all set for Getafe!
I have very much confidence that our team will step it up in Iker’s absence, and that no matter who plays – Antonio or Diego – the goal will be a fortress. Anyway, we play Getafe (and the very handsome Miguel Torres) in an early game this weekend (12h), having done quite well in our previous games during this early kickoff time (remember the 7-1 against Osasuna?).
Some notable events from the past week.
– Iker’s left hand was operated on this past Friday by Dr. Miguel del Cerro at the Beata María Ana de Jesús Hospital (which by the way is located very close to the hospital where he was born), and according to the doctor, the operation went well and was a success.
The doctor realigned the fracture and joined the fragments with two 17-millimeter-long and two-millimeter-wide screws, which will remain in Iker’s hand. The recovery time is eight to 12 weeks. He spent the night at the hospital and was released on Saturday after a few more tests. FP visited Iker at the hospital. I guess an apple a day didn’t keep the doctor away.
– to cover Iker’s absence, Madrid signed canterano Diego López from Sevilla in a rapid operation for €3.5 million. Diego signed a contract that will keep him with Madrid until 2017. His first declarations were “it’s a dream to return home… it’s the best thing that could happen to a madridista like me, to return to Madrid.” Diego left Madrid after the 2006-07 season, during which he won the Liga with us (the only players left from that time are Sergio, Marcelo, Higuaín and Iker, and he played with Arbeloa and Adán in the cantera). Diego had previously played for RMC as well as Castilla after joining the club from Lugo in 2000. He’ll wear the 25.
On Saturday, he arrived in Madrid from Sevilla, accompanied by wife Iria and their daughter Zoe. He was greeted by a crowd and a huge media presence, before heading to Sanitas La Moraleja for his physical. Having passed that, he signed the contract with Madrid, and also sat down for an interview with RMTV and had a short, solo practice session.
He told RMTV that he’s very excited and happy because “returning to my club, the club in my heart, the one in which I grew up, is very beautiful and special.” He also revealed that “I’ve always maintained contact with Álvaro [Arbeloa]. He’s always been a great friend and I’m very happy to be his teammate again. He’s a great guy… it’s also a great joy to see many of the club’s employees again.” [FYI, Álvaro attended Diego’s wedding.] When asked about Iker and Antonio, Diego responded, “I can’t define Iker because everyone knows how much he’s worth. Adán has stood out ever since he was young and I remember that I even coached him when he was 15 and I was helping out as a youth team coach during my spare time.”
Sergio wasted no time in taking a photo with the new addition.
I love the selection of a canterano!
– José Mourinho received a signed photo of last year’s Liga win from his players for his birthday, which reads, “happy 50th birthday míster! And here’s to many more…”
RMTV prepared a birthday video, with Sergio wishing Mou a happy birthday on behalf of the team. He said, “Hello míster, as you already know, Iker has problems with his hand, and so it’s up to me [to wish you a happy birthday], I do it with great pleasure. I want to wish you a happy birthday on your 50th birthday on behalf of the team, this is a very important number, and I hope all your dreams come true, both personal ones and professional ones, and that it’s a year full of success for all of us. Congratulations, and may you have many more birthdays.” He also wished Mou a happy birthday via twitter.
– and of course, the games. As stated previously, we beat Valencia in a great Liga game, scoring five goals in one half (prompting the Valencia fans to begin abandoning La Mestalla at the half), and Xabi even got an ovation from the rival fans for his spectacular play. It’s also always great to see the friendships, such as the one Roberto Soldado maintains with Iker and Álvaro, and the one between Ángel di María and Argentine and former Valencia player Kily González, who is his idol (don’t you wish you could be friends with your idol?). Ángel even gave Kily his shirt after the game to thank him for all his words of encouragement during a bad period.
– we were back in Valencia just a few days after for the second leg of the Copa del Rey quarterfinals. Raúl Albiol invited his little brother Brian and his friends to come watch the game, and then served as photographer for the group with some of his teammates. Here, we see Brian and his friends posing with and greeting all of his brother’s best friends – Pipa and the rest of the A team – and also with Cristiano.
This was the result!
Also notable: the return of Sergio Canales!
– adorable scenes during training sessions.
– and what is a post without some Karim Benzema self portraits? Earlier in the week he dragged in Rafa Varane to make the picture adorable and not cheesy.
– speaking of Rafa, I was very impressed that he answered almost all of the questions during his recent press conference in Spanish. I adore him. And kudos to Sami too, for also letting us hear his Spanish (the reporters kept asking him to respond in Spanish, so he finally did).
– Sergio and Alejandro Sanz together! I want to hear the duet! Sergio presented Alejandro with the best national album award at the recent Premios 40 Principales. I hate the pants.
Castilla scored five goals against Villarreal last week! I hope they will repeat the performance today against Barça B in the mini-clásico!