I can’t wait for real news!
… but in the meantime, this is all we have.
ONE. A few more notes on Vicente del Bosque’s new title: he is now to be addressed as “ilustrísimo,” and is one of 1,372 marquis titleholders in the country. The decision of the king to concede this title to VDB was communicated to the coach two months ago, and his first reaction (once he got over the shock and could speak again) when the head of the royal house told him of the decision was, “tell His Majesty that it’s a great honor for me, but isn’t it a bit too much?” No one, except his wife Trini, knew of this until the bulletin from the BOE came out yesterday. Once the news broke, Trini said, “I’m very proud of my husband. It’s a recognition of his honesty, his professionalism and the love for football that he has. It’s an honor for him, for me and for our children, who will always hold this title with pride.”
TWO. On Monday, the Spanish national team will have the first plaza named after them in Spain. In Zaragoza, a plaza will be inaugurated under the name “Plaza de la selección española de fútbol. La Roja.” RFEF head Ángel María Villar and the World Cup will preside over the ceremony.
THREE. And on Feb. 14, the national team is scheduled to travel to Rome to be received by the pope. However, a whole bunch of players may miss the trip, as Athletic is playing a Liga game on that day, while Chelsea plays in the Premiership, and Valencia plays in the Champions League on Feb. 15 and Barcelona takes on Arsenal on Feb. 16.
FOUR. Several of you expressed disappointment that Sergio Canales did not make the U-21 list for the friendly against Denmark, but that’s due not only to his lack of playing time with Madrid, but also because the RFEF is considering him for the U-20 team that will play in the World Cup this summer in Colombia (July 29-August 20). He’s played with a lot of those players on the U-19 team. In addition, there are already many quality players in his position on the U-21 team.
However, Sergio C. may make the cut for Denmark after all if in the end Juan Mata is ruled out due to injury. Juanín is definitely out, but the player called up to replace him is Mallorca forward/winger Emilio Nsue.