flashback: 1999 U-20 World Cup

Before the 2010 World Cup, this, the U-20 World Cup, was the only big “world” title Spain had ever won.  On that team 11 years ago were three members of this year’s World Cup winning team, Iker Casillas, Carlos Marchena and Xavi Hernández.  I thought it would be interesting to take a look back at them, when they were practically babies!

Apologies for the quality of the video, but hey, it was 1999!

I loved that Iker used to be “Iker” rather than Casillas.  I kind of wish he still was “Iker!”  And Xavi, as you can see, has always worn the number eight.

Several pictures of all three of these winners.  I really can’t get over how young they look!  (In the picture on the right, that’s the back of Carlos’ head in the center of the picture.)

Carlos and Xavi receiving their medals…  Look at Xavi’s hair!!!!

Meanwhile, Iker has done a full circle, because he’s currently wearing this baby blue color with Madrid this season once again.  And Carlos looks the same – back then, I don’t think even he imagined that the rest of his team would one day call him padre!

And of course, the obligatory foto de familia.  It starts off all nice and orderly, but then just disintegrates… because this is a group of teenagers!

Posted on August 16, 2010, in players and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 15 Comments.

  1. Xavi is adorable! Well, they all are, but he made me laugh :D
    Thanks for sharing ;)

  2. Why is Xavi’s shirt so enormous??? Didn’t they have one in his size?

    And I’m not sure if you posted this elsewhere in your blog, but Xavi wears the number 6 for Barcelona and number 8 for the NT. Apparently when he and Iniesta were both on the Barca youth team they both wanted number 8. They agreed that Andres would have the number for Barca and they would switch for international games. And they have carried on with it ever since!

    • Oh, I’ve sort of always wondered why they ‘switched’ numbers, between club & the national team! It’s good to know though, that’s a cute story. :D

    • The red shirts weren’t the actual jerseys – like in this year’s World Cup final, they put on the red shirts to receive the medals.

      Xavi and Andrés already knew as youth players that they would both play on the national team, and together? Either they’re psychic or very sure of themselves!

      • Maybe it was just that obvious to them and everyone around them! ;-)

        I once saw a clip on youtube from Barca TV from YEARS ago, it was a feature of Cesc when he was in the youth team (“Hello, I’m Francesc Fabregas, I’m 14 and play for Barcelona Infantil”) — so cute. He was asked about his influences and he said “Guardiola, I try to learn a lot of things from him and the way he plays, then Xavi, who I think will take over from Guardiola when he retires, and also this player called Andres Iniesta who is currently in the youth (Juvenil) team but every time I’ve seen him play he’s been amazing and you can just tell he’s going to be a big name in the world of football.” Or something like that! So Cesc for one knew. :-)

        Oo, found the clip here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-GSyDNM79CQ

    • pardon me, but i think you’ve mistaken the year. bcoz Xavi and Andrés were not in the same year they played on Barca B neither on the youth. Andrés was promoted to Barca B after Xavi had moved to the senior team, so they would not possibly want the same number, no?
      Xavi was wearing #6 on Barca, but when he was called for the NT, the #6 was already taken by Albelda so he took # 8 which was available. then later came Andrés and the #6 was available so he took it. that’s it! :D

  3. Haha I love you. 1999 the U-20 World Cup was in Nigeria. My family was living there then and I developed a crush on Iker (even though I never actually saw him play then). That was the beginning of my Iker and footie love. :)

  4. Awwww they look so young!! Hahaha Xavi’s adorable, he looks like he basically has the same fun personality that he has now. And yeah lol, Carlos really hasn’t changed one bit!
    Wow..11 years ago *sniff* :D

  5. Awwwww!! I love this, thank you very much.
    I am sure those three adorable teenagers couldn’t even imagine that years later they would make millions of people happy by winning the big boy world cup :) as well as the Euro cup before that!

    Its weird seeing ‘Iker’ on that jersey ! Thanks again this made my day much better :)

  6. So precious!

  7. Epic post!

    I remember that Iker said, “it was unforgettable because I met him (Xavi)” in an interview.
    Xavi also calls Iker ‘best friend’ in his Autobiography.

    I love their friendship!

  8. How adorable! Xavi makes me happy. :D

  9. This is so so precious. Thank you for posting.

  10. wow~
    they are all great guys~
    btw,could you tell me what job are you doing in La Roja?

  11. Wow, they’re all babies! And I can’t even begin to imagine Carlos at 20. This feels little twilight zone-y.

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