Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Last Week


As if the offseason wasn’t long enough, The TV Networks in Spain are in some kind of a legal dogfight about broadcasting rights… and here I am, left to make do with you tube highlights of the opening weekend match… (the Madrid Derby at that!).

One can only imagine the shock and horror I went through when I started seeing players wearing the Dutch and Swiss National teams’ uniforms come out of a tunnel that’s not the Bernabeu’s. Even the Cable TV operator here in Singapore seemed blindsided by the whole thing as their website’s Programme Guide had already included the match in its programme schedule. The Cable TV operator instead found itself haplessly having to settle with broadcasting a replay of the friendly match between the Netherlands (were they thinking: ‘Maybe RM fans can feel a bit better if they saw a match with Ruud Van Nistelrooy and Wesley Sneijder in it’???) and Switzerland with a message that streaked below the screen apologizing about the ‘sudden unavailability of the match.’

I found my mind racing on a flashback to that morning when I read Alfredo Relano lamenting in about something that had to do with TV rights (I don’t know how to read Spanish, so I am left having to make do with trying to understand what Spanish websites are trying to say through Google / Yahoo’s Translate features… and in many cases, it’s takes a lot of effort to even get a sense of what is being said).

“This was what he was talking about! Shit! Shit! Shit!” I said to myself.

The Result

The only great news about it is that Real Madrid actually won! And based on what I’ve read, they also played darn well and showed the ballsy character they had late last season (where they repeatedly kept making comebacks on their way to win their 30th La Liga Title) after going down 0-1 via Kun Aguero’s header 57 seconds into the match. It was also nice to see Raul getting on the scoresheet… there he was again: El Kapitan scoring a goal when it matters, when everyone is second-guessing and speculating on who was the best man to replace him in the starting lineup. Good to see him kiss the ring finger again to celebrate that goal (That lifelessly-executed gesture of pointing to the name on his jersey is kinda lame though).

It was also very nice to see Guti’s clever on-field antics again: fooling the Athletico defense with his pass to Sneijder which led to the 2nd goal.

Overall, it was nice to see my beloved Real Madrid start the season on a winning note after such a pathetic pre-season (over their city rivals at that!). I was able to see other highlights of the game aside from the goals via the Real Madrid Website, it did seem like they played well... lots of attacking and glimpses of one-touch football.... it did look like they were on the right direction.

Other thoughts on the game:

Jose Antonio Reyes
Though I’ve always thought that it was a bummer how Jose Antonio Reyes didn’t make it to the Real Squad this season, I’ve always enjoyed watching him on the pitch even in his days back in Arsenal. He’s got a good shot, and his great pace is fun to watch, and I really appreciate his unapologetic public display of wanting to wear the white shirt back then. And of course, let’s not forget that he scored a pile of important goals for Real Madrid last year too… including those 2 HUGE ones vs. Mallorca that finally clinched the title.

What pissed me off however was how his shameless prediction of a 2-0 win by Athletico via goals from him! Cheeky Fucker! Whatta Punk!

Karma was spot on that night: the bugger didn't even get a start. BUT the Bernabeu gave him a well-deserved ovation (class act gesture from the fans) even as a RojiBlanco Player as he entered the game. That night, he was a benchwarmer of the losing team despite the applause...

Kun Aguero

Before the match, this punk actually proclaimed that he'd pull another 'petroleum jelly' (A Chip Shot, somehow, it translates as 'Petroleum Jelly' on Google / Yahoo Translate) on Iker Casillas. Another Punk! A Teenager trying to be cheeky with Spain's No. 1. The night ended with him trying his Petroleum Jelly: Super Iker just snatched it out of the air. In your face punk!

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