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a little taste of America

August 10, 2012

Baseball?  Check.  American football?  Check.  Real Madrid got a taste of two of America’s favorite pastimes during this pre-season tour in the United States.  During their time in California, they got to try their hand at baseball, and in Philadelphia, they got to try their feet at American football.

At halftime of the Philadelphia Eagles-Pittsburgh Steelers pre-season game at the Lincoln Financial Field (where Madrid plays on Saturday), Xabi Alonso, Sergio Ramos, Álvaro Arbeloa, Esteban Granero and Gonzalo Higuaín (or as Couzin Ed, the Eagles’ on-field announcer said, Sabi Alonso, Ser-gee-o Raymos, Al-vero Arbeloa, Esteban Gran-yera and Gonzalo Higueyin) came down from the box where they were watching the game with the rest of their teammates to attempt some field goals.  By the way, watch out for Xabi posing to the side in many of the subsequent gifs and photos.

Xabi made his field goal, but Sergio’s veered too far to the left.  Álvaro Arbeloa, wearing the jersey of Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson, barely made his (it arched too soon) and Esteban celebrated making his by doing his Pirate celebration!

Too bad he couldn’t go to see the Pittsburgh Pirates play…

It was apparently too easy for the boys from that part of the field, so for Gonzalo Higuaín’s attempt, he was moved back to the 50-yard line.  He didn’t end up making his field goal, and his teammates made fun of him for that afterward.  He got a second chance, and he made this one, and I guess Sergio wanted another one too (as he hates failure) so he convinced the organizers to let him have one more attempt another from the 53-yard line, and he ended up making it!

Watch the video of the halftime show here!

Then Sami Khedira was interviewed at the Phlite Deck.  He said (in English, as you can see in the video) that it was really hot the last time they played there (the other day, Cris said of last year that he remembers the heat and how the team played like “snails” because it was so hot), and called the fans, the stadium and the city “amazing.”  When asked for his opinion of American football, Sami said he likes the stadium and the fans, and that they’re all having a great time and are happy to be there (in other words, they probably got a bit confused, since it’s not an easy game for a novice to understand, no?).

On hand to cheer the boys on were Eagles’ players Chas Henry and Jon Dorenbos, who had been their coaches earlier in the day (see below).

They couldn’t leave the stadium without a group photo (Nacho was the photographer).

They look great with the(American) football, no?

I wonder why Iker didn’t try his hand at this activity?  He would be the most obvious choice, since he does spend a lot of time kicking the ball down the field.

All in all, a entertaining halftime show.

One last photo from the Lincoln Financial Field.

In (west) Philadelphia (born and raised).*

Madrid had traveled to Philadelphia following the conclusion of their game in New York.  On Thursday, they trained in the afternoon at the NovaCare Complex, the practice facility of the Philadelphia Eagles.  Prior to the session, they got to experience what it’s like to be holders and kickers, as some of the boys were to show off their skills at halftime of the pre-season game between the Eagles and their cross-state rivals the Pittsburgh Steelers later that night.  They were coached by Eagles players Chas Henry, Alex Henery and Jon Dorenbos, the Eagles’ holder/punter, kicker and long snapper, respectively.

As we can see, the boys were quite proficient, which caused Álvaro Arbeloa to tweet that the Eagles had signed Gonzalo Higuaín.  Here’s the sequence where Álvaro acted as the holder to Pipita’s punter (apologies if I got any of the positions or terminology wrong, since American football is a mystery to me…).

After that, they trained as normal, recovering from the previous day’s game.

In the morning, the coaching staff and several of the players had also taken a walk around their hotel, the Ritz Carlton.

No Real Madrid outfits for Chori and Calleti?

And Sergio shared this photo of him and his “bro” Mesut (Marcelo recently called Mesut “my boy” when he posted this photo of “Marsut”).

Notice the Yankees cap, because that’s our next topic of discussion…

* to hear the Spanish version of the intro, go here.

Playing at Yankee Stadium.

From the highlights, it looks like Madrid played a fairly good game at Yankee Stadium, with authentic golazos and great assists as well, as they beat Milan 5-1.

Xabi went native prior to the game, donning his Yankees cap, and showing the others the highlights of the stadium, as he had been there before to watch some games.  And I wonder what was on his mobile phone that was so amusing?

Winking (in a good way) Cris!

They’re just regular tourists at heart!

Other things.

Madrid has been busy issuing official announcements lately.  On Wednesday, Joselu’s transfer to Hoffenheim was the subject of the announcement.  I hope the buyback option gets exercised in the future!  Then on Thursday, they announced that Sergio Canales has been transferred to Valencia, with Madrid retaining a buyback option (Sergio subsequently told the press that “our first objective is to win in the Bernabéu”), and that Ángel di María’s contract has been renewed through the 2017-18 season.

Brigitte Yagüe, who won a silver medal for Spain in the taekwondo 49 kg category at the Summer Olympics, is a madridista.  In past interviews she has said “soy muy fan del Real Madrid” and confessed that she would love to take the honorary kickoff at the Bernabéu.  Apparently, that’s going to happen soon!

Castilla things.

According to Marca, MFC Álvaro Borja Morata Martín will remain inscribed with Castilla, which will allow him to play for both the first team and Castilla.  All sides agreed to this move, believing it would be the best thing for ABMM.  Despite not having a first team ficha, ABMM will be a first team player in all effects, training with them and joining in team activities.  The team is also looking for a forward to cover the hole left by Joselu…

Speaking of Joselu, he gave an interview to Marca where he spoke of his new start.  He said moving to the Bundesliga is a good change for him, and he’s very excited and happy with his decision.  The canterano revealed he left Madrid because he got this opportunity and he believed it was the opportune time to take a step forward in his career, although of course he’d like to return to Madrid.  Joselu also says he’s already spoken with Dani Carvajal and he’s sure they’ll see each other a lot, because they’re not too far apart (about 300 kilometers), and that he already has a German tutor so that he can learn the “very difficult” language.

Castilla tied Alcorcón 1-1 on Wednesday, meaning they still have not lost in the pre-season.  Pedro Mosquera scored for the second team with a very young looking Zinedine Zidane (it’s the backwards cap) and his sons Luca and Enzo (perhaps the other two are there as well) watching in the stands.  I wonder if Zizou had that much hair when he was their age?

12 Comments leave one →
  1. Mariam permalink
    August 10, 2012 14:07

    I am so happy that Morata is staying with Castilla and will slowly be integrated into the first team. What a relief. Now he’ll get playing time for both teams and that’s perfect.
    I’ve been staying up to watch the pre-season games. The one against Santos Laguna was pretty bad, it reminded me of the game against Granada towards the end of the season, but not quite as bad or dramatic. The match against Milan was AMAZING. Everyone played great and looked great. The only thing I found weird is Jesé wasn’t called up.

  2. Ash permalink
    August 10, 2012 15:06

    Yay, really wish they’d make a trip to the South one of these days! Living in Atlanta makes it hard to swing over to CA or NYC for a weekend, but happy for the American fans that were able to attend. Embarrassing to hear them butcher the Spanish names, but I think overall people were excited to have them come and soccer is slowly getting more popular—here was one more pic btw, from the Eagles twitter account: Btw funny how Sergio looks so tiny next to Dorenbos! Watching Spain play amongst Villa, Navas, etc I thought he was huge.. but not standing next to our footballers, and those weren’t even linemen!

  3. AJ Nelson permalink
    August 10, 2012 15:38

    As an American, watching them play “football” made me smile. It’s just too bad that they only wore jerseys and not the tight pants as well 🙂 Can’t wait for Saturday – gonna be in Philly!!!

  4. MissLadya permalink
    August 10, 2012 16:17

    Great. Now I’m going to be humming the Fresh Prince theme all day … But it also reminds me of this (recent-ish) awesome moment:

    (I hope this works. Never embedded a vid on this site before. *fingers crossed*)

  5. Dia permalink
    August 10, 2012 16:55

    Somebody needs to let these photogs know that when Sergio has a sleeveless shirt on, we need closeups! I can’t believe in all the photos of their practice not one closeup of Serg’s new tattoo. Dang.

  6. Rose permalink
    August 10, 2012 16:59

    The match at Yankee Stadium was simply perfect! I had great seats and was able to see a lot of the pre-game moments because most of the subs came out to have a look around before the game started. Highlights: Seeing so many of the boys pose in right in front of me behind home plate and seeing Xabi Alonso look like he was bossing Emilio Butragueño around before the game (I have some really cute pics of these!) The game itself was great, with gorgeous goals and a full stadium of fans who really got into it. Most of the stadium was for Real Madrid btw. The only thing I can complain about is that the team was in such a rush to get to Philly after the game that there were barely any shots of shirtless players to be had 😦

  7. maria permalink
    August 11, 2012 07:21

    Una did you see the new “pipa quote” at Arbeloa’s twitter – “se te llenas el culo de preguntas”??? What does it mean??
    Thanxx =)

    • August 27, 2012 22:49

      *culo* is the slang term for derriere, or rear end. Imagine some of the courser terms and you’re there. The rest is like you fill your *culo* with questions”

  8. futbolfan permalink
    August 13, 2012 13:14

    Kaka played GREAT! So happy for him. PLEASE stay!
    And really the whole team did, but I do feel pretty bad for Milan. Wow, they’re not in good shape.

  9. August 13, 2012 18:00

    Ok, the Olympics are over so I am back to follow the blog on a daily basis! I see I’m in for a treat with reading previous blog entries, judging by the poetic view of Esteban Granero and the sweetness of a Mini Sunshunshine that is Enzo;-))

    season’s start so close, so close!

  10. August 13, 2012 18:29

    Ola! It’s nice that they have played american football! Ahahaha!!! I’d like to ask you a few things.. Please if you have a minute, contact me by mail. Thank you so much 🙂

  11. August 27, 2012 22:50

    Una – no one will care but for the record, a player hold the ball for the Place Kicker. A punter kicks the ball out of his own hands.

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