in case you missed it – Spain vs. the Czech Republic

In case you missed it – Spain vs. the Czech Republic [2011-03-25, Euro 2012 qualifying, 2-1].

On Friday night in Granada, the focus was on Xavi, for his 100 games with the Spanish national team, and David Villa, to see if he would break Raúl’s goalscoring record.  Both came through as Spain made a comeback to beat the Czech Republic 2-1.  Villa’s two goals were his 45th and 46th with the national team, pushing him past Raúl for first place on Spain’s all time top goalscorers list.

ONE. As most of you know, my favorite moments come before the game – I love watching the players warm-up, and during the himno – and after the game – I love watching the players stripping and exchanging shirts.  So let’s start with that.  What a penetrating stare from Iker, and Xabi’s the best at those hip circles, no?  But that’s not surprising, is it?  The close-ups of Sergio and Piqué are also delicious.

TWO. The boys during the national anthem.  I was disappointed that Joan didn’t play with anyone’s ears, but maybe he reserves that for friendlies, since this was an important game.  It was strange not to see Sergio next to Iker, because that’s how they usually stand.

And what a quality banquillo we have, no?  The four players cut at the last minute to reduce to squad to the allowed 18 for the game were Raúl Albiol, Víctor Valdés, Juan Mata and Javi (!!!) Martínez, so that’s why we didn’t see them on the bench Friday night.  Poor me.

THREE. More shots of the bench.  I like how Fernando Llorente found his water bottle more interesting than the game and how Santi is biting his nails.

FOUR. David Villa dedicated his first goal to “all the coaches and everyone, but especially Pepe Reina, since I already told him I would dedicate this goal to him.”  Meanwhile, Pepe’s reaction was “the hug after the goal means a lot to me.  David is like a brother to me, and I thank him for remembering me during this important goal, which made him the maximum goalscorer in the country’s history.”  I love how David literally flew at Pepe!

The second goal came off a penalty, and there was sort of a manpile to celebrate it.

FIVE. Look at this statistic regarding passing.  It is what Spain is famous for.  What a discrepancy between the two teams!

SIX. Two moments that I liked – Iker adjusting his glove (well, any moment that involves Iker, I like), and David Villa being affectionate with a ball boy.

SEVEN. Fernando Torres was extremely preoccupied with his hair on Friday night, especially on his right side.  It started from the time he was on the bench, and continued until he was in the game.

He wasn’t the only one – Iker and Joan also fiddled around with their hair.

And speaking of hair, Piqué has so much it almost looks like he’s wearing a Trojan helmet!

EIGHT. Our boys are really good at pointing and gesturing, aren’t they?  The thumbs-up pose just comes so naturally to Sergio; I bet he even does it in his sleep.

NINE. Back to my favorite moments.  David Villa received hugs from everyone congratulating him for breaking Raúl’s record.  First Xavi makes David look tall, but then Fernando Llorente comes along and Villa’s a bajito once more.

The Czech players were getting topless left and right; too bad the same couldn’t be said for Spain.  The closest we got was Iker, who removed his shirt to reveal… another layer.  Sigh.  At least this time he remembered to remove the captain’s armband first, so that it didn’t get left behind on the field.  Isn’t it funny how this year, the colors of his club and country jerseys are just about the same?

And just as I was losing hope, along comes David Villa, having exchanged his shirt inside the tunnel.  And he wasn’t wearing anything underneath!  But unfortunately I guess the team decided it was not a good idea for him to be interviewed topless, so they gave him a jacket, which David didn’t zip all the way to the top, thankfully.  And that is a huge smile from our David.

This is what the two of them had to say.  Xavi, in response to his centennial, said that “I’m very happy, the game was complicated, because we didn’t expect their goal.  I’m happy with my 100th game.  And I congratulate Villa for his goals.  I’m especially happy for him, because he hadn’t scored for a while.”  Villa congratulated Xavi “not only for his 100 games, but for how he is.  He’s a better person than he is a footballer, and that says a lot.”

TEN. The Xabi Alonso pose section.™

It doesn’t matter what the situation is, Xabi has a pose.  Teammate down?  Yes.  Goal against?  Yes.  Yellow card?  Yes.  Goal for?  Yes.

But when his face is as adorable as this, who can blame him?

Xabi provided the first black – or yellow – mark on Spain’s perfectly clean disciplinary sheet by receiving the team’s first yellow card of the qualification round in the 38th minute.  It was also the first card that Spain has received since the World Cup final.

ELEVEN. After the game, VDB said the keys to the victory were the “patience, experience, personality and quality of the players,” and added that “we’re happy because we managed to extract ourselves from a very complicated situation.”

TWELVE. Other game notes:

At the game were Emilio Butragueño, Fernando Hierro and team delegates Pedro Cortés and Luis Uranga.  Juan Mata’s father also attended the game.

There was no anti-drug testing after the game, since UEFA didn’t send any of their delegates.

After the game, which ended at midnight, the substitutes (Silva, Llorente, Pepe, Iraola) those ruled out for the game (Valdés, Javi (!!!), Mata, Albiol) and the players who didn’t play many minutes (Cazorla, Marchena) held a training session in the Nuevo Los Cármenes until 0:55.  The session consisted of stretching, a warm-up and a mini-game.  The team did not leave the stadium until 01:40 in the morning.

THIRTEEN. Tweets and pictures.

Cesc congratulated Villa for his new record.

Meanwhile, there was a thumbs-up explosion in the locker room.  Sergio tweeted this photo of him and Villa, while Villa posted on his FV this picture of him and Pepe, who doesn’t let his gloves hold him back from that overused pose.

David continued posing this way with Xavi, but luckily Xavi had more sense.  And all three of them looked very happy on the bus back to the hotel.

There’s been a lot of talk about the problems of racism in Spain, and this tweet from Joan DOES NOT help matters.  Maybe it’s not only the fans that need some education, no?  And it’s a pity that Carles Puyol responded to it.

FOURTEEN. The players had most of the day off on Sunday.  They flew back to Madrid, arriving around noon, but were cited to be at Las Rozas once again at nine in the evening.  Mata spent the day watching the movie Torrente IV, in which his teammates Arbeloa, Sergio and Cesc appear.

At the airport, Pepe struggled with his suitcase, jacket, messenger bag and a plastic bag from El Corte Inglés as he got off the plane, while Iker had it easy with just one LV travel bag.  Yay, no purse!

The team will train this morning behind closed doors in the Ciudad de Fútbol, have lunch and then travel to Lithuania at 16h on IB-2862 with destination Kaunas.  It’s still unknown where the game against Lithuania on Tuesday will be played, because the field where the game is scheduled is in bad conditions.  VDB said that Paco Jiménez is already over there checking things out, and that the team will do whatever UEFA decides, having asked a delegate to examine the field.

FIFTEEN. The first U-21 team is already in Madrid, preparing for tomorrow’s game against Belarus in Alcalá de Henares.  They met at the Hotel Tryp Alameda Aeropuerto on Saturday night (with the exception of players from Barcelona B and Las Palmas, who had games but will join the team today) and will have a training session this afternoon at 19h.

How cute are they?  And once again, why don’t the senior players ever get photographed in moments like these?

Posted on March 27, 2011, in games, la rojita and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 38 Comments.

  1. I think David topless with the huge jacket on is really sexy! (As long as he doesn’t zip it AT ALL, much less zipping it all the way up) I think it’s such a tease…seeing the centre part of his bare torso framed with the puffy high-collared jacket. Too bad he zipped it up after that…he shouldn’t have! :p

  2. And…what exactly did Joan’s tweet mean? I couldn’t translate it properly on Google translate.

  3. Una thanks again! First of all, congrats to Xavi’s 100th and Villa’s 45th and 46th goals!

    So that first gif of Iker is just smoldering. I love the rest of the gifs of him. Laughed at the Xabi pose section. I’m so happy to see the gifs of shirtless Villa! I did a doubletake (in a good way) when I saw the post game interview. If only he left the jacket off. But glad to see him smiling, and he does tend to smile more around kids.

    I don’t get Joan’s joke, but I guess I don’t want to know.

    I love Iker and Xavi love, as from the press conference. Is it true that Iker wanted to give Xavi the captain’s armband for the game? But that either Xavi refused it, or RFEF protocol wouldn’t allow it?

    Here’s to Lithuania!

    • I read that Iker asked Xavi if he wanted to wear the captain’s armband for Czech match and the team offered the captaincy to him. But Xavi said he appreciated the gesture but declined it saying he prefers normalcy. Classy all around :)

  4. Loved it! :)
    Btw can you link me the whole interview with Xavi and Villa after the game? Thank you x

  5. Please tell me where you get all these Video’s from? i missed the game and i like the warm up like you but i wanna watch it fully?

  6. I would love to hear the Iker- Cech conversation!
    The Iker neck stretching,staring,sighing gif is just too much, thanks Una!
    The Villa- Reina hug was too adorable!
    Joan should revise his jokes. That one was racist but the other jokes he writes are not that funny either. I still love him though.
    The thumbs up is getting beyond annoying to me………
    Lithuania’s pitch is horrible, I hope the game is not played there. This is an important part of the season too, no club can afford any type of injury.

  7. Incredible post with so much details and love. Gracias.

  8. I’ve checked your site many times in the past thirty hours or so. Am so happy to see this is up. Thanks, Una!

  9. Wow, here’s a lovely post!! Villa Maravilla, congratulations to him on becoming máximo goleador in the Spanish NT history!!! he deserved it!! and I think on such an occasion he could have given the interview shirtless… ;) Unfortunately, in Lithuania, we won’t have much chance to see our boys shirtless – it’s quite cold there :(

    p.s. Joanet, IT IS NOT FUNNY. Didn’t you say that you wanted to give a yellow card to the racists? Fortunately for Joan I’m a bit of a silly blonde and did not quite understand his joke (what does Renault Clio have to do with the Chinese?), but if it’s racist… :(( I can be more or less tolerant to silly jokes, but not to the racist ones.

  10. this have to be your best posts … I love every single min of it…. THANX UNA!!!!

    & I have to agree with you … “I love watching the players warm-up, and during the himno – and after the game – I love watching the players stripping and exchanging shirts”

    and the thing with Joan … I saw him rub Xabi shoulder during the national anthem … & I was waiting for him to do the ears …. maybe the should have the camara on Joan the whole time… If not … we should start a hashtag on twitter asking for Joan to be caught grabbing the ears of his teammated during the NA ….

    & I love DAVID VILLA!!!! I was online right when he put it up .. and I was like YEEEEEESSS!!!! Another Xavilla picture… *lol* … & I was glad he didn’t do another thumbsup picture… thats get annoying after awhile … the same with the peace sign other ppl do…. I think they need to take some modeling classes so the can have different poses… *lol* ….


    cant wait for the next one….

  11. what does the tweet with joan say? I’m sorry I am french. I can speak spanish but not read it very well! I love your blog.

  12. Yay! I’ve been waiting for this all weekend! You’ve done a great job, Una!

    So happy for David to finally be the all-time Spanish international pichichi!!! Even has to admit it now. The hug between him and Pepe is epic! <3

    Xavi is such a boss. I know people complain about him arguing with the refs, but he looks so good doing it! And I love that little smirk he gives David when he comes up to the interviewer with no shirt on. 100 games, hope he will have 100 more!

    Torres won't be very happy with his performance, and I must say I wasn't to thrilled with how Navas did either. I kept calling for the Pony to come in. Still, the whole team was good overall and we won, which is the important team.

    I was surprised that Xavi wasn't wearing the captain's armband for his 100th game. I read somewhere that Casillas offered it to him but Xavi refused, saying he just wanted to concentrate on the football. If that's true, it was a sweet gesture.

    I like Iker's green undershirt, actually. It fits him very snugly. :)

    I can't make out Capdevila's joke. What is "clio"?

    • In addition to looking good while arguing with the refrees, Xavi also gets yellow cards for his efforts. He’s sitting out of next Liga game because of the accumulated yellow cards, all for arguing with the refrees (one while he was on the bench, to boot!) :-( He is the only player I know who is sitting out due to accumulated yellow cards for arguing vs. tackling the opposition.

  13. This post is great :) probably it’s because my favorite player is David Villa ;) Could you translate Joan’s joke? Please :)

  14. I hope there will be no match on Tuesday because the field is really in bad conditions, in addition, I was really disappointed when I realised that I won’t be able to attend the match, so if it is off and if it’s in summer so I will manage to see my favourite team!

  15. Xabi’s poses are the best! Hahahahahahahahahaha.

  16. ahhhh, i was waiting for this! thank you, una, as always. your hard work is very much appreciated, especially for those of us who cannot watch the matches on TV (i hate the canadian cable companies so much … they show stupid TFC matches but absolutely no internationals coverage!) and have to scour the internet for match reports and photos, but those never contain the really interesting stuff, just the facts!

    i’m delighted for villa and xavi both, what a great milestone for them!

    the more i dislike sergio’s hair (that centre part and the height of it just … no …), the more i like iker’s. it’s a bit fluffy on top and it suits him! and that stare of his in the photo … madre de dios. (i even like the green under armour!)

    • Can you get in Canda? They showed the game there and you can watch it on replay.

      The actually show many football games on it, La Liga, EPL, Bundesliga, Serie A, U17’s, etc.

      And the best part? The pic on the top of the list of games was of SERGIO! Now it’s Torres.

  17. I do wonder if Villa and Xavi share hair gel in the locker room.

  18. 1. How cute is Pique in that pic? So mischievous looking!
    2. Poor Iniesta! It’s bad enough he’s standing next to Pique but then his kid is almost is tall as he is. :p
    And in the banquillo, Silva next to Llorente? And Torres…is that the best pout ever?
    4. LOVED Villa’s celebration with Pepe! That was definitely an “awww” moment! Poor Javi (!!!) (& poor Una) :{
    5. This is what I always find SO amazing about Spain (and dare I say, Barca). Their passing is so fantastic because, as you can see in the pic, the guys position themselves so that there are a minimum of 2 great passing lanes for the passer to choose from. Their movement off the ball is amazing. You’d think more teams would find away to mirror this because obviously it works so well for them.
    6. They showed Villa & the ball boy during the game. Another “awww” moment. That ball boy was on cloud nine, I bet!
    8. Xavi is the king, imo when it comes to gesturing and it’s usually directed at the ref. “The thumbs-up pose just comes so naturally to Sergio; I bet he even does it in his sleep.” lol I bet you’re right Una!
    9. How happy do Villa & Xavi look in that last pic?! I’m so happy for them!
    13. I saw Capdevilla’s joke on twitter but google translate didn’t help much. “I love the jokes you send! of course now I wonder: if a xina has a “Clio”, which has? a car or a child?” Usually “x” stands for “por” but it didn’t work for me with “xina”? “Clio” refers to a Renault Clio, right?

    I’d prefer if all the guys on the bench could play but obviously that’s not possible. As much as I like Torres and want him to do well, I was really hoping Llorente would play. He’s been doing so well in La Liga and when he’s played for La Roja. The same for David Silva, although I was happy to see that Santi got some playing time…at least he wasn’t able to bite his fingernails when he was on the field. lol I guess that’s one of the downsides of playing for a team with such a deep bench.

    Didn’t Arbeloa have a great game?! His crosses were beautiful and he was pressing up field a lot.

    This pre-game pic of the guys was on the Barca website. What in the world is Pique doing? And the look on Xabi’s face is priceless! :D

    Another great ICYMI, Una!

  19. Thanks for your great job Una! So many endearing moments!
    This was a historic match for so many reasons! and all of them were good things. Congrats to Xavi and Villa, so proud of them!
    I was drooling all over Villa’s interview…I admit I didn’t pay that much attention to what he said, I was too distracted by himself, LOl
    The guys just arrived to Kaunas. It seems there has been technical problems with their luggage and theyĺl spend the night without their things, AAAWWWWWW

  20. hey,what is the meaning of the joke and what did puyi say-

  21. Wow that tweet from Joan is disgusting, specially given the fact that he’s friends with people like Iker and Piqué, (who was in an anti-racism campaign just recently!), who have had teammates that have been chanted at in stadiums because of their race. :/

    Lovely round up as usual, Una, thank you!

  22. Wonderful recap! Especially love all the behind the scenes and pre/post match extras! That’s the stuff I love and can only ever get from you una! so much thanks go out to you for helping share this!!!!

    tickled with all the hair fussing!

    david’s running hug to pepe to celebrate that first goal was by far one of the most memorable moment of the match for me!

    anything about xavi just makes me smile!

  23. when i saw the bit about joan! my heart just dropped

  24. Una, I could spend a long time commenting on your wonderful pictures & anecdotes!
    Look at those pass statistics! How lucky are we to have such an amazingly skilled side, who also just happen to be gorgeous, hot, adorable & aDORKable! It’s not every decade you get all that wrapped into one team!

    I could comment individually on them all, David & Xavi look so happy & cute. David’s first shot is quite a nice bit of skill! David with Pepe & the ball boy is very sweet. Of course everything Xabi! I love the ‘pose’ section and he has such cute legs expressions on the bench during the goal!

    I could go on & on, because they are all wonderful, but today I think our Capitán takes the hotness award for his gifs…especially the first one!!!! My goodness me! Although he looks like he may have had a bit of a headache, he is smoltering hot! It’s nice to see him with Petr Cech, what good sportsmen they are.

    I am glad they pulled through like the Champions they are. What wonderful achievements for Xavi & David!

    Your blog is like a treat that I wait for & savor, your comments are wonderfully fun ….so thanks again!!!

  25. There is way too much cuteness in this post!!! The swiveling hips, the smiles and hugs, the dedications, the broken records!!! I really like Xabi Alonso’s mini shake of the fists in celebration of el Guaje’s second goal. Adorable.

    Xavi/Villa/Pepe love!!! They really look like good amigos! What a night!!!

    Muchas gracias una vez for the great posts!

  26. Oh I love this blog! This post contained so much loveliness, but if I have to pick something out of the goodybag it would be Villa throwing himself at Pepe, Villa being friendly to the ballboy, and Villa topless at the interview. Pique’s mischeavous smile that made me melt. And of course anything and everything with Xavi!

  27. Joan needs some sensitivity training to respect other cultures. He is not a bad person, of course, but lacks sensitivity.

  28. still on cloud 9 since Friday! :) Sooo happy for our boys! Esp for Dahveeed and Xaviiiiii :D Really proud of them. and of course, of the rest of the boys as well!
    Ive been watching the match for the nth time now and it never gets old. looove the aaaawwwdorable moments like Davheeed literally flying into Pepe’s arms ♥ , Dahveeed ruffling the boy’s hair (LUCKY!!!), Floris and his water bottle and Santi biting his nails!!!

  29. Forgot to thank you for this post! Muchisimas gracias!!! looooove everything about this post – the pics, the gifs, the cute and funny moments from the match! LoveLoveLOVE ♥

  30. to explain the “joke”:

    crio – is kid in Spanish.

    Spaniards believe that Chinese pronounce the R as an L.

    Really not funny.

    • Thanks for explaining it!

      I love me some Capdevila, but all you people who are following him on twitter should send him a tweet to say that ethnic jokes are not cool. Maybe then he will get it.

  31. I’ve come to accept that Torres playing with his hair is like Ramos insisting on posing EVERYWHERE with a cheesy thumbs up. Inexplicable habits that I will completely ignore. :P Like that look on him, hair-fussing and all. Fuss away, Fernando- anything to get your mojo back is fine by me! :D


  32. The pictures of Iker are priceless. The smoldering stare one is just hottttttttt, while the fixing-the-hair one is funny. I love how he even clsed his eyes while fussing with his hair. He was really concentrating! Haha.

    Like you, I also loved how David flew at Pepe. And I love how Pepe is such an integral part of the team, even if isn’t really playing. He seems really important to the other players.

    And, yey, no mo man purse! Sara will be slightly redeemed in my eyes (emphasis on “slightly”) if she was responsible for the disappearance of the murse. I just wish it wasn’t LV monogram, though, it’s such an unispired choice. Waterproof canvas, Damier, Damier Graphite or Epi leather are much, much better options.

    I’m happy for El Guaje breaking the scoring record, but a little sad for Raul, too.

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