Istanbul, Not Constantinople*

8 Apr

tumblr_mkxwravPYv1qftb6ko1_500*Oh c’mon! What else was I going to call the post? You know I love a pun. Since I can’t find the original Four Lads version of the song, here’s the one by They Might Be Giants.

Obviously, a lot of attention is going to be focused on Mesut because of his Turkish lineage. Hey, it means more pictures of him, so that’s aight. Not involving Mesut was this shot – I’d love to know what was going on, wouldn’t you?

FB -EUR-C1-REALMADRIDThe team trained today at the home of Besiktas, Inönü Stadium (and former stomping grounds of Guti).

Entrenamiento_del_Real_Madrid (2)Entrenamiento_del_Real_Madrid (21)Turns out that Pepe is probably not going to be able to play tomorrow. He had some sort of muscle strain during training. If he can’t play, Albiol will.

Entrenamiento_del_Real_Madrid (3)Entrenamiento_del_Real_Madrid (7)


Maybe if Mou needs some help figuring out what to do, he can use this handy dandy defender chart that from Marca that watishsito @CalvinoCupini shared with us today on Twitter.

Real Madrid will play in the new Ali Sami Yen stadium for the first time. Here’s a shot of the pitch – see more here.

Estadio_Ali_Sami_YenWhile they’re in Istanbul, the players are staying at the beautiful Ciragan Palace Kempinski, which has an interesting history.

El_Real_Madrid (1)


Mesut seems really happy to be in Istanbul and posted a shot chilling on the balcony (and looks like he’s gotten a haircut). Several players took a cruise on the Bosphorus.

tumblr_mkxqvfmHHd1s4p443o1_500tumblr_mkxiju7LFI1rsh7dgo1_500tumblr_mkxj7nFeDh1rav9gwo2_500Several notable bromances seem to be back on and in this case, overlapping. It’s BootyCAAll time, everyone – Istanbul style!
tumblr_mkxiwv16c71rt0n6no1_500BHU6vs0CEAMjT52BHWR0Q6CEAAaQ7hI see Pipita is hedging his bets since The Double As are all up on each other by cuddling up to the Muppet Babies. Oh Pipa!

The ‘Peez visited the gorgeous Topkapi Palace and posed for pictures with eager fans.
El_presidente_Florentino_Pýrez_en_Estambul (4)El_presidente_Florentino_Pýrez_en_Estambul (1)

I love how Flo Peezy is a total rock star on his own. Everyone always seems so excited to meet him. Here’s a little video of him in action. New thing to add to bucket list: A picture of me & Shigs hangin’ with The ‘Peez. I could probably die happy if all three of us were doing a big ol’ thumbs up in the picture (preferably Flo would have both thumbs up like The Fonz while we looked on adoringly).

Mou gave his presser and brought Fabio along for the ride. He was straight up in his comments, as per usual.

Rueda_de_prensa_de_Mourinho_y_Coentrýo_1FROM REAL MADRID.COM

Mourinho: “We’re preparing seriously for a highly difficult match”

“I’m expecting a hot stadium, but we like that. The football players are going to enjoy playing in a great atmosphere and with fans who are expecting a good game,” the white team’s coach added

José Mourinho appeared before the communications media in the Ali Sami Yen stadium press room. A little more than 24 hours from when Real Madrid will play the second-leg game of the Champions League round of eight, the white squad coach recognized that “Pepe is doubtful because of some muscle problems he had playing against Levante,” and he analyzed the game against Galatasary. “We are seriously preparing for a very difficult game. The message from the first moment is exactly to try to make it clear that it won’t be easy. The first message was playing against Levante, which was the League game we had to win to finish second, leaving six or seven of tomorrow’s starters off the team. I’ve given the second message this morning. In the first meeting we have had, we have seen a playoff where a team won at home 3-0 and lost the next game 3-0 on the road. The next meeting was tactical and we saw that Galatasaray might play differently against us. The message is having its impact, and it would surprise me if my people aren’t ready. My people are going to respond and they are going to be how they should be.”

The Portuguese coach also talked about the fans of the current leader of the Turkish League: “It’s their culture. In the UEFA, in 2003, I played in this country after giving them a good thrashing with Oporto. In the next game, we found a stadium full of joy, motivation, and passion. The adversary didn’t seem to be the same one. If a Portuguese, Spanish, or Italian team gets a thrashing, the next game they’re either alone or the fans are booing them. That’s why I’m expecting a hot stadium tomorrow, but we like that. The football players are going to enjoy playing in a great stadium and with fans who are expecting a good game.”

Rueda_de_prensa_de_Mourinho_y_Coentrýo_ (4)Asked about Pepe and the physical problems that have kept him from finishing the last session before the game, he said that: “He had a muscle problem in the game against Levante. A little thing, but a bit of a problem. He’s doubtful tomorrow. If Pepe doesn’t play, Albiol will play. I’m confident of any centre, because they are very good. With the exception of Varane, who just started playing now at a high level, they all have experience. Their teammates also have confidence in them. Essien, Nacho, and Arbeloa can also play centre. It’s better having them all available, but we have great players and his absence doesn’t imply any problem.”

In regard to the centre forward who will be in the starting line up against Galatasary, he said: “I’ve decided who is going to play, but I’m not going to say. One of the two will be in the starting 11 and I’m happy for them. An attacker has to have a high level of confidence, which depends on scoring, and I’m happy that both of them scored against Galatasaray and that Higuaín made a fantastic goal against Levante. Benzema played on both wings and ahead of Higuaín against Levante and played a good game. If you confidence is strengthened, it’s better for everyone, and they’re sure to do good work tomorrow.”

Rueda_de_prensa_de_Mourinho_y_Coentrýo_ (1)Mourinho also praised the way Casillas is training: “I’m not very interested in the past. I’m more interested in the present and, in this case, in the future. What I can say is that Casillas is training very well and that’s good for him, for Real Madrid, for me, and for his teammates.” And asked whether a player who has played 136 games with him could train poorly, the Portuguese coach was explicit: “It depends on the opposition you have. If you’re a player who has direct, hard, daily competition and they’re putting the pressure on you to be at the top of your form, it’s impossible for you to play a lot of games because another one would play. If you are a player without much opposition and you feel calm, protected, and untouchable, it can happen.”

About the reasons for calling up four goalkeepers for the second-leg game of the round of eight, he said: “I didn’t want to leave Jesús alone training in Valdebebas. We’re a group. When we went to Manchester, we also took four goalkeepers, even though Casillas wasn’t in condition to play. The sanctioned and injured players Kaká and Carvalho stayed home. Nacho is arriving and we wanted to bring him along like we did against Manchester.”

Rueda_de_prensa_de_Mourinho_y_Coentrýo_ (3)Asked about his favourites to win the European Cup, he stated that: “Before the first game of the round of eight, I thought that all eight of us had a chance to win the competition. After that game, there are teams like ours, Barcelona, and Bayern who are ahead. If we get to the semifinals there are going to be four teams with a 25% chance each. If Malaga is in it will be unexpected, fantastic, and worth all the praise for their players, their trainer, and their fans. I would like it to turn out like that. All the rest began the Champions with the intention of winning. Football is football and not even 3-0 guarantees anything. My future doesn’t have anything to do with winning or not winning the Champions.”

Finally, about the possibility of coaching some day in Turkey, he revealed: “You never know in football. I was about to coach for Turkey in 2003 and I finally decided otherwise. There is a lot of passion here.”

There were excerpts from Fabio’s part of the presser but they basically amount to “What he said!”

Rueda_de_prensa_de_Mourinho_y_Coentrýo_ (2)FROM REALMADRID.COM

Coentrão: “If we want to make it to the semi-finals we have to play a good match like we did in the Bernabeu”
by Alberto Navarro (Istanbul)

“We’re used to playing in unfavourable environments. We’re going to gave to remain calm and do our job in order to achieve a good score”, the Real Madrid defender stated

Fabio Coentrao appeared before the press alongside Jose Mourinho in the Ali Sami Yen stadium, where Real Madrid faces Galatasaray tomorrow in the second-leg match of the Champions League quarter-finals. The Whites’ defender explained the key to Real Madrid reaching their third consecutive semi-final in the top European competition: “We have a difficult match ahead and if we want to be in the semi-finals we must play a good game, like we did in the Santiago Bernabeu stadium”.

The Portuguese player also spoke of the adverse environment his team will face in the Ali Sami Yen: “The footballers on this team are used to playing in these kind of unfavourable environments. These supporters are different. We’re going to have to remain calm and do our job in order to achieve a good score. We can’t be thinking of the atmosphere because we have to be focussed on what’s happening on the pitch”.

Meanwhile, back in Spain, Sergio is in Camas visiting his family. He had a meal at “El Rincón de Paco” in his hometown and posed with the eponymous owner and then with a similarly dressed fan.

tumblr_mky1536Oly1qftb6ko3_500tumblr_mky3xwWNbz1qftb6ko1_500That scarf looks like an autumnal version of Marcel Duchamp’s Nude Descending A Staircase threw up on it. Personally, I’d wear it because that’s my jam, but then again,  it is chiffon and I’m a girl. Oh Sergio, never change.

Saw this great Sergio Ramos minimalist poster and had to share. Too wonderful! (from elsantocasillas via GFSports)

sese minimialisrtWhile he’s hanging out in Sevilla, I hope Sese had a chance to see this cute shot of Nando.tumblr_mku6ij27La1qjuayao4_500I don’t know about you, but I’m thinking that the theft of over $20,000 of Nutella in Germany combined with this picture that watishista @meridiansour sent me and Sergio being out due to card accumulation is more than a bit suspect. The timing is a little too convenient.

BHVT5XtCAAA6PEHI should think the removal of the aforementioned purloined Nutella from Fernando Torres would be a most pleasing way to spend a few days indeed.

Today’s pictures courtesy of Real Madrid, GF Sports and the mighty Twitter)

– Lozil

8 Responses to “Istanbul, Not Constantinople*”

  1. Suse April 8, 2013 at 5:59 pm #

    Brilliant post! I love They Might Be Giants! And I love that first photo of Mou – what cute expressions he often has, when he isn’t pulling weird faces.

    I’m also delighted for Malaga and would be happy to see them go right up to the final of the Champions’ League (and then lose to us, obviously).

  2. Natalie April 8, 2013 at 6:12 pm #


  3. Rose April 8, 2013 at 6:40 pm #

    OMG that faux Nutella as is beyond genius!

  4. cy (@meridiansour) April 9, 2013 at 12:46 am #

    Oh my, Nando covered in Nutella… so much of it. I hope Sergio is willing to share.

  5. Phédre April 9, 2013 at 3:04 am #

    Nando in Nutella … Whoever did this is a genius! Yummy!
    Oh Sese, how can you wear scarves like that and still make me drool?
    Our boys are going picture crazy in Turkey! Lovely, but focus too fine dorks!

  6. mygypsyspirit April 9, 2013 at 7:44 am #

    My love for Flo-P will never die.

    Nutella covered Nando? Don’t mind if I do.

    And you called Calvin a watishisto hehe. He sent that graphic to me and I hadn’t had a chance to look at it until now. I was trying to figure out who the most effective defense has been and my brain started hurting…

  7. Ola April 12, 2013 at 6:35 pm #

    Finally got here (thank you for the link to this post:)) I really admire you for creating such wonderful blog, I barely have time to catch up on reading (once again-stupid school ;-)) !

  8. Dr. Heidi April 15, 2013 at 4:02 pm #

    Forget the stupid dolls……someone needs to create chocolate candies in the shape of our fantasy boys…..a Hershey Sergio……how I would savor licking THAT…….

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