Final Training Before Galatasaray, Sami Interview & More

2 Apr

BG2QC4yCQAE5WUTOkay peeps, here we go! Last training session before playing Galatasaray tomorrow at the Bernabeu. I’m getting so nervous. They’ve got Drogba, Yilmaz, Sneijder, etc. It’s going to be a tough match but I think we’re up to the challenge.

Entrenamiento_Real_Madrid (15)Aw! Look at the adoration and fondness in Sergio’s face. He loves his capi! Don’t we all? And I see you giggling over there, Mesut!

Entrenamiento_Real_Madrid (9)Entrenamiento_Real_Madrid (8)Sergio practiced some tricks while Mesut stretched long to keep the ball away from Sami. Only the first 15 minutes of the training were open to the press but it’s nice to see the guys in good spirits and working hard but having fun.

Mou and Varane are currently doing the presser so more on that later. In the meantime, here are the players called up for tomorrow’s match:

Goalkeepers: Diego López, Adán, Jesús
Defenders: Ramos, Arbeloa, Varane, Coentrão, Marcelo, Pepe
Midfielders: Alonso, Khedira, Özil, Essien, Modric, Kaká, Di María
Forwards: Higuaín, Cristiano Ronaldo, Benzema

Sami Khedira was interviewed for UEFA about the match tomorrow – here’s an excerpt:


Khedira: “We have an incredibly offensive squad with the best strikers in the world”

“I want to win titles; it’s been my goal since I started my career”, said the German player in an interview with official UEFA media

Sami Khedira gave an interview to official UEFA media and defined Real Madrid as “an incredibly offensive squad with the best players in the world”. He also explained his role in the team led by Jose Mourinho: “One of my roles is to keep the proper balance between offense and defence”.

In his third season with Real Madrid, the German midfielder is aware of the reach Europe’s most successful club: “The pressure is always on in Real Madrid. And if you can’t win a title things get rough. But we’re used to it, it’s not a problem, it’s more of a motivation than a burden. Personally, I want to win titles; it’s been my goal since I started my career”.

Khedira also spoke about Real’s power, especially up front: “We have an incredibly offensive team, with the best strikers in the world. Cristiano Ronaldo, Özil, Higuain and Benzema are first-class forwards. It’s really important to keep a balance, a solid defence and to not merely give it all on offense”. Regarding his role on the pitch, Khedira said: “I think that one of my duties as a midfielder is to keep proper balance between defence and offense”.

Aitor Karanka reminisced about playing Galatasaray in the Champions League round of eight in 2001.

Entrevista_a_Karanka (5)FROM REALMADRID.COM

Karanka: “The locker room knows that this is a special game”

Real Madrid’s assistant coach remembered the playoff against Galatasaray in 2001: “We hope that the good outcome 12 years ago repeats itself, that we have that kind of atmosphere, and that we achieve the best possible result”

Aitor Karanka went over the 2001 playoff for Realmadrid TV and when he played for Real Madrid against Galatasaray in the Champions League round of eight. Madrid’s assistant coach, who was in the first 11 in the two games, emphasized the atmosphere surrounding these kinds of clashes: “When you get to the Champions League, in a locker room like Real Madrid’s, a player in there knows that this game is special and different, both for the people and for the player himself.”

Entrevista_a_Karanka (2)Karanka analyzed the key elements of the first-leg game and both team’s strong points: “I already said this when we found out who the opponent was. We all know that they have players with a lot of potential, a strong adversary, and great ability, and we know they are going to be dangerous. If there is something that distinguishes them, it’s the intensity they give the game. And you have to come out with at least the same intensity. Then, in terms of quality, we’ve surely got great players, that’s being demonstrated, and let’s hope that that tips the balance toward our side.”

Entrevista_a_Karanka (3)Galatasaray is the leader of the Turkish League, and it’s a team with a lot of players able to throw you off balance. “They are difficult games. They’ve got Drogba and Yilmaz, who is dangerous to play against, Hamit (Alintop) with his shots, Sneijder… They’re good players and we can’t allow ourselves to be even a little bit overconfident. What’s important, as it always is in Champions League home games, is to not let them make goals, and with the ability we have, we’re not going to let them,” he recognized. The Santiago Bernabéu Stadium will be the site of the first-leg match of this playoff, where Real Madrid’s assistant coach hopes that the fans will come out to support the team once again and that the result of the only precedent will be repeated: 3-0. “It’s now the Champions League round-of-eight playoff, first at home, and they’re special games for the public because of the atmosphere they generate. We hope that the good outcome 12 years ago repeats itself here, that we have that kind of atmosphere, and that we achieve the best possible result there.”

Entrevista_a_Karanka (4)Real Madrid and Galatasaray go face-to-face again in the round of eight in the top continental competition. Karanka emphasized the similarities between the two playoff games: “The first game at Bernabéu is going to be different. They are a team that gives it all they’ve got. The Turkish players, just like their fans, have always been characterized by giving it all they’ve got every minute and with every ball played. We saw that that year, where they turned the game around on us. You’ve got to be very careful with their drive for achievement and their spirit of never giving up.”

Entrevista_a_KarankaKaranka recognized that some football players from that time, like Jardel, remind him of the players on the current squad: “He was an outstanding forward, we knew him from Oporto, and now they have Drogba. They are players who are spectacular forwards and a great asset for their team. At that time there were players like Jardel, Popescu, or Hagi, who had a lot of experience. They had taken the European Super Cup from us in Monaco, and we went into it forewarned. You go into the game more alert because you’ve seen that they can beat you.” “We knew that the game was going to be good, but we didn’t imagine that, an hour and a quarter before starting, the locker room would be almost shaking from people jumping up and down.” The white squad, unlike this time, played the first-leg game at home and fell 3-2: “What I most remember is the atmosphere in the stadium. We all knew that the game was going to be good, but we didn’t imagine that, an hour and a quarter before starting, the locker room would be almost shaking from people jumping up and down. But once the game started, the team played well and adapted to those conditions with fortitude. We established a score of 0-2, but after the half, maybe the stadium with all the public’s support affected us, and maybe we let our guard down and they turned the game around. In the first half, you took a look at yourself and you could have played for an hour, because you had the game completely under control. And 25 minutes later you’re wishing for it to end, because there wasn’t any way to stop them. In Madrid, it was soon clear that we were better.”

Entrevista_a_Karanka (1)In Bernabéu stadium, Karanka and the rest of the team won by a clear 3-0, making all the goals in a little more than 30 minutes. “The same thing happened to us again here as happened there. In the first-leg game, we were thinking about what happened in the European Super Cup, and here we were thinking about what happened to us in the second half of the first game. We knew that we couldn’t afford to give anything away, it was the second-leg game and we couldn’t make a mistake at Bernabéu, and we were lucky to make three goals in a short time.”

I like the last shot. It’s very “Deep Thoughts with Aitor Karanka” isn’t it? Here’s a video from that Cristiano interview that we posted yesterday. I love listening to him speak English.

MARCA had an article about yet another CR7 doppelganger. This guy is Turkish. I don’t think he looks that much like Cristiano. He seems more like Remy Cabella imitating Cris. The guy yesterday really looked like Cris! Speaking of celeb “dopplegangers” MARCA had a piece on Galatasaray’s Mini Mou. They obviously don’t resemble each other that much, but apparently have similar personalities. It’s always interesting to me how the public perception of Mou for the most part is as this hardass, but as we’ve seen before, his players talk about this man who can almost magically intuit their feelings and is a joy to be around. Wesley Sneijder shared his feelings about Mou calling him a ‘second father.’ Luckily, he didn’t call him “Daddy” like Essien does.

And now I’m off to get some more work done. I’m hoping I’ll have time to catch the PSG-Barca match.

– Lozil

30 Responses to “Final Training Before Galatasaray, Sami Interview & More”

  1. jellyace April 2, 2013 at 2:38 pm #

    Crissy: “We are motivate.”
    Love it! Force Violin!

    • la-la April 2, 2013 at 2:53 pm #

      Even tho he lived in England for 6 years it always surprises me that he’s so fluent; Some girl he had allegedly had a fling with him said that he could communicate fine when it suited him, but when it came to (I presume) stuff like ‘so wheres this headed then’ or ‘ um, so that story in the paper about those 6 hookers?’, he’d be all ‘Que…¡¿’ and basically pretend he couldnt understand what she was saying.

      P.s. looks like barca are wearing their nasty yellow shirts then *adjusts tv colour*

      • mygypsyspirit April 2, 2013 at 3:24 pm #

        Psh.. I do the same thing and English is my first language! ha!

    • Backwards April 3, 2013 at 12:07 am #

      force violin?

      • jellyace April 3, 2013 at 9:30 am #

        Force Violin is an Ikerism or a google translate of something Iker posted on FB.

      • headbandsandheartbreak April 3, 2013 at 5:50 pm #

        You can find out what it means (and where it comes from) along with many other of our slang terms in the HB & HB Glossary.

        • Backwards April 3, 2013 at 6:05 pm #

          That’s so funny. Classic Iker.

  2. your- the -ozi- to-my- khedira April 2, 2013 at 2:56 pm #

    I’m so not ready !!! Tomorrow is so soon . When I watched the UEFA draw I was so relieved we got Gala and not Juve(thank god not Juve , I couldn’t take it if we won n Juve were out I can’t stand 2 see Pirlo cry ) , or Dortmund , or worse Bayern (they just thrashed Hamburg , n last season is still fresh in my mind ) but now that we were drawn against Gala I see its not goin 2 be as easy as I hoped and after the game against Zara I’m more than worried.
    I about watch Juve vs Bayern Hoping Juve win comfortably

    • la-la April 2, 2013 at 3:24 pm #

      I hope Juve win too, good luck! I just adore Pirlo and Gigi Buffon. I’m watching PSG/Barca..
      Messi just scored…

      • CinematiqueChic April 2, 2013 at 3:37 pm #

        I’m watching Juve and Bayern scored in like the first 30 seconds URGH! If Barca and Bayern both win today I’ll be sad.

        • your- the -ozi- to-my- khedira April 2, 2013 at 4:10 pm #

          That goal was a total blow , but we have another 45mins n a second leg at home so fingers crossed . Maybe PSG will pull one back , because Messi just pulled something(I think its his hamstring) point is his on the bench.

  3. mygypsyspirit April 2, 2013 at 3:26 pm #

    I love hearing Cris speak English. I always get this vision of him going “sorted mate” in a Brit accent. It’s from the behind the scenes of some Nike commercial he was in a while back. Hilarious

    • la-la April 2, 2013 at 3:44 pm #

      I was listening out for the manc twang, hearing him speak like Mark E Smith would make my life!

    • Mehreh April 2, 2013 at 6:01 pm #

      Xabi’s scouse accent kills me too. So much cute.

      • Lici April 3, 2013 at 6:32 am #

        Woah! Xabi had a scouse accent??? No fricking way!

  4. CinematiqueChic April 2, 2013 at 3:42 pm #

    “We are confidence.” Love it! You, Cristiano Ronaldo, you certainly are confidence.

    I’m getting so nervous!

  5. la-la April 2, 2013 at 4:21 pm #


    • headbandsandheartbreak April 2, 2013 at 4:24 pm #

      I screamed the same thing!!!!

      • drea April 2, 2013 at 7:33 pm #

        Haha, me too! I love him. And Matuidi as well!

  6. la-la April 2, 2013 at 4:30 pm #

    Dani Alves just got a yellow, possibly for being an annoying shit with bad 90’s hair*

    *this may or may not be true

    • Suse April 2, 2013 at 4:45 pm #

      LMAO at this!

    • CinematiqueChic April 2, 2013 at 9:07 pm #


    • jellyace April 2, 2013 at 10:59 pm #

      I think the YC is for “hair unbecoming to the pitch!”
      Something tells me he just had to matchy-matchy his head with the Tequila Sunrise kit!

  7. la-la April 2, 2013 at 4:32 pm #

    Oh shit

    And it had be xavi.

  8. la-la April 2, 2013 at 4:38 pm #

    Holy fuck! PSG I LOVE U XXX

  9. Mel April 2, 2013 at 5:32 pm #

    Sergio and WELLY Sneijder will be reunited! I heart it!!!

    • CinematiqueChic April 2, 2013 at 9:08 pm #

      Few things warm my heart more than that photo from WC 2010 when Sneijder is sitting down and crying and Sergio goes over to hug him. Sergio + Welly, not to mention Mou + Welly! It’s almost too much reunion joy!

  10. Junior - MADRIDISTA For Life April 3, 2013 at 9:22 am #

    The always entertaining Mou answering the question regarding a video he sent to PSG to help them beat Barca: “As to my links with PSG, I think Ancelotti has answered that, saying that the reports I sent haven’t arrived. The truth is that I had them all ready, but in the end I forgot to send them.”

    Classic Mou. Jajaja!!!

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