La Roja bits & pieces
Some bits and pieces of La Roja news that have been floating around for the past several days…
Iker Casillas and the A-team have collaborated with the Fundación Prodis, a non-profit organization that helps children with intellectual handicaps integrate into schools, society and workplaces. They appear in the 2012 charity calendar of the foundation, which is centered around the theme “we can too.” This photo was obviously shot while the boys were on duty with the national team. Who’s more adorable, our players or the kids with their La Roja shirts and painted faces?
Luis Milla has announced the list of players called up for the U-21 team’s upcoming Euro 2013 qualifiers against Estonia on Nov. 10 (20:45h) in Melilla and against Switzerland on Nov. 14 (20h) in Córdoba. Thiago will be returning to the U-21 team after debuting with the senior national team to help them in these important qualifiers, while Pablo Sarabia and Marc Muniesa have been promoted from the U-19 team and Isaac Cuenta has been called up for the first time. The bulk of the players are the same ones that have been used in the last several games.
Goalkeepers: David de Gea, Diego Mariño.
Defenders: Martín Montoya, Marc Bartra, Marc Muniesa, Carles Planas, Hugo Mallo, Jordi Amat, Iñigo Martínez.
Midfielders: Koke Resurrección, Thiago, Isaac Cuenca, Oriol Romeu, Pablo Sarabia, Isco, Asier Illarramendi, Juan Carlos López.
Forwards: Iker Muniain, Rodrigo, Álvaro Vázquez.
The players will begin the concentración on Nov. 7 at 13h, as they are due at the Hotel Tryp Alameda Aeropuerto at that hour. On Nov. 8, they’ll fly from Barajas to Melilla, staying at the Hotel Tryp Melilla Puerto. The game is on Nov. 10 at the Álvarez Claro. On Nov. 11, the team will fly from Melilla to Málaga, staying in Antequera at the Hotel Antequera Golf. On Nov. 13, the team will travel to Córdoba by bus, staying at the Hotel Córdoba Center. The game against Switzerland will be on Nov. 14 at the Estadio Municipal El Arcángel. On Nov. 15, the team will take the AVE back to Madrid in the morning.
Meanwhile, VDB will announce on Nov. 7 the list of players called up for Spain’s last two games of 2011, friendlies against England and Costa Rica on Nov. 12 and Nov. 15, respectively.
On Oct. 24, radio program “El Larguero” headed to the Instituto Cervantes in Manchester, where they interviewed three of the Spanish players in England, David de Gea, David Silva and Pepe Reina. Here are the highlights of the encounter. They started off by asking the boys some questions that came in via twitter. For De Gea, it was have you tried the new “donuts fusión yet” (a mix of a sugar donut plus one with a chocolate coating), to which DDG responded, “no, not yet, I like donuts a lot but I haven’t tried those yet.” Pepe was asked when we would see him playing for a Spanish team. His response: “when my hair grows.” He added that he is very happy in Liverpool, and that his family is very settled there.
Other things: they talked about Manchester City’s 6-1 win over Manchester United. The presenter said that City’s players went out celebrating that night, and asked if DS went along. DS said he celebrated at home with his family, it was “muy tranquilo,” while DDG said he went home to try and get over it and look forward to the next game. The presenter joked with him, did you go home and listen to a bit of live music by Edurne?
As for life in England, DDG said he’s still having some trouble understanding Sir Alex Ferguson, since he talks very fast “with a bit of a strange accent” but he more or less understands. He’s adapted quite well, says the food is not as bad as everyone said it was, and that the worst thing is the weather, as it rains a lot and is cold. Both Davids live in small towns about 20-30 minutes outside of Manchester, but they never run into each other. DDG says he hasn’t gone back to that store where he was accused of stealing donuts. Pepe says he loves the tranquility of going to training sessions without press coverage. DDG says he doesn’t understand English humor yet, that it’s a bit strange, but he likes their philosophy. DS is very happy, would like to stay here for many years, and he likes the tranquility of the day to day life, as people are respectful.
As for hair, DDG says he wears a beard because he likes having it, and because he’s too lazy to shave, but he will get rid of it when it gets too long. DS jokes that he keeps his hair long because “of the cold.” Pepe tells them that they’ll get used to the gray days. And regarding the English language, DS says he’s not taking classes now because there are too many games, but he will pick it up in the future. DDG is taking classes several times a week with a professor, and he’s having an easier time of it than his parents, who are also taking basic English courses. Pepe tells them that in six months they’ll be speaking English and that he liked it when people corrected him.
Speaking of England, PF Juan Mata looks adorable in these photos he shared with us from London, no?
There are reports that Raúl has confirmed his presence at an act at the Ciudad de Fúbol on Nov. 10, the day that Spain starts their concentración for their two friendlies against England and Costa Rica, and the day in which the shirt that La Roja will wear during the Eurocopa will be presented. The shirt will debut in the game against England, and AS says the shirts look like this. The last one is just growing on me, and so I don’t like the diagonal stripe. But these ones are supposed to be naturally tight, Fernando Llorente style, so I won’t complain too much.
Anyway, also on that day is a ceremony honoring the four Spanish players who have suited up more than 100 times for their country: Zubizarreta, Iker, Xavi and Raúl. Xavi will also receive the RFEF medal given to players who have reached 100 caps with Spain. Raúl has always been loyal to his country and I’m so happy that he’s getting recognized. The next batch of players who could reach this mark include Carles Puyol, Sergio Ramos, Fernando Torres, David Villa and Xabi Alonso, all of whom have over 80 caps.
Nominees: Vicente del Bosque is one of the ten coaches vying for FIFA and France Football’s coach of the year award, while Iker, Cesc, Iniesta, Piqué, Villa, Xabi and Xavi are on the list of 23 finalists for the Ballon d’Or trophy for 2011. The final three nominees will be announced on Dec. 15. Meanwhile, seven players are also on the list of nominees for the Tuttosport Golden Boy trophy, which is equivalent to the Ballon d’Or, but for players under the age of 21. Spain’s seven finalists are Thiago, Iker Muniain, Oriol, Álvaro Vázquez, Rodrigo, Sergio Canales and Dani Pacheco. This is the second nomination for Canales and Pacheco. The winner will be chosen by 30 European journalists and announced in December.