PF Juan Mata is on the cover of the May issue of magazine Minuto 116 (can you guess what the name of the magazine – Minute 116 – refers to?), and inside, over half of the magazine is dedicated to him! There’s a great (and super, super long) interview with Juanín, a piece written by his sister PF Paula Mata, an interview with his grandfather, and his friends’ views of him, among other articles. All of them paint a picture of a footballer who is also a normal person, in addition to being funny, humble, and well, also muy guapo.
Keep in mind somos España as we take on France at 21h tonight, with a spot in the 2014 World Cup at stake. Luckily for us, these two guys are scheduled to play.
Spain will debut a completely red kit (shirt, shorts, socks) for the game! Let’s go La Roja!
There are many things to look forward to in tonight’s game (20:45h)! This game will be Sergio Ramos’ 100th with Spain, and he’ll achieve it at the age of 26 years and 358 days, the youngest Spanish player and seventh youngest in the world to do so. This game will also be Vicente del Bosque’s 69th one in charge of La Roja, pushing him past Ladislao Kubala as coach with the most games under his belt. And of course, as the game is being played in Gijón, it will be a homecoming of sorts for La Roja’s three asturianos – PF Juan Mata, David Villa and Santi Cazorla!
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.”
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.”