ten recent madridista moments
Here’s a collection of recent moments that made me happy as a madridista, and that I wanted to share.
ONE. The presentation of the Ballon d’Or at the Bernabéu. A lovely golden and CR7 mosaic greeted our golden boy Cristiano when he emerged from the tunnel to play Celta.
Cristiano then presented the trophy to the fans. That was a wonderful enough moment (Mamá Dolores got all emotional, prompting Junior to give her a kiss), but then Junior’s father called his teammates over to share it with them.
And then all of them called over Agustín Herrerín (Sergio shouted “¡Abuelo!” which means grandfather) so that he could be in the photo with them, and Cristiano handed over the trophy for him to hold. What a touching moment. I also love how affectionate all of them were with Agustín (who looked completely shocked), and that Xabi Alonso kept warming up while all this was going on.
After the game, Cris said, “he’s a man who has been with Madrid for 20 years [50 years actually!], and for me it was an honor to have him in the photo with me. He was a bit embarrassed though. It was a great moment. It shows that the Ballon d’Or does not only belong to me, it also belongs to the people of the club and the fans, those people who have supported me and the team during the year. Agustín deserved it, because he’s one of the family.”
Meanwhile, the charming Agustín told COPE that he has a lot of affection for Cristiano, and it was a great gesture. He said Cris told him, “Agus, come take the photo with me and the team, come here old man.” He said he wasn’t expecting that, and he felt as if he had won the lottery. Agustín added that he would buy all the newspapers the next day and keep them. He also told the media, “it was a surprise. They told me to place the trophy on the field and nothing more. I went back to my position, which is at the entrance to the tunnel, and then I heard Cristiano and Sergio calling for me. It was incredible. I didn’t expect it at all and it became one of the best moments of my life. I was touched. They’re great boys.” He also revealed that his hands were trembling while he was holding the trophy!
TWO. It made me very happy to see Cristiano get the recognition he deserved when he was awarded the Ballon d’Or, and his tears while accepting the award were so touching. I also love that he has repeatedly stated that this award belongs to everyone, as he showed the day after when he shared it with all his teammates and the staff at the training session.
THREE. Speaking of training, recent fun training moments included Marcelo Sunshine and Pepe teaming up and faking an injury to play a joke on the fisios.
FOUR. There was also these moments from the
martial arts class training session.
FIVE. And then we have more examples of bullfighting invading Valdebebas, as can be seen here with Sergio sticking a banderilla in Nacho after nutmegging him.
SIX. We also had MFC Álvaro Borja Morata Martín mooning Sergio (who then shouted, “turn around and do that!”) after the latter fell on him. Too bad he didn’t listen to Sergio.
SEVEN. The players in suits! This was during the inauguration of the residences. They all look fantastic, no? Speaking of the event, it makes me happy to see how many former players we have as youth team coaches now. And there are even some missing from that photo, including Fernando Morientes and Guti…
EIGHT. Dani Carvajal “inaugurating” the new residence by going down imaginary staircases and an elevator, as captured by MFC Álvaro Borja Morata Martín. If this doesn’t make you smile, I don’t know what will. I think I’ve watched it about a hundred times already.
NINE. Álvaro Arbeloa’s appearance on El Hormiguero. Here is what was said.
On putting aside club rivalries when playing for the national team: we have achieved things that no other national team has achieved in history, winning two Eurocopas and a World Cup in a row. That’s only possible when we all get along very well. We know perfectly that when we’re playing on the national team, we’re defending one country and we’re very proud to do what we’re doing. And we’re very excited about the upcoming World Cup… we want to get on that bus again and enjoy it with the people in Spain.
On that fall while celebrating the World Cup: it was funny. I was there with Pepe, the two of us fell backwards, I managed to hang on with my legs, I could only hang on like that because no one was paying any attention to me. Poor Pepe, he landed right where the stairs were, and he fell to the lower level. When he got up, he wanted to kill the bus driver. Everyone was concerned about poor Pepe.
On being a father: you have many funny anecdotes involving your children. When I get stopped on the street by fans who want to take photos with me, my daughter Alba asks, “papá, why are they asking you for photos?” And I say, “cariño, it’s because I’m so handsome.”
On the Premier League: I support Liverpool, I spent three wonderful years there, I had the opportunity to play at Anfield, which is an unforgettable and unique experience. Every weekend, Xabi and I are always checking on how Liverpool is doing. I do have friends on other teams, such as Chelsea, Manchester City, Arsenal, Tottenham, many teams, and I wish all of them luck.
On Mourinho: of course Mourinho is a friend. I know Mourinho the person, which is not what most people see. They only see the Mourinho of press conferences, and what the míster wanted to show in that moment. As a coach, Mourinho is very demanding, but he has a good trait, which most don’t have, and that is he demands more of himself than of the rest. It’s normally the opposite. (What is more dangerous, putting your hand inside a blender or going against him?) I’ve gone against him before. And I’m still here… He managed to win everything, so I believe his methods are valid.
On the Ballon d’Or: I touched it [they show the photo of Álvaro examining it]. (Is it made of gold, or is it like a Ferrero Rocher?) I think if it were made of gold, someone would have melted it down by now. It’s very shiny, but it’s not made of gold.
On Ancelotti: we welcomed him with open arms. We in Madrid are lucky in the sense that all of the coaches who have come here have had success before. He’s a coach who has won the Champions League, as well as league championships in England, Italy, France. We hope he wins one here as well.
Then Trancas and Barrancas emerged. They had interviewed Álvaro’s friends to get the dirt on him. And who were those friends? None other than three people we miss very, very much: José Callejón, Raúl Albiol and Esteban Granero!
Calleti: I would like you to talk about that time when you were a samurai, your true calling, and you nearly destroyed my house with your katana.
That was his fault. He had organized a Japanese-themed party for his birthday, and he made all of us dress up. I dressed up as The Last Samurai, and it got out of control. I was testing the katana, which was part of the decoration, to see if it was sharp. It was. But I didn’t destroy anything of value and no one got hurt (laughs). [This led to banter on Twitter the next day.]
I loved the expressions on Álvaro’s face as he listened to José and Raúl speak!
Chori: hello to everyone except my enemy Álvaro [jajaja!]. I would like you to talk about how each time we play in a tournament with Spain, you send bags of candy and cookies to my house a few days before…
That’s one of the biggest secrets regarding the national team, the lack of sugar. I send my purchases directly to Raúl, and he wraps them up and packs them. Since it’s his name on the luggage, he’s the one that gets stopped if there are any problems. We have a doctor who is very strict with our diets.
El Pirata: you know that Álvaro is addicted to social networks. Tell us about the time you played a dirty trick and posted a photo of your teammate in his underwear, who got very upset.
I’m not sure what kind of tail that is, a squirrel or something. A teammate arrived one day wearing underwear like this, so imagine it…
Then there are card magic tricks, a game of “vertical football” that Álvaro wins, science experiments, an appearance by El Hombre de Negro to talk about the Reto Juegaterapia, and the creation of a huge “tifo.”
TEN. This “Café, copa y fútbol” interview with Quique González, the musician whose fans include Xabi, Esteban and Raúl. I also love his voice and his lyrics.
What did you think of the Ballon d’Or gala?
It made me happy to see Cristiano humanized. I think many people changed the opinion they had of him as a person after seeing him cry when he accepted the award. It was touching to see him cry and accept the award. He’s the kind that gives 100 percent in everything. There aren’t many footballers like him.
And Xabi Alonso?
He has a lot of class as a person and as a player. Xabi’s return has been really noticeable for Madrid. He’s a player who conditions the team he plays for. It happened in la Real and also in Liverpool. He’s an all-around player; we haven’t had anyone like him since Redondo.
You’re a madridista but you did have some low moments.
I backed away during the time of Mourinho. That defensive football was not suited for such a great team. Mou’s approach did not match the spirit and history of Madrid. And so I put some distance between myself and the team. I was still a madridista but I also became a fan of certain players.
Did you play for Madrid’s cantera?
I did the test to enter, and although I was terrible, I had such high expectations that when I got home I looked in the mailbox to see if they had sent an urgent letter to inform me that I had been chosen. In school, I was sent to play as a rightback, which is where they put all the terrible players. Then when I was 15 I was in a motorcycle accident, my ankle was destroyed and I didn’t play for a long time. In my 20s, I played futsal until I tore my ACL, and then I quit. I would do anything to play football. I love it.
You had a moment of rebellion when Fernando Redondo left.
Back then, there wasn’t the Internet and I remember that I spent three days looking at the teletext to see if he had signed with Milan. I was so upset that I took my Fernando shirt and went to the Bernabéu to put it up as a sign of protest for everyone to see. The ticket seller convinced me to take it back, preventing me from losing that shirt. He’s the type of player who is the reference of a team. That’s what Xabi, Pirlo or Mazinho are as well.
Did Özil’s departure also upset you?
He was our new Guti, but his departure came at the same time as Isco’s arrival, and we immediately fell in love with him. That’s why his departure went more unnoticed. In my opinion, Özil is one of Madrid’s best signings in recent years.
You named Guti as one of your references. He was a bit of the bad boy for el madridismo, no?
Without any doubt. It appears that the position of the 10 has always been for artists and rebels. Guti was a footballer who justified what he earned on the field. He spent 15 years at the highest level and each year the team signed a great player for his position. His famous taconazo to Benzema will always be one of the great moments of football.
“Delantera mítica” is the title of one of your albums. Would you prefer the legendary Juanito and Santillana before Cristiano and Bale?
Sentimentally speaking, without a doubt. Watching them play made me fall in love with football and they were the last representatives of another type of football, one what was more rough and brave. Football has changed a lot and it’s clear that Cristiano and Bale are good, but that was my front line.
Which player would you write a song for?
I think the one who deserves it the most is Raúl. He’s the one that embodies the madridista spirit, and he’s also the link between that Madrid of Juanito, Pirri and Santillana, and the modern team. He was an authentic street footballer, smarter than anyone else. I did start writing a song for Zidane, but I never finished it. It was during a time when I went to the Bernabéu a lot. I have never seen a footballer as great as Zidane. I remember that the song started out like “you dance along the left wing, but I prefer you in the middle with Ronaldo.” It was good, but I never finished it.
Is your song “Día de feria” inspired by a Madrid-Barça game?
It’s a very madrileña song. I was walking around the Barrio del Pilar, Madrid was playing and the city was celebrating. Everything was in place for me to compose that song. For a time, there was a verse that went “Raúl will score against Barça on Sunday.”
But you changed it when you performed in Barcelona.
I only did that once, jaja. It was to give the public a laugh because everyone knows that I’m a madridista. I have a song called “Su día libre” in which I sing, “I have breakfast at the bar while reading AS.” I was in Barcelona and I sung, “I have breakfast at the bar while reading Mundo Deportivo” and the public laughed because they knew it was a joke. There’s complicity with the public.
Who are your musical influences?
Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Springsteen, Lucinda Williams. As for Spanish music, Leiva and Miguel Ríos.
If Dylan was reincarnated as a footballer, who would he be?
Di Stéfano, because Bob Dylan was ground-breaking, just like Alfredo.
Who is the current boss of football?
It’s clear that the boss right now is Cristiano Ronaldo.
What does the name Florentino Pérez make you think of?
Would you rather have a ball signed by Santillana or a composition signed by Bob Dylan?
I already have Dylan’s songs, so I would would go for Santillana’s ball.
And as a bonus, we’ve narrowed the gap at the top of the table to one!
I hope you enjoyed these little moments! What are your favorite recent madridista moments?