ICYMI – the golazos edition
In case you missed it – Osasuna vs. Real Madrid [2012-03-31, Liga jornada 31, 1-5].
Have the feelings of optimism returned?
ONE. Five goals on the night, and several of them were authentic golazos.
In this game, we reached 100 goals for the season in the Liga, which only took us 30 games. This is the fourth time in the club’s history that we’ve reached this round number (1989-90, 2009-10 and 2010-11). Cris has scored 37 of the goals, Higuaín 20 and Benzema 17. We’re only seven goals away from equalizing the record of 107, which the 1989-90 Madrid team holds. As Madrid is currently averaging 3.3 goals per game and there are eight games left to play, that record should be broken soon.
This is the first time in the Liga that a player has scored 37 or more goals in two seasons. Cris also has the best goal average in the history of the club, with one per game.
Cristiano explained this particular leg flaunting celebration after the game: “it was a joke with Adán, because he never goes to the gym to work on his legs, so it was just some teasing.” I have to say, Cris’ muscles have muscles. And as we can see above, Fábio Coentrão didn’t hesitate to imitate Cristiano, much to the delight of his teammates. Speaking of Fábio, Cris ran to celebrate his second goal with his compatriot.
Gonzalo Higuaín scored his 100th and 101st goals with Real Madrid against Osasuna. It took him 210 games to reach that number, and his goal average is a pretty fantastic 0.48 per game. The breakdown of the 101 goals are 89 in the Liga, seven in the Champions, four in the Copa and one in the Supercopa de España. Pipita now ranks 16th on Madrid’s all time goalscorer list.
Once again, all the goals were scored by our three forwards. Combined, they’ve now scored 99 in all competitions, and are just one away from the record for the top goalscoring trio, set by Messi/Eto’o and Henry in 2008-09. Cris has 47, Benzema 28 and Pipa 24.
TWO. This was the flip side of all that goal scoring, as there was one play where both Gonzalo and Cristiano wanted to score, and they ended up tripping each other up. The flip side to that flip side was Pipita lying on the ground, giving us a nice glimpse of that cute little ass.
THREE. Álvaro Arbeloa and Raúl Albiol were seen hanging out before the game. I’m not sure this means their bromance is back on track, because Pipita was lurking around there too. But at least the twins got to hang out together (well, sort of) in the back of the field during the game.
FOUR. Also prior to the game, we had the boys doing their usual pre-game chats and high-fives. And of course, Marcelo needed the Vicks VapoRub, only this time he put it on his chest instead of on his shirt. If he needs anyone to help him do that…
FIVE. A couple more scenes as the boys prepared for the game.
SIX. The players came out wearing shirts supporting the campaign to end hunger, with a special focus on the famine going on right now in the Sahel region of Africa. At present, 1.3 million children are suffering from malnutrition, and the famine could affect up to 15 million people. Over 300 clubs in 20 leagues from 16 European countries took part in this initiative, including all the teams in the Liga and the Liga Adelante. See what you can do here.
Raúl, in his capacity as FAO ambassador, took part in a promo for the event (Iker was supposed to come out blowing the whistle, but he didn’t).
(Off topic: speaking of Raúl, I just have to add that five Athletic players asked for his shirt after their Europa League game, including Javi Martínez (!!!). However, that shirt is already destined for someone else, according to media reports: Pichichi. When Schalke plays at San Mamés on Thursday, it will be the first time the German team has played in that stadium. Tradition calls for all teams playing at San Mamés for the first time to present the statue of Pichichi located in the antepalco with flowers, and Raúl, as captain of Schalke, will be responsible for doing that. In addition to the flowers, he’ll also present his shirt. I’d love to see this happen, and I can’t wait to see and hear the reception el capi receives from San Mamés.)
SEVEN. Perhaps Iker and Sergio realized they need to communicate more, and so they were making sure they wouldn’t make the same defensive mistakes as they had in previous weeks. Do you think touching the back of Iker’s head helps Sergio concentrate more? It would completely and totally distract me, as would Iker’s hand on my ribs.
EIGHT. The Real Madrid bench always seems like such a fun place to be, no? You can get chatted up by Gonzalo (no, not in the ¿tienes MSN? way), or hang out with Mes and Karim on the ground level.
NINE. Did you catch this? At one point in the game, Marcelo looked like he wanted to fight, so Sergio stepped in to break things up. Less than two minutes later, it was Sergio’s turn to get angry, and so Marcelo intervened to make sure nothing would happen. I love how they watch out for each other!
TEN. Sergio’s hair is, to use a cliché, poetry in motion.
ELEVEN. After the game, Gonzalo Higuaín commented, “the míster is once again placing his confidence in me and I was able to respond. I’m happy for this win and for my 101 goals. It’s a great joy for me and a source of pride to achieve it at a club like this.”
Meanwhile, Cristiano said he was “very happy, things are going very well, the team has confidence and is playing well… those who don’t habitually play are coming out and playing fantastically. The three forwards, we’re scoring many goals. Kaká and Özil are also very good… everything is great.”
TWELVE. The Mou corner.
As his team had passed with flying colors, José Mourinho was satisfied at the post-game press conference. Two of the players that came in for praise were Esteban Granero and Raúl Albiol: “every player that I have put in to play has responded. It wasn’t an easy game and those two responded. That’s the strength of the group. We’re happy that the game went well, and more because things went well for them, just like with Nuri in Cyprus.” He called Benzema’s first goal “out of this world” and Cristiano’s first goal “fantastic.”
THIRTEEN. Other notes.
This was the most Spanish line-up since José Mourinho took charge, with six Spaniards starting the game and playing the entire game: Iker, Arbeloa, Sergio, Albiol, Xabi and Esteban Granero.
Sergio Ramos will miss the next game, as he was carded in this one and that was his fifth of a cycle.
There was a very unfortunate incident before the game. Several Madrid fans were attending the game at the Reyno de Navarra, and several of them had hung up flags of their team from the rails. Some radical fans (ultras) from Osasuna insulted them, and then came over and tried to forcibly snatch away the flags, one of which was being held by a child. Horrible! Some Osasuna fans tried to mediate, but to no avail, and security and police had to come and remove the radical fans. Edgar Villamar was one of the Madrid fans, and he was accompanied by his two children. Madrid has gotten in contact with this family and has invited them to watch the Champions League game against APOEL at the Bernabéu this Wednesday. After the game, Iker and Sergio made sure to thank all the madridistas who came out for this game. Meanwhile, Osasuna has already said that it will take measures against those radical fans.
FOURTEEN. The Xabi Alonso pose section.™
Xabi and his poses need their own post, or better yet, blog.
He’s the only person that can look classy standing in the midst of wadded up balls of paper and other assorted trash.
If you just glance at this photo, you might mistake Esteban for Xabi.
FIFTEEN. On the way back to Madrid, Gonzalo sat with Ángel. Perhaps now that he can hang out with Ángel on planes and hotels, El Chori will “return” to Alvarito? These boys are so cute.
FP was at the game, as was Aitor Karanka, but not José Mourinho, as a private jet had whisked him away to Vila Real de Santo Antonio in Portugal, where the Mundialito 2012 (a children’s football 7 tournament) was taking place. He went to watch José Mario, who is participating in the tournament with his team, Canillas. Mou was accompanied by his family and by Eládio Paramés. José Mario played the first half, and as he wasn’t on the field during the second half, his father took the time to take photos with fans and sign autographs. Can you spot Mou in the photo on the left? Here’s how he was dressed (one shirt tossed over his shoulders and another tied around his waist).
Zinedine Zidane is expected to show up later in the week, as his youngest son Elyaz is also participating in the tournament with his Canillas team, the pre-benjamines. In the meantime, he was at Disneyland Paris, hanging out with Mickey and celebrating the park’s 20th anniversary!