Updated: Training Day & The Team Gets Some Visitors

29 Jan

Real life continues to be an impediment to chronicling the exploits of our team. Apologies for taking so long to get posts up today.

We’re preparing for the first Clasico of 2013; one of three that will take place between now and March 3. Ugh. If anything, this whole Sara kerfuffle had the effect of making me completely forget the Clasico was approaching. Gracias, Sara (at least in that context). I was glad to see that Una shared very similar sentiments on the situation when I got up this morning.  Whatever gets thrown at us, remember: this too shall pass. Drama comes and goes, Real Madrid keeps chugging along.

Entrenamiento_Real_Madrid (12)

It so nice to see smiling faces, isn’t it?

There were a couple of surprise guests at training today – former Merengues Roberto Carlos (now Sporting Director at Anzhi Makhachkala) and Mahamadou Diarra (now playing for Fulham).

First up, Mahamadou! They did a little interview with him on the mothership and the RM photogs subjected him a series of unimaginative pointing poses. Some things never change. Sigh.


Mahamadou_DiarraDiarra: “The atmosphere of a Clásico is special because the public is aware of the match’s importance”
by Alberto Navarro

“It would be very difficult for a team led by Mourinho to be knocked out after a two-legged play-off”, said the ex-Madrid player.

Mahamadou Diarra didn’t miss a trick in the team’s final session at the Real Madrid training facilities before the match with Barcelona tomorrow. The ex-midfielder for ‘the whites’ who played for them in two leagues, the Spanish Super Cup and the squad that beat the Catalan team in the best final in the entire history of the Copa del Rey, spoke about the atmosphere in the Bernabéu stadium during the matches: “It’s a very special atmosphere because the public is aware of the match’s importance. The team has to come out onto the pitch with ambition and enthusiasm and show everyone what Real Madrid is made of in front of their supporters. This way we can achieve great things for our fans and go into the second leg with confidence. I hope that Real Madrid wins tomorrow and that it’s an exciting game”.

Mahamadou_Diarra (2)The footballer, who was born in Mali and now plays for the English club Fulham, also spoke about how it feels to be in the dressing room in the minutes before walking out onto the pitch for a Clásico: “You are aware that this is unlike any other match. Inside the dressing room the footballers are under a lot of pressure, but they’re also confident about the match and give it their all. The last few minutes before the clash are just spent thinking about what a great opportunity this is to show everyone why you play for Real Madrid”.

Diarra, who was watching the team train, commented on the quality of Real Madrid: “The team is starting to build up their confidence again and there is a lot of energy and enthusiasm and a ‘do it right’ attitude. In my time at the club we beat them and they can do it too because individually-speaking, the quality of team is much higher than it was when I was there”.

Mahamadou_Diarra (1)Lastly, he praised Mourinho, whom he played under at Real Madrid, and his capable and masterful approach to two-game rounds: “Mourinho is an excellent coach and he knows what has to be done. It’s very difficult for a team led by Mourinho to be knocked out after a two-legged play-off. Home or away, Real Madrid always has a chance to score”.

I just gotta shake my head. I’m not sure where they get their photo ideas. It’s just mind boggling. Anyhow, the team members posted some much better pictures. So thank you Arbeloa, Albiol & Marcelo. Mahamadou also got to reunite with his old Lyon teammate Essien! (Also: Double A togetherness alert! Marcelo’s t-shirt! ::snort::)

Roberto Carlos stopped by (many think to try to snag Kaka for Anzhi) and as always was greeted with delight by the team. The man is clearly adored.

Roberto_Carlos (5)

Karanka looks like he’s going to give a giggling Roberto noogies!

Marcelo posted another shot with the man he has often called his idol. What a brilliant, glorious player.

BByKqGjCcAAGkglThe mothership took the opportunity to do a little interview with him as well. Slightly less awkward photographs (but not by much) ensued.


Roberto_Carlos (12)Roberto Carlos: “When the Bernabéu is full, it creates a spectacular atmosphere; I think the team is in good shape”

by Alberto Navarro

“Everyone says that Mourinho is the best manager in the world; he is the number one at the moment”, added the ex-Madrid player

Roberto Carlos was present at the Real Madrid Football City and attended the final session prior to the first leg of the semi-finals of the Copa del Rey against Barcelona. The ex-Madrid player, who has appeared for Real Madrid more times than any other of the club’s foreign players and who also won 3 European Cups, 4 League titles, 2 Intercontinental cups, 1 European Super cup and 3 Spanish Super cups, praised the team managed by José Mourinho and looked ahead to the knock-out match against the Catalan club: “A Clásico is the best game of the season. Whether in the League, Cup or Champions league, these are very important games. I think that the team are looking focused and confident and they seem to be in high spirits for tomorrow’s game. When the Santiago Bernabéu is full, it creates a spectacular atmosphere and you have to give it your all to win the game. Real Madrid have come into some form and the team is on the right track”.

You have been part of many Clásicos. What are these games like?
It’s the best game of the season. Whether in the League, Cup or Champions league, these are very important games. I have played in many and I have experienced both ups and downs. Real Madrid have come into good form. You have to be focused, feel and enjoy the game.

Roberto_Carlos (14)What memories does Roberto Carlos have of Clásicos?

There are two memories which will always remain with me. A game I played for Brazil against China, when I scored my first goal, and the goal I scored from a free-kick against Arnau in a Clásico at the Bernabéu. Those goals defined my career.

You have been at the team’s training session. How does the dressing room seem to you?
The team seems to be in high spirits, despite the criticism from outside. They seem to be focused and full of confidence. There is still a long way to go and the team is on the right track.

Roberto_Carlos (11)Mourinho is also a master at negotiating knock-out matches.
Mourinho has a lot of experience in all competitions. Everyone says the same, that he is the best manager in the world and that he is the number one at the moment. He will have the team very well prepared. He knows that the opponents are very strong, but when the Bernabéu is full, it has a spectacular atmosphere and that will make for a great game.

Roberto_Carlos (10)Lastly, words cannot describe the atmosphere of the Bernabéu during these games.
When you enter the field, you are so focused on the game that you only hear people shouting and celebrating. Many hours later, you watch the footage on the television and you remember what you experienced. You have to be at your best to win the game.

UPDATED: Meant to add this video and spaced out. It’s that kind of day. Again.

There’s much more, including Karim’s presser, but it’s going to go into a second post.

– Lozil

One Response to “Updated: Training Day & The Team Gets Some Visitors”

  1. GourcuffLover January 30, 2013 at 1:41 am #

    Stripped shirts are certainly working againts you Roberto C!

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