days 14 & 15 – finishing final preparations

Spain has played its last friendly, and will be traveling to Poland today, which means that the Eurocopa is just around the corner!  And to get all the fans of La Roja excited, yesterday Estopa released the video for “Showtime 2.0,” the “official support song” of La Roja for this tournament, which they wrote and perform.

David Villa, Andrés Iniesta and Sergio Busquets provided back-up vocals for the song, while Pepe Reina, Sergio Ramos, Álvaro Arbeloa and Santi Cazorla provided the eye candy and the dancing for the video, which was shot on May 21.  Iker also makes an appearance, though unfortunately he doesn’t do anything more than stand around, although we do have David Muñoz dressed up as Iker for the majority of the video.  By the way, the young footballers in the back are students at AFE’s football school.  That’s because proceeds from this song will benefit unemployed footballers via the AFE.

Here’s the full video.

Day 14 (June 3, 2012) – Spain vs. China.

In case you missed it…

ONE.  The crowd at La Cartuja was spectacular, especially the way they “sang” the hymn; it almost appeared as if it had lyrics!  This is the way it should be.  While most of the boys had their serious faces on during the anthem, Javi (!!!) couldn’t help but crack up.  It also looks like he knew that kind of behavior is frowned upon, because he quickly recovered his serious face.

The fans also gave Sergio Ramos a tremendous ovation when he was subbed out, and it was a nice gesture on the part of Del Bosque to sub Sergio out so that he could feel the love from his paisanos.

TWO.  Andrés Iniesta somehow managed to invent a victory.  As José Antonio Camacho said after the game, “Iniesta sees a bullfighting ring in all the spaces.” He was the reason why Spain won its last preparatory game before the Eurocopa by defeating China 1-0.

David Silva said after the game regarding Iniesta, “he’s an incredible player, he gave me the goal and the truth is when you play with him, everything is much easier.”

THREE.  I just like this photo, and it also reminds me of the 2008 Eurocopa final, though of course that time the goalkeeper did not get his hands on the ball.

FOUR.  Hello, Xabi Alonso!  What do you have for us there?

FIVE.  I love Pepe Reina.  This is why.  As the second half was starting and various players were about to sub in, Pepe went around giving hugs, high fives and kisses to Víctor Valdés, Jesús Navas and his “niño” Fernando Torres.  Poor VDB though, because he was trying to talk to VV and Jesús at those exact moments.  What a great teammate Pepe is!

SIX.  Did you notice that Spain wasn’t wearing the star on their jerseys?  (VDB did have one on his jacket, however; I love that the star has jumped from the jersey to other articles of clothing!)  It’s because they donated their star to the “Save the Children” campaign to defeat infant mortality.  If you recall, Fernando Llorente showed up for the Euro qualifier against Lithuania in March of last year without a star, although all his teammates did sport one.  We found out later that he had given it to six-year-old Aarti (I suppose she’d be seven by now) so that she could have a chance to grow up.

This time around, it was the rest of the team donating their stars, and since Fernando had already donated his, his jersey was the only one with the star on it.  Each donated star (this kind and the ones normal people can donate by sending text messages or making monetary contributions) will be used to purchases oral rehydration salts for 100 children who suffer from diarrhea, one of the top five causes of infant mortality.  For each five stars donated, 10 children receive tests for malaria, or one child with malnutrition can be treated for a week.

No matter where you live, you can help Save the Children to save the children (donations to the “donate a star” campaign can be made here (in Spanish)).

SEVEN.  The fantastic bench.  While Gerard was fooling around with Andrés, Fernando Torres and PF Juan Mata looked quite cozy.

Cesc was relegated not even to the end of the bench, but to the extra seats at the end, where he sat with the equipment managers and the readaptor.

Being on the bench bored Javi (!!!), despite Fernando’s stories, while Álvaro Negredo also looked a bit bored and Sergio ran his fingers through his hair (sigh…).

EIGHT.  We have to commemorate the last game before Sergio chopped off his hair, so here’s a photo.  I’m putting Xabi’s right next to it because…

NINE.  … the next section is The Xabi Alonso pose section™!

TEN.  The forest corner.

VDB said after the game that the team is prepared to begin its Eurocopa campaign.  He praised the entire team, and didn’t want to single out any particular players for their performance: “everyone played well.  Piqué, Busquets, Xavi… those who came later are physically fine.  We’ve adapted to this strange situation and this entire time has been positive.”

Day 15 (June 4, 2012) & other things.

The players got Monday off, and while many of the players returned to Madrid, such as El Chori and Iker, others went to wherever they were going to spend the day off, their last one before flying to Poland.


David Villa and Carles Puyol have turned down the federation’s invitation to join the concentración of La Roja in Poland, although they haven’t ruled out attending some of the games.

The bus that carries Spain and its delegation around Poland (and hopefully Ukraine) during the Eurocopa will have the slogan “un motivo para vivir, una razón para soñar, ¡Viva España!” on it.  This was proposed by UEFA and accepted by Spain.  Also on the bus is the translation of the slogan into English, although it will appear in smaller lettering: “a reason to live, a reason to dream, ¡Viva España!”

And here are a few more photos from the Fútbol Draft awards from last week, including a pose from Xabi, of course.  I hope Javi (!!!) is taking notes.

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Posted on June 5, 2012, in daily, games and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. I finally get why you call it forest corner! because of Del Bosque’s last name of course. Sorry, I’m a slow learner ;)
    Great initiave from Llorente and the rest of the team to donate their stars!

  2. Cesc looks so cute. Thanks for this awesome post. Arbeloa is in the wrong field. He needs to be on stage.

  3. Una,

    In case you need the pictures from the landing (I am sure Spanish press will have plenty of them, but still), here’s the link to some

    http://www.sport.pl/euro2012/5,127118,11874305,Euro_2012__Hiszpanie__obroncy_tytulu_mistrzowskiego_.html

    bye!

  4. Una, Thank you So much for your blog posts. You have no idea how much I appreciate them! If I had to do this on my own, I wouldn’t even know where to start.

  5. Ha ha. Pique and Iniesta. It reminds me of a Barcatoons I saw during La Liga of Pique bothering Iniesta in it :). Ooh, Xabi indeed. I liked his tweet on Ramos and Iceman. Wow only a few days until Italy. Vamos Espana! I don’t think I could bear reading a post where they left the tournament given they won the Eurocup and World Cup!

  6. aw, i couldn’t see the video because it was geo-targeted. rats.

    pepe is an awesome human being. solid person, solid player, solid teammate … he’s one of my favourites. *beams*

    i love that gesture for sergio — how lovely! :) and speaking of lovely gestures, i really like the whole donate the star campaign. nice way to raise awareness. :)

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