Los Secretos de La Roja – excerpt I
I’ve started reading Los Secretos de La Roja, and IT IS GOOD. I’ll be posting my favorite parts in a series of excerpts, because the book is about 300 pages long!
I’ll start with the prologue by Iker Casillas. And to give you a preview of what’s ahead, there is an entire chapter dedicated to the nicknames the guys have given each other!
Buying options added to the post here.
My first lasting memory of the Spanish national football team is from the summer of 1992. I was 11 years old. I will never forget how happy the goal Kiko scored against Poland in the last minute made me. With that, we won the gold medal in the Barcelona Olympics.
At that time, as a kid, I dreamed of playing for Spain one day. This dream came true and each time I put on the shirt of the national team, I feel the same thing: respect, pride, pressure to defend the shirt and represent the country.
From the first day, my objective was to win a title with La Roja before retiring. Therefore, winning the Eurocopa was something extraordinary for me, my teammates and for the fans, who had waited 44 years to celebrate with their team. That’s a lot of time.
Spanish sports has brought us a lot of joy, but not in football. The lack of titles and the anxiety of the people caused the national team to close itself off from the outside, and it was also protected more than other national teams. It became a taboo to talk about it, because it was thought that talking about differences was bad. Although it’s true that not everything should come out, there are a lot of good anecdotes that deserve to be shared.
I firmly believe that great teams are created from the inside out. The best example is our basketball national team, which in addition to winning, has proven to be accessible and with a good camaraderie amongst players.
I can assure all of you that 51%, more than half, of the success of the football national team is due to the camaraderie and the good relationships we have. The team has players with the talent to achieve grand objectives, but what comes out on the field is a direct consequence of the union we have off it.
We’re all a part of this book because it shows the great atmosphere that we have and because it tells things as they are. For example, it tells of how we survived difficulties on the road to victory in Vienna and to becoming one of the favorites to win the World Cup. Great days, great nights, great conversations that made us stronger as a team. All the jokes and anecdotes we’ve had as a team were important to motivate us and convince ourselves that our moment had arrived. We want the fans to know what we went through.
Winning the Eurocopa was not easy, and you have to appreciate it because it was a long time coming. We all want more, and lifting the cup in South Africa is our desire. Winning the World Cup has to be, if you pardon my French, la leche. But we the players have to be prudent because it’s a complicated objective. There are a lot of factors involved and you can’t obsess over it.
We already have a team that knows what it’s like to win and that wants to taste success once more. We all think about how that day will be, what the people will experience… But we don’t feel like there’s any added pressure.
All teams experience cycles, and that of this team is still long. This team has the ability to perform even better, and not only during the World Cup. I’m sure that in the Eurocopa of 2012, Spain will be a contender.
I only hope that at that time, the camaraderie will still be our best virtue.
Miguelito asked me to make a promise if we win the World Cup, but I can only say that if on July 11 we become the champions of the world, I will go all out celebrating with my family and my friends. Like all of you.
Enjoy reading this book.
A big hug,
Spanish national football team captain.
Click on the ‘secretos” category on the top to read the rest of the posts from this book!