los secretos – Euro 2008 final, part I

Chapter 1: Wallas Se Va A Querer Suicidar.

The first chapter of Los Secretos de La Roja deals with the 2008 Eurocopa final against Germany.  The title of the chapter is “Wallas Se Va A Querer Suicidar” (Wallas is going to want to commit suicide).

And here are the best anecdotes from the chapter!

Before the game

– the title refers to something Luis Aragonés said to Pedro Cortés, head of the Spanish delegation, on the way to the stadium.  Luis was convinced that this was Spain’s moment, that the Germans were scared and would have to go buy a ball if they wanted to see one, and that Wallas (Ballack) would want to commit suicide and knock his head on the post out of frustration.

– right before the teams went out onto the field, Aragonés went up to Fernando Torres, looked him in the eyes, and said “If you remember, you already did it in Atleti.  You’re going to score two goals tonight.”  Fernando says, “he made the sign of the cross on my forehead with his index finger.  The truth is, I didn’t remember what happened the last time.  I think I scored two goals with Atleti, but in Vienna, I got the goal that allowed us to win.  Before, a header had hit the post.”  [FYI:  Aragonés was Torres’ coach at Atlético from 2001 to 2003.]

– Puyol made a promise to Villa [if you remember, David was injured in the semifinal game against Russia and unable to suit up for the final] that they would not let Podolski score, so that David would be the pichichi.  Carlos Marchena says Villa told him to stay close to Podolski.

– as the players were leaving the locker room, Iker shouted at them not to touch the cup, which was on their way to the field.  Capdevila thought about touching it, just in case he wouldn’t have the opportunity later, should Spain lose, but in the end he listened to his captain.

– in the tunnel, Iker and Christoph Metzelder exchanged greetings.  Metze and Sergio Ramos had been texting each other all week.  And Metze shaved off his beard right after the game.  He would also walk away with Iker’s shirt after the game.

During the game

– on the bench, Pepe Reina sat next to David Villa.  Pepe said, “it was difficult putting up with him.  He was protesting all the calls.  He was [in Spanish, because the translations aren’t going to work well] un culo inquieto.  Era más pesado que un collar de melones.”

– Cesc said that he, Pepe, Villa and Xavi were all pressuring the fourth official to blow the whistle as the game wound down.

– Capdevila accidentally played the game while wearing his wedding ring, but no one saw him.  It was a good sign, because on that day, he had celebrated his first wedding anniversary.

After the game

– Sergio Ramos came away with the game ball: as soon as the whistle blew, Sergio took possession.  “I didn’t even let it bounce, I took it and I put it under my shirt.  Now it’s in my house.”  Arbeloa, meanwhile (if you read my Madrid blog, this shouldn’t surprise you at all) remembered, “in the Italy game, I thought about taking a ball, but I forgot about it due to the euphoria after the penalty shoot-out.  In the Russia game, Iker kicked the ball, the referee blew the whistle and I took off running from the bench to get the ball.  I got one of the balls from the final as well, and both are now under glass.”  Pepe Reina also has a ball from the final: “I took it from one of the ball boys.”  Others were left with empty hands.  Xabi Alonso: “It was impossible.  It was robbery…”  Silva: “Between the two of them [Pepe & Arbeloa], they took all the balls.”

– Iniesta had no problem in revealing that he cried a little after the game.  Meanwhile, Cesc went to talk to German keeper Jens Lehmann, his teammate at Arsenal: “I offered him my hand with all the respect in the world.  I remember that he always joked around with me, saying that I never won anything.  I thought about joking with him at that moment, but I didn’t think it was the best time to do so.  A month later, we talked on the phone and that was when I teased him.”


– Marcos Senna celebrated with a Villarreal flag, because he had promised [Villarreal president] Fernando Roig he would do so.  Reina wore a Córdoba scarf, and Sergio Ramos put on a white shirt with a photo of Antonio Puerta.

– Juanito borrowed a Betis centennial flag from a fan.  He, Marchena and Albiol tried to drape it onto Palop [who plays for Betis’ bitter rival Sevilla] but he caught them with his “laser eyes.”  So they chased Palop, pushed him onto the ground and wrapped it around his neck, hoping someone would take a picture.  But so far, they have not seen any photos of the moment.

– Palop put on a replica of his idol Arconada’s jersey.  Only one person knew of his plans, the goalkeeping coach.  How did this happen?  One day, when Palop was talking with a journalist, “I mentioned that Arconada had been my idol, and he said, me too.  I confessed that I had been trying to think of a way to honor him, but I didn’t know what to do.”  On the eve of the semifinal, he thought of this.  He asked the journalist for the shirt, promising he would return it.  Family members brought the shirt to Vienna.

– as Marchena was receiving his medal, he accidentally hit Platini in the face.  Marchena also managed to hit Silva in the face with the trophy later.

– Capdevila was one of the chosen ones for a drug test after the game.  The UEFA official in charge of getting him to do so followed him around and thus appeared in all the photos of Capdevila celebrating with his parents.

– when Marchena went to celebrate with his family, his young daughter started trying to take bites out of his medal.

In the locker room and on the plane

– Palop: “I was looking at my cell phone, answering some messages, when all of a sudden, the locker room went quiet.  I raised my head and I saw that the King was waiting for me to stop to tell me something.  How embarrassing!  I didn’t even realize… I got up really quickly and I asked him for forgiveness while everyone else laughed.”

– Marcos Senna:  “It was very hot in the locker room and so I started drinking champagne.  It went to my head really quickly and I thought I should stop, but I realized it was too late.  I remember that I spoke to the press, but the next day I didn’t even remember what I said.  I saw four journalists when there was actually only one… I don’t think I did anything stupid, but I’m not sure.”

– on the flight from Vienna to Innsbruck, Pepe Reina was the MC.  He gave a performance much like the one he would give in Colón, but one that was more “authentic.  We were alone, and Pepe didn’t hold back.  In public, he censored some details that he said on the plane.”

Up next: the celebration in Colón.


Posted on June 3, 2010, in secretos and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. Hey! I just want to say thank you so much.
    I don’t have this book and if I have I’d still not get what it was written, since I don’t understand Spanish.
    Very good blog you have, I love it. Thanks again :)

  2. I just realized that you’re the owner of that Madrid blog too! How amazing!
    Now I’m gonna be your big fan lol.
    I love to read anything related to Iker ;)
    Thanks a bunch!

  3. Thank you so much for posting&translating the contents of the book :D I’m going to get it one day but it might take a loooong time so it’s great to read it from here.

  4. OMG I LOVE YOU!!! Thank you so much!! I really enjoy reading and now I know why Ramos had a ball underneath his shirt!

    Too bad I don’t understand Spanish, would love to get my hands on the book!

  5. For curiosity I used the Babel Fish translator on what Pepe Reina said about David Villa on the bench, and it came out as “an anxious ass. He was heavier than a melon necklace.” HAHAHA!

    *Love* this blog, I just wish I had discovered it earlier!

  1. Pingback: in case you missed it – Spain vs. Paraguay « vamos España

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