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all set for Mallorca!

May 13, 2012

Remember the last time Mallorca visited us at the Bernabéu at the very end of the season?  It ended like this, with the Liga del Clavo Ardiendo in our hands, Pipita waving a bufanda, Iker carrying a foil replica of the trophy with a scarf tied around his head, and Sergio topless.  Hopefully, we’ll see all of that and more tonight.  By the way, out of that team, only these three plus Marcelo and Pepe are still left.

Anyway, this time around, although we’ve already won the Liga and that’s not at stake as it was five years ago, there’s still something left to be played during tonight’s game against Mallorca (20h).  For one, we could reach the magic number of 100 points, something that has never been achieved before.

In addition, if he scores, Cris will become the first player in history to have scored against all of the other teams in the competition during a single season.  César did it with Barcelona back in 1950-51, but at that time, the Liga was only made up of 16 teams.  And if Cris manages to score five or more goals, which is difficult but not impossible, Cris will be the pichichi!  Leo Messi ended the season with 50 goals, and Cris has 45, and so they’ll share the award if Cris reaches 50.  Cris’ presence in this game will also mean that he has played all 38 games in the Liga this year.  Only three other players in the competition also have a shot at doing that: Athletic’s Susaeta, Rayo’s Movilla and Málaga’s Cazorla.

Plus, there will of course be the celebration to take place after the game!  In the 2006-07 season, the last game against Mallorca was key, since we were tied with Barcelona and we needed a win to make the trophy ours.  Mallorca ended up scoring first, then RvN and Becks got injured while Barça kept putting goals past Nàstic… finally, José Reyes sparked the comeback, and Liga number 30 was ours.  Anyway, once the final whistle blows, the trophy will be presented to the captains.  Then the players will take a lap around the stadium, offering the trophy to all the madridistas, and then the “show” will begin.  Here’s what it looked like five years ago, for those who weren’t madridistas yet.

Training & other related things.

The team trained again on Friday afternoon, as they continued to prepare for Sunday’s game, with three very important points at stake.  Once again, Jesús joined the first team for the session.  It looked like Pepe was inspired by Cristiano…

Also on Friday, Mahou, one of Madrid’s sponsors, celebrated the team winning their 32nd league title by presenting each player with a special edition of their “five stars” beer.  I wonder if Xabi felt the urge to pop the bottle open and starting drinking?

Madrid issued a call for everyone to support the team by wearing the white shirt of Madrid at the game.  Wouldn’t the message be better transmitted had Iker changed out of his yellow jersey and into a white one like the one he had worn at the celebrations at Cibeles?

Here’s the video.  It’s the Spanish version, since the English one has a creepy voiceover instead of subtitles.  Cris’ part makes me laugh… he’s such a pro.

On Saturday, the team held their last training session, and Zinedine Zidane joined in for the fun!  He could still definitely play…

At the press conference, not only did José Mourinho show up, but he also brought along the rest of his coaching staff – Aitor Karanka, Rui Faria, José Morais and Silvino Louro.  Mou said that everyone was present because “we all work together, we win together and we lose together.  I said several months ago that at the end, we would all laugh or cry together, and now, we’re all laughing together because things ended as we had wanted.”  Mou also offered up the rest of his team for questions.

The highlight of the press conference occurred after Mou answered one question, and then said, “the players say music is everything.  Should we sing some music?”  He then looked over at Rui and José, and asked them, “should we sing it?”  Then he glanced at Óscar Ribot and asked him the same question.  Óscar said yes, so the Mou started tapping out a rhythm on the table and singing, “¡Karanka, Portuguese, Karanka Portuguese…!” with the others joining in (minus Aitor, of course).  Watch a video here.

What else did Mou have to say?

on this season: the season has been great, we’ve grown as a team and as a group.  We wanted to play better and to be stronger, and we did that.  The team has played at a high level and has broken several records that were difficult to break.  Perhaps people think this Liga title doesn’t have the same glamour as the Champions, but it’s the title for the best team and so it’s the title we worked the hardest for.  We’ve gotten to the semifinals of the Champions for two straight years.  That shows that we’re there.  In the Champions, we played 24 games and we only lost two, and so we’re there.  We respected and fought for the Copa del Rey, even though it was the least important out of the three.  We didn’t get past the quarterfinals – or is it the round of 16? – not because we didn’t play football, since we played spectacularly in my opinion, but because we weren’t allowed to get any further.  The season has been great, and I think it’s impossible to improve on these numbers in the Liga.  Next season, we will obviously try to win the Liga, but we will have in mind that it will be impossible , well, nothing is impossible, so it will be difficult to equal and surpass these numbers.

on the 100 points: I was excited to win the league.  I always said I don’t look for records, and that has continued.  What I do look for is to win games.  You have to be serious, and you have to take football and other teams seriously.  You have to respect the league.  That’s the essence of our profession.  It’s more about playing with joy, playing seriously and enjoying yourself while playing than achieving 100 points and breaking records.  If tomorrow we win and we get to 100 points, good, it’s one more record that this team has set.  But the important thing is to have ambition and responsibility, to allow the fans to enjoy themselves, and to take things seriously.

on Kaká: I can’t even guarantee that I’ll be here next season.  I’ve told all my players “thank you” for what they have done, and if any of them feel that they need another project, another motivation, it will be analyzed.  Everyone is welcome next season.  We’re open to hearing what each one is thinking…  He’s had great games, he’s had games where he was decisive, he had games where he didn’t play so well, where neither he nor we were content.  But Kaká has had a season without problems, without injuries, sanctions, without any type of problem.  He’s always ready whether as a starter or coming off the bench.  His participation has been positive and responsible.

on Higuaín and Adán: look, if someone comes here and pays the transfer fee, there’s nothing we can do.  That’s why it’s complicated.  You all know that I would like for him to stay.  It’s clear that the fans and the club want that too.  But if someone puts up the money, there is absolutely nothing we can do.  I’m speaking for me and for the presi.  It’s Higuaín’s decision.  But we should not let him go for one euro less than the transfer fee, because we don’t want him to leave… I believe both Higuaín and Adán are madridistas.  Adán was born one, but that’s not the case with Pipa.  He arrived here as an adolescent and now he’s a man, and he came here as a promising player and today he is a fantastic player.   I believe both of them have Madrid in their hearts, and both of them would love to continue.  But Antonio has his own personal ambitions, he wants to play every Sunday, which is something we can’t promise him, and in the case of Gonzalo, it’s a bit different.  We want them to continue, Gonzalo is one of the best forwards in the world, and Adán has a lot of potential.

on Carvalho: his situation is simple.  I know him very well, it’s been many years together and he knows me as well.  We know perfectly well what things are like.  My personal opinion is that he’s too good not to be a starter.  He’s not a kid of 20, 21 who is growing, but he’s not finished as a player either.  He’s a great player.  But seeing how this team has grown with the Pepe-Sergio pairing over the season, which is untouchable, Ricardo should decide what is best for him.  If he wants to continue, we’ll be happy for him to continue.  If he believes the best thing to do would be to leave so he can play two or three more years at the high level that he’s capable of, we’ll help him to do that.  With me, he’s won championships in Portugal, England and Spain, and he’s a special player in my career.

on what grade he would give the team: I give them a nine, but there are players who deserve a 10, because they couldn’t do more than what they did.  Some of them… the team gets a nine, the coaching staff a nine as well, but there are some players who get 10.  Don’t ask me who.

One journalist also took this opportunity to ask Rui Faria about why he keeps getting himself sent off and whether he needs to change his attitude.  The response was this: “no, I don’t see it like that.  Whatever I’ve done, it was always to defend the interests of the team, of Real Madrid.  That’s part of the past already, and the most important thing at this moment is look towards the future and enjoy what we have achieved together this season as a team.”  José Morais also took a question on scouting, which is his job, and Silvino spoke about Antonio Adán to supplement one of Mou’s answers.

About 2/3 of the way through the press conference, Mou interrupted a question and asked the journalists if they were ignoring Karanka – everyone else had gotten questions at this point, except for Aitor – because they were tired of him, since they had only been able to listen to him for the past three months.  Jajaja!!  The next question went to Aitor.

Más cositas.

Many of our players also caught some tennis at the Mutua Madrid Open, with Kaká, José Callejón, Ricardo Carvalho, Cristiano, Sergio, Xabi, Esteban Granero and Álvaro Arbeloa, as well as our basketball team’s Sergio Llull and former players Ronaldo, Hierro, Iván Helguera and Sergio Canales, watching the games.  The majority of them were accompanied by their significant others, and for Álex and MFC ABMM, that meant each other.

I love everyone’s taste in sunglasses!

I did not, however, like Cris’ overload of Gucci on Saturday.

The Xabi Alonso pose section™, tennis edition.

In other news, Raúl has signed with a Qatari club, Al-Sadd, for two seasons, after his wife Mamen convinced him to do so.  On Saturday, he was present at the final of the Emir of Qatar Cup, which had his new team facing and losing to Al-Gharafa.

Sergio Canales underwent “satisfactory” surgery on Saturday in Barcelona on the ACL in his right knee that he tore on April 26.  He’s expected to be out of the hospital by Tuesday, with about six months of recovery ahead of him.

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13 Comments leave one →
  1. Cosi permalink
    May 13, 2012 17:02

    HAHA! That video was so dramatic, and then comes Cristiano and his salesman grin. Hilarious!! Thanks for the amazing post as always, Una!!

    It’s the last day of the EPL season today as well, and everybody’s biting their nails here… But we’ve already got our win!!

  2. May 13, 2012 18:46

    Hala Madrid!!

  3. gaelle permalink
    May 13, 2012 19:56

    una i know my question as nothing to do with the post but jst wondering how fluent is nagore in english?

    • unamadridista permalink*
      May 16, 2012 16:32

      She speaks pretty well, since she lived with Xabi in Liverpool.

  4. May 13, 2012 21:03

    I just can’t believe the season is over. It makes me a little sad.

    Wishing all the best to Sergio Canales. It’s a tough injury but I look forward to seeing him back strong next season.

  5. PMom_GA permalink
    May 13, 2012 22:51

    Canales?? Don’t you mean Puyol re: the Saturday surgery? Not that both haven’t beenunder the knife lately…

    • unamadridista permalink*
      May 16, 2012 16:33

      No, I mean Sergio Canales, since he’s still one of us.

  6. Pny permalink
    May 14, 2012 01:11

    Una, do you know why Alex wasn’t included with the Castilla players in the stadium or Cibeles celebrations? Or maybe I missed it, but fire engine hair is hard to miss and the website loves to include awkward brother posed photos of him and Nacho and I haven’t seen anything.

    • unamadridista permalink*
      May 16, 2012 16:33

      It’s because he wasn’t called up this season.

  7. May 14, 2012 02:24

    I remember that day five years ago like it was yesterday. I was crying like a baby by the end of the match.

    I loved that Zizou joined training.

    This speculation about Pipita’s and Kaka’s futures is driving me crazy. I thought Pipa’s brother confirmed that he was saying? And what’s this talk from Mou about not being sure if he’ll be here next season? I thought he was 100% staying.

  8. mel permalink
    May 14, 2012 16:30

    Who is the girl next to granero? OMG!!! I hate her! And I don’t even know her name…..

  9. Dia permalink
    May 14, 2012 17:29

    Ugh, Lara A’s makeup. I’m sure she’s happy just to be seen…..

    Carlota and Nagore, beautiful, as usual.

    Who’s Granero’s new, um, friend? Where’s Pilar?

  10. Olivia permalink
    May 15, 2012 21:39

    Ruuuui! ❤

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