This day is the sort of Monday that your mama warned you against. The kind that makes you want to stay in bed and pull the covers back over you, turn off your phone and hide for a month, whimpering. I am NOT having a good day y’all. Thankfully, it looks like Michael Essien is having a better one. The team had their first training before Wednesday’s Clasico. Ugh. What this week sure didn’t need was one of those. Sigh.
The Ramos, Coentrão, Modric and Di María trained inside today. Meanwhile, lots of Albiolita was going on outside. However, some bromantic scandals have arisen… Pipa may or may not be eyeing young Morata behind Raul’s back (to the amusement of Carvalho).
Diego López was presented at the Bernabeu today and a presser was held. This poor guy! He’s been so busy since he got to Madrid.
“I have come to give it my all from the beginning; I know what this club is all about and I intend to train hard to play and compete so that that there is competition for the position and so that the team can benefit”, added the Whites’ new goalkeeper
Diego López was unveiled as a new Real Madrid player at a press conference in Valdebebas after his transfer to the Whites was officially announced last Friday. The goalkeeper was accompanied in the act by the director of football, Miguel Pardeza, who wished him luck in this new chapter of his career and stated: “We are convinced that you will make a huge difference to the squad”. The youth-team product talked about his happiness and ambition on his return to the team: “I am delighted to be back at my home and at my club and I am really happy to be here. Everything is so similar to when I left: the facilities, the staff… I already feel fully settled into the day to day and I am genuinely very happy. Luckily, I am now an experienced player. Many things have changed since I left. I have many first division and European games under my belt and that reassures me and makes me confident in my abilities and strengths as a player. I know what I can bring to the team. When Real Madrid sign a player, they trust him and I think that it very important”.
The youth-team product is returning to the Whites six years after he left and he intends to work hard and give his all for the club: “I am here to give it my all from the beginning. They came to me for a reason. I am prepared and ready to play whenever the manager needs me. I am relaxed about that situation. I am confident that I will have a chance to play and that decision will be up to the manager. I am thinking about the day to day, Wednesday’s game and helping the team and being prepared for whenever the manager needs me and gives me the opportunity. That is what I have always done and what I will continue to do. There are currently two keepers, I feel for Iker with his injury, and between the two of us we have to solve the problem and help the team”.
Regarding his return to the club and his goals, the new Whites’ player said that he was very happy and certain about what he wants: “I had a very good feeling. This is about returning to the club which has run through my veins since I was young, and everyone has treated me with affection as I have come across so many familiar faces. And that goes for the fans too, who showed their affection yesterday from the stands, and this is very important to me. My goal is to work and be prepared for everything. I am feeling relaxed and very confident about my chances of playing and I am looking forward to seeing what the season throws up”.
After he was named for the first time in the squad and following his first training session with the rest of his team mates, the goalkeeper said: “I am here to try to play in every game. I know what this club is all about but I intend to train to play and compete, so that there is competition for the position and so that the team can benefit. The best thing for the team is that there is a lot of competition and that there is cover for all positions. The manager has asked of me what he asks of everyone: hard work, effort and discipline”.
Diego López came to Madrid last Saturday and on the subject of his transfer, he said: “I had no contact with anyone from Real Madrid; when my agent told me about it, I had absolutely no hesitation. I always said that it was a shame when I left; I had to leave for reasons at that time and returning here is an opportunity and a great challenge for me. I am grateful to the President, his board of directors and technical team who have put their trust in me and who have given me this opportunity. I am here to work and give it my all, for the benefit of the club and on that basis let’s hope that we all manage to achieve our goals”.
On the subject of the rotation policy of Real Madrid’s goalkeepers in the last few games, he said: “I have been an outsider looking in. When a change is made, it is the decision of the gaffer and you should always respect his decision because he is the boss. Iker has obviously earned everything he has achieved, but football is about the present and we must all be on our toes. No-one can afford to lose their focus”. In reference to Casillas and his performances, he said: “I spoke to Iker on the day of the game. I have always got on very well with him and that is still the case to this day. When I was away, I didn’t follow the ins and outs of the team and I don’t have an opinion because I wasn’t here”.
Real Madrid have one of the best youth systems in the world and on this point he said: “I think that this team has a lot of good players and there just isn’t space for all the youth-team players. This happens at every club. There are many youth-team players in the first team and others who have had to leave, but that doesn’t mean that this club does not give its young players a chance to play. I return full of hope and, because I was a youth-team player, I know how the system works here and I am going to use that knowledge to my advantage“.
Hardcore Madridista Placido Domingo received an honorary doctorate from the Universidad Europea and FloPeezy gave the speech. Okay, folks, I have a new life goal. I’ve been flirting with the idea of getting my doctorate (I know, I’m freaking insane right now. I need to take at least a year or two break) but after seeing the hat you get from the Universidad Europea, I need that. I’ve got to do something so spectacular that I get an honorary doctorate from them because the hats you get from American universities kinda suck in comparison. It looks kinda like a throw pillow or hot cross bun on your head. There’s usually a tassel. If you’re super cool, you might get a pom pom, but that’s iffy. But Universidad Europea? It’s AMAZEBALLS! It’s got fur and fringe! It’s like some weird combo of a stuffed animal and stripper tassels. Or an ottoman that I’d find in my Aunt Dora’s living room. I MUST HAVE ONE! I think that Guti & Sergio banded together to design this and I highly approve!
It’s kinda funny, but there’s only ONE picture that I could find of Placido actually wearing his completely brilliant doctoral hat. I wonder why? I’d never take that this off and I really need to find out which discipline that guy got an orange one for because…WANT.
Placido Domingo awarded honorary doctorate by the Universidad Europea
by Alberto Navarro
Real Madrid President, Florentino Perez and Third Vice-president, Pedro Lopez Jimenez attended the event
Placido Domingo has been awarded an honorary doctorate by the Universidad Europea. Real Madrid President, Florentino Perez and Third Vice-president, Pedro Lopez Jimenez attended the ceremony in which the tenor and General Director of the Washington National Opera and the Los Angeles Opera received the highest academic distinction for his long and illustrious career and for his outstanding contribution to the promotion of culture in modern society and the image of our country. “As Real Madrid President I have unique moments away from the pitch and to be alongside Placido Domingo is one of them because he is a genius who is full of humanity and has become an inspiration for new singers. He is our eternal Ballon d’Or winner for music and is our ultimate artist”, said in the Whites’ president in his eulogy. Placido Domingo has been added to a long distinguished list of people who have received this honorary title which includes Mario Vargas Llosa, Juan Antonio Samaranch and Nelson Mandela.
The Universidad Europea unanimously agreed to award the honorary doctorate to Placido Domingo. The honorary Real Madrid member received the highest academic distinction from Lech Walesa. The award is made by the school to those professionals who, because of their skills and personal and professional development and having national and international recognition, excel in the fields of science, technology, culture, teaching, research or any of the professional areas that contribute to our society.
Agueda Benito, rector of the Universidad Europea, opened the investiture ceremony before Elena de la Fuente, General Secretary, read the agreement that lead to the recognition being bestowed upon Placido Domigo: “The governing council of the Universidad Europea at the request of the School of Arts and Communication, has unanimously agreed to award an honorary doctorate to Mr. Placido Domingo for his long illustrious career and for his outstanding contribution to the promotion of culture in modern society and the image of our country”.
Gerard Mortier, artistic director at Madrid’s Royal Theatre and Florentino Perez were charged with making the eulogy. “His life history is a tale of high achievement. Placido Domingo belongs to an exclusive group of singers who can make the audience have extreme feelings. He is an icon with whom we want to feel identified. To all friends of art in Spain you are a guardian angel”, he said.
Then Florentino Perez made his speech: “This university will do justice today. This place for the pursuit of knowledge gives the highest honour to a remarkable man. As Real Madrid President I have unique moments away from the pitch and to be alongside Placido Domingo is one of them because he is a genius who is full of humanity and has become an inspiration for new singers. His passion for life, his charm and his artistic intelligence are beyond human. He is our eternal Ballon d’Or winner for music and is our ultimate artist. His stage is the world and we are looking at the greatest tenor of all time and a person who was chosen as such by the British network, the BBC. Nobody on earth can, wearing their own team’s shirt, say that they are the voice behind the anthem sang by millions of their team’s fans worldwide. Placido is a tenor that is loved by all, but above all he is the voice of the world”.
An emotional Placido was the last to speak and referred to his special relationship with Real Madrid: “The privilege of making so many people happy is something that makes us proud as artists. We are privileged because we can bring peace, tranquillity and pleasure to audiences. I want to thank the deep and meaningful words from Gerard Mortier and Florentino Perez, the President of the team that I love, I was deeply moved. It is an honour, as a Spaniard, Real Madrid fan, someone from Madrid and as a European to receive this title. My love and passion for football have brought me to meet Butragueño and Sanchis, who have been to see me sing many times. They are big opera fans and it was back then that my connection with Real Madrid began. After that I met Florentino Perez met and thanks to them I became connected with this young university. The Universidad Europea, like Real Madrid, has an international reach that goes beyond local recognition and is on a worldwide level”.
To end his speech said: “I never had the opportunity to go to university, but it is still not too late. Half a century has passed by and seems like it was yesterday. I look forward to giving that passion that grows inside me every day and does not diminish. It is a privilege to be able to express oneself through one’s voice, the most sensitive instrument there is, because you live with it and everything has an effect on you. Living with a voice is very difficult, but the rewards are extraordinary”.
Plácido Domingo visited Realmadrid.com and Realmadrid TV following his investiture as doctor honoris causa of the European University. The tenor and managing director of the Washington National Opera and the Los Angeles Opera Company told us “To be in my city and to feel Spanish and a follower of Real Madrid is a wonderful thing. Sport and music have an unparalleled power to audiences because it is not necessary to speak the same language and they can communicate by appealing directly to the senses. The audience and the crowd can share the moment with you because they can sense it”.
An honorary member of the Club, who confided that he wants to “return to the Santiago Bernabéu to celebrate another title”, also talked about the team, who defeated Getafe yesterday with a fine tally of goals: “I can see that Real Madrid are in good shape, but I am saddened by Casillas’s injury. For someone who has been playing that many years it is deeply frustrating. Now we face the two crucial months when we will find out if we can win a title. On Wednesday we have a crunch match against Barcelona and in February, against Manchester, that will be another decisive game. These are the months that will decide the season for my favourite team”.
Emilio Butragueño, who also attended the ceremony, was full of praise for Plácido Domingo: “Real Madrid is represented here today because of the great affection and admiration all Madrid fans feel for Plácido. He is one of our foremost ambassadors around the world and in he is the greatest in his profession. He is well-loved wherever he goes because he projects a heartfelt sense of humanity. We are delighted that he takes such pride in saying that he is a Real Madrid fan and that he follows the club with such intensity of interest”.
Finally, Butragueño, Director of Corporate Relations at the club recalled an anecdote that Plácido Domingo told during his reception speech at the investiture: “It was a trip to Vienna organized by Sanchís because both and his wife are very fond of opera. My wife and I went with them and we were very fortunate to spend some time with Plácido. The following day we had lunch together and we have been friends ever since – it is a friendship that has stood the test of time and we are very proud of it.”
And now for some bits & bobs. First up, Iker. WAH! Sorry, I just can’t stop saying that when I think about him. @aspirates found this picture of our poor capi who was out and about in his cast/sling.
He looks so frail and broken. WAH! She also found these pictures on the real madrid para siempre tumblr which show Iker & a pal moving the last of the stuff out of his old apartment (obviously before his injury!) I kinda love how it’s about a bazillion Adidas boxes and a few odds & ends. And that he did it himself. I remember doing this for my last move (which was luckily only up the street). Even if you have movers, there’s always a few things you gotta carry on your own.
Iker must be doing a bit better because he posted a thank you to his teammates for wearing the Animo Iker t-shirts on Facebook and this picture on his Instagram. Geeker lives!
From what Calleti posted today (a piccy of his sister in law), it sounds like they have guests and those visiting family members brought yet another doggie into the house. Here’s the three doggie cousins chilling together, courtesy of Marta.
Another (rather unexpected) person who was smiling this weekend was Zlatan Ibrahimovic after a mere mortal nutmegged him. Zlatan let him do that because he knew it would give the young man great joy and he was feeling benevolent.
Two good reads you should check out: Bob Bradley: The American Who Stayed and The Designated Player: The Extraordinary Journey of Machael David.
Speaking of things to read, the latest entry of Juan Mata’s blog One Hour Behind is up. Juanin also posted this beautiful shot of St. Paul’s in London.
And finally, leave it to El Pirata to make my incredibly shitty day (I’ve been working on this post since THIS MORNING – that’s how crap the day has been) all better. He posted this shot with the caption ”Sure they are” Perfect hipster is perfect.
And on that note, I leave with a smile. Hopefully, I’ll actually get out of work at a reasonable hour. Ugh. The tech gods have not been very good to me and mine today! Add to this, one of my colleagues JUST discovered Gangnam Style (I KNOW!!!!) and I keep hearing it from her office. I may need bail money later. Be prepared, Maisougio!
Oh, just an aside – I updated the Mou documentary from yesterday with the English version.