all set for Espanyol!
I haven’t had time to make separate posts for games, so for the time being they’ve been folded into the “all set for” posts, sorry about that! Anyway, Madrid takes on Espanyol tonight (22h).
MFC ABMM’s hair is growing back!
Real Madrid vs. Málaga.
Both Real Madrid and Atleti played games on Wednesday, which had been moved up to this mid-week to accommodate the Copa del Rey final on May 17.
It was good to see no drama on the field, since the amount off of the field has been more than enough. Instead, we got goals. Six goals, to be exact, each scored by a different player, and interestingly enough, six players with six different nationalities. According to Mr. Chip, this had never happened before.
Raúl Albiol (Spain) opened the scoring. This goal was his first with Madrid in the Liga and only his second one with the team, as he had scored in a Champions League game before this. After the game, Chori said he had celebrated by putting the ball under the shirt as a “special dedication for my wife and the boy we are expecting.” He was followed by Cristiano (Portugal), who had something to say during his celebration; Mesut Özil (Germany); Karim Benzema (France); Luka Modrić (Croatia) and Ángel di María (Argentina), who has been on a goal scoring tear since the birth of his daughter.
The last time Madrid has six different goalscorers in one game was in the 1990-91 season, when Madrid beat Sevilla 7-0 on Feb. 3, 1991. The six goalscorers on that night were Miguel Tendillo, Emilio Butragueño, Michel (twice), Rafael Gordillo, Fernando Hierro and Santi Aragón.
As for Cristiano, he gave out his ninth assist in this game, tying him with Karim Benzema for second-most on the team, after Mesut, who has 10. In addition, Cris passed Tamudo with his 147th goal to become the third highest active goalscorer in the Liga, after Messi and Villa.
During his goal celebration, Cris yelled something out. Punto Pelota enlisted the aid of a lipreader to find out what Cris was saying. According to this lipreader (who noted that it was difficult to determine what Cris was saying because the video footage had him in profile and it happened very fast), Cris first shouted, “I scored for all of you” and then “I’m not leaving here” followed by “this is a goal. Goal!” There was a bit more at the end, but it was also unclear what that was.
Everyone loves Cris, not just Enes and Esmai!
Mamá Dolores and Irina had amusing reactions to plays involving Cristiano. When he missed the penalty, Dolores buried her face in her hands, while Irina brought her hands to her head. When Cris scored, they celebrated.
Fabinho made his debut with Real Madrid, coming in in the 76th minute for Fábio Coentrão, who like him, also played for Rio Ave. Fabinho had joined Castilla this season on loan from the Portuguese club, and has become an essential piece of the team. He became the 18th footballer to debut under Mou and the fourth this season after José Rodríguez, Denis and Casemiro.
His status on the team, however, is still that of a youth player. According to Cuatro, Fabinho started off in the back row of the bench, but was soon sent to sit in the front by a bossy Gonzalo Higuaín, making him the only player in the front row. They even told him which seat in the front row he could sit in. Later on, it appeared that Chendo had to tell off the guys in the back row for being too boisterous. Iker found that amusing.
The only negative note of the game was the injury to Mesut, who had to be carried off of the field late in the game after spraining his right ankle. Once he was carried over to the sideline, José Mourinho went over to check on him. Mesut then headed inside, and the injury doesn’t appear to be very serious, thank goodness.
Other moments. Iker, Pepe and their former teammate Julio Baptista chatted in the tunnel before the warm-up. Iker also gave his shirt away after the warm-up to a fan who was holding a sign in support of him.
Aitor Karanka gave Isco a hug as the first half ended, while Luka give out high fives once he left the game.
According to La Sexta, what Mou whispered to Luka after he was subbed out was, “for someone who has been called ‘the worst signing of the season,’ you’re pretty good at football.” Jajaja! And over in the palco, Lena was the only one interested in the game, as Sami and Nagore were more interested in their phones.
We also had Cris giving out hugs on the field, and a yawning Iker.
After the game, Albiol said the the press in the mixed zone that “we have to calm the storm by being tranquil and united. We all defend the same escudo. We have to think about the team, all players are important.” Xabi’s statements were along the same line: “we are all in the same boat and we have to all row in the same direction.”
The last question thrown at Xabi was “will the fans be able to to enjoy watching you play next season? Here?” Xabi’s response? “Of course, of course.” Does this mean that we can expect for Xabi and Nagore’s third child to be born in Madrid, just like Ane? On Tuesday, Nagore had presented Links of London’s new collection, and when asked whether she and Xabi are thinking about expanding their family, she responded, “yes, we want to; in fact, we’re working on it” [LUCKY, LUCKY woman!]. Now, there are reports that Nagore is in fact already pregnant, about two and a half months along. She also said Xabi is “a very elegant man with a great body” and that she doesn’t get jealous.
The Xabi Alonso pose section.™
Antonio Adán also chose that day to join twitter! You can find him here.
As they weren’t called up for the game, Pepe and MFC Álvaro Borja Morata Martín had the time to stop by the table collecting money for the Spanish Association Against Cancer to make their donations. FP was there as well, and got a hug from his daughter.
All set for Espanyol!
The team trained over the past three days for this game against Espanyol, with some changes to the normal schedule. The Friday training session was not open to the press, and accordingly, no press conference was scheduled (the first time this has happened this season). In addition, the team trained on Saturday and then traveled to Barcelona on the same day as the game.
The entire team minus Álvaro Arbeloa was called up for this game (perhaps to foment team union?). Joining them were canteranos Casemiro and Diego Llorente. The team will get Sunday off and return to training on Monday to begin preparing for the Copa del Rey final.
Various Real Madrid players have showed up at the Caja Mágica to take in the Mutua Madrid Open, as they do every year. On Wednesday, it was MFC ABMM, who hadn’t been called up for the game. On Thursday, Sergio Ramos, Jesús Fernández, Rafa Varane and Pedro Mosquera (with Getafe keeper Miguel Ángel Moyà) were all spotted in the boxes. And on Friday, Aitor Karanka, Sergio and Cristiano were present front row and center to watch Rafa Nadal play David Ferrer. Of note: Cris flashing his pink underwear, showing how well he gets along with the coaching staff and being romantic with his girlfriend. He even tried his hand at being a ball boy!
Sergio told La Sexta while watching Rafa Nadal play Mikhail Youzhny that “it’s time to say enough to the controversies… of the míster, of Iker, of Pepe. We need to only think about the final and try and win it. Let’s say enough to all the controversies and individual egos and let’s focus on the union of the team, which is fundamental and what makes victories possible.” Yes, yes and yes!
And Pedro isn’t the only one hanging out with Getafe goalkeepers, as Iker met up with Jordi Codina, plus his friends Juanga and Álex, for a game of padel…
¡Canteranos al poder!
¡A por La Novena!
Our basketball team is in the final of the Euroleague! Real Madrid beat Barcelona 74-67 in the semifinals to book itself a place in Sunday’s final against Olympiacos (21h). If we win the final, it will be our ninth Euroleague title. Despite coming off of the bench, Felipe Reyes and Sergio Rodríguez were the stars of the game, with the capi chipping in 17 points and Sergio contributing 12 points and nine assists.
Look who was there! Esteban Granero! How I miss him!