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problems & responses – part II

October 18, 2012

Continuing with the optimism: with Real Madrid (and with life), I always prefer to view the glass as half full, rather than half empty.

The issue: the devastating announcement (so cruel, it was one day before the transfer market closed) that Esteban Granero was no longer a Real Madrid player.  Shortly after, Álvaro Arbeloa tweeted, “I wish you the best friend, although it will be less than what you deserve!  You don’t know how much we’re going to miss you.”  Yes, yes, and yes!  Real Madrid better watch out, because Iker has no successor at the club, in terms of a player who has Real Madrid in his DNA and who is loyal to his first and only club.  Esteban was the closest we had to someone like that, and we madridistas need that type of player in our club.

The remedy: knowing that Esteban is hanging out with his best friend PF Juan Mata, in addition to playing each other!  Imagine the intellectual conversations that they will have, ones that the rest of us wouldn’t be able to understand, and also exploring all that London has to offer and improving their English together (along with Oriol and “Dave,” jajaja!)!  In addition, Madrid does has a buyback option in place after two seasons, which will take effect on June 30, 2014.  They’ll have to play double what QPR paid for the transfer, which is around 12 million euros.  The club had already bought back El Pirata once, from Getafe.  And that time, Esteban decided to return to his club even though it meant a 30 percent decrease in his salary.

Plus, I like to think that Esteban wouldn’t have made the decision to leave Real Madrid until he had graduated from the Xabi Alonso School of Posing/Midfielding/Being Cooler and Dressing Better than Everyone Else, so that means he’ll be so exciting to watch in England!

By the way, E.G. had to put his psychology studies on hold.  He’s taking a break with one or two years left to go, and will resume his studies in Madrid after this break.  And he scored his first goal with QPR on Oct. 6 against West Brom, although his team ended up losing the game.  Plus, I loved that he sent a message of encouragement Marcelo’s way…

Meanwhile, there are signs in the cantera that in the hopefully near future, a player (or players) with a pedigree like the one Iker Casillas has will emerge.  Here are some of the recent developments that I approve of, and which will hopefully lead to homegrown talent with important roles on the first team soon.  Zizou will be giving one-on-one instruction to Castilla, RMC  and juveniles players, especially the midfielders, to help them improve their techniques.  He could end up instructing his sons: Enzo plays as a midfielder with Juvenil B, Luca is one of the goalkeepers of Cadete B and Theo is currently with Alevín B.  Mou explained that Zidane decided to leave the first team, because he was looking to become a coach and so he would be happier elsewhere.  He also said their relationship was the same as it always has been, putting an end to speculation that they don’t get along.

In addition, Fernando Morientes (I have a permanent soft spot for him) is in charge of Juvenil B, and Rubén de la Red has taken over Cadete B (Enzo and Luca’s teams, respectively).  Castilla beat Barça B in the first miniclásico behind goals from Juanfran, Denis and Sergi Gómez (own goal).  The last time the game had been played was 15 years ago, when Toni Grande was coach.  Zidane was one of the spectators at EADS, along with Fernando Hierro.  Speaking of Castilla, there are reports that Alberto Toril’s contract has been renewed, meaning he will be in charge of the team through 2015.  He’s done an excellent job, no?  And Jesús, MFC ABMM and Nacho were all promoted to the first team (though whether they get any playing time remains a separate issue), and MFC had a great night at the Trofeo Bernabéu, contributing to the best result ever.  A total of 11 canteranos played in the game.

Our canteranos are also finally making an impact on La Rojita, with both Nacho and MFC ABMM (called in to replace an injured Jesé, who himself was a replacement) called up for the U-21 team in the latest 2013 Euro qualifiers.  Pablo Sarabia and Rodrigo also formed part of the most recent team.

Speaking of the cantera, Iker celebrated the 13th anniversary of his debut on Sept. 12.  He said, “I would like to spend 20 more years in this club.  I hope I can achieve my dream and desire to end my career in the club where I had the privilege to begin when I was just nine years old.  My contract runs until I’m 36 and my dream is to end at the age of 39.”  We definitely need more players who can say that when they’ve reached 10 or 12 or 15 players with the club.  And I love that Gonzalo lent him his shirt (and that they’re personalized for the players this season)!

Footage provided by the club also shows how Iker has not changed over the 13 years.  He loves to rub his face during interviews…

… and Esteban has retained the same interviewing style as well!

And if you want proof that our cantera can function well, it has been both great and saddening to see how many of our canteranos are playing – and triumphing – for other teams.  To give just a few examples, ahead of the Getafe game, Miguel Torres was Iker’s counterpart as captain, while for the Valencia game, it was Roberto Soldado, who also made sure to hug his best friend Álvaro Arbeloa after the game.  We also got to see the hug between Iker and Javi García after the Madrid-Manchester City game…

… and that of Iker and Diego López after the Sevilla game.  I just wish someone could triumph without having to leave the club to prove himself.  As I am an optimistic person, as I stated at the beginning of this post, I believe this will happen soon.

Going off on a friendship-related tangent, it’s wonderful to see how friendships forged at Madrid can stay alive over the years.  Case in point: Iker, Figo and Aitor Karanka on Aug. 28.  While the players were waiting to board the team bus to begin their concentración for the Supercopa vuelta, Figo whistled at Iker, who was totally surprised to see him and came over to give him a big, long hug and a nuzzle.  Figo kept his arm around Iker for the duration of the conversation, only letting go to greet Aitor Karanka.  Jaja, Luis was just expecting a handshake and Aitor went in for a hug!

And Iker also posted this photo of him and Míchel Salgado during La Roja’s game in Galicia (and here is Míchel and Raúl watching el clásico together).

And let’s end with picture day, where the little ones equaled the first team in terms of adorableness and goofiness.

By the way, the two previous posts have been updated, this one with images from Xabi’s Emidio Tucci ad campaign and the making of, and this one with photos of Sergio Ramos’ house (including his bedroom!) which he has put up for sale.

21 Comments leave one →
  1. Cosi permalink
    October 18, 2012 17:03

    I”M SO HAPPY TO READ THIS POST!!!!!!!!!!!!! THAAAAAANK YOU UNA!!!!!! No possible WAY to get this sort of insider info on Madrid….

    btw shame on me, but i live in London and I still haven’t been able to find Mata or Pirata anywhere yet…. if only there were a Stalker’s Guide to Spanish Players in the EPL!!!!

  2. kiki permalink
    October 18, 2012 17:48

    UNA UNA UNAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ I just realized that you came back!!!!!!! I am overjoyed! Now I will go and read everything so happily! THANK YOUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ♥HALA!!!!♥

  3. Breann permalink
    October 18, 2012 18:10

    Una, it is so good to have you back. We have missed you!

  4. rojafan permalink
    October 18, 2012 18:59

    Do you know of any EPL blogs that are similar to yours where we can follow our beloved Granero and other Spanish players in England? Another positive is that we actually get to watch him play!

    • unamadridista permalink*
      October 22, 2012 16:37

      No, I don’t, sorry.

  5. rojafan permalink
    October 18, 2012 19:03

    And yes, I was also devastated at the news of that transfer.

  6. gaelle permalink
    October 18, 2012 21:30

    una thank you for coming back. i was suffering withdrawal. i checked this space everyday; please don’t leave again, love the way you write about this thing. one request thoug can you please do a photoshoot post lol

    • unamadridista permalink*
      October 22, 2012 16:39

      Photoshoot of what?

  7. Amy permalink
    October 19, 2012 04:37

    Una – I know you aren’t back for good, but thank you! THANK YOU! You cannot imagine how much I, and I’m sure many, many others, have been missing you. I hope you are enjoying your break. I am somewhat lost without you with the lack of coverage in America and think of you every time I watch a game. XX

  8. Christine permalink
    October 19, 2012 14:00

    My heart broke when Esteban left the club and Álvaros tweet made me even cry. His words are soooo true!! He deserves defenitly more than that. But I’m also hoping and believing that he will return to the club of his heart soon. And until that I try to follow him playing with QPR and I will continue wearing my Granero Real Madrid shirt with pride!!

  9. October 19, 2012 17:20

    Oh I really miss Esteban! I wish that Mou had decided to use him instead of letting him go and go for that Essien….

  10. October 19, 2012 17:51

    Oh my… You don’t know how I miss your genius posts!!! Me gustan! All of them!!! Thank you so much for sharing these wonderful moments and gifs with us. Please keep doing it! Many thanksss!!

  11. Pepegirl permalink
    October 19, 2012 22:47

    It’s wonderful to have your comments, Una – I have missed you such a lot but hope you are still enjoying your break from full blogging responsibilities. It is good to have your positive, optimistic outlook again, when so much of the press is sensationalist and negative. I haven’t been able to find another source of the fascinating and more personal information that you manage to find out. Do you hide in the dressing room?

    It is amazing to see how little Iker and Esteban have changed over the years. Doesn’t Esteban have beautiful eyes! I am sorry he has moved away from Madrid but as I am in England too, I will be able to follow his progress here and can report that he has made a very good impression so far, with rave reviews after the recent match when he scored and played extremely well even though his side lost.

    I look forward to more updates when you have the time – your efforts are appreciated.

  12. October 20, 2012 07:46

    U… I love you. That is all.

    • unamadridista permalink*
      October 22, 2012 16:41

      Jajaja, I love all of you too!

  13. Mokia permalink
    October 21, 2012 21:53

    UNAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  14. avellano permalink
    October 23, 2012 02:24

    Salgado is working for Al- Jazeera sport channel as a pundit on la liga games and CL especially real madrid games so they invited Raul last clasico he was so great ,,

  15. Ida permalink
    October 23, 2012 11:22

    I´m sooooooo happy your back! ❤

  16. foxydeltan permalink
    October 24, 2012 05:40

    Hi Una,
    It’s really, really great that u are back “stalking” the boys. Nobody else does it better. I feel like am just right next to them, stalking them,too. I feel bad about EG leaving the team but like u I believe he will be back soon. Seeing Zizou and Morientes being back with RM as coach/trainers makes me long for the day when Raul is back with them, too. I am in awe with all the friendships that have been forged within RM and love that we can all still see it years after they have retired from playing. Do you also believe that they will be back all together for 1 historical match? That would be awesome. I might have to go to Spain for that.

  17. Jimmi Mathisen permalink
    October 27, 2012 12:02

    Una, i’m so excited to see you back! I’ve been turning in on the page ever since you stopped, hoping that you would begin again. It just wasn’t the same without your posts, i didn’t feel as close to the team as i used to be, they felt so far away. I’m overjoyed, and i just want to let you know that you and your posts are a very big part of my madridismo.
    Thank you!

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