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ICYMI – the Cristianator edition

February 28, 2013

In case you missed it – Barcelona vs. Madrid [2013-02-26, Copa del Rey seminfinals second leg, 1-3).

On to the final of the Copa del Rey we go!

I hope this momentum carries us through our next two games!

ONE.  As a La Roja fan, it warmed my heart once again to see that relations between the Spanish players have gone back to normal.  In the tunnel, we had Sergio and Xabi going up to Andrés Iniesta, Pedro, Sergio Busquets and Gerard Piqué to hug them, and Víctor Valdés and Thiago going over to hug Sergio, Xabi and Diego López.  And if you look behind them, you’ll see the Brazilians – Kaká, Adriano and Dani Alves – joking around.

TWO.  Who else was in the tunnel?  Iker and his perfect profile and smile lines!  Iker had traveled with the team.  He watched it from the stands, and was sent to the press room after the game to speak to the press, saying that he would give the team a “10” and praising Cristiano.

THREE.  Cris’ first goal and Madrid’s first goal of the night came off of a penalty committed by Gerard Piqué (it was so clear that even Sandro Rosell admitted as much after the game, if you can believe it, although Puyi and Piqué ran at the linesman right after the penalty was signaled in protest.  That, and the constant flopping on little or no contact, have to go).

Pinto was seen whispering at Cris before the penalty shot, and apparently he told him to go to his right.  Cris did exactly that, and Pinto still couldn’t stop it.

I love those people who boo and insult him one moment, and then as soon as he gets close, whip out their mobile phones to take pictures.

FOUR.  Cris wasn’t done with just one goal, he had to score another to make it eight in his last six visits to the Camp Nou!  And apparently, lasers make him stronger!

¡Goooooollllllllllll!

FIVE.  Rafa Varane, the newest hero of el madridismo for his performance in this semifinal series, scored Madrid’s third goal.  I loved Cristiano’s celebration!

After the game, Rafa said it was dedicated to his family and to Mourinho, and that he didn’t see the goal well, because he had one eye closed.

I also loved the celebration with Mou, especially how Mou was yelling directions before Rafa ran into him to hug him!  Later on, Mou continued shouting directions, telling his players to keep their heads in the game and for Sergio not to commit any fouls.  And how about Pepe’s solo celebration?

Over the course of the two-leg semifinal, Rafa Varane played 180 minutes, committed ZERO fouls and scored two goals, including the only one in the first leg and the one in the second leg that officially let the wind out of Barça’s sails and prompted a mass exodus from the Camp Nou.  Grande Rafa.

SIX.  As the first half drew to a close, Jordi Alba went down.  Sergio went over to see how he was, only for Jordi to tell him to fuck off.  This was Sergio’s response.  I love the look!

SEVEN.  And speaking of Sergio, I thought it was amusing how the camera zoomed in to his face during a moment of pain.

EIGHT.  There were hugs between both Real Madrid and Barça players after the game, as well as between Madrid players, as expected.

That’s right, we’re going to the final!

NINE.  Our boys were so adorable in the postgame interviews!

TEN.  Compare that to Barcelona… as expected, Barcelona’s president and players did their best to convince the world that they didn’t care a bit that they were out of the Copa del Rey.  Sandro Rosell snipped, “we have more important commitments than the Copa del Rey,” while Cesc called it “a minor trophy.”  The word “superior” of course came up in Xavi’s discourse.  He said “in the first leg we were superior” before going on to say that “nothing happened, it’s a lost trophy, and the least important one.”  Maybe he ran out of things to say, since he couldn’t blame the grass at the Camp Nou, the referee, Madrid’s players, Madrid’s coach, etc. this time.  The next day, Andrés Iniesta spoke what was probably closer to the truth when he said the team was “very jodido,” that it was a tough blow and that “it hurts our soul.”  Judging by the faces of the Barça players as they left the field and after Madrid’s goals, it was indeed a tough loss for them.  And I love that once again, Leo Messi was allegedly “sick” (with a fever) after a dismal performance against Real Madrid, as if that were the explanation rather than the fact that it is possible for him to play poorly or be missing during a game.

ELEVEN.  Xabi Alonso once again made our day with this photo (right) of his feet as he hung out at the Camp Nou after the game.  Last season, after Madrid’s Liga win at the stadium, he had given us a similar photo (left).  That time, he was observed to be “contemplating, reading messages on his mobile phone, sitting in the stands of the Camp Nou.”

TWELVE.  The boys also shared several photos from the locker room and the trip back to Madrid.

An entry on Sergio’s Facebook showed that some help is going on over there as well, although I’m not sure that the results were quite what he intended.   The Spanish read, “Pasar a la final ganando en este campo sabe diferente,” while the English made it sound like Iker’s best friend Google Translate was involved: “Reach the final having passed the heat at this match tastes different.”  Jajaja!!!

Earlier in the day, they had celebrated Pepe’s birthday!

THIRTEEN.  Back in Madrid, a handful of fans celebrated the win at Cibeles.  I have to admit, I was tempted to go too!

The team was given a rousing send off in Barcelona, which Pipa seemed to enjoy, and a rousing welcome back in Madrid.

Fans even gathered at Valdebebas to give the players a sort of honor guard as they headed home!  We have the best fans in the world!

FOURTEEN.  The Xabi Alonso pose section.™

I absolutely LOVED seeing Xabi go up on tiptoe for the wall, and how he casually arranged his sweatshirt over his shoulders as he headed out onto the field after the game.  If I didn’t know better, I would have thought he was a model and this field was a runway…

Muy jefe.

FIFTEEN.  The final will be a derby, as Atleti beat Sevilla to book their place in the final.  It will also be Madrid’s 38th Copa del Rey final, the most out of any club.  Thankfully, the victory two years ago has erased memories of the “centenariazo” from my mind, and hopefully this year will bring Copa del Rey number 19.  And Cristiano, Xabi and Ricardo Carvalho will get to play in the final, as none of them received yellow cards in the game against Barcelona, which would have meant a suspension of one game.  Next week, the two teams will meet up to decide on the date and location of the final.  The possible dates are May 17 (Friday) or May 19 (Sunday) at the moment, since May 18, the preferred date, coincides with Eurovision.

SIXTEEN.  The team had Wednesday off, yet many of the boys were at Valdebebas.  Sergio shared a photo with the “two grandpas,” Iker and Ricardo Carvalho.

UPDATE: El País reported yesterday that Karim Benzema was caught by a radar speed gun doing around 200 kilometers an hour on a Pozuelo de Alarcón stretch of the M-40 heading towards La Finca with a limit of 100 kilometers per hour in the early hours of the morning of Feb. 3.  Hours earlier, Madrid had returned from Granada, where they had lost, and Benz was heading home from the airport.  According to the report, Benz was driving an Audi with a passenger.  The radar speed gun also detected a Porsche alongside the Audi that was traveling at an even higher speed, about 260 kilometers per hour.  According to police sources, both of these cars were rented out to Real Madrid.  It was Madrid that identified Karim as the driver of the Audi, although it preferred not to reveal the identity of the Porsche driver, said to also be a Real Madrid player, and denied any involvement with the Porsche.

Karim was supposed to appear before the judge on Feb. 26 to answer to charges of endangering road safety.  He and Madrid’s lawyers managed to get his court appearance delayed, alleging that Madrid had to play Barcelona on that day.  The report goes on to say that sources from Madrid confirmed the facts, “emphasizing that it was Benzema himself who went to the judge to ask for the court date to be pushed back.”  El País reported today that Karim appeared in court in Pozuelo de Alarcón to ask that they give him a court date.

The most severe punishment that can be handed out for this infraction is a prison sentence of three to six months, although he could also be fined five to 400 euros a day for a period of six to 12 months.  If that is the case, the judge will decide on the amount of the fine based on the earning power of the guilty party – Karim makes five million euros a year.  Another option is community service, which could go from 31 to 90 days.  It also appears that Benzema will be forbidden from driving for a period of up to four years, which could be reduced if he pleads guilty.

This is not Karim’s first brush with the law when it comes to traffic violations.  In November 2009, he was involved in a car accident, smashing his Audi against a tree in La Finca.  He wasn’t speeding that the time though.  One month later, while on vacation in Reunion, he was involved in another car accident. And in June 2011, he was fined by police in Ibiza for taking part in an illegal drag race.  Benzema paid 250 euros.

Karim has some serious growing up to do.

New information: that night, there were five cars rented by Real Madrid that passed a routine traffic control at the 43.5 kilometer point of the M-40, near La Finca.  Karim Benzema was caught going at 216 kilometers an hour, and Michael Essien at 150.  These two, along with Arbeloa, Sergio Ramos and José Callejón, all passed by the radar speed gun at more or less the same time.  Five kilometers later, they all passed a breathalyzer test.  At that time, Essien paid a fine of 200 euros for going 50 percent faster than the allowed limit.  The Porsche that another Madrid player was driving was not fined because the police weren’t able to get a photo.  Apparently Benz’ new court date is March 26, but that is during Semana Santa and also the date of a France-Spain World Cup qualifier.

Meanwhile, the director of the Dirección General de Tráfico told RNE that there was no second car (i.e. the Porsche) with Benzema that was also exceeding the speed limit.

19 Comments leave one →
  1. Alyssa permalink
    February 28, 2013 11:39

    I thought I had moved past the emotions of this game but I read this post and relived it all and have tears in my eyes. God, I love this team. SO proud of them!

  2. Gigi permalink
    February 28, 2013 12:11

    Ray Hudson kept calling Cristiano the “Dark Invader” during the game, LOL! What a glorious victory. And Xavi must have been in a different locker room after the game because from the pics that have come out, thing seemed to be pretty gloomy for a team who had just lost an unimportant trophy.

  3. February 28, 2013 12:16

    it was a great night for us, was hoping you’ll post some pictures of Di Maria retiring Puyol for the second goal

  4. February 28, 2013 13:41

    1. How I waited for this post! The game was from 2300hrs here, and Cris made it all worth it!
    2. Apparently, Messi was sick but had to play? Ooh, poor Leo!! *rolling my eyes*
    3. I know ‘some help went on’ with that Sergio post but that help did not help at all!
    4. Una, you are so good that lately I have been cheating on MUFC by being a regular on your blog! *frawns*

  5. February 28, 2013 15:51

    I’m thrilled with our win.

    This is tempered with Karim’s news. He needs to stop being an overgrown child and be a responsible adult. This is very, very disappointing. And annoying and upsetting. Yes, as a madridista who loves Karim, I am very angry about this.

    Also, I wonder who the club is protecting.

  6. Che permalink
    February 28, 2013 16:15

    yippie ya ya ya … yippie ya ya ya !! Hala Madrid !! Muchas Gracias Una !!

  7. February 28, 2013 16:26

    What a win!

    I’m surprised you didn’t put the picture of Mou after the game with his coaching staff with three fingers.

    Seriously, Varane has come out of no where! Zizou is a genius for finding him.

    Also, Pepe’s gotta stop with his antics and Benzema should go back to being innocent and wear vests at formal occasions.

  8. Soñando con Dios permalink
    February 28, 2013 16:48

    So many lovely moments, but gotta say I loved the hugs between Sergio and Cris the most! Grande Real Madrid! Una, what a superb ICYMI!

  9. Anonym permalink
    February 28, 2013 17:22

    I just love your blog!

  10. rojafan permalink
    February 28, 2013 17:41

    Three: Loved the goal and the hug from Sergio and the celebration. So Pinto is giving advice on how to take penalties? Maybe next time, Cristiano should whisper in his ear that he’s going to his right.😉
    Six: Jordi Alba is very new to the National team and has already played more matches with Barca (I think), so he hasn’t formed the same attachments as the other La Roja players. Hopefully he will learn..Sergio may be remembering his own behavior when he was a hot headed young fullback.😉 Although I don’t recall Sergio falling down whenever the opposition got anywhere close to him. I think Puyi should have a chat with Jordi…or maybe VDB?
    Fourteen: Xabi Alonso–there is a lovely review of the match on Zonal Marking.http://www.zonalmarking.net/2013/02/27/barcelona-1-3-real-madrid-real-comfortable-defensively-and-ruthless-on-the-break/
    I love what they say about Real Madrid, but especially the oft-maligned (by cules) Xabi Alonso. (Oh, and I found this link on a Barca blog.)
    Last, I am so happy you are back and keeping us up to date on all the stuff that happens on and off the pitch. I love to sit down with my coffee and see that there is a post from Unamadridista! Thank you for all you do!

  11. black widow permalink
    March 1, 2013 02:57

    i was WAITING for this match post! thank you, thank you, thank you!🙂 i didn’t get to watch it — no coverage in canada on TV any more — so this was the next best thing!

    i’m really heartened to see that relations between RM and barca haven’t deteriorated in light of the loss. (i hope i’m not jinxing this weekend’s match by saying that …) i adore RM but i also adore the national team, so it warms my heart to see the hugs and respect and love going back and forth.

    (as for xavi and his comments, jordi alba’s response and the assertion that the Messi-ah was “sick” … no comment. i won’t stoop. not worth it. we won, and that’s the end of it. all that matters!)

    much as CR7 was undoubtedly the man of the match, the man of the two clasicos in this round was absolutely varane for me — so proud of him! and still a teenager! amazing.

    it also warmed my heart to see iker in the tunnel and at the press conference! what a wonderful thing to have happen.🙂🙂 i have missed him so much.

    as for karim and the others and the speeding … they ALL ought to know better, but karim especially. completely unacceptable.

    i am so, SO tempted to come to madrid for that weekend just for the final! argh!

  12. cisarovna permalink
    March 1, 2013 04:34

    I was on such a high and then ooooh…. Benz… Dumbass!

  13. judyjyy permalink
    March 1, 2013 09:50

    Porsche…worried about Sergio now😦
    but for the match he was so great😉

  14. March 1, 2013 10:24

    Una when you write, “Sergio went over to see how he was, only for Jordi to tell him to fuck off.” and “Pinto was seen whispering at Cris before the penalty shot, and apparently he told him to go to his right.” Do you actually see or hear this on your t.v.? In U.S.A. there are no closeups of such moments. I know Jordi was irritated in that moment, but I wouldn’t think he would use such a vulgar way of communicating with a national teammate?!!

    I think Real Madrid played amazing. It is a fantastic moment for them and I hope they can win the title too. You should enjoy this weekend and celebrate too.🙂

    • unamadridista permalink*
      March 1, 2013 15:45

      For the Sergio-Jordi incident, I’m just drawing a conclusion from the images, and for the Pinto-Cris thing, it was on one of the sports news programs.

  15. March 1, 2013 12:53

    I’m really glad you are back! Best Real Madrid blog on the net!!!

  16. MissLadya permalink
    March 5, 2013 10:57

    GAH! I didn’t know you were back to posting regularly! Awesome🙂

    I didn’t even notice Xabi tip-toeing in place in the wall. My eyes were squarely locked on Mesut, looking his usual nervous and lost self. I don’t know why they even bother to place him in these defensive walls because he’d sooner duck and let the ball sail through than attempt a block. At once point he almost grabbed onto Puyol to shield himself. Oh, Özil, you have no idea how lovely you are!😄

    Benz … *sighs* It would take for you to murder someone in order for me to even dislike you, but you really need to reign it in. Both you and Pipita haven’t been up to par this season, and at least Pipita’s keeping his nose clean. Under-performing AND getting in trouble with the law (AGAIN–btw, Una, do you have any idea what’s going on with the Zahia case? Has the case been dropped or something because I haven’t heard so much as a whisper on the matter in months) is really testing the limits there.

  17. March 6, 2013 23:55

    That is a Cadillac (in Spain!) Never thought I would see that.

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