Go Blancos Go! But First, Stretch A Bit

27 Mar

Our fine gentlemen left their hotel and headed off for pre-match stretchies before the game with APOEL this afternoon.

There are a lot of reports about potential violence at today’s match, which I hope are just media hysteria. Apparently of the 22,000+ ticket holders 10,000 are APOEL Ultras. Never a good ratio. 500 police have been retained to keep things in order as the match is considered high risk. There were even horror stories about two opposition fans being set on fire in their car last APOEL match. Ugh. That’s terrifying. Let’s hope the match goes well and everyone stays safe.

As promised, here are some brief translations from the presser that Mou & Sami did yesterday.


Mourinho: “We have great respect for APOEL”
by Fernando Porrero (Nicosia) / Translation by Michael J. O’Donnell 

“We’re the favourites because of our potential and financial strength, but we know the match will be difficult”

Jose Mourinho addressed the media ahead of tomorrow’s 20:45 CET UCL clash with APOEL.

“It just isn’t true that I have imposed some sort of rule of silence. I have determined absolutely nothing and I don’t have to justify anything. I’m not responsible.”

“Once you look at the group APOEL were in you become aware of their value. They fight for every game and believe anything is possible in football. Maybe everyone believes the tie with APOEL will be easy, but I don’t expect it to be. We want a good result in Nicosia and to seal the tie at the Bernabeu. APOEL have reached this far for a reason. They eliminated Olympique Lyonnais, Donetsk and Porto. Our history and financial strength make us the favourites, but football is football and we have great respect for them. It will be a difficult match.”

“Morais played for me at Chelsea. He played in the quarterfinals against Bayern Munchen and I hope he plays against us tomorrow. I’m happy for the Portuguese footballers currently in Cyprus.”

“The ref won’t be a problem for me. I hope the players are the stars of the match, not the referee.”

“It will be difficult to seal the tie in Nicosia. It was complicated against CSKA and we had to resolve the situation at home. We will try to earn a good result here, but I believe the game will be tough and that the return leg at the Bernabeu will be a little easier.”

“Coentrao is fine. He needs more playing time but his spirits are high. All of the men with us here are ready to play although some have had less playing time lately. I have confidence in all of them, and so does everyone else. I’m very happy not to hear anyone mention Xabi Alonso. We will try to reach the semifinals a second straight year.”

“Granero is a good option to replace Xabi Alonso. He is balanced, but this is not to say he will be a starter. Nevertheless, he’s ready to start if we decide he must.”

Khedira: “APOEL play from the heart. which makes them a complicated opponent”
by Alberto Navarro (Nicosia) / Translation by Michael J. O’Donnell

“Alonso’s absence is important, but we’ll do our best to resolve that situation and win the match”

Sami Khedira talked to the press the day before facing APOEL.

“Xabi Alonso is very important to us. He won’t play tomorrow and that’s a new situation for us that we’d like to resolve. That’s why we’ll do our best to win at this stadium. Xabi is an excellent player, but we have other excellent midfielders, such as Sahin, Granero and Ozil.”

“We know APOEL have a good team and we respect them. They did well in the group stage and are a strong side. They play from the heart, which makes them a complicated opponent. The clash will be important and I think we’ll do well because we have a very strong team.”

Here are some leftovers from yesterday’s training. First up a great gif of Sergio giving Albiol a little smoochie. Pipita is like “WTF, dude?!” I love how Sese loves him some Albiolita.

He was also hanging out with them at training with Alvaro on the other side. AWKWARD! Dig Sergio’s tennis moves…

"Look out, Shiggers! Here I come!"

I found a few other bits and bobs that I enjoyed today that I thought I would share. First off, this must be my new fave footy site: Awkward Football Photoshoots. Wait until they catch a load of the Real Madrid photographers’ oeuvre – that will keep ’em in material for years! That Eric Cantona & washing machine one is suitable for framing, I tell you. Similarly hilarious was Arsenal’s “Special Report” on Carl Jenkinson’s hair crisis. It’s played totally straight faced by Drool alums Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Robin van Persie and it couldn’t be cuter.

And finally, a “Behind the Scenes” video for the making of the Pepsi Kick in the Mix commercial starring Messi, Drogba, Wilshere, Lampard, Aguero and Nando.

And that should hold you till kick off! Enjoy the match and HALA MADRID!!!!!

– Lozil

6 Responses to “Go Blancos Go! But First, Stretch A Bit”

  1. sweethearthalo March 27, 2012 at 1:39 pm #

    Fábio suprises me with his flexibility. I mean, the others don’t even manage to have a proper balance. Damn, I wanna have the job of the guy who stands in front of them, showing what to do.
    One more Fábio thing- I really like the way his pants are on him.

  2. KatiePar March 27, 2012 at 1:53 pm #

    Even though they all get along so well, you can clearly see the different language groups in the stretching video. German to the left, Spanish in the middle and Portuguese at the right. Comes naturally, I suppose. Looove Sergio’s awesome tennis moves.

  3. KatiePar March 27, 2012 at 2:04 pm #

    Oh, and the special hair report is HILARIOUS!
    “The longterm effects of the haircut are yet to be seen…..”
    “I think it’s fair to say the lad’s hardly Brad Pitt, is he?”
    🙂 wuahahahaha!

  4. yvette March 27, 2012 at 2:07 pm #

    That Kaka picture is freaking me out! I’m starting to see why he freaks out Shiggers.. LOL!

  5. Natalie March 27, 2012 at 2:37 pm #

    Loved the “Behind the Scenes” video, but funny enough it is a Barca player who is stealing the whole thing!! Hmmmmm I wonder…….

  6. jellyace March 28, 2012 at 2:05 am #

    Oh, Cristiano! If you hitch your shorts up any higher, you will sing like a soprano!

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