17 October 2012
Xabi Alonso went in just a few hours from the centre of the pitch at the Vicente Calderón stadium to an improvised runway for a photo shoot at the Madrid College of Architects. The Madrid player, who will be endorsed by a clothing manufacturer, was speaking in purely sporting terms at the end of a promotional event. Of course, the FIFA virus, which has taken such a toll on his team, was one of the main talking points of the press conference. The midfielder, who is the face of a men’s’ fashion label called “Black”, had a hard time dodging the question: Is “black” meant to be a reference to the situation of Madrid’s wingers? To which Xabi replied: “Black means black. No, seriously though, things are looking
pretty black. It’s really unlucky that in seven days all three have fallen ill. I am sure the coach must be looking for solutions”.
Praised throughout the event for his sang froid both on and off the pitch, Xabi showed the same coolness of demeanour when dealing with the media’s questions. The first round of questions were all about the same issue: injuries. And his anwers were: “We hope that things are just black on the surface and that we don’t have the same bad luck with our forwards. We hope that both Pipa and Benzema will be ready next Saturday; we hope they will be able to train this afternoon”. He added: “Of course I am sure the boss is looking for solutions. Firstly for Saturday and then also for the Champions league game next week. It is not for me to say who has to play on the wing. Like I said, the coach is thinking about solutions. Whoever plays, reserves or otherwise, we are here to help”.
Asked about the possibility of rearranging the calendar to make it more advantageous, the Madrid player came out clearly in favour, as having so many matches to play is the reason for so many injuries: “These days the calendar is crammed. You’re playing 60 or 70 matches and In the process for sure you are going to take some knocks. Someone will have to Look for a solution that will be in the best interests of both the players and the spectators”.
Xabi Alonso couldn’t evade either a question about the interview that José Mourinho recently gave on Realmadrid TV and Realmadrid.com, in which the manager claimed that there were “people posing as Madrid supporters”. Xabi’s take on this was: “I think what we all want to see here at Real Madrid is people who are supportive of the club and the team. That’s how I see it anyway. When we are playing, the stadium is always full of people who support us”.
To conclude, on the subject of the Spain – France draw, Xabi admitted that “I didn’t go off the pitch too happy for a minute. As far as the penalties are concerned, we don’t have a single enalty taker. Cesc was feeling confident; he stepped up to the plate and the goalkeeper made the save. That’s all there is to it”. About Arbeloa, whose absence from injury was noted, Xabi said: “I don’t think there’s any need to defend Arbeloa . He is highly valued by the other players and by the coaching staff. He is a valuable member of the team and he doesn’t need the public to stand up for him”.