some thoughts from VDB & Hierro
But first, let’s go a bit off-topic. Iker and Cristiano will travel to Zurich on Dec. 2 in their roles as country captains to support Iberia’s World Cup bid, since that’s the day when the site of the 2018 tournament will be announced.
Going now to the point of this post: yesterday, when VDB gave his list for the Spain-Portugal friendly, and when he was honored by Atlético de Madrid, he said some things that I liked.
On Xavi: if he’s been called up, it’s because he’s able to play 90 minutes. No one can doubt the commitment Xavi has to the team. I don’t understand how anyone can doubt a player who’s appeared 98 times for his national team.
On Iniesta’s nice gesture: these are the types of things that makes football good. It’s very, very good for football to have this generosity of a friend, and between two rivals such as Barcelona and Espanyol. I’m sure Andrés would have preferred to do this with the maximum amount of discretion, because he did it without anyone asking him to, but I also believe it’s good that the presidents of Barcelona and Espanyol appeared in public with Andrés to remember Dani Jarque. I think it’s an example for everyone.
Atleti’s foundation presented VDB with one of their extraordinary awards yesterday.
Meanwhile, Fernando Hierro, in an interview with magazine Don Balón, had this to say.
On what the point of inflection was: I believe that our mentality changed the day against Italy, in 2008. We had a wall that we never managed to surmount. I think that from that day on, we believed we could get pass the quarterfinals. That’s how we ended up becoming champions of Europe. It gave the players confidence and feeling that they could win with the shirt of the national team. It was a breath of fresh air.
On whether the team plays like Barcelona: since we have a lot of players from one team, there might be the impression that the personality of that team is impressed upon the national team. It’s true that the “pequeñitos” represent the style of Barcelona, but there is another part that represents Spanish football.
On Barcelona’s players: it’s good to have eight players from Barcelona because if you look at Germany 20 years ago, they had seven or eight from Bayern Munich, the same with England and Manchester United, or the Netherlands with Ajax. In addition, the midfielders are the ones that bring the personality and style to the team. It’s clear that these players impress their character on the team. Barcelona is probably the team that contributes the most players to us in the youth teams.
On the central defender position: Piqué has an extraordinary potential and he matured quickly, which I think was due to his time in England. He’s doing really well, but fortunately this generation has also given us Sergio Ramos, Albiol… They’re players with their whole future in front of them, along with those from the U-21 team such as Mikel San José, Dominguez, Botía, Víctor Ruiz… we have a lot of hope invested in them. We also have to thank Puyol for deciding to continue with us.
On Iker: Iker represents the players, a way of being, a personality. I have to thank him for how he’s behaved towards the Federation, because he’s fantastic. A fantastic captain, and as a goalkeeper, what can I say? He’s one of the best goalkeepers in the world. Casillas as a reference and as captain is an example for everyone.
On the goalkeeping position: Iker is the present and the future, along with Pepe Reina, Víctor Valdés, De Gea… and all those who will come. I think the position will be covered for a long, long time.