more La Roja news briefs
Twitter, turnips and other La Roja teams!
ONE. Cesc decided to give out some song “recommendations” yesterday on twitter, which consisted of songs from his days as a kid. The songs were Karen Paola’s “Viva la noche,” Gusanito’s “Vive la vida” and Sonia y Selena’s “Yo quiero bailar.” Of course, Geri Pqiué had to chime in and ask, what is this, and say that Cesc has weird taste! (I agree – these songs are cheesy at best, although I do remember the last one sort of fondly as a canción de verano.)
Cesc’ reply was to tell Geri to shut up, or he’ll start talking about how deceptive Geri is again.
TWO. When the man shouted “kiss the turnip,” Vicente del Bosque did exactly that (it was dropped in front of him, he kissed it and then it was raised again, nearly injuring VDB – video here). Yesterday, in the Asturian town of La Foz de Morcín, VDB was inducted as a brother of honor into the brotherhood of friends of the turnip, promising to always defend and promote the vegetable.
During the ceremony, the brothers asked the coach to incorporate the vegetable into the diet of the national team and in that way “win the next World Cup.” VDB responded that he didn’t know if that was possible, but he would do everything to bring publicity to turnips. He described this recognition as something “for Spanish football” and not just for him, because after the World Cup the team had really made headway into society due to the “exemplary” players who had proved themselves to be “humane, modest and normal.”
Asturian cantautor Víctor Manuel, another of the brothers of honor inaugurated this year, described VDB as “an extraordinary person, who was a wonderful footballer and is an even better person.”
THREE. And taking advantage of his presence in the principality, the Asturian coaches association honored VDB with their gold and diamond insignia in Gijón on Friday. The president of the association said, “he’s as great a coach as he is a person.” Seems to be a regular theme, no?
FOUR. Another honor: a salon and multi-use room at the “Football City” of Las Rozas has been named after Vicente del Bosque. Juan Villalonga, the coach of the winning 1964 Eurocopa team, has one of the classrooms named after him, while an auditorium bears the name of Luis Aragonés.
FIVE. There has been a lot of talk lately about irregularities in the Ballon d’Or voting, with some coaches and players saying that while they voted for Xavi, the final result showed that they had chosen Xabi Alonso instead. However, even if this is taken into account – if the votes of those who have come forward are changed – Xavi would only move up one spot, meaning that Leo Messi would still win the award, but Xavi would be second and Andrés Iniesta third. So far, the captains of Guatemala and Colombia and the coaches of Cuba, Mexico, Greece and Burkina Faso have announced that they voted for Xavi.
Other irregularities: the captain of Zambia has stated that the ballot published by FIFA for him is not correct, while the captain and coach of Thailand said they never voted at all, and they suspect that someone from FIFA filled in their ballots. And the coach of Mexico has said one of his votes was incorrectly written.
SIX. The coach of the U-21 team, Luis Milla, gave an interview to Marca, published on Saturday. He’s already preparing for this summer’s U-21 Euro (June 11-25). Meanwhile, the U-20 team is playing their World Cup in Colombia this summer as well (July 29-Aug. 20). There exists the possibility that players such as Sergio Canales, Thiago or Iker Muniain may be called up for both. Luis Milla is the former coach of the U-19 team, so he knows these players well.
In the interview, Milla said that the idea was to play the U-20 World Cup with the players from the U-19 team last year, “a great generation.” However, Sergio Canales’ presence might be complicated by the fact that he’s not playing very much with Real Madrid, but “we’re going to wait for him until the last second.”
He also praised the return of Juan Mata and Javi Martínez to the U-21 team, because “it’s an example for the kids, seeing that older players are capable of coming back down and are concerned about the group. They have the values that we try to inculcate. We’re counting on them.”
We also find out that Luis and VDB have breakfast together two or three times a week, and talk about the players, and that Luis Milla would have given the Ballon d’Or to Xavi for his career.