for you Madrid, from Real Madrid
The celebrations for the 32nd Liga ended on Monday morning, with the traditional visits to the seat of the Madrid regional government, the Madrid town hall and the Almudena cathedral.
09h – at the Bernabéu.
The players were due at the Bernabéu at nine in the morning, and the majority of them made it on time, although you could see the fatigue on their faces (the sunglasses also helped to hide the effects from the party the previous night). Most of them wore suits, while others like Pepe chose to change inside, or put on a tie, like Iker. On that note, Mou was the only one not to wear a tie, but at least he wore a suit! And I love seeing Cris and Fábio carpool!
I also love that despite the party the previous night, everyone just wanted one more photo with the trophy, and that Rui Faria was Cristiano’s photographer.
10:10h – at the Comunidad de Madrid.
The first stop on the “tour” was the seat of the Madrid regional government. Madrid President Esperanza Aguirre waited for the team outside the Casa de Correos, alongside a thousand or so fans. As the players walked by her, they all gave her dos besos and she also made a remark to Cristiano, the only player she said anything to, that is, until Iker and Sergio showed up, carrying the trophy between them.
After the trio chatted a bit and posed for pictures, the two captains carried to trophy inside to the courtyard, where the little reception was to take place. The regional government had prepared a video tribute for the team, and so they watched that together. Esperanza then gave FP a plaque, and Iker made a little speech. Then it was FP’s turn, and then came more presents. Esperanza received a mini replica of the trophy from FP, while the two captains gave her two shirts, a signed championship shirt, and a jersey with her name and the number “32” on the back. She put that one on immediately before making another speech. But never mind that, look at how perfect Iker’s profile is!
While Esperanza was speaking, Sami Khedira and Mesut Özil tried to make a low key entrance; they had arrived late in the morning and so they missed the bus. Nevertheless, their teammates of course noticed their tardiness; look at Marcelo with the postcard of Mesut in his hand! And a few moments later, Sergio was all like, Mesut, don’t think we didn’t see you.
Then came time for the foto de familia, before the team headed en masse to sign the government’s book of honor, while FP supervised everyone to make sure they did a good job.
At one point, Telemadrid’s reporter asked Cristiano what he was going to write in the book (in the end, FP wrote a message and the players just signed below and next to it). Cris’ response: “Cristiano.” Jajaja! That made Álvaro crack up. Later on, Cris revealed that he had signed, “Cristiano Ronaldo 7.” Meanwhile, Fábio and Kaká clowned around while they waited in line to add their signatures.
Following that, they headed out onto the balcony, to show the trophy off to all the fans who had come to the Puerta del Sol. Iker gave a little speech: “in the name of my teammates, I thank all of you for this welcome. It’s important to be here each year at the end of the season because it means that things have gone well for us. We’re giving this trophy to the Comunidad. We hope to be here next year with all of you again, and a new trophy or trophies, which is what all madridistas want. I just want to tell all of you, madridistas and madrileños, that this Cup is yours. Thank you and ¡Hala Madrid!”
Then came Sergio’s turn, and he started out with a “no need to worry, I won’t let the Cup fall, since I have a firm grip on it.” Jajaja!!! He went on to thank everyone for their “unconditional and permanent support,” saying that they all hope to celebrate many more triumphs with the fans. No one else was willing to speak after him (it became a theme of the morning), so Iker tried to force the microphone into Mesut Özil’s hand and shove him towards the center, resulting in a little struggle, while the crowd joined in, chanting his name. Mesut whispered “Hala Madrid” into the microphone before handing it over.
Then came Gonzalo Higuaín. Earlier, he had been seen whispering to Xabi, “Xabi, I swear to God, if you call me (to speak), I’ll come after you…” Look at the serious face that went with the threat! [By the way, Pipita, if you leave, I swear to God that I’ll come after you.] Nevertheless, the microphone was thrust into his hands, and despite his reluctance – and quick prayer to God – he had to speak.
He said, “good morning Madrid. I only have words of gratitude for everyone who came here to receive us, so I just want to say thank you. I’m not a man of many words (JA! We all know what a lie that is) and the truth is that Xabi Alonso managed to escape from me… Xabi! Where’s Xabi?” Pipita then motioned to the crowd to get them chanting “Xabi, Xabi” before he too yelled, “¡Xabi, Xabi!”
a male model Xabi Alonso spoke, thanking the fans and saying “we hope this won’t be the last time we come here” before ending with a “¡Hala Madrid!”
One more photo, because he looks good.
Marcelo then started singing “campeones, campeones” as the crowd joined in and the players began to leave the balcony. Seeing this, the crowd started chanting Cristiano’s name, but to no avail.
A couple more things from the reception. Iker’s smile lines and Sergio’s smile…
… plus Gonzalo looking nervous, Cris looking confident and Marcelo just beaming sunshine. And here’s the moment where Sergio joked about the trophy falling down!
11h – at the ayuntamiento.
Then it was on to the city hall, behind Cibeles, where Mayor Ana Botella was waiting to receive them at the entrance. Once again, Iker and Sergio were lugging the trophy, and they had to carry it up several flights of stairs to reach the room where the reception was being held.
Ana made a speech while the players fidgeted and looked tired. She then presented FP with a plaque, and Iker with a gorra de chulapo (a chulapo is a man from one of Madrid’s traditional neighborhoods, and with the San Isidro festival to start the next day – where many madrileños dress up in traditional clothing – it was a fitting present), much to the delight of el capi‘s teammates.
I thought Iker looked great in it (it reminded me of when he dressed up as Ricardo Zamora), but unfortunately, he took it off almost immediately.
Then FP spoke, mesmerizing everyone in the back; they all paid very close attention and looked so very interested…
… and Ana received the same presents of a mini trophy and two shirts as Esperanza had. While Iker was busy giving her the shirt, José Callejón held the hat for him and he and Xabi examined it and discussed it.
The team then headed to a courtyard for the next part of the reception, the foto de familia and speeches. On the way there, Marcelo was interviewed, and he said, “I always work with a lot of joy, I always try to pass on the joy to my teammates and throughout the season, I’m always there with joy and happiness.” I love him so much. Meanwhile, when Telemadrid tried to speak with Mesut, he brushed them off with a “por favor…”
Iker kicked things off with a speech, and you could tell he didn’t have much of a voice left. As he spoke, the rest of the team scooted backwards until they reached the wall, since none of them wanted to be chosen to speak to the crowd. Iker thanked the mayor and the fans for the reception, and said it was a pleasure to share and offer the trophy to the city hall. He added, “we hope to come back many more times. It’s great for Real Madrid to join in the celebration in Madrid these days (the San Isidro festival), and I hope there are many more league titles in the future. In name of my teammates and Madrid, thank you for being here, thank you mayor, and we hope to be back next year.” Sergio was next, and he also thanked everyone and said he hopes to be back next year. While he was speaking, Marcelo, being the good third captain, tried to get the rest of the team to move forward, and when that failed, he walked back. Iker tried as well, to no avail. Karim took one step forward, then chickened out when he saw no one else was following.
For walking to the front and attempting to make the others come with him, Esteban Granero was rewarded with making the next speech. He started off with thanking the city hall and the “president” before realizing his mistake (several of his teammates also shouted “alcaldesa”), asking for forgiveness and correcting himself to say “mayor.” He continued, “we’re very proud of Madrid, and we hope it is proud of us as well, and we hope to return with many more titles.”
El Pirata then started looking around to see who would be next: “I don’t know if anyone is willing to speak. Mesut? Xabi?” Mesut tried to hide, despite Sergio’s attempts to push him forward.
Sergio succeeded and Özil said, “soy muy feliz.” Seeing that no one was willing, Esteban starting chanting “Mar-ce-lo, Mar-ce-lo.”
Marcelo then stepped forward to say, “we’re very, very happy. We want to thank you all for this support, the fans are marvelous. We hope to return next season.” At that point, Cristiano had already run away so he wouldn’t have to talk, and Karim refused to take the microphone from Marcelo’s hand. Marcelo then tried to hand the microphone back multiple times, not succeeding, so finally he said, “thank you very much, it’s time to go.” He walked off with it in hand, while Sergio yelled “¡vámonos, melón!” at him.
Other moments. While waiting for the reception to begin, Álvaro Arbeloa joked around with Fábio Coentrão by covering him with the Spanish flag. Meanwhile, Gonzalo Higuaín and Raúl Albiol were still joined at the hip, and Cris, Marcelo and Rafa Varane joked around as well. They’re all like little kids on a field trip, and at the first sign of boredom, they find some way to amuse themselves!
11:49h – at the Almudena cathedral.
The second to last obligatory stop of the day was at the Almudena cathedral, where Madrid’s archbishop Rouco Varela was waiting for them. Once again, there were speeches from FP and the authority (the archbishop), plus the singing of the Almudena hymn. Notice Álvaro Arbeloa paying no attention (once again) back there.
Following all the ceremony, Iker and Sergio took the trophy up to the altar to offer it to the virgin, while the other two captains, Marcelo and Gonzalo Higuaín, carried the floral offering. Mou also accompanied them up to the altar. Then the rest of the players, with the exception of the Muslim players, walked up to the altar. The visit concluded with a foto de familia. During that time, Cris and Marcelo kept whispering to each other, although they were on different levels and with a priest between them!
I loved that Esteban Granero, while speaking to the press outside of the cathedral, took the time to express his support for Castilla and RMC in the upcoming weeks, as both of them are trying to ascend a division. A true canterano!
13h – the team lunch.
The morning ended with a team lunch at Puerta 57, where the players, coaching staff, other staff, directors and president joined together to celebrate the title one last time. Iker sat at the head table with Mou, FP and the directors, while the rest of the team was spread out like this. The Spaniards were together, the Frenchmen were placed with the German/German-Turkish players, and the Portuguese speakers sat with the Argentines. Marcelo sat next to Pepe instead of between Pepe and Cristiano, like he normally does.
This is what Karim should have worn on the day of his presentation, instead of that damn vest! Hopefully, Zizou has been giving him fashion tips along with life and football advice (and interior decorating suggestions).
Afterward, the trophy was deposited at the museum. Unlike the other Liga cups, this one got its own position of honor, near the nine European cups, and was flanked by a replica of Cibeles, a picture of Iker at Cibeles and a photo of the team.
Raúl Albiol tweeted this photo, with the caption “Con Pipita quédate!!!!” If there’s anyone that Gonzalo will listen to, it must be El Chori, so hopefully he is working hard on convincing Pipita!