en lo bueno y en lo malo…
… siempre Real Madrid.
Well, I did get my wish of once Juanitos, but I guess we could have used once Santillanas as well. Despite the result, I am extremely proud of my team for all the heart, courage and fight they showed out there. We didn’t make it easy for Borussia Dortmund, we made them feel that 90 minutes in the Bernabéu are indeed molto longo, and we went down with a fight.
Even though it may not seem like it, there were good things that came from this game.
But first, to avoid ending on a negative note, I’ll address what José Mourinho said after the game. He told ITV after the game when asked if he’d be around next season with Real Madrid, “maybe not… I want to be where… I love to be where people loves me to be.” During the press conference, he said, “I know in England I’m loved. I know I’m loved by some clubs, especially one. There are people in Spain who hate me, and many of them are here in this room.” From these words, it appears that he won’t be around next season. I love him for the results he’s gotten and how entertaining he was at times, but I hated the drama that every little thing became and the circus that reigned, especially since that article I posted about yesterday made me remember much calmer times. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what happens.
Anyway, onto the good things.
The fans were fantastic: Madrid asked the fans to support the team, and the fans took that message to heart. Prior to the game, the fans lined up on either side of Concha Espina to give the team bus a loud and raucous arrival.
Inside the stadium, the beautiful mosaic of La Décima greeted the team when it came out, and the support never wavered during the entire game. The Bernabéu was loud, and we were doing our best to will our team to victory. Practically everyone was on their feet for the last 10 minutes, ready to explode when that third goal was scored. Of course, it didn’t happen, but I loved seeing all the fans united for our team. We could tell they appreciated it from their post-game comments.
Our goalkeepers: instead of debating whether Iker or Diego should be in goal, shouldn’t we be grateful that we have two fantastic goalkeepers? Even if we had managed to score that third goal, it wouldn’t have mattered if Diego López hadn’t stopped everything that was thrown at him. This save in the 61st minute was spectacular, and instantly reminded everyone of Iker’s save against Sevilla, which many consider the best of his career.
Those electrifying last 15 minutes where everything seemed possible: it took a while, but Madrid did score two goals to give us even more hope than we had. I loved how Cristiano and Karim engaged in a tug-of-war with Borussia’s keeper over the ball, as he was trying to waste time, while we wanted to restart the game immediately.
It was fitting that Sergio scored on the night, as he was heart and soul of Real Madrid out there.
The goals got the bench players and FP excited, and the fans started chanting “sí se puede, sí se puede” as well.
Cristiano: what an effort from Cristiano Ronaldo, despite being injured. He really wanted to be out there in battle with his teammates, despite the discomfort he was feeling, instead of sitting around on the bench. And then after the game, he said he didn’t want to use his injury to justify anything. I love him, and it makes me sad that he said he was sad.
The team: look at how involved everyone on the team was in the final minutes of the game. From the bench, they encouraged their teammates and disagreed with refereeing decisions. No one could remain sitting for the last few minutes, and they all ended up on the sideline.
Iker was especially vocal and expressive, whether it was to tell the referee that time was being wasted or to cheer on his teammates. You can tell how involved he was by looking at his reaction to the final whistle, when he sank to his knees and bowed his head.
The ending: there was a silver lining. Several of our boys ended up in tears, and while that tugged at my heart, my heart also swelled with joy when I saw their teammates comforting them, and how classy we were in defeat, congratulating the victors. Sergio was the one who took this loss the hardest, and everyone tried their best to comfort him.
Iker, being the captain that he is, went around giving out hugs and whispering encouragement.
I’m so proud of my two captains.
Sergio Ramos: el madridismo has a new idol, and his name is Sergio Ramos. We of course already loved him, but this game cemented his place in Madrid history. Many are now calling him the new Juanito, for the fight, courage and heart he showed before, during and after the game. FP knows it – Sergio was the only one he talked to at length prior to the game (he even removed Sergio’s headphones to ensure that his words would be heard).
Sergio was the boss out there, and even in defeat, bathed in tears, he still found time to congratulate his adversary. Cuando pierde da la mano, sin envidias ni rencores, como bueno y fiel hermano.
Our products: once again, a tweet from Esteban Granero perfectly summed up what I was feeling after the game. He tweeted, “as a madridista… VERY proud. Great team and great Bernabéu. #halamadrid.”
Again, I am so, so proud of this team for giving it there all out there on Tuesday.