Crosstown Copa Prep & A Whole Lot More

4 Feb

1004-857-_HES5997Thumb,50The first round of the Copa Del Rey semi-final vs. Atleti is tomorrow. Carlo put 24 players through their paces including Castilla’s Lucas and José Rodríguez. Casemiro worked out inside. 

Since it’s the whole crosstown rivals thang, there had to be a ceremony. The Peez and Atleti’s prez Enrique Cerezo met with Madrid mayor  Ana Botella. They gave her personalized shirts.  Then they talked a lot about football, fairness, friendship, etc.  As you do.

127-7-_HES6090,9FROM REALMADRID.COM

Ancelotti: “Keeping a clean sheet at home will be very important”
by Alberto Navarro

“Atlético are perfectly organised on defence and will play a really intense game with reduced spaces”, said Real Madrid’s coach in the press room

Carlo Ancelotti spoke to the press at Real Madrid City ahead of tomorrow’s derby against Atlético. The Italian coach, who said that “Cristiano Ronaldo, Arbeloa and Coentrão will start”, discussed the team’s first-leg of the Copa del Rey semi-final. “It’s a knockout tie and we have 180 minutes to win it. Keeping a clean sheet at home will be very important and they’ll play a really intense game with reduced spaces on the pitch, so we’ll have to play quickly. We’ll have to be at our best and play confidently. We deserved to lose against Atlético in La Liga and tomorrow it will be a different team than the one that played them in the Bernabéu. We’ve changed a lot because we have more confidence and another way of playing”.

Real Madrid’s coach also lavished praise on tomorrow’s rival: “Atlético are perfectly organised on defence and are very good at using the break. They have kept the same quality in their organisation but have even more confidence. I like how organised they are because they’re very solid, compact and play well on the counter-attack. The derby is one of the most important matches for both clubs and a Real Madrid-Atlético is always important”.

On Simeone and his tendency to take the pressure off his team, Ancelotti commented: “Everything is going well for him this season and it’s normal to say this to take the pressure off a team that no one had down as favourites at the beginning of the season and are now in the top spot”. Regarding the importance of playing the first leg at home, the coach said: “It’s an important match and we have the support of our fans. Keeping a clean sheet will be crucial and we’ll try to avoid risks in back”.

When asked if he is pleased with the way his team is playing, Ancelotti replied: “We’re confident and the team is balanced. We win a lot of matches without taking risks and I’m satisfied. Hopefully we’ll win another ten straight games after the draw in Bilbao. All the players are doing well and we’ll make a decision about the line-up tomorrow, but Coentrão and Arbeloa will start”.

The coach also discussed the system he uses to start off the matches: “We’re playing with a 4-3-3 because it balances the team more. That’s what the statistics say and the three midfielders are working well. Not only is Di María working but he’s also scoring goals. He’s doing a really balanced job and he likes to play in this position”.

Ancelotti replied to questions about Cristiano Ronaldo and whether he will play tomorrow: “I don’t think we’ll have to wait for the Committee. His sanction won’t be serious and he’ll be on tomorrow’s line-up. He’ll start”. As for his thoughts on the Cristiano’s gesture after his sending off in San Mamés, Ancelotti was clear: “You’ll have to ask him. I don’t think it was such a bad gesture and the red card was an exaggeration. He’s a player who’s constantly provoked and fouled. I don’t think his gesture was that bad”.

Ancelotti was also asked about Bale: “Bale is available. He’s recovered well and has done well every day that he’s trained with the team. He did a good job for part of the season, when he was fit. He’s also had some problems, but he’ll be much better next year since he’ll have a full preseason and will have adapted to Spanish football”.

As for his thoughts on Modric’s fantastic form, Ancelotti said: “Modric’s ability is his fantastic progression with the ball and his position gives him that opportunity. This is the reason. It was also important to get used to being here because the first year in a new club, country and culture isn’t that easy. He’s doing a good job”.

The last two players the coach was asked about were Jesé and Varane. “I took him off in Bilbao because he was tired and had worked really hard. With a player down we had to defend more to avoid problems. He’s starting because he did in Bilbao”, Ancelotti said about the home-grown player. Regarding Varane, he said: “His knee has recovered and he’s fine. He may play tomorrow and if he doesn’t tomorrow he will on Saturday. The player is doing really well”, he said.

As for the Cristiano red card, there’s been a bit of a twist. The match referee has revised his report which might make our appeal harder. Argh.
The following players were called up:

Goalkeepers: Casillas, Diego López & Jesús.
Defenders: Pepe, Sergio Ramos, Varane, Marcelo, Carvajal, Arbeloa, Nacho & Coentrão.
Midfielders: Xabi Alonso, Bale, Modric, Illarra, Casemiro, Isco & Di María.
Forwards: Cristiano Ronaldo, Benzema, Morata & Jesé.

tumblr_n0hv68Q88u1qbiysso5_500Isco has joined Iker as a spokesman for Mahou. He’s signed a 2 year deal.  Article & video

Sergio was completely tickled to receive a “Ramos Jr” shirt for the baby from Marca (video here). He said that he will wear Ramos Jr. on his World Cup jersey in honor of his son. Poor Dr. Heidi sent in this picture today of Pilar & Sergio wearing matching rings on the right hand (which is where peeps wear the wedding ring in Spain).

tumblr_n09vz3Dhwk1qjuayao1_1280As much as I wish I could talk her off the ledge, I really can’t. Pilar is here to stay and not much that can be done about it. I’m not saying they tied the knot, because I don’t think either of them could do that quietly. But I’m betting that Paqui is gonna make her baby boy get married. Rene can get away with an out of wedlock child, but I don’t think Sergio will be allowed that luxury. Pacqui is fierce.  I wonder if Sergio has ditched his Sernando Promise Ring now?

Speaking of babies, here’s some of Karim’s Instagram pictures over the past month. Certainly looks like someone preparing for fatherhood, eh? Guess he’s getting the last of his wild oats sown (doubtful). This duck facin’ fast car drivin’ bad fashion wearin’ finger sign throwin’ dude is someone’s father. He has created life. Let that sink in for a minute.  As watishista @Vrock112 said on Twitter “The diapers will be sponsored by Ed Hardy ” I roared. Spot on. Let’s hope that Chloe keeps things on a steady, even keel.

That said I did enjoy that he posted a picture of Cristiano grabbing his arse. Team Show Me On The Doll rides again.

b0b4a83a754411e3ad080a41352ca875_8(Additional pictures via GF Sports)

– Lozil

One Response to “Crosstown Copa Prep & A Whole Lot More”

  1. jellyace February 5, 2014 at 12:04 pm #

    Let me keep staring at Isco Cutie Pie a bit longer! Why, yes, I will have a cerveza with him staring at me with those doe eyes, even if I don’t drink beer! And, yes, he can thump my chest and feel up a boob (as he did to that guy in the video) if he wants! Ahhhhh!

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