la otra selección – the team doctors
Today, we take a look at the two doctors of the team, Óscar Celada (left) and Juan José García Cota (right). You can find these two sitting on the bench during games, and rushing out whenever a player goes down. They also decide what the players can and cannot eat during the training camps.
Óscar Celada was born in Luarca, Asturias in 1966, and was a midfielder with Langreo and Sporting in the first division, with stops in Zaragoza and Las Palmas on the way. He retired in 2001. In the meantime, he had started studying medicine at the Universidad de Oviedo. He collaborated with the Spanish Federation of Athletics, and also studied the most common football injuries. In 2008, he started working with Zaragoza, as well as with the national team, after Fernando Hierro decided to add him to Vicente del Bosque’s team. He continues working with Zaragoza when not on national team duty.
The first thing Celada did with the national team was introduce olives into their salads. He also overhauled their diet to make it more Mediterranean, and to make sure the players wouldn’t get bored with the food. He also allows the players to eat what they want on their days off (the previous doctor had been much stricter).
During the World Cup, he spent a lot of time with the shoulder and leg of Cesc.
His collaborator, Juan Cota, is from Galicia and was also born in 1966. He played football as well, as a goalkeeper, with Estradense, of which he also became the president. He previously worked with clubs Pontevedra and Celta, and with the U-15 and U-20 national teams. He’s a traumatologist and orthopedic surgeon with a hospital in Pontevedra. The national team came calling for Dr. Cota when he was with Celta. Coincidence: Genero Borrás had left Celta to go work with the national team after Luis Aragonés demanded that he apply himself only to the national team. However, Cota is allowed to combine his work with Celta with his national team duties.
In his work with the various youth national teams, Dr. Cota had treated Fernando Torres, Iniesta, Sergio García, Rubén de la Red.
During the World Cup, concretely Iniesta’s goal in the final, Cota said that they all jumped up when Andrés scored, hugging whoever they could find. Then they all had a group hug, and when the players returned from the corner where they had been celebrating, they all hugged as well. And Cota hugged Iniesta as well after the game, and told him thanks and that he was a phenomenon.
In the locker room, Cota said that there was pure joy, and even the quieter ones (read: Iniesta) were jumping around and singing. They toned it down a bit when the royal family arrived, and then continued after they were gone.
And if his name looks familiar, it’s because Dr. Cota is the one responsible for Fernando Torres’ Elvis obsession.
Fun fact: the rest of the team (i.e. everyone other than the players and the coaches) will also get medals from FIFA, who will send them to the RFEF. As there will be a limited number, some members of the delegation will receive replicas.