more on Xavi’s absence & two awards
More on why Xavi was not called up yesterday for the next two Euro 2012 qualifiers, according to Vicente del Bosque:
On Xavi’s absence: the boy is suffering a lot, and he made us see that he wouldn’t be able to come. We have a relationship based on confidence that allows us to listen to the player. The important thing is for him to recover.
On Xavi’s injury: he’s had the injury to his Achilles tendon for some time, and yesterday he told me that he suffered a lot during the game, and that he considered it necessary to stop for a while in this moment and not risk anything. I think that’s the best thing to do, and what he needs to recover.
On the players and the national team: this is a close-knit group, and if you ask each one if they want to form part of the national team, you’ll find that all of them really want to come, even those that are close to being called up. We can’t afford to lose this union. There are players that have put in many years with the team, and have numerous caps, but are still eager to form part of the team.
Besides the list, the coach also spent yesterday receiving awards. One of the stops was the headquarters of the Spanish Air Force, where VDB received the Extraordinary Award for Human and Sporting Values, while the RFEF received the Extraordinary Award for Excellence in Sports. Spain’s Minister of Defense Carme Chacón stressed that the values of the best athletes are the same as those of the military: effort, discipline, team work. She also thanked VDB for collaborating with the armed forces whenever he and the team were asked to.
Then it was on to the city hall of Madrid, where Madrid mayor Alberto Ruíz Gallardón presented the national team with a plaque recognizing their contributions to promoting and spreading the image of the city of Madrid around the world with their celebration there after winning the World Cup. Gallardón also announced that a new sports center in the Pilar neighborhood (in the north of Madrid) would be named after Vicente del Bosque, who lives around there.
And head over here if you want to read some of Xabi Alonso’s comments on the De Jong kick, half-naked Puyol in the locker room and making good on a Xavi promise.