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mid-week bits & pieces

March 8, 2012

Just the way I like them!  Iker, Antonio, Tomás and company were back at work on Wednesday, as the team started preparing for this weekend’s game against Betis.

The team returned to training on Wednesday morning, after two deserved days off.  Tomy, Jesé and Joselu plus players from RMC joined 20 players from the first team for this session.  Benzema, Coentrão and Di María were the absences.  As you can see, our boys emerged for the session in pairs.

There was a special guest at the session, in the form of one Manuel Preciado.  He’s been taking a tour of clubs since he was fired as coach of Es-sporting, and the previous day, he had visited Atleti, and on Wednesday, it was Madrid and Valdebebas’ turn.  Preciado took the time out to chat with Mou (he referred to him as “Mou”) and his coaching team, showing once again that the two of them have become good friends.  He said, “right now we have a magnificent relationship.  I’m very grateful for his behavior and he also has a lot of affection for me… He’s a great coach, he’s number one.”  The group had lunch together at Valdebebas after the training session.  Check out the video too, and look out for a very sprightly Mou jumping over the barricade.

In player news, Gustaff Choos has released a photograph of Iker, which was shot when they were taking photographs for Iker’s Adidas campaign.  I’m not feeling this photo of Iker; I think it makes him look old.  I also think he also looks more like a cross between PF Juan Mata and Jaime Alguersuari than himself.

Speaking of black and white photos, Xabi Alonso shared this adorable one of him and older brother Mikel to welcome the latter to twitter.  I find it interesting that Xabi tweeted his welcome in English, and Mikel also replied in English.  I’d also like to know why we never hear anything about the third Alonso brother, Jon?  After all, he must be fairly perfect too since he shares his genes with Xabi.

And speaking of tweets, Javi García tweeted this photo of him and “Angelin” after Ángel di María showed up in Lisbon to cheer on his former team, Benfica, in their Champions League match against Zenit.  After the game, Ángel posed with his former teammate and cantera product Javi.  Other former madridistas currently playing for Benfica include Rodrigo, Javier Saviola and Eze Garay.

And speaking of former players, Madrid legend Marquitos (Marcos Alonso Imaz) passed away at the age of 78 in Santander on Tuesday, also the day of Madrid’s 110th birthday.  He won five European Cups and six Ligas during his time with Madrid, and played alongside other legends such as Di Stéfano, Puskas or fellow Cantabrian Paco Gento.  All in all, he played nine seasons and 223 games.  His son Marcos Alonso Peña, despite being a socio from the time he was born and receiving his training in the cantera, went on to play for Atleti and Barcelona.  That wasn’t the case of grandson Marcos Alonso Mendoza, who also made his way through the youth system before debuting with the first team in April 2010; he now plays for Bolton.

On Tuesday, Marcos tweeted, “I don’t think there is another grandson in this world who is more proud of his grandfather than I am.  Rest in peace with your five European Cups, and take care of us from above.”  What a lovely tribute!  And so is the following one.

In Wednesday’s edition of Marca, Alfredo di Stéfano wrote, “during award ceremonies or tributes, when I speak about the importance of teamwork and how everything I achieved was thanks to my teammates, the first one I think about is you, Marquitos.  You were back there, in the defense, and you gave me so much security, we felt so protected… you were like a wall.  Marquitos protected us.  He was a champion that had a winning mentality even greater than mine.  And you were also great with your ideas.  One day, we played a European Cup game in Scotland.  You purchased a typical Scottish outfit and you emerged from the airplane in Madrid wearing a plaid kilt.  I enjoyed that so much!  Friend, my friend, you were the best on the field, but you were even better as a person.  I love you… a lot.”

And if anyone is interested, Madrid is finally offering guided tours of Valdebebas to its socios and their friends!  Each socio can apply for a visit, and bring along two persons of their choice, who don’t need to be members.  The visits will be between 45 minutes and one hour long, and none of them will be scheduled for when the first team is training, unfortunately (well, unless you’re Manuel Preciado or someone like him).

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16 Comments leave one →
  1. Sarah, Madrid permalink
    March 8, 2012 10:29

    RIP Marquitos!! That’s De Stefano tribute! RIP

    I agree about iker, it instantly remind me of Mata, I never thought these two look alike

  2. March 8, 2012 10:33

    RIP Marquitos. That’s a lovely tribute that his grandson payed him.

    I too, don’t like that pic of Iker. It not only makes him look way older than what he is, it also looks like he’s wearing bad eyeliner on his lower lash line. While I have nothing against men wearing makeup, I somehow don’t like the idea of my captain and resident saint in makeup. Go figure. *shrugs*

    About Xabi and his brother chatting in English. Almost all my friends kids who are Spanish do the same thing. Much to the despair of their parents may I add.

  3. Felix Carlsson permalink
    March 8, 2012 12:34

    Hey una, love your blog.
    I’m going to Madrid in may :):)
    can you tell me more about the tour in Valdebebas?
    Or if you want to make a little post about what you sohould visit or do when you are in Madrid.
    thank you for the best blog i read!

    • unamadridista permalink*
      March 9, 2012 15:53

      It’s simple – if you know a socio/a, get him or her to sign up for the tour, and take you along!

  4. Ally permalink
    March 8, 2012 15:48

    I actually do like that photo of Iker 🙂 you can see his wrinkles and all but I think that’s attractive ^^

    RIP Marquitos..

  5. maripili permalink
    March 8, 2012 21:38

    I was getting ready to become a socia until I read that the visits are only when the team is not trainging. That kind of defeats the purpose. I wanted a visit of the locker room!
    I dont feel that picture of my dear Iker either.

  6. ami permalink
    March 9, 2012 00:00

    Una Una *excited voice* did Manuel Preciado steal Iker’s purse?

    • unamadridista permalink*
      March 9, 2012 15:54

      Jajajajaja!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If only we were so lucky…

  7. JCF permalink
    March 9, 2012 04:56

    Completely off topic but I have to say, maybe it’s just a ‘Mikel’ thing, but I feel like Xabi’s brother really looks like he could be Mikel Arteta’s brother too! Or even more so! You also have me wondering what this younger bro Jon looks like…I believe he’s a referee?

    • unamadridista permalink*
      March 9, 2012 15:55

      • March 10, 2012 15:52

        OMFG he looks exactly like Harry Potter on his first day in Hogwarts!!!!!

  8. Rose permalink
    March 9, 2012 08:03

    Well I guess I’ll be applying for a guided tour of Valdebebas then! Too bad about the first team no training, but who knows who will be hanging about! Planning a trip this year and I am crossing my fingers that I can make a match, but a tour would be nice too.

    I kind of like Iker’s photo. Yes it does make him look older, but at the same time the photo seems to give him a lot of character.

    And darn you, you Alonso boys! I can only deal with so much perfection you know.

  9. Pammie permalink
    March 9, 2012 15:47

    It’s good that Preciado uses his time without a job to visit other clubs to see how things are done there. And that Mou welcomed him to visit him as well. It’s still quite something that they went from hurling abuse at each other through the press to being friends! 😀

    I agree, that Iker portrait does look weird. I’m not a big fan of this photo series, tbh. Though I do like that they don’t seem to be retouched, but rather emphasise on wrinkles and imperfections.

    It’s nice that Angelito hasn’t forgotten about his previous club.

    RIP Marquitos 😦

  10. maria permalink
    March 9, 2012 18:50

    una loved ur description about iker’s pic… also not my favorite… the freckles ( that i usually love), the beard and the wrinkles definitely are making him look a lot older…
    RIP marquitos …

  11. March 10, 2012 03:32

    it’s a great post UnaMadridista. apart from the happy news, a very nice and touching tribute of both the grandson and Alfredo di DiStefano for Marquitos….I am sure he’ll be watching over his grandson…

    on a lighter note, I had a busy week so I just checked the blog now. apart from RM, a great performance of Athletic Bilbao, right?

    and thanks for the impressive pic of Iker. it’s the middle of the night right now and It’s wonderful to go to sleep after staring at Iker’s face from this photo for a while. wow.

  12. March 10, 2012 05:37

    i never thought i’d hear myself say this, but … i really, really, really dislike that photo of iker. a lot. he looks about 80 years old! it’s incredibly unflattering, and i didn’t think he was capable of taking bad photos. i’m all for unretouched photos, but this almost seems like they went in the extreme opposite direction and instead of smoothing lines and imperfections out, they added them in. i haven’t liked a single one of the entire series.

    on the other hand, that pic of xabi and mikel is adorable! as is the tweeting in english — obviously, xabi speaks it very well, having played in liverpool for years, but i hadn’t realised mikel spoke it, too.

    lovely tributes to marquitos. RIP.

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