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ICYMI – the five edition

January 9, 2012

In case you missed it – Real Madrid vs. Granada [2012-01-07, Liga jornada 18, 5-1].

After we scored five goals in our victory against Granada, Espanyol once again* lent us a hand (literally, more or less), allowing us to add to our lead in the Liga, which is now at five.  And five times two is 10, and our win started with our number 10, Mesut Özil, and the beautiful assist he gave Karim Benzema to open up the scoring.

* Four years later, thinking about that magical night still makes my heart accelerate and gives me goosebumps.  Plus, that video includes shirtless Sergio; in other words, the two magic words to get your attention!

ONE.  Pre-game scenes.  Xabi and Sergio looking all sorts of beautiful…

… while Sami and Cristiano remained focus and serious, and Iker thanked the crowd.  And we can always count of Marcelo Sunshine to lighten the mood!

Special mention goes to Sergio’s hair – how does he get it to look so good?

TWO.  It looks like Iker is not the only “religious figure” on our team – some people believe Mou has special powers too!

THREE.  I loved that everyone contributed to the win: from Karim Benzema (two goals on the night, which gave him 51 and made him the top French goalscorer in club history) to Mesut Özil (three goal passes) to Gonzalo Higuaín (one goal that effectively squashed all of Granada’s hopes) to everyone in between.  The fist goal was a beauty, no?

Another angle of the assist…

I loved how Sergio celebrated the second goal, by running over to the area between the benches to hug the field delegate, Agustín Herrerín.  So sweet!

After the game, Sergio tweeted that his goal was dedicated to “Herrerin.”  I don’t know why he put his name in quotation marks; he did that in his next tweet as well, where he talked about his friend, the flamenco singer “Canelita.”  It would work if those are nicknames, but those are the names that the men are known by!

Karim Benzema left the field in the 53rd minute after scoring his second goal (and the team’s fourth) with pain to his lower right tibia.  You can see him limping as he celebrates.  According to AS, tests show that it was just a blow and there’s no serious injury.  And while Cris didn’t celebrate his goal, one of the fans did so in his place, throwing confetti into the air.   I love it!

FOUR.  With Karim injured, José Callejón, who had been warming up, entered the game.  Here’s the moment where Mou thought Calleti’s movements were too slow, and yelled at him to hurry up and GET INTO THE GAME!  ¡José, joder, eh!  ¡Vamos ya!

FIVE.  Speaking of Callejón, how does he get his hair to remain standing up like that, despite running around on the field and at times even heading the ball?  It’s one of life’s great hair mysteries, which also include how Sergio gets his hair to look so perfect all the time, where some of Iker’s hair has gone, and why Cris believes that some of those “fashion” hairstyles look good on him.

SIX.  As I said earlier, I had imagined seeing Fran Rico debut at the Bernabéu.  On Saturday, I got my wish.  However, I didn’t expect him to be wearing the rival team’s jersey.

SEVEN.  For your viewing pleasure…

EIGHT.  When asked about why Cristiano didn’t celebrate his goal, Sergio Ramos said after the game, “Cristiano is like that, and we’re happy with him.”  So am I!  Meanwhile, Marcelo (who needs to shave, I don’t like the facial hair on his baby face) spoke about his five years at the Bernabéu: “today was a special day for me and it was even more special due to the win.  I want to continue here for a long time because I’ve always enjoyed it.  I give it my all during every single training session and game because I’m proud to wear this shirt and I am fighting to continue playing many games.”  And Rafa Varane spoke in Spanish in the mixed zone!  Good for him!  Impressive Spanish and impressive performances!

NINE.  The Xabi Alonso pose section.™

Poor Karim, he’s injured, he hurts, we all feel bad, but then Xabi come along and steals the show and all the attention by posing next to him.

In this game, we also got Xabi winking!

And an old favorite…

TEN.  The Mou/Karanka corner.

During the game, Mou showed off his goalkeeping skills (it runs in the family, after all), and also his displeasure when Granada scored and then Aitor and Rui ignored him.  Look at how hard he tried to get Aitor and Rui’s attention!  But they didn’t care.  Aitor placated him by nodding along, while Rui had no reaction.  Jajaja!!!!

José Mourinho did not give the post-game press conference, so Aitor Karanka took his place (while I love watching Aitor talk, during these times I miss the instant classic quotes that we would get if were Mou speaking).  Aitor said Mou’s absence was due to a family issue.  He also reassured everyone that “at first glance, Benzema doesn’t have anything serious.”  Karim and Gonzalo came in for praise, with Aitor adding, “it’s not normal for them to play together, but they can play together.”  And when questioned why Álvaro Arbeloa wasn’t called up for this game, Aitor responded, “he wasn’t called up because Mou spoke with him and saw that he wasn’t in top condition.  Only 18 players can be called up for each game, and they have to be those in the best condition.”

That is a totally Xabi-esque outfit.

ELEVEN.  Other notes.

I have to mention the Granada fans who were at the Bernabéu (apparently, there were about 10,000 of them), because I haven’t seen such passionate and ardent support in a long time.  They didn’t stop singing, cheering and chanting during the entire game, and continued for about five to 10 minutes after the game had ended!  Many Madrid fans showed their sympathy for Granada, while there was also a sign from the Peña Madridista de Baza in support of José Callejón, who is from Motril (located in the province of Granada, as is Baza).  By the way, the Granada players took advantage of their free morning to check out the rebajas – quite a few of them came back with bags from that footballer favorite brand, Dolce & Gabbana (I guess the likes of Karim, Cris, Mesut and Ángel haven’t had a chance to go yet, or else the store would have been emptied out already).

Prior to the game, Iker received the “most healthy” player award for the 2010-11 season from Sanitas (he won it through a fan vote).  I’m glad they presented it before the game, because I still remember that outfit Iker wore to pick up the award last season, and I’m glad this photo doesn’t hurt my eyes.

Other things: Madrid’s FB page gave us a vintage poster advertising a game between Madrid and Granada from Feb. 19, 1961.  And Iker gave us this picture of him having Cola Cao for breakfast.

P.S.  Espanyol’s goalscorer on Sunday was Álvaro Vázquez, who is quite adorable.  Check out his twitter profile pic – lovely eyes, no?  He reminds of my friend Kiko, who unfortunately is a culé (we’ve had many disagreements).  And the back of Álvaro isn’t bad either!  Plus, I love him because he’s also quite a prolific scorer with La Rojita!

23 Comments leave one →
  1. Henrik permalink
    January 9, 2012 13:56

    the two pictures from the mix zone looks like they could have been one if it weren’t for the background

  2. amouria permalink
    January 9, 2012 14:17

    What a unique post. Unfortunately, neither Madrid’s newspapers, nor RM’s official website highlight the beauty of Ozil’s assist. I am sure it will be the best assist of the season, similar to the one he offered to Benzema in Ajax’ stadium last season.
    I loved the presence of Granada fans in our stadium. We should do the same when our team plays outside our territory, no?
    The hanging picture of Mourinho in the Bernabeu is hilarious, it proves the extra-creativity of our fans.
    Ramos’ hair…Oh, it kills me, we shopuld require him to tell us the name of the shampoo…hahaha, no, I think this is the gift of god…

    Naming Marcelo Sunshine is one of your best inventions….thanks Una:-)

    • January 9, 2012 14:37

      Indeed, that assist was a thing of beauty. It showed so much presence of mind and awareness. I’m so glad Mesut had such a successful game… I hope that all in Madrid and Germany take note.

  3. January 9, 2012 14:35



  4. Alyssa permalink
    January 9, 2012 15:11

    What a wonderful weekend!!!!!

  5. smurf_ette permalink
    January 9, 2012 15:23

    Those are some beautiful eyes!

  6. Kristen permalink
    January 9, 2012 15:50

    Great summary, thanks Una! Love the different side of things you give you in your posts.

  7. Sophia permalink
    January 9, 2012 16:43

    Can you please post Alvaro Vazquez twitter …..thanks

  8. January 9, 2012 18:36

    I again could not watch the game (I think I’d need the marathon of RM games I missed during this season) but once again, as always, the ICYMI provides a lot of interesting facts;-)

    The game sounds like fun and I also read some positive reviews, although none of them mentions the additional spicy details that Una provides;-) I am especially happy for Benzema’s goals, we always knew that the season like this will come and he will show more of his skills than in previous years.

    The Mystery of Hair of the Players is hilarious and I am sure it will continue, with the special focus on the mysetry of beauty of Sergio’s hair. I cannot get over how nice it looks.

    The gifs of Mou are cool;-)

    Thats’ all I needed for Monday!!!!Thanks!

  9. helina permalink
    January 9, 2012 20:33

    I was so sad Spanish media and Real Madrid website ignored the real star of the night: Mesut Özil. He was genius with that back heel pass and the other long pass to Benze’s goal was great too. Then also the third assist and he was lively and building up our game so well. I believe he will only get better in future. He’s simply pure class ❤

    Benze was of course great too and our team fought big win despite not being in it's best. Cris especially was bit sloppy, but he always bounces back to his form if he has some few bad games. He scored after all yesterday 🙂

    It was great to see Sergio back and scoring! 🙂

    Thanks for great ICYMI once again Una :-*

  10. Keena permalink
    January 9, 2012 20:41

    I’m so happy you mentioned that assist of Mesut! It was incredible!

    Well i only had the change to watch this game through TV, but i could still hear the Granada fans cheering throuhg the whole game – and to be honest, i’m really happy that they got that one goal, i bet it was a big thing to them (as that was only the team’s 11th goal of the season).

    I hoped that you would have noted that Cris, Sese & one Granada player thing, as you usually take a note on the not-so-great madrid-moments, too, which i like. I was so upset with them! First Cris smacked the poor guy on the face and then Sergio pushing him… Oh well.

    And speaking of Sergio – that goal! Absolutely my highlight of the game, since i’m a fan of his (very original, i know…) And the funniest thing was that the commentator on TV had just minutes before judged him, as he hasn’t scored so many goals this season compared to previous seasons.

    Anyway, i’m so proud of our boys, and thanks to Espanyol, our season even looks better now!!! (Although i always wonder how it seems that we still can’t beat Barcelona, even tho others can…)

  11. Priya permalink
    January 9, 2012 22:27

    Those eyes…..are so beautiful.

  12. ama permalink
    January 9, 2012 23:30

    Another great second half. But that backwards pass from Özil was just phenomenal–thanks for the great pictures of it! I was so pleased Sergio scored a goal–a header, with that perfect hair.

    And seriously, now I have to decide whether or not there’s room in my heart for a non-Madrid player…Álvaro Vázquez is making me reconsider my whole position on that. (Those eyes are phenomenal! Qué quapo!)

  13. January 10, 2012 01:34

    Oh, that video… This is the first time I’ve seen what was going on the bench for that match. Thank you, Una for sharing. It made me miss Raul even more. I love how, even on the bench, he was living every moment of the game and couldn’t stand just sitting there. I remember how I felt during that match. The tension and then the euphoria when everyone realized what happened. I think I aged 10x the normal rate during that match (and that final string of matches that season).

    And that video made me miss our former players, too! Becks, Cannavaro (I loved how he specifically went to David to hug him & it was hilarious when he hit his head on the camera), Roberto Carlos, Ivan, Guti, Ruud. *siiiiigh*

    • futbolfan permalink
      January 11, 2012 05:11

      Do you know why Raul wasn’t playing?

  14. January 10, 2012 02:52

    Thank you for writing for us. Is always a pleasure to read your work.

    • unamadridista permalink*
      January 10, 2012 10:04

      You’re welcome!

  15. futbolfan permalink
    January 10, 2012 02:57

    Lol at Mou shouting at Calleti; EXTRA lol at him trying to get Rui and Aitor’s attention! Hahah he looks like a cute little boy!
    Number 5 really made me laugh as well.

    Oh, and that La Liga game that you posted a link to? Just…omg. I found myself wishing that football nowadays would be as exciting. But I do have to ask, why wasn’t Raul playing?

    Also, I must add, though Cris didn’t do much with goals, he had a good game. He was a part of many scoring oppurtunities, and he PASSED a lot; his assists were just never finished. He deserves a lot more credit than just scoring goals, no?

    And Ozi! Yay! I knew he played better with Sami.

  16. emma permalink
    January 10, 2012 06:04

    such an amazing assist/game by ozil….it’s all the more shocking that he was so emphatically snubbed by fifa.

  17. @ulonghaz permalink
    January 10, 2012 06:18

    Yes, we all love Mou’s quote
    I even post every interesting Mou’s quote in my blog

  18. AJ Nelson permalink
    January 10, 2012 19:18

    Thanks as always Una…when I am stressed at work, I read your article at lunch and it always brings a smile. And although the Madrid press didn’t cover it, if you had been watching GolTV’s coverage in the US (in English), you would have heard a gushing Ozil love fest. 🙂

  19. May 25, 2012 19:54

    I don’t know why it’s taken me so long to comment on this post.

    I was at this game. My first Real Madrid match outside of the United States. When my friend and I were on the metro on the way to the match, we were in a car with a bunch of Granada fans. We were amazed by how excited and how loud they were. You don’t see this level of excitement for the game in U.S. And even though the Madrid fans were “quiet” in the stadium, it was incredible for us to see.

    Now, looking back on it, I’m so happy I got to see a match at the Bernabeu in a year when Real Madrid won their 32nd La Liga trophy. And I have no regrets about how excited I was during the match hehe

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