los secretos – seating arrangements & other anecdotes
The second part of the chapter “Mofeta, Pelopo y Virus.” Here, we find out what the “Mesa de Triana” is, who loves Actimel and who left their suitcase in a taxi cab! But the best part is probably hearing the guys talk about each other in such glowing terms. You really get the sense that this is a team.
- Xavi, Puyol, Iniesta, Cesc, Fernando Navarro and Sergio García made up one of the tables in the hotel in Austria. Because Cesc loved strawberry Actimel (a yogurt-type drink) so much, the other guys would conspire to make sure that he couldn’t get one. But in the end, they felt bad and would give him one, according to Puyol. Puyol also founded the group “Sushi-Team” during the Eurocopa for those who loved Japanese food. At times, Xavi, Cesc, Iniesta and Xabi would join. Xabi: “I like Japanese food, but Puyol is obsessed with it. Once in a while, I’ll tell him, let’s have pork chops but there was no way of changing his mind… it was agony.”
- another table was made up of Reina, Fernando Torres, Iker, Arbeloa, De la Red and Güiza. Pepe: “it was a laid back table and people knew how to enjoy the food. Arbeloa would talk to everyone from his seat by shouting. You could hear him anywhere in the dining room and we asked him to lower the volume a bit.”
- a third table had Capdevila, Marcos Senna, Cazorla, Villa and Xabi Alonso. Xabi says, “Marcos and I were mere spectators, because the other three never stopped talking. Villa talks so much!” Senna says, “Capdevila was the greediest one, and Villa ate the least.”
- the last table was made up of Albiol, Palop, Silva, Sergio Ramos, Juanito and Marchena. Juanito and Marchena: “we weren’t allowed to have eggs or onions in our salads, but Sergio always managed to smuggle some in.” Sergio, Juanito and Marchena were three ex-members of the “mesa de Triana” (Triana is a neighborhood of Sevilla), which was born during the 2006 World Cup. At that time, Joaquín, Reyes, Reina and Torres were also members. They were all from Andalucía with the exception of Fernando (Pepe’s dad is from Córdoba), and to distinguish themselves from the rest, they all wore a pin of the RFEF logotype. But one day, they almost broke up: they locked Juanito and Joaquín in the locker room, took the key, put it inside a bottle and threw it out the window. There was no way of getting it back, and Juanito and Joaquín spent a cold half hour in the showers. So Joaquín and Juanito went to eat after that without the pin to show their anger. That night, the rest of them appeared at the table with the word “perdón” (sorry) written on their foreheads, and all was forgiven.
- at the conclusion of training sessions, the goalkeepers had the tradition of competing on penalty kicks. The two losing goalkeepers each have to give €50 to the winning goalkeeper (maybe that’s what Pepe meant when he said that Palop had cleaned him out of €500). Iker says that “Pepito” is really good with penalties to the point where he’s almost sick (mentally), and it’s better that he doesn’t win, because then you don’t hear about anything else for the rest of the day.
- Cazorla on Pepe: “he creates a good atmosphere. He’s happy, he tells jokes, and he knows when to make light of the situation and when to be serious. When he talks, people listen because he’s charismatic.”
- Villa on Torres: “it’s a lie to say that I don’t get along with Fernando Torres. We debuted the same day on the U-21 team, in a game against Andorra. We’ve always had a great relationship, which perhaps got stronger during the Eurocopa thanks to Pepe. When we had free days, my family, Pepe’s, Fernando’s and sometimes Silva’s would get together to eat. My wife Patricia became good friends with Olalla, Fernando’s then-girlfriend. My wife loved her name and we named our second daughter after her.”
- Xabi Alonso on Güiza: “Dani is unparalleled when one of his phrases or jokes is needed to break the tension… these types of persons are necessary.” Senna: “all groups need someone like Dani. Even when he’s not talking, he brings us happiness.” Cesc: “I laughed a lot with him. He was never in his room, and wherever you’d go, you’d find Dani. I asked myself if he slept at night.”
- if there were to be a casting of absentminded types done with the players, these three would immediately be picked: Arbeloa, Cesc and Llorente. On the first day of the Eurocopa training camp, Arbeloa arrived in a taxi that had taken him to Las Rozas from the airport. He paid the fare, got out of the car, and started talking to the press. But he forgot one thing: his suitcase. He was able to get in contact with the taxi company, which returned his suitcase to him.
- Xavi on Cesc: “we were in Serbia, and everyone was on the bus waiting to go to the airport to return to Spain. But we didn’t leave, and it was already past the time in which we were supposed to start off. A couple of minutes later, Cesc got on the bus. He had fallen asleep.” Cesc has also been known to forget to wear his game shirt under his warm-up suit while on the bench: “in Brussels, Torres was injured and del Bosque sent Güiza to go warm up. He suddenly changed his mind and told me to get up. I then realized I had forgotten to put my shirt on, and the substitution had to be delayed.”
- Llorente, who is described as a very good and good-natured person by his teammates, is also absentminded: in the Confederations Cup, on a day when there was no training session, he lay down to take a nap and arrived ten minutes late for lunch. “I broke out in a cold sweat when I looked at my watch…”
- Arbeloa and Albiol have become really good friends. They live in the same neighborhood in Madrid, and spent New Year’s Eve 2009 together. Albiol even lent Arbeloa a contact lens at halftime of a game after Arbeloa lost one during the first half.
Posted on June 24, 2010, in secretos and tagged albiol, arbeloa, capdevila, cazorla, cesc, güiza, iker, iniesta, juanito, llorente, navarro, navas, palop, pepe, puyol, senna, sergio, sergio garcía, silva, torres, villa, xabi, xavi. Bookmark the permalink. 18 Comments.