The concentración for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Finland and France began on Tuesday morning. Surprisingly, as the players began arriving, there were no major fashion failures (emphasis on the word “major” since some of the players, in the simple act of choosing their own clothes, commit fashion crimes).
A random assortment of recent and not so recent La Roja-related things – consider this post a warm-up for the international week!
Pepe Reina stars in a short film, “Invictus – El Correo del César,” which premiered at the Teatro Compac Gran Vía in Madrid on Monday. The film is part of insurance company Plus Ultra’s (formerly Groupama) promotional campaign, as Pepe is their spokesperson (he took over from Iker Casillas – remember the famous “me siento seguroooo…”?).
Pepe stars as one of the Roman empire’s messengers. He is tasked with bringing a message to Rome but of course runs into some trouble along the way.
The director of the short film, Javier Fesser, said of Pepe, “he acts better than some of those who have actor’s cards.”
Spain took on Uruguay in a friendly in Doha, Qatar on Feb. 6, winning 3-1 behind two goals from Pedro and one from Cesc. This game was also Carles Puyol’s 100th, making him the seventh Spaniard to reach that magic number. As for Vicente del Bosque, he tied Ladislao Kubala as the coach with the most number of games under his belt, 68, since taking charge four and a half years ago.
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?
Here’s a bit more from Sergio Ramos’ biography, from the chapter “How they see him,” where many of Sergio’s current and former coaches and teammates, plus friends, wrote what they think about him. Here are the thoughts of some of the La Roja players and staff: Fernando Torres, Raúl Albiol, Vicente del Bosque, Jesús Navas and Albert Luque.
When Sergio and I began getting to know each other some time ago, I noticed that he had clear values and a frank personality, and that he was loyal to his ideas and would defend them in front of anyone. You could tell that at the age of 18, he already knew what he wanted. It wasn’t a matter of rebelling, it was a matter of principles. It bothers him when people have a wrong opinion of him, and that’s something I can relate to.
Sergio always tells you things to your face. He defends his ideas. He says everything that he’s thinking and he won’t let you twist his arm easily. He’s had problems with some coaches but not because he didn’t know what steps to take and who was in charge, which he knows clearly and is the first one to respect, but because he defends his ideas.
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.
Here’s the rest of La Roja Por Dentro, which are the last three chapters and the epilogue by Pepe Reina. Speaking of Pepe Reina, this book was just as bad as his book. I really wouldn’t recommend either of them, since I didn’t like the writing, and I didn’t learn anything new!
Chapter IV: The Convocatoria.
In this chapter, Silvia describes each of the players called up by VDB for the World Cup and the following convocatorias. In other words, it’s a boring chapter. Here are the best tidbits from the 57 pages of the chapter, which are not distributed evenly. For example, Iker got eight pages, and Pedro less than half a page.
- Iker is one of the “experts” in coming up with nicknames for everyone. Damián García, one of the utilleros, was named “Tiriti” because he’s a deejay on the weekends and always humming “tirititititi” and Iker heard that. Damián has known Iker since the latter was 15.
I thought I would use Sergio Ramos’ abs and that tattoo to catch your attention, before moving onto other things (the rest of Sergio’s stellar appearance in Men’s Health España can be found here, if you haven’t seen it already). If you can tear your eyes away from that body, you’ll find interviews with Andrés Iniesta, Jordi Alba, Iker & Xavi (and Xavi by himself too) and Pepe Reina, plus a bit of Santi Cazorla and bonus Javi Martínez!