bits and pieces
Are you looking forward to international week, or missing Real Madrid?
On Monday, the International Olympics Committee’s Evaluation Commission began its visit to Madrid to evaluate the capability of the city to host the 2020 Summer Olympics. One of the spots on the itinerary was the Santiago Bernabéu, which would host football games. On hand to greet the visitors were Florentino Pérez, Emilio Butragueño and the club’s best ambassador, Iker Casillas. The delegation toured the installations, and ended up on the field. Someone got the bright idea to shoot penalties at Iker, as there were some balls lying around on the field. So, they got Iker to go into the goal and took their best shot, literally.
I would love to know what went through FP’s mind at that moment! And apparently, he told Iker to allow a few of the penalty shots go in so that the delegates would have a good memory of their visit. Nevertheless, the Spanish press reported that Iker had stopped ALL of the shots, and the next day, there were jokes about the “abuse” from the Spanish press.
Also on Monday, Cristiano Ronaldo and José Mourinho won awards at the Marca Football Awards. FP, Emilio, Alfredo di Stéfano and Cris (wearing a shiny purple satin blazer that matched his sunglasses) attended, with Cris receiving the Di Stéfano Trophy, which recognizes the best player from the past season, from the hands of the Saeta Rubia himself. Emilio accepted the Miguel Muñoz Trophy for best coach in the past season on behalf of Mou. Cris said it was an honor to receive the award from Di Stéfano, and when asked whether he was finally a happy man, he didn’t respond. After a few seconds of a very awkward pause, he responded, but did not answer the question. I’m sorry, but the trophy is ugly.
As for Mou, he had traveled to Istanbul to catch Galatasaray, Madrid’s upcoming rival in the Champions League, in action. It was also a chance for him to reunite with some of his former charges, such as Wesley “Welly” Sneidjer! This is how they greeted each other! It’s Papá Mourinho!
On Tuesday, the team returned to training. As only the four goalkeepers plus Essien, Carvalho, MFC ABMM (whose hair is growing back) and Callejón were available, they trained with RMC. It looks like Iker is back! He managed to shave one month off of his recovery time, and now it will be interesting to see what happens in the goal.
The team followed the same routine on Wednesday.
And Madrid sponsor bwin got Michael Essien, Ricardo Carvalho, Sami Khedira and Luka Modrić together for a game of ping pong, and to answer fan questions. Here are several of their responses; I love how much they obviously love each other!
Luka’s description of the others: all three are great persons. Mike is a happy person, I’ve never seen him angry. Ricardo is a serious old man, a very good person as well.
Michael’s description of the others: my old friend Ricky is a very nice guy, always quiet, goes to the gym before and after training. Luka is always quiet, playing with his phone, talking on his phone until 2 am before going to bed…
– Ricardo: too loud, too loud.
– Michael: … and Sami is always quiet, but also very strong, a strong mentality, always working hard for the team.
Michael on Mou: he’s more close to his players, he’s a manager and at the same time a professor and a father. He talks to everyone as a man.
Sami on his favorite title with Madrid: all of them, the King’s Cup in the first year, the league last year. And the Supercup.
Michael on what he eats before and after training: I eat everything really, I’m not very difficult. I eat a lot of carbohydrates to get my energy up before and after training.
Sami on most special moment with Madrid: I think there are a lot, when we win titles or games, when we travel, we have a lot of fun, joking, all the time with the team it’s fun.
Sami and Luka also took on Mikey and Ricky in a ping pong match!
The winners were Sami and Luka. Watch the video here (it’s entirely in English, which is probably why these players were chosen), and listen up for “Sorry Mikey!”