That picture kinda says it all, doesn’t it? Ronaldo triumphs and Almeria is deader than a doornail. The “ouch” is for both me and Almeria. I threw out my back this morning and I’m in quite a bit of pain (as I imagine the relegated Almeria is tonight. My condolences). I’m just trying to stay resting quietly until I go to my acupuncturist tomorrow morning. I hobbled on down to the pub to watch our boys play the last match of the season and Crissy break the La Liga scoring record. I wasn’t disappointed!
The match started out with a tribute to the departing Jerzy Dudek. He was presented with a replica of the statue of Sotero Aranguren and Machimbarrena which stands outside the Real Madrid dressing room.
We didn’t have to wait long for Cristiano to score his 39th goal. He tapped it in at 4′ off a header from Sergio Ramos (Okay, I’ll start mentioning his name again because he was our captain today, but I’m still not feeling warm and fuzzy about him right now).
Manu made the score 2-0 at 31′ off a through ball from the best damn German-Turkish midfielder in the world, Mesut Ozil.
Uche scored for Almeria two minutes later. I was really bummed that Dudek wouldn’t have a clean sheet for his final game but the ball deflected off of Ramos and basically put it right at Uche’s feet. There was nothing that Jerzy could do.
Benz had a real corker of a shot at 36′ but Esteban managed to knock it up just a bit and it went out. The half ended with a score of 2-1.
The second half opened with a bang. Almeria hit the post at 47′ and then Benzema scored at 48′ off a Crispy assist. Go CrispyKarim!
The unRaptured Kaka (so much for that, eh?) left the pitch at 61′ and our nummy El Pirata came on, looking delicious as usual. Then Benz scored his second goal of the game with an assist from the out of this world Cristiano Ronaldo.
Manu got his well-earned hat trick at 73′ and he was one happy camper! His teammates seemed thrilled for him as well. So will his stellar performance today help him in his quest to stay at Real Madrid? At the post-game presser, Karanka said “The goals Adebayor scored today will not influence his future. He has been a great player for this team and he got along well with everyone.” Similarly, Valdano said “Adebayor has done a great job during his stay. He provided some important solutions and today had a sensational performance.” Poor Manu, they’re already talking about him in the past tense. That doesn’t bode well. I’m still hoping for the best for him.
Crispy put in another goal at 77′ off a Ramos header to score his 40th La Liga goal of the season. He also surpassed Messi’s total of goals across all competitions with 53 and also became Real Madrid’s all time scorer for a single season surpassing the previous record of 49 set by Ferenc Puskás. Just gorgeous. Well done, Cris. (In this game, he scored 2 goals and had 4 assists!)
At 78′, Dudek was substituted for Castilla’s Jesus and he received a standing ovation from the Santiago Bernabeu. His teammates formed a corridor of honor to leave the pitch and I got more than a little misty.
Awwwww! I wish him all the best. What a lovely man. After the match he said “Three weeks ago I already knew I was going to play, but I didn’t expect it to be so moving. When my teammates and friends formed the corridor… I don’t have words to describe it. I am very happy and the last four years have been incredible. I have always tried to help. Time has flown by because they have been four great years.”
Jesus was the 9th youth teamer to debut under Mou and at 84′, Joselu became the 10th. Three minutes later, he made an unforgettable debut by scoring on a 8 yard shot from a Cristiano Ronaldo (AGAIN!) cross. Amazing! The kid was over the moon with excitement and rightfully so! He even got in on all the big boy traditions: group hug, high fives with Pepe, dancing with Manu…
After the match, Cris spoke about his record breaking season and gave the credit to his teammates: “The only reason I have scored so many goals is because of my teammates, and I am exremely appreciative. The Pichichi is for them and the fans.”
“I am generous with my teammates and they are generous with me. I wouldn’t have scored 40 goals in La Liga without them.”
He also obviously served as a hair inspiration for the Castilla crew. They might better emulate his record breaking prowess than his gel application skills, but boys will be boys. They also spoke of their debuts.
“This is a dream come true. I am so happy. I debuted in the best way possible. Cristiano served up a perfect pass and I hugged him appreciation. Mourinho has had a lot of faith in us youth teamers this year.”
“Seeing the Bernabeu empty is amazing, but when I went to warm up and later took the pitch, I was overcome by a spectacular feeling.”
“Cristiano Ronaldo’s numbers are astounding. He is talented, strong and ambitious. He broke the record because he is simply amazing.”
“Seeing young players debut is extremely satisfying. I have worked with some of them since they were 14. All those who made it to the first team are role models for the rest.”
You know who else had a had a stellar game? My boo. Ozil was his usual wonderful self and capped off a great season. He made 18 assists this season beating Figo’s previous tally. It’s the best record in 20 years. Way to go, Mesut! If you want some extra giggles today, check out the great Mesut gif that the super awesome derbis posted over at o_ozil. Mesut is rocking his muscleman moves.