La Roja is back! And La Rojita too!
They’ve coincided in Real Madrid’s cantera, Valencia and now the Spanish national team! That’s the magic of La Roja, reuniting former teammates, or bringing our favorite bromances together! In this case, it was PF Juan Mata and Roberto Soldado.
Their reunion was one of many things that happened on Monday.
The players began arriving at Las Rozas on Monday morning for their first game of 2012, with Roberto Soldado as the earliest, and Pepe Reina as the latest at 30 minutes after the ordered time (no doubt due to Carling Cup celebrations). Some of the players were not seen in the arrival area, as they had “moved” into the residence the previous night, which was the case of Víctor Valdés or Andrés Iniesta (their club had played in Madrid on Sunday night).
Roberto, Sergio and Pepe were the players that spoke to the press upon arrival. Sergio told the media that as a friend of Raúl Albiol and Fernando Torres, he hopes to see them back on the team, “but I shouldn’t express my opinion. It’s up to the míster to choose the best and the players have nothing to discuss.” Meanwhile, Roberto expressed his joy at returning to the team (“I really wanted to come but I knew how difficult it was”), and said he hoped Fernando Torres would be chosen for the Eurocopa because “we all know how important he is to the national team.” He also said he would work hard to make it, and would take every advantage of this opportunity.
As for Pepe, he said that he speaks a lot with Fernando, who is “tranquil and good, as always” although he admitted he’s in the midst of a “complicated moment.” Iker Muniain, meanwhile, spoke to the RFEF about his first ever appearance with the senior national team. He said, “all of my teammates have welcomed me since the first moment when I arrived, I already knew some players from having coincided with them before and the truth is they’re all great guys and very friendly. There’s a great atmosphere in this great group.” As for his reaction to being called up, Muniain said, “I thought I would be called up by Luis Milla. This call-up was a big surprise and I’m very content.”
Álvaro Negredo attended the concentración despite injuring the abductor muscle in his left thigh during his club game this past weekend, as he was hoping that it was “just a scare.” After being checked out by the team’s doctors and getting an NMRI done at the Clínica CEMTRO, which showed a tear to the muscle, he was excused from the upcoming game, although he did stay around to partake in the commitments the club had to its sponsors. VDB has not called anyone up to replace Negredo.
The anecdote of the morning came when Thiago realized he had forgotten his passport at home, and he had to head to the commissary with an RFEF official to get a new one, since the passport is required for any international games.
There was also time to catch up with old friends (loved Xabi’s “in Pepe we trust” tweet the previous day)…
… and the affirmation of some bromances.
As for the rest of the morning, the players spent that time filming spots and ads for La Roja’s sponsors Iberdrola and Cruzcampo, which took about three hours. They also tried on the new suits that they’ll wearing in the Eurocopa, made by Italian firm Brooksfield, with blue shirts and red ties. Iker looks like a rabbit when he’s wriggling his nose! And what PF is doing there is telling some person on the set to remember that he’s left footed. As for the results, well Javi (!!!) said, “I look like Clooney!” Jajaja!!! Can’t wait to see the spots!
In the afternoon, at 18:30h, there was a training session that lasted only 45 minutes. Xavi didn’t participate as a precaution, and so he worked out in the gym. The rest of the players did partake in the session, which included a lot of the exercises/games that La Roja is famous for.
As you can see, there were big smiles on the boys’ faces as they worked out together and caught up.
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love how Sergio’s the only one not paying attention.
The Xabi Alonso pose section™ (and the both of them should shave section; of course I am not referring to VDB!!!!).
After that was over, the players headed to the hotel. Sergio surrounded himself with “the future of La Roja” (though he himself is only 25!) while Iker made himself the center of an Asturian sandwich.
A mini fashion review – things that should be burned.
– Álvaro Negredo’s jeans – I cannot get over that leather patch!
– Santi’s jeans and belt. Are those sequins on his jeans???
– Puyol’s shirt. Sorry, it’s just ugly. And that little patch on Xavi’s jeans.
– Navas’ jeans. Is there anyone on this team that has nice jeans?
– Sergio’s penchant for matching denim with denim. On the other hand, love the sunglasses.
– and of course, Iker’s purse.
Andrés Iniesta has lent his voice to the dubbed version in Spanish of the animated movie “The Pirates! Band of Misfits.” Andrés brings life to the character “Albino Pirate” (this was totally deliberate, wasn’t it?) who is described as “timid and loyal” and ready to do everything so that his captain will achieve his biggest dream, to become the winner of the “Pirate of the Year” award. Okay, he IS Albino Pirate! According to a press release from Sony Pictures España, Andrés is excited about the possibility that his daughter might recognize his voice while watching the movie.
The boys were also in demand for radio interviews. SER got Sergio Ramos, COPE got Cesc and Onda Cero got David Silva.
David told program “Al primer toque” that despite the situation with Del Bosque, their relationship has not changed: “for me, this issue is already resolved. My role was changed because I had practically always played and I stopped playing. I continued training at 100 percent, but other teammates also deserved to play. I simply commented on my role which went from being the star actor to a secondary role. My relationship with Del Bosque is the same. I don’t believe anything has changed. I never disrespected anyone. I only said what I thought.” Silva also said he believed Torres would make a return, and that Luis Aragonés has been very important to him, since he was the one who brought him onto the team and let him start, which gave him a lot of confidence. Have a listen here.
Cesc said he’s always happy to be with the national team, although he’s never been a regular starter. Anyway, there’s no one that is an indisputable starter, in his opinion. When asked who he thinks will be Spain’s biggest rival, he says it’s Germany, a team he likes. Have a listen here.
Sergio spoke with “El Larguero.” The first thing the presenters asked him about was his tattoos. Sergio admitted his tattoos “did hurt a bit, but you have to suffer.” He said the ones that hurt the most were the ones next to the bones, such as the ones on his fingers, but in general, all of them hurt. Since the time he was small, he’s liked tattoos, and all of his tattoos have personal significance. As for the national team, Sergio says there is a “tremendous union,” and that they have to keep it going. When asked which of his La Roja teammates he gets along the best with that aren’t his Madrid teammates, Sergio says he stays in touch with everyone, but when pressed to give examples, he said Iniesta, Cazorla, Navas. Have a listen here.
Several days ago, the same day the list of players called up for this game was revealed, one of the team’s sponsors, Seguros Pelayo, presented their new Eurocopa campaign (the slogan is “no one, no one can stop us”), with the help of Vicente del Bosque and a group of employees’ children, wearing mini kits. The kids had also filmed their own adorable video to show their support for La Roja. I’m mentioning this for how cute these kids are!
As for the Olympics national team, they met up in Bilbao at noon on Monday, before taking a bus to Puente Viesgo, Cantabria. Joel Robles was a last minute addition to the team, as David de Gea is not feeling 100 percent, and Álvaro Vázquez will also be joining as Rodrigo Moreno is experiencing some pain. They trained at El Malecón in Torrelavega in the afternoon, where they’ll play tonight (20:30h) against Egypt (who will also be participating in the Olympics). David de Gea and Isco could not participate in the session (they didn’t even get dressed), while Diego Capel and Adrián López only ran laps, since both played many minutes the previous weekend.
Ander Iturraspe and Óscar de Marcos, two of the new players on this team, spoke with the RFEF’s web site. Iturraspe will make his debut with Spain, although this is not his first call-up, while Óscar has not played with the national team since the U-20 World Cup in Egypt (2009). De Marcos said, “being in the first call-up is the first step towards making the Olympics team,” while Ander sees the call-ups as “a reward for our work. The coach has shown us that as long as we do well with our clubs, anyone has the possibility of making it to London.” However, both are conscious that there is a lot of competition, so they know the only thing they can do is continue working and take advantage of the opportunities that they get. And as always, the team spirit is mentioned: “in this group, there are very good people and that makes it easier for everyone to adapt.”
Posted on February 28, 2012, in interviews, la rojita, players, team, training and tagged cazorla, cesc, del bosque, iker, iniesta, javi, mata, muniain, navas, negredo, pepe, puyol, sergio, silva, soldado, thiago, xabi. Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.