I’m still very much in pre-season mode, and I think the Olympics will be taking up quite a bit of my time in the next few weeks (and not just La Rojita, I absolutely love watching the Olympics!) so this ICYMI post is kind of just a collection of my random observations and thoughts from the game, plus some game things and statistics.
Random thought number one: I was glad to see Gonzalo Higuaín and José Callejón carry on from where they left off last season, together! Many hearts would have been broken had Pipita gone elsewhere, including Calleti’s, I’m sure.
Random thought number two/game thing number one: I absolutely adored the line-up that José Mourinho fielded for the game, though it was probably more out of necessity than any other reason. All 11 of the players were canteranos. Two of them – Antonio Adán and Esteban Granero – play for the first team, and the other nine for Castilla, though MFC Álvaro Borja Morata Martín, and Jesús, are expected to get fichas with the first team. In fact, during the game, both of them wore first team numbers: Jesús had the 25, while ABMM wore the 23. In addition, they both now have lockers in the first team locker room at Valdebebas. Anyway, the average age of the starting XI was 22.6 years.
Game thing number two: Lucas, Denis, El Pirata and Ángel di María on two occasions scored for Madrid as they beat Oviedo 5-1. Denis became the first ever Russian player to wear the shirt of Real Madrid, and of course the first ever Russian to score a goal for Real Madrid (keeping in mind that this was a friendly). After the game, he tweeted, “at home! Time to rest! Today could be one of the happiest days in my career! Without all of you, it wouldn’t have been possible! Thank you.” Congratulations Denis!
Random thought number three: what do you think about the two color numbers? I like the concept, but I’m not sure it translates too well onto football shirts. Maybe it will grow on me, just like Sergio Ramos’ short hair. Plus, did you notice the goalkeepers in the striped socks? I can’t wait to see Iker in them, yay!
Game thing number three/random thought number four: after the game, Esteban Granero said he was proud to have been the captain of Madrid (and I was proud to see him be the captain; the armband suits him!), although it was just for a pre-season game. And though it was just a pre-season game, Esteban said that the team was upset they had allowed a goal, but were satisfied with their level. As for the cantera, his thoughts were that “the Castilla boys are helping us a lot and they’re showing that they have many things to bring to the team. I am trying to help them in whatever they ask of me.” I really do love our Pirata! And I really do hope the club has more confidence in its youth system! Plus, I loved seeing a female linesperson!
Random thought number five: I just like this picture because Ángel di María looks like the cartoon Tasmanian Devil, or at least in the moment before he begins spinning.
Random thought number six: the kids in the Tartiare really love our team!
Game thing number four: Aitor Karanka spoke to the press after the game, seemingly confirming that Kaká will be leaving. He said, “we’re looking for the best solution for Kaká, and it was the míster’s decision that he not play tonight. He’s one of our players and we hope that between all of us we can find a solution.” He also lauded his players and the fans at the Tartiere.
I wonder when Mou will give his first press conference?
Game thing number five: prior to the game, gaiteros played a tribute to Slovakian footballer Peter Dubovsky, who had played for both teams and who had passed away in 2000. Madrid’s team also wore black armbands to mourn the passing of Gregorio Peces-Barba, a politician, academic and socio of Real Madrid (he would have become a Madrid director had Lorenzo Sanz beaten FP in the 2000 presidential election). He had passed away earlier that day at the age of 74 in Oviedo, although he was a madrileño in addition to being a madridista.
And now we await the arrival of some of the other international players, as we start preparations for the Eusébio Cup!