And ¡Feliz Navidad! to those who will be celebrating these days! Today, we found out that Málaga will be our opponent in the Copa del Rey round of 16. The first leg will take place in the Bernabéu on Jan. 4, with the second leg at La Rosaleda on Jan. 11. If Madrid makes it through, they’ll play the winner of the Barcelona-Osasuna pairing (Jan. 18 and 25).
With that said, it’s vacation time for our team! Here are some of our players’ vacation plans.
Xabi Alonso is in his beloved Donostia, as we can see from these photos he tweeted today of La Concha, one for “people who get up early,” and another showing “our feet on the sand and nothing more.” We also get another one of his feet that he shared several days ago. I love the light in that one! Once again, Xabi is the perfect Tambor de Oro, because don’t you just want to go to Donostia after seeing those photos?
And the photos are just like him, classy, timeless and elegant, no? And the captions as well! Plus, I love this photo of him adjusting his bow tie from the GQ Men of the Year awards, so I had to share.
By the way, Xabi has been called up by the Euskal selekzioa to play in their friendly on Dec. 28 against Tunisia at San Mamés. The players are due at Lezama on Dec. 27 at 17h for a training session.
Meanwhile, Álvaro Arbeloa drove back to Zaragoza yesterday to spend the holidays with his family, and he tweeted, “what co-pilots I have!” And he’s looking forward to drinking Coke again, tweeting, only one more week to go! This is despite the promise he made that if Xabi got on twitter, it would be extended to two years. Alvarito tweeted, “that was a maneuver to trick him and make him get on twitter.” And to round out the A-team, Raúl Albiol was named a favorite son of his hometown Vilamarxant. He and his brothers Miguel and Brian will also present their football school today. So, lots of happy events, even though no one won El Gordo from tickets sold at their parents’ lottery stand, though they’re hopeful for El Niño! By the way, both Miguel and Brian are on twitter, when will it be Raúl’s turn?
To round out The Four Musketeers (what happened to them?), Sergio Ramos is back home in Camas/Sevilla, where he picked up the “Young Andalucía” award for this year, in the sports category. He said he was “tremendously proud” to represent Andalucía and Spain, that he was accepting the award as a “camero, sevillano, andaluz and español” and that he loves seeing Andalucíans doing well everywhere in the world, in reference to those who were honored with him. Sergio also said his injury is a bit better, and he’ll continue receiving treatment in Sevilla. And Sergio chose quite a classic suit (in other words, unlike him) for this occasion, but luckily the award itself brightened things up. It’s very in line with Sergio’s style, no?
Mesut Özil is spending his winter vacation in Devrek, Turkey, where his family comes from. He was welcomed by dozens of fans who treated him like a hero, holding up signs saying things such as “I love Mesut” and “the king has arrived.” He told the press, while avoiding their questions about his relationship with Mou, that he had traveled to Turkey to spend a few days with his family and friends, and to visit the graves of his grandparents.
We know where Iker and at least El Pirata will be on Dec. 28. Iker presented his charity event, the “Partido x la ilusión” on Thursday at the Bernabéu. The event, which takes place on Dec. 28, consists of three parts: a concert, a Football 7 match at the Palacio de Deportes and a charity dinner at the Palacio Marqués de Salamanca. Funds raised from the event will go towards helping young people who are at risk of being socially excluded, to create employment for them, via the Fundación Exit and the Fundación Tomillo. Iker said, “I hope that Palacio de Deportes will be packed on Dec. 28 – and this is not an inocentada – and that people will enjoy themselves.” He added that the goal is to “give back what life has given me to those who most need it.” He messed up at several points during his speech, including the pronunciation of Fabio Cannavaro’s name.
Iker called on his friends to make sure that the night would be a spectacular one. The likes of Pignoise, La Musicalité, Huecco and Robert Ramírez will provide the music, while the football game will see big names such as Esteban Granero, José Reyes, Alejandro Sanz (yay!), David Bustamante, Fernando Hierro, Fabio Cannavaro, the Muñoz brothers (Estopa), Sergio García (the golfer), Álvaro Bautista and Rafa “no me jodas” Guerrero.
No, this is not a mug shot.
Pepe has also found time to be charitable, with this “Las bolachas de Pepe” project, in conjunction with the bakery Mamá Framboise (C/ Fernando VI 23). The bakery is currently selling gingerbread men handmade by Pepe, with the help of chef Alejandro Montes. The tagline of the campaign goes, “it’s true. Pepe is a tough guy. We all know that, but he’s also a great guy.” That seems to be the perception of Pepe, no? The proceeds will benefit the NGO Niños Sin Culpa, which helps children with AIDS who wouldn’t receive any help otherwise.
And go here to see a video of Dani Carril back in his hometown of Vigo (Galicia), wearing the vest that José Mourinho gave to him. He said some of his Barça-supporting friends are calling him “traitor” but it’s obvious that he loves that vest, and he wears it so proudly, no?