today’s dose of La Roja
The latest from La Roja! Pobrecitos, they got all wet yesterday.
The press conference
Javi (!!!), on playing with the U-21 and the senior team: we’re here for whatever is needed. The míster will decide. It’s as great being with the senior team as with the U-21. Right now we’re here (with the senior team) but we are also thinking about the Euro this summer and possibly playing in the 2012 Olympic Games… Luis [Milla] and all the directors on the U-21 team know they can count on us… we will do what they decide.
Andoni, on returning to the team: you always maintain the hope of coming back. It’s important to return, after a year without being here and sharing this experience with the world champion national team.
Mata, on forgetting about clubs and focusing on the national team: when one comes to the national team, he comes to enjoy himself and take advantage of the opportunity, and for a change of scenery. The national team is very important and is the only thing we’re focused on now. The most decisive part of the Liga season is yet to come, but that will be after the game against Lithuania.
Andoni, on the veterans: the people who have been here the longest, such as Iker, Marchena or Xavi, are the ones that help the new arrivals the most, to help us integrate and feel comfortable.
Javi (!!!), on Xavi’s 100th game: well, between the two of us, we’ve already played 104 games, I think (laughs). He’s a real crack and an example for everyone, especially people like me who are just starting, who have just played three or four games. It’s going to be difficult to find another player like him. I’m sad that I never got to play against Zidane, but Xavi is very similar to him and so that helps.
The training session
At the afternoon training session, Vicente del Bosque and Toni Grande gave hints to the possible starting line-up to be used on Friday, by organizing a game between the supposed starters (Iker, Arbeloa, Capdevila, Sergio, Piqué, Busi, Xabi, Xavi, Iniesta, Villa, Torres) and substitutes. Fernando Torres was included on the list of starters in the place of Pedro, but Jesús Navas could also be a possibility, as he took over for Torres at one point in the game. Iraola also switched places with Arbeloa. U-17 player Carlos Garrido from Sevilla was the 20th man. The game ended 1-1, with Torres and Juan Mata scoring. It didn’t stop raining during the entire session, so everyone ended up soaked.
The team will head to Granada this morning. Once there, VDB, Xavi and another player will speak to the press, and then the team will hold a training session at the Nuevo Los Cármenes at 19h.
Everyone looks like they were in a lot of pain.
Iniesta helps out
Andrés Iniesta helped to present the book “Héroes del deporte” (sports heroes) in Las Rozas yesterday. Proceeds from the sale of the book will go to help those with Sanfilippo Syndrome. The book consists of essays by sports journalists, and will be on sale starting March 28 for €10 at El Corte Inglés. This year marks the seventh edition of the book; the project started in Barcelona, and this year, there’s an edition written by Catalan journalists and another by those in Madrid. Andrés had presented the former version several days ago in Barcelona. During the act, Iniesta said, “we’re not only football players. We have the privilege and luck to have our health, but we can always do more to help those in need. I would like this syndrome to be more well-known, like other rare diseases that are difficult to support.”
Don’t forget, the second U-21 team plays tonight against France at 20:45!
Meanwhile, Depor midfielder Rubén Pérez, who had been called up with the first U-21 team to face Belarus on Monday, has been withdrawn from the list due to a left leg injury suffered during his last Liga game. He’s been replaced by José Raúl Baena, from Espanyol.
On Monday, Diego Caballo got to train with the senior team, which to him was “a dream, a hope, an unforgettable and one of the most beautiful experiences of my life.” It was his coach with the U-17 team, Ginés Meléndez, who told him the news, and his reaction was “it was a huge surprise. I didn’t know how to react. First I saw my team train, and then I went to the locker room of the senior team. They made me feel very welcome, as if I were part of this great group.” All the players were introduced to him, and they each greeted him one by one.
Joan decided to tell a bad joke…
… while Xabi Alonso and Álvaro Arbeloa had this conversation via twitter. I’m imagining them sitting next to each other, busily tweeting away to each other, with the silence only broken by laughing.
Xabi’s first tweet last night (which he has since deleted) was one asking for TV show recommendations, because he had just finished “Californication.” He wrote it in Spanish, Basque and English. The Spanish came out like this.
XA: Align eerie recomendable? [It should read ¿Alguna serie recomendable?]
AA: You don’t speak Spanish very well.
XA: The spellchecker plays tricks on you.
AA: Jajaja!! These things can’t happen to a guy like you!
XA: Hey fraud, have you raffled off the tickets for the game in Granada? A promise is a promise.
AA: I’ll reveal the winner tomorrow!
XA: I’m sure you rigged it. Things have been suspicious since the meal. I’m going to watch “Weeds,” thanks for the recommendations.
And Sergio tweeted another of his customary thumbs-up photos from the concentración. They really do look like they had just taken a swim, no?
Videos and more
The boys have been busy, and very much in demand with the media. Here are some of the appearances they’ve made in the last two days.
Last night, Víctor Valdés spoke to “El Larguero.” Listen here or watch here. We find out that when he’s with the national team, he usually eats meals with those from Barcelona, plus some from other teams, and that they usually speak castellano, although all of them speak catalán. They don’t talk about the Liga or football. And he likes to spend his free time during the concentración watching movies. VV also says that he doesn’t have any good footballer friends outside of (the team) Barcelona. They also did a quick Q&A with him, which was the most interesting part.
When you retire, you’d like to… coach. Out all the players you know, you’d never dress like… Dani Alves. He’s very elegant and brave. I’m not that brave. Charlize Theron or Julia Roberts… Julia Roberts. A goalkeeper gets manicures or bites his nails… I bite mine, a lot. If your son tells you, papá, I want to be a goalkeeper, you’d reply… think twice. Of your teammates, who would be a good babysitter? Iniesta. Have you given him any advice on parenting? No. From your brothers, you learned… how to be a better person. When was the last time you played the piano? Well, a long time ago. (I didn’t know you could play the piano). Four keys. Which habit do you wish you didn’t have? Biting my nails. Did you learn how to do the Waka Waka during the World Cup? No, but it was all around me. Has any coach ever made you cry? Many of them. Your thoughts on Belén Esteban. A phenomenon that I don’t understand. Do you prefer Hola or Cuore (both are gossip magazines)? Neither of them. What is the thing that has caught your attention about the earthquake in Japan? It’s admirable how orderly the people have been, after what happened. The best sporting advice you’ve received… a coach who told me that I have to look at positive side of each game. Does it bother you when you’re called cocky? Yes, but I respect all opinions. Sara Carbonero or Iker Casillas? Iker is a great teammate. Describe Mourinho in one word. Strategic. In the good sense or bad? We’ll leave it at that.
I love what Fer’s doing with his lips there!
TVE interviewed the three lions of the national team, Javi (!!!), Fer and Andoni. During the video, Javi (!!!) and Fer were busy admiring their new €50,000 watches, and I felt so bad for Andoni because he’s left out!! Watch here. Iraola also spoke with Onda Cero – listen here. He talks about returning to the national team, knowing Xabi for a long time (both are products of Antiguoko) and the upcoming game.
Xavi also spoke with TVE (watch here) from the La Roja museum, meaning the very eye-catching World Cup is rotating behind him. During the interview, they prepared several surprises for him, including his father showing off his first ever contract, from when he was 11 (in 1991), and for which he earned 50,000 pesetas. Xavi said that he’s proud to reach 100 games, and he’s hoping to play many more. He added that he’s lucky to have such a wonderful family who help him to keep his feet on the ground. They also talk to Xavi’s first ever utillero, kids in Terrassa, and Xavi’s childhood and school friends, who describe him as: máquina, humble, generous, responsible, good person, great, committed, close, great, a phenomenon, fun, family-oriented.
There’s also apparently a story about Xavi having a great time with Iker, Etxeberria and Tristán in Ukraine, but he wouldn’t explain it, but he says it’s typical of when the team has a free day and they go to have a drink… I want to know what that’s about! They end with a special and catchy Xavi song, which of course incorporates his favorite word, máquina, though it’s abbreviated.
Posted on March 24, 2011, in interviews, la rojita, players, training and tagged arbeloa, capdevila, iniesta, iraola, javi, llorente, mata, sergio, valdés, xabi, xavi. Bookmark the permalink. 25 Comments.