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all set for Ponfe!

December 20, 2011

We’re already at the last game of the year, tonight’s Copa del Rey round of 32 vuelta game against Ponferradina at the Bernabéu (20h).  A win will be a great way to close out this year.  Plus, José Mourinho gave us an early Christmas present, when he confirmed that one of our canteranos, Jorge Casado, will start the game (though that was probably due more to the fact that Marcelo is on vacation and Fábio Coentrão is coming off an injury and may play on the right than anything else).

On Monday afternoon, the team trained at the Bernabéu.  Only 12 players from the first team participated in the session, along with five Castilla/RMC players (Jorge Casado, Nacho, Joselu, Jesús and Fernando Pacheco).

Kaká, Marcelo, Ángel di María, Gonzalo Higuaín, Lass, Raúl Albiol (he’s sanctioned for this game), Iker, Cris and Álvaro Arbeloa are already on vacation, while Ricardo Carvalho and Sergio Ramos are injured, though the latter did watch the training session at the stadium.  When Xabi spotted him, he teasingly asked Sergio if he was ready to be part of the team or not, because they don’t like empty promises.  Sergio once again wore a denim on denim outfit.  Hopefully Xabi got him some clothes for Christmas, and Iker and Cris did not.

The next training session won’t be until nine days later, on the afternoon of Dec. 29.  On Dec. 28, however, Iker will hold his charity game, and so we can expect to see a couple of his teammates (and former teammates) suit up.

All 17 of the participants at the training session were called up for the game.

Goalkeepers: Adán, Jesús, Pacheco.

Defenders: Pepe, Coentrão, Varane, Nacho, Casado.

Midfielders: Sahin, Altintop, Özil, Khedira, Xabi Alonso, Granero, Callejón.

Forwards: Joselu, Benzema.

In his press conference, Mou confirmed that Jorge Casado would get a start (“he’s doing really well with the filial“), while Nacho and Joselu would be on the bench.  Mou added that he knows every single player on Castilla, so he knows what they’re capable of.  Mou also said he has confidence in the players that he usually doesn’t use, such as Esteban Granero, whom he described as “a great boy, a great professional and a madridista.  He plays with dedication and that’s what I expect of him tomorrow and always.”

Mou also congratulated Barcelona for winning the Club World Cup during his press conference and called them “a great team,” though he said he believes that Champions is much more important than those “two partidillos.”

Here are a couple more moments from the Sevilla game.  The fans may have called Sergio some mean things, but he got the last laugh, with the win, and with his hair looking absolutely perfect.  It’s mesmerizing, no?  Meanwhile, prior to the game, we also had Álvaro Arbeloa rallying his warriors.

During the game, Iker was providing a lesson for all those who want to learn Spanish curse words.  Later on, he encouraged El Chori.

And these two moments made me laugh.  Pepe was sent off (he apologized to José Callejón on his way off the field, as he saw that José would be sacrificed), and when he left the field, Raúl Albiol went in.  However, since Callejón was actually the player that Albiol was supposed to be replacing, and he was a couple of steps behind Pepe, Albiol had to run back and then run out again once José got off the field.  And after Hamit Altintop’s goal, the entire bench started calling out his name, celebrating wildly when he finally he looked at them.  Look at Ángel!  They are so adorable!  I love that everyone got involved.

In other news, according to media reports, Iker will end his contract with Reebok at the end of this year and become one of Adidas’ players.  He has already appeared in promotional events relating to Adidas’ presentations of Madrid and Spain’s shirts (as Reebok is owned by Adidas), and so I guess we can expect to see much more of him once it becomes official.

And Real Madrid’s former players’ association held their annual Christmas dinner at the Bernabéu on Monday.  Look who was on hand – Rubén de la Red!

30 Comments leave one →
  1. Ash permalink
    December 20, 2011 10:12

    Love this, and the fact that you’re so dedicated you even added extra pieces that you found later! As an avid Sergio fan though, I was curious as to what/why the Seville crowd was yelling at him during the game?? I thought since he was a sevillano and former player–and I’ve seen interviews where he mentions Seville will always have a place in his heart–that they loved and supported him

    • unamadridista permalink*
      December 20, 2011 10:33

      They were yelling “hijo de puta” and whistling at him. Apparently, they haven’t forgiven him for “deserting” Sevilla to go to Real Madrid, because José María del Nido (recently sentenced to seven years in prison) didn’t tell them the truth about Sergio’s signing with Madrid.

      • Ash permalink
        December 20, 2011 10:50

        Ah, that’s the guy too that Sergio advised “if you don’t like La Liga, find another league to play in” right? haha well maybe he can head up a local prison league. Shame though I’d rather see athletes have the support of their hometown crowd [though at least Camas sees him as their hero] Thx for the info–I love that I get caught up on futbol, gossip, and pertinent Spanish news items all in one place! 🙂

      • Sarah, Madrid permalink
        December 20, 2011 11:01

        That’s what surprise me about some Seville fans ( I know of some who really still love him though), I think 7 years later and he is a world cup winner coming from their ranks, he always showed his love to their club, they should applaude him, like for example Valencia fans do with Albiol :S

        Btw, Una!!! Any idea of why Carvajal didn’t get the call although he has been the best defender with castilla

      • Dreamlover225 permalink
        December 20, 2011 18:50

        Can you please explain the story behind Sergio’s signing with Real Madrid and what Jose Maria del NIdo had to do with it?

        Thank you 🙂

      • mel permalink
        December 21, 2011 04:05

        I’m curious, what did he say was the reason, and what was the real reason.

        Sergio had to leave Sevilla at some point to continue to develop as a player, perhaps it was too soon for the fans rather than too late for him……

      • Susie permalink
        December 21, 2011 11:37

        And what was the truth about Sergio signing with Madrid? I don’t even know. I have to tell you Una that I love your blog. A game just cannot be complete without reading your end of the story. You have such funny and great observations. Great eye for details I would never notice, but make me laugh out loud sometimes!

  2. noviana noor aisyiah permalink
    December 20, 2011 10:45

    una, i still can’t believed where did you got all of this brilliant idea? LOOOVEEESSSSSS

  3. Meenaz permalink
    December 20, 2011 11:03

    I am in love with Sergio’s hair.
    Anyway, merry christmas to all of you.

  4. JCF permalink
    December 20, 2011 11:08

    I love everything about this team and this blog! Alvaro and Iker never look hotter than when semi-angrily rousing the troops. Thanks for bringing all these perfect moments to us Una!

  5. December 20, 2011 13:08

    Oh, Serhio and his hair! It’s visible EURO is coming.It’s one of the best not-exactly-football-related things of any major tournament – Sergio Ramos with long hair. He looks adorable, our Serhioooo! It makes me forgive him for the outfits!

    I love Mou sitting there like the best student in the class, funny!

    I can;t believe it’s the end of the year already. Hopefully RM can end it with the win!

  6. superfan permalink
    December 20, 2011 14:12

    Ohmygod that gif of the bench cheering on Altintop after he scored!!!! 😀

  7. colon permalink
    December 20, 2011 14:24

    why was callejon replaced when pepe got sent off?

  8. Dino permalink
    December 20, 2011 15:00

    So i’m guessing this video has to do with Iker’s charity game? do you know anything else about the game?

  9. Zack permalink
    December 20, 2011 15:24

    Great man, can you give me a link of the canal+ FULL videos and cuatro´s?

    Dont you are end this blog 😛

  10. Zina Tasreen permalink
    December 20, 2011 16:27

    Sergio’s outfit… ! *my eyes, my poor eyes*

  11. asma permalink
    December 20, 2011 17:28

    Hamit must be a really nice/fun person, the way everyone on the field and bench celebrated his goal.

  12. Toks Olugbade permalink
    December 20, 2011 17:47

    hala madrid….i love your blogs guys never stop

  13. amouria permalink
    December 20, 2011 18:22

    This is one of the best images of the game with Saville

    Thnaks dear Una, i really enjoy every post (i put it on my twitter as well)

    Love and Merry Christmas to everybody…

  14. December 20, 2011 19:02

    Love the blog, keep up the great work. I love the view from the bench when Altintop scores!

    How do you make these awesome gifs, BTW? Is there some automated way you’re converting video to gif? I know how to do it manually via photoshop, of course. Would you mind sharing your secrets? Or maybe you’re a really dedicated Madridista and do it all manually? 🙂

    Also, just a minor correction, I think the matches with Ponferradina are in the round of 32, not 16.

  15. ThatPerson permalink
    December 20, 2011 22:20

    Our bench is sooo adorable and super hilarious. I love that gif 😀

  16. December 21, 2011 02:43

    hi Una. been reading your blog since last year.I appreciate the fact that regardless of being a Madridista, you’re unbiased in your opinions and call out whenever something that isn’t particularly nice is done by any of the Real Madrid players/Coaching Staff. I like Real Madrid, I’m a fan. I like Real Madrid more when they are defeated because then it shows how they can face being defeated with humility and understanding that it’s all part of the game.

    I liked that Jose Mourinho congratulated Barcelona in their winning of the Club Football Fifa Challenge whatever. Barcelona is one of the best football clubs in the world,that has never been in question.Howeverw,what Barca may have in talent,i think unfortunately they lack in grace and humility. Last night on Twitter I saw Dani Alves trending so i checked it and was disappointed to see that he had all other things to say t Jose Mourinho.A simple thank you would’ve sufficed. Although I must say Mourinho shouldn’t have downplayed the importance of the trophy as this would set the Catalans on edge,but still.He even said Madrid is not “modest enough”. I rarely write on the blogs i follow but I just had to this time.Just wanted to share my feelings (and growing resentment towards) Barcelona.

    Obviously every time we lose to them it hurts.But I would rather have a team who loses with respect, integrity and humility than have a team who wins all the games and the trophies and yet know nothing about the aforementioned values.

  17. December 21, 2011 05:50

    iker! tsk, tsk, tsk … the saint has a very unsaintly mouth on him! that said, it’s always so amusing to watch him get SO worked up during a match.

    it’s so nice to see de la red doing so well and successful, and in good health. 🙂

    i’m glad mou has faith in el pirata, i just wish he’d put his money where his mouth is.

    let’s hope santa (in the form of xabi) brings new wardrobes for iker and sergio (and possibly ronaldo, too!). that denim ensemble is … yikes.

    speaking of santa … my iker book arrived in the post today! best. present. ever. 🙂 🙂 🙂

  18. Morales permalink
    December 21, 2011 06:40

    dios mio, I love our awesome, cute team

  19. December 21, 2011 06:54

    I feel so bad for Sergio if that’s the case but at the end of the day I think they should be proud of how far he has gone and what he has accomplished since his Sevilla days..but then again that’s me.

    Thanks again Una for making all the games more real, more personal – i think the right term should be more intimate – with your insights and tidbits.

  20. December 21, 2011 17:01

    Why was the guy put in jail if you don’t mind me asking?

  21. December 21, 2011 17:12

    such a great post, una. if at all you find more info about the former players’ party please post it 🙂 ruben looks so great there!

    p.s. – mou’s puffy vest has escaped your critique so far, huh? lucky mou 😉

  22. December 22, 2011 02:47

    Thank you Una for wonderful posts and snippets of news about the greatest Team in the world. May I wish you a festive season and Santa brings lots of trophies to the boys.

  23. December 22, 2011 06:36

    De la Red 😦

  24. Jess permalink
    December 22, 2011 07:14

    The guys celebrating Hamit’s goal!! Their perfection is gonna make me cry!.. and I think it’s impossible for Mesut to be any more adorable.

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