la otra selección – the ‘spies’
We’re really going behind the scenes now! We’ve finished looking at everyone that sits on the bench with the players, but there are still a lot of other people that make up the delegation and work behind the scenes.
Today, it’s the turn of the two men responsible for studying Spain’s rivals, Francisco “Paco” Jiménez and Antonio Fernández, and the man who helps them out with audiovisuals, Pablo Peña. They work closely together to produce reports about the rivals’ games and how they play. In addition, they keep track of the Spanish players and how the team plays. Vicente del Bosque uses all this information to prepare games and to decide which players to call up.
Paco (above left) should be familiar to Real Madrid fans. Even if you don’t know who he is, I’m sure you’ll recognize his face. He worked for many years as an assistant coach at the Bernabéu, under the likes of Heynckes, Toschack, Capello, Hiddink and of course Vicente del Bosque (he also followed VDB to Turkey to work at Beşiktaş). At Madrid, Paco also worked with the youth teams and drew up reports about rivals for the first team. Paco was also an assistant to former Real Madrid coach Mariano García Remón at Cádiz.
Antonio (above right) works alongside Paco as the national team’s two “spies.” He’s from Jerez de la Frontera, and at the age of 21, became the president of the football club in Guadalcacín, a job that he carried out while also serving as the team’s coach. He then worked for UD Rota before Sevilla came calling to make him their technical secretary, a post he would hold for six years. Then it was on to Xerez, then Valencia, and then Tottenham with Juande Ramos. At that point, Fernando Hierro came calling.
Both wanted Spain to advance to the final, because it was the only game of Spain’s that they could watch – during all other games, they were off studying the rivals.
Pablo Peña (above, in the red shirt, next to Antonio Fernández) is in charge of all the audiovisual aspects, and so he can usually be found next to a computer or three. He produces videos of Spain’s rivals for Paco and Antonio to analyze, as well as information about Spain – they have their own cameras at training sessions and games that produce videos from different angles. Once all this information is analyzed and prepared, it’s given to Vicente del Bosque to study. Pablo also produces the videos of the rival that the team studies before each game.
Watch Antonio and Pablo talk about their jobs: