I wasn’t going to do any blitzen awards as I am feeling a bit disgruntled today, but if the team can pick themselves up after the week they had and put in a performance like they did yesterday-I suppose I had better just gruntle myself and get the job done. So without any further ado:
Room With A View Award: To the fans watching the game from the rooftops and balconies of nearby buildings. Want to watch a world-class football game but can’t afford the ticket price? No problem! Just make friends with one of these lucky people! They might charge a nominal admission fee to come into their apartments, but I suspect a six-pack of beer would do the trick.
MOTMOTM Award: Very difficult to pick just one. This was a full-on 100% team performance. I haven’t seen Barça play this well in ages. See what taking the pressure off will do? This was a team who were having fun out there. If I must pick one, I will choose Thiago. He was very impressive all game. Tim Stannard of La Liga Loca singled him out for praise as well, so I’m in good company.
All Dressed Up And Nowhere To Go Award: Madrid’s statue of Cibeles was adorned with RM flags yesterday and outfitted with a special fence to keep the hoi polloi at bay, in the expectation that Barcelona might drop points to Rayo and seal Madrid’s first Liga title in four years. Sadly for the beautiful goddess, her hopes of a night out dancing were dashed and she will now have to wait until Wednesday for her beau to appear, trophy in hand. Let’s just hope he doesn’t drop it!
The King Is Dead, Long Live The King! Award: Despite Pep insisting that he is only leaving, not dying, there has been a pretty funereal attitude amongst cules. We have lost something irreplaceable and we will miss him for a very long time. However, I believe that Tito is more than capable of continuing what Pep began, and I look forward to the official beginning of his tenure. He might want to spruce up his wardrobe a bit, though.
Plait of Power Award: Pinto!!!! Aside from a few shaky minutes at the start of the game, Pinto had a screamer. Reminding us why he won the Zamora Trophy in the 2005-2006 season, Pinto came up with several big saves to keep a clean sheet. News today is that he will be starting the last three Liga games as well in preparation for the Copa del Rey final. Which means that Victor Valdes will get his fourth consecutive (5th overall) Zamora trophy. Awards all round!
Dance Dance Revolution Award: PUYOL HAS NO TIME FOR YOUR FOOLISH DANCING!!!
Trollhattan Memorial TOTM Award: This one is for Pep, of course. From his post-match presser: “Karanka saying Liga existed before me & will exist after me? Well, he’s right. Congrats for the observation.” Oh, how I will miss his bon mots. Let’s hope Tito has hidden talents in that direction.
What I Did On My Winter Vacation Award: Ibrahim Afellay, who spent his down time after being injured in September learning Spanish and has reached the point where he can now converse and even do pressers! Well done. I guess we won’t get any more of these videos then. Too bad. 😀 (And wasn’t it great to see him back?)
Lord Of The Wings Award: Pedro’s back! And he is doing what he does best, creating chaos on the wings and appearing at just the right moment in front of the goal to bang in a rebound. I haven’t seen him play so well since last season. Making his case to Del Bosque to take him to the Euros?
He’s Just Not That Into You Award: If a team gets relegated and their owner doesn’t notice, do they still go down? Racing Santander has never been one of my favourite clubs, but as you recuperate from our own bad news spare a thought for Racing who are the first club to be relegated this season. Their absentee owner Ali Syed probably doesn’t even know or care.