The international players called up by VDB for La Roja’s next two games arrived at Las Rozas this morning, starting at 09h (Iker was one of the earliest). As usual, there was a lot of press waiting there for them, ready to get some statements.
Sergio Ramos told the journalists that there is a “good atmosphere” in the national team, despite the tension from the Real Madrid-Barcelona derbis, and that “we know Iker very well. He’s the captain of Real Madrid just like he’s the captain of the Spanish national team, so it’s normal that footballers and teammates speak. His gesture was a good one.” Meanwhile, Santi Cazorla said there’s no danger of this good atmosphere disappearing, as “there has always been a great atmosphere and there will continue to be one.” Santi also praised Iker for being a true captain and taking the initiative by calling Xavi and Puyol: “it’s clear that if Iker decided to speak with them, it’s because they have good relationships. What happens on the field should not affect anything off of it.”
The new players were also asked to give their thoughts on this new experience ahead of them. Álvaro Domínguez said, “it’s a wonderful experience that I’m going to enjoy to the maximum. Any player who comes wants to stay.” He also said he was excited to see his former teammate Fernando Torres. Meanwhile, Alberto Botía related, “from the time I received the call, I’ve been very happy. I come here to take advantage of the opportunity and to help my teammates. I hope things go well for me and that I’ll be able to return.”
There aren’t too many pictures of the arrival at Las Rozas yet, so what I have so far are taken from videos, since I know how much you like my (inane) fashion commentary! So, here’s a brief rundown of what we saw this morning.
Xabi, Álvaro and Alberto all opted for a white top over jeans, and of course, Xabi (who arrived with Pablo Peña and Paco Jiménez) did it best, with the added touch of the sunglasses, while I can totally see Sergio in Alberto’s outfit, especially that belt buckle. Speaking of Sergio, he once again arrived in a shirt with an image of the Virgin Mary on it. It’s a good thing he didn’t wear the previous one, as Álvaro Negredo showed up in it (maybe it’s a Sevilla thing). And speaking of déjà vu, Andrés Iniesta’s shirt also looked familiar, because that’s the one he was wearing when he arrived to film the Liga BBVA promo. Cesc, meanwhile, opted for a cartoony shirt.
Skulls are apparently popular with our boys, as our two goalkeepers both wore shirts with skulls on them (however, I can’t see Iker rocking anything like that, unless maybe the skull was plaid and carrying a purse). Víctor’s jeans, however, should be retired. Pepe carried a bag from his brother’s store 42 Barquillo; maybe he received a birthday present? I love that he’s bold enough to wear bright purple. Álvaro Arbeloa also opted for a graphic tee, this one from Adidas. Meanwhile, Raúl Albiol and Fernando Torres chose comfort over everything else. I do wish that Raúl had adjusted that pocket flap, it’s really bugging me! And finally, PF Juan Mata wore a simple button down shirt and jeans that wouldn’t have looked out of place on his recent Harper’s Bazaar photoshoot.
And as you can see above in the first picture, Pedro wore those cuffed denim shorts again. Maybe he just keeps them in Madrid for going to Las Rozas. And he’s apparently influenced Sergio Busquets as well, and not in a good way.
The rest of the morning was dedicated to filming spots and shooting ads for the team’s sponsors (Xavi, Villa, Xabi, Cazorla and Llorente spent some time filming things for Adidas, for example), as well as watching the other La Roja (basketball) play their first game of the EuroBasket tournament (Spain beat Poland 83-78).
And on Tuesday night, Pepe Reina arranged a dinner in Madrid to celebrate his 29th birthday (his birthday is actually today, so felicidades Pepe!). David Villa (has he given up on hair gel?), Xavi and Fernando Llorente were some of those who attended the celebration at Casa Juan in Madrid. Iker couldn’t make it because he was in Boadilla, eating at El Acebo with his friends and his girl. Earlier in the day, during a promotional event with Joma, Pepe said, “the national team is always going to be a team, a very united group, with camaraderie. There’s no reason for it to change and it’s not going to change.”
Meanwhile, the new U-21 team coached by Luis Milla (Julen Lopetegui, who coached many of the players of the U-20 team this summer, is an assistant coach) started their concentración on early Monday afternoon, which was followed by a training session late in the afternoon. Vicente del Bosque was at the session, and he chatted with a few of the U-21 players. Iker Muniain and Asier Illarramendi trained apart from the group, as they both came in slightly injured, David de Gea joined the team in the mid-afternoon, while Sergi Roberto, Marc Bartra, Diego Mariño and Rodrigo Moreno (still in street clothes) joined the team on Tuesday directly at Barajas as their teams had all played on Monday.
The team took an Iberia charter flight to Georgia, arriving in Kutaisi around 16:30h local time (14:30h Spain time) after an almost five-hour long flight. In the afternoon, the team trained for one hour in the stadium of Zestafoni. This morning, they took a walk around a park near their hotel.
This team has only three holdovers from the Euro-winning U-21 team from this summer: David de Gea, Iker Muniain and Diego Mariño. It is also a very young team, as only five of the players have celebrated their 21st birthday (the team has to be composed of those born after Jan. 1, 1990): Juan Carlos, Mariño, Nacho, Illarramendi and Joel. Four of the players – Muniain, Sergi Roberto, Isco and Jordi Amat – are young enough (born in 1992) that they could play in the 2013 Euro and the 2015 edition. Can you tell that this is a young team? I also find it interesting that Sergio C. is shirtless…
Despite this, Iker is one of the captains of this team, along with David de Gea and Marc Bartra. They, along with all the players in the junior teams, will now be watched over by Ginés Meléndez, who was named as the coordinator for all the junior national teams, up to the U-21 team, at the RFEF’s assembly today.
Posted on August 31, 2011, in la rojita, players and tagged albiol, arbeloa, botía, cesc, domínguez, iniesta, llorente, mata, negredo, pedro, pepe, sergio, torres, valdés, villa, xabi, xavi. Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.