The Best Laid Plans

30 Aug
French guys explaining it all, like  Clarissa.

French guys explaining it all, like Clarissa.

So after 14 hours of travel, I arrived back home at my apartment in Brooklyn. Was that the plan? Hell no. I was supposed to wake up this morning in London. But if I had to wake up somewhere that wasn’t England, it’s always nice to be in one’s own bed. I did get to have a nice lunch in Boston though… Anyhow, I’m off to the airport in an hour to try again. Wish me luck. In the meantime, here’s an update on what has gone down since I last logged in.

The team trained today in prep for the match against La Real tomorrow at Anoeta.

Cris brought his severed torso award to share with the entire team. What a gent!

Satellite (12)Everyone is probably like “Gee thanks Cris for bringing that nightmare award to training. I won’t sleep tonight and no, I do not want to take it home for a paperweight.


Ancelotti: “The Anoeta is a very difficult place to go but we have to win our first away game“
by Javier Garcia

“This team deserves a vote of confidence for what they achieved last year”, said the manager in the press room.

Carlo Ancelotti appeared in the Ciudad Real Madrid press room. The Italian spoke about the game against Real Sociedad: “We going into the match motivated; we have to keep winning. It’s our first away game and we have to win. the Anoeta is always a very difficult place to go, but last year we played well there”.

“We have to keep winning and improving our performance on the field in comparison to last Monday. They are tough opponents who will show their quality. Isco is available to play, as is Khedira. Just Coentrão hasn’t fully recovered yet”.

“Cristiano is fine, but we wanted to use this week and the next two weeks to ensure he recovers completely and to get him in top condition to prepare for the games against Atlético and the Champions League. He’s not in the matchday squad”.

“I can’t confirm anything. The market closes on Monday and something may happen or it may not. Some people might think we don’t have many players but it’s a very versatile squad and we have every position covered. We virtually have five strikers, because Isco, James and Jesé, who returns soon, can play up front”.

“Until the market closes we can’t say whether there will be any new signings. The squad isn’t decided. It’s not a necessity. If we think a signing could be good to improve the squad we’ll do it. If not, the squad is very competitive”.

“We have a very competitive and versatile squad.”

“I have a very competitive squad. With the three new players, who bring a lot of quality, the team has improved compared to last year. Also because of the work we did last season”.

Xabi Alonso
“He explained it very well; he needed other motivations. Everyone at Madrid has a lot of respect for him. It was very difficult to change his idea and we let him go. With the attitude he has had as a player and as a person it would have been very difficult to tell him he couldn’t go. We have to thank him and wish him luck”.

“He was very important in the titles we won last year. We have that position well covered with Kroos and Illarra, who could be very useful this season. Xabi leaving was a surprise because everything was fine; he has made the decision and we are a bit surprised but we respect it. He has been honest with Real Madrid and with himself. We respect him”.

Players wanting to leave
“Every situation is different. Some might want to earn more money, some don’t like the competition. When someone wants to leave, I intend to let him, because when you’re not motivated to be in the greatest team in the world I’m not going to stop you. Each situation is very different. It can be for motivation, for money, because of the competition…”.

Defensive balance
“I’m not worried. We need time and to get the players used to being in a different position on the field. We won’t have a problem finding the balance. I’ve heard a lot of criticism of the team this week. I understand the criticism but we’ve received so many that it was as if the team had never won the Champions League in Lisbon and I watched the video again. This team deserves a vote of confidence for what it achieved last year. These players have character and personality and this criticism could be another source of motivation”.

Alonso for Kroos
“I think signing Kroos has improved the quality of the midfield and we signed the best possible midfielder to play with Xabi. Later Xabi surprised everyone and we still have Kroos who is 24 years old and Illarra, who has more space to play in”.

His role in the signings
“We make the decisions together with the chairman, the club, the chief executive. It’s a group decision. That’s how I have always worked, as Real Madrid has, speaking to the manager to do something good for the club. We are all working to win titles for Real Madrid”.

“We haven’t thought about it. I saw what happened in the preliminary round. It was a very exciting finish. We have time to prepare for the match. Bulgaria have a good footballing history and we’ll prepare for it as well as possible”.
Ancelotti: “The Anoeta is a very difficult place to go but we have to win our first away game“

The following players were called up for the match:
Goalkeepers: Casillas, Keylor Navas and Pacheco.
Defenders: Varane, Pepe, Ramos, Marcelo, Carvajal, Arbeloa and Nacho.
Midfielders: Bale, Khedira, Kroos, James Rodríguez, Modric, Isco and Illarra.
Strikers: Benzema and Raúl de Tomás.

I can’t even with the whole Xabi situation. It’s too painful, but here’s what he said at his final presser. (It starts at minute 13:00 in the video)


Xabi Alonso: “It was a sense of pride and privilege to form part of Real Madrid”

“It was my decision that the club didn’t share but understood, and I want to say thanks to Florentino Pérez”.

Xabi Alonso spoke to the press in the pressroom at the Santiago Bernabéu. The Basque player said goodbye to Madrid’s fans: “I want to say thanks to the fans. From the first day they’ve helped me feel at home and they gave me the respect and warmth that a player needs. I’m leaving this team, but I will never stop being part of the Madrid family”.

“They have been five wonderful years. It is a sad day because I’m closing a marvellous chapter. I had a great time here, we have won big things and now a new chapter opens for me. It was the hardest decision I’ve ever had to take; leaving Madrid is never easy. I have mediated it well and I wanted to be honest with Real Madrid and myself. You have to know when to say goodbye and I think that this was the best moment to do so”.


“The club did not want me to go, it was my decision and I asked them to understand. From respect and good communication, the club didn’t share my idea but they understood my need to start a new chapter, to start from zero in a new club”.

Thanks to Florentino Pérez
“I have to thank everyone who has helped me. Firstly Florentino Pérez and José Ángel Sánchez. They’ve treated me fantastically over the years. It’s been a relationship of respect, which for me is very important and was something I valued a lot. I am going to have this with me for my whole life, as an example in the way you should do things”.

“Also to the coaches who I have had. They have allowed me to grow and learn this sport and they have given me importance at the biggest club in the world. I’m more of a footballer than when I came. And to my teammates; without them I wouldn’t have achieved anything. La Décima was an objective, a dream for everyone after such a long time trying. To all the employees of the club who have helped me, my family and helped us so that everything was a lot easier in this city”.

His time with Real Madrid
“You always see it one way from the outside. You then go inside and you realise how big it is and how important it is. It is the world’s biggest club and it has such a history for a reason. It was a sense of pride and privilege to be part of this club. The Bernabéu is very special and I my memories will be eternal. I’m now just another fan”.

The current squad
“Real Madrid have secured a top player in Kroos. We would have both played a lot. It’s not an angry reaction, it is much more mediated. I had the confidence of the club and manager here. It continues to be a squad that is even better than last year’s”.

“I’m sure they’ll fight for everything. It’s a top side with world class players all over the park. They have compensated well with the new arrivals”.

A new cycle
“After winning the Décima, I feel that a new cycle is starting at the club, and that I too should need a new one. I wanted to be honest with myself and with the club and to know when is the time to say goodbye”.

Butragueño: “It was an honour to have had you here these years”
“It is the goodbye of a player who is part of our club’s history. Five years of professionalism and input in which he has been an example both on and off the pitch. From the first day he perfectly understood what the values of being a Madrid player are”.

“Xabi Alonso has decided to start a new chapter in his life, and the club wants to respect that. It has been an honour and a privilege to have had you here these years. We wish you the best, and that you know that here is your home. Your memory will remain in the hearts of all Madrid fans”.|



Okay, I’m trying to compose myself here but I had too many mimosas at brunch and my feelings are too near the surface.


Off to the airport soon. Will try to update over the next few days.

– Lozil

3 Responses to “The Best Laid Plans”

  1. jellyace August 30, 2014 at 10:40 pm #

    Lozil, when it come to travel, you’re a Badluck Schleprock! So sorry for you, my dear!

    And I am so sorry for all of us because Xabi left. Boo hoo hoo! Waaaaahhhhhhhhh!

  2. mygypsyspirit August 30, 2014 at 11:59 pm #

    The only jersey I have left that doesn’t have a player on it that’s gone is Ronaldo… *sigh*

  3. Tatiana August 31, 2014 at 7:56 am #

    Xabi speaks like a gentleman, not willing to say anything that could hurt Real Madrid. He speaks of new cycle and lack of personal motivation after La Decima, but it is hard to believe these are the real reasons, because only a few months ago he said his intentions are to retire from RM. And leaving suddendly at the very end of the transfer window, not celebrating Supercopa victory etc makes one suspect thats not the full story.

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