*Breathe In* *Breathe Out*

3 May

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I really want to write this recap from an accepting place, but it has to be said…..MOTHERFUCKER!!!! It really does hurt to have been so freaking close!  I still can’t believe the last 10 minutes of the 2nd leg happened. If I was sick to my stomach before & during the first 80 minutes of the match, then I don’t know what I was when the boys started to turn things around. My nerves were already shot & I sure as hell wasn’t ready for the sharp turn, the Real Madrid Emotional Roller Coaster ride took after Benz’s goal. I went from thinking, *GOALLLLL*, to *Well, I’m glad this isn’t ending goalless*, to *HOLY SHIT! COULD THIS BE THE COMEBACK??*. Prior to the goal, no doubt like many of you, I was disappointed. We weren’t promised a comeback, but we were promised that the team was going to die trying to give us one. That just wasn’t happening, but as soon as Benz scored, boy did those feelings of disappointment fly out the window. And I kind of fell in love with that moment, because I had had faith in the team that they could make this comeback, right from the end of the first leg, but somewhere in the middle I had lost that faith and it made me a little disappointed in myself, in the end. I needed to have my ass kicked by hope & belief, and that’s what happened when Benz & Sergio scored their goals. It felt good to be down to the last 60 seconds and still believe that our 3rd & savior of a goal could be scored. Of course, that goal didn’t come, but I needed that moment of “Yeah, the chances are slim, but this is my team and we can do ANYTHING!” That belief & undying love for your team are part of the genetic makeup of sports fans. Look it up. We’re three parts crazy, two parts love & devotion, and trace amounts of body paint & snack crumbs. I knew that if we weren’t going to make it to the finals, the one thing I wanted was to go out with my bursting Madridista pride, still intact. And I got what I wanted, because even though it hurts like hell, we turned that first leg heart breaker around and missed the damn thing by one goal. One goal. I think this year and last year’s semifinal defeats will end up making our future win, all the more sweeter and I can’t wait to see it happen. 

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I’m not going to do a minute by minute break down of the match, because I don’t want to go there, but I do want to highlight what the boys accomplished in both legs of the Semifinals – three heart stopping goals!

First Leg’s Saving Grace – Cristiano away goal

The goal that allowed us to believe that a comeback at the Bernabeu was not a ridiculous dream! Our away goal was assisted by Pipa and popped in by Cristiano in the 43rd minute.

Second Leg Hope Inspirers – Benz & Sergio goals

The goal that brought us back to life! Ozi with the assist and BENZZZZZZ with the powerful shot to the back of the next. BANG!

 

The goal that made me unsure if I was still crying sad tears or beginning to cry happy ones! Another powerful shot to the back of the net, assisted by Benz & struck by Sergioooooooo!

Our accomplishments don’t only include the goals we scored, they include the goals we stopped, and DLo did an amazing job at that.

And now I’ll put it in reverse – here are some pics & gifs from the middle of the match.

Xabi the Perfect Cheerleader

Iker the Face of Calm

The End

Pics & Gifs via megustaelfutbol, tfortravis, fatridista, concretar, yokoylebiri, cheekybackheel, football-hqs, & gfsports.

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Post Match Comments

Mourinho

Mou:

Real Madrid were superior to Borussia Dortmund and deserved to complete the comeback. “We started very strongly and at a very high intensity in both the press and with ball movement. But the sooner you score the first goal, the more chance you have of completing the comeback. We missed good chances and in the second half we risked everything against a team that are faster than us and at another level of intensity in their movement. We took risks, they had two clear chances. At the end we played with great heart, even though we left spaces behind. When we scored the first we knew that the crowd would believe more and it is a shame that we couldn’t score a little sooner”, said Mourinho, who said that Cristiano was suffering from physical problems: “He played at 100% or at least started at 100%. If during the match got worse I cannot say because I have not spoken with him or the doctors yet, but he was fine at the start”.

The Whites’ coach spoke about the refereeing performance: “It is unfortunate that Webb stopped being a referee and to be a man, I have said that to him because I have his confidence. Hummels should have been sent off, we all saw his stop, it was not a penalty, it was a free-kick, but it was a clear red card because Cristiano’s pass would have left Benzema alone against the goalkeeper. There were 18 minutes left plus injury time and Webb thought that about the guy not playing the final but first he has to be a referee and then a man. He had to send him off and the story would have been different. So, that shows that Webb has lots of things that make him a good referee as well as a good person. I prefer to have good referees but the rules are there to be followed. I try to be fair and I think if we had played with the same attitude in Dortmund that we would not have had to make the comeback in this match”.

The Portuguese also spoke about team’s improvement in the Champions League since his arrival: “When I came I was worried because we weren’t seeded and could have been knocked out. I looked around and there were players who had not even played in quarter-finals. Against Lyon, in the first year, Ramos played his first quarters and that was a big concern. My philosophy is not to be satisfied without winning the competition. We know it’s hard, if you do not win when you want it, but also when things are going in that direction. The first season we did not do well the second we lost on penalties and the third for the bad match we had in Dortmund”.

When asked about his future and whether he will continue trying to reach the final with Real Madrid, he said: “It is not important, the important thing is that Real Madrid get there. Real Madrid have won many European Cups in two different periods. Between those periods they had many years without success. Then after the second period, they had a period of failing to reach quarter-finals, or being seeded, or having credibility in the competition. Now they have recovered to reach three consecutive semi-finals. Real Madrid do not live on almosts, neither do I, and it is not my philosophy. It has been three economically fantastic seasons in the Champions League for the club because we have reached the semi-finals but we have not got the main prize because we have not won the competition. Also, from the point of view of prestige, because we have recovered that. Before we were not seeded and now we are third or fourth, but we have not won the competition and it will come. If it were with me, perfect; and if not I would celebrate it just the same because since I’ve been with the club and I have built an affection and I hope they win the Tenth (European Cup) with or without me”.

Mourinho was also asked about comments on television about whether he feels wanted at Real Madrid: “I have spoken with several TV stations and I have not said that thing. I said I want to think about the final. Obviously, I like to be in a situation where people like me without any reservations and I have all the support from different areas and we’ll see what happens. The important thing is Real Madrid, more than me. There is no need to worry about me, I am old enough to be able to fend for myself. Real Madrid are a great club and it is important to keep winning competitions, what we have been doing for three years. We have to try to win the cup, because the Super Cup would be too little”.

As to whether his future lies in England, he said: “I have not made a decision because I have a contract and, more than that, because in football contracts break down, because of the respect I have for the club and the president. I want to try to win the cup final and finish second in the league and then I’ll see what Florentino Perez, my president and my friend, decides. They like me in England. They criticise me when they have to but they also give credit when I deserve it. I know that some club will want me, especially one, and in Spain there are people who hate me, many in this room, and the situation is different. It is difficult to make a decision because I like the club as it is now. We are a fantastic team, we can do great things, I want to be honest and I’ll talk at the end of the season”. About whether the three years have been worthwhile, he was clear: “Every person who is at Real Madrid knows that it has been worthwhile being there, even if it was only for one day, because you can say that you have been the most important club in the world”.

Cristiano:

Cristiano Ronaldo was once again one of Real Madrid’s attacking focal points against Borussia Dortmund. The Portuguese player spoke about the tie: “We scored late. There were five minutes of added time but we couldn’t turn it around. I think the first match was key because four goals are a lot in the Champions League, but the team were focused on trying to reach the final. We scored two goals but we could have had four or five, Higuain, Ozil and I had chances in the first half. We showed that we are better than them. We’re a bit sad because we thought we could have been in the final.”

The Whites’ forward appreciated the support from the stands: “The team fought hard and the fans were amazing, they were very supportive. It spurred me on and we tried everything. We are grateful for what they did. We’re sorry that we could not give the fans the joy that they deserved. We fought to the end and I’m sure that next year we’ll be there.”

Cristiano was also asked about the team’s upcoming final: “The Copa del Rey is a different competition. It will be a different match and if we go out with the same desire I am sure that we will win.”

Sergio:

Sergio Ramos scored the second goal against Borussia Dortmund and spoke to the media straight after the match. The Andalucian defender felt bad about being out of the competition: “It is a shame, that’s football and when you lose it is better to perform they way we did. If we had gone out in Dortmund with half of what we did today … it would have been a different story. The crowd gave everything for us and it was a shame to have been so close. In the first half we had a lot of chances but we couldn’t take advantage of them and it wasn’t to be.”

DLo:

Diego López, who made blocked Gündogan in the second half, especially emphasized the team’s enormous effort to try to make a comeback: “You’ve got to reflect and think that we’ve done what we had to do. We missed that little bit of extra luck and everyone has done very well. We knew that it was going to be hard and we’ve done the work and taken the time to achieve it. We missed the goal in the first half, but we kept believing in ourselves; we gave it everything we’ve got and we were about to achieve it. We did everything we could out on the field to make it and we kept trying up until the very end. We ran out of time to achieve it.”

The white team’s goalkeeper also had words of praise for the great support they received from the stands: “We are very proud of the fans and of belonging to this club. I have nothing but thanks for Bernabéu stadium from the moment I got here. I try to maintain the level this club deserves and I don’t have anything more to say.”

Asked about his relationship with Mourinho, the home-grown Real Madrid player only showed his gratitude: “He’s given me continuity and he’s the one who has had the most confidence in me throughout my career. I thank him for many things. We’ve got a lot of competition at the goal and that’s best for the club.”

Finally, he talked about the Copa del Rey final against Atlético: “We’re all disappointed. It’s bad news for everybody, but we’ve got one Cup final left and we’re going for that. It’s a final and a title that’s very important for this club. We’re going to fight, like we did today, to get it next May 17 in this stadium.”

Pepe

Pepe:

Although he did not play against Borussia Dortmund, Pepe also appeared for the media after the match against the German team. The Real Madrid centre-back said: “I don’t think we played very well in the first match. We thought the comeback was possible in our stadium and the team had a great attitude. We have to thank the fans who did not stop supporting us and cheering.”

xabi

Xabi:

Real Madrid won in their stadium against Borussia Dortmund and Xabi Alonso spoke about the tie in which the Whites came just short of completing a great comeback. “We came back with very big a burden from Germany. We weren’t clinical in the first half, which could have changed the course of the match. We should be proud, we tried to the end. They are mistakes that we want to correct in the future because we want to get to a final. We are sad because it could have been a nice night, but at the same time we are happy with the hard work that the team did, that the club did and for the support of the fans who were with us all the way despite the bad result in the first left. We’re disappointed to not have done it but we were very close”, said the midfielder.

About what he thought of Cristiano and the chances that his team could not convert, Alonso said: “There is no need to focus on Cristiano, everyone up front had chances. Ronaldo has been key for us this season and scored lots of goals. We are very happy with him and it was a shame that he didn’t score.”

About the team’s future and the challenges that remain between now and the end of the season, he said: “Now is the time to digest being knocked out. I’ve said repeatedly the decision about Mourinho is between him and the club. We are happy, we have created a solid project. Not reaching a final is a reality. I hope he can stay. Now is not the time to think about futures, there is still the cup final to play. It is our chance to win a title, it not the most important one but we have to see this final as important.”

Finally, the Real Madrid midfielder wanted to highlight the fans’ important role: “We have to thank the fans. It felt like the fans believed. We saw the great support from the moment we arrived at the stadium. They made us feel that it was possible. We were very close to doing it. We needed a few more minutes. I know it was a hard night, because it is the third year in-a-row that we have gone out in the semi-finals, but we should be proud and I think the fans will go home satisfied with what they have seen from their team.”

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Always, always, and always, HALA MADRID!!!

…..wouldn’t it be awesome if there was a way that Bayern & Dortmund could both lose the final? 😉

-Maisougio

15 Responses to “*Breathe In* *Breathe Out*”

  1. your- the -ozi- to-my- khedira May 3, 2013 at 1:56 pm #

    Semi’s are always filled with emotions for me … Last year anger . Lots and lots and lots of ANGER , there’s still lots and lots of anger everytime I think about last years semi

    This year was filled with pride and soooooo much love … They did what we asked of them … And I have never been so proud of them ! HALA MADRID

    As a dortmund fan it was heartbreaking to bow out so early last year , but we came back stronger and better . Dortmund are my “first love ” we’ve experienced so much together and to SAY I’m proud of them is a frigging understatement . I’m glad we are in the final . I just wish it didn’t happen like this .

    Yeah , uh huh , you know what it is
    Black and yellow , black and yellow

  2. Mehreh May 3, 2013 at 2:30 pm #

    i still get feels when i see how upset sergio was. you can tell he’s a really ugly snotty hiccupy cryer, which is so endearing. i also get feels seeing xabi pet the back of sergio’s head. really, everyone trying to comfort him is incredibly sweet.

    • jellyace May 5, 2013 at 5:10 am #

      I can just imagine: “B-b-but we tried uh-uh-uh, we uh-uh really uh-uh tried…”

      It was so touching to see Xabi, Iker and others comforting Sergio.

      But because we tried, there is no shame in a defeat earned with honor! Still proud of this team! Hala Madrid!

      p.s. Thanks for using gifs instead of the u-tube videos which often get pulled off.

  3. Dr. Heidi May 3, 2013 at 2:41 pm #

    Sergio in tears breaks my heart…..love that man

    • Dr. Heidi May 3, 2013 at 4:23 pm #

      even in the midst of his blubbering, he still has the presence of mind to pull his shirt up….thank you honey bear…..

      • jellyace May 5, 2013 at 5:12 am #

        Even in sorrow, there is a sliver of joy!

  4. drea May 3, 2013 at 3:12 pm #

    The photos of Sergio and Iker brought tears to my eyes. Again. 😦

  5. futbolfan May 3, 2013 at 4:02 pm #

    Well, I was closer to tears of joy after Capi’s goal than to tears of sadness at the end. Benz and Kaka were great.
    Proud Madridista here(if only that fight was there throughout the WHOLE game…)
    And you know, if we went on to the final, it would be without Iker or Sergio. I mean, really? Can we La Decima without them being involved? NO.

    Plus, I’m taking it this way: when we win La Decima, it has to all out: the treble. It is such a big occasion that it has to come as big as possible: a perfect season, none of the BS that this season came with. La Decima has to be the ultimate crowning of a wonderful year, I’m just hoping and praying that that year will be soon, and WITH. THIS. TEAM. AND COACH!!!!!
    Please everybody STAAAAAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!

    • jellyace May 5, 2013 at 5:15 am #

      That is the one thing Mou has not been able to deliver, a treble. We have gotten our silverware one at a time, one each year. I hope Mou stays around to get us the treble, and then he can leave while on top.

  6. TMJ May 3, 2013 at 4:31 pm #

    I still can’t read this. It still hurts.

  7. CinematiqueChic May 3, 2013 at 7:19 pm #

    The hardest thing for me was seeing how sad they were – especially Sergio. My heart broke for him. But I was just so damn proud of them for how hard they fought and how they gave us that belief. They were incredible. Sergio’s tweet that the Champions League must have something better in store for them is also how I feel. Of course I wanted them to make it to the final and take that title, but it would have been bittersweet to see them in the final without Iker or Sergio. Next year!

  8. Antonia Sweet May 3, 2013 at 8:13 pm #

    I love that last comment – how could they BOTH lose?! Hala.

    • maisoun May 4, 2013 at 12:15 am #

      The only way it could happen is they allowed me to referee! Haha I’d disallow every goal & blow the final whistle, declaring no winner, and send everyone home. The only person leaving the stadium smiling, would be me 😛

  9. futbolfan May 3, 2013 at 10:04 pm #

    Also, Maisougio, that beginning paragraph was lovely. You wrote out MANY Madridistas’ emotions very beautifully. THANKS!

    • maisoun May 4, 2013 at 12:18 am #

      Thanks so much! It was hard, but I’m glad I decided against taking the depressing intro route!

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