Well then, I had quite an experience last night. Went to a vegan restaurant and on the suggestion of our waitperson, I tried beet wine! I must tell you, it was freaking fantastic! Who knew? I’ve got to learn how to make this stuff. Really interesting. The food was great too.
But on to other tasty things… Chori is front and center in today’s update.
Chori was being adorable today: Bromancing with his proper partner (Arbeloa), giving him adoring glances while still finding time for Pipa and giving Iker a big bear hug. Awwwww! What a multi-tasker!
Iker bromantically paid it forward by giving some loves to a prone Pipa (like that man needs any extra entanglements!) Xabi laughed in disbelief and thought “I need a frigging chart to keep up with all of Pipa’s admirers!”
And Marcelo was inspired to give some love to Essien. I’ve noticed these two hanging around together a lot lately (and commenting on Instagram on each other’s pictures). Perhaps they need a name? Mikecelo? Esscelo? Feh. We’ll figure it out later. Two such sweet and smiling guys should be pals.
Chori was chosen for the presser today as well. He was EVERYWHERE. We have to talk about his beard though. It’s getting way overgrown and taking on Wolfman proportions. Please trim that nonsense, sir. It will look MUCH better. I do realize that it is cold right now, but letting yourself go full on beast is not the answer. You’re not there yet, but it’s a slippery slope, my friend.
“We are visiting a difficult stadium and there be a good atmosphere in which to play football”, said the Whites’ defender
Raúl Albiol appeared before the media for the pre-match press conference before the League match against Valencia at the Mestalla. The international defender of the Whites analysed the match against his former club: “We are motivated by the fact that we are visiting a difficult stadium and playing against a good team. There will be a good atmosphere in which to play football. We want to show that we are moving in the right direction and that we are getting back to the form we showed last term. We will try to play our game and forget about controversial moments. We will have to play well if we want to win there and let’s hope we can do so because we want the three points. We are now entering the business end of the season and we have to be as strong as possible”.
The Whites’ fullback also spoke about the atmosphere that will meet his team in the two successive games against Valencia at the Mestalla: “We’d have preferred to play the three games at home, but we have two at the Mestalla and we cannot treat tomorrow’s game as a warm-up as we have to win. We can use this game to get a feel for the atmosphere that we might face on Wednesday. You have to factor in their desire to beat us and the atmosphere that has been building up around the two games. I think that players of this calibre are used to playing in games like these and this is one of the reasons why the ground will be full”.
Regarding the statements of some of Valencia’s players on the referee’s performance on Tuesday, he said: “That’s their opinion. They feel that they were robbed but we have to focus on the game and understand that referees are going to get some things right and some things wrong. We have to forget about referees, especially concerning the issue of punishments.”
With respect to his personal situation in the squad, he said: “Obviously, I have been injured and out for several weeks during a period that has seen a number of players getting injured. I have to help in any way I can and make myself available for the manager to pick me”. Albiol was clear when questioned about whether José Mourinho would rotate his squad tomorrow: “We have not been told anything about that. I guess that we will be told the starting eleven tomorrow, but whoever plays tomorrow, we have a strong squad and anyone can be named in the starting eleven. We must be on top of our game if we want to win there.”
The Spanish International spoke about Kaká: “He has been training very well and he has made a huge effort. He is our team mate and I don’t know if he will stay or go. He is our player”. On the relationship between Mourinho and Cristiano Ronaldo and about what happened after the Cup match against Valencia on Tuesday, Albiol said: “They are two winners with ambitions to be the best and they demand the best out of themselves. It was an exchange of opinion that will have no impact on the team. It happened in the dressing room, and what happens in the dressing room stays in the dressing room. We all want to win and especially them.”
When asked about who will start in goal tomorrow, the Whites’ defender said: “That is not my decision to make. They are both my team mates. Adán has shown to me what a great goalkeeper he is over this period and how professional he is and Casillas is the best in the world. They will defend the goal to the best of their ability. Just as the goalkeeper doesn’t know who will play in defence, the defence doesn’t know who will be in goal. We trust each other and we must all do our job well.”
Finally, Albiol discussed the feeling in the Real Madrid dressing room: “I don’t think there will be any problems here. We know that we are not having a great season in the league, but we have to take advantage of the Champions Cup to pick up a trophy and turn it into a good season. That is still in our hands and we have to be united. We are professionals and mature people. We have to be united to meet our targets and we have good enough players to achieve them”.
The following players were called up for tomorrow’s match at Mestalla:
Goalkeepers: Casillas, Adan and Tomas Mejias.
Defenders: Varane, Coentrao, Carvalho, Arbeloa, Albiol and Nacho.
Midfielders: Khedira, Ozil, Alonso, Essien, Modric, Callejon and Di Maria.
Forwards: Cristiano Ronaldo, Benzema and Higuain.
So no Kaka, eh? I guess this may lend credence to the rumors swirling about his return to Milan. Watishista P sent me this article last night saying “Good news for Shiggers!” But Shigs can’t breathe a sigh of relief until it’s a done deal.
And our cantera is now on Facebook! You can follow all the adventures of La Fábrica and our youth academy system here.
And now, I can no longer avoid moving bookshelves which is on my list of chores today. Hmph. I’ll be back later with more goodies.