back to work…
It doesn’t get much better than this, does it? Kaká was trying to film the latest “today we train with…” segment, and Antonio Adán, Esteban Granero and José Callejón ambushed him and knocked him to the ground. I love Ricky’s expression! They tried to tickle him too!
More reasons to love this team, and the latest news in this post…
A is for… adorable.
Last week, Real Madrid brought Mesut Özil and Javier Mejorada Chamón together, thus helping the latter realize his dream of meeting his idol. Javier is a nine-year-old from Vallecas. Despite being born with a problem in his right leg, which led to the amputation of the leg below the knee when he was one year old, he plays football (with a prosthesis) in the Infantil del Gredos San Diego de Vallecas. Last year, he scored 19 goals and this year, he has scored five so far. After the team’s training session on Friday, Javier was in Valdebebas, and Mesut showed up to surprise him.
Mesut knew all about little Javier, and brought him a shirt (“qué chula” was the reaction), which he proceeded to sign (it read “for my friend Javier”), as well as another with Javier’s name on the back. Javier’s reaction: “now I have three!” He was also pleasantly surprised to see that the shirt had his number on it (9), and he put it on immediately. Mesut spoke to Javier in Spanish, and did quite well! Meanwhile, Javier told Mesut that they have to win the Liga and Champions this year. Mesut’s response: “this year we’re going to win everything, okay?” Adorable all around! Video here. I love how Mes kept stroking Javier’s hair!
B is for… blond???
Taking advantage of the international break, Marca traveled to Germany to see where Mesut Özil grew up. Our boy was raised in the middle-class neighborhood of Bulmke in the southeast of Gelsenkirchen. This was where Mesut would get together with his friends after school and practice his football skills. He described the field like this: “we called it the monkey cage. We called it that because it was – and still is – surrounded by iron rails and the goals were made of metal.” The clubs where young Mesut would make a name for himself are located close to this field. His first one was Westfalia 04, and he was there from the ages seven to nine. Hansi, the owner of a nearby bar that provided Mesut with sandwiches after his game, told Marca that “his coaches and I would say that he’s very shy, and he ate very little.” Then Mesut moved on to Falke, which was near his house. He was also there for two years, from the ages of nine to 11. Marca spoke with his coach there, Jörg Kordek: “the first day, he didn’t play because he came with some boys from the team, and I told him he couldn’t play, since there were too many of them. Later on, he joined, I watched him play and now he’s one of the best players I’ve ever seen.” Mesut’s next club was Rot-Weiss Essen, and then it was onto Schalke 04, when he was 16. He would make one more stop, at Werder Bremen, before moving onto Real Madrid.
The caption says, “this is Falke, the champion of their category in 1999-2000. Mesut is the one who has been circled. In the photo, he’s 11 years old and was already a crack. In the photograph above, he appears with Falke in a photo prior to the main one.
C is for… canteranos.
I love this picture that Iker provided from Spain’s concentración of the four canteranos present: Soldado, Arbeloa, Mata and a “servant.” If Álvaro Negredo hadn’t had to leave due to injury, there would have been five canteranos in the photo. That’s still too low as far as I’m concerned, and how embarrassing is it that no current canteranos or players are on the preliminary Olympic team?
And good luck to Óscar Plano as he recovers from his shoulder operation!
D is for… disappointed he didn’t rap.
E is for… events.
Next Friday (March 9) at 20h and at the Palacio de Congresos, the Realmadrid Foundation will hold the second edition of the “Gala Alma.” Plácido Domingo will receive the Extraordinary Alma Award for 2012 (Rafa Nadal had received it last year). Does that mean that VDB will be next? Anyway, both the football and basketball teams will be present. There will also be performances from Malú, B-vocal and Huecco. Someone better pull Sergio on stage to perform with them!
F is for… fashion (and fashion fails).
The visit of some children from El Salvador was the perfect occasion for them to get photographs and autographs from the Real Madrid players, and for me to critique the boys’ choices of clothing. Karim gets a pass, as he kept things nice, simple and classic. I know Rafa is only 18, but he shouldn’t always dress like he is. And men should never wear white pants. Iker’s jacket is quite horrific, and I think he stole it from Pipita. Álvaro looks fantastic in his sunglasses, as usual.
Sergio wore what appears to be a shirt made of crushed green velvet. Need I say more? He was also wearing his favorite belt, that one with a big rectangular buckle that I don’t approve of.
As for Cris. (1) the Gucci jacket. (2) the fact that his shirt says something like ‘rock stars & angels’ – what? (3) that row of studs down the zip of his jeans. No, no and no. Marcelo, meanwhile, looks like a high school varsity athlete, and Nuri looks nice – that great smile is a bonus!
And Pipita’s obviously cold, since Iker stole his jacket.
G is for… games.
As for upcoming exhibition games and events to celebrate the club’s 110th anniversary, Madrid has announced that they will play Benfica on July 27 in the fifth edition of the Eusebio Cup, in Lisbon. Real Madrid will become the first Spanish club to participate in the cup, following in the footsteps of Inter Milan, AC Milan, Tottenham and Arsenal.
The Realmadrid Foundation has also announced that Rafa Nadal will play a best of three sets exhibition tennis match on July 14 at the Bernabéu, to help celebrate the club’s 110th anniversary this year. AS reports that Rafa’s rival will be none other than Roger Federer. Update: El Mundo says Roger has turned down Rafa, since he’ll be preparing for the Olympics at this time.
Meanwhile, according to AS, this year’s Corazón Classic Match will see a team made up of Real Madrid veterans take on Manchester United on June 3 at 19h. Fernando Hierro has already confirmed his presence on our team (yay!!!!), and this will be the first time he will suit up as an RM veteran. He’ll be playing alongside players such as Butragueño, El Moro, Redondo, Figo, Zidane, Sanchís, Helguera and Makélélé. Ahhh! So many of my favorites! The organizers are also trying to get the likes of Roberto Carlos, Ronaldo and David Beckham involved. If Becks does indeed join in, he’ll play for both teams!
And the 34th edition of the Trofeo Bernabéu, likely to take place at the end of August, will have Colombian team Millonarios as the rival. The game will also be a tribute to Alfredo di Stéfano, as Millonarios was his club from 1949 to 1953 (he scored 90 goals in 101 games during that period).
Marca also reports that Madrid is trying to organize a concert in which Plácido Domingo and Iker’s predecessor Julio Iglesias will perform.
H is for… hair.
Time with their national teams meant that our players were finally allowed to speak with the press. Radio program “El Larguero” got Sergio, and the first thing the presenters asked him about was his tattoos. Sergio admitted his tattoos “did hurt a bit, but you have to suffer.” He said the ones that hurt the most were the ones next to the bones, such as the ones on his fingers, but in general, all of them hurt. Since the time he was small, he’s liked tattoos, and all of his tattoos have personal significance. Sergio was also asked who his best friends on Real Madrid that are not part of the selección are, and he said he gets along with everyone, but when pressed to give an answer, listed, “Higuaín, Özil, Callejón, Pirata.”
In other Sergio news, he’s making an appearance on Canelita’s latest album, which is due to be released in mid-March.
I is for… international results (and incredible abs).
Marcelo’s Brazil beat Bosnia 2-1, while Rafa Varane’s France (U-21) team tied one all with Italy. Nuri Sahin started Turkey’s friendly against Slovakia, although his team went down 1-2. All three of our Portuguese players started their team’s game against Poland, which ended in a 0-0 tie and an injured Fábio Coentrão. According to Portugal’s doctors, he’ll be out for three weeks. In the Germany-France game, Mesut and Sami ended up on the losing side, 1-2 (but everyone was a winner in the end, because Mesut took off his shirt – look at the “V” muscles! Such improvement!). Pipita and Argentina beat Switzerland 3-1, while Iker, Sergio, Álvaro and Xabi started Spain’s 5-0 win against Venezuela.
J is for… Javi (!!!).
Claro que sí…
P is for… posing.
T is for… training.
After two days off, Madrid returned to training on Wednesday, without their international players. There were only eight players from the first team left in Madrid, and the good news was that Hamit Altintop and Lass (pictures provided in case you forgot what they looked like) trained with their teammates, as well as Castilla’s MFC ABMM, Jesús, Casado and Joselu. Together, they played a partidillo against RMC. Marcelo and Rafa Varane, who had played on Tuesday with their national teams, worked out in the gym. Ángel and Karim remain injured. It looks like Esteban is really begging for some playing time!
On Thursday, José Mourinho was able to count on the international players, though those who started their respective games only stretched, while the rest of their teammates trained at a higher intensity. Canteranos MFC ABMM and Jesús partook in the session, so it looks like MFC might make the call-up this weekend. Esteban Granero was once again Calleti’s buddy of the day, and I adore this photo of my two favorite canteranos!!!!!
Meanwhile, Nuri Sahin was all like, “hola míster, remember me? I’m Nuri.”
We also found out that Rui Faria has been slapped with a three-game suspension for his antics against Rayo Vallecano. The normal suspension is two games, but since Rui is a repeat offender (this was his third expulsion), he got a heavier punishment.
V is for… videos starring guys named Casillas.
The genius – seriously, GENIUS – marketing people at Philips teamed up Iker and his adorable kid brother Unai for this new spot for one of their electric shavers, although I don’t know anyone who would be looking at the shaver while the spot is airing, because they are both muy, pero muy guapos.
Here’s what is said during the spot.
UC: the best father. He’s amazing. IC: my father is everything. He’s taught both my brother and me many values, many things. UC: I would say my father is a huge part of my life.
IC: my father was my first coach, but my coach in life. One of the things I remember most was the first time I shaved with my father, with a razor blade, and I ended up with a lot of cuts that first time, it was the same for everyone I suppose. And my mother told him off. But with time and nowadays, luckily, it’s a whole other story with the Philips SensoTouch, the sensation is very different, no? It leaves you feeling pleasantly fresh, and you can use it with both shaving gel and shaving cream, and it helps me a bit to forget those bad moments from the past. This year, the three of us – my mother, my brother and I – have decided to give my father as a gift this SensoTouch 3D, and I’m sure my mother will be grateful for that, possibly with a caress or with kisses, which is always welcome. That’s the good thing, that a special day can become an extraordinary one.
Iker also stars in the latest ad for BBVA, in which he and Andrés Iniesta become fans for a day. They go up to random people on the street, and start screaming, asking for photos and autographs and saying things like, “no, you’re my idol”! It’s another genius idea, and the results and reactions are hilarious. I love Iker’s face when he sees that first woman! Go here to see what was said.