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the round-up: Zaragoza

February 9, 2012

Continuing with the round-ups…

Jan. 26: training and a birthday “party.”

Madrid trained on Thursday, as their next game was on Saturday, against Zaragoza.  Twenty one first team players were joined by five canteranos from Castilla and RMC (Álex, Omar, MFC, Josep, Fran Sol) for the session.  As expected, Marcelo fussed over MFC Álvaro Borja Morata Martín, despite MFC towering over the Sunshine.

However, the best part of the day came before the session, when José Mourinho was presented with a cake to celebrate his 49th birthday.  Mou was already out on the field with his coaching staff, and one by one, the players joined them.  All except Iker and Sergio, as they were the ones responsible for presenting Mou with the cake, which read “Felicidades míster.”  As they came out with the cake – Sergio was carrying it; the club has a lot of confidence in him, no? – they started singing “Cumpleaños feliz” and the rest of the players joined in.  Mou shook Sergio and then Iker’s hands.  While Mou was still looking at the cake, Iker decided to take a swipe at the icing, and so he got to sample the cake, even before Mou had tasted it!  Bad Iker…

Sergio then asked for a lighter, while Mou tasted the cake, swiping it with a finger to get some of the whipped cream, and said that was enough for now and that they’d continue later.  Álvaro Arbeloa disagreed, and pushed Mou back to the cake telling him he had to blow out the candles.  Mou continued to protest, insisting that it was time to train.  By that time, Óscar Ribot was lighting the candles and Sergio was urging the míster to make a wish (¡pide un deseo, míster, joder!).  Mou then blew out the candles, with Iker grabbing another piece of cake before Mou had finished blowing.  ¡Es muy goloso!  And that’s probably not the best idea before a training session, no? Mou then received a round of applause from his team and that was the end of it.  The picture the club provided of the cake shows the damage done by Iker and Mou.  And I guess no one was brave enough to shove Mou’s face into the cake, as they had done with Pepe several years ago.  It also looks like Mou’s cake was commissioned from the same bakery that made Pepe’s cake, no?

Later on that day, Mou received another cake, this time from Canillas, the club where his son José Mario, aka the luckiest kid in the world, plays.  After the Alevín team’s training session, the club threw a little celebration for Mou, with the team, the coaching staff, the directors and the rest of the parents attending.  The cake had Mou’s photograph on it and the escudos of Real Madrid and Canillas, and there was also hot chocolate.

In other news, the club has decided to appeal the second yellow card Sergio received against Barcelona in the 87th minute, which got him sent off.  He was booked for “disputing the ball with a rival using his raised arm in a dangerous manner,” according to the ref’s report.  After reviewing the images, the club came to the conclusion that Sergio was innocent of any dangerous play and that Busquets had pretended to receive an elbow to his face, as he ended up falling to the ground covering his face (sound familiar?) although the images show that Sergio’s right arm did not touch Busquets’ face (the point of impact was at the shoulder).

Sergio tweeted, “I’m happy that the club is appealing my second yellow card because despite the fact that some people never stop rolling around, I didn’t even touch him.”

And I liked what Iker posted on FB: “falling is permitted.  Getting up is obligatory.  What I want to say with that is that we have to forget about the Copa del Rey.  We can no longer think about what happened yesterday.  We have to pick ourselves up and think about the game against Zaragoza.”  Yes, let’s move on…

Jan. 27: all set for Zaragoza!

Another day, another training session, but this one had the novelty of taking place at the Bernabéu.  Sami and Di María remained the absentees, while Jesús joined the 20 players from the first team for the session.  Sergio Ramos had trained in the morning at Valdebebas, and was excused from this session, as he’s suspended for the game due to too many yellow cards.  He tweeted later on that he was spending the weekend in his beloved Sevilla.  All 20 of the healthy and available players were called up for the game, plus Jesús.  Marcelo provided the sunshine for the session, since it’s freezing in Madrid.

Aitor Karanka gave the press conference.  He was asked about Xavi’s statements,* and asked if Madrid’s players know how to lose.  Aitor responded, “of course.  However, the club is not accustomed to losing in this way.  Madrid is accustomed to winning.”  He also said the team was “spectacular” against Barcelona, although all of that is past and there’s nothing more to say about it.

* Xavi was taping an interview with Barça’s TV channel.  In the moments prior to the interview, before the actual taping would begin, he was asked if Madrid’s players were upset in the locker room after the game.  He said yes, “they’re shit, they don’t know how to lose.”  [The next day, Messi would complain about the referees after Barça drew Villarreal 0-0.]  These comments were made “off the record,” but I don’t see the big deal with them because Xavi has said many, many things like them on the record before and this type of behavior from him is not surprising at all.  I mean, can you imagine the uproar if one of Madrid’s players said the same thing about Barcelona?  That player would be given a lifetime ban from football or something like that.  But since we’re so used to these types of grandiose declarations from Xavi, this incident hardly caused a ripple.  And I’d like to point out that I believe people not only need to know how to lose, they also need to learn what proper behavior is when they win.

Jan. 28 – Real Madrid vs. Zaragoza.

It was the same old story: Madrid gives up an early goal, we start suffering, before the team makes a comeback to seal the win.  The giving up of an early goal is a bit worrying – Madrid has conceded goals in each of the 10 games played at the Bernabéu (for a total of 15 – eight in the Liga, two in the CL and five in the Copa) since their 3-0 win against Villarreal on Oct. 26, 2011.  Madrid is also the team that has allowed the most goals in the first 15 minutes of this Liga on their own field, with four (tying Real Sociedad).

Prior to the game, the team had left their hotel to travel to Valdebebas for a light training session.  I’m only writing about that to point out Iker’s so pale they glow in the dark legs, and that Raúl Albiol really needs to get a haircut.  It’s beginning to look like he’s permanently wearing a hat.  Tell him Xabi!

Now onto the game!  Iker wore red for the first time this season!  As red is my favorite color, I wholeheartedly approve.  I did notice something curious, however.  In the first half, Iker sported an Adidas armband, with the escudo between the stripes.  After the break, he came out with his usual navy captain’s armband with the escudo.

Cristiano dedicated his goal to the public, turning 360 degrees in his celebration, as if he were a bullfighter.  In response, he received chants of “¡Ronaaal-do, Ronaaal-d0!”  There’s no doubt that he and the Bernabéu have made up.

The other goals made me happy too, especially because the celebrations were quite adorable as well.  Yay for Ricky and Mesut!

You know, this could totally be Xabi…

Speaking of that…

Here’s another job I’d like, being the fourth official.  Then again, despite the obvious perks, the job also comes with the risk that Mou will stand behind you the entire game yelling in your ear.  And here’s a picture of Cris’ thighs to round out the thigh shots from this game.

After the game, Mesut and Kaká indulged in a little lovefest.  Kaká said of Mesut, “it’s very easy to play with Özil because he’s a very intelligent footballer.  It’s a pleasure to play with him.”  In response, Mesut said of Ricky, “he’s my friend and we always play together in the training sessions and we score many goals.”  Meanwhile, Hamit Altintop is already attempting to speak in Spanish!  He did ask for a bit of patience though (although I’m sure some help is going on).  Jajaja!  I’m very impressed with him and Nuri, because it took Karim three seasons and Mesut two seasons to do the same.

In his post-game press conference, Aitor Karanka admitted that the team hadn’t played as well as expected, and also praised the performances of Esteban Granero, Mesut Özil and Cristiano Ronaldo.

I didn’t like the behavior from the Ultras during the game.  They chanted stuff against some of Barça’s players and Pep Guardiola, and things like “Pepe, kill them.”  And after their chant for José Mourinho was met with whistles in the game against Athletic, the Ultras decided to change tactics and sang Aitor Karanka’s name instead.  This is why I was upset when Mou referred to them as “the only ones who truly support the team.”  This is not real support.

Álvaro Arbeloa also tweeted on Saturday, “how good is Dieguito!!!!” in reference to the performance that our former canterano, Diego López, turned in to hold Barcelona scoreless in their game against Villarreal.  This of course widened Madrid’s lead on top of the table to seven points.

And to end with the match report, a couple more moments: Álvaro Arbeloa’s cute reaction to a near miss, The Xabi Alonso pose section™ (¡ojo!), and Iker stripping off and giving away his shorts after the game (he had already given his shirt away).  Remember those days when Iker would do that, and he was only wearing underwear underneath?  I miss those days.

Meanwhile, Marca’s cover story was about Karim Benzema, and how he has reduced his body fat percentage from the 12 percent when he arrived to the current 9-10 percent.  They also gave us the helpful detail that Cristiano (no surprise there) is the player with the lowest body fat percentage on the team, at 7 percent.

13 Comments leave one →
  1. February 9, 2012 09:09

    Xavi… that man. Every time he opens his mouth, shit comes out. Nothing new here.

    What I didn’t like though, is the back stabbing in Camp Nou. Not nice at all. I can’t stand Barca, but even then the person who released that tape is a wanker of the first order.

    And as for our Ultras, it’s repulsive the stuff they come out with. No one should be able to chant stuff like that and get away with it.

  2. Sarah, Madrid permalink
    February 9, 2012 10:11

    I know, right? I don’t know why everyone was shocked by Xavi statements is not like it is the first time he said it or will be the last on or off the record winning or losing, he sounds like a broken record for me. I am kind sick of Barcelona I won’t be lieing and their hypocrisy, thank god for the break from clasicos.

    Anyway, again another round up post that we really missed Una and I love the Ozil-kaka bromance that we really didn’t know it is there!

  3. Мариана Димитрова permalink
    February 9, 2012 10:57

    It’s a pleasure to have your blog again. I missed it so much! I like the details about presenting Mou’s cake. Sergio seems to be a very light-fingered man, as he also opened the champagne at another event. He’s also a fan of rituals, I liked how he insisted on Mister making a wish! And I wonder where he hides his fat percentage. 🙂
    Thank you again! Have a nice day!

  4. Marie permalink
    February 9, 2012 12:43

    I couldn’t believe how much Iker was digging into that cake before they even got to Mou! Greedy. (Also, I think we need to bribe someone to get rid of his underarmour. He’s such a tease.)

  5. Ally permalink
    February 9, 2012 13:59

    I agree with all you have said in this post. Amen.

  6. Maddi permalink
    February 9, 2012 14:22

    Hamit’s Spanish is adorable!

  7. February 9, 2012 15:26

    I don’t know why I’ve never noticed this before (because his shorts are usually lose?) But Iker’s got a good butt! Haha.

  8. AJ Nelson permalink
    February 9, 2012 19:21

    Ha! Typical boy stealing the icing off the cake! 🙂

  9. colchil94 permalink
    February 9, 2012 21:37

    I wonder who is the player with the highest body fat. Maybe Higuaín? Because I´ve tried to see his abs on pictures but I couldn´t 😦

    • February 10, 2012 09:13

      hehehe his ass alone wld make up for however tight his abs are. 🙂

  10. Ana permalink
    February 10, 2012 07:00

    i wonder what pipita’s body fat % is?

  11. February 10, 2012 07:45

    i am delighted el pirata is getting more playing time! finally!

    i’m also delighted the transfer window came and went, and our team stayed exactly the same. i had some concerns …

    i wasn’t able to watch this match, so i wasn’t aware iker changed his armband. i wonder why that was? i like him in red, too. (well, i like him in anything, obviously, but red especially suits him!) una, i have a question: i had thought that the three photos of iker at the top of your blog, with the match stats (the records and goals conceded) were for the liga, champions league and copa del rey competitions, but are they actually his stats according to which colour jersey he has on?

    i laughed out loud at your observation about sergio and the cake! at least we don’t have to worry about him dropping the copa this year, not that that’s a good thing. 😦 (come on, bilbao!!) speaking of that … i am in TOTAL agreement with you: it’s one thing to be a sore loser, but xavi is a sore winner. he’s the most ungracious, arrogant player and his comments, as usual, are totally unsportsmanlike. several of those “shit” players play on the national team with him. it’s natural that a team with the stature and history of madrid would be pissed they lost a qualifying match (and on aggregate, too! so frustrating!), especially in a competition where they are the defending champions. i watched that match. many of RM’s players congratulated barca’s players on the field afterwards. they don’t know how to lose? xavi doesn’t know how to win. i could say more, but i’ll leave it at that.

    i wonder what’s gotten into iker that he’s become more … strippy … after the matches recently? not that i’m complaining!!

    i wish RM could break the habit of going down in the first half of the match, then staging an epic comeback. not only does it not do my heart any good 😉 it also means they have to work twice as hard in the second half. it’d be nice if they could just come out strong and stay that way, instead of warming up to it. but hey, i’ll take a 7 point lead any day!

  12. kiki permalink
    February 10, 2012 09:06

    “As expected, Marcelo fussed over MFC Álvaro Borja Morata Martín, despite MFC towering over the Sunshine.”….Oh Una! You are a GENIUS! LOL!
    I agree with Sergio’s comments about the rolling around. I love the Mesult & Kaká lovefest! I hope it grows and grows! I am hypnotized by Xabi’s (Dare I say Xabi(!!!)graceful and gorgeously rhythmic warm-up gif & can therefore write no more at this time…

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