introducing… Pablo, Borja & Aritz

We’ve met Bruno before, so let’s talk a little about the other three guys – Pablo, Borja and Aritz (left to right) – who will form part of Spain’s team for the upcoming Euro 2012 qualifiers.

Pablo Hernández is 25 years old and from Castellón, Valencia.  He plays for the club Valencia (this is his third stint with the club, counting his days at Valencia B).  With regards to his international career, Pablo made it to the provisional list for the 2008 Eurocopa, although he wasn’t named to the final team.  In June of 2009, Vicente del Bosque called him up for the Confederations Cup, and Pablo made his national team debut on June 20 against South Africa.  His second (and most recent) cap came in a friendly against Austria in November of that year, when he scored the fifth out of the five goals for Spain that day as they defeated Austria 5-1.

In declarations to Radio 9 on Monday, Pablo said, “it’s an honor to be able to share a locker room with such fantastic players… it’s also an honor to be able to play with the national team, because that’s the maximum goal of any footballer, and even more so after a World Cup in which Spain emerged champions… It’s a great day, I’m happy to return to the team and I want tomorrow to come to be able to start the concentración with my teammates.”

He also said that it was a shame that his call-up came at the expense of the injuries to his teammates.

Out of the three, Borja Valero is the one I’m most familiar with, as he’s a product of the Real Madrid youth system, having arrived at the age of 11.  He played for the Real Madrid B and C teams between 2004 and 2007.  As such, he’s worked with Vicente del Bosque before, during the years when VDB managed the cantera.

Borja is also 25 years old, a midfielder, and from Madrid.  He now plays for Villarreal, and also did stints with Mallorca (twice) and West Brom (he’s currently on loan from West Brom).  This is his first ever call-up with the (adult) national team, although he did play with La Roja in the youth categories.  In fact, Spain won the 2004 U-19 Euro when Borja scored a goal in the 92nd minute to beat Turkey 1-0.  [David Silva, Raúl Albiol, Rubén de la Red and Sergio Ramos were also on that team.]

On Monday, Borja echoed Pablo when he said that it was a shame that he was called up because others were injured, but that he was very happy to be recognized.  For him, a call-up is “the biggest step” that any footballer can take.  He added, “we always say that we’re content with just being able to go, but the truth is that you always want more.  We hope that this is just the beginning, and that many more players from Villarreal will be able to join the national team.  The fact that five players from this team [Capdevila, Marchena, Santi, Bruno and Borja himself] have been called up shows that the team is doing really well right now.”

Aritz Aduriz is a 29-year-old striker, from San Sebastián, and played with Antiguoko, like Xabi Alonso.  His Liga debut came with Athletic de Bilbao, and much like Pablo and Borja, he did several stints with one club, Athletic in this case, and also played for Burgos, Valladolid and Mallorca (where he was a teammate of Borja Valero).  He came to Valencia this summer.  This is his first ever call-up with La Roja – and he wasn’t expecting it, as he found out about it at Port Aventura, an amusement park where he was spending his vacation.

Artiz’ reaction was as expected: “I’m satisfied and happy, and above all grateful to all my teammates and Valencia, because I’m going thanks to them.  Anyone from the team could have been chosen, and it was my turn, but thanks to them I’m going to be with the best, with a team that is the champion of the world.”  Artiz added, “I’m very happy just to be called up, because that’s difficult enough.  I’m going to enjoy the moment, and if I get any further, great!”

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Posted on October 5, 2010, in players and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. It’s great that we get to see some new faces on La Roja and, wow, I think especially Aduriz is pretty happy about that, since he’s already 29 (lol just like Iker, who’s been playing for our selección for 10 years now, no?).

    But I’m still sad about Xavi, Nando, Cesc, Pedrito and Navas not playing :( Hoping for a great performance anyway!

    Thank you, Una :)

  2. LaMa

    What is your opinion of Real Sociedad’s player Jon Ansotegui? I thought he was outstanding v Madrid (don’t you agree?)

    Is he good enough to get called up, or was it just one good performance I saw?

    • Right now, it’s hard for anyone not part of the “regular” core to get called up; as you can see it was injuries that led to new faces this time, although VDB has said he wants to incorporate new people. In addition, Ansotegui’s a central defender, so it will be Piqué and Puyol that he would be challenging for a spot, and we all know who would win that. Plus, he’s not that young either (although Aduriz was just called up for the first time and he’s even older).

  3. I’m happy for Aduriz since he gets his chance in la Selección late in his career. I started watching Valencia this season and I think VdB made a great decision on Aduriz.

  4. These guys definitely deserve their call ups. I hope they all get some playing time. I love that VDB is always looking ahead as a smooth transition is critical for La Roja. Our boys just play too many games now, our depth is key.

  5. I know it’s weird, but I find Aritz strangely attractive.
    (My brother says it’s my glasses, I need to update the formula…)
    But I don’t know. I like him. He’s kinda awesome. Good for him to be called up! :)
    And I just still can’t believe Nando is injured again… :'(

    • No, you’re not weird for thinking Aduriz is attractive – he’s not bad.
      He also resembles Fernando Torres a lot – hair, freckles, facial structure. Many people who found Torres good-looking will probably find Aduriz attractive.

  6. I’m so happy to see Pablo Hernandez on the national team. I think he’s a great player and totally deserves it. I’m excited to see him play with all my other favorites cuz I think he’ll fit in perfectly :)

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