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all set for Mallorca!

January 14, 2012

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?

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13 Comments leave one →
  1. Marie permalink
    January 14, 2012 15:55

    Albiol’s hair is giving me flashbacks to Fabregas’s terrible hair a few months ago. Not good…

  2. Alyssa permalink
    January 14, 2012 17:03

    I love love love how Mou defended Cris! I think a lot of us have been a little frustrated that his magic hasn’t seemed to be there that much recently, but it’s not fair to forget all the things he has already done for us and not think about all the things he will continue to do for us. You don’t just forget how to be the best player in the world. He’ll start finding the net more often again. And we need to support him no matter what.

  3. bbBenz permalink
    January 14, 2012 18:37

    yes REAL BENZEMA YES YESSS

  4. January 14, 2012 19:27

    Iker and the narratives! That’s exactly how I imagined the conversation! Chori, you need to listen to Xabi. That hair looks ridiculous! LOL at Iker with his bike and wearing a helmet! He looks pretty funny there. And yes for Real Benzema! I hope the crews at Real Madrid is reading this!

  5. Ally permalink
    January 14, 2012 19:49

    That’s a very strange bicycle… it looks like an indoor cycling bike :S

    I love everyone teasing each other on twitter and facebook! it’s adorable :3

  6. January 15, 2012 04:20

    Iker now in Adidas right? and is it true that Iker and Granero are close friend?because I often see they take photo together,,jajaja,,

  7. Rose permalink
    January 15, 2012 05:20

    Those photos and captions of Raul and Xabi are hilarious! And I would love Real Benzema to happen soon. I’ve grown really found of Karim!

  8. January 15, 2012 08:43

    I never see Albi and Arbi together anymore! Did someone surgically seperate the twins? Should I be worried?

  9. Jess permalink
    January 15, 2012 08:57

    Mou is such a wise man. I also loved his answer when someone asked him about Cristiano not celebrating his goal. Nice post Una, as usual:)

  10. January 15, 2012 12:04

    hey when i open ur blog and see no fresh post, at first i m like what the hell, ghrr…….. den i m like una has no obligation to update this blog so regularly, not only giving us so lovely (and lengthy) match reports, with all the fun stuff but also, all the training news, and interviews, and players tweets and facebook comments and i can go on like this, not to mention the long long interviews. And unlike majority of the our other sources for our sneek peak to the life of our players, actually love them, like us, and after reading the posts we will fall in love with our players all over again, which as far as i know, no one else is capable of doing…… and den i m like LOVE U UNA and will go read an older post :). bt today i decided i ll write this note to u to show all my love to u and ur wonderfull blog 🙂

  11. January 16, 2012 04:30

    i don’t blame benz. i blame the photographer …

    i, too, am curious to know a) what bets iker is making (and losing) and b) why he won’t pay them! jajaja!

    gracias por providing the translation, una! i was trying to work it out, and i figured it had something to do with xabi wanting albiol to cut his hair and iker documenting the whole thing, but i wasn’t sure. of COURSE dapper xabi wants everyone else’s appearance to look all GQ and suave, too. heh! albiol looks like one of the beatles circa the ed sullivan show. that isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it’s just … different. he’s still adorable and i love his little victory smile in that last photo. i wonder what his twin thinks about his hairdo? 😉

    and good for mou for putting the press in their place and not falling for their bait.

  12. January 16, 2012 10:16

    Xabi and El Chori XD~
    Ah, I saw the posts from Iker and was really, really wondering what they were talking about!
    Thanks as always for you translation!

  13. January 16, 2012 16:32

    Haha, that journalist must have felt like an idiot.

    Complaining about Cristiano not scoring goals?! Seriously, who would do that.

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