Ah Sunday…

11 Aug

Llegada_a_Madrid (1)So I finally have a minute to get a few things caught up (and Maisougio will be returning with a big ol’ pre-season game recap post soon).

The boys are back in Madrid with the exception of Sergio & Arbeloa who stayed in the US and will meet La Roja in Ecuador tomorrow (more on that in a bit). The non-internationals will back to training on Wednesday. Mesut so enjoyed wearing Sergio’s hat in St. Louis that he decided to wear it home. Not only did the mothership post a photo, he put it in his Instagram as well. These boys never cease to bring the bromance.

But let’s look back at the past couple of days. Starting with the last training in St. Louis….

Sergio couldn’t resist picking on Mesut. All this metaphorical pigtail pulling is adorable. Bromance with a capital “B” – Sergio is just staking his claim.

Entrenamiento_en_St._Louis (26)

There were lots of interviews: Benz, Carlo, Pepe, Sergio & Isco. First up, Karim, looking shy & adorable, even with that dorky hair.

BenzemaFROM REALMADRID.COM

Benzema: “We’re a great team and we’re here to win”

“Zidane has been my role model since I was a child. It’s good for the team to have someone like him on the bench. He’s friendly with the players and has a lot of experience”, the Whites forward stated

Karim Benzema is going into his fifth season in Real Madrid. The Frenchman went over their aims for the upcoming campaign in an interview with Adidas on American soil: “We have to think positive. We have to think that we’re a great team and we’re here to win”. In addition, he expressed his enthusiasm over being able to work with Zidane: “He’s been my role model since I was a child. He’s a great player. It’s good for the team to have someone like him on the bench. He’s friendly with the players and has a lot of experience”.

The Whites player thought back on his career in Real Madrid and singled out the goal that made the biggest impression on him: “All goals are very important to me, so I can’t name one in particular. Perhaps one of the most beautiful was against Ajax, but they’re all important”. Asked who he considers to be the best footballer in the world, he said: “There are many great footballers… Right now I can’t say any in particular, but I know that I play in the best team in the world with the best players in the world”. The Frenchman confessed as to who is the best defender he has ever come up against: “There have been many. I’ve met a lot of good ones, but I think Ramos is the best”.

Benzema recognised that he’d love to win the Ballon d’Or: “It’s on my mind. Everyday I work to win it”. In addition, he explained what it feels like to be a Real Madrid footballer: “It’s the best club. I came to work and I’m really pleased to be here”. The Whites forward identified what for him is the best thing about being a footballer: “The best thing is that I dreamed of it since I was little. Now I’m a footballer and I’m living my dream”.

Real Madrid’s number 9 explained that he doesn’t perform any kind of ritual before hitting the pitch: “I just listen to music”. Lastly, he spoke of his relation with the rest of the players in the squad: “Varane is my best friend. I get on well with all the players but it’s easier with Varane because he speaks French”.

Aw! Forever Alone Benzema has a bestie! I love how he gave a little love to Sergio as well.

Pepe did the presser. I’m still getting used to his longer hair!

FROM REALMADRID.COM

Pepe: “Ancelotti knows a lot about tactics and we’re really pleased to be learning with him”
by Alberto Navarro (Saint Louis)

“We’re working hard to get the Liga off to a good start and to seal a win against Betis”, the Real Madrid defender stated

Pepe appeared before the media at the University of Saint Louis. The Real Madrid defender spoke of his coach Ancelotti and the work he is carrying out as Real Madrid manager: “The boss knows a lot about tactics and we’re really pleased to be learning with him. He’s very approachable and friendly with the footballers and he’s always checking in on each of us. He likes it when his team plays football and things are turning out well. In addition, we have top players and we’re getting good results. Our manager from last season is now something of the past. We have to look ahead and try to go as far as possible”.

Asked about the first official match, which the team will play against Betis in little over a week, he stated: “We still have one match and some of the players will be heading off to play with their national sides, but the most important thing is to start the Liga off well with a win. That’s why we’re working here, as well as to carry on well in the Liga. We’re working very hard and we’re trying to prepare ourselves psychologically as fast as possible in order to adopt the boss’s philosophy. We’re trying to pick up pace so that everything is set”.

Regarding the rumours of a possible departure from Real Madrid, Pepe stated clearly: “I have a contract signed for three years. I want to be with my team, to train and give my all in every match and training session”. He had the following to say in terms of the competition within the team: “It’s good. I’m happy for Varane because he’s humble and he likes to learn. Last year I injured my ankle, I had an operation and I recovered, but he was in good shape and deserved to play. I’ve always said that I don’t consider myself a player in the main team. I work humbly and I want to earn a place in this team”.

The player for Portugal also spoke of Bale, of the possibility of him being a teammate this season, and of how his hypothetical arrival would affect Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: “We have to stick to talking about those of us that are here and our group. That’s what’s most important to me and I don’t have any comment with regards to Bale. Di Maria is fine and is working a lot to be able to play. We’re happy with Cristiano Ronaldo and we hope that he carries on as he is because it’s important for all of us. We can’t speculate over things that aren’t a reality”.

Lastly, when asked about football in the United States he commented: “We’ve been coming to the United States for four years and this year I’ve seen more people in the stands and more enthusiasm. We feel their support. The people we’ve come across in Saint Louis have been really charming”.


St.Louis – Pepe loves you! That’s pretty awesome.

Carlo spoke about Cristiano and his affect on the kiddies to KMOX.

Entrenamiento_en_Saint_LouisFROM REALMADRID.COM

Ancelotti: “Cristiano is an example for the youth”

“We have done good work, there’s work left to be done, but we have taken some very interesting steps for the season,” the Read Madrid coach added

Real Madrid continues its pre-season tour in the United States and Carlo Ancelotti, in an interview granted to the KMOX radio station of Saint Louis, emphasized Critiano Ronaldo’s “professionalism” and “competitive spirt”: “He is an example for the youth. He has everything a football player needs to be great. And he is. He’s great, a really fantastic football player. He’s an example for the young players on the team.”

The Real Madrid team has been at it for almost four weeks since they started work on the 15th of July and the Italian coach emphasized the team’s development: “We have done good work. There’s work left to be done, but we have taken some very interesting steps for the season.” Finally, about what he tries to communicate to his players, he said: “I ask the players for a competitive spirit, professionalism, and to be aware at all times that they belong to a club with impressive prestige.”

Here’s an exclusive interview with Sergio (in Spanish).

Members of the St. Louis Cardinals (Yadier Molina, Jon Jay, Daniel Descalso, Edward Mujica, Tony Cruz, Bengie Molina, Nate Pfitzer, Craig, Joe Walsh and Chris Tunnmet) up with Cristiano before the match and had their pictures taken.

At the game, FloPeezy was his usual rock star self at the match, signing autographs & waving to the fans.


Here’s a great shot of Iker and Sergio  – Iker looks like he’s pained by Sergio’s crap hair.

tumblr_mrc7iyqGMz1qbiysso1_500After the match in St. Louis, the team took right off for Madrid.


And now back to international duty! Here’s the schedule and list of our players called up via MGEF.

AUGUST INTERNATIONAL CALL-UPS – With the exception of Russia (World Cup qualifier), all national sides will play friendlies on August 14.

ARGENTINA – Di María
BRAZIL – Marcelo
CROATIA – Modrić
FRANCE – Benzema
GERMANY – Khedira, Özil
PORTUGAL – Coentrão, Pepe, Ronaldo
RUSSIA – Cheryshev
SPAIN – Arbeloa, Casillas, Isco, Ramos
FIXTURES –

GERMANY VS. PARAGUAY – 8:15 PM CEST | 2:15 PM EST
ITALY VS. ARGENTINA – 8:40 PM CEST | 2:40 PM EST
SWITZERLAND VS. BRAZIL – 8:45 PM CEST | 2:45 PM EST
LIECHTENSTEIN VS. CROATIA – 8:45 PM CEST | 2:45 PM EST
NORTHERN IRELAND VS. RUSSIA (WCQ) – 8:45 PM CEST | 2:45 PM EST
BELGIUM VS. FRANCE – 9 PM CEST | 3 PM EST
PORTUGAL VS. NETHERLANDS – 9:25 PM CEST | 3:25 PM EST
ECUADOR VS. SPAIN – 9:55 PM CEST | 3:55 PM EST

And here’s the full list of the Spanish National Team call up via Sefutbol.

Iker Casillas (Real Madrid)
Pepe Reina (Napoli)
Victor Valdes (Barcelona)
Alvaro Arbeloa (Real Madrid)
Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea)
Inigo Martinez (Real Sociedad)
Raul Albiol (Napoli)
Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid)
Jordi Alba (Barcelona)
David Silva (Manchester City)
Javi Martinez (Bayern Munich)
Santi Cazorla (Arsenal)
Andres Iniesta (Barcelona)
Isco Alarcon (Real Madrid)
Thiago Alcantara (Bayern Munich)
Jorge “Koke” Resureccion (Atletico Madrid)
Jesus Navas (Manchester City)
Alvaro Negredo (Manchester City)
Fernando Llorente (Juventus)
Cristian Tello (Barcelona)

Cesc Fabregas was called up but has a sprained ankle.  I’m happy that there will be a Double A reunion. Now that they’re so far apart, I predict a rekindling of the bromance.

Isco was called up and is quite excited – here’s a little interview.

Entrenamiento_en_St._LouisFROM REALMADRID.COM

Isco: “We’re going to see a beautiful Real Madrid this season”
by Alberto Navarro (Saint Louis)

The Malaga-born player spoke about being included on the Spanish national squad’s call-up: “I’m really happy; it’s always wonderful that your country’s national team calls you and my teammates congratulated me”.

Real Madrid is a little over a week away from the 2013/2014 season’s official competition debut and Isco, one of the squad’s newest reinforcements, analysed the team’s solid preseason performance: “Everything’s been going really well. I adapted fairly quickly and my teammates have helped me loads. There’s a really good vibe and we have to keep it that way. The boss wants us to have the ball and have freedom and creativity on the pitch. I think that we’re going to see a really beautiful Real Madrid this season”. Isco was also happy about being included on the Spanish national team’s call up for the upcoming Ecuador-Spain friendly: “I’m really happy; it’s always wonderful that your country’s national team calls you and my teammates congratulated me”.

The midfielder has been with Real Madrid for just over a month and his pleasure at being part of the squad is clear: “I’m happy about the way everything is going and because things are going well. We’re having a good preseason, the team is great and we hope it keeps up. I arrived with all the enthusiasm in the world and the coach has the utmost trust in me. I’ve always been a starting player and I’m very happy about how things are going with me and I hope to stay this way for a long time”.

The Whites are undefeated this preseason and Isco commented on the top form of his team and his teammates so far: “I’m really happy with the team’s situation, about how I’m carrying along with my teammates and satisfied with the vibe ahead of the season’s start. They’re all very good. Cristiano has spectacular power and form; he covers a lot of ground”. The midfielder also spoke about his position on the pitch: “I didn’t play as defensively with Malaga but I’ll adapt to whatever the team asks. Things are going well for me and I hope it stays that way”.

Isco also commented on the news of his call up to the national team, his first as a player for the Whites: “I’m very happy. Everything’s going smoothly. I’m happy about how it’s all been going and also about the call up. I heard the news this morning and I’m really happy. I woke up and first thing I started to receive messages and calls from my family to congratulate me. It’s the best possible way to start the day, it’s great. I had forgotten that I was on the list”. About the reaction of his teammates he said: “They congratulated me. They congratulated me one by one and I’m really happy about everything. I’ve played with them before in other matches and I’m really excited to play in the game against Ecuador”.

But Isco is aware of the difficulty involved in playing with the national squad: “It’s time to keep working. What matters is to continue to be part of the coach’s plans, even if it’s in the background for now, and to keep working in order to be called up more often. I’m very happy to be included on the new list. It’s a responsibility and a sign that things are going well. It’s great that five of the Under-20 champions have been brought up. And there are others that could have been promoted just like us. It’s wonderful when people expect something good from you. Spain is backed by a generation that has won a lot and we hope that the national squad stays the same. I was happy to have been called up when I was with Malaga and happy to do it with Madrid now”.

Isco was pleasantly surprised with the squad’s American tour: “I’ve never been and the truth is that people here go crazy for Real Madrid. We got a lot of support and we’re having a great preseason”. Finally, when asked about Tottenham player Bale, the midfielder replied: “We played really well, the team is really balanced but if he comes he’ll be another plus, which is never a bad thing. He’s a great player. I think we’ve got a solid team, although he’s a good reinforcement”.

I can’t believe the pre-season tour is already over and it’s time for international duty, can you? Our first season match is a week from today! I’m getting so excited. Here’s one last photo of Sergio & Alvaro looking adorkable.

tumblr_mrcbpbJQzZ1qjuayao1_500Guess Sergio got so many new hats on the trip that he’s not going to notice that Mesut absconded with his other one? Or does Mesut wearing his hat mean that they’re going steady now? 😉

Additional photos from GF Sports. I highly recommend you head on over to the site. She was in St. Louis & at the Chelsea vs. Inter match in Indianapolis and has FANTASTIC close up shots (so many epic arse shots) that she took. I’m not re-posting them here because she asked folks not to, but please go over there and enjoy them.  Please remember that these are her own personal shots which she was kind enough to share with everyone, so be respectful. If you’re on Tumblr, reblog ’em. If you’re not, then please don’t re-post. And also, keep in mind that just because you crop a photo or slap a filter on it, that doesn’t make it “your” photo. If you didn’t take it, it’s not your’s.

– Lozil

34 Responses to “Ah Sunday…”

  1. CinematiqueChic August 11, 2013 at 8:25 pm #

    Awww, Isco! I hope he’ll get to play! Meanwhile, as happy as I am that Sergio remains closer to me that if he’d gone back to Madrid 😛 I really hate sticking an international friendly in there just before the real season starts. Let ’em rest up and concentrate on what they need to concentrate on.

    And LOL – Mesut really is wearing Sergio’s hat! I kept thinking they just had the same hat. I only now saw the SR4.

  2. shan August 11, 2013 at 9:02 pm #

    David Silva was also called up, no?

    • headbandsandheartbreak August 11, 2013 at 9:19 pm #

      Yeah he should be on the list. Did I leave him off? Argh. Thanks. I’ll add him.

  3. Backwards August 12, 2013 at 9:48 am #

    I’m happy to see beautiful Lion King Llorente on the list.

  4. Matea August 12, 2013 at 9:49 am #

    Did you girls hear anything about Modric who was taking pictures with some blonde in the US, when the boys were out? The press here in Croatia made it look like a scandal, I mean, I wouldn’t like my husband take such pictures with a hot woman either, but this is something that Vanja and Luka should solve between them…

    • headbandsandheartbreak August 12, 2013 at 10:35 am #

      Hi Matea – Yep, I did hear about it. I’ve had the pictures for a few days and know her name, but as you can see, I haven’t had much time for posting lately.

      While I can imagine I wouldn’t appreciate my hubby snuggling up with a lady, they look (to me) like drunken joking around in the club. I have tons of pictures of myself with people like that, almost all of whom I have not slept with. 😉 I mean, it’s not like he had his face in her boobs or was with his shirt off in a motel room with girls like those pictures of Messi that recently surfaced. I’m not saying Messi schtupped those ladies either, but those shots looked less innocent than the ones of Luka. I agree with you that it’s between Luka & Vanja. We don’t know how she feels about such things. I worked in the music industry for years and I knew lots of people who had the “whatever happens on the road is fine as long as I don’t know about it, you’re safe and you get your ass back home to me” agreements. Lots of people aren’t hung up on monogamy. So maybe she doesn’t care or maybe she’s going to kick his ass from here to Hawaii, but that’s for them to work out.

      • Dr Heidi August 12, 2013 at 10:37 am #

        Does Sergio have an agreement like that? Where do I sign??????
        🙂

        • headbandsandheartbreak August 12, 2013 at 10:46 am #

          I’ll be sure to ask him next time I bump into him at the mall, as I’m gently leading him toward the hair dye aisle in CVS. 😉

          I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of these guys have that sort of arrangement. They’re on the road a lot, people are throwing themselves at them constantly. I once asked a friend whose husband was the lead guitarist of a well known band how she dealt with it. She said “Listen, I know what it’s like. He’s away from home, he’s lonely, temptation everywhere. Sex is a natural urge. I’d rather that he just be honest & safe about it rather than sneaking around and feeling guilty and hiding things from me. So he sleeps with someone occasionally – it’s just physical. He’ll probably never see them again. It’s scratching an itch. He loves me, he comes home to me and we share our lives together. That’s more important to me than whether or not he has a quick fling on the road to release tension. That said: if he falls in love with some skank he meets on the road, I *will* cut him!” 😉 They’ve been happily together over 20 years at this point. Wise woman. She also said “If I decide to scratch an itch, he can’t say shit about it. Bonus.” 😉 I think some people are just realistic about these sorts of things.

          • Mehreh August 12, 2013 at 12:10 pm #

            i think your friend has an excellent, healthy point of view on it. i hope i’d be secure enough to feel the same way if my partner were in the spotlight.

            • Dr Heidi August 12, 2013 at 12:55 pm #

              Except for one relationship, I’ve always been monogamous. the guilt is too heavy a burden for me, and from a practical side, you’re sleeping with everyone the other person has slept with, so ewwwww.

              • headbandsandheartbreak August 12, 2013 at 12:56 pm #

                Well, if both people agree that monogamy is not something that’s important to them, then that’s fine. The problems & guilt start when one person doesn’t want to be monogamous and the other person does.

                • Mehreh August 12, 2013 at 1:12 pm #

                  for sure. this is all assuming everyone has been honest and open and safe and all those positive, healthy things.

      • Matea August 12, 2013 at 5:25 pm #

        I know what you mean, and I agree, but it really freaks me out when I see how the press brings every single day some news about it, as if he actually cheated on her. And Luka said that he doesn’t feel bad about it at all, because he didn’t do anything wrong. Yet the people write comments that he is a bad husband and father. I mean, give him a break… It’s not easy to live with conservative Croats 🙂 But he is a cool guy and I don’t think it bothers him much , he said that he has nothing to explain.
        About for your friend, wow, she is a really strong girl, I don’t think I could be so relaxed about my husband. Which I don’t have 🙂

        • headbandsandheartbreak August 12, 2013 at 5:34 pm #

          People tend to jump the gun without knowing the facts. I do like that he’s not backing down. Only explanation (if any) he owes is to his missus.

          Yes, she is strong and I don’t know if I could be that easy going myself but I don’t have a husband either so I don’t have to worry about it!

  5. Mehreh August 12, 2013 at 12:29 pm #

    my isco phase is showing no signs of slowing down. bless that young man for being adorable.

    • Dr Heidi August 12, 2013 at 12:43 pm #

      Thank you for saying that….I think he’s a doll too. however, even with that garish hair, I am still holding true to my dear Sergio, but sometimes a new vegetable on the pretty Real buffet is a treat!

  6. jellyace August 12, 2013 at 1:13 pm #

    Awwww so happy for Cutie Pie Isco!

    Is it just me, or do his arms seem short for his torso?

    • Mehreh August 12, 2013 at 1:53 pm #

      he is strangely shaped. he manages to make it all move really well, though. and his faaaaaaaaaaace.

      • Dr Heidi August 12, 2013 at 3:05 pm #

        yes, that boy can M-O-V-E…..

        • jellyace August 12, 2013 at 11:19 pm #

          Yes, I love Isco — which is why I watched Malaga last season — and his pretty face! Those eyes!!!!

  7. personal_roguery August 12, 2013 at 3:28 pm #

    I just can’t wait for Sunday to come. I’ll see Real Madrid live for the very first time. I can’t believe how lucky I am to be in Madrid during the first match. It’s only a few hours ago that I bought the tickets.
    Estoy muy muy muy muuuy feliz! Jajaja

    • headbandsandheartbreak August 12, 2013 at 3:58 pm #

      That’s awesome! Have a wonderful time. Seeing them live is so great. There’s so much that you can’t see on TV. Enjoy!

    • Mehreh August 12, 2013 at 4:06 pm #

      OMG! at the bernabeu! i’m so jealous! have a wonderful time!

    • Dr Heidi August 12, 2013 at 4:41 pm #

      bravo! you have to share the experience with all of us!

      • Dr Heidi August 12, 2013 at 4:42 pm #

        aren’t the tickets credit card weeping expensive? Last time I checked, I almost gagged!

        • personal_roguery August 13, 2013 at 10:36 am #

          They’re not cheap, but definetly affordable. I spent 100 Euros on two tickets, that’s acceptable I guess. There are also tickets for 35 available.
          You probably looked at the VIP/Hospitality tickets -they are about 200-300, I think.
          The normal tickets have just gone on sale – this Monday at 10am. I went to the box office directly at the stadium, though.

    • jellyace August 12, 2013 at 11:21 pm #

      Oh what a thrill! You must take the Bernabeu tour!

  8. hopechaser August 12, 2013 at 10:36 pm #

    Liking the national team call-ups though no Morata just yet. Hope it’s not the curse of the golden boot! If this works out well, with no Xavi and Busquets to skew it all Barcelona-style, I’m hoping Torres and Villa get another shot so they can work with a midfield capable of playing with ‘true’ forwards. And this line-up with Silva, Carzola, Martinez, and maybe Koke as likely the main men is a much better attacking combination with their combined EPL and striker formation experiences. In my humble opinion anyway.

    • jellyace August 12, 2013 at 11:24 pm #

      Morata is still with the Spain U21 team. Almost there with the big boys.

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