in case you missed it – Spain vs. Chile

In case you missed it – Spain vs. Chile [2011-09-02, friendly, 3-2].

Andrés Iniesta and Cesc came to the rescue as Spain had to make a comeback to beat Chile 3-2 in Switzerland on Friday.  Spain, extending its streak of poor performances in friendlies, looked quite awful during the first half, especially the defense (I’m sorry to say, because Javi (!!!) was back there) and Chile took full advantage, scoring twice in the first 20 minutes.  Some changes were made at the half, allowing Spain to mount a comeback.  As Javi (!!!) said, “I enjoyed myself in the second half watching Andrés.”  And I enjoyed watching Iker and Javi (!!!).

ONE.  As you know, I love pre-game moments.  Before this game, we had Sergio giving high-fives to his teammates and the boys sharing a few jokes.

Javi (!!!) spent that time pouting away.  He does that so well.

TWO.  The boys during the national anthem.

This is the hottest team in the world.

THREE.  Prior to the game, Iker showed off that Perfect Profile, and Sergio warmed up with a few kicks.

FOUR.  Iker looked so sad after Chile went up 2-0, I wanted to rush onto the field to comfort him.  And since I’d have to pass by Javi (!!!) on the way to Iker, I’d take the opportunity to give him a hug (or more) too.

FIVE.  Luckily, that sadness didn’t last too long, as Spain mounted a comeback, starting with Andrés Ineista’s golazo, which he dedicated to Valeria.

Spain’s second goal was also a work of art, but part of the celebration was my favorite piece of it – Javi (!!!) gave a little tug to Cesc’ ear!!!

And to finish the comeback, Cesc converted on a (undeserved) penalty, which the entire team celebrated.  Cesc had the nice gesture of going over to Claudio Bravo to give him a high five.

And Javi (!!!) continued being all affectionate with Cesc.  As stated earlier, for the first goal, he had tugged on Cesc’ ear.  For the second, he stroked the back of Cesc’ neck.  Well, this is the first time I’ve ever wanted to be Cesc.

SIX.  David Silva was all feisty during the game, from shooting darts with his eyes at the referee to taking exception with one of the Chilean players.  Meanwhile, David Villa remained quite calm for the duration of the game.

Speaking of the Davids, Silva has the flags of the Canary Islands and Spain on his boots, and Villa returned to using hair gel, so he looked more like himself.

SEVEN.  Javi Martínez (!!!), front and back.  And I really wouldn’t mind having Javi (!!!) defend me, or having to defend Javi (!!!).  As Friday was Javi (!!!)’s birthday, he received many calls from friends and family during the day.  He spoke with COPE after the game, and when asked whether he had received any presents from his teammates, he said, “whatever, nothing!” and went on to explain that the majority of his teammates didn’t know it was his birthday, and it was enough for him just to receive birthday wishes.

EIGHT.  The players who were subbed out at the half, such as Xabi, Villa or Iker, took a shower and re-appeared on the bench in the second half with street clothes.  I loved the moment when Silva came off and Fernando Llorente stretched as far as he could to give him a high five, followed by Negredo and Iker.

NINE.  There were four captains on Friday night.  Iker was the first one…

… and the armband passed to Xavi after Iker was subbed out at the half.  When it came time for Xavi to take a seat, he gave the armband to Cesc to give to Sergio.

Sergio wore it for about five minutes, and then someone must have alerted him that Fernando Torres was actually the captain out there, so in the 69th minute, the armband was passed on.

TEN.  Pobrecito.

ELEVEN.  The game might be remembered for the fight that broke out at the very end.  It was dubbed by the media as “the fight of union,” “the fight of reconciliation” or “the fight of peace” because what happened was this: Iniesta got into an argument with Vidal.  Arbeloa stepped in to defend his teammate, and ended up getting shoved around by the Chileans.  So Busquets came charging up, running around several players to get to one of the players that had been arguing with Arbeloa to shove him in the back.  And of course, Sergio Ramos and Víctor Valdés (shirt and gloves in hand) had to get involved, because it wouldn’t be a fight without them.  The media only saw that Real Madrid and Barcelona players were actually defending each other, although practically the entire Spain team was out there, including the players on the bench.  The referee ended the game after things cooled off, though Pepe ended up having to pull Iker who was in turn pulling Cesc to get him off the field.  Iker kept his grip around Cesc’ arm to make sure he wouldn’t go back out there.  Not our best moment.  Plus, the tangana deprived us of possible shirtless moments.  Bad.

After the game, Andrés Iniesta said, in response to a question about whether the fight “united” them, “it showed that we get along.  You have to stop feeding that debate about whether there’s a bad atmosphere.  We defend each other playing football and helping each other when there are disputes.”

TWELVE.  The Xabi Alonso pose section.™

THIRTEEN.  After the game, Vicente del Bosque talked about the lack of a defensive attitude, and how Spain couldn’t have played worse in the first half.  He added, “the quality of our players in the attack was important but without any defensive intensity, it’s difficult to play.”

Meanwhile, one of the men of the match, Cesc, said, “I haven’t been this happy for a while.  I’m in a great moment and let’s see if I can take advantage of it by playing minutes with the national team.”  He also said, “I wasn’t the protagonist.  It was Iniesta who changed the game.  When Andrés has the ball, you know that something different is going to happen.”

FOURTEEN.  Other notes.

– Spain took a walk in the morning, and VDB took the time to go over game strategy with his two field generals, Sergio Busquets and Xabi Alonso.

– the comeback win against Chile marked the third time that Spain had to make a comeback from two goals down to win the game.  The two previous times were a 4-3 win against England in 1929 and the 3-2 win against Macedonia in 2009.

– Xavi became the third-most capped player in Spain’s history as this game was his 102nd.  He tied Raúl for third place (and first place for most games for a field player), and is behind Zubi with 126 and Iker at 123 (and counting).  Xavi debuted with the senior team on Nov. 15, 2000 against the Netherlands, but it was a bittersweet debut as Spain lost 1-2.  Since then, he’s scored nine goals, including the 1,000th goal of the Spanish national team.  He’s won the World Cup, the Eurocopa, the U-20 World Cup and a silver medal from the Olympic Games.

– there were three new players called up for this game and the next one, but no one made their debut, as the situation mandated that VDB use experienced, veteran players.  This meant that Botía, Domínguez and Montoya will have to wait a bit longer before they can debut, which could come as early as Tuesday against Liechtenstein.  Thiago is also expected to play, as that will cement his international future to Spain.

– this was unfortunate for Alberto Botía’s family, as his parents, brother, brother-in-law and a friend has traveled a long distance to see his possible debut: they went from Murcia to Valencia by car, flew to Zurich and took a bus to Saint Gallen.  They then had to do that trek in reverse to get back to Spain, and with the added disappointment of not seeing Alberto play.

– the tie between Scotland and the Czech Republic on Saturday means that if Spain wins on Tuesday against Liechtenstein, we mathematically qualify for the Euro.

FIFTEEN.  The team arrived back in Spain on Saturday around noon, and got the day off before resuming training on Sunday with a double session at Las Rozas.  Javi (!!!) must not have a lot in his suitcase for him to swing it around like that (by the way, it’s his official Athletic suitcase, and since everyone else on his team has the same one, he wrote a big “24” on his).

Later that day, Cesc tweeted this photo of him having lunch with his friends.  If only we all could have friends who are Iniesta, Valdés, Pedro and Busquets.

Meanwhile, some of the other players also had lunch together: Álvaro Arbeloa, Raúl Albiol and Juan Mata (“Matita” according to Arbeloa; PF has so many nicknames, no?), who joined Esteban Granero, José María Callejón and Madrid’s head of press Óscar Ribot for lunch.  Esteban tweeted this photo and the boys subsequently had a little banter via twitter over who was going to pay.

By the way, it’s Raúl Albiol’s birthday today!  ¡Felicidades Chori!  So many birthdays during this international break, no?

SIXTEEN.  A social media update.

Fernando Llorente tweeted that he’s looking forward to the game in Logroño, since it will be a special one “because we’re playing in my land [La Rioja], close to my hometown and many friends and family will come to see me.”  On his Facebook, he wrote something similar, but added, “today is the birthday of my teammate Javi Martínez, congratulations crack!!”  Speaking of Javi (!!!), he also said that he will have family going to the game, as Ayegui is only about 50 kilometers away from Logroño.  El Rincón de Soto is even further away at 70 km, despite being in the same province.

Meanwhile, Iker posted this photo on his Facebook from the morning walk.  In it, he, Pepe, Xavi and Llorente pose with the very typical verdant Swiss landscape behind them.

Pepe posted that same photo, joking, “walking around in Switzerland, I ran into these guys… very nice people… do you know who they are?”  He also posted a different photo from that same walk, with just him and Floris, whom he called “one of my brothers from the NT.”  And I’m going to say that Pepe wrote the following message on his FB in a rush, because I’m sure his English is better than this: “I love to see how you post me.  Continue posting me, because I read you…”

It appeared that everyone (and who can blame them?) wanted a piece of Floris, because Sergio also tweeted this picture with his victim Fernando (too bad they couldn’t find a lion background), as did Cesc.

SEVENTEEN.  As for the U-21 team, the non-starters on the U-21 team trained on Friday afternoon, while the starters got to enjoy the pools of their spa hotel.  Jordi Amat had to leave the concentración after tests showed that he has a tear to one of the muscles in his left calf, which resulted in a small blood clot.  He subsequently tweeted that he was in the airport in A Coruña, heading back to Barcelona, and “it’s been an honor and a pleasure to spend these days with the U-21 team!  Lots of luck on Monday!”

On Saturday, the team took a walk after breakfast, around their hotel.  In the afternoon, the team trained in Lugo for one hour and 15 minutes.  They will have one more training session before Monday’s game.

The RFEF decided to spotlight Diego Mariño and Hugo Mallo, as they are both from Galicia, the site of Monday’s qualifier.  Diego is from Vigo and Hugo from Marín, both in Pontevedra, so they are excited about the game.  Diego said, “it’s an honor to play in Galicia.  My family, my people, my friends will be in the stands, and I’m very excited to play here.  It will be a very special game and it could be the last time I come with the national team to my homeland, so I’m very excited about it.”  Meanwhile, Hugo declared, “it makes me happy to play here in Galicia, in front of my people.  This is something that perhaps won’t happen again for some time, so you have to enjoy the moment and live the experience.”

And the RFEF also gave us a photo of the seven players that officially debuted with the U-21 team against Georgia: Hugo Mallo, Oriol Romeu, Carles Planas, Rodrigo, Isco, Iñigo Martínez and Jordi Amat (Jordi’s absent because he had already left)  All of them with the exception of Iñigo had played in this summer’s U-20 World Cup.  The majority have also played for the U-16, U-17, U-18 and U-19 teams.

The boys also spent a lot of time posing for each other’s twitpics.

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Posted on September 4, 2011, in games, la rojita and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 32 Comments.

  1. Sergio wore it for about five minutes, and then someone must have alerted him that Fernando Torres was actually the captain out there, so in the 69th minute, the armband was passed on.

    una, when you said this, did you mean that fernando figures in the order of captaincy? :D is he like semi-vice captain????

    • It meant that Fernando was the most capped player out there at that moment. If memory serves me correctly, current players ahead of Fernando with regards to the captaincy are Iker, Xavi, Puyol and Xabi.

  2. Una thanks for this post. I loved it. I admit I didn’t get to see the game but your post-match summary wraps up all the nice moments the team shared. I loved the pics u posted. I like your comments as well!

  3. This fight was embarrassing, as much as Press tried to spin it and twist it to make it look like ” all look nothing wrong is happening in the NT afterall, they are brothers” BS!!.
    That was clear way before.
    About the game, Arbeloa x_x, NO for diving! Other than that Grande Iniesta!.

  4. Una thanks for your post. I love your pictures and captions!

  5. Thanks for the recap!

    It was a game of two halves and the second half was quite entertaining once Andres came in and made things happen. He really makes playing well look so effortless! As Cesc said, Andres made it all happen and he just needed to be at the right place to tap the ball in!

  6. Terrific recap, thanks a ton! I agree that the entire game changed the second Iniesta stepped onto the field. That little man is a genius, a magician, and whatever other superlatives you can think to call him. Fabregas was terrific as well, so happy to see him getting minutes with the NT.

    The back line was a shambles, though, especially in the first half. They are missing Puyol and Pique SO bad. I thought Albiol was particularly poor, and CB is unfortunately clearly not Javi’s best position. If I was VDB I would probably have taken a gamble and put Botia out there in the second half. He is a very good player.

    The penalty, I’m glad you agree, was completely undeserved. That was an absolute dive. Arbeloa didn’t do Spain any favours there, everyone already thinks Spanish players do nothing but dive.

    And the fight. SMH. I don’t know what the Chilean player said to get Iniesta so angry, but Arbeloa shouldn’t have gotten physical like that. And Busquets and Ramos charging in as well was ridiculous. I hope VDB gave all three of them a spanking talking to afterwards! It was nice to see Cesc acting as a peacemaker, too, but the funniest part of the fight was Santi just ignoring everything and cheerfully going around shaking everybody’s hands. He’s so lovely!

    Oh, and that picture of Sad!Iker is gorgeous!

  7. This is the hottest team in the world.

    ahahaha, you read my mind, word for word! when i was looking at the two gifs of them during the anthem, i thought exactly that, and then i scrolled down and … great minds think alike!

    i’m glad we won, but it was rocky start. poor iker really had a tough first half. i was at work and couldn’t watch so i had to just refresh the live updates page and i couldn’t believe my eyes when i saw it was 0-2 at the half.

    thanks, too, for posting the video of the fight … all it said online was that the game had been cut short in extra time due to fighting, but it didn’t specify who. i had a sick feeling, given recent history with some of the players, but was almost relieved in a weird way to see they were fighting the opponents and not each other (though i had to laugh when you said above that VV and sergio had to get in there because it isn’t a fight if they don’t join in … heh).

    between the fighting and the poor first half, that really wasn’t one of our finer matches. on the bright side, it’s nice to see cesc in a NT jersey again (i miss puyi!) and i’m obviously glad we won. it just shouldn’t have been that hard!

    PS: of course everyone wants a piece of flori! he’s adorable! :)

  8. YEA!!!!! I love the ICYMI post ….thanks for the post!!! =)

  9. I love these boys, I really really do, but they need to stop fighting! I’m glad that this time it was together rather than the usual against each other…but our boys are better sportsmen than that. It almost says that clásico fights aren’t happening solely because emotions are high but really because these boys are just fighters. It’s disappointing.

  10. heyyy what does PF stand for?

  11. Thnx for the round up Una. I do think the Spanish boys were largely to blame for that fight though- Iniesta unnecessarily turned on that Chile player who was marking him (I guess he felt the challenge was too strong), then Arbie comes in and shoves- that’s when it popped off. Don’t these guys know the rules of any fight? It’s all talk until s/o makes it physical, then it’s hard to separate because everyone gets involved ‘defending’ a teammate.

    Still, one lovely thing to happen out of all the shenanigans- Llorente’s now on twitter!

  12. why wasn’t sergio the first one to get the armband after iker?? I thought he was second captain…

    • haha sorry comments weren’t loading when i wrote that and then i saw the same question was asked and answered haha oh well…

  13. Not our finest moment, indeed. I think Arbeloa was a little too rough in his defense of Iniesta, but Busquets barging in like that was what started the chaos. Admittedly, though, it doesn’t take much to flare up those Chilean tempers. I have so much more respect for Iker and Pepe (but that’s to be expected of these two), Cesc, Pedro, Javi (!!!) and Nado who all tried to stop the fight and pull their more hot-headed teammates (I’m looking at you, Victor) away from the trouble.

  14. as a defender javi is quite success.. mostly in second half, off course..

  15. All I can think about is that Cesc needs a haircut; he looks homeles.

  16. We have had several replays of this match on Fox Soccer Channel this weekend! The first half was horrible to watch. I felt very bad for Iker, and the defense, too. They just didn’t seem to be able to match Chile’s speed.
    Again, I was frustrated by the British announcer’s rhetoric about the ‘rift’ between the RM and Barca players. I don’t even care about the ‘situation’ at the end. Arbeloa should never have come in so hard on the Chilean player. He deserved a straight red for that, really. As soon as I saw it start, I knew that people (read: the media) would be commenting the next day about how Madrid players defended Barca players. It’s great that we have the media teaching the children of the world to blow every circumstance out of proportion. Thanks guys!
    Thanks for the great post Una. I kept waiting for it to come up on your RM blog, and then I realized – oh yeah, Con La Roja! DUHHHH!!!! ;-)

  17. Hola chica, so nice to get the match wrap up from a females perspective! That doesn’t happen often enough. I’m in AUS so we didn’t get the match but your review was tops!! Your comments made me laugh, great pics too!
    Thanks for the update!

  18. Thanks for the post Una! I sort of rely on your blog as they never show Spain’s games here in my country. TVE Internacional hasn’t really considered that some countries might want to watch them. :(

    And I must admit, whenever you post photos / GIFs of Javi pouting, I now have this reflex of also pouting. He makes me feel like I have inadequate and very un-pouty lips. Hahaha!

  19. Fabulous post. Even thought I thought it was a bit silly the brawl at the end, it was cute to see them all defending each other. Does that make sense? Amazing performance by Cesc and Iniesta. I can’t wait to see La Rojita on Monday.

  20. thanks for this. i didnt get to watch the game so i have to ask why was the penalty undeserved?

  21. I love your recap..u should see the new pic Javi with him Cecs in twiter!!So adorable. Both of them. Although sometime I thought Cecs look muchhhhh older than Javi!!!I also proud that Javi play the whole game!!

  22. i find it really funny how sergio ramos just appeared out of nowhere and shoved that chilean dude on the ground :)

    i know fighting should be frowned upon but that was hilarious!

    love you blog una!

  23. Thank you so much for the recap Una! :D That must have taken a very long time to do.

    If its okay I have question…

    I remember reading somewhere (although I forget where) that David Villa and Xabi Alonso were very good friends? Is this true? I was just wondering, if you don’t know that’s fine.

  24. una,
    is vdb training new defenders? why werent puyol, pique and capdevila called up?

  25. It’s true: the fight wasn’t our best moment, but I must admit that I loved a particular moment (0:46, bottom of the screen) in the fight where Cazorla walked up smiling, and shook the hand of an upset Chilean player, who was still yelling at the big huddle of players. Cazorla definitely seems like a very calm player.

  1. Pingback: Spain-Chile (3-2)!!! It’s late but whatever. | ♥

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