Training [+] | March 7-8, 2014
The majority of the internationals were present for the third practice of the week. Alonso trained indoors with Pepe (stomach flu), who also split his time on the training pitch. Khedira still continues his recovery.
Both Illarra and club president Pérez share a birthday and were greeted by the team before Saturday’s training began. Alonso and Pepe were able to train at the same rate as their teammates, but Arbeloa was unable to train because of a knee injury.
Absences: Arbeloa, Khedira (injury)
Yellow card alert: Ramos (9)
- Pepe (stomach bug) was called up for Levante but may not play.
- Arbeloa’s injury is unlucky; he will rest for a few days before attempting to train.
- Isco has shown recently that he can play in the team’s preferred formation and is closer to starting because of that. Ancelotti even compared him to Seedorf, who was in a similar situation at AC Milan.
- Zidane to El Confidencial: “I enjoy [being a coach]. It’s what I want to do. When I stopped playing football I went on to do a lot of different things. But in the end you have to come back to the thing that gives you energy and that gives you life. If possible, you should do what you want and, for me, that’s football. I think it’s the place in which I can contribute something, transmit what I feel and what I know.”
- Varane’s surgeon reportedly says the player is fully recovered and can resume playing twice a week.
- Florentino Pérez was a guest on La Sexta’s Salvados, which will air Sunday. When asked by the host if he had any involvement in the Neymar transfer saga he replied with a smile, “You know perfectly that I did not. And it seems ridiculous to me to answer that.”
- The team had dinner at El Espigón around 8:30 Thursday night. Ancelotti told the press he was invited and that Zizou paid. Ramos made the reservation, and only four players were absent: Alonso, Arbeloa, Khedira and Pepe. The technical staff was there as well, and the restaurant owner commented on the good atmosphere at the dinner. Jesé and Isco left together, as did Ronaldo and Ramos. A partial seating chart is here. [+ ∙+]