the lists for Chile, Liechtenstein & Georgia
Vicente del Bosque has called up the following players for La Roja’s next two games, the friendly against Chile on Sept. 2 (20:45h) in St. Gallen, Switzerland, and the Euro 2012 qualifier against Liechtenstein on Sept. 6 (22h) in Logroño. Out of the 24 players that make up this list, six are from the Euro-winning U-21 team, including three of their four starting defenders (Dídac Vilà is the missing one, though VDB said he is following him) and of course Javi Martínez (!!!). Now that he’s “graduated” from that team, I expect to see him get called up regularly with the senior team! The majority of the new players are defenders, due to the injuries to Puyol, Piqué, Monreal and Iraola (VDB called up six this time, since last time’s five didn’t work out so well). There are also three Álvaros, two Davids, two Sergios, and two Fernandos on the list, and of course, three variations of the name Javier.
Goalkeepers: Iker, Pepe Reina, Víctor Valdés.
Defenders: Álvaro Arbeloa, Raúl Albiol, Sergio Ramos, Alberto Botía, Álvaro Domínguez, Martín Montoya.
Midfielders: Xabi, Sergio Busquets, Santi Cazorla, Andrés Iniesta, Thiago, Xavi, Javi Martínez, Cesc.
Forwards: David Villa, David Silva, Fernando Torres, Fernando Llorente, Pedro, Álvaro Negredo, Juan Mata.
VDB said during the press conference that the absences of Marchena and Capdevila does not mean that “we have ruled out anyone. I wanted to call up some young boys, so that the six champions of Europe could train with us, and we’ll see how things go.”
Reactions: Alberto Botía received an ovation from his teammates, who also got a promise that he would treat them to dinner to celebrate, as a result of his call-up. He said that he wasn’t expecting this, and that the first congratulatory message he received was from his brother. Meanwhile, Álvaro Domínguez revealed how he heard the good news: “I was receiving treatment from the fisio and I told him to turn on the radio to see if there was any news about the strike. And that’s when we heard the list. I heard my name and I was “súper contento.” We hugged and then I started receiving messages and hugs. My parents are happy, because they know how much I work and they’re behind all my successes.” And Martín Montoya tweeted that he was celebrating his call-up “in the air” with his girlfriend and his friend Santi, and that it’s an unforgettable day and that he’s very happy.
If Iker plays both games, he’ll only be two games shy of tying Zubi for most games played for Spain…
The team is expected at Las Rozas on Wednesday at 10h. They’ll leave for Switzerland on Sept. 1 at 09h, and stay at the Hotel Santispark in St. Gallen. The team will return to Madrid on Sept. 3, and depart for Logroño on the morning of Sept. 5. In La Rioja, they’ll stay at the Hotel Husa Gran Vía, with a training session from 20-21h at Las Gaunas on Sept. 5. They’ll return to Madrid right after the game.
Meanwhile, Luis Milla has called up the following players for the new U-21 team, which begins qualifying this September for the next Euro competition. The first two games are against Georgia on Sept. 1 (20:30h) in Kutaisi, Georgia and on Sept. 5 (20:45h) in Lugo. This list includes many members of this summer’s U-20 team.
Goalkeepers: Joel Robles, David de Gea, Diego Mariño.
Defenders: Marc Bartra, Carles Planas, Hugo Mallo, Jordi Amat, Nacho Fernández, Iñigo Martínez.
Koke Resurrección, Sergi Roberto, Oriol Romeu, Recio, Isco, Asier Illarramendi, Sergio Canales, Juan Carlos Pérez, Dani Pacheco.*
Forwards: Iker Muniain, Cristian Tello, Rodrigo, Álvaro Vázquez.
* on Aug. 28, Koke was replaced by Dani Pacheco due to a right thigh injury suffered earlier this week.
Their concentración starts on Aug. 29 at 13h at the Tryp Alameda Aeropuerto Hotel. They’ll leave Madrid for Kutaisi on Aug. 30 and stay at the Hotel Bagrati there. After the game on Sept. 1, the team will return to Spain, flying to Santiago de Compostela, where they’ll stay at the Hotel Los Abetos for about six hours before taking a bus to Lugo. Their hotel there is the Hotel Balneario de Guitiriz. The game will be played on Sept. 5, and on Sept. 6, the team will return to Madrid via A Coruña.
Reactions on twitter
So far, Sergi Roberto is happy with his own call-up and that of Martín Montoya to the senior team, and Álvaro Vázquez is happy for Martín as well (and himself), as are Sergi Gómez, Rubén Pérez and Gerard Piqué, while Cote feels the same for “Boti” (the last time a Sporting player was called up was 15 years ago). Plus, Sergi is excited to see Isco. Álvaro Domínguez called today a “such a happy day.” David de Gea tweeted, “what great news! The rock Álvaro Domínguez to the senior team! A big hug” and Álvaro also received congratulations from Koke and Rubén Pérez, who tweeted, “congratulations Domin, I’m very happy for you, you deserve it.” And Thiago wants to share his joy with Botía, Álvaro Domínguez and Martín Montoya.