the best CB duo, during training yesterday.  why u not in shorts, puyi?

YAY!!!!!  Puyi and Alex Song trained normally with the rest of the squad yesterday.  One step closer to that elusive green light!

Earlier this week, Puyi, Xavi, Pinto, Pique and JDS joined the B team during their training.  On their free day, no less.  That’s commitment!  Everyone else travelled great distances for useless friendlies with their national teams. I don’t really care for internationals anymore, especially friendlies.  Part of the reason is that Puyi is always injured when there’s a call-up.  But the major reason is all that animosity during the horrible clasicos.  What with Ramos shoving Puyi and Xavi, Alonso complaining, and to top it all off, Casillas badmouthing Barca after that crazy foul on Cesc (what a “captain”, no?) — that shiny World Cup trophy just lost its luster and all that team spirit just seemed like a farce.  And I can’t stand pretenses.

Also can’t stand that VDB calls up Reina and VV to travel, yet always insists on Casillas even for friendlies.  Please.  VV has proven time and again that he’s a more cool-headed and capable keeper, and I think more appropriate for Spain because they’ve been more or less adapting Barca’s style of play.  I’m glad he got some minutes this time.  We almost had a clean sheet and a manita, but no — VDB had to bring in Casillas so that Panama could score.  The highlights for me were Villa wearing the armband and our boys’ goals (because I could only be bothered to watch the highlight reel).  Although I had a touch of schadenfreude during that panenka (thank you, Cesc, for the penalty)🙂

the captain strikes

high-five of legends

note to VDB:  subbing in Montoya would’ve made a lot more sense than subbing in Casillas.

elsewhere in the world, Messi got a military welcome in Saudi Arabia, where he and Masche unnecessarily stressed their tendons for 90 minutes in a goalless draw.  the Saudi side was managed by none other than Frank Rikjaard, who might go down in history as the man who gave Messi his first team debut.

crazy shiz!

in what’s probably the cutest story during international break, Kun Aguero gave Leo an adorable national team kit for Thiago.

baby-faced daddies

Messi is also godfather to Kun’s son, Benjamin.  As you’ll see in the video below, he’s already gotten a headstart with training (Grandpa Maradona must be so proud) — I’m thinking Thiago might start with his drills right after he learns to roll over🙂

Dani Alves also played 90 minutes during Brazil’s draw against Colombia… but it’s hard to pay attention to the game when he’s posting all that swag on twitter!  He’s been upping the fashion ante a lot more lately🙂

at the airport

this was hashtagged #lookparaNYC… true story.

and this was during his presser. yep.

don’t worry puyi, i still prefer your tight shirts and muscles🙂

standard rdp attire for our capita

Dani also posted a photo of these gifts from two ex-teammates :)  Awwww.. i always get a little sentimental during reunions😥

treble memories. that was one fantastic year. sniff.

Of course, international break is never complete without injuries!!!  After his magnificent game against mallorca, Alexis played less than a half hour for Chile and came back to us with a sprained ankle — out for an estimated four weeks.  Thank you, international break!

***

Speaking of Mallorca, were mine the only tear-filled eyes during our league game against them?  My heartstrings were all tugged out at all those hugs with Fontas.  He turned 23 two days ago (the 14th), but amazingly still looks like a teenager.  Feliz cumple, crack!

Lately I’ve also been missing our other angel-faced cutie, Afellay.  He was interviewed recetly, and he shared that his ultimate goal is to eventually return to Barcelona.  Said some great things about our club, too.  I liked what he said about going home from training and feeling excited about going back the next day.

you can do this!

***

Also this week, the LFP awards were announced.  These are awards of recognition for the previous season.  Despite RM’s league title, Pep was awarded best coach, Messi best striker AND best player (again), Iniesta best midfielder and Bartra best B team defender.  Capita Carles Puyol was given the Fair Play award by players and coaches, the most important award in my humble opinion :)  Based on their photos, it’s hard to assess what the dress code was, but Bartra wins best-dressed for me… he was just so Pep.  and you may think Iniesta deserves a fashion police fine, but google a photo of Ramos and you’ll change your mind🙂

***

I was supposed to translate Pique’s interview in this post, but it’s getting a little too long.  I’ll put it up over the weekend, maybe.  Before I end, a few words on bicycle kicks.  In Spanish, a scissor kick or bicycle kick is called a “chilena”, because it is attributed to a Chilean player, but history cannot agree on who exactly that player was.  All over the world, the wonder goal on everyone’s lips this week was Ibra’s amazing bicycle kick goal.  I thoroughly enjoyed all the funny photoshopped images on 9gag :)  But when someone says “chilena”, my first thought is always puyi’s goal versus tenerife back in 2002.  Still relatively a newbie and wearing a #24 jersey, Puyi scored the first goal of the match.  Kluivert went on to score the next 4 (!!) before Tenerife sealed their fate with an own goal.  FT Tenerife 0 – 6 Barca.  Watch out for fellow newbie Xavi in the video🙂

Buen fin de semana!

About orangerie

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