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ICYMI -the garbage→comeback edition

January 5, 2012

In case you missed it – Madrid vs. Málaga [2012-01-03, Copa del Rey round of 16 ida, 3-2].

It was another of those games where the first half and second half were two completely different stories.  As Mou so eloquently put it, the first half was “garbage,” and the team was forced to make a comeback in the second half.  That they did, with three goals in about 10 minutes, making the Bernabéu explode.  And as Pipita Higuaín put it, “when the stadium pushes you like that, it’s difficult not to win.”

Or else, they were just afraid of an angry and pissed off Mou.

ONE.  My favorite – pre-game moments!  What caught Marcelo and Kaká’s attention as they warmed up, and got a double thumbs up of approval from Marcelo?  This sign, which read, “Marcelo, I’ll exchange my shirt for your wig.  Well… actually it’s the opposite, your shirt for my wig.”  Love the Marcelo cartoon!

Then we had General Alonso rallying the troupes and posing, and José Callejón and Pipita just looking good while warming up.  It’s effortless on their part!

Right before the game began, Pipita made the sign of the cross, and here’s a moment when our players were posing for the picture (the only real posing Xabi actually does, no?) where you can appreciate how good looking everyone on our team is.  And I love that Xabi never stops giving out instructions, advice, etc., not for one second.

TWO.  The first half is not worth mentioning, so I won’t waste time on that.  Everything changed with the triple substitution after the half, when Sami Khedira, Mesut Özil and Karim Benzema came into the game for Álvaro Arbeloa, José Callejón and Kaká.

THREE.  In 10 minutes, we scored three goals.

What a comeback, no?

FOUR.  Rui Faria once again got himself kicked out of the game, this time for trying to protect José Mourinho, while the latter was protesting loudly to the referee.  According to the regulations, Rui will be suspended for the next two games in the Copa, but as this isn’t the first time that he’s been expelled (the same thing happened against Sporting), he may receive an additional sanction.

It was also during this sequence where Mou made this gesture, like he was not going to say anything else.  I love the dimple.  By the way, I miss suit-wearing José Mourinho.

FIVE.  Mou was very pissed off with the team’s performance.  As he headed for the tunnel, he picked up a bottle of water from the barrel, and threw it above his head into the stands.  The guy that ended up with it was very excited to have it.  The subtitle says, “this is the bottle that Mourinho threw.  It’s mine.”  He was parading it like it was the World Cup.

SIX.  Iker, front and back.  That’s Pepe that Iker is bending over.  Pepe received a blow to his ribs area at the conclusion of the game, and left the game in obvious pain, though he was able to walk off the field.  Pepe will have time to recover, as he’s suspended for this weekend’s game against Granada.  Sergio will apparently be back for that game, which is good news.

SEVEN.  A collection of random moments: Sergio Ramos – back in his all denim outfit, his favorite as of late – cheering on his teammates before the game and hugging Agustín Herrerín; Álvaro Arbeloa looking all hot and sexy as he argues; Iker’s look of concentration; and Karim Benzema stripping off at the end of the game.

EIGHT.  A special section for Ruud van Nistelrooy.

This game was Ruud van Nistelrooy’s first time back at the Bernabéu since he left two years ago.  He hasn’t been forgotten by the fans, as was apparent throughout this entire game.  The Bernabéu was full for this game, and they started cheering for Ruud as soon as he came onto the field to warm up (he responded by waving at both sides), and once again when the starting line-ups were announced for the game.  In fact, the cheers he received were on par with the ones our very own players received.  After that, the first chants of the night, started by the Ultra Sur, was for Ruud.

During the pre-game greetings, Ruud hugged each one of the Madrid players, and even gave a kiss from his former protégé, Gonzalo Higuaín.  Adorable!

When Ruud was subbed out in the 59th minute, he received a standing ovation from the fans, who also chanted his name.  This was a tremendous response from us, given that we were losing 0-2 at that moment, and that we were also very, very upset with the refereeing at that point in the game.  This tribute then really demonstrates the señorío of el madridismo.  We wanted to show Ruud our appreciation for all he did during the years he was with us, not only on the field, but also for how he was off of it.   Those who we deem worthy of our adulation – those who have earned it – will always know it.

More evidence that the Bernabéu has not forgotten Ruud van Nistelrooy.

After the game, Iker said, “our stadium always rewards those who have worn this shirt, and they showed with this applause that he had been worthy of wearing it” (by the way, I like that Iker supports the national brands, in that his scarf was Loewe instead of one of the foreign brands).  And Miguel Pardeza said, “these fans remember things.”  Ruud himself said, “I accept this gesture with all my heart, and humbly.  I didn’t expect this.  These are things that happen in life and you have to be very “gratuito,” how do you say it?  ¿Agredecido? (he was trying to say “grateful,” but didn’t know the word, so the reporters helped him out) … for this, which I am.”

NINE.  The Xabi Alonso pose section.™

New year, new poses!

Xabi winking!!!!!!!  He does a much better job than Álvaro Arbeloa, pictured arriving at the stadium (the picture reminds me of the most awkward winking photo of all, the Manu Adebayor one, which of course makes it an instant classic).

TEN.  The Mou corner.

Luckily, Mou decided not to shut up at the post-game press conference, because he had many interesting things to say…

Mou’s post-game press conference was another one of those that was full of glorious quotes that will be repeated throughout the year.  Regarding the poor first half and the triple substitution, he had this to say: “during the halftime, I told the players that it’s a shame that I couldn’t make 11 substitutes, because I wanted to change all 11.  I don’t want to single out anyone, I made that clear to them.  I only had three changes to make.  Those three who were changed didn’t play any worse than the rest.   If I had 11 changes, I would have changed all 11.  I told them clearly that I wanted to clean up the garbage that they had made, and they had 45 minutes to do that.”

He was only warming up.  Then came this quote, about the physical states of some of the players: “there are people who go on vacation, and who view the vacation as a time to rest, and others who see it as a time to enjoy themselves, to travel, and to eat at the home of their father, their uncle, aunt, grandmother, who don’t stop eating and drinking and drinking and eating during the Christmas vacation.  And they return a bit… different.”

Then a reporter asked Mou whether it was risky to make a triple change at the half, in case there were injuries.  Mou’s response: “I took a risk.  One time with Chelsea, we were down three at the half against Tottenham.  I did the same thing, and we ended in a 3-3 tie.  But if someone gets injured in the 50th minute, the cover of Marca and AS will be, “Mourinho, stupid.”  But you have to take a risk.”

And when asked about the reaction in the second half, Mou responded, “ask the players, take advantage of the mixed zone.”  He also said it was “better not to talk about the refereeing” when asked for his response to Rui Faria’s expulsion.  All classic responses, no?

ELEVEN.  Other notes.

Fernando Hierro (why is he with Málaga and not us?) sat next to Miguel Pardeza during the game, and then after the game, had dinner with Chendo at Mesón Txistu.  His brother Manolo was also present.

Iker has once again won the IFFHS distinction for being the best goalkeeper in the world during 2011, just as he had in 2008, 2009 and 2010.  Iker beat out Manuel Neuer and Víctor Valdés this year (who finished second and third, respectively), and became the first four-time consecutive winner.

Several of our players showed up at the Palacio de los Deportes on Wednesday night to cheer on Real Madrid’s basketball team in their derby against Barcelona.  Madrid ended up beating Barcelona 78-74, and returned to the top of the table.  Cristiano was present, sitting alongside Irina.  And Esteban Granero was there as well; he sat with Sami Khedira and Mesut Özil.

You know, Esteban would make a good spy, if he’s so stealthy that he can sneak up on Cris and Irina like that, without them noticing.  Plus, we know that he can speak multiple languages, that he’s very smart and that he’s probably good at psychological profiles.  And, he would look great in a tuxedo, just like his teacher, Xabi Alonso!  P.S.  I love the expression on Esteban’s face!

38 Comments leave one →
  1. Real Madrid permalink
    January 5, 2012 14:25

    I really think that Khedira’s goal deserves more attention from everyone. I know he’s not so popular, but for me, he is a fantastic silent soldier. And without him, there would be no comeback.

    • amouria permalink
      January 5, 2012 15:41


      you are 1000% right, I totally agree with you

    • cisarovna permalink
      January 6, 2012 03:40

      He is a favorite of mine, simply because he is what you said – a silent soldier!

    • Futbolfan permalink
      January 6, 2012 05:23

      I know!
      And I’ve really been missing him; he deserves to start more. Him and Xabi work great together, and Ozil plays much better with him.
      Not to discredit Lass, he’s been doing wonderfully, but I do miss Sami.

  2. Sasha Twen permalink
    January 5, 2012 14:26

    … and it was Sami’s first goal in an official game, too! 😀 He was like a power horse, scoring once with an offside goal, and again a few minutes later, this time for real! He’s my hero of the game.

    • Sasha Twen permalink
      January 5, 2012 14:29

      Haha, called him a horse when I meant to say “house”. Well, he is a real work horse in the midfield, so I guess it fits? 😀

      • unamadridista permalink*
        January 5, 2012 15:12

        Jajaja, both work for him!

    • unamadridista permalink*
      January 5, 2012 15:12

      He scored a goal against Olympique Lyon in the CL, no?

      • helina permalink
        January 5, 2012 16:02

        Yes, it wasn’t his first official goal,he already scored in CL in fall 🙂

      • Sasha Twen permalink
        January 5, 2012 22:44

        Ooooh. I forgot about that one. (I slept through the second half of that one and seem to have successfully repressed my shame at missing it.) Thanks for the reminder! ❤

  3. pinmi permalink
    January 5, 2012 14:36

    wow…una’ finally u dropped d post. been refreshing this page for days. thumbs up, u re sure doing a good job. an ardent reader from Nigeria

    • Kristen permalink
      January 5, 2012 19:03

      Pinmi don’t forget these games are late at night for Una, and these posts take time to create 🙂 I am anxious to see them too but since I am on the East Coast of the US I know I have to wait a day or so!

  4. Sarah, Madrid permalink
    January 5, 2012 14:53

    The bernabeu was amasinnnnnnnng!! I have alot of stuff to say about this game, but honestly to god, I forget it, the best feeling in world is to have a come back, Van Gol deserved it all.

    Hala Madrid, these kind of winns, Mourinho’s quotes that will remember in the end of the season.

    PS; Rud was so exicted to reach to Pipita, awww just adorable moment, it is as my desktop background to be honest too lol

    As for iker, We don’t need an award to know he is the best, no?

    • noviana noor aisyiah permalink
      January 6, 2012 07:21

      yap, totally agree. bernabeu was so amazing. they never stop cheered up for the players. just like pipita said, it’s so hard not to win. roaarrr

  5. kiki permalink
    January 5, 2012 15:16

    I was soooo happy with The Bernabéu’s reception & ovations for dear Ruud! He will always be one of us! It was just perfect! He is a total crack & a complete gentleman, that warmed my heart & was just so right.

    The “garbage edition”, tee hee! It’s easier to take because of the result, of course. I was happy for Sami with that feisty goal & after that, you could just tell our men smelled blood & look out! The match was ON!

    It’s hard to resist when Mou starts throwing out those sassy comments & I think it’s Rui’s job to deflect from Mou, so Mou doesn’t get thrown out (as last year). When they all got up, I heard the crowd reaction, but I couldn’t tell what exactly our managers did that was causing the gasps… :/

    I love Kaká’s face when Xabi is bossing everyone, he looks very beautiful. Xabi did an amazing ballet move in this match, he tackled & slid & pirouetted up, it was a thing of beauty, I must say…

    Thank you for Iker’s tongue & backside pictures! He is so deserving of Best Goalkeeper. I don’t care what any jealous people say…Iker has a type of “magic” that takes him above all other keepers, especially in the most important matches, THAT IS GREATNESS. Anyone who questions, just rewatch the WWC final & his ridiculous, magical saves.(& in many other matches)

    I felt bad for Pepe, I wonder if it was a retaliatory hit. I remember having righteous fury over his punishment at some point, until I saw the replay, then I was like…ummm, no, he deserved it…he just had to go and be Pepe again (the elbow)…

    Esteban is adorable sneaking up on Cris. I’m worried about him. He IS OURS, but I’m sure he wants more match experience than he is getting. It’s a quandary, because we have to win every single match, so Mou has to go with who is most ready & fits his tactics… 😦

    Regarding Cris, I think he should look into the meditation techniques Phil Jackson was using for Micheal Jordan & the Chicago Bulls team that could not stop winning. He is just under tremendous stress all the time & I would love to see him internally “freed up” to just play his best. I’m sure he is a professional & does a very good job already, but man! He & Fernando Torres just never get a break from the press! Oh well, enough armchair managing from silly me!

    Thank You again, Una! Great job as always! 😀

  6. Ana permalink
    January 5, 2012 15:24

    Excellent post. I was watching the game online (cough, cough) to be assaulted by three virus corruptions, a foreign language that was neither English nor Spanish (which resulted in me spending more time figuring out what the latter was vs watching the game)- then again, it’s reaffirming to know the first half was that bad, and it wasn’t just my feed. I followed the second half on twitter.

    Enough of that, thank you for the post. I was curious to know what Mou said to turn the game around- and there is something hilarious about that last Xabi pose (even more so, unfortunately, that there was an injured player)- maybe he has a place in Shakespearean theater?

    As a sidenote, is it just my imagination or has Mourinho been spending more time in the dugout (I’m not sure what the international sports translation would be) as of late- I just seemed to remember him being more… active… rather than passively watching… I wonder if there’s a book of manager psychology- when the transformation begins, be it actively engaged/passively watching, to their dress attire, etc… I don’t know why I’m noticing this more in the EPL as well. Any how, I’m done rambling… Take care and has a pleasant week!

  7. kiki permalink
    January 5, 2012 15:31

    ps. I forgot to say how I found Sergio absolutely charming in his all denim outfit! I think something must be wrong with me, either I’m getting ill or I’ve just missed him very much…because I always think he’s adorkable, but I thought even his style looked cute this time! Uh OH, I should make an appointment at the doctor I think…..

  8. amouria permalink
    January 5, 2012 15:46

    One of the few matches that made me cry…at the first half and then at the comeback…Oh Real Madrid, what are you doing to us…I couldn’t believe that they were the same players!!

    And the fans? amazing YOUNG girls and boys. I am sure that the cheap tickets allow these lovely crazy fans to come.
    Perez, if you need the public, then allow them to get in a reasonable price… They prove to be the player number 12…

  9. Henrik permalink
    January 5, 2012 15:59

    Actually, the cartoon is from the popular american spin off from Family Guy: The Cleavland show!

  10. Мариана Димитрова permalink
    January 5, 2012 16:01

    Happy New Year and may it bring you all the joy in this world!
    I enjoy your every RM post but sometimes I really melt with your “thread” and the way you see and express events. Thank you!!!

  11. Pammie permalink
    January 5, 2012 16:04

    The reception of Ruud by the Bernabeu was simply wonderful and touching. Seeing these gifs gives me goose bumps!
    I’m glad that they kicked off the year with this comeback in 10 minutes, displaying madridismo at its bet. Even though the first half is something to forget about, they did make up for it when they decided to finally return from their holidays.

    lmao the guy who caught Mou’s bottle! He creates all kinds of weird collectibles.

    Thanks for this great ICYMI, it’s a great start into a year that hopefully will be legendary!

  12. Zina Tasreen permalink
    January 5, 2012 16:54

    I too miss the suit-clad, razor sharp Mou. I think I read somewhere that he’s decided *not* to don a suit this season as all managers have started doing it, he wants to be the different one. His moobs poking out of his pique shirts used to bother me, thank San Iker it got cold in Madrid! *sigh* One can live in hope, one can…

  13. Jenny permalink
    January 5, 2012 17:17

    I love that the first comments are about Sami Khedira!

    Three cheers for Sami!

    In spite of the press disdain for him (Spanish and German, equally) I think he’s a bloody genius and you’d be hard put to name a more intelligent footballer. Alonso is not easy to play alongside (most of RMs DMs are considered incompatible with him to one degree or another). Sami makes it work though. He makes it work with everyone. He’s bloody brilliant…

    …and umm…not to be shallow…he’s awfully good looking too!

    His legs, his mouth, his scruff, his soulful eyes. It’s so wonderful to have a player who works so hard, is so intelligent, a player you can admire – and that he’s hot too!

    Or as some of like to say in reference to his shirt number (apologies to Sasha, who coined the phrase) he’s “sechs-on-legs”.


  14. Kristen permalink
    January 5, 2012 19:05

    Una what a great post. This game was amazing. It reminded me of back about 4-5 years ago when Real Madrid were the come back KINGS, and mostly all thanks to my love, Higuain. We showed fight and heart and knew we needed to win it. I love when the Bernabeu gets excited like that. I just loved it all and I love your post. Thank you for a great summary. Also, I wanted to thank you for always including a few spanish words as well so that we know what certain things mean, and explaining to us English speakers what is going on sometimes in when things are written or spoken in spanish (banners, t-shirts, etc.). I know when I see something I can just check your blog a day or two later and see what it means. Thank you!!!

  15. Stella permalink
    January 5, 2012 21:33

    Khedira has scored before so it is not his first goal. But I think Lass was the men of the match, he is just amazing. Fighting and always win the boll. I am happy that he is a starter now because he deserve it so much. Hope the national team pick him up again for the EM.

    I think Kaka must go no. I hate to say but he is the next best payed player and with that payment we can have a better player than him. Its not good that Özil and Kaka is not doing well but I think Özil come back in form again. And I missed Di Maria this game, we need him!

  16. Anna permalink
    January 5, 2012 21:57

    haha i went crazy when benz got the third goal! sami scored a really good goal too though, whatever mou said to him must have got him all riled up- he was playing so well! mourinho’s quote “And they return a bit… different.” hahahahahha!
    i was looking forward to this post, thankyou una 😀

  17. JayR permalink
    January 5, 2012 23:56

    I miss suit-wearing mou as well!
    I think I am starting to like Sergio’s denim outfit, I need an intervention 😦
    thanks for the warm-up gifs 😀 the one with xabi could be a total baywatch moment, sans shirt 8)
    the kid with mou’s bottle is epic

  18. January 5, 2012 23:57

    havent posted on here for months now, but I’ve read every single post since World Cup.

    Anyways just wanted to say that i DIED literally tears and soar throat from laughing after reading the Mou Corner.

  19. maria permalink
    January 6, 2012 00:55

    Una you’re the best!! Totally agree with u on missing Mou with a suit (please drop the vest!!) and he does have the cutest dimple!!! He’s just so charming and his answers are the best… He’s such a character, can’t get enough of him!!
    Loved the take on Pipa’s doing the cross sign… I love religious boys, and pipa just looks like such a nice boy!! And that karim + gonzalo’s picture is the best!! that smile on benzema’s face, you can’t fake that!! They are adorable!!
    Una, I really have no idea of who Van Nistelrooy is… U said that pipa was his protegé, I know u do have a lot of work with the blog, but I’d really appreciate if you could explain me real quick about that bromance!! I’m a huge pipa’s fan, that’s why I’m asking you!! Thank u so much!!

  20. cisarovna permalink
    January 6, 2012 03:51

    That poster for Marcelo was so funny, I hope he gave them a shirt.

    Those quotes from Mourhino were epic – especially the one about the guys who indulge themselves while on break. I remember seeing Sergio’s tweets on from New Years and thought, wow he is up late considering they are in season. I don’t mean to pick on him, I am sure he wasn’t the only one. I suppose it can be hard to resist if your family and friends are up late or preparing large dinners, it was the holidays after all. But then again, they get paid a crap load of money specifically for their fitness so… :/

  21. @ulonghaz permalink
    January 6, 2012 06:57

    Always enjoying read your post..

    Ah, Mou. A special one he is. Thanks God he’s ours.

  22. Marie permalink
    January 6, 2012 08:18

    Wonderful ICYMI! Thank you! I wonder who Mou thinks has waddled back from holidays…

  23. Ally permalink
    January 6, 2012 09:30

    I love the Madridista-crowd for giving Ruud such a warm welcome 🙂

    but the first half was seriously garbage.. luckily there is always a second half

  24. Giovanni permalink
    January 6, 2012 09:31

    i missed the pipita celebration pic 😦 why no pipa pic una 😦

  25. Jennifer permalink
    January 6, 2012 11:40

    Oh, man, the first half of this match (after having had my blood pressure raised through the roof by Athletic, no less)… it was SO BAD. So bad. I was even tempted to turn it off during the descanso, but ultimately I decided to be a good espartana and suffer some more… I was glad I did, because those goals were beautiful, and the sight of our boys playing GOOD football was much-needed relief. And I loved the applause for Ruud – so much señorío. (And, like you, I am not normally inclined to agree with anything the Ultras Sur do, so that was nice…)

  26. helina permalink
    January 6, 2012 14:06

    Yes, Sami Khedira is extremely underrated player and he has only improved since last season. Last season there was still bit of insecurity in his play but now he does his job very well and is capable to score too. If some people don’t remember it was Sami who scored the winning goal for Germany so Germany won bronze medals. I have huge respect on him and he really was hero of the Malaga game!

    Another who deserves praise is his countryman Özil who came in and build most of the attacks of Real Madrid and was very lively. He would have gotten few great assists if the others weren’t so wasteful in front of goal. The level difference between Kaka and Özil is so huge. I love Kaka so much but he’s a shadow of his old self nowadays and I don’t know what to think about him anymore. His pace, speed and creativity are so low nowadays. It’s sad I want Özil to start now on cos Kaka isn’t in the level of the rest of the team. 😦 The first half was bad for everybody, but big reason for that was Kaka and his lack of speed and creativity. Calleti had off day too.

    But the comeback was great and I believe it made us more confident. Benze proved again he’s world class and Pipa woke up too after bad first half. Cristiano had bit off day too, but he gave good passes and could have scored if he was more lucky.

    Anyway can’t wait for tomorrow’s game 🙂

  27. January 6, 2012 19:30

    “there are people who go on vacation, and who view the vacation as a time to rest, and others who see it as a time to enjoy themselves, to travel, and to eat at the home of their father, their uncle, aunt, grandmother, who don’t stop eating and drinking and drinking and eating during the Christmas vacation. And they return a bit… different.” hahahaha. that is hilarious. i love mou’s quotes, never change!

  28. sidney permalink
    January 9, 2012 05:02

    I love Mou’s quotes, classic, classic.Im going to start using them lol.

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