Tag Archives: iker casillas

Photo: Iker and Doce

4 Oct

Photo via Facebook

I want to marry this picture.

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Hot Euro player of the day: Iker Casillas (Spain)

2 Jul

Photo: Iker Casillas’s own Facebook page. This is why we love him.

Other people who have been following the Euro Cup seem to think that Spain’s team is all about Andrés Iniesta. Iniesta is an incredible player, and totally deserved to be named Best Player of the Tournament. However, I felt that those less familiar with Spain weren’t giving enough credit to the rest of the team. Little Jordi Alba scored his first ever goal for Spain in yesterday’s final, but more importantly, has come into his own as a great defender. Fernando Torres has gone from a dismal season at Chelsea to winning the Golden Boot (which stunned even me) thanks to his goal in the final. In fact, ten Spanish players were included in UEFA’s 23-man Team of the Tournament.

So when the crowd at the Spanish Club were I was watching the final chanted, “Iker! Iker! Iker!” every time Casillas made a save, I felt right in my element. It was good to be around people who realize just how special our captain is. And since his three international tournaments as captain have also been the three consecutive ones that Spain has won (the first team in history to do so), it would be very hard to imagine victory without him. And he totally deserves a whole gallery.

Welcome back!

20 Aug

Welcome back to La Liga! The 2011-2012 season was supposed to kick off today, but the players are on strike. Fingers crossed everything will be back on track by next weekend.

Since I lied when I said I’d keep you all updated over the summer, let’s see what we missed.

International

UEFA U-21 Champions! Photo: Getty via Daylife.

A great many congratulations to Spain, who are 2011 European Champions three times over! Spain won the UEFA Under-21, Under-19, and Women’s Under-17 Championships.

Our beloved Rojita defeated Switzerland 2-1 in the U-21 final, with Barcelona’s Thiago Alcántara scoring the game-winning goal. Adrián Lopez earned the Golden Boot with five goals.

In the exciting U-19 final, our boys beat out Czech Republic in extra time. Valencia B’s Paco Alcacer was the hero of the match, scoring two goals in added time. Real Madrid Castilla’s adorable Álvaro Morata won the golden boot, contributing six goals in the tournament. It appears Spain’s national team will remain successful (and good-looking) for years to come.

Finally, the young ladies of the U-17 defeated France in the final, with Alba Pomares scoring the only goal of the match. Let’s hope this means better things to come for the Spain NWT, who failed to qualify for the 2011 Women’s World Cup.

Copa América

This picture is pretty adorable, but would it would be even better if Diego Forlán had taken off his shirt. Photo: Getty via Daylife

The Copa América doesn’t have much to do with La Liga or Spain, but I wanted to give a shout out to La Liga’s Diego Forlán, Diego Godín, Martín Cáceres, and Sebastián Eguren, who were on Uruguay’s winning squad. Also, congratulations to Paraguay’s Justo Villar, who was named best goalkeeper of the tournament. Villar plays for Real Valladolid in Liga Adelante.

International Friendlies

 

Reunited and it feels so good.... Photo via Iker Casillas' Facebook

Real Madrid were champions of the 2011 Herbalife World Football Challenge, squeaking by Manchester United in goal differentials. The friendly tournament was held in North America and featured MLS and Mexican Primera División teams as well as clubs from England, Spain and Italy. Barcelona didn’t do so well without Messi (who was recovering from Copa América), but they’ll be back to their fearsome selves in no time. Players from both Real Madrid Castilla and Barcelona B got plenty of chances to shine. Little Joselu scored a goal for Madrid, and Thiago impressed Pep Guardiola enough with his performance in the U-21 squad and in the preseason that he will be joining Barcelona’s first team this season.

While Barcelona continued touring North America, Real Madrid traveled to China. They beat two Chinese teams by six goals each, but their most interesting friendly was played against 109 children in Guangzhou. Adorable. Valencia stayed in Europe, where they had a successful preseason against the likes of AS Roma and Sporting de Lisboa.

Supercopa

Garbage. Photo: Getty via Daylife

Well, the first leg went well. With their fresh new look and strong midfield, Real Madrid dominated possession, but Barcelona struck with deadly efficiency. Mesut Özil and Xabi Alonso scored for Madrid, Messi and Villa for Barcelona.

The second leg at Camp Nou was more of the same. Goals for Cristiano Ronaldo and Benzema, Iniesta and Messi. When Messi scored a second goal in the 88th minute, it looked like Barcelona would win the 2011 Supercopa with little incident. But of course we cannot have a clásico with little incident. With one minute of stoppage time left, Marcelo decided Cesc Fàbregas, who had been playing for Barça for all of ten minutes, needed to be hurt. Marcelo was given the red card he deserved and all hell broke loose. Özil and Villa were sent off for fighting with each other (although I strongly suspect Özil’s red should have gone to Higuaín), and Mourinho will likely be suspended for a few weeks. It should be the referees who are on strike, because they’re not paid enough for this. Personally, I would have sent the lot of them off and have Athletic Bilbao and Málaga (who are slated to play Real Madrid and Barcelona next, respectively) win their first fixtures of the season by default. I pray that I don’t have to see more than the minimum two Clásicos this season, and I’m afraid to think of what even those will bring. Anyway, rant over. Barcelona won fair and square, Cesc is no worse for wear, and there won’t be another Clásico until December.

And with that, I’ve had enough for the day. Transfer highlights and football-related gossip to follow.

 

Hot La Liga player of the day: Iker Casillas (Real Madrid)

20 Apr

Photo: AP via WN

I’ve been saving my absolute favourite, Iker Casillas Fernández, for a special occasion, and this is a special occasion. The 29-year-old Real Madrid goalkeeper was ecstatic to win the Copa del Rey his first season as team captain, thanks in part to his mad skillz. In fact, the last time Madrid won the Copa, Casillas was just a young lad in the RM’s academy. And if you recall from the World Cup, Iker is particularly lovable when he’s celebrating.

I don’t have the energy to write up the full match results. Suffice it to say that Real Madrid won 1-o in overtime, with Cristiano Ronaldo scoring the goal. Congrats chicos!

LAST weekend’s results

20 Feb

So, I was going to post this a while ago, but it took longer than I thought.

It was one crazy jornada in La Liga last weekend, full of upsets, surprises, and matches that were exciting from beginning to end.

Saturday

Christian Fernández scores Racing's first goal against Sevilla. Photo: Reuters via Daylife

Atlético Madrid 1 (Reyes) – Valencia 2 (Joaquín 2)

José Antonio Reyes opened the match with a goal against fourth-ranked Valencia, but Joaquín tied it shortly before the half, then scored the winning goal in the 86th minute. Atlético’s Diego Godín was sent off shortly after for a (probably accidental) elbow to Joaquín’s head. Valencia moves up to third place, while Atlético drops to 10th.

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Hot La Liga player of the day: Antonio Adán (Real Madrid)

13 Feb

 

Photo: Real Madrid

It’s been a crazy and exciting weekend in La Liga. (So crazy that I think I’ll have to post match results!) Today’s Real Madrid – Espanyol match might have been craziest of all: Iker Casillas of all people was sent off 90 seconds into the game. After I recovered from the initial shock, I realized that this was a rare opportunity too see third-choice goalkeeper Antonio Adán Garrido in action. The 23-year-old madrileño made his official debut for Real Madrid in December, having to replace an injured Jerzy Dudek in a Champions League match. Dudek is still recovering from that injury (a broken jaw), so Adán was the only replacement available today. He stepped up to the challenge and managed to shut out Espanyol, allowing Madrid to secure a 1-0 win.

 

Tuesday results – Real Madrid vs. Espanyol

22 Sep

You don't see a lot of Casillas celebrations. Great save, guapo. Photo: AP Photo via Daylife.

Real Madrid 3 – Espanyol 0. Real Madrid was back in form yesterday, pulling off a lively 3-0 win against Espanyol at the potato field that is Santiago Bernabeu. The overly-enthusiastic referee Clos Gómez handed out eight yellow cards and three reds, most of them undeserved. Madrid defenders Carvalho and Marcelo had already received yellow cards when Cristiano Ronaldo was awarded a free kick in the 27th minute. Mr. Referee Gómez handed out yellow card number three to Espanyol’s Luis García after the free kick hit his arm in the wall, and Cristiano was ordered a penalty kick, despite Espanyol’s objections. C-Ron’s shot went in, but he judged to have stopped after the run-up and had to retake it. It went in again, marking his first goal since that 7-0 win for Portugal against North Korea (which was his only goal in the World Cup). The first half ended with no further goals or cards.

Second half. Real Madrid’s Pepe is sent off after receiving two yellow cards in four minutes. Espanyol’s Galán is sent off for tripping Cristiano Ronaldo. Espanyol’s Verdú is shown a yellow card for reasons unknown. After several shots from both sides, Higuaín scores for Real Madrid. He is pleased. He comes off the pitch after a job well done, and is replaced by Karim Benzema. Espanyol’s Forlín is shown a yellow card (no. 7, if you’re still keeping count). Benzema scores his first goal of the season. Forlín gets another yellow card and is sent off. Four boring minutes of stoppage time are added, but with Real Madrid up by three and 19 players left on the pitch, the match is over.

Whew. Espanyol ended up being the livelier side in the game, but los merenengues still had most of the possession, and their strikers are starting to make a comeback. Real Madrid may not have played at the level we have come to expect from them, they have had an exhausting week with one Champions League and two La Liga fixtures. Sometimes winning inspires a team to play well more than playing well causes them to win.