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Just smiles at the end of the season

By Madridista Mac

So the season ended for Real Madrid. Sadly, it’s another bridesmaid finish for us with the eternal rival taking all the plaudits and the bigger one, among the 2 domestic titles that were up for grabs at the start of the term. Nevermind that the Copa Del Rey trophy pre-Sergio Ramos looks far more elegant to the gangly and grotesque-looking La Liga trophy (complete with studs) – winning La Liga is still the ultimate proof that Barcelona this season were the better team. I will admit to that much.

We will of course look back to the points we had dropped to La Liga’s relegation battlers (e.g. Sporting, Zaragoza, Levante, etc.) as the culprit to our 2nd place league finish yet again. And yet again for us, the season ends at 2nd place, many weeks before the referee blows the whistle on the final game of the season. The difference between this season end and that from seasons past where we:

– Went on a losing streak to end the season after the 2-6 hammering at the hands of Barca during Juande Ramos’ short spell with us.

– Ended the season with a fuck-it-we’ve-lost-the-title-anyway draw during our last match last season with Pellegrini.
This season, as the referee blew the whistle at the start of the last match there were at least a few reasons to smile about. A few humble goals to fight for.

-Cristiano Ronaldo was on the hunt for the goal/s that would break the La Liga goal-scoring record set by Hugo Sanchez and Telmo Zarra. And he wanted to be recognized as a record-breaker NOT ONLY by the delusional idiots at Marca.

-Kaka and Karim Benzema were still out to prove that Florentino Perez was not wrong to use them as part of his second coming’s ‘flagship galacticos’. Perhaps this was more so with Kaka, who seems to have all but lost his place as the team’s preferred ‘10’ to steal-of-the-summer Mesut Özil. For Benzema, last Saturday Night’s game was merely for him to show us that his 2011 explosion into form had not been abruptly cut short by the niggles he’s gone through these last few weeks.

-There’s also Emmanuel Adebayor, now facing the reality of waking up from the dream that has been his 2011 so far. The 2010-11 season had started out as a nightmare for him, warming the bench for Noveau-Rich pretenders Manchester City. In 2011, he then found himself in a dream: scoring goals in the Champions League Quarterfinal and lifting silverware for Real Madrid, a club whose pedigree is the subject of the insecurities of all Noveau-Rich Clubs like Man City – the source of most of his 2010 nightmares.

-And finally, there’s 38-year-old Jerzy Dudek – playing his last game with the club and perhaps as a professional footballer. A Champions League winner (and a hero in a final-for-the-ages match that turned me into a Liverpool fan), and a great teammate. Almeria’s was his farewell game with the club and with the Bernabeu, and Real’s players performed the classy act of forming a pasillo to honor their teammate. Dudek was with us for 4 years (?) and hardly played a significant game – he won’t be remembered for any magical saves he made in big matches, he won’t be remembered by any of us for titles which he helped the team to win. In fact it was he who was between the sticks in many of our ill-fated Copa Del Rey exits at the hands of 3rd division clubs.

To his teammates however, he was the elder statesman – the veteran who gave sound advice, and who set the example of being a professional. A hero who has held aloft the Champions League trophy as one of the key players from the ‘Miracle of Istanbul’, I’m pretty sure that his credibility was never in question. In a dressing room filled with men barely out of their teens, a man of his stature would surely be of great presence, importance and value to the coaching staff and his fellow players. That he would be greatly honored by his teammates for his 4 years with the club is no surprise – but that he would be given a Pasillo as a tribute while he made his way off the pitch to a standing ovation from the Bernabeu chanting his name is an act of class that truly befits Real Madrid. It was a truly refreshing moment to remind us all, despite the ugliness that we were a part of during those 2 weeks of clasico madness, what the essence of Madridisimo is all about.

In the end there was only 1 title to celebrate.
No La Decima, No La Liga.
It was a season of consolation prizes in many ways.
But in the end, despite all that, there are reasons to be optimistic and look forward to the future. There is a great coach.
There is a great squad whose core will be retained.
There is a great spirit in the team and in the club.
There will be continuity.
And as the referee blew the whistle for our last match of the season, there was no jubilation.
Just Smiles.
And for now, that may just be good enough.


8 comentarios para “Just smiles at the end of the season”

  • 1
    Cannavoro dijo:

    In fact, we won 4 titles:

    – Juan Carling Cup vs Farsa.

    – No more Baúl.

    – No more Guti.

    – No more Valdano.

    Great season for its meaning for the club’s future.

  • 2
    El Socio dijo:

    Ha ha, that’s right!

  • 3
    JesúsG dijo:

    It’s weird that Valdano’s departure has only affected «piperos» and «antis.» Most of the madridistas with common sense have shown extreme bliss at this. Diego Torres and Segurola will surely miss him, and I assure you, in no time he’ll be back spilling out his rage in Marca or any other sport tabloid.

  • 4
    JesúsG dijo:

    Another thing I want to add is that we overcome the streak of 5 consecutive losses against Barça. The Copa del Rey victory grabbed us by the ass, as Pep and his comrades knew exactly whom they had to target in the following matches, in this case, Pepe. I think the most important thing Madrid can do in this off-season is to soften things up with those bastards in UEFA.

  • 5
    Andres dijo:

    Madridista Mac, I agree with your conclusions. We seem all seem to agree that the factor that made this a great season (besides finally winning the Copa del Rey) was the lingering feeling that things are being done in the right way, and that that is Mourinho’s doing. Long live MOU!

    Great job my friend.

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