5 lesser known off-field stories from Real Madrid

Real Madrid players are always in the thick of things when it comes to dealing with the press. Usually, the players make headlines for the right reasons with their superlative exploits on the field hard to go unnoticed. However, just like everyone else, the squad enjoys a good laugh every now and then behind the scenes when they are not wearing the Blancos shirt.We take a look at some notable incidents in the recent past which saw Real Madrid players in some funny and even dangerous situations.

1 Sergio Ramos drops the Copa del Rey

In the wake of Real Madrid’s triumphant 1-0 win in the Copa Del Rey final against fierce rivals Barcelona, the unthinkable happened. As the players were celebrating their victory with great pomp, team vice-captain Sergio Ramos had the huge cup perched on his head and appeared to be trying to jump up and down with his teammates when the cup slipped from his hands. The trophy fell onto the tarmac in front of the moving bus and was run over. A helpless Ramos cried out, “The cup has fallen!” as TV pictures showed the cup disappearing under the right front wheel of the slow-moving bus. The cup is now housed in the Museum of the Spanish National Team, which contains an incredible collection of items from Spanish footballing history.

2 Asier Illarramendi Bullfighting

Since his big money move to Los Blancos, Asier Illarramendi has rarely made the headlines. And when he did do, it was for all the wrong reasons. That’s right; during the Carnival celebrations in the Basque province of Azpeitia, a video posted on social media caught the Real Madrid midfielder running in front of a bull dressed as the caped crusader Batman. The Basque midfielder apparently violated a clause that the Real Madrid players have in their contracts prohibiting them from participating in risky activities, as stated in the club’s code of conduct. Real Madrid’s internal regulations expressly prohibit bullfighting, but the club appreciated the player’s heart-felt apologies and decided not to impose any financial penalty on him.

3 Carlo Ancelotti\’s fable of the lion and gazelle

Carlo Ancelotti once recounted the fable of the Lion and the Gazelle to the press in a bid to explain the day-to-day workings at Real Madrid. To explain the importance of hard work, the Italian manager recounted the following tale. “There is a legend about a lion and a gazelle. The lion wakes up thinking about running to hunt for food. If he doesn’t run, he doesn’t catch his prey.  “And the gazelle wakes up thinking about running so it doesn’t get caught by the lion. And I have told my players that it makes no difference whether they wake up thinking like lions or gazelles; the important thing is to run.”

Run they did as Real Madrid raced to the Cup double having clinched the Copa del Rey and the historic 10th UEFA Champions League trophy (La Decima) in the Italian’s first season in charge. In his second season at the club, Real Madrid failed to defend the trophies which they had won but still managed to win another cup double – the UEFA Super Cup and The FIFA Club World Cup.

4 Luka Modric\’s haircut and Dani Carvajal\’s blonde beard

For a long time, Real Madrid’s La Decima proved elusive. 12 years after winning El Novena, Los Blancos were finally within earshot of the coveted cup and the players naturally made bets as to what they would do if they win. Luka Modric promised to cut his hair if Real Madrid won their tenth European Cup. A hallmark of the Croatian skipper, parting with his long blonde hair must have been quite difficult for the player. A day after the triumph, Modric stayed true to his word.

5 Marcelo – the prankster

Marcelo makes light of everything. Having the Brazilian in the dressing room is always a plus as he helps the other squad members relax by constantly cracking jokes. Over the years, Marcelo has developed a deep friendship with Cristiano Ronaldo, a friendship which has paid dividends on the field for Los Blancos, with the duo’s telepathic understanding of each other’s whereabouts carving open the most resolute of defences.

In the video below, we take a look at some of the funny moments from the Real Madrid training ground featuring the Portuguese-speaking duo of Marcelo and Ronaldo regularly. The video depicts Marcelo breaking into a frenzy of karate moves, Ronaldo teaching a reporter how to pronounce his friend and ex-teammate Fabio Coentrão’s name correctly and also features Kaka as he teams up with Marcelo to play a prank on Pepe.