La Roja briefs
ONE. Two cute pictures of the team from their last concentración, in their pre-game technical chat. They really look like schoolchildren! Andrés would sit in the front row next to the teacher! Piqué gets my vote for being the one most likely to sit in the back.
TWO. Andrés Iniesta is the star of Kalise ice cream’s new campaign, under the tagline, “when you make 48 million people happy with a goal you score, you get whatever you ask for. You’ll find out soon what Andrés Iniesta asked for in Kalise ice cream’s new campaign.”
THREE. Víctor Valdés was one of the invited guests on La Sexta’s “Buenafuente” on Thursday night, and before the taping, the show asked Andrés Iniesta, Carles Puyol and Gerard Piqué via twitter what questions they should ask Víctor. Only Carles replied, saying “ask him about Manolo Escobar during the World Cup celebration” (watch that moment here).
So Andreu Buenafuente did precisely that, and Víctor explained, “when Manolo Escobar came out, (Carlos) Marchena said to me, ‘hey, let’s go toss Manolo up in the air.’ So I said okay, and when I went to do it, I found myself alone. The good thing was that I was capable of doing it alone.” He also used the show to ask for forgiveness from Manolo! Watch here, but it looks like Víctor had help from Sergio, no? And that he didn’t manage to get Manolo very high up either! Plus, his reaction after is priceless, because he obviously thought what he had done was hilarious!
FOUR. Vicente del Bosque revealed yesterday that Sergio Busquets had told him before the game against Lithuania that he would like to play in the upcoming U-21 Euro. VDB told him he would discuss this matter with Fernando Hierro, to make the best decision for everyone. As much as I believe Busi will help that team and be a great addition, and that it’s a wonderful gesture, he hasn’t played for that team in two years, and he would most likely take the spot of someone who has been there and has worked extremely hard in that time to help Spain qualify for the tournament, and so it seems a bit unfair.
FIVE. VDB has admitted that the departure of Fernando Hierro as sporting director of the FEF has left him saddened: “It hurts me because he’s my friend. He was an excellent professional in everything he did as a player, and he did an excellent job in the RFEF and has helped us a lot.” He told this to Radio Marca, where he also talked about that other key pillar during his third stint as coach of Real Madrid, Raúl: “despite the years, he hasn’t lost many things, and he’s always been an extremely competitive man… I’ve never said that the doors to the national team are closed to any player, including Raúl. We inherited a national team without Raúl, and perhaps we committed the error of not calling him up.”
It looks like VDB will be taking over some of the functions that Hierro had previously done, such as working with all the junior teams. However, there are some other tasks that he will not be taking over, such as negotiating bonuses with the players, negotiating with club representatives over their players and other things like that. Thus, the RFEF is considering hiring someone else to handle these duties, and one name being batted around is that of José Antonio Camacho, who of course once coached the national team and maintains an excellent relationship with VDB, from their playing days together at Real Madrid. Others are saying that the position could be handed to a graduate of the “sporting director” course at the RFEF, but since it’s a new one, all of the recent graduates (e.g. Fran, Juanito, De La Red) are too inexperienced to discuss money with Iker Casillas or minutes with Andoni Zubizarreta.
Meanwhile, the marquis also attended an event in Salamanca, accompanied by Paloma Antoraz, Antonio Limones and Juan Carlos Herranz, where he talked about the “style of the national team,” saying the keys to the success the team has enjoyed are “not erasing the footprints of the past,” and maintaining “the heritage while strengthening the team.”