hasta siempre San Mamés
I have great memories of San Mamés, with the top two highlights being Iker’s debut in 1999, and last year’s alirón (plus some other moments!!!). Anyway, Madrid bid adios to the legendary stadium by beating Athletic 3-0. Cristiano scored the first two goals and assisted on the third. Can you imagine how much more productive he’d be if he “dedicated himself to only playing football”? (That’s sarcasm, for those of you who have difficulties understanding when I’m being sarcastic.)
Apparently, acceptable clothes at San Mamés include Athletic shirts, sportswear and tuxedos!
Prior to the game, this little guy wearing an Athletic shirt but apparently also a big Madrid fan managed to call over several players and Mou (I love that he put his arm around Mou!) to take pictures with him. At one point, he also managed to elude security and jump over the barrier to take pictures with more of the players. Anyway, he handed Gonzalo a letter, and instructed him to give it to Iker. While he was waiting for Iker, he explained to the media that in the letter, he asked Iker for his shirt or a glove.
When Iker came out from the locker room and sat down, the little fan asked him, “did you read the letter yet?” Iker replied no and shook his head, so the kid asked, “he didn’t give it to you?” Iker responded, “who was supposed to give it to me?” “Higuain!” “He didn’t.” “¡Pipa, Pipa!” Eventually, Iker got the letter and said he’d read it later. I suppose he was true to his word, because he came out later with the shirt in hand to give to the kid. He also autographed it, and the little fan put it on with pride.
Iker stayed in Bilbao overnight because the next day, he filmed part of a documentary on San Mamés with Julen Guerrero, the lion who scored on Iker the day of his debut. They reflected back on that day, plus other battles at the legendary stadium. Meanwhile, before the game, Aitor Karanka chatted with stadium workers about how San Mamés Barria will be, asking what will happen to this side of the stands of his old home (the new stadium will have three sides built when Athletic begins using it, and then the old San Mamés will be demolished and the last side will be built where it used to stand).
Here’s more of that man who is responsible for 40 percent of Madrid’s goals this season (5o out of 125).
In what has passed of 2013, he has scored 28 goals – 27 with Madrid and one with Portugal.
And here are two of those goals, plus the beautiful assist to Pipa.
By the way, Sergio spent the days off in Sevilla, where he supported his good friend Alejandro Talavante in a bullfight at La Maestranza on Monday.
Once he got to the bench, Cris found time to dodge lasers and joke around with his teammates. All in all, un día redondo.
There was also this incident. Mou spotted his players emerging from the locker room, and went over to them. He asked them “let’s see if you can explain, because I still cannot understand, why the hell those players on the bench don’t have their jerseys on? I understand if you don’t have your boots tied, but jerseys, shinguards…” Those players were Calleti, Nacho and MFC ABMM, who stared at Mou with his big Bambi eyes (his only rival in that department is this guy) during the “lecture.” Look at his expression!
However, MFC was not undaunted, and told Mou that he did have his jersey on, and pulled up his sweatshirt as proof. Mou then asked Calleti, “why do you have a shirt here?” and Calleti looked down and then up with a guilty expression. Mou then went on to say, “and if you’re going to go in with the shirt on inside, without warming up, like Arbeloa did…” MFC joked, “it was so that he could show his abs!” (another TV channel interpreted MFC saying it was because Álvaro had gotten blood on his shirt, so he needed to change it, referring to the incident at the Bernabéu when Álvaro cut his lip while celebrating Karim’s goal against Athletic).
To finish things off, an adorable photo of Pipa and Chori.
The Xabi Alonso pose section.™
By the way, this post has been updated with more Xabi poses.
P.S. I know I have some readers from Boston, so I just wanted to extend my sympathies for that horrific incident. A big hug for all of you.