days 6 & 7 – amistoso and a warm welcome
On day 6, May 29, 2010, Spain played a friendly against Saudi Arabia in Innsbruck, and looked a bit shaky. Fernando Torres didn’t even dress for the game, and Spain only won on an injury-time goal from Fernando Llorente, with Vicente del Bosque was none too pleased with the performance. Let’s hope they improve!
Carlos Marchena set a new record for most consecutive games without a loss, as he broke Garrincha’s record of 49. Meanwhile, Iker moved into second place in all-time appearances with la selección, moving past Raúl, with only Zubi in front of him (he now has 103). He also complained about Jabulani, comparing it to a beach ball. And in regards to Iker’s shaky game, del Bosque came out to say there is no debate about who will occupy the goal of Spain, and Iker’s teammates also came out to support him.
But they can take solace in the fact that theirs is the most ridiculously good-looking team in the world, and that they all look very good in red. I like Iker’s turquoise jersey too.
Of note: Fernando Llorente’s very tight shirt. Let’s hope this continues, and others follow suit?
Day 7, May 30, 2010, saw the team travel to the ski-resort town of Schruns. They’ll stay there until Thursday, and will play a friendly against Korea on that day before heading back to Spain. The team was given a rousing welcome by the residents of the town, who redecorated it in the red and yellow colors of Spain. As each player or staff member got off the bus, a kid with their name on their shirt met him with an umbrella in the colors of Spain and walked him to the hotel. Along the way, residents applauded and cheered. Someone sang the hymn of Spain (using the controversial lyrics that were proposed in 2007 and later rescinded due to popular disgust. Spain’s hymn doesn’t have words). They were even offered orange juice in the colors of Spain! It was all quite adorable.
And now we know that Iker did in fact pack his bright blue sneakers for the trip, so he was probably wearing them on the first day along with his bright blue shirt.
Even the hotel got into the act. Stalkers, take note. It’s the Lowen Hotel, and each player’s name is on the window, and they all have rooms with window access. Iker’s is practically on the ground level! Even a short ladder would do. Or you can just borrow something from one of those TV guys. Uh-oh, have I revealed too much about myself?
Arbeloa, Marchena and Navas were tasked with talking to the press. Asked to comment about the game ball, Arbeloa said “it’s round, like always.”
That afternoon, the team traveled to Vaduz in Liechtenstein, one hour away, for the final of the U-17 European Cup between England and La Rojita (I love that nickname!) Unfortunately, Spain lost 1-2.