all set for Mallorca!
Real Madrid takes on Mallorca tonight (20h) in an effort to defend and hopefully widen their lead in the Liga. The team is taking the game seriously, as José Mourinho said during his press conference yesterday, but that didn’t stop them from having fun on the way to Palma de Mallorca on Saturday afternoon. Iker posted these photos of Xabi Alonso and El Chori speaking on the plane ride, and also helpfully provided us with captions, in case anyone was baffled by exactly what was going on.
Left: “I was relaxing on the airplane on the way to Mallorca when a conversation broke the tranquility of the trip. It was Xabi Alonso and Albiol having a conversation. The former demanded that the latter get a haircut, since he didn’t approve of this mop of hair on the top of his head…” Center: “here, you can see how Albiol got offended and responded to Xabi that he can do whatever he wants with his own mop of hair…” Right: “Albiol shows how proud he is of his hair while Alonso can only show surprise at this pride and extreme defense of the mop of hair.” Jajaja!!!! Seriously, just when you think these boys can’t get more adorable…
Maybe Raúl was a bit sensitive about his mop of hair, because by the time he walked off the plane, he was wearing a cap that covered it all up. Luckily, Sergio didn’t do the same, as it would be a crime to cover up that perfect head of hair.
Previously, in the training session, Sergio had tied up his hair and later covered it with a hat (boo), as he goofed around with Pipita Higuaín. I love how Sergio is holding on to Gonzalo’s wrist!
The team trained for the last time before tonight’s game against Mallorca, with 22 footballers out on the field at Valdebebas: everyone from the first team except the injured Sami Khedira (sprained right ankle) and Hamit Altintop (neck pains; a new injury for him), plus Tomás Mejías from Castilla. Ángel di María rejoined the team in the training session, although Mou had said earlier that he’s not completely recovered yet. Everyone looked to be in a fantastic mood! And is Cristiano trying to tell us something (i.e. Kaká’s the father)?
Twenty footballers were called up for the game. Di María, Altintop and Khedira miss out due to injury, and Ricardo Carvalho due to the coach’s decision.
Goalkeepers: Iker, Adán, Mejías.
Defenders: Ramos, Marcelo, Varane, Albiol, Pepe, Coentrão, Arbeloa.
Midfielders: Lass, Xabi Alonso, Özil, Callejón, Sahin, Granero, Kaká.
Forwards: Cristiano Ronaldo, Higuaín, Benzema.
In his press conference prior to the training session, Mou had cleared a few things up about the states of several of his players. He revealed that there is “no possibility” that Ángel di María would be playing this weekend, although he might be available for next weekend, and that it’s not due to Mou reserving him for the Copa del Rey, but simply because he’s not ready yet. Our coach also said that he’s not crying over the absence of Sami Khedira, that Nuri Sahin is feeling the effects of not having participated in the pre-season, and that Carvalho is not ready to play yet, although he’s not injured.
And when asked if he was focusing on the upcoming Copa del Rey matches with Barcelona, he responded, “my opinion is that it’s great for you all [the media] to speak about the clásico because it helps you to sell papers, but you don’t have to invent things or lie. You’ll sell more and you’ll work less. I’m not going to waste even one second in thinking about a game that in this moment I’m not concerned even one bit about.” Mou said that the game against Mallorca is “very, very, very, very important.” He also reiterated that he expects to end the season with the same players that he started it with, and that they’re not interested in buying, selling or loaning anyone out.
I absolutely LOVED Mou’s response to a question about Cristiano. The question was that since his free kicks have not been finding the target this season, is the coach contemplating giving someone else the responsibility? The journalist who asked the question provided statistics, such as Cristiano being 1 out of 29 in this area this season. Mou: “do you also have the statistics of other fundamental players on other teams that in five years have not scored as many goals as Cristiano has in one year? We’re speaking about center forwards, so we’re not comparing Cristiano with fullbacks or halfbacks. I’m asking you to compare him with the center forwards on other teams, they can be Spanish or not Spanish…. You’re speaking about a Golden Boot winner! But what are you talking about? You’re speaking about a Golden Boot winner! The only one who has scored more goals than he has is a kid who plays in a league in a country that I can’t remember, I don’t know if it’s Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, the boy who has scored more goals than he has. From where? Estonia? You’re speaking about a Golden Boot winner! You’re here with your statistical analysis… ¡Dio mío! Qué cosas…” What a fantastic answer, no?
Following the training session, the team traveled to Palma de Mallorca, where 700 fans were waiting to greet them at the airport. Cristiano Ronaldo got a warm reception from the fans, who chanted his name. More fans were waiting at the hotel, and some of them got to meet Álvaro Arbeloa and Esteban Granero, who partook in the meet and greet session. That little kid doesn’t look too impressed with Esteban. Maybe he was expecting Xabi.
And a little round-up of the rest of the things that were shared via social networks on Friday. We got some tweets from Álvaro Arbeloa and Xabi Alonso, suggesting that Iker refuses to pay his debts. Arbeloa: “it must be due to the tax hike, but Iker has lost his desire to pay his debts…” Xabi: “we’re seeking a debt collector, so that Iker Casillas will pay the debts he owes to his teammates. Thank you.” Jajaja! I love how Xabi worded his tweet, so classy! Plus, I’d like to know the reasons why Iker owes so much money – has he lost very many (more) contests between them?
Meanwhile, the man who allegedly refuses to pay his debts showed off what the Three Kings had left for him, a bicycle. To debut his bicycle, Iker chose to wear the same Adidas zip-up sweatshirt that he had worn to his presentation the other day. El capi also took a photo with Esteban Granero, captioning it, “a good kid, El Pirata.”
Meanwhile, Karim Benzema, the man with a thousand hand gestures, posed like this for bwin. He gave that interview in Spanish, should we expect Real… Benzema sometime soon?