los secretos – laughing it up with Luis
More from Los secretos! The chapter covered in this post deals with Luis Aragonés and his unique sense of humor. I was going to combine it with the chapter on DJ Ramos, but it’s quite long, so I’ll save DJ Ramos for its own post. And we’re skipping the chapter dealing with Raúl and all the drama regarding whether he should have been recalled to the team or not because it’s kind of boring.
Chapter 8: Con Luis te partes
The chapter talks about the relationship between Luis and his players, as well as his sense of humor and some of his memorable sayings. Here are some of the favorite memories the players have with Luis.
We’ll start off with the one that will get your imagination up and running!
– Xavi: one night, close to midnight, while Xavi was taking a shower, someone knocked on his door. He thought it was Luis García, who had promised to bring him a DVD. So Xavi quickly tried to dry off while telling Luis how annoying he was. He opened the door naked, but no one was there. As he started to shut the door, someone made a sudden movement and spit out, “Me cago en la hostia. Come on, put on some underwear…” Xavi: “Míster, I wasn’t expecting you.” And then Aragonés sat down on Xavi’s bed and talked with him for a while.
– Dani Güiza: “with Luis, you even laugh your ass off during training sessions.” One time, Luis yelled at Dani, “chiquito, take off those wooden cleats!”
– Fernando Navarro, talking about his first call-up with the team: “I’m easily amused and in the first talks, I had a hard time. I tried to sit in the front and it took everything I had not to laugh out loud. I really enjoyed the particular way he had of saying things, with expressions that only he himself understood…”
– Iniesta: “sometimes Luis gives nicknames to the linesmen or makes up their names.”
– Juanito: “one day, Torres, Reyes and I made a bet to see who could guess how many times Luis would say “y tal…” We lost count and didn’t know who ended up winning.”
– Puyol: “there wasn’t a single talk where he didn’t knock over the chalkboard” because Luis really liked to make gestures and move his arms around.
– Sergio Ramos, laughing: “one time he accidentally started writing on the screen with a felt-tip pen instead of on the chalkboard, and left it covered with arrows.” Juanito adds, ‘I don’t remember what happened in the end, but that thing cost at least €2,000, and it was when we were in the hotel.”
– Villa: “he talked a lot with me about Asturias because his mother is buried in Candás. He told me that at least 50 times.”
– Senna: one time, during a training session, Luis rose off the bench and yelled for Senna to take the free kick. The problem? “I was sitting on the bench.”
– Juanito: one day, Luis told his players to practice long passes. Juanito was paired up with Marchena, and they were kicking the ball quite hard. “The míster came over but I didn’t see him, and I ended up kicking the ball directly at him. He was on the ground for a while, and even his glasses had come off. He then asked who had done that, and I said it was me, and asked for his forgiveness. He said, ‘I forgive, but I don’t forget.'” Coincidence or not, Juanito spent the next game watching from the stands.
– Senna: “sometimes, when we were all on the bus, we would begin to sing to make Luis get up and come to the back of the bus to talk with us. Whenever we achieved it, we would all clap. Sometimes he would even tell us a joke…”
– Palop: “during a day off, I was at the house of a friend and I received a call from [goalkeeping coach] Ochotorena. He put Luis on the phone, and he asked me how I was, and told me that Casillas was injured and that he wanted me to go to Madrid to join the team. Since there are so many people that imitate Luis, I thought that Ochoto was pulling my leg…”
– and according to the team, Sergio Ramos and Pepe Reina are the best imitators of Luis Aragonés. Sergio: “we do it out of love and respect.” Pepe: “and we’ve never been caught.”
Luis Aragonés also often mixed up the names of his players.
– Cesc: “one day he called me “Fábricas” (Spanish for factories) and even wrote that on the chalkboard.” Xabi Alonso: “one time he called me Alfonso.” Silva: “and me Silvia.”
– Pepe Reina: “I remember that in Brussels, he called Baraja a ton of different things: Barajas, Pipa, Pipo… until Rubén reminded him of his name and Luis replied, ‘I’ll call you whatever I want, ok?’ He’s also called me Zapatones and I had to accept it.”
– in Spain’s third game in the 2008 Eurocopa against Greece, Luis revealed in his pregame chat that he wanted “Salgado at the first post and Albelda at the second.” The only problem was, neither of those players had been called up for the tournament.
– Xavi: “I’ve been told that when he was 40 or 50 years old, he was also like this and made a lot of mistakes with names.”
– Luis also had trouble pronouncing foreign names. Before a friendly against the U.S. in Santander, he simply could not pronounce “Cherundolo.” Dani: “he just couldn’t get it out. Now that name is famous among us.”
– in the final training session in Vienna, Luis called all his players together and told them to be careful with “Wallas.” “Wallas?” they asked. “Yes, Wallas, the captain…” Xavi corrected him, “it’s Ballack, míster.” Luis: “well then, if you’re so smart, tell me how to pronounce the name of the player who wears 7 [Schweinsteiger].”