day 1 – princes, new looks & awards
May 24, 2010.
Monday was the day the 23 players that will make up Spain’s World Cup squad met for the first time, as they were due at Las Rozas at 10 in the morning.
– Iker was the first to arrive (in a bright blue t-shirt), while the group from Barcelona arrived at 11, due to a delayed flight. Several of the players showed off new/distinctive looks: Cesc had a beard, Piqué sported a thicker than usual beard, Llorente lived up Athletic’s lions nickname with his mane, Silva was only about two inches of hair away from a Justin Bieber hairstyle, Fernando Torres went back to his brunette roots, and Sergio sported another ponytail.
Marca gave us a visual aid of Fernando Torres’ hairstyles over the years. While very helpful and entertaining, it did nothing to strengthen Marca’s case that it is a serious newspaper.
I don’t really like any of them, although 2007’s is quite amusing.
A princely visit
– Prince Felipe was the special guest at the inauguration of the national team museum. During the tour, he got to see a video of Torres, Iker and Xavi dressed as Spanish players from yesteryear. Iker looks like a shepherd, and this is probably the only occasion I’ve seen in the last year where his beard actually fits. Where can I get my hands on this video???
He also handed out RFEF gold medals to those players who have reached 100 games with the national team: Andoni Zubizarreta, Raúl and Iker Casillas. The latter two also received RFEF gold medals for sports merit. The best moment came when Raúl dropped one of his medals, and Vicente del Bosque rose from his seat, picked it up and returned it to Raúl.
Felipe also got to dwarf pose with all the players in their spanking new Pedro del Hierro suits, especially Cesc and Xavi. (FYI, Felipe is 1.93 m tall, making him taller than the majority of the players). See another example here.
More on the suits: as mentioned above, they’re made by Pedro del Hierro. They have the flag of Spain on the lapel, the row of buttons on the left sleeve, and on the belt.
The players looked really good in their suits (I love the red ties!), and endeared themselves to all of us even further by joking around with each other. Case in point: Iker & Pepe. Do we have the hottest national team or what?
– The afternoon training session was probably the most boring part of the day, to me. All the players with the exception of the injured Torres and Cesc trained, and the joking continued. Iker is so white he makes my eyes hurt.