First and foremost, I’d like to thank mygypsyspirit for holding down the fort during my move. I couldn’t have done it without her. It’s going to take me awhile to get settled but this first week has been especially busy with guests in town from overseas and a whole host of other things. I’ve barely been home to sleep, much less unpack. I’m looking forward to settling in and things getting back to normal (well, as normal as can be in my world!)
Gareth returned to training today and Zizou called up the Pips (Marcos Llorente, Borja Mayoral and Martin Odegaard). Jese was out with the flu and Lucas Vasquez continues with his recovery.
Five Blancos won in the Facebook Football Awards (That’s thing?!): Cris (best striker and best player), James (best goal), Lukita (best midfielder), Marcelo (best defender) and K-Nav (best goalkeeper). Madridistas won for best fans in La Liga.
“Zidane has helped us a lot, he has given us strength“, he added.
Marcelo spoke to Bwin about the final La Liga match which Real Madrid will play this Satuday at Riazor against Deportivo (5:00pm, CEST): “We have to keep playing as we have been doing, with patience, trying for possession, and with humility towards our opponents. I don’t think they will be laid back. Teams always play strongly against Madrid, I’m certain that Deportivo will want to win… and so do we. I think it’s going to be a good game”.
“I don’t think the first meeting will have anything to do with this one. It is the last game in La Liga, Deportivo will definitely want to win and it will be different. You have to know how to play against them because they are a team that presents not one sole threat, but several. They have several good players”.
“The boss has helped us a lot, he has given us strength. We spoke amongst ourselves and we needed to change some things. We have changed and it has been for the better. I’m not going to talk about numbers because I don’t like that, but the truth is we are very happy with him. He is a great coach. As I said before, things have changed for the better”.
“I always want to improve, to learn every day and in every training session.”
“I always thank the fans because they always give me their affection. I always try to give that affection back to the fans in the best way I can, in training, in matches”.
Praise for Cristiano Ronaldo
“Cristiano has many qualities. He is very competitive, he approaches every training session like it is a match, every match as if it was his last. He works off the pitch… he is a player with many qualities”.
The last decade at the club
“I think it has been good. We have reached six Champions League semi-finals, two finals. Obviously we want more but I think it is good”.
The Whites’ defender appeared on the “La Tertulia” show on Realmadrid TV to look back over his career.
Álvaro Arbeloa appeared on the “La Tertulia” show on Realmadrid TV to discuss the team’s current situation: “We’ve got to focus on Saturday’s game, knowing that our mission is to win at Riazor, and then wait and see what happens in Granada with their match against Barcelona. We can’t wait, the atmosphere couldn’t be better and we’re concentrated and excited about our two remaining games”.
“We’ve got nothing to lose. If we win La Liga it’ll be an immense joy and if we lose it, I think we’ll have to be happy with how we’ve finished the season, fighting until the end. Nobody expected us to be here at the end two months ago. It’s like playing the lottery: if you win, it’s wonderful and if not, bad luck. But the team has put in a tremendous effort”.
“We all thought La Liga was a long way off and nobody would have expected Barça to drop so many points. Even so, our aim was always to win and improve, because we knew we were still in the Champions League. Our objective was to win every day and if Barcelona won La Liga in the end then we’d congratulate them”.
“We’re used to people abandoning ship before it’s over but that’s no problem. Being able to win the title is something personal for us, to demonstrate to ourselves what we’re worth, and it’s also reward for a difficult year. It’s been a turbulent year in many ways and to get this far is amazing and we hope we can put the icing on the cake with a trip to Cibeles”.
“I think we’re going into the Champions League final with improved morale because we’re still fighting for La Liga. With the Décima two years ago it didn’t happen like it has this season. We’d had a turbulent week, people had knocks, and now we go into it with everyone fit and stronger for the match in La Coruña. It’s true that we are under less pressure and we’re less anxious compared to the Décima. It’s a positive thing for us to be playing another final against Atlético”.
“They’re in an exceptional vein of form, full of confidence and could even feel like they’re favourites. I understand that because since Lisbon they’ve won more clashes between us than we have. They may think they’ve worked us out, that’s normal and we know it’s very tough to score against them. It’ll be a beautiful final, very hard, but we’re hoping it’ll play out the same as it did in Lisbon”.
“Javi García and I were meant to be playing the following day with the B team but I made my debut with the first team, I passed the ball to Zidane. It’s one of my greatest memories, a brutal experience, with players like Figo, Ronaldo, Owen, Raúl,… Another of my greatest memories is a goal for Castilla against Zaragoza. The aim was for Castilla to be promoted after so many years and it was a great joy to achieve that with a group of players who ended up becoming internationals (Soldado, De la Red, Javi García,…).
Here’s some more photos and video from Arbeloa’s final home match.
It’s so nice to see Carlota, Alba, Raul and wee Vega! I don’t know where Alvaro is headed next, but I sure hope it’s Napoli. I’d love to see Booty CAAll reunited and I bet they’d enjoy it too. They spend vacations together, FFS! So they should make that happen.
And our adorable Marcelo turns 28 today. Feliz cumpleaños! That smile of your’s is everything!