ICYMI – Spain vs. the Czech Republic

In case you missed it – the Czech Republic vs. Spain [2011-10-07, Euro 2012 qualifying, 0-2].

This 2-0 victory was the 21st consecutive one in terms of qualifiers, and also means that Spain has won all official games since the opening loss to Switzerland in the World Cup (13 games, 13 wins, with 31 goals in favor and only six against).  Spain played so well in the first half that they didn’t have to foul until the 44th minute, when Raúl Albiol had to stop Baros on the right flank.  The team made 1,149 passes during the game, compared to just 293 for the Czech Republic.  Xavi and Xabi made more passes than their rivals combined, with 170 and 127, respectively.  Spain had 80 percent possession during the first half and 77 percent during the second.  The first half looked more like a rondo than a game.

ONE.  It’s kind of fitting that Xabi’s bosses-in-training on his club team and national team are best friends, no?  Because PF Juan Mata was muy jefe out there on Friday night.  And Xavi had a partidazo as well.

TWO.  On the morning before the game, the players took their usual morning paseo.  It’s obvious that some can stand the cold better than others – just look at the two Fernandos!  What a contrast.  I like how all of them were distracted by the dog.  I’m distracted by Javi (!!!) and how he walks.  Meanwhile, the five players from Madrid strolled together, along with David Silva.  Xabi looked quite boss, no?

With Gerard Piqué busy on the phone (probably with Shakira), Carles Puyol had to “settle” for walking with best friends Pepe Reina and David Villa.  Meanwhile, the younger players walked together.  Javi (!!!) is like a giant next to Thiago and Jordi!

THREE.  The goals can both be described as great finishes from great passes.

I love how Álvaro Arbeloa decided to jump onto the pile.  He really got some height in his jump!  Must be a superhero ability…

Just look at that elegance with which Xabi sweeps the ball into the net.  Xabi is the second highest goalscorer on the team in the Del Bosque era, with 11 goals, one more than forward Fernando Torres.  Only David Villa has scored more goals than Xabi in this time.

FOUR.  Everyone on the bench looked really cold, especially Fernando Llorente and Santi.  The three players cut from the game day list were Jordi Alba, Víctor Valdés and Pedro.  Javi (!!!) looks easily distracted, no?

FIVE.  In the 69th minute, Xabi Alonso suffered a horrific tackle from Tomáš Hübschman, which left Xabi writhing in pain, Hübschman expelled and fans flashing back to De Jong’s karate kick in the World Cup final.  (Why is everyone gunning for Xabi?  Is it because he’s so good?)  On the bench, Pepe leapt up, while Thiago and Santi gaped in astonishment.  Fernando Torres didn’t change expression.  And Miguel Gutiérrez could see it was bad, as he got up immediately and headed for his equipment.

On the field, Sergio Busquets immediately recriminated the Czech player for the hard tackle, imitating him, while Puyol and Arbeloa also rushed in towards the referee.  Xabi looked to be in a lot of pain as he got up, with Álvaro patting him on the cheek.

He limped off the field, helped by the fisio and Dr. Celada.  The only good thing out of this mess was the close-up looks at Xabi’s leg.

Everyone was concerned about Xabi.

After the game, Xabi said, “I couldn’t really protect myself, but I saw him coming and so greater damage was avoided.  It left me with my shinguard around the ankle… I was frightened by how violent the tackle was.  It left me in a lot of pain, but I saw an image of it and it could have been much worse.”  The team’s doctors said that Xabi was left with a big bruise on the inside of his right leg and cuts from the studs on the boot of the rival player.

SIX.  David Villa didn’t seem to be too comfortable with his new hairstyle yet, as he kept messing around with it while waiting to be subbed in.  In the end, he smoothed it down so much that it looked like a cap.

SEVEN.  Sergio was subbed out at the half as a precaution due to pain in his left thigh, which was subsequently treated with massage (again, I have the wrong job).  Both he and Xabi will continue on in the concentración.  On the plus side, his hair looked fantastic – as usual – during the game.

EIGHT.  It was also great to see Puyol back, after 11 months away from La Roja, during which he was sorely missed.  He came in for Sergio at the half, receiving a high five from Álvaro Arbeloa before he began dancing marking his territory.

NINE.  It looks like ARBELOAMAN’s superhero friends made it to the game!

TEN.  As for Fernando Torres, he has the second worst goal scoring average in the history of La Roja forwards, with one goal every 187 minutes.  Only Emilio Butragueño has a worse one, with one every 209 minutes.  The forward with the best average is Isidro Lángara, who scored a goal every 63 minutes, followed by Telmo Zarra with one every 88 minutes, Morientes with one every 92 minutes, and Villa with one every 109 minutes.  On the plus side, Torres has some cheekbones, no?

ELEVEN.  Javi Martínez (!!!) came in for Xabi Alonso in the 70th minute.

Javi (!!!) doesn’t need to do anything other than run or even move (or breathe, for that matter) to make the moment interesting for me.

I would have loved to see him score his first goal with La Roja!!!

TWELVE.  I never knew that Iker and Petr Cech were friends, and that Cech could speak Spanish (in addition to Czech, English and Portuguese!  And some of our boys have trouble learning just one more language…).

THIRTEEN.  After the game, VDB expressed how proud he was of the game that his boys had played, and said he was happy to see Carles Puyol back in action.  He also said he would try to give everyone who hasn’t played so far playing time in the next game.  As for Fernando Torres, VDB was optimistic, and he also said Mata and Silva were “very important” and “had a great game.”

FOURTEEN.  The Xabi Alonso pose section.™

Since David Silva and Xavi hijacked Xabi’s favorite pose, he decided not to do it.  Always a trendsetter and an original.

FIFTEEN.  These little puppets were on sale in Prague, and Manolo Lama bought a Puyol one.

SIXTEEN.  Following the game, the team had dinner, finishing around 01h in the morning.  Seven hours later, they were having breakfast and getting ready to head to the airport.  The team arrived back in Madrid around 13h on Saturday, and the players were off until Sunday morning.  VDB even gave them the option to not have to stay at the residence in Las Rozas on Saturday night, which should have made Iker happy.

Xabi looked to be walking normally as the team landed in Barajas on Saturday morning, which is a good sign.  And Sergio’s hair continued to look good.  Meanwhile, Thiago enjoyed his music.  Plus, I love Javi’s (!!!) lime green laptop cover, and his messy hair.  And Javi (!!!) himself of course.

I have to say, I really like these new outfits a lot, they’re much more elegant than the tracksuits.

SEVENTEEN.  Raúl Albiol hung out with Cuatro on the morning of the game, during which he called El Niño a “phenomenon,” said he’s happy Puyol is back knowing how much he suffered, and made fun of Santi Cazorla.  When he saw Santi, he told the cameraman to lower the camera, as to capture Santi, who had an adorable reaction.  El Chori also filled out a mini-questionnaire.

In June, I want to be in… the Eurocopa.  This year, I’m going to play… a lot.  This year, Real Madrid is going to win… the Liga and Champions.  Mourinho is… my coach.  Del Bosque is… my other coach.  The next Eurocopa is being played in… Poland and Ukraine (they should have asked him what animals he expects to see there).  Those from Barça and Madrid get along… WELL.

I love how Raúl wrote the “well” (“bien” in Spanish) in huge letters to emphasize that point.  And does he always write in all capital letters?

EIGHTEEN.  Other notes.

Iker recommended this song by Bongo Botrako, “Todos los días sale el sol,” on his Facebook.  He said he listened to it for the first time and had it running through his head for the rest of the day, ending his post with “Chipironeeeeeeeeeessssssssss!!!!!!!!!!!!!”  Doesn’t Iker know that this was the song of the Spanish national basketball team during their winning 2011 Euro campaign, and that the players changed the word “chipirón” to “Felipón” to cheer up teammate Felipe Reyes, whose father had passed away suddenly right before the tournament?

The team will debut their new shirt, the one they will wear in next year’s Eurocopa, on Nov. 9 at the Ciudad del Fútbol.  Please, please let there be a fashion show!  They will wear this shirt for the first time in their friendly against England, which will be on either Nov. 11 or 12 (the day depends on when the RFEF can schedule a Copa del Rey game for Barcelona, which was brought forward due to their participation in the Club World Cup).  Spain will also play Costa Rica in a friendly on Nov. 15.  Can we also expect something like this again?

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Posted on October 9, 2011, in games and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 16 Comments.

  1. ‘Mourinho is… my coach. Del Bosque is… my other coach.’ Albiol is so adorable, I couldn’t help but laugh out loud!

  2. Una thanks so much for the post! Santi is just so cute! Sergio’s hair really has gotten more and more amazing. Speaking of hair, I wish Villa would go back to using hair gel. Ooh, can’t to see the new shirts. I loved that commercial (except I hope they leave out the skin ripping part). Can we add in putting on their new shorts as well :)?

  3. i love how torres looks around after the 1st goal group-hug, to find out who had jumped on the man-pile!
    …and also, how xabi’s time in england toughened him up and he never dives. when he’s down we know it must’ve been a really bad foul.

    and maybe that’s not the right blog to express my love for thje spanish a BASKETBALL team, but i LOVE how bonded they are. such a close-knit group and nothing seems fake or forced… gotta love these guys. such a talented and youthful team……

  4. Santi is adorable!!

  5. I need to see a xabi with the two xabi’s in training picture or game or something!:(..

    I wonder what will happen, if I was walking to turn to see the la Rojas boys walking pass me,really, imagineeeee!!!!

    Good win, welcome back puyi again, alonso really that was just scary, we were all scared for him!!…I wonder btw I like the new travel kits, but how is Gary related to Spain’s colors? Or it doesn’t matter?

  6. I’ve just been to prague and those puppets were very popular. I saw a lot of barca puppets and almost no real madrid….. If there had been a Ramos puppet, I’d own it!!!!
    I think a saw a ronaldo and a kaka puppet.

    At the yellow marked I looked at football jerseys, and the woman with the stand comes over to my asking the size I want. I said no, I didn’t want it at all. (It was a messi shirt, and a very poor copy, as that’s the only things available at the yellow marked…..) When I said no, she said, okay ronaldo, and showed me a ronaldo shirt in stead……… I said no again, I don’t want you poor copies, I have genuine shirts at home, not copies. She responded, this no copy. Yes it is lady!!!! And a very bad one.

  7. xabi’s reaction after that nasty tackle was killing me!! so glad he got nothing serious..the part where “since Silva and Xavi hijacked Xabi’s favorite pose, he decided not to do it” is hilarious..ahaha..yeah,i’m absolutely loving their gray polo shirt too..and of course their quite
    transparent white kit lol..good heaven..

  8. Hahahaha it’s so funny that Fer is all bundled up while Nando is exactly the opposite. Proof of all Nando’s years in Liverpool? haha

    Haha I love how Arbeloa ALWAYS has to get on top of the whole group! He’s so adorable!

    Awwwwwwww Xabi’s face while hugging Silvi and Juanin! Baby’s so happy!

    I’m so glad Xabi’s ok. I literally almost had a heart attack when that happened.

    I MISSED PUYI SO MUCH!!! I don’t think I even realized how much until I saw him out on that pitch again.

    “On the plus side, Torres has some cheekbones, no?” Hahahaha I love you so much for saying that! It’s sad that Nando hasn’t been at his best recently, but I have all the confidence in the world that he’ll be back there soon. He actually played really well in this match! The Czech defenders were just always all over him.

    Cech and Iker are so cute! That photo Iker posted on fb of the two of them was adorable too! Thanks for sharing that Czech speaks a little Spanish. I was really confused about how the two of them became friends without a way to communicate. Then again, I’m STILL confused about how Iker and Becks are so madly in love while each of them suck at the other’s language haha.

    Glad to hear VDB confidence in some of our boys who I loveeee :)

    Puppet-fail. Puyi’s hair is never that flat hehe.

    I like seeing Fer and Pique sitting together at the airport. I always wonder about how close they are because they never seem that close but their hug at the end of the world cup final (when Pique was lying on the ground and Fer slid in on top of him) is my second favorite of all the world cup celebration hugs.

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE how Santi turned around! Thanks for making a gif because in the video I watched it over and over! So cute! I also love that he wrote “BIEN” in all caps.

    That gif panning up Fer’s body is the single best thing I’ve ever laid eyes on.

  9. What a gorgeous post, Una! (in more ways than one :D)

    I could compliment the whole teams play, deservedly. There is too much to comment on but I will hit a few points:

    It’s great to see Puyi back & Xavi was masterful.
    Juan Mata blew me away! WOW. I really must say how well Albiol has been doing, major steps forward.

    Fernando Torres: I think a lot of people do not understand the importance he has, even when not firing or just off surgery (WC). VDB & strategists & David Villa realize his importance. He just keeps making those runs into space (getting open like this IS a skill)and dragging 3 & 4 defenders with him. He is responsible for opening up the defense, so all those other wonderful players (Villa,esp.) get goals & accolades. Even when other strikers are on form & wanting in, it’s known that on form he is not just great, but has that explosive magical quality (the one people use to try to explain Iker’s mastery over more “technically” skilled goalies). On form, he is arguably the best 9 we have,yes even now. Players know this & still fear to leave him unattended. Off-form, he still opens the defense better than other number nines. He also offers another option when it is not the moment for tiki-taki. Strikers are truly the most temperamental of all players, that ego necessary to fuel the killer instinct. Either way, we are winning so we can have trust. Silva’s goal was another example, like Andres WC winner, it was a Torres movement, just before the pass that assisted. It takes teamwork & different roles to be as great as la Roja.

    Happy also that David Silva got his start & was wonderful!

    Xabi. Xabi! I hope those statistics silence foolish people that don’t understand what he brings. You don’t win with all attacking midfielders. The double X’s passing stasts are amazing, then check Xabi’s recoveries, tackles & headers as well. I was so worried when his beautiful leg was assaulted! Why is it always him & what is he made of..he’s a superman! Hope he’s completely well.

    Una, I know you were swooning at how Javi (!!!)came out playing with such passionate fire & aggressive attacks on goal! Just think of that power if he puts it in! (hahahaha,that was for Una)

    The superhero fans & all the boys are so talented & adorable! Enjoying the last 2 gifs of Fer & Xabi’s clenched fist & torso…can never get enough!

  10. (oops, I meant Xabi’s goal came off torres to Silva) & Xabi was so elegant :)

  11. I love your comments and can’t believe how thorough these reports are. Impressive. Thanks so much and keep them coming! I love these guys so much and you have all the details.

  12. I read today that Albiol was injured during practice and has left the training camp. :( I hope he recovers soon. It’s a shame because I thought he had a very good game against the Czech Republic.

    I guess Jordi Alba will get a start in the next game.

  13. Thank you so much for your post. They are always fun to read.

    The gifs of them walking in the park are the best. I love seeing them in a more natural environ. (I’m sorry if I offend anyone, but David Villa’s new hairstyle is making him look idiotic).

    Hope they play well against Scotland in a couple days.

  14. There is just sooo many good things here! Thank you Una!

    First, everything with Thiago is HOT. And cute. I think I have said that before… :).

    Second, what’s up with trying to “kill” Xabi all the time? Leave the handsome ginger alone!

    Third, Puyi!! A legend is back!

    Fourth, lol at Villa trying to get his hair in order.

    Five, the “Xabi”-pose isn’t really Xabi’s. Xavi does it all the time. And has a better butt pout :)

    Six, Ramos hair is really getting long! He’s sexy always, it doesn’t matter.

    Seven, oh a very good game!

  15. wonderful blog entry, thanks Una Madridista!

    Xabi is so wonderful I cannot even comment! I start to have no words to describe him! What is the funniest -he even looks totally bossy while walking next to Iker (who is the ultimate boss of the bosses, at least for me). I love it! and how did he survive this tackel in the match -indeed a SuperMan.

    Sergio’s hair is nicer every time I see it.

    Juanin, what a cutie, I am really glad he scored a goal.

    Generally, this is the best national team ever.

  16. I still love Fernando!

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