Here are some recent moments that I thought needed to be shared with all of you…
This “¡Besugo vamos!” moment from the game against Real Sociedad wasn’t the only recent moment to link back to Iker’s interview with La Sexta last month.
Antonio Adán started the game against Real Sociedad, though he only lasted about five minutes, as he was sent off for committing a penalty. After the game, Antonio said, rightly, “hard work has brought me here. My teammates and the coach have supported me. I don’t pay attention to the rest. There were opinions which disrespected me. I’m one more player on this team and I can play. I’ve been here for 16 years, perhaps those who have opinions don’t know about my career path.”
Iker (did he finally get a Scalextric set from the Reyes Magos?) came on for Antonio. He had received loud cheers when his name was announced on the loudspeaker prior to the game, and the crowd chanted his name as he jogged onto the field. Later on in the game, he flashed that patented “ay, my defense” look, which happily we have not seen so often in recent years.
Antonio’s sending off neatly put to rest any speculation over who will start the next Liga game, as he will be suspended when we take on Osasuna. Also missing out will be Cristiano, who received his fifth yellow card against Real Sociedad, and therefore will have to serve a one-game suspension, the first time that has happened since he started playing for Real Madrid. He received cards in the last four Liga games (the first was against Levante), most of them for fouls and not for arguing. Meanwhile, Gonzalo Higuaín was back for this game, Raúl Albiol has been called up for the Copa del Rey game against Celta and Marcelo has started training, so there are some good news on the injury front.
Going back to the game, Cristiano started his first official game as captain in his 171th official game with Madrid, as he was the most senior player out there. Once Antonio was sent off and Iker came in, Cristiano tried to hand the captain’s armband over to Iker, who refused it.
I’m just sharing this photo to highlight Sergio’s terrible outfit.
Iker gave away his practice shirt before the game and his jersey after the game, but those damn undershirts were there both times. More Iker moments: here he is celebrating Cristiano’s first goal, and here he is getting ready to check into the game (and the socks are worn correctly).
Loving Xabi’s side eye.
Two more moments: Xabi warming up (he’s flexible) and Cris celebrating his second goal with a reluctant José Mourinho, who was trying to ensure that his team would not lose focus for even one moment. Iker celebrated that goal too.
One day after that wild game, we had the Ballon d’Or gala in Zurich. Cristiano traveled to the Swiss city ahead of his teammates, as he had more commitments as one of the three finalists for the award, while Xabi, Marcelo, Sergio and Iker flew together, as they had been named to the FIFPRO World XI.
Handsome men! Xabi looks perfect in his tuxedo, Marcelo looks elegant and adorable, and Sergio and Iker would have fared much better in the fashion stakes were it not for their neckwear choices. Xabi, lend them a hand next time, please.
Some familiar faces were at the gala, such as Ronaldo – whose butt Iker pinched on the black carpet, and who received a huge hug from Sergio and an introduction to Pilar (she looked a lot like Elisabeth Reyes at the gala, no?) – and Fabio Cannavaro.
Cristiano looked super elegant in his tuxedo, which was a great fashion choice from and for him. That elegance was reinforced each time he was seen next to Leo Messi. While we’re on the subject of those two, read this – it’s hilarious.
How cute was he with the kids? How come he got three, while everyone else just had one?
Some Iker and Sergio….
… and the boys with their fabulous partners.
Earlier in the day, a Spanish guy named Alfonso Ramos was presented with the plaque naming him as the “FIFA Interactive World Cup 2012 Champion” by Gerard Piqué. Alfonso, a madridista, subsequently took on Gerard on the Playstation, playing as Madrid and Barcelona, respectively. He laughingly explained what the outcome was: “Piqué got himself sent off with two tackles at the wrong time and I won 3-1 behind two goals from Cristiano and one from Adán! I was fooling around and changed him with Benzema and it worked. In the end, I let Piqué score to even things up a bit.”
And in training sessions this week, we saw the reappearance of Marcelo after what seemed like forever! It was a long time to go without sunshine…
On Tuesday, he got hugs from Luka and Gonzalo (I hope they’re planning their show), and a rabbit became the unexpected center of attention.
Xabi also spoke to the press, giving this look to one journalist. I love it! It’s also the perfect reaction for that idiotic question Juanma Castaño (Cuatro) posed to Leo Messi and Cristiano about why they didn’t vote for each other at the Ballon d’Or press conference. He really was only looking to stir up controversy. Cristiano’s response: “I didn’t have the opportunity to vote. I had received a blow (gestures at his brow; it was the injury he suffered against Levante), I went to join the national team and they sent me home. I didn’t vote. Did you understand that? Good.” If Juanma knew that they didn’t vote for each other, surely he would also have known who actually voted? Or would that have been too much work? I also love Cristiano’s “did you understand that.” It put the “journalist” in his place.
And as I mentioned at the beginning of the post, there was another event that linked back to Iker’s interview, and that was the “calzoncillos”! Karim posted this photo on his Facebook of him and a barely dressed Iker (!) showing off a pair. I wouldn’t go so far as to call them glamorous though. And in this other photo that Karim recently shared, it appears that he does have some furniture, though the little of the house that we can see still looks kind of bare.
And good luck to the team tonight! Onto the next round of the Copa del Rey!