Category Archives: secretos
I thought it would be nice ahead of tonight’s clásico (and all the craziness that can arise from these games) to take a look back at how Real Madrid and Barcelona players (and other teams’ players) worked together to achieve the greatest triumph in Spanish football history. So, here is the chapter from Más secretos about the 2010 World Cup final.
By the way, are Luca Villa and Luca Reina destined to be best friends, or are they destined to be best friends?
We continue with this walk down memory lane – I am really loving reliving the excitement and joy we felt during the World Cup, because when it was actually happening, it was too nerve-wracking and suspenseful! Today, we see how Spain successively beat Portugal, Paraguay and Germany to set up a final showdown with The Netherlands.
And we continue with the chapter “Champions of the World” in Más secretos de la Roja! In this excerpt, we find out what went on before and after the games against Switzerland, Honduras and Chile.
Switzerland (June 16, Moses Mabhida, Durban).
Spain and Switzerland were the last teams to play out of the 32. Spain used the same formula for the game. It had the ball and frequently got close to the rival goal. Arbeloa said, “I remember that 15 minutes into the game, I told Albiol that if we continued like this, no one could beat us. We were playing so well…” But the minutes passed and the goal didn’t come. In the 51st minute, Switzerland scored a goal. Casillas said, “the game could be summed up in that play. It was a real misfortune.” To make matters worse, Piqué suffered a cut above his eye and needed two stitches. Iniesta lost feeling in the back of his right thigh after receiving a blow and had to be taken out: “I was quite scared. I thought I had suffered something more serious than what I really had.”
Here we go with Más secretos de la Roja… (illustrated with moments from the Confederations Cup jersey photoshoot with Adidas).
Champions of the World.
Vicente del Bosque closed the folder and turned off the light in his office. It was the afternoon of May 18, 2010. Normally, he usually left Las Rozas earlier, many times to attend events. But this day wasn’t like any other one, because he had just made what could be the most important decision since he had taken on the role of national team coach. After a meeting of over two hours with his staff, Del Bosque had chosen the 23 footballers who would represent Spain in the upcoming World Cup.
I have here two of the books that came out this week and last about La Roja, “Más Secretos de La Roja” and “La Roja Por Dentro.” The question now is, which one would you all like to read first?
Let’s finish Los secretos de la roja so we can move on to El mundo en nuestras manos! The fun anecdotes and stories from the last four chapters of the book are your advent gift for today.
The boys and their pregame rituals
- Iker used to cut off inches off the sleeves and bottom of his shirt, and the utilleros would help him put on the captain’s armband, because it was difficult to do with gloves. Puyol always has to enter the field on his right foot and can never step on the lines, including while the game is in play. He always folds his socks inward, while Xavi does the opposite.
- Villa has worn the same shinguards since he was 18 because he believes they bring him luck. Piqué always warms up without shinguards and he puts them on right before he goes onto the field. He always enters the field on his right foot. Sergio Ramos always puts on his right boot first and enters the field on his left foot.
- Cesc usually kisses a ring that his girlfriend gave him four times, and Senna always prays before the game, asking for protection for him and for his teammates, that none of them will get injured. Marchena likes to look in the mirror before going out onto the field “to see if I’m sufficiently motivated or not.” Silva and Mata prefer to enter the field on their left foot.
- for a while, Güiza had to eat Oreos before games, and even sent the utilleros to the supermarket if he forgot. He also would wear a shirt with the image of the Cristo de los gitanos and the Virgen del Valle on the front to sleep on nights before games.
Today’s advent treat!
In part two of the chapter on the porra (part one can be found here), we get to see some of the results! Were they what you expected?
In Austria [2008 Eurocopa], Iker and Pepe both played individually, and teamed up as a duo, although their predictions as a duo were a complete failure. Sergio García won the first prize that summer, attributing his win to his head, and a bit of luck. He had predicted that Spain would win all their games and that Villa would be the pichichi. All in all, that summer was quite the success for Sergio García, because he won the porra (pocketing €1,050), he won money playing pocha and Spain won the Eurocopa. Rubén de la Red was second (winning €630) and Pedro Cortés came in third (taking home €420).
In South Africa for the Confederations Cup, Vicente del Bosque & Paco Jiménez jointly shared the first prize of €1,150, while Antonio Limones was second, winning €690 and Xavi came in third for €460.
For the World Cup porra, the winners were Piqué and Mata (tied for first) and Capdevila (third).
And now, some anecdotes about the porra:
Here is your advent calendar surprise for Dec. 7!
We’re coming to the end of Los secretos, and there is only one chapter left that interests all of us, which talks about the porra of Carles Puyol. One of the questions I get asked the most is what exactly is a porra, so let’s start with that before we head into the translation of the chapter!
A porra is a Spanish betting game (we’re not talking about the fat type of churros here). It’s a game where the participants predict the outcomes of football games of a tournament and compete against each other to see who knows the most about football. They get points for making correct predictions, and the winner is the person with the highest point total in the end. That person would walk away with a cash prize, as there is an entry fee. If you’re American, it’s more or less the equivalent to filling out a bracket for March Madness.