Everything was coming up Baby today and with very good reason. After that stonking performance yesterday, the press turned into squeeing fangirls. I can’t blame them. When was the last time you saw a post-Clasico cover about someone other than Cristiano or Leo?
The performance of the French defender who scored the goal that levelled the match has been the focus of the national and international sporting press
Raphaël Varane’s performance in the first leg of the Copa del Rey semi-final against Barcelona has caught the attention of the most important media sources around the world. On top of his excellent defensive performance, the Frenchman scored a headed goal that left the match wide open going into the second leg. In Spain, Marca and As praised the French defender. The former said: “Salvador Varane, made a name for himself.” The defender, who they described as ‘immense’, “became Madrid’s hero with a goal and several excellent defensive actions. A phenomenal match from start to finish. In the Clásico he has established himself as a world-class defender”, while As, which described him as “impeccable”, wrote: “Varane breathes life into Madrid” and “It was Varane who finished as man of the match. Thanks to a number of opportune crosses, his reliability on the ball, his speed, his class and his goal. It could be said that yesterday he emerged as a great player”.
ABC also singled out the defender: “Varane establishes himself in his first Madrid-Barcelona”. Both El Mundo and La Razón also praised the Madrid player’s performance. “Varane is on his way to becoming a ‘Clásico’. He breathed life into the clásico around his goal and the opposition’s. He prevented one goal and saved Madrid with an excellent finish. An emperor is born. He brought the Bernabéu to its feet with his performance” said the former, while the other paper said: “A Monument to Varane. The Frenchman was the pillar of the defence and scored the equaliser … Giving hope to Madrid”. El País placed him in the headline: “Barça could not handle Varane”, and added these words: “The French defender, who was sublime around both goals, passed with flying colours for Madrid in an intense and exciting match”.
In France, L’Equipe singled out its countryman: “Varane stopped Barcelona. He was the man of the match. He had a great game in defence and his equalizer keeps Real Madrid’s hopes of qualifying alive after drawing against Barcelona”. According to France Football, “Varane, imperious in the centre of the defence stopped Barcelona and left his mark on the semi-final of la Copa”. Le Monde added: “The Young Frenchman Raphael Varane enjoyed himself in the Santiago Bernabéu stadium, scoring with his head in José Manuel Pinto’s net from a good cross from Mesut Özil”.
The rest of the world also praised the Madrid defender. “Varane rises to the top in Clasico. A new star was born at the Bernabeu on Wednesday night. A defensive rock who stole the show in his first ever Clasico appearance with the supreme talent that he showed throughout the 90 minutes”, said ESPN on its website. In Germany, Kicker stated that “Varane saves Madrid with his head”, while in Italy La Gazzetta dello Sport wrote: “Near the end, a cross from Özil and header by Varane: deserved reward for a great performance from the French defender”.
Further good news for The Baby today: Along with Karim he was called up for French national team’s friendly against Germany on February 6th. He’s yet to make his full debut so maybe this time he’ll get a look in. I’m talking to you, Didier Deschamps.
Back to training… Everyone looks pretty calm considering it’s Transfer Deadline Day. I mean, why aren’t they glued to their phones like everyone else? They probably were as soon as they got out of there.
After training, the players met with 18 students visiting from the Real Madrid Foundation sports academy in Ambato, Ecuador. During the trip, they also had a chance to visit the facilities, have a training and see the match vs. Getafe.. The Baby was once again popular. He’s not much older than some of these kids!
Pepe was there! So good to see him. And Xabi was looking extra suave in his coat.
And now for a few bits & bobs…
Iker received some cupcakes from his buddies at Mahou. He said “I’ve only eaten one! I can not eat!” Boo, considering the fact that you’re out for 3 months and must be having one of the most shit weeks known to mankind NO ONE on the planet including your trainer is going to begrudge you a second (or third) cupcake.
He also posted a picture of his doggies Doce & Uno. I’m guessing that he figured putting up pictures of puppies would maybe calm down all the people fighting on his Instagram and Facebook? It works for me. Wish it worked for everyone else.
David’s Instagram is always a thing of wonder. He’s just such a sweetie. The other day he posted this shot with the caption “I love this picture! Meus futuros filhos!” which means ‘my future children’ I think he and Iker should just get married. They both want babies so bad it’s not even funny.
I was on Alicia Roig’s Instagram and she had some cute shots of her Chori about to watch something in 3D and little Azahara & Alma doing crafts. Aw! I remember painting pine cones when I was a tiny Lozil!
UPDATED: It usually takes me hours to put together posts depending on what’s happening at work. This one was no exception. Of course, after I compiled all my stuff and put it up, someone posted something awesome. Thanks to watishista @kawaii_ae who gave me the heads up that Marta posted this beautiful shot with Calleti & Paula about an hour ago. The caption translates to “My joy, my happiness, my hopes, my family, my support, my way … my all …“
Speaking of Calleti, he posted some interesting supportive tweets to his twin. As we all know, it’s the hell better known as Transfer Deadline Day.It sounds like Juanmi is off to Greece but I can’t find more information as of yet.
Of course, the big talk today was about David Beckham signing for 5 months to PSG. He’s donating all his salary to a Parisian children’s charity. Between his philanthropy and his good looks, everyone was swooning. Wonder what Zlatan thinks about all this?!
It would be pretty spectacular to have David Beckham pointing at you, now wouldn’t it? As long as he was saying something like “Yes, young lady, I will happily answer all your Becksillas questions” as opposed to “Security? Please escort that drooling one out. Ta.”
And where was El Pirata during all this madness? Watching a farce play out and I don’t mean what’s been going on with Peter Odemwingie - he was taking in The Marx Brothers in A Night At The Opera.