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to Los Angeles we go!

July 28, 2012

The boys are already on their way to the United States!  It was a busy morning at Valdebebas.  The first order of business was the medical tests for the returning players – Iker, Sergio, the A-team, Cris and Pepe.  As for Sami and Mesut, they’ll be joining the team in Los Angeles.  And once that happens, the team will be (almost) complete – we’ll just be missing our little sunshine, Marcelo.

Álvaro Arbeloa also informed us that José Callejón will be joining twitter soon!  If that doesn’t get you excited about the upcoming season, I don’t know what will!

As stated above, the medical tests were the first item on the agenda.  It’s a good thing that Iker changed into his team outfit first, because I don’t even want to think about what he wore to Valdebebas (I imagine it’s something as summery as the outfit of Karim Benzema, whom you can glimpse behind Mr. Elegance).

Xabi was very manly when it came to the blood test, while Sergio tried to grin and bear it, I guess.

After that was completed, the team boarded the bus that would take them to the airport.  As we can see, there were reunions right outside the bus.  And El Pirata was looking his usual cool self.

Ricardo Carvalho has been excused from the trip (he’s certainly being treated much, much better than other players that didn’t figure into Mou’s plans, isn’t he?), while canteranos Nacho, Álex, Jesé, MFC ABMM and Jesús were called up to do the pre-season with the first team.  Here we have the oldest canterano and the newest one!

FP joined the delegation for the flight to Los Angeles.  He walked around greeting the players, including the apple of his eye, Karim.  Speaking of eyes, look at MFC ABMM’s huge doe eyes in the photo with Pérez and Pipita!

Iker shared this photo of him with Mou and Sergio, saying, “I was really looking forward to seeing these two guys.”  And dios mio, is that Iker looking a bit tan?

Some more photos from the plane ride… Pepe was all set to watch Entourage!

As a reminder, the first training session will take place on Sunday at UCLA, at 19h Spain time (10h local time).   Madrid will be playing four friendlies in the United States: against the Galaxy on Aug. 2 in LA, against Santos Laguna on Aug. 5 in Las Vegas, against Milan on Aug. 8 in NYC and the tour will conclude with the game against Celtic on Aug. 11 in Philly.

The game.

Well, the only good things I can say about the game are that Denis was a superstar and tweeted some photos before the game (I see that no one has told Karim that his poses are often ridiculous, and the positioning of his headphones doesn’t help matters…)…

… that I adored the all white jerseys, that I loved seeing José Callejón point to the escudo (the all white shirts made it all the more lovely), and that Victoria the eagle is quite impressive (here’s the story of the first Victoria).

Prior to the game, José Mourinho, Ángel di María and Fábio Coentrão received a tribute from Benfica.  Eusébio gave them each a commemorative trophy, and in return, he got a silver replica of the Bernabéu from Emilio Butragueño and Eduardo Fernández de Blas.

As for Mou, he had a lot to say in his press conference after the game.

on the loss: if it was a disaster for all of you Spaniards to lose 5-2, and for the Portuguese it was a party, then it’s your problem.  Out of the 19 titles I’ve won, none were during the pre-season.  I’m not worried about what happened.  We came here because we had a contract to hold up and we would be penalized if we didn’t play.  It had something to do with the signing of Coentrão or Di María, I don’t remember.

on the cantera: this game was also important to show all of those “iluminados” who think that the canteranos are prepared to play on the first team that there is a long road and you have to go bit by bit, you have to be patient.

Prior to the game, he had spoken about Fábio Coentrão: “I don’t think I would bring Portuguese players to Real, because it’s a very, very difficult life for them.  They have to be a Cristiano, a Pepe, a man, with a special mentality to overcome a situation that is not easy… they have to show in each game, each minute that they’re not only the best, but much better than the rest… Coentrão will play, at least so that he can regain some self-esteem and be applauded, because in Real Madrid he’s not very much.”

I have some problems with what Mou said here.  First, the canteranos are never going to be prepared to play on the first team if they’re not given chances, and under Mou, they don’t have opportunities.  It’s a vicious cycle.  Dani Carvajal was probably the player who was the most prepared to be promoted, yet he ended up leaving because he wasn’t given opportunities.  In addition, some of the players that Mou got the club to sign were also woefully unprepared to play on the first team of Real Madrid.  At least with the canteranos, there’s no adaptation period, there’s no language problem, they know and respect the history of the club…

With regards to his remarks on Coentrão (and the way that Carvalho has been treated), it appears that Mou gives preferential treatment to the Portuguese players (especially those represented by Jorge Mendes).  He makes it sound like madridistas do not like Portuguese players simply for the fact that they are Portuguese, and that is not true.  If we haven’t warmed to Coentrão yet, that’s because he hasn’t done anything yet to show us that he belongs here and deserves to be here (that smoking incident did not help).  He has to earn his place here, it’s not going to just be handed to him like Mou wants.  And it’s not just like this with the Portuguese players, it’s like that with everyone.  EVERYONE has to prove themselves in each game, not just the Portuguese.

Okay rant over.  To avoid ending on a negative note, here is sweaty El Pirata looking every inch the captain.

35 Comments leave one →
  1. okokobioko permalink
    July 28, 2012 19:11

    Your comment: “it appears that Mou gives preferential treatment to the Portuguese players (especially those represented by Jorge Mendes).” Is exactly what Mou was talking about. On twitter, I told a spanish journalist who goes to the bernabeu for every game that Mourinho has never been insulted by any team he has coached as much as he has been insulted by Real Madrid fans. Madrid fans do not respect Mou and insult him and thats what you have done Una. A coach who has been extremely susccessful and you state that he is biased? Would you make this same comments ab out a spanish coach? You wount! Arsenal buys lots of French players, their fans never insulted Wenger. Fergie buys lots of british players, no insult from the United fans, Benitez bought lots of Spanish players for Liverpool and there was no insult. Guardiola bought almost only Catalan players and the barca fans embraced him. Mourinho buys only 2 Portuguese players and the insult he receives from Real madrid fans? What a disappointment. Madridistas hate portuguese people and its very clear.

    For your information, Una (and the information of all Madridistas) when Caralho goes, THERE WILL BE ONLY 3 PORTUGUESE PLAYERS IN THE 25. So, please, spare us the comments about Mou favoring portuguese players. He has only 3 in his team!

    As for Carvajal. Please lets stop being sentimental. Carvajal is not good enough to play for Real Madrid. Mourinho (the coach with 19 titles) has watched him and he is not convinced by carvajal.

    • unamadridista permalink*
      July 30, 2012 13:50

      How do you know what I would say and what I won’t? Do you know me at all? As for Madrid fans not respecting Mou, there are fans who like him and those who don’t. Where does it say that all fans have to love him? And it’s not true that madridistas hate Portuguese people; for example, Cristiano has won us over (all players have to win us over, even Spanish ones, for your information). Plus, I’m talking about Mou’s treatment of the Portuguese players, not how many he has on his team. I don’t think you understand what I’m trying to say (plus Guardiola is not the best comparison, is he, since Barça’s Catalan identity is of utmost importance to the fans and so of course they would embrace any coach that tries to make them more Catalan). And thanks for the counting lesson, but I aced that in elementary school.

      • okokobioko permalink
        July 31, 2012 03:28

        Una, I never spoke about “love.” I spoke about respect. They are two different things. They can love him or hate him, I never spoke about that, but they have never shown him respect. And as the best coach in the world, he deserves respect.

        As for the way he “treats” portuguese players. Its interesting you bring that up. You forget that he backed the club in their “fine” of coentrao and he ev en suspended coentrao after that incident? You also forget that he has dropped coentrao on multiple occassions? You also forget that HIS OWN SON (Carvalho) was dropped for the rest of the season? Even at Chelsea, he tonguelashed Carvalho? At inter, he dropped Quaresma indefinitely? This is what I mean by the lack of respect shown to Mou by Madrid fans. Never before (not at chelsea or at Inter) did their fans question Mourinho’s professionalism. Only the Madrid fans have ever done so and without basis.

        If you think I am wrong, please provide evidence of the “treatment” of Portuguese players that is biased.

        By the way, after all Crisitano has done for the club, after one bad game, he was booed at the Bernabeu.

        Anyways, keep up the good work, Una.

        • unamadridista permalink*
          July 31, 2012 15:03

          I don’t forget things, but just because there is preferential treatment doesn’t mean it has to happen all the time.

          As for the treatment that you asked about, how about the fact that Ricardo Carvalho has been given time to decide on his future, instead of being sent to train by himself or with other unwanted players on a side field like Pedro León or Sergio Canales, to give a few examples.

          And Cristiano being booed, that wasn’t because he was Portuguese, it was because he had a bad game. The Bernabéu has even booed Raúl (who is Spanish!), the emblem of the club for so many years. If Raúl can be booed, anyone can.

    • Sarah, Madrid permalink
      July 30, 2012 20:54

      Pedro Mendes get to debut before Carvajal for Mourinho, I rest my case! how would you know if he is not good enough for RM if he is not even tried!
      Anyone who follows Castilla knows how important and amazing was Carvajal for our promotion!

      • okokobioko permalink
        July 31, 2012 23:01

        But you are forgetting one key issue here: Mourinho has watched Carvajal on multiple ocassions and he does not rate him. Are you going to force a coach to work with a player he doesnt rate?

        How about the fact that Nacho Fernandez got to start against valencia at the mestalla and the next game (cant remember) at the bernabeu? Nacho is portuguese?

        You have a problem with Pedro Mendes because he did not deserve to play the game of because he is portuguese?

        Please show the coach respect. You may love or hate him, thats not an issue. But a coach who is considered the best in the world deserves to be respected. Its an insult to claim that he biased and unprofessional.

        • unamadridista permalink*
          August 1, 2012 16:06

          I’ll let Sarah respond if she wants since she is more than capable of doing that, but I’d just like to point out that during the game against Valencia, the only habitual starters were Iker and Carvalho, so Nacho’s start was not special. It was more out of necessity and allowing others to rest than because Mou wanted to start Nacho. As for Pedro Mendes playing during the Ajax game, well, remember that he wasn’t getting much playing time with Castilla, yet was on the first team roster for CL games.

        • Sarah, Madrid permalink
          August 2, 2012 20:29

          Why do you keep saying we are “disrespecting” Mourinho!!!! I don’t understand this point, we are not blindly supporting here!

          No, I didn’t say because he is portuguese he get the call up, but again if you follow castilla, you will see that he was struggling, not even in starting game when he was called up, as Mourinho said it is his own words that a call up for castilla is a reward for their hard work, Pedro didn’t do anything to deserve to be called up in the contrary of Nacho, Casado, CARVAJAL, Morata, Sarabia before, Jese, Joselu..list goes on! It hurts really hurts for a player who spent his whole life in the same club see someone like Pedro who have been there for couple of months not impressing gets the call up ahead of him, I have nothing against Pedro but for the move.

          As for Nacho call up, well Una explained perfectly. I am not with what Una said in above post to start with 100%, but I see her point, I try to understand what Mourinho is doing but you keep saying how she/ we disrespected him while all she said stated facts that actually happened! She is not making stuff up!

          We didn’t say play carvajal in every game, a simple call up was just a recongition for his hard work regardless of Mourinho rate him highly or not, he definitely is better than Pedro very simple, you know how carvajal situation if we want to put in first teams term, it is like benching Ramos and playing Albiol instead in a UCL final although Ramos played better and been a key player for RM.

  2. lover_iker permalink
    July 28, 2012 19:14

    wooooooooooooooow you can not imagine how much i missed Iker.he is team’s soul

  3. inHighbury permalink
    July 28, 2012 20:16

    lol how popular is Entourage in Spain?

    • unamadridista permalink*
      July 30, 2012 13:50

      It’s quite popular, and very popular with footballers!

  4. maripili permalink
    July 28, 2012 21:42

    I agree with your take on Mou’s words. He was rather rude, in my opinion. I never expected
    the team to be at the same level without all the starting regulars and that loss doesn’t bother me at all. I think we all know it is not indicative of how the season will go.He does seem to put down the canteranos and Spaniards in general with his words.

    • okokobioko permalink
      July 31, 2012 03:33

      Please provide the words he has made to “put down the spaniards.: These are things I have heard him say:

      Casillas = “He is the best goalkeeper in the world.”

      Ramos = “he will become the best center defender in the world.”

      Xabi = Do I even need to say what Mou has said about Xabi?

      Arbeloa = “he may never give you a 10, but he is always always reliable”

      Albiol = “Albiol is going nowhere. he is very important to this team”

      • unamadridista permalink*
        July 31, 2012 15:04

        Are you forgetting what Mou said about Pedro León, Sergio Canales, some of the canteranos?

        • okokobioko permalink
          July 31, 2012 23:05

          No! He verbally lashed Pedro Leon. And deservedly so. I have heard the nasty things Pedro Leon did, even to his teammate Fernando Gago.

          Una, did you also forget what Mou said about Carvalho @ chelsea (“he must have a low IQ”) or Quaresma?

          While many of you are arguing that Mou has said nasty things about Spanish players. I AM SAYING MOU HAS SAID NASTY THINGS ABOUT ALMOST EVERY PLAYER HE HAS WORKED WITH! LOL. thats Mou for you. Sneidjer said it best. You will fall in love with Mou because he is the nicest person, but if you cross the line with Mou, he could be the worst person you will ever know.

          ps.–what did he say about Canales and the canteranos.

  5. maripili permalink
    July 28, 2012 21:44

    With his short hair and without the beard, Sergio looks so young! And soooo handsome!

  6. Fefa permalink
    July 28, 2012 22:56

    Sometimes Una sounds like spanish press…

  7. Sarah, Madrid permalink
    July 29, 2012 01:50

    ” if it was a disaster for all of you Spaniards to lose 5-2, and for the Portuguese it was a party, then it’s your problem ” I don’t like this part either, why would he say that! RM is not spaniards and Benfica is not portuguese

    100000000000000% Agree, it is like Mou couldn’t attack Barca or any other opponent for the time being, decided to keep himself entertained by attacking us, whatever he said regarding Fabio doesn’t make sense because simply I don’t know but Pepe for example is not always supported by our fans, it is FREAKING REAL MADRID, in order for you to be applauded all the time you need to be an Iker or Raul even though Raul got sometimes his shares of booes, doesn’t make sense, why would he seperate portuguese from other players, I understand he is in Portugal and so but still!

    I don’t 100% agree with the canteranos explaning though there is a point in what he said, but still I understand the Carvajal situation, in the other side Morata and Jesus

    I also didn’t like what he said about Nuri, how come Kaka is not treated like the canales, pedro leon of the squad too!

    Anyway, Iker is tanned, Perez with his apple of his eyes, Adorable Morata, XABI’S BEARD all make me forget about all this! Can’t wait to see our whole team back, bambi and Sami too on the pitch, I miss their faces!

  8. July 29, 2012 02:21

    Regarding the “Portuguese Player” bit, as a neutral party (not Spanish or Portuguese) I feel the non spanish contingent have a much harder time than say the Spanish contingent. For example, I love Granero to bits and want him to play forever for Real, but his performance or allegiance is never questioned. He doesn’t have to hear anti Portuguese hate chants from his own fan base unlike a Cristiano or a Fabio. Truth is life is harder for a foreigner in Spain. In Karim’s own words, he felt isolated, lonely, didn’t understand the jokes in the locker room and ended up feeling that people were laughing at him. It was Mourinho who pulled him out of his self destruction. Sami and Mesut, always stick to each other for a reason. People in Bernabeu don’t even seem to know Sami’s name although he is integral in all the games than say Calleti (again someone I adore from the bottom of my heart). I guess what I am trying to get at is that the bias will always be there. Non Spanish players will always have to perform much better to get half the recognition that Spaniards would get, case in point Cristiano. Mourinho was just pointing out the same, albeit without any sugar coating. But then he is not the type of guy to sugar coat anything. I don’t think there is a good or bad guy in this situation.

    • unamadridista permalink*
      July 30, 2012 13:56

      I understand what you’re saying, but let me point out that Granero (and Callejón) has put in his time as a canterano, so he already won over the majority of the fans before he ever joined the first team, and yes, he had to prove he was worthy of wearing the shirt. In addition, Spaniards who join the team from different clubs are required to prove to us that they belong, just like non-Spaniards. As for the foreigners, many of them have problems in assimilating because they don’t put in as much of an effort as they could have, or didn’t make an effort. As a result, they miss out on many of the things that helps the team to bond, such as the jokes or the music. And that affects their performance.

      • Sarah, Madrid permalink
        July 30, 2012 20:51

        I do remember Ramos went into period of boos in 2005 if I am not mistaken or memory served me right in Bernabeu, bernabeu didn’t like when there is claims of him being a mole.

        I agree with you Una! every player who passed this club had to prove it by simply work hard, try to show that he is part of this team! reason why players like Granero or Calleti are loved not only because they are canteranos, it is because of statements such as: ” I won’t leave until this club ask me to leave, I will stay here as long as they want me too” player such Mesut is a fan favorite too although he is Spainsh because he is so class, talented and give it all for the team..

        As much as some will try to justify what Mourinho said, no it is not justifiable!

  9. Morales permalink
    July 29, 2012 02:39

    Yaaaaaaaaay!!!!!! I’m so excited to see them play on Thursday :DDD I really wanna see train in UCLA, but why so early????

    So I’m confused about the 5-2 thing, I thought we won against Benfica, but I’ve been so scattered brain lately that I can’t tell what’s up or down. Yes, I have to agree in regards to Coentrao, I don’t think he’s overly impressed me much in his playing 😐

  10. Cammy permalink
    July 29, 2012 07:36

    Thanks Una! I’m excited to see the guys on Sunday. I hope Mou decides to open more training sessions than the 1 last year.

  11. July 29, 2012 09:15

    iker … has … a … tan. i need time to process this!

  12. July 29, 2012 09:18

    oh, and i don’t like mou’s comments. this kind of stirring and controversy is exactly why he has the reputation he has, and part of what he’s saying here is patently untrue, anyway. okay, fine, the match may have been a contractual obligation, but it sounds like sour grapes and a really “bad loser” attitude to blather on about it being that. just accept defeat graciously! and his comments about the cantera make me frustrated, too, not to mention coentrao (here’s a newsflash — you want him to regain some self-esteem? stop speaking about him like that in press conferences!).

  13. Ally permalink
    July 29, 2012 11:18

    I agree with your statements, not Mou’s. The canteranos should be given more opportunities… if not, they’re gonna leave us and maybe we’ll buy them back when they have showed how good they are. That’s a waste of money…

    I’m so glad the team is almost complete! and yes, I think Iker has a tan too 🙂 it’s a miracle!

  14. samie permalink
    July 29, 2012 11:23

    I think Mou is referring to Spanish media claiming some players are only signed because Jorge Mendes are their agents and that’s why he lashed out.

  15. Eric permalink
    July 30, 2012 12:16

    Lass and Granero are not of Madrid quality.

    • Jenny permalink
      August 2, 2012 00:38

      I’m with Mou on this one – and I feel that your post has inadvertently made his point.

      For Granero: you note he looks handsome in the arm-band rather than pointing out that his performance in the Eusebio cup was the worst first team performance of the night (with the possible exception of Kaka – who should be off-loaded at once). His performances in general are awful and not up to standard. What’s more, he’s not improving. He’s reached his full potential (and it’s not much). That means that whatever affection he has is based solely on the fact he’s a canterano. That’s fine, of course. People are entitled to like their “local boy makes good” narratives – but that should be admitted as the reason.

      As for Coentrao: you mention that he smoked a single fag 6 months ago. Not much of a sin, is it? I leave aside how depressing it is to see American style health-puritanism in Spain, of all places, trumping the fact that he played well in our 3 most important games last season.

      Mou could be wrong, of course. It could be there aren’t elevated standards for the Portuguese and simply repressed standards for the Spaniards, but that would amount to the same thing.

      As for Carvajal, we’ve had this conversation before. As a German myself I’m not shedding tears for any boy who is privileged enough to play in the Bundesliga and who has been honoured by praise from Rudi Voeller. He’s lucky, and he’d better know it. And apparently, Mourinho is personally responsible for this good luck of his.

  16. Happy permalink
    July 31, 2012 20:13

    I think who know Madrid true, can say fans in Bernabeu always judge a player by the performance, not the nationality, I can say our fans are quite fair, that’s why they seems not so supportive.
    Regarding Coentrao’s issue,I’m quite disappointed about Mou’s statement, it’s obvious his performance not match his price and not meet the fans’ requirement, Marcelo is much better, but I can still see he works hard, so what he has to do is work much harder this year.
    I’m not a Spanish, but I still want more Spanish players in team, because Madrid is the biggest club in Spain and the history, they have the responisbility to support the national team. That’s not Arsenal nor Chelsea can compare with, we have a well developed youth system, we have many pearls in our youth team, if we never use them, why not just shut it down? Mou said he wants 20 players this year, so the canteranos can have dream, I hope he won’t let us down. I would thanks what Mou done, but in some aspects, he could do better.

    • Jenny permalink
      August 2, 2012 17:02

      It’s not Mourinho’s responsibility to foster youth development. Keep in in mind please, Madrid is a club that sacks its WINNING coaches in the tunnel. VdB was disposed of that way, and made a principled stand in refusing an award from Madrid last year.

      Mourinho’s job is to win at a club where winning is often not enough. It is the club’s responsibility to look at its near-yearly sacrificial cull of coaches whether they are winning or not (because at one point it almost was an annual thing) and its refusal to allow for transition years during which the youngsters can be integrated.

      When the club decides to act with some dignity toward its coaches, and some long-term planning instead of an endless stream of Galactico signings, then we can assess what Mourinho is or is not doing.

  17. okokobioko permalink
    August 1, 2012 20:52

    Una, sorry I posted this elsewhere…but wanted to do so here. SO, what do you think about this. I thought only the spanish players are treated this way? considering that mourinho hates spanish players and is biased towards portuguese players?

    • unamadridista permalink*
      August 2, 2012 15:50

      The other unwanted players – Spanish and not Spanish – were forced to run laps around a field (that’s all they did) and hidden from the press so that no one could see; their absence also was not explained. Ricardo Carvalho gets to work on his football and maintain his skills by training and doing ball exercises with Castilla, after getting time off from the club to think about his future and having his absence explained. You tell me which is the better deal.

      • okokobioko permalink
        August 2, 2012 23:00

        lol. Una, i think you and I will never agree on this. Mourinho is the devil, i guess. Dont worry, one day, Mourinho will leave Madrid and “return” the club to Madridistas. I hope a Spanish coach is then hired, so that Madridistas can have their “Spanish” team.

        Thanks for the discussion. Have a nice day!

        • unamadridista permalink*
          August 6, 2012 14:47

          No, we will never agree as long as you keep drawing wild conclusions like “Mourinho is the devil” and things along the line of me absolutely hating Mourinho from several sentences I wrote about what I perceive to be his treatment of youth players and Portuguese. This is just a small part of Mourinho, certainly not the whole package, so please don’t generalize.

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