Beaucoup Training Shots, CL Draw, The Circus Comes To Town, International Call Ups

15 Mar
"So boys, I want to prepare a little surprise for Aitor...

“So boys, I don’t know how to tell you this but….”

I’d love to be privy to that conversation. Looks serious. Perhaps he’s alerting them to the  beginnings of ‘suspicious package’ activity that they both seem to have going on. That’s right, Mou – if you see something, say something. Lord knows, I do. 

What sort of perversity do you think Albiolita are trying to talk Fideo into?

What sort of hijinks do you think Albiolita are trying to talk Fideo into?

23 members of the team trained today. Iker continued his recovery (hooray!) and Angel joined the rest of the team. Karim seemed to be running around on his own a lot. Probably the best mode of transportation for him. He was fined 18,000 euros for speeding and lost his license for 8 months and 1 day. He did get a visit from Luis Fernandez and that seems to have made him cheery.

577265_430687087022743_1450472379_nCalled up for tomorrow’s match against Mallorca are the following players:

Goalkeepers: Diego López, Adán and Jesús Fernández.
Defenders: Varane, Pepe, Ramos, Coentrão, Carvalho, Marcelo and Arbeloa.
Midfielders: Khedira, Kaká, Özil, Xabi Alonso and Modric.
Forwards: Cristiano Ronaldo, Benzema, Higuaín and Morata.

Today’s Daily Drool, Aitor Karanka, gave the press conference. Busy man!


Karanka: “Mallorca have won the last two matches and are closer to staying up”
by Diego Jabalquinto

“We are in confident mood, which is important towards the business end of the season, and on a good run”, added Real Madrid’s assistant manager

Real Madrid face Mallorca at the Santiago Bernabéu tomorrow in their 28th league fixture of the season. The Whites’ assistant manager, Aitor Karanka, held the pre-match press conference. “If a team gets to the quarter finals, they deserve to be there. It would be a mistake for us to think that this is an easy tie. Galatasaray have very experienced players; some have played for us and there are others too like Drogba; it will be a tough tie. But we still have league games to play before the tie. There will be time to focus on that game and weigh up our opponents. Our focus now is on tomorrow’s game because that is our next fixture”.

Aitor_Karanka (2)The team will play the first leg against Galatasaray at home, about which Karanka had the following to say: “The manager has been clear on this. His own experiences of winning the Champions league have always involved ties in which the first leg has been played at home. Let’s hope that we can continue in that vein and get through to the semi finals”. As for their opponents’ stadium, at which Karanka played for Real Madrid in the 2000/01 season, he said: “The atmosphere that everyone can hear when you play against a Turkish team never leaves you. We started the game in front and they fought back, but the return leg was at the Bernabéu and we were able to make it through”.

The team are challenging for three competitions, but Karanka was categorical when he stated: “It would be a mistake for us to think that, because we have hit some form and after the games against Barcelona and Manchester, all we have to do to beat Mallorca is turn up. We will throw everything we have at them to make sure we get the three points. We aren’t going to turn our back on the league; since we have been here, we have respected every single competition we have disputed”.

Aitor_Karanka (1)After picking up six straight wins, the form of the Whites’ squad is good and this was acknowledged by the assistant manager: “The team have hit some form and we are playing genuinely well and we have even managed to pick up results in games where we haven’t been at our best. We are in confident mood, which is important going into the business end of the season, when the Cup final is played and we will be fighting it out in the final stretch of the league season and the Champions league. It is an exciting time and we are working hard”.

Real Madrid face Mallorca tomorrow, and their sole objective is: “It is important to keep on picking up points. Mallorca have won their last two matches and are getting closer and closer to safety. We will throw everything we have at them, without taking risks with any player, to show our opponents the respect they deserve”. Concerning who will play tomorrow, out of Higuaín and Benzema, he explained: “They are both in line. We’ll see tomorrow. I said that the other day after the game. We are not saying that the opportunities which were missed are not important but that the effort in attack was more important. We will decide on who is in the best shape, as we do for every game and for every position”.

El_segundo_entrenador_del_Real_Madrid_Aitor_Karanka_atiende_a_los_medios_de_comunicaciýn_antes_del_partido_contra_el_MallorcaAs for Casillas, who is still recovering from injury, and his return to action, he said: “Iker has still not been given the all-clear and he is not training with the rest of the squad. When he does return, we will see. The back room staff do not need to watch a video of Iker or any player to see how they are going on in training, because we see how all the players train every day”. When asked if the national coach Vicente del Bosque had called the Whites’ captain, he said: “Not that I know”.

Next week, many of the players will go off on international duty. Karanka’s only hope is that no-one comes back injured: “We have hit some form and let’s hope that what has happened in the past doesn’t affect us again. Any club which allows its players to play for their countries is at risk of that. Let’s hope that everything goes well in tomorrow’s game and that when they come back from international duty, they are all as well as can be expected”.

As we all know, today was the Champions League quarter final draw and we ended up with Galatasaray.

Sorteo_de_Champions_LeagueAnyone who thinks that match is going to be a walk in the park is foolish.  Mesut seemed chuffed about the choice saying “Perfect draw. Looking forward to Istanbul.” I feel truly bad for Malaga because Borussia Dortmund is gonna be tough. I’m very much looking forward to Zlatan’s grudge match against Barca. Bayern/Juve should be a good match too.  Ties take place on 2/3 and 9/10 April.

Back in December of 2011, the cast of Cirque Du Soleil’s show Zarkana visited the team and babies were balanced on hands, clowns professed their love of Kaka and whatnot. (That post contains one of my fave El Pirata/Calleti pictures as well). Well, the cast of Cirque Du Soleil’s Kooza came by for a visit today. The 165 person cast features 23 nationalities and there’s quite a few Madridistas among them.


Looks like everyone had a fantastic time! The team is already in concentracion for tomorrow’s match.

New hat, Sergio? Very...understated.

New hat, Sergio? Very…understated.

Aw! Marcelo, why you by your lonesome?

Aw! Marcelo, why you by your lonesome?

Congratulations to our players who got called up for International Duty:

Argentina: Di María (suspended for Venezuela), Higuaín
Brazil: Kaká, Marcelo
Croatia: Modrić
France: Benzema, Varane
Germany: Khedira, Özil
Portugal: Coentrão, Pepe, Ronaldo
Spain: Albiol, Alonso, Arbeloa, Ramos

Fernando Torres wasn’t called up for Spain’s matches so we’re going to have yet another Sernando-less international time. Poor guy had such shit luck yesterday. He scored, promptly got kicked in the face (his nose is broken) and then missed a penalty. Today, he doesn’t get called up because Del Bosque says he isn’t playing well.  At least he has Sergio to talk him through the nose breaking thing.

Watishista meridiansour provides us with probably our only Sernando for the forseeable future. This Q & A with Nando is part of the media materials for Chelsea’s pre-season tour.

tumblr_mj8eh9z5QL1r05r9lo1_500It’s gonna have to do, people! Oh, one other potential opportunity for Sernando-ness! Marca is reporting that Spain will meet Northern Ireland in New York on June 6 (Red Bull Arena) and Haiti in Fort Lauderdale, Florida (Lockhart Stadium) on June 11. These dates aren’t definitive yet and I don’t have any more information, but let’s keep our eyes peeled!

– Lozil

27 Responses to “Beaucoup Training Shots, CL Draw, The Circus Comes To Town, International Call Ups”

  1. CinematiqueChic March 15, 2013 at 5:09 pm #

    I heard Torres got kick in the face, but not that he’d broken his nose. Poor guy. Even when he scores he can’t catch a break.

    I’m pretty excited for Galatasaray. I certainly don’t want to underestimate them, but it could have been a much worse draw. Should be great football and I can’t wait to have Altintop and Sneijder back at the Bernabeu (even if it is on the opposing team).

    • la-la March 15, 2013 at 5:41 pm #

      I’m terrified at the prospect of playing the 2nd leg at Galatasaray! Have you not seen the ‘welcome to hell’ footage with them vs man u a few years back? It was carnage!! I’ll try to find links to post but it isn’t pretty. It ended up with a turkish copper punching Eric Cantona and an armed escort in and out of town.

      And yeh the torres thing kills me. sometimes its like hes wandering around with ptsd or something. just someone pleaseke it stop?

      • la-la March 15, 2013 at 5:42 pm #

        * please make it stop (stupid phone)

      • CinematiqueChic March 15, 2013 at 6:10 pm #

        I’m actually pretty amused by how terrifying their stadium is. It makes me like them SO MUCH. Generally I hate playing the second leg away, but between killing it at the Camp Nou and Old Trafford I have faith that our boys can do this.

        • la-la March 15, 2013 at 7:12 pm #

          Oh yeh I get that, who doesn’t love mad passionate fans with flares?! It’s just that I fear it will be way worse mentally than Camp Nou or OT, la liga & epl are a known quantity for most RM players…do u remember when Germany played Turkey? Mesut basically took a sickie. He will get so much shit.

        • jellyace March 17, 2013 at 2:59 am #

          When I was in Istanbul in October, everyone I met was a Galatasary fan first and a Real Madrid fan second, so yes, passion divided for them.

          Let’s not overlook the fact that the top 2 goal scorers for the CL are Cristiano Ronaldo and Galatasaray’s Yimaz with 8 goals each.

          • jellyace March 17, 2013 at 3:04 am #

            That’s Yilmaz…typo!

    • azulana March 15, 2013 at 5:47 pm #

      yeah, it was during the steaua bucharest europa league match on tv. blood everywhere and no penalty. and no sernando for the international break! You’re right, even when he scores nothing goes right

  2. Charliechaz March 15, 2013 at 5:14 pm #

    I feel like the only person in the world who thinks Torres is still well…I’m just not sure Chelsea is the place for him….but whatever. And he doesn’t want to play with a broken nose anyway.

    Hopefully all will be well for him to make the world cup squad.

    • Mehreh March 15, 2013 at 5:26 pm #

      I want torres to come back to la liga. Poor niño just needs to come home. And pick pirata on the way back to Madrid.

  3. Dreamlover225 March 15, 2013 at 5:31 pm #

    Spain might come back to NYC????!?????

    • Laurean March 15, 2013 at 9:26 pm #

      I really hope it’s a few days before or after the 8th! That’s my brother’s wedding day, and I doubt my fam would be cool with me catching a bus to NYC the day of the rehearsal lol

  4. randomthoughts57 March 15, 2013 at 5:32 pm #

    I’m glad I’m not the only one that noticed the “suspicious packaging”.

  5. la-la March 15, 2013 at 5:46 pm #

    Just one other thing; am i the only one that DIES laughing at the googly eyes on the evil bunny bus? Check them out in the photo with marcelo above? They too have sadz that marcelo is all on his lonesome…

    • jellyace March 17, 2013 at 3:05 am #

      OMG! I never even noticed that! The Evil Bunny Bus will never be the same for me!

  6. Katie Ann March 15, 2013 at 7:12 pm #

    I have this notion that, despite the way Torres is portrayed as a confidence case, he’s actually got nerves of steel. I mean, if I’d won everything there was to win and still had the fans/press/whoever turn on me, I wouldn’t particularly want to show up to play match after match, but he does it. I don’t think the hate that buzzes around him really touches him as much as we might think it does.

    Another note: I love that David De Gea got called up. He’s one of my favorite players.

    • la-la March 15, 2013 at 7:43 pm #

      I love your thoughts on this, after all he got the golden boot at the euro. Please believe that I want him to be a happy confident player; The thing that clouds my judgement is football coverage in the guardian, i.e., a london based np; word from them is roman a paid 50 mil and is determined to get his moneys worth. Regardless that torrres is unhappy etc

      the fallacy of capitalism!

  7. Natalie March 15, 2013 at 7:28 pm #

    i knew Fernando got kicked but i didn’t know he got his nose broken. That is very not cool! And i kinda had a gut feeling real will be playing Galatasaray in next round when i saw the end of their match against shalke. I did wish for barcelona – munich match up though 🙂

  8. cindy yin (@meridiansour) March 15, 2013 at 7:57 pm #

    My only thought was, shame that his lovely freckles and cheekbones will get covered up by that ugly mask he’ll be wearing. It’s a good thing he didn’t get called up then, I want him to recover as much as possible. Also, the media really needs to stop picking on the guy, it’s not helping. Hopefully he’ll make it into the Spain squad soon, he’s always the happiest playing with the national team.

  9. em March 15, 2013 at 8:52 pm #

    Fort Lauderdale, June 11th. hmmmmmmm… that’s not all that bad a drive from here.

    • Dr. Heidi March 16, 2013 at 12:09 pm #

      OH my my my! The possibility of seeing my gorgeous Sergio in my hometown????? REALLY? Too good to be true!

  10. Logan March 15, 2013 at 10:59 pm #

    Hmmm. Anyone else look at the CL “draw” and feel kinda sad? That there are the clear top four and the four clear sacrificial lambs? I can only hope for a major upset (just not Real, please) to get me excited about this. ::sigh::

    • CinematiqueChic March 16, 2013 at 9:23 am #

      Bayern – Juventus is a great match up. Bayern are obviously the favorites but I think it’ll be by a razor’s edge and I wouldn’t be shocked if Juve pulled off an upset. The others seem done and dusted but who knows? It’s never a good idea to totally discount an opponent. If the expected 4 go through then the semi finals will be epic and, unlike last year, it really will be the 4 best teams in Europe.

  11. Jenny March 16, 2013 at 1:50 am #

    Fernando’s goals against Ireland at the Euros didn’t impress any serious observers.

    He’s finished. Time to move on. It’s criminal how Spain’s other forwards are being ignored.

    • Jenny March 16, 2013 at 1:50 am #

      But I notice Isco was FINALLY called up – that was starting to be insulting too.

      There are more than two teams in Spain.

    • SR 4 March 18, 2013 at 4:13 pm #

      He´s already down, no need to kick him furthermore…

  12. Lici March 16, 2013 at 10:47 am #

    The weird thing was once Torres had been kicked in the face, he really upped his game!

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