… is Catalan for 11.

the stuff of van gaal’s wildest dreams:
our mister and his historic eleven,
and the years when they entered our legendary farmhouse

The pitch at the Ciutat de Valencia became the first to witness a squad made entirely of blaugrana canteranos.  Eleven men educated in Barcelona’s academy successfully extended the lead over our eternal rival to eleven points.  It feels a little funny that no one’s really counting Atletico, who are hovering behind us by a mere three points and who have been having a really good winning streak.  But I’m as guilty as everyone else — relishing our lead over the blancos just feels too good 🙂

still with elbow protection

Our boys were wearing their second kit, now cutely known as the “uniforme calippo”, after this popular iced lolly —

tequila sunrise minus the good stuff

all the real action happened in the second half, but the first half did have some cool moments, like this chase from puyi…

… and this magnificent backheel from xavi to messi…


… and this part when cesc decided he wanted to be jordi…

if puyi & pique can score, cesc can defend. moc moc.

here’s a video of the highlights

messi dedicated his goals to his son with “te amo thiago” written across his wrist.  hope grams won’t get jealous.  that makes his goal total now 82, just 3 more to go to tie muller’s record 🙂

clean sheet, come to poppa.  valdes made his haters eat their words with a spectacular performance, including a fantastic double save towards the end of the game. that’s also when puyi got his yellow.  i’ve been rewatching the slow-mo version all afternoon — the man hits the ground, his thigh gets trampled on, and he gets up like nothing happened.  our captain is made of steel (or based on his recovering abilities, adamantium).

vv gives the camera some attitude after his first save

all in all, it was one exhilarating night against levante, and our man of the match shone like a p*to gusiluz throughout the game —

iniestazo!! (photo/caption credit: david garcia)

iniestazo!! (photo/caption credit: david garcia)

also, congrats to our capita for playing the full 90 minutes for the first time in a VERY long time!  pique also played the whole game, and it was great to see both of them together the entire game

reunited and it feels so good

before i end my thoughts on the match, i’d just like to put this out there — what if tito’s really the consummate psychological warrior, and he planned a goalless first half, just to keep the madridistas’ hopes up?  getting such a solid victory in the second half would have made it hurt so much more 🙂  it’s not impossible — i don’t recall messi wearing his thiago dedication in the first half, so maybe he really didn’t plan to score? 🙂

wheels are turning


on the injury front – it was great to see both thiago and adriano back after their injuries, but what a shame to see alves out for 2 to 3 weeks with a thigh injury 😦

welcome back…

… and anims

the good news is that it’s just a muscle injury — i always feel a lot more worried if it’s bone, ligament or tendon.  and more good news, villa (not included in the levante squad because of ankle problems) trained normally with the group today; so did isaac cuenca, for the first time since his injury 6 months ago.  i’ve missed that boy!


speaking of training, i was looking at the photos before the match, and i thought they were trying to be pedro in this photo:

turns out, they were celebrating heading the ball through a net — a basketball net.  it’s really lousy to see that they can manage so easily with their heads what i can hardly do with both my hands 🙂


lastly, i’ve decided to try my luck at learning some catalan.  spanish is not my first language (neither is english), so i’m not sure how much more grammar and vocab i can cram into my head, but i’d really like to understand our players during their interviews, etc.  catalan is offered as an elective in our local instituto cervantes, but i’m not sure i can invest that much time right now.  so if any of you have good self-study sites that you can recommend, they’ll be much appreciated 🙂

puyi’s the best at everything, even tongue twisters 🙂


About orangerie


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