Let’s start the bits and bobs off with Albiol today, shall we? I’ve been missing him and he’s not tweeting all that much. However, his vacation pals San Bernardino and Antonio Leon gifted us with a few piccies.
Oh ho, he’s practicing his Parchis for those long concentracion sessions with the boys, I see. Prepare to strip, men of Madrid! Raul is gonna whup you.
GF Sports had a number of shots of Sergio and Nando on their holidays. Sadly, not together.
Apparently, the last one is very recent, possibly today. Looks like he’s on the move again!
Guti posted this shot of his pool in Ibiza saying that the island was “magic.” Sigh. Honey, get a job. Please?
Pique was tongued by a killer whale while Shakira watched. It’s like some sort of odd cross-species threesome.
Our lovely Basque Lion, Fernando Llorente, hit the beach in Ibiza with his girlfriend Maria. Last I heard, she was a med student specializing in endocrinology. Not sure if she’s already a practicing doctor. I’m sure someone out there can update us all? They’re very cute. I believe they’ve been together for something like 10 years.
They look like a cute, normal couple having a nice day at the beach with a friend. I like that.
Poor Iker Muniain. He should have never conked out. David De Gea stuck a Dorito in his mouth, took a picture and posted it on Twitter. As you do.
So it’s not a secret that RM is hotly pursuing Luka Modric. Apparently, this is a shot of him meeting with some of our peeps.
Although it still hasn’t been officially announced on the website as of this writing, it looks like we’ve finally offloaded Gago to Valencia. Here he is posing with a Valencia scarf.
And you really must read Dirty Tackle’s hilarious take on Zlatan’s signing to PSG. My new favorite word is “Zlectasy”
Zlatan’s wife is gorgeous and his kids adorable, but seriously, WTF is she wearing? I can tell it’s DSquared and I’m living in fear that The Ramos will want to wear this whether it’s a lady outfit or not. He doesn’t seem to be gender specific in his clothes judging by that shirt he was wearing above. The vest-pocket things on the jeans are what I find deeply disturbing. And the denim on denim. However, the shoes? Fabulous.
Speaking of heinous fashion, the humiliation parade of Spanish Olympic athletes continues with this jumpsuit being merrily worn by field hockey player Alex Fabregas. You poor bastard!
I think whomever designed these outfits must have lost some serious money on the 2010 World Cup by betting on the Dutch and waited patiently to get even, because this is nothing but sabotage, IMHO.
Here’s Marcelo, with his beautiful grin, in some much more palatable Olympic uniforms.
Watishista Flora was kind enough to translate the bit of interview with Xabi that is on the Jot Down website. We still haven’t located a paper copy with the full interview yet, but here’s a teaser.
The transition from Real Madrid to La Roja has obligated you to change your mentality; from a team with quick passes and transitions to another team that builds up more patiently.
Xabi: The demarcation is different. In the national team I play a little more forward, in that role there is a little accordion. The mister tells me “Xabi, tighten up as much as you think is necessary”, because sometimes it’s not a question of staying behind in defense to make us stronger in the back, but I also have to step up forward to make us stronger in attacking, recovering balls without giving the opponent much time to go with ball, disorganizing them. At Real Madrid we are all about quick transitions, we are people who do not destabilize or speculate, seeking one on one, we create more chances for goals. In the national team we do not create as many chances for goals, but we have control, possession, the short passes, the touch, the pass backs, and such. Do you adjust it? Well you’d have to know who you’re playing against.
Will you always remember in the World Cup final, the foul Nigel de Jong committed on you? Have you talked to him?
Xabi: No. I haven’t had an opportunity to talk to him, we haven’t met since. But I wouldn’t have any objection to greet him or to talk to him. It was an excessive foul, brutal but I don’t think it was malicious. It could have been much worse. While on the field I had not been aware of what had just occurred. It’s the most damaging foul I have ever received. I was on the ground and I asked myself “what has happened?” It shook me everywhere; my hips, my back. The masseurs came and I asked them to give me a little time because I needed to “reset” my body. When I saw the images it shocked me more than it did on the field.
Did it (the foul) leave you with consequences during the celebration?
Xabi: Yes, I noticed it on my chest and my ribs, it was very frontal. It didn’t leave any cleat marks because he didn’t scratch me.
In the South Africa World Cup, there was this initial debate in the press, on whether to play with 2 holding midfielders or 1.
Xabi: At Real Madrid I usually play as the only holding midfielder eh.
And @pinpanpam posted a link to this great video of outtakes when Alessandro Del Piero and Francesco Totti attempting to be actors. It’s a hoot. Don’t quit your day jobs, gentlemen!
And finally, to many of our readers who will be observing Ramadan (which starts tomorrow) we would just like to say Ramadan Mubarak!