the clock is ticking.... one more day till the showdown

these past two weeks were really hectic at work, and i barely had time to keep up with la liga news.  the morning after the getafe game, i was still high from our champions league victory against milan.  i went straight to my laptop, accessed the club website… and almost fell off my chair.

i couldn’t believe it, and i tried accessing the website’s other language formats, hoping that maybe their webteam had just gotten the scoreline in reverse.  but a quick trip to my twitter timeline confirmed the horrific turn of events.  0-1 against getafe.  GETAFE, for crying out loud!!!!!  i didn’t even bother downloading the game.  i just wanted to go to sleep until our next fixture, and not wake up until we were up 3-nil.

needless to say, with two games to the clasico, the rayo and levante games at home were vital, not only for the league table, but for cule morale.  good thing pep’s boys came back with a vengeance.  9 goals in total, with VV still unbeaten.  just like that, my hopes are back up, and i’m crossing my fingers for another resounding win against madrid.  força!!

***

some highlights from the rayo game:

the boys came out in special tshirts to show solidarity with tito, who will be joining the squad in madrid.  capita xavi had his gameface on.

 

20 minutes in, pep's (im)patiently waiting for the goals

because busi wasn’t in the starting lineup, pep had to pick on someone else during the goal celebrations.  after the amazing first goal by alexis, poor masch wasn’t able to join the group hug because pep called him aside for an intense one-on-one instruction session.

so much greatness right here

just look at monster masch go!! just add long hair, and it's puyi!

after the brace from alexis, villa’s magnificent goal capped off the first round.  so happy for el guaje!!  he truly deserves a lot of praise and recognition, especially after all his hard work since he joined the team.  he’s been unconditionally humble and receptive to pep’s tutelage.  i expected the star striker of the national team to have difficulty adapting to his new role in the club, but there’s been none of that at all.  i hope to see him score twice again during the clasico!

goal? check! ... now let me lick my lips and give the crowd a sultry look🙂

less than five minutes into the second round, messi scored from a tight space at a tight angle, and the goal celebration brought on my favorite part of the match —

here’s a video of the goals, and some photos –

xaviiiiii!!!!

the greatest footballer in the world receives a message from his home planet

***

some highlights from the levante game:

ibi in the stands!!

this match gave me 30-odd minutes of puyi goodness, a pretty low dose but just enough to get me optimistic about him playing 90 minutes on the 10th.  pep came out with a 3-man defense composed of monster masch and abidal on either side, and captain puyi closing down attempts to breach the center.  he was definitely all business from the first minute, yelling all over the place and pointing to VV, abi and masch where to kick the ball.

so bouncy!

the major highlight of the match for me was cesc’s new wig inspired by a porcupine.

my hair is magic.

i for one won’t question a run of good luck.  if the new hair’s good enough to get him goals, it’s good enough for me :)  i especially loved the buildup for the first goal from busi to messi to iniesta who backheeled it fabulously to cesc.  good job, team!

wait for the captain!

other things i loved — animated pep, xavi’s weird facial expressions, and pinto celebrating like a proud papa after cuenca’s goal.

pep fistpumping for alexis🙂

should i smile now or not?

i'm so proud of our little boy!

the thing i didn’t love was this –

captain on the ground -- never a good thing

puyi had a nasty collision while vying for the ball in midair, and had to be subbed early.  dani  took his place.  i did love that everyone on the bench was fretting over him, and he looked like he just wanted the attention to go away🙂

i'm fine, i'm fine!!

here’s a video of the goals:

***

after the levante game came our ucl home match against bate borisov.  i’m glad we already qualified two matches ago, and pep decided to give everyone else a chance to play.  a lot of debutantes that night!  half of the lineup had squad numbers in the 30’s, but it didn’t seem to matter — the boys in blaugrana outshone their opponents without question :)   captain pinto (yes!!!) led fontas, pedro, maxwell, cuenca, montoya, sergi roberto, bartra, jds, and the alcantara brothers to a fantastic victory.  there were a lot of hugs and a lot huge smiles on their faces, and the crowd at the camp nou was roaring with enthusiastic support.  it must have been euphoric in the locker room afterwards, where the rest of the first team celebrated with their younger hermanos.

young boys in the big league

dani, i hope they teased you endlessly for that outfit!

argentines up front

indoctrination time

here’s a video of the highlights –

*****

and some other updates:

puyi was chosen to be the image for an international campaign for the protection of orangutans.  international animal rescue, the ngo in charge of the initiative called “act now”, hope that puyi will give their cause a louder voice all over the world.  his photo will appear on posters with the slogan “i care about them, what about you?”.  in a press statement, puyi said that “the difficult plight of orangutans has moved me deeply, and when they asked me to participate in this campaign, i did not hesistate”

on twitter, puyi’s been reconnecting with jeffren (whose page is soooo sporting green), and bojan (who’s been tweeting in italian now).  he also had a violent reaction to cesc tweeting about going to the barber, and posted this photo of the end result:

look at cesc. for me, he looked better with long hair!!! but i love you just the same, friend. mocmoc (i hear you, puyi... it's even weirder from the back, but i also love him just the same)

cesc also tweeted a photo of himself playing a video game with his cousin.  am i the only one who’s bothered that he seems more into it than the kid is?

iniesta just passed the 2-million-twitter-followers milestone, and tweeted this photo:

incidentally, andres has started tweeting and posting in english!  capita, please follow suit!

iniesta and co have made a video of support for the people of japan, in anticipation of next week’s club world cup.  congratulations, xavi, for stringing together an entire sentence in nihonggo :)  so cute!!

**

last week was the awarding of the premios de lfp, and our manager and our boys took home 7 of the awards:

pep, best coach

VV, best keeper

abi, best defender

xavi, best midfield player

iniesta, best attacking midfielder

and of course, messi got two: best striker and best liga player

last week was also the announcement of the shortlist of 55 players for the fifpro awards — and we have a full lineup in the mix!  VV finally getting long-overdue recognition, alves, pique, puyi, abi, busquets, xavi, iniesta, cesc, messi and villa.  congrats, boys!!  make us proud at the bernabeu!!

5 responses »

  1. Michele says:

    Nice wrap-up of the past few weeks!

    Let’s hope that you’re back next week with some great news after the weekend’s game! 😀

    • orangerie says:

      thanks! i’m so nervous!! a lot of new variables in the madrid squad, but i know pep can work his way around things. and almost everyone in our squad is fit this time, so he’ll have a lot of choices. fingers crossed🙂

  2. Love the Xavi face gif! I got a big scare when Puyi got that player right in his face – but he’s the captain🙂

    Crazy nervous about tomorrow… Still dream about that amazing goal from Puyi in the Bernabeu in 2009

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