ICYMI – the goal celebration edition
In case you missed it – Sevilla vs. Real Madrid [2011-12-17, Liga jornada 17, 2-6].
This is what I love about this team. On Saturday night in Sevilla, it was impossible just to pick one star of the game. Was it Ángel di María, with his impeccable assists? Was it Cristiano Ronaldo, with his goals? Was it Iker, with his impossible saves? Was it Xabi Alonso, with his posing?
ONE. Despite the goal fest, the best moments of the afternoon in Sevilla took place while the ball was not in play. Prior to the game, we had the A-team imitating scoring celebrations. Raúl Albiol and Xabi kicked things off by discussing Cristiano/Marcelo/Pepe’s goal jumping celebration, and then Álvaro Arbeloa imitated José Calderón. Then Xabi did Ángel di María’s heart! I’d pay to see Xabi celebrate like that. El Chori also imitated Karim Benzema, while Xabi did the same with Kiko and his El Arquero celebration.
The boys also did Sergio Ramos’s hand behind the ear celebration, and José Callejón’s… I’m going to call this one the listening to a seashell celebration. And if all that wasn’t hilarious enough, Xabi imitated Cristiano with his popped collar! Xabi imitates with so much class. I’ve never seen anyone adjust a collar so elegantly.
Álvaro Arbeloa has since tweeted that they were imitating the trademark gestures of players, such as Lebron James (the powder tossing), Eric Cantona (the upturned collar), José Calderón (the two hands on either side with three fingers up), Ángel di María (the heart), Kiko (the archer), Luca Toni (the twirling hand next to the ear) and Jason Terry (JET, of course). Watch the video here.
I love the A-team.
TWO. More stuff that happened technically off the field. Sergio Ramos injured his left thigh, so we got these scenes of it being checked out (which are once again a reminder that I’m in the wrong profession) and bandaged up. These moments are reminiscent of our favorite photo, no?
He’s been since diagnosed with a Grade I tear to the biceps femoris of his left thigh. I’d like to do an examination myself, just to confirm this.
THREE. I love the boys in red; it was the perfect way to close off their Liga campaign for 2011, with only one week to go before Christmas. Anyway, during the game, there were discussions…
… and secrets being whispered. I suppose they were talking game strategies, but how fun would it be to imagine that Pepe was whispering to Sergio about José Callejón’s hair, or that Iker was telling Sergio to check out Xabi posing?
FOUR. Okay, some great things did happen while the game was going on, namely the six goals we scored. Cristiano kicked things off, and was rewarded with a kiss to the top of his head from Ángel di María (who probably ended up with a mouthful of hair gel, and had to go rinse his mouth off on the sideline). Then José Callejón scored, and celebrated a la Ángel, by making a heart with his hands, before Marcelo jumped on him and nearly injured him.
I was really happy to see José Callejón get a start, and he once again showed Mou why he deserves a spot in the starting XI. I felt very bad for him when he had to leave shortly before the half due to Pepe’s expulsion, as Calleti was the one sacrificed to allow Raúl Albiol to come on. José is Madrid’s fourth leading goalscorer, after the three forwards, with seven. He’s also the only player along with Cris to have scored in all three competitions (two in the Liga, four in the Champions and one in the Copa).
Cris then scored another goal, and then Ángel di María followed suit. Angelito celebrated his goal by running over to the bench, where Chendo was waiting for him with a shirt. He then held the shirt up. It read, “Germán, te extrañaremos siempre” (Germán, we will forever miss you).
Germán is of course his father-in-law, who passed away earlier this week. Ángel said after the game that he knew he was going to score and so he prepared the shirt. By the way, Di María now has 12 assists, leading the Liga in this aspect. He’s also scored five goals this season.
A made penalty allowed Cris to notch up another hat trick, and a last minute goal from Hamit Altintop made it six on the night for Madrid. Look at how his teammates mobbed him, and how much effort Hamit put into getting out of their clutches! If I were him, I’d do the complete opposite. I’d be shoving myself in deeper into their embrace, and they’d be the ones making an effort to get out of my clutches.
FIVE. Happily enough, this scene was seen six times at the Sánchez Pizjuán on Saturday night.
SIX. I also adore how Mou celebrated Altintop’s goal. And the win relieved all pressures and tensions, and so the bench could at last enjoy themselves.
SEVEN. Of course, the goals wouldn’t have met anything if it weren’t for Iker and his incredible saves. With Madrid protecting their 1-0 lead, Iker made two saves to deny Sevilla. The first one, against Manu del Moral, was reminiscent of his fantastic save in Sevilla two years ago (although it was at the opposite goal). Iker once again lived up to his nickname, San Iker.
As Fernando Pacheco tweeted, “there are no words to describe what Iker did…”
EIGHT. A couple of gestures I found funny: Xabi shoving Sergio into position, and Cris doing something…
NINE. Pepe got himself sent off foolishly (again) and unfortunately proved (again) that he needs to calm down sometimes. With that said, I’d like to highlight these moments of Pepe. After fouling Manu, he went over to see how he was and to help him up, and from Manu’s gestures, there was no ill will between them. After Pepe was sent off, he showered and changed, and returned to the bench, where he watched the rest of the game and gladly posed with one of Sevilla’s security guards. These remind me of the boy who raised fish so he could contribute to his family.
TEN. Here come some gratuitous moments…
ELEVEN. Iker looked a bit nervous and/or uncertain before the game, but in hindsight, we could see that he had nothing to worry about. And when a collision with Kanouté left Iker massaging his back, I only noticed that he was showing his profile perfectly while doing so. Bonus bottom half of Sergio walking by.
TWELVE. Like I said earlier, the best moments didn’t take place during the game. Before the game started, we had Sergio giving his protectee Jesús Navas a kiss, and all of the Madrid players greeting our canterano Álvaro Negredo with a hug. Manu del Moral also got a huge smile and a tap on the face from his national team captain.
THIRTEEN. Sergio and Jesuito also embraced after the game, as did Saint Iker and Jesús. All we need is for Ángel to join in…
Here it is in picture form. By the way, did you notice how Jesús celebrated his goal, by pretending he had a tummy? It’s because his wife Alejandra is pregnant!
And Frédéric Kanouté also spent some time after the game chatting with Sergio and Iker – they’ve done a lot of charity work together and have supported each other’s causes.
FOURTEEN. The Xabi Alonso pose section.™
The posing started at the hotel during breakfast…
… and continued on to the game.
FIFTEEN. I love Cris’ statement after the game. When told he had silenced all that criticism that he had received recently, Cris replied, “this is to shut up those mouths that criticized me. I’m used to them criticizing me, it doesn’t bother me… I don’t care that they talk about me. I do my work and I do it well. Those who talk about me don’t understand anything about football.”
[All those idiots who chant Messi’s name… ¡toma! There were also monkey chants directed at Marcelo from the stands, including from the mouths of people of African origin, ¡qué fuerte!.]
Meanwhile, Cris’ teammates were also defending him. Ángel di María told the press that “he’s a great player. He’s in great form, and he’s showed that by scoring hat tricks and he’s shut up more than one mouth.” Iker’s statement was “he’s shown fully that he’s a great player and when he has to respond, he does. For us, he’s very important and we hope that he’ll continue to score many goals.” Me too.
SIXTEEN. The Mou corner. After the game, Mou had the following to say.
on the win: the truth is I expected this reaction after the loss to Barcelona. I expected the win, but not in this way… my players were very effective. Before, I told the fans that “we’re leaders.” Today, I can tell them, “we’re the sole leaders.”
on his captain: I want to highlight the two great saves that Casillas made in the first half. It’s not that we were lucky in certain moments in the game. It’s that Casillas had two incredible saves.
SEVENTEEN. Other notes.
Cris gave the game ball to Iker! Iker posted on his FB that “Cris had a nice gesture towards me and he gave me the ball from the game. Another hat trick, I don’t know how many that is! Congratulations and thank you CR!!” I wonder if the guys signed the ball knowing that Cris was going to give it to Iker? If so, I’d love to see how they teased Iker.
We also got this adorable photo of Marcelino and Pepe at the hotel earlier in the day.
EIGHTEEN. As for Castilla, they tied 0-0 with Alcalá on Saturday, and the game will be remembered for the three expulsions that occurred during it: Peter Mendes in the 20th minute, MFC Álvaro Borja Morata Martín (below, taking the walk of shame) in the 53rd and Álex in injury time. These were the ninth, tenth and eleventh expulsions in 18 games for Castilla. MFC said after the game that the referee had told him, “I want to send you off.” Speaking of undeserved sending offs, how about Javi Martínez (!!!) vs. Zaragoza???
However, Castilla managed to go into the winter break as leaders of their group in the Segunda B division, after Lugo tied Leganés. By the way, they are also the most carded team, with 80 cards (69 yellow and 11 red).