La Roja Por Dentro – prologue & introduction

Here we go with La Roja Por Dentro!  And if you didn’t already think that Silvia is one of the luckiest people in the world – her job is to hang out with La Roja! – well, Sergio also aimed a kiss in her direction, and Fernando Torres played with her hair.  And if that wasn’t enough, Carles Puyol offered to write the prologue to her book.

“Querer es Poder”: prologue by Carles Puyol.

When the World Cup in South Africa began, I knew that it was my last World Cup.  I had thought it was the best way for me to say goodbye, after a great tournament with the Spanish national team.  I believe everything in life has a beginning and an end.  In football and in life as well, everything is born to die.  I’m one of those who believe it’s better to leave of one’s own will than to be thrown out.  However, and although usually when I make a decision I stick to it until the end, the passing of days made me think more about my continuity with the national team.  As we advanced, I began to feel better physically and I became more convinced of my possibilities.  My personal situation became intertwined with the effort of the group.  We became world champions and I was part of this team.  The míster, Vicente del Bosque, my teammates and my friends told me that I had to continue and I made the decision to continue for two more years, or in other words, until the Eurocopa in Ukraine and Poland in 2012.  I feel strong enough to assume this challenge with the national team.

Silvia was one of the first persons to know that I would continue.  I’ve always thought it would be difficult to have a good relationship with a journalist because it could happen that he or she would put getting the news ahead of friendship, but Silvia has shown me that she’s a friend that I can trust in my bad moments, because she’s always been there (and also in the good ones, although that is usually easier).  It’s the same situation with other teammates on La Roja, and that’s why this book speaks about how a team functions from the inside, a team with real protagonists.  Silvia has tried to show what our world is like, our life as football players.  Our profession.  I hope you all like it.  Read the book and enjoy it as I had.

– Carles Puyol.


[edited by me.]

From here, I invite all of you to learn what footballers eat, the music they listen to and what the concentraciones of a team in the final phase of a big competition are like.

If I’m sincere, I didn’t have to do anything exceptional to write this book, because just by being close to the best Spanish footballers in history, I got material to offer to everyone.  I only had to observe and have confidence in marvelous persons to continue forward.

From the first moment, I was surprised by how willing the footballers were to collaborate with me, especially the day when we shot the photo for the cover.  None of the players I asked to be present said no.  Each one of them is there for a reason: with Torres, I grew professionally; Reina is one of the few myths I still believe in; Villa never fails; Mata gives me balance; Cazorla told me one day to go home since my work was already done; Sergio Ramos is loyal, Arbeloa gives me conversation; Xavi is the brain; and Puyol the heart.

I love how Silvia gets frustrated, and when Fernando stroked her hair!

My plan was to start by revealing the persons that make up the national team: first the coach, then his team and collaborators, until we got to the footballers themselves, although I talk about them from the first chapter until the last.  I’ve received thousands of emails, hundreds of messages, many telephone calls and I’ve had numerous conversations with the protagonists.  I remember one day when we were waiting to board the plane that would take us to Scotland for a game.  Sergio Busquets asked me how much time I spent deciding which glasses to wear [in an interview, Silvia said Busi’s question was “listen Barba, in the mornings, does it take you long to decide what glasses to match with your outfits?”].  Glasses are to me like the cape is to Superman or the quiff is to Elvis.  I laughed a lot with Busi’s question and I told him I did it automatically, that I didn’t waste much time in that, since I’m a pro at it.  This anecdote made me realize that the players identified me with the team, that they saw me as something habitual in their concentraciones, with my glasses, as one more of those who was always running after them asking them about something.  That’s why I became convinced that I could tell things and help all of you get to know better these persons you see on the news everyday.

This year, the Eurocopa is the principal objective of the team.  Throughout this book, we can see how our players are preparing, although the World Cup is always present.  In addition, I’ve placed special emphasis on the qualification phase for the Euro and the friendlies that came after the team became world champions.

Book news.

Earlier this week, Silvia presented the book alongside Vicente del Bosque, Ángel María Villar, Miguel Cardenal (secretary of state for sports) and TVE presenter Jesús Álvarez at the Ciudad de Fútbol.  When Silvia tried to hand VDB a copy of the book, VDB told her, “no, don’t give me one, it’s alright, I have mine at home,” as he had already read it!  VDB said later on, “yesterday I was reading the book and I read the entire thing… I hope the next part can be written this summer.  It will be difficult but if we do well, Silvia can complete the second part.”

In a chat with TVE, Silvia had the following to say.

on why she chose Puyi to write the prologue and Pepe to write the epilogue: Puyol is one of the best persons I’ve met in my life, the same as Pepe Reina, wonderful persons who wanted to support me.

on what she thinks of Sergio Ramos: he’s a charming guy, a great person and a great footballer.  He’ll set records with the national team and with Madrid and he’s really very nice.

Silvia also says the teams she supports are La Roja and Atleti, and that she owns 24 pairs of glasses.


Posted on April 28, 2012, in la roja por dentro and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 19 Comments.

  1. yes!! big thank yous for helping to translate and share this with everyone! i love it, can’t wait for the next installment. love the pictures! oh to have silvia’s job!!

  2. I haven’t read it (yet!) but sounds great!! I think that is much better that a woman wrote this book and not a man because she try to understand footballers as people and no as football players. Puyol’s intro made me cry!! I hope that I will find the book in greece!!!

  3. the beginning is promising, thanks for translation, I am curious what’s next!
    have a nice weekend!

  4. I voted for the other book originally, but now that you’ve started these translations, I can’t wait to read the rest! Silvia is very lucky person indeed! Also, I love that she has an eyeglasses collection! So do I, but not as much as 24. I much prefer them to wearing contacts, and they’re a great accessory. Gotta love a girl who feels the same.

  5. Puyi prologue! His writing seems to be just like him: straight to the point and normal :) Loooooooove Puyi

    It seems very intersting book.

  6. I already love it!!!!!!
    Thank you very much una for taking the time to do this for us!

  7. Twenty-four pairs of glasses?! Holy crap. That’s 23 more than I have :(

    And I completely did not notice Fernando playing with her hair. You’re right Una, she really is the luckiest woman in the world – the boys are so relaxed around her and so fond of her! I’m almost a hideous shade of green with envy.

  8. Love the translation, and starting to love the book too. Thank you for the translation!

    Tengo dos preguntas, no se si sabes la respuesta. La primera; cuando va a dar VDB la lista de convocados para la EURO y los amistosos previos? y la segunda como va a hacer si el primer amistoso es el 26 de mayo y la final de la copa es el 25 y juegan el Athletic y el Barcelona y en total hay mínimo 9 jugadores entre los dos equipos (Pique, Puyol, Xavi, Iniesta, Valdes, Cesc, Busquets, Javi y Llorente, yo creo que sin falta, y pueden ser Pedro, Villa, Thiago, Iraola y Muniain), osea pueden ser hasta 14 jugadores, no creo pero es posible, se quedaria con 9 jugadores. Tienes idea de que va a pasar?

    Te agradecerie me contestes porque estoy realmente intrigada jajaja!!!

    Muchas gracias, me encanta tu blog y ya quiero que empiece la concentración para que hayan posts más seguidos!!

    • unamadridista

      I’ll answer in English in case anyone else has the same questions.

      VDB is expected to give a preliminary list of 35 players on May 15, and so far no date has been announced for the final list.

      There is the possibility that the final of the Copa del Rey may be moved up by one week since no Spanish team is playing in the Champions League final. The problem is that many fans have already made travel arrangements. If the date is not changed, then the additional players on the list of 35 will step in to help the team begin preparing for the Eurocopa, and the players from Barcelona and Athletic will join the team later. That’s why VDB decided to give a list of 35. The entire team is expected to be together by the third friendly against China.

      • Thanks for the answer… 35 players in a concentration is a huuugeee number hahahaha… I read VDB asked the RFEF to change the Copa final and that they said there was no way… It would really help things for VDB and the whole NT… but I’m sure they’ll still do a great Eurocopa because they are a greaat team!

  9. She is one of my favorite journos. 24 pairs of glasses whoa! I only have 3.

  10. I think we are really going to love the female insight. (wink wink, nudge nudge)

  11. When do the players leave their clubs for Euro 2012?

  12. I’m sooo glad she came out with a book … I really didn’t think she had personal friendships with the players … But, I always liked her during the NT games and TVE Sports cast … She seems like a nice person & professional … So far soo good .. Can’t wait for more!!!

    THANX UNA!! :)

  13. Una, I want to ask something that I’ve always wanted to ask. I don’t get the answer until now.
    What is the nickname for Spain National Team Fans? Really confused with that question. Thanks before :)

  14. if anyone of the readers is going to Euro and wishes to see one of the 8 (!) open trainings of the Spanish NT in their training base: the website of the place where they will stay informs that in order to get a ticket (they are free) to see the training one needs to send a request to the e-mail (Gniewino is a name of the city), the deadline is May 21!

    I have no idea how it works for supporters from outside Poland but I just thought I would let you guys know here, so anyone who’s interested could write and ask about those tickets in time.

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