The boys are back! They and the World Cup had a busy day, between promotional events, presentation ceremonies and a training session to end the day. Here’s everything that happened yesterday.
No silly hat for Sergio this time; instead he wore a pink scarf and a “D” on his culito. And how excited am I to see the incredible Javi (!!!)? I’m feeling jealous of Joan…
At the Museo de Cera
David Villa and Andrés Iniesta unveiled their wax counterparts at Madrid’s Wax Museum on Tuesday morning. They did so separately, because Andrés was coming from Barcelona and his flight had been delayed. David was first, at 10:30h, and Andrés followed two hours later.
During the act, Villa said, “it’s an honor for me to inaugurate this sculpture. I was told that I was chosen by popular vote (the museum asked the public to vote on which La Roja players they wanted to see in the museum) and that’s what makes me the happiest. Thank you to everyone. This sculpture reminds me of the very wonderful and intense moments I experienced in the World Cup.” He also described the statue as “muy bonita” and said it does look like him, although it’s a bit taller than the real thing because “they told me that it’s raised a bit.” Well, his hair makes up for it, no?
Meanwhile, Andrés Iniesta said he was “proud” that the fans chose him to form part of the museum, and added that both he and Villa were “guapos,” although his was “better.” He also had the nice gesture of apologizing for the delay in his arrival.
They both donated the national team kits the statues are wearing, and they also got to choose what position the statues would be in. For Villa, the statue has its hands behind its back, the usual scowl on his face and of course, the earrings. Iniesta’s statue also has a look of concentration that is quite serious, but his arms are crossed. (That’s why they’re posing like that above.) Iker Casillas and Fernando Torres are also “residents” of the museum.
Close up of Villa’s statue here and that of Ineista here. Andrés’ looks like he’s wearing make-up, no? And the hairline is all wrong! Where’s the widow’s peak? And can we talk about Villa’s jeans? Horrible! He looks like he was painting his house before coming to the museum, or had an accident with some acid. And quick quiz: is this the real or the fake?
Over in Fuenlabrada, Fernando Torres received a tribute from his hometown. He was presented with the city’s gold medal, and is the first ever recipient of that honor. As the mayor was putting it on him, someone from the crowd shouted, “alcalde, careful with the hair!”
In his words to his pueblo, Fernando said that he was proud to be the first fuenlabreño to receive the medal, and that it has a little piece of each fuenlabreño in it. He added that “this is for everyone that I meet all around the world who come up to me and say, ‘hey, I’m also from Fuenla.’ It’s great to come back, to see my city and the people from my neighborhood… I always carry the name of Fuenlabrada around with pride. I wouldn’t have made it without the support of the people who love me and the town.” Several of his friends attended, and they revealed that Fernando started out as a goalkeeper, and was a good one too.
He also checked out how work on a sports complex (football fields, swimming pools, tennis and padel courts, a stadium where Fuenlabrada will play) bearing his name (Fernando Torres City) was going, and took the saque de honor.
Doesn’t he look like a priest here?
And in comments to Marca, Fernando confessed that as a kid, he had never dreamed of winning a World Cup or a Eurocopa, because he only wanted to become a professional and play with Atleti. And he adds jokingly, “I also never imagined that a marquis would coach me. The truth is that he’s very embarrassed about this. He has to put up with a lot of jokes.” Poor VDB!
We also find out that Fernando had to tell his Chelsea teammate Peter Cech where Granada is, as Cech’s Czech Republic will be facing Spain there on Friday. Torres pointed out the city to Cech on a map. The Czechs had been hoping the game would be played at the Bernabéu.
Watches for everyone
Twelve players (Silva, Marchena, Arbeloa, Xabi, Llorente, Javi (!!!), Capdevila, Pepe, Mata, Sergio, Villa, Pepe), plus the entire coaching staff (VDB, Toni, Javier and Ochoto) attended the event at Chocrón, where they received commemorative watches from the hands of RFEF treasurer Juan Luis Larrea. The watches were manufactured by Audemars Piguet and are personalized for each player. During the event, VDB reminded everyone that “we have to be respectful of the Czech Republic, because they’ve been a reference in Europe for many years and they have dangerous players.” He also sent a message to the players, saying, “they should enjoy the opportunity to come play with the national team, but should do it with responsibility.”
It looks like Joan managed to make Anne Igartiburu (she used to be Iker’s favorite presenter – at least that’s what he said a couple of years ago, but I assume his favorite presenter is now Sara Carbonero) crack up! And how gorgeous are my Javitxu (!!!), and Álvaro’s huge smile?? You would think that David Villa could crack a smile – after all, he just got a €24,700 (!!) watch! [Note: just two exclamation marks because it’s obviously not as amazing as Javi (!!!).]
And Xabi is just so stylish it hurts, no? He’s probably the most thrilled about getting a new watch, given his love for watches. Or else Javi (!!!), because he didn’t have any before. Half of the cost of the watch was paid for by the Federation as a gift for the players, and the other half by Chocrón, for marketing purposes. See Iker’s watch here. I guess the watch that Sergio “coaxed” out of Iberdrola’s president won’t be so popular anymore.
P.S. – apparently, some players weren’t happy when they heard that the Federation wanted to give them a watch as a gift, but changed their minds when they found out what the watch was worth, and the model. They’ll also apparently have to pay €4,000 each in taxes for the watch, due to it being a donation on the part of the federation and Madrid’s tax regulations.
To Las Rozas
Hmmm, I wonder if Sergio and Cris ever fight over the stock in the Gucci store? If I thought the man bag was bad enough, along comes Iker with a LV bag. It looks like there’s still some available space in it, so why is he carrying other things in a paper bag? Iker always packs light.
The players arrived at Las Rozas around 12:30h, with Andoni Iraola arriving first (trying to make a good impression?). Those who had been at Chocrón came together, with the exception of Sergio, who arrived in his own car. The last to show up were Iker, Jesús Navas, Santi Cazorla and Raúl Albiol, around 13:30h.
Upon arrival at Las Rozas, Sergio Ramos spoke to the press and said, “I’m always proud to represent Spain. I prefer to join the national team than to have days off, because it’s an honor to defend and represent the shirt of Spain on the world level, and I’m very happy to be here and see my teammates again.” He added that he hoped Spain would recover its rhythm, and that “we’ll break the bad luck streak that we’ve had. Even though those games were friendlies, we want to return to the path we were going down.”
Meanwhile, Fernando Llorente expressed his satisfaction that three members of his team were called up: himself, Javi (!!!) and Iraola: “I’m proud of it. It’s been a long time since the last time it happened and that reflects the good moment the team is experiencing and the team’s philosophy.” When asked about the injury to his lip, suffered in the game against Villarreal, Fer said, “all forwards receive blows. It’s part of the game. There’s no need to complain about it and it won’t affect my play.” [It is a good excuse to stare at his lips though!] And when questioned about Xavi’s 100 games, he said, “the national team has the immense luck of having Xavi, the best in the world in his position. The entire team benefits from his football, especially those of us who play up front. He makes life very easy for forwards.”
His teammate Andoni Iraola revealed that he was surprised by the call-up, because a year and a half has passed since the last one. But with this done, “it shows that Vicente is true to his philosophy and his method, which is to maintain the confidence of the players in his group and above all show that the road to the senior team passes through the U-21 team.” I love his shy little smile!
Now for some actual work
Well, sort of.
After lunch and presumably a siesta, the team held its first training session (there will only be three before the game on Friday, two at Las Rozas and one at the Nuevo Los Carmenes) yesterday afternoon. There were no absences, meaning that everyone had arrived healthy. VDB tried out his theoretical starting XI, which saw Sergio substitute for Puyol as a central defender, and Arbeloa on the right in the place of Ramos. The rest of the line-up was made up of Piqué, Capdevila, Busi, Xabi, Xavi, Iniesta, Villa and Torres. They played without goalkeepers, but there’s no doubt that the 11th person will be Iker Casillas. The starters ended up beating the substitutes 3-2, with Villa scoring twice and Iniesta once for the former, and Mata twice for the latter.
The senior national team was joined by Real Madrid canterano Diego Caballo, a leftback currently on duty with the U-17 team, as they needed another player in order to play 10 against 10 (this time, they decided not to use one of the goalkeepers). Caballo played with Team Substitutes, but all of the players were very affectionate towards and supportive of him, especially David Silva and Santi Cazorla. The rest of his (jealous, I assume) teammates watched the session. They’ll leave for Belgium on Thursday to play the elite round (the second round of qualification) of the U-17 Euro.
Before the session, some players were subjected to drug testing, among them Piqué, who tweeted about the visit of the “vampires” as it’s called in Spain. This was the decision of the CSD (Consejo Superior de Deportes) and the RFEF, based on UEFA’s recommendation.
The “second” U-21 team arrived in Reims around noon yesterday and held a training session in the afternoon. They will play France tomorrow at 20:45. It’s expected that the components of this team will make up the bulk of the team that will begin qualifying for the 2013 U-21 Euro in September, and the idea now is to give them some experience at this level.
Spot the difference. Must be a Spain thing. Whatever it is, it works.
Álvaro tweeted that he was filming an interview about twitter with Los Manolos (the two presenters from Cuatro). Of course they would choose him to represent twitter in Spanish football! And Joan tweeted, “great training session!! And great warm-up!”
Jesús Navas at Marca
In an interview published in today’s Marca, Jesús said that the group hasn’t changed the least since winning the World Cup, because they know that only by staying how they were before the World Cup will they achieve things. He also revealed that Del Bosque told them after the games in Buenos Aires and Lisbon that those kinds of games cannot happen again, that there’s always room for improvement no matter how much you’ve achieved, and that he likes that message. Jesús also described himself as an “addict” to La Roja, saying that each time he sees himself on the list, he feels something special. As for the game on Friday, “it’s special playing in a city like Granada because football is experienced in a very special way in Andalucía.” He also expressed his desire that Xavi will play a lot more games because “watching him play is a pleasure… and he’s an incredible person.”
To end, Jesuito says that he watches Iniesta’s goal almost every day, because “it’s something so huge for us, for the country, that you never get tired of seeing it.”
Posted on March 23, 2011, in interviews, la rojita, players, training and tagged arbeloa, capdevila, del bosque, iker, iniesta, iraola, javi, llorente, navas, piqué, sergio, torres, villa, xabi. Bookmark the permalink. 43 Comments.