach Karim to take decent pictures of himself… the ones he posts look absolutelly embarassing!

    it looks like Pipita is choking Marcelo in that picture of the two of them + Angelito having fun!

  3. ama permalink
    December 17, 2011 15:38

    I really think that the ” button on Sergio’s phone is at least as worn out as your 1/!, Una. Someone please take his unnecessary quotation marks away!! (Although…he and Callejón both look really cute in that photo, so maybe I can give him a break.)

    Also, am I the only one who finds Iker’s Cola Cao product placements on facebook kind of hilarious?

  4. mel permalink
    December 17, 2011 15:55

    Callejon, he’s growing on my. I ❤ him!!!

  5. thediva1983 permalink
    December 17, 2011 16:16

    Is it me, or has Xabi been smiling a lot more? I remember seeing pictures from last season and I think the season before and that wasn’t always the case. Maybe he’s finally settled in or this is a goofy side we rarely see.

    And that adorable kid in that outfit – a total Xabi outfit, indeed! 🙂

  6. Louise permalink
    December 17, 2011 16:35

    OMG, Mini!Xabi is adorable. “My mama says that when I grow up, I can grow a ginger beard just like yours!”

    Is Iker trying to get an endorsement deal with Cola Cao?

  7. mumblo permalink
    December 17, 2011 17:02

    Aha, Una, I had practically the same thought about that dapper young man! The V-neck with the button-down shirt underneath, everything fits properly, even the hair is meticulously groomed… he is totally channeling Xabi! Maybe Xabi is asking him where to go shopping in Sevilla. =P

  8. bbBenz permalink
    December 17, 2011 17:13

    Karim….Karim….what the hell are you doing x)

  9. noviana noor aisyiah permalink
    December 17, 2011 18:24

    haha i always thinking the same way with you! karim always failed in almost sexy photo!! ahahahah

  10. December 17, 2011 21:55

    granero is this year’s peter lion. *sigh* he’s being wasted. 😦

    benz’s pics make me laugh. honey, you’re incredibly talented, fit, play for the best team in the world, famous, easy on the eyes … you don’t need to pose like that! you’re already cool!

    i saw sergio’s tweet about his daniela and it made me beam. i love how much he loves her!

    iker definitely has a back-up career as either a photographer or a papparazo!

    baby!xabi! is adorable! look at those clothes! xabi must have been so impressed. heh. 🙂

    loved mou’s commentary about this season versus last. totally agreed. right now, we’re in good shape and it’s early days yet. hala madrid!

  11. AJ Nelson permalink
    December 18, 2011 02:24

    Why Karim? Why? Yes, I am reading this after today’s fabulous win with some crazy calls, but I will take the 3 points and the lead at the end of 2011. Merry Christmas & Happy New Year Una! Thanks for your posts!

  12. December 18, 2011 03:09

    o, the boy who taks to Xabi and Adan is adorable!!!

    Karim’s outfit and the pic -hilarious.

    the result of the match is pretty satisfying -I dod not see ot but I saw the results.

    and somewhere in Germany RAUL scored a hat-trick….I still miss him.

  13. raooya permalink
    December 18, 2011 03:51

    Hi una … for Karim he really obssesed with facebook but he is adorable
    i think we will play the first leg at Russia and the 2nd at home it seems easy draw but we have to be careful

  14. December 18, 2011 04:54

    oh Karim, I think that counts as a fail…How cute is little Xabi? I bet his mother had something to do with it hehe

  15. asu permalink
    December 18, 2011 06:37

    Una, thanks for posting! I didn’t know Benz has a facebook page. Thanks to you I just ‘liked’ his page on FB and you’re totally right — he makes the most ridiculous faces! Ahahaa but he’s still quite adorable….! (And becoming quite a killer striker too! yaye!)

  16. kiki permalink
    December 18, 2011 07:46

    oh Xabi……………………………….. that’s all I’m capable of ATM, be back later *wink, wink* (& I think you know why)

  17. Buckhum permalink
    December 18, 2011 11:21

    Oh no, let’s home Benzema does not catch a case of the [duck face]!!!

  18. amouria permalink
    December 18, 2011 12:25

    I love their gray tops, it is excellent on ALL of them…

  19. December 18, 2011 13:07

    There is something oddly mesmerizing about watching Xabi in the drills. I love the quick footwork and then the burst of laughter afterwards.

  20. Lulja permalink
    December 18, 2011 14:50

    What’s with Iker’s Cola Cao obsession lately? Are they sponsoring him? (I must say, he has a good taste here – it’s delicious!)

    Gran victoria de ayer!

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