Top Real Madrid Moments 2012/13

Posted on May 25, 2013 by

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By Umid.

It has been quiet long since I have written an article for the site. My reason for not writing enough is probably similar to the one most of our players had this season: lack of motivation. Anyways, without further ado, I will start over.

This season has been a one to forget. We have had horrible, trophy-less seasons before, but this season, for me, is the worst because of some reasons: losing to Atleti after 15 long years and the off-field controversies. In my lifetime as a Madridista, I have never seen us lose to Atleti, but this season we did. Nothing lasts forever, so this probably had to be.

By January, we had lost hope for the League, but I took it as the darkness before dawn; that it is the darkest hour before light – and those thoughts were strengthen after we won to Barca and United. But, as destiny had it, it was the candle’s last glowing splurge before dying away.

Anyways, we had have a lot of negatives this season, so I have decided to look at the positives and list it. So here are the best Real Madrid moments of this season…

15. The Victor Valdes Moment…

 3-1 down and almost assured of losing the Super Cup. Madridistas were gloomed, sad that their first chance of winning a trophy this season is being snatched away by eternal rivals, Barcelona.

Then came Real Madrid’s saviour. Nope, it wasn’t Cristiano. Nah, it wasn’t Casillas either.  Neither Higuain nor Benzema.

It was Victor Valdes.

“YOLO”

When all the doors are closed and it seems like there is no way out; that’s when Valdes comes with his divine powers to save the opponents and give them a lifeline. You see, you only live once, and if you keep winning easily, without any challenges, things become boring….very monotonous. And as Valdes loves adventures – and has an obsession to become an outfield player – he tried to dribble past Di Maria and succeeded. Succeeded in giving away the ball and letting Angel score. Giving us a lifeline and Valdes an adventure in the next leg – a reason to play.

However, he had to pay for it as…

14. Winning Spanish Super Cup…

The match started in a blistering way. We might as well have won the game with a record margin if it weren’t for poor luck and finishing. That Victor Valdes move in the end of the first leg set the whole thing up. Cristiano and Higuain channeled their inner Juanitos and ‘hammered’ Barca 2-1.

They say that when there is no hope, when darkness lies all around, a knight comes from somewhere – Victor Valdes is that Dark Knight. Stealing a dialogue from The Dark Knight, “he is not the hero we need, he is a silent guardian, a watchful protector, a Dark Knight.”

It was the perfect way to begin our season and take revenge of Barca’s triumph against us in the 2011 Super Cup.

13. Benzema’s overhead goal against Ajax…

Another season, another great goal by Benzema that becomes one of the best moments of the season. Last season, he scored a van Basten-esque goal against Osasuna and this season, against Ajax, he scored a tremendous overhead kick goal from a cross.

The technique with which he executed that was artistry in motion. He might not have had one of his best seasons at Real, but this goal of his is probably the best goal scored by a Real Madrid player this season.

12. Alfredo di Stefano has still got it…

He might be in his 80s, but Don Alfredo can still score….on the bed. With his personal secretary.

After getting crashed out of the CL, we needed some news that could cheer us and Don Alfredo provided us with that by announcing that he would marry his 36 year old girl-friend-cum-secretary Gina Gonzalez.

“I am in love and I am marrying Gina,” Don Alfredo said. “I am 86 but I have a young heart.”

Love is in the air…or bed.

His children, however, didn’t take this announcement as happily as we did. The Blonde Arrow didn’t seem to care, though, as he said, “what do you think they would say? They might be against it. But that is not important to me.” He further added, “I am interested in my life and nothing else. And not making a lot of trouble. They are going to have a go at me but I will take it with sincerity. If any wants to ask me then let them do it and I will explain it to them.”

He might as well explain it to his kids by gifting them some half-brothers/sisters through Gina. That would possibly be the best way to do it anyway!

11. Diego Lopez is back…and at his best!

This might be the root of one of the most controversial periods of Real Madrid’s history, but Diego Lopez coming back was one of the best things this season. It is always pleasant to see former canteranos coming back and making their name at the Club – Diego did exactly that.

Real Madrid DNA

If it weren’t for him, we might as well have been knocked out of the CL against United. He turned in one of the finest displays of his life in one of the grandest stage of them all. The fact that he was playing second fiddle to Palop at Sevilla and then arrive at Real and become the first choice, making the best GK in Real’s history play second fiddle to him in the process, makes his rise almost legendary.

10. Comeback against Manchester City…

Sergio Ramos was dropped amidst a lot of controversy to slot in the then 19 year old Varane and on the other side was another then 19 year old gem, Nastasic. We were 2-1 down and City were looking like they’d seal the win.

But then we did what were best at: ‘Remontada’.

Karim Benzema played a huge role as he was subbed on. He dragged Nastasic, who was having a brilliant game up to that point, to the wrong side and slotted home the equaliser. Then Cristiano, with a little bit of help from Kompany, got us the winner in the dying minutes of the match.

Celebrating The Winner

So close, yet so far for City.

That goal from Cristiano will forever stay in my memory as that goal gave me, and a lot of Madridistas, peace. That goal also saved us from the English media drooling over City and calling the Premier League the best thing that ever happened since the creation of cheeseburgers.

But that wasn’t it, though, as…

9. Mourinho’s knee-slide celebration…

Like him or not, but you can’t deny that Mourinho is one of the most entertaining coaches to have graced the blade of the grass at the Bernabeu. When Cristiano scored the winner, Mourinho unleashed his extreme joy by knee-sliding on the grass like a 19 year old full of energy.

Passion and Desire…

That celebration symbolised his passion and desire to win. His calm and emotionless demeanor when a goal is scored makes this celebration all the more important and one of the best moments of this season.

Ah, wish things were the same even now…

8. Jose Rodriguez scoring on his debut….

Some things in life happen rarely; one of them being our canteranos given a chance to play with the first team (even though Mourinho has given 1 or 2 games to quite a lot of canteranos). So, naturally, a lot of Madridistas were getting excited to see one of their most talented youth players take on the field.

At half-time, against Alcoyano in a Copa del Rey game, Jose Rodriguez was subbed in. For the first few minutes, he looked nervous and harried. But then he gave us Madridistas the best moment of the game by scoring an absolute peach of a goal with his right foot.

Li’l Jose Being Mobbed

After that, he showed his true capabilities. He was comfortable with the ball, showing composure beyond his years, and very positionally aware off it. He is a gem of a player and if we can groom him, he would definitely go on to become one of the finest central midfielders in the World.

7.  Cristiano playing – and scoring – with one eye…

Levante were one of the revelations of last season and won the hearts of many people with their brave Footballing style. However, lots of Madridistas lost all that love after this game.

It was brutal. It was war. The only things missing were guns and grenades. In the midst of all this, Cristiano was elbowed in the left-eye to temporary blindness. He was bleeding, it was gory. Every Madridista was concerned as their beloved Cristiano bled.

But real warriors never quit. Even after being almost blind in one eye, he scored and gave us the lead. He had to be withdrawn at half-time as, by then, he couldn’t see well with even the other eye.

An Eye For Goal

Levante equalized, only to give us another great moment…

6. Alvaro Morata winner against Levante…

Dying minutes of the game. Morata was subbed in. We watched with great hope, hopping that our prodigal son would save us.

Even though stats state otherwise, we are not that great at attacking set-pieces. So there wasn’t much hope when we won an indirect free kick from about 40 yards out.

Xabi Alonso took it, the ball floated in the air beautifully, begging for a Real player to head it in – and Morata obliged, rising above all and heading it in.

Roaring Morata

Like mentioned earlier, Real canteranos given a chance to show their capabilities is one of the rare things in this World. Hence, just by seeing them play we get a lot of satisfaction. So imagine how satisfied we were after Morata scored the winner in the 84th minute…

Yes, it was as satisfying as drinking a cold beer on a damn, damn hot day.

5. Higuain’s Madridismo…

Oozing Madridismo

When you look at this gif, you know how much this man loves the Club. The reaction to seeing Modric against Mallorca score and saving the day – it oozes Madridismo. There are many Madridistas who love him and many who don’t. I absolutely adore him. He might not be our youth product, but make no mistake; he is no less than a symbol of Real Madrid.

It seems inevitable that Higuain will leave this summer. And probably rightfully so. Most of the fans who were chanting for him to stay last summer at this time are now wanting to see his back (well, female Madridistas always love to see his back anyway and I have no idea why).

Jokes aside, I am already trying to mentally accept the fact that Higuain will leave. I don’t think I – or the ones who love him – can accept it so easily. He might not be the legend Raul is for Real, but the pain of seeing him leave would be similar to that of the one which we felt when Raul left.

Let’s pray that he has a change of heart and doesn’t leave. That would be the best summer move I can think of.

4. Raphael Varane against Barcelona…

By February, it was looking all too gloomy for us. Casillas got injured, Pepe and Ramos were unavailable, Barca and United games were looming right ahead….nothing seemed like going our way and disappointment looked like the inevitable.

But the then 19 year old French beast had something else in mind.

Little Beast

Making a goal-line save, covering up all of Carvalho’s errors, keeping Messi in his back-pocket, making THAT tackle on Fabregas when he was clean through on goal, and then scoring the equaliser – Varane had the game of his life and the best game I have seen a defender have against Barcelona in a long time.

3. Varane-Mourinho celebration…

In the return leg at Camp Nou, Varane had another terrific game – and he scored again. And celebrated with Mou like the little kid he actually is by hugging Mou and jumping with him. It was like a son celebrating with his father after graduating or getting his first salary…

Papa Mou

It is strange that we often fail to realize that he is only 20 – that is how much composure he shows, it is beyond his years. But he unleashed the little kid inside him after scoring the second leg and celebrated with Mou. At that point, we Madridistas were really confident of us picking our season and winning the Champions League, but….

2. Luka Modric goal against United…

After winning convincingly against Barca, we were on our way to play United at Old Trafford after a 1-1 draw in the first leg. The tie was tilted towards us and there was a lot of optimism since we had won – and pretty much demolished – against Barca.

However, United took the lead against us after an indirect error from the ever-so-reliant Varane. Fear had found of us again, fear of failure. But once more we were given the hope to raise from the pit (The Dark Knight Rises resemblance here) after Nani was sent off.

Luka Modric was subbed in and he made an instant impact by scoring a beautiful curler to beat De Gea. That shot was unstoppable as it went in with the help of the post. Modric then pre-assisted Cristiano’s winner to seal the win and qualification to the semi-finals.

Croatian Batman

By then, we were almost certain that the curse would break, that we would win the tenth. Good moments, those were.

1. “I’m here to stay!”  

The season is done and dusted by now. Although, the final of the Copa Del Rey was yet to be played. Not winning the semi-final against Dortmund after getting so close still hurt the Madridistas. Inner quarrels and open war of words were becoming the norm at Real.

Everything looked so uncertain, the team looked so shattered. Then, once again, Cristiano rose to give us joy – this time via celebrating a goal.

“I AM HERE!”

It was against Malaga, we were crushing them and Cristiano was one of the main tormentors. He scored an absolute peach of a goal and celebrated, yelling “I’m staying!”

Cristiano has had celebrated in many iconic ways, but this was probably the most special for me as he extending his contract was one of the uncertain and most worrying things in my mind. After that celebration, it is all but confirmed that Cristiano Ronaldo is here. And he is here to stay and slay the other teams with his omnipotence.

This, for me, was the moment of the season.

FOLLOW UMID ON TWITTER!

[P.S – Thanks to Anita, Manar, Karim, Ashay & Radhika for helping me out with this. Writing this, without their help, would have been almost impossible.]
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Posted in: Editorials