Spain takes on Italy tonight in a friendly at the Vicente Calderón (Madrid) at 22h. There are several things of note about this game. It is the last time La Roja is together before the concentración for the World Cup begins on May 26, the game will serve as a tribute to the late and great Luis Aragonés and as the stage for the debut of the new black jerseys, and of course this will be the first time we see Diego Costa in the shirt of Spain. All eyes have been on him the entire week, although I have to admit mine were focused on Azpi’s dimples instead!
El Mundo’s Fuera de Serie magazine had Xabi Alonso on the cover for its inaugural issue, and several weeks later it has followed that stellar appearance with Juan Mata! The piece is very much along the lines of every other interview of Juanín in recent years (at least the ones you can find here; I think the journalists need to come up with a new angle), but more PF is always welcome, no?
Juan Mata is an atypical footballer: he’s studying two subjects (physical education and marketing) while playing for his club and country; he reads Murakami and Enrique Vila-Matas; he writes during his free time; he’s a gourmand and a cinephile; and he’s decided to learn how to play the guitar this year (he would like to have been a musician if he weren’t a footballer). He tells us all this during an interview in London, a few days before his transfer to Manchester United was confirmed.
Chelsea’s fans have shown you how much they love you…
Yes, that’s what they show me, both on the street and via social networks. I feel very fortunate to receive this affection, which really is difficult to describe with words. From the first day, they’ve shown me their appreciation, and they even chose me as the best player for two years in a row. They are really fantastic fans.
During the last concentración back in November, the boys filmed their holiday messages. With 2014 being a World Cup year, it was no surprise that the shiny gold trophy was mentioned time and again.
I do hope that 2014 will bring us many successes, including of course the World Cup.
Spain has returned to Soccer City (now FNB Stadium) for the first time since winning the World Cup there on July 11, 2010. La Roja will play South Africa in a friendly tonight at 20h. Of the 23 players who were crowned champions with Spain on that unforgettable night, 15 have traveled with the team for this trip, and according to prognostics, VDB will try and play as many of them tonight as possible. There are six more (Puyol, Piqué, Xavi, Cesc, Torres, Silva) who could make the final list for Brazil. Only two (Capdevila, Marchena) no longer figure in VDB’s plans.
Just being back in South Africa brought back many memories for our team.
Spain will be taking on Brazil in the final of the Confecup (Monday, 00h) after beating Italy following an agonizing penalty shootout that luckily had a happy ending.
Hopefully we’ll be able to pull off another Maracanazo and add to our trophy collection the only one that has resisted us so far!
Our opponent tonight in the semifinal of the Confecup (21h) is Italy, who is only in the tournament because we won the World Cup, and then beat them in the final of the Euro last year. Let’s do it again! At stake is a place in the final, where Brazil is waiting after having avoided a repeat of the “Maracanazo.”
Juan Mata comes across as witty and charming in the El País Q&A. And he finished on a roll! All together now, ¡poooorrrrr fa-vorrrrrr Juan Mata!
I really wish these interviews came with videos so we could see the players’ reactions to the questions…
What is Pelé called? Edson Arantes do Nascimento.
What is a folha seca? In football, when you strike the ball and it rises and drops quickly.