heartstrings = pulled so hard :')

heartstrings = pulled so hard :’)

is there anything more adorable than this?  (click on the image for the full-sized photo, guaranteed to make you feel all tingly inside) puyi & co visited sick children in barcelona’s hospitals, as is club tradition.  here’s a video of their mini goodwill tour, followed by a video of puyi’s interview about it.  no entiendes?  no problem.  the captain’s charisma transcends the spoken word :)  honestly, i found it so hard to pay attention to what he was saying… i was too busy trying not to cry happy tears like a crazy fangirl.

***

the open training and the trip to the hospitals were just the start of a busy week for the team.  after that, the squad had to prepare for the catalan derby.  xavi made me all nervous with his statements before the match — “espanyol aren’t the same team they were last month”, “they have confidence, and that matters”, and all that jazz.  then there was all that drama at the bernabeu, and i have no idea why but it made me quite apprehensive about our own fixture.  but the sight of the mister walking down the tunnel with a light spring in his step gave me all the reassurance i needed:

brave face while fighting a bigger battle

brave face while fighting a bigger battle

there is probably no greater motivation than this.  tito looked like he was in good spirits, and he fielded a powerful starting eleven for the first match of the year — VV, alves, pique, puyol, alba, busi, xavi, cesc, iniesta, messi & pedro.  most of the guys had just seen each other while playing for catalonia, and it was all smiles and pats on the back between puyi and verdu (and the refs) during the cointoss.

catalan captains

catalan captains

but after kickoff, it was serious business.  our boys were intense!  they were playing so high up the pitch, pressing relentlessly against espanyol.  i believe valdes only got his first touch on the ball after the second goal.  it was beautiful and poetic football, and it reaped 4 goals in just a half hour.  my favorite part was busi’s pass to pedro for the third goal.  killer vision, killer instinct.

here’s a video of the highlights:

i’m so so so happy that pedro is up on the scoresheet again!  i really don’t rate his performance based solely on goals, but i get a little irritated that a lot of people seem to.  so good for him, and i hope this silences some of those spoilt critics.  nice ovation for him at the camp nou as he was subbed out for alexis.

good job, pedro!

good job, pedro!

good job, boys!

good job, boys!

somehow we held on to that 4 point lead for the following hour (two goals were disallowed), and VV kept his wits about him and got a clean sheet.  perfect start to the rest of the season.

tito approves

tito approves

no prob!

no problem, boss🙂

legends.  (photo from captain's facebook)

legends. (photo from captain’s facebook)

***

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tonight’s the night.  messi, iniesta & co flew to zurich today for the balon d’or gala, where a madridista (cannavaro) will have the pleasure of handing over the award to one of ours.

pique's twitter - on the way to zurich.  waiting at the airport with the rest of the team

pique’s twitter – on the way to zurich. waiting at the airport with the rest of the team

***

other news – the first part of the cbs 60 minutes feature was aired last night, featuring cesc, messi, rosell, and a very dashing pique.  a flattering albeit short piece on the academy and the football that we love.  here’s a link to the video:

http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=50138328n

there’s also a short q&a with the maestro himself:

http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=50138333n

and a funny clip with zubi (thanks so much for this, cbs):

http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=50138332n

***

finally, a cute little cartoon from the captain’s twitter, wishing us a happy monday:

"what doesn't kill you makes you stronger"... probably sung kelly clarkson style, for tito :)

“what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”… probably sung kelly clarkson style, for tito🙂

***

later this week, we have a copa del rey tie, the vuelta against cordoba.  hoping for more of cesc’s good vibes🙂

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