la roja potpourri

A post about articles, news items, videos that I’ve collected over the last few days but that were not worth their own posts!

One. Here’s what the current crop of players like to do during the downtime in the training camps.  Javi Martínez likes to show off magic tricks [awww!].  Piqué likes to tell jokes, while Iniesta watches movies on his laptop.  Various players play cards, either pocha or poker, while another group, mainly those that play for Madrid and Valencia, are glued to their Playstations.  Xabi Alonso says they also talk about football in general terms, and Piqué affirms that they all laugh a lot.

Two. Did you know that the Spanish national team is the most valuable team in the World Cup, according to a study?  La Roja has a value of €303 million, followed by the €293 million of Argentina and the €263 million of England.  Brazil (€223 million) and Portugal (€201 million) round out the top five.  The study measured the market value of the players (Leo Messi is worth €140 million, the highest in the world).  In Spain, Andrés Iniesta is the top-valued player at €44 million, followed by Fernando Torres at €43 million (absolute bargains compared to Messi!)  If you include the commercial value of the players, then Spain’s worth goes up to €565 million.

Three. You can see Gerard Piqué make a very brief appearance in the video for Shakira’s World Cup song “Waka Waka” which has just been released!

Four. Attention Xavi Hernández stalkers fans in Madrid – he’ll be at the Sony Style Store on C/Serrano 12 on Thursday at 11h.

Five. Remember this campaign encouraging Spaniards to use low energy light bulbs?  Well, here’s the behind the scenes video starring the míster, Xabi, Puyol, Pepe and Marchena.  Xabi was his usual handsome self, and how cute are the guys pretending to turn on/off the light bulbs?

Lots more, so keep on reading!

Six. Míchel Salgado, Rubén de la Red and of course Sara Carbonero are all part of Marca’s team for World Cup coverage.  Speaking of which, Sara had to defend herself on TV the other day against accusations that she could destabilize Spain’s quest for the World Cup due to her relationship with Iker Casillas and the effect that has on his performance.

Seven. Several members of the national team (Sergio, Puyol, Villa, Pepe, Xavi, Navas, Mata, Albiol, Silva, Biscuits) are part of the massivegood campaign.  The campaign uses microphilanthropy and social media to fight against malaria, HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis, as well as improve maternal and child health.  They do so by letting you make a US$2 micro-contribution towards these causes each time you buy a plane ticket, reserve a hotel room or rent a car.  Watch the video here and donate here if you’re not planning on traveling.

The video is worth watching just to hear the players say “massivegood” in their lovely Spanish accents!  Second prize goes to Puyol re-arranging his hair after putting the shirt on.

Eight. Meanwhile, his teammate Gerard Piqué ran into his ex-Manchester United teammate and current Poland goalkeeper Tomasz Kuszczak yesterday as their two countries will be playing tonight!  They greeted each other and, of course, joked around.

Nine. And Kuszczak’s teammate Kamil Jacek Glik, hopes to walk away with Sergio Ramos’ jersey after the game (will Sergio even dress for the game?  He probably won’t play due to some discomfort with his knee).  Of Sergio, Glik says, “the best is Ramos.  I love him.  He’s strong, has character, scores goals… he’s great, whether he plays as a central defender or as a lateral defender.”  By the way, Glik played for Real Madrid C and even ended up traveling with the first team one time, even though he said, “Sergio probably won’t remember me because I only trained a couple of times with the first team, but I would love to exchange shirts… I learned a lot in Madrid as a player and I loved the city, I hope I can return!”

Ten. Sergio promises to shave his head a bit if Spain wins the Mundial!  He won’t go bald though.  Video here.

Eleven. And David Silva says Iniesta is his friend and favorite player.  And that the team makes fun of Fernando Llorente’s tight shirt.  Video here.

Twelve. More on the bonuses:  the players can earn up to €600,000 if they win the World Cup (up from the €250,000 of the Eurocopa).  This is the highest bonus offered to any team in the WC.

If Spain passes onto the quarterfinals, the players will earn €60,000 each.  If they get to the semifinals, that amount is increased to €90,000.  Getting to the final is worth €120,000 and winning the whole damn thing nets a cool €600,000.  Needless to say, if they’re eliminated before the quarterfinals, they’ll go home empty-handed.

Part of the winnings will go to benefit NGOs, the idea is for the money to stay in Africa to help the children there.

Spain has assured that it won’t be the government paying these bonuses.

Other teams winning bonuses – Argentina promises €510,000, England €475.000, Italy €240,000 and Brazil €180,000.  Germany’s amount is €250,000 but its players have already announced that if they win the World Cup, part of their bonuses will go to the Robert Enke Foundation [that is wonderful].

Thirteen. A cute story about when Joan Capdevila and Álvaro Arbeloa played together at Deportivo.  On a cold morning in January 2007 in A Coruña, Joan was running late – training would start in five minutes and he would be fined if he arrived late.  While he threw off his street clothes, laced up his boots and pulled up his socks, Arbeloa, who was next to him, remained still, with a jacket over his shoulders.

– Let’s go, we’re going to be late!

– I’m not going to go train.

– Whatever, stop joking around!

– Well, it’s because I’m going to Liverpool.

– What?

Capdevila didn’t believe what Álvaro was saying, so he made him repeat it three times, until finally he was convinced.

Anyway, the article goes on to talk about the two of them are fighting for the position of leftback on the national team, and the different things that each contributes to the position and the team.  Of Arbeloa, Capdevila says, “if he plays, I’ll support him as much as I can because the World Cup is won as a team and because Álvaro is a fantastic teammate and a 10 as a person.”


Posted on June 8, 2010, in campaigns, interviews, players, team and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. omg what did sara say im soo curious!!!! can you be a little more detailed about that one please :P

    • There was an article in the newspaper El Mundo asking whether Sara could destabilize the World Cup and make Iker lose his concentration, as she’ll be covering Spain in South Africa with Telecinco and because she’s obviously the girlfriend of Iker. So she was just responding to that, saying that she’s going to SA to work and that they won’t be seeing too much of each other there. And that she’s bringing five suitcases!

  2. btw when is spain traveling to africa?? the world cup starts soo soon! they’ll be so jet lagged if they don’t leave now..

  3. btw in the video look at how fast sergio puts on the shirt and how xavi takes his time lol :P

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