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all set for Santos Laguna!

August 5, 2012

Madrid takes on Santos Laguna today (o5h Monday Spain time, 20h local time) in the second friendly of their U.S. tour and the fourth friendly of this pre-season.  This will also be the first time ever that Madrid plays in Las Vegas, after having played in various other American cities as ambassadors of Madrid and Spain.  Speaking of that, here are a few scenes from the act organized by Turismo España the other day: a woman asking Cristiano for an autograph, and then saying “what’s your name?” (seriously?); Gonzalo cracking up (Iker must be quite a comedian) and making everyone around him crack up; MFC ABMM looking bored during the speeches part of the event; and Mou also getting bitten by the boredom bug, which compelled him to study Fábio Coentrão’s hair instead of listening.

In addition, over the past several days, there were…

REUNIONS!  Galaxy players David Beckham and Robbie Keane showed up at Madrid’s hotel on Aug. 1, to take part in a meet and greet with the little Israeli and Palestinian football players sponsored by Children United.  This gave many former teammates a chance to catch up, including everyone’s favorite pairing of David Beckham and Iker Casillas.  During the act, José Mourinho received a trophy and a ball from the organization as a thank you gift for his contributions towards the project.  He said he will continue helping and supporting the cause whenever he can.

Iker, I can’t believe it, are you real?  I didn’t recognize you, you’re so tan! / That’s the tattoo I got for you, Iker.  Victoria thinks it’s for her, but it’s really for you.  Don’t you get any ideas, Sergio. 

A WIN!  Madrid beat the Galaxy 5-1 at the Home Depot Center on Aug. 2, with Gonzalo Higuaín, Ángel di María, José Callejón, MFC Álvaro Borja Morata Martín and Jesé scoring the goals for Madrid.  All 25 of the players doing the pre-season in the United States were able to play some minutes.  I didn’t watch this game so I can’t say too much about it.  For those of you who did watch it, how did our boys look?

Of note: Iker wore the candy cane socks (yay!) and Rafa Varane wore the number “2” (P.S.  I hope he’s not taking self portrait tips from Karim Benzema).

TRAINING SESSIONS.  Training resumed the day after the game, as Madrid began preparing for its next match against Santos Laguna on Sunday.  Friday’s session was a recovery one that was open to the public.  The absences were Ángel di María and Álvaro Arbeloa, who worked out inside the gym.  On Saturday afternoon, the boys were back in training, with everyone present and accounted for, although Ángel di María trained apart from the team and with Carlos Lalín.  After the afternoon training session, the boys went shopping at the UCLA store, which closed for them so that they could shop tranquilly.

OBLIGATIONS.  As mentioned earlier, Madrid participated in an event organized by Turismo Spain on Friday.  The mayor of Los Angeles, Antonio Villaraigosa, was invited by the Tourism Office in Los Angeles to take part.  During the speeches, in addition to yawning and looking bored, the boys also fidgeted, chatted with each other and spaced out.

A PRESS CONFERENCE.  Sergio Ramos spoke to the press after the Saturday session.  When asked if it was possible for Iker to win the Ballon d’Or, he said “of course I would give it to Iker because he’s a guarantee as a goalkeeper and as a captain.  He’s shown over the years that he’s the best in the world.  But I would also say: how could I not give it to Cristiano?  He’s a player who makes the difference and there’s no one else like him.”  As for José Mourinho, Sergio said, “you learn a lot from him because he knows so much about football.  You don’t change the way you are, but his good advice helps you to mature.  It’s a privilege to have him as the captain of this ship.”  Sergio also gave a classy answer to the question about his thoughts on Sandro Rosell saying (without class) that strange things happened during last year’s Liga: “if last season’s Liga is to be defined with one word, I would say ‘spectacular’ or ‘incredible.’  Madrid was a rightful champion.  I don’t think he said that with a double meaning because that would be an improper attitude for the president of Barcelona to have.”

FREE TIME! The boys got Saturday morning off, and while some players such as the twins and Calleti spent it by the pool…

Too bad the white swim trunks are not more transparent, since I would like to confirm the El Chori nickname.

… others were more adventurous.  Sergio Ramos and Esteban Granero headed out to see the sights of Venice Beach, where they watched a street show.  Sergio subsequently shared it with us, and I love how we can hear his exclamations, from “es espectacular” to “oh my god!” to “¡qué bueno!”  I also love that he joined in when the performers wanted a response from the crowd.

PHOTO SHARING!  Calleti shared this photo of him and Becks, Álvaro Arbeloa shared this photo of Gonzalo and “Eric Bana”…

… and Sergio shared this photo of him, Calleti and Iker.  Sergio explained that he was having lemonade, while you can see that Iker of course opted for Cola Cao.  And don’t miss Sergio’s hand on José’s thigh; Iker wasn’t as touchy-feely as the other two.

OTHER THINGS.  Agustín Herrerín got a street named after him in Mazarrón, Murcia, where he summers.  On the current roster of the UCLA football (soccer) team is a former Madrid canterano, Víctor Muñoz.  He spent nine years in our cantera and left because he knew he was never going to have the opportunity to make the first team.  Víctor remains in touch with many of his former teammates, including Nacho and Jesús, so hopefully they had a chance to catch up!  Speaking of Nacho – and Álex – Cuatro did a report on the brothers, interviewing their family: father José María, mother Maite and sister Maite.  The elder Maite says the boys are completely different in personality and style – Nacho is more tranquil, and Álex is more crazy.  She adds that they share everything, that they’re always together and happy for that.  The jerseys that the boys wore when they debuted with the first team are framed and displayed in the Fernández-Iglesias home, and the family’s dream is to see the two of them playing together in the Bernabéu.  Take a look at “Valdebebas Suites” here, the future players’ residence.  And we’ll close with the adorable Enzo in London and at the Olympics!  With Spain out, I’ll be cheering for Marcelo and Brazil!

27 Comments leave one →
  1. eruhin permalink
    August 5, 2012 15:48

    “Iker, I can’t believe it, are you real? I didn’t recognize you, you’re so tan! / That’s the tattoo I got for you, Iker. Victoria thinks it’s for her, but it’s really for you. Don’t you get any ideas, Sergio.” – hahaha, I love you, Una!;D

    • unamadridista permalink*
      August 6, 2012 14:54


    • August 6, 2012 21:57

      lolol – I second the “I love you Una” part. 🙂

  2. fats permalink
    August 5, 2012 16:17

    OMG! i LOVE ur blog una! Keep up the awesome work! i accidentally ran into ur blog and i cant tell u how delighful it was to find it. I totally devoured every piece written abt iker first n many thanks for the iker book. Its such a pleasure being abt to read the translated version! thnx a tonne for ur efforts 🙂 i must tell u that ur doin a massive favor to all the madridistas around the world! Luv ya! 🙂
    Hala madrid! xoxoxoxo

  3. August 5, 2012 18:30

    I watched the game Una but only on telly since I lived so far far away from USA, and ugh! I hate cameramen so, so, so much! He didn’t made close up shoot to our beautiful players because he’s too busy to shoot L.A sky! Yes, we knew it’s beautiful sunset there, but come on, we were there for football, not L.A’s scenery.
    Anyway, I’m just happy to saw our canteranos are finally have time on the field :’)

  4. August 5, 2012 18:37

    Anyway Una, just an advice, I think you need to make ‘Enzo’ tag, his adorableness is just like his father, definitely a sunshine!

  5. Jenny permalink
    August 5, 2012 19:18

    Ozil has had a street named after him too in Zongalduk, Turkey.

    This is a uniquely beautiful spam, Una. You’ve completely made my day. (Also I hadn’t realized how The Chori had got his nickname. My God the boys are naughty!)

  6. mia permalink
    August 5, 2012 21:49


  7. AJ Nelson permalink
    August 5, 2012 22:04

    The boys are so generous with their time off pictures from LA. Greatly appreciated! 🙂

  8. Courtney permalink
    August 6, 2012 01:32

    I love how Fabio isn’t even bothered by Mou playing with his hair.

  9. @ulonghaz permalink
    August 6, 2012 03:17

    Enzo is so adorable. When I think he can’t anymore cuter..and there he is with his bright smile. Little sunshine!!

  10. August 6, 2012 06:04

    so close and yet so far!i’m in reno at the moment,travelling to vegas。too bad the boys will be gone before i get there!

  11. MissLadya permalink
    August 6, 2012 14:11

    First half was pretty good. Di Maria played the biggest role and assisted that first goal within two minutes, then scored one himself within ten minutes. He did have a couple of Maria-esque moments when he could have passed the ball to another team mate but didn’t, and ended up losing possession or missing the goal, but after such a great start I can almost forgive him for that. Higuain kept cutting through the LA defences (which was, admittedly, a shambles) very easily. I am a bit worried about Kaka, though. Whether it’s the whole will-he-won’t-he transfer saga weighing on his mind, or he is out of form, he simply disappeared for long stretches in the first half. And, man, goalies have the worst kits, don’t they? Poor Iker …

    Second half was … okay-ish. Mou saved the big names (Ronaldo, Ozil, Benzema, Pepe, Sergio, etc.) for after halftime, but they did not really live up to the (exaggerated) hype. Biggest issue I had with the whole thing was that the prematch hype revolved 99.9% around Ronaldo, so basically when he came on in the second half the crowd focussed almost entirely on him, and would cheer when the ball simply landed at his feet. He had a couple of embarrassing moments when he gracelessly tripped and fell flat on his face, but one of those did lead to a darling Crozil moment as Bambi helped him back to his feet. Cris got off a couple of shots and did an amazing bycicle kick which was unfortunately blocked, and almost scored again less than a minute before stoppage time, but overal had little impact on the game. Benzema didn’t score, but he did a nice 1-2 that helped clinch the last goal for the team. Pepe floored a Galaxy player, but got away with it XD (To be fair, it looked worst than it was though. From a distance it looked as though he’d hip-tossed the player, but I don’t think he actually grabbed him. There was a bit of booing in the crowd, though.)

    During the first half Real were just skipping through Galaxy’s defences. Galaxy’s backline had the tendency to either just stand there and stare at the ball, or rush the attacking player as one, leaving two or three Real players with perfectly clear shots of the goal. Galaxy’s goalie was becoming increasingly frustrated because he was getting little to no cover from his team.

    Surprisingly, Galaxy defence were more successful against Real’s higher ranking players in the second half. Am thinking Arena spent the entire halftime addressing this in the lockerroom before they came back out. They mostly just crowded the box in great numbers, but it worked. However, one of their most glaring mistakes (which even had me slapping my head and rolling my eyes) was when they conceded the 5th goal. Seriously, when is it ever sensible to leave Mesut “Bitch, Please, I May Have Just Come Off A Seemingly Endless Las Vegas Partying Binge But I Can Still Assist From All The Way Over Here In My Sleep” Ozil COMPLETELY unmarked? Again, Galaxy’s tendency to crowd the ball and forget all else around them came back to bite them on the ass because when Benz lobbed the ball over to Ozil Bambi was standing in acres of space right off to the side of the goal. He needed only to then roll it long, straight through the crowd, right at Jese’s feet.

    All in all, I was annoyed. LOL Not with the game or the players, but with the way it was covered. I cannot say I’ve watched a lot of matches commentated by American commentators, but good lord was it painful to sit through this one. One of the commentators was English, but nonetheless I thought they did a poor job. They barely talked about what was actually happening on the field, except for when someone scored a goal, which the American commentator then went on to gush about for five minutes as if each had been The Goal Of The Century. It comes off as someone trying too hard to be interesting and football-savvy. It just felt really lame, borderline awkward, to listen to.

    • unamadridista permalink*
      August 6, 2012 14:55

      Thanks for the detailed match report!

      • MissLadya permalink
        August 6, 2012 15:54

        Oh wow. Sorry, didn’t notice it was that long. Looked shorter when I was typing it. Anywho, no probs XD

        • unamadridista permalink*
          August 8, 2012 14:14

          There’s no need to apologize!!!!

  12. rupster permalink
    August 6, 2012 17:31

    hey! i need your help! i’m a madridista living in ny. i just moved here, and the first thing i bought was tickets to the match in Yankee Stadium! i cant believe in 2 days i’m gonna be seeing the team with my own eyes and not thru the tv!!! 😀 but do u know when they are arriving in NY? i think i’m a huge fan, but a terrible stalker! 🙂 i need some info on when they will be here, and where they mite be, so hopefully i can catch a glimpse, or get a foto or autograph….

    • unamadridista permalink*
      August 8, 2012 14:15

      They arrived on Tuesday night local time, and are staying at the Four Seasons.

  13. Kristin permalink
    August 6, 2012 18:31

    I actually traveled from OK to go to the match and training! I paid to go inside to watch them train…but the the coaching staff let the UCLA officials let in those that were standing outside…so, really shouldn’t have paid $250 for that haha…I tried to get some signatures but people started getting rough. I went to wait outside their training Saturday…I got Arbeloa outside training and Pepe outside the locker room…tried to get Ronaldo and Casillas but I got pushed down and some fans trampled my jersey! I’ll try to plan better next year!

    • unamadridista permalink*
      August 8, 2012 14:16

      The fans were that rough?

      • Kristin permalink
        August 8, 2012 18:52

        Oh yeah they were! I was pretty surprised at how people were behaving! I got smacked in the face a lot because people were reaching over with their things….I waited by the fence for several hours both days and only ended up with 2 autographs because I was constantly pushed around (I only have pen marks from Ramos, Ozil, and Casillas lol). I guess I’m just used to people with manners. I understand the excitement and love for the team, but I don’t think anyone had any excuse for behaving so poorly. Some of these people even pushed kids out of the way! Out of control! I think they should have a set up for autographs and pictures like they did in Vegas…that seemed to be more controlled (I wasn’t there only saw some pics). I honestly thought when I paid $250 I’d get that calm opportunity, but oh well.

  14. August 6, 2012 18:37

    Una, do you have the link to cuatro deportes of the interview that was made with the Fernández-Iglesias family?

  15. August 7, 2012 14:46

    wow, I am seriously behind the news, as I try to follow as much of Olympics I could possibly manage (that included watching 12 different competitions last Sunday, my record;-))) so between work and Olympics and other real life stuff, I read the RM news late.

    the pictures are an eye-candy, but ever player loses in the sweetness competition with Enzolito, little Sunshine, he’s so sweet that my heart is melting!!!

    aside from the game, I do hope that at least Cristiano and Sergio went for a shopping spree in Vegas and we will see some of the outfits bought there soon (I am sure there was shopping and I am almost sure something flashy and shining was bought);-)))

    I kinda love the preseason. The whole season is ahed (fun!) but still there are games, with no pressure. Good idea.

  16. Sarah, Madrid permalink
    August 7, 2012 17:45

    Sorry off the topic, but I hope for those who question why is Granero loved or why does he deserve to be part of this team, go read his amazing amazing amazing amazing interview in Jot Down. That’s why he is so much loved by us fans very simple!

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