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!
On the second day of the concentración, the players were made available to the press, and all of them were in high demand with journalists. Sergio Ramos was especially sought after, as he will be joining a select club of players after playing in his 100th game for Spain against Finland. Here’s a sampling of the interviews. We’ll start off with Sergio and Marca. The pictures – showing Sergio unveiling and posing with a huge blown up cover – are priceless.
One hundred games, 100 sensations. How would you sum up this long journey with La Roja?
It was a dream come true the day of my debut against China in Salamanca. And then remaining part of this team was the most complicated part. I would keep the three titles, because the successes are the cherry on top. I believe having two Eurocopas and one World Cup at my age is hard to beat. But I hope that the team can continue to win titles.
What does the shirt mean to you?
Strength, compromise, values, everything.
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?
Here are the rest of the mini essays that Sergio’s La Roja teammates and coaches wrote about him!
We met each other through the senior national team, during the qualification for the 2006 World Cup. Our chats began during a concentración at La Calderona before playing against Lithuania and Bosnia. He was in the group of Andalusians, with Joaquín, Juanito and Marchena, and I was also drawn to them, but I was with the card playing group, the “pocheros,” which were Villa, Pablo, Iker and Antonio López.
Pepe Reina (who is set to become a father for a fourth time!) was on El Hormiguero several weeks ago, and he shared his pre-game ritual with Pablo Motos (it was also in his autobiography). He says that for home games, the night before, he eats only a ham and cheese sandwich, accompanied by a glass of wine. The next morning, he has to fill up the gas tank, even if it’s just five pounds worth and he had filled it the previous day. Then he goes to the stadium.
Then this happens: “I step onto the field with my right foot. I take two hops forward on my right foot. I touch the field and make the sign of the cross, I walk to the goal, I touch the post. I let go of the post and head for the other post. After four steps, I touch the crossbar. I get to the other post, I touch it, then take four steps to the middle of the goal.”
“I put down my right foot and start walking forward with my left. I take six steps until I’m at the edge of the goal area. Then I take six steps to the penalty spot, and six more to the edge of the penalty area. Then I take six steps back to the penalty spot, and six back to the goal area. I bring the heel of each foot up, bring my knees to my chest, do this once on each side, jump up in place twice while bringing my knees up, then I lunge to the right, jump up twice, then I lunge to the left. I then wave at my wife and kids.” Wow!