day 30 – rest & relaxation
June 19, 2012.
On Tuesday, the team had a closed training session in the morning, and received the afternoon off. At the training session, the starters did recovery work and put themselves in the capable hands of the fisios, while the rest of the players partook in a normal training session.
Via twitter, we found out that Javi (!!!) spent the afternoon with his mother: “in the end, the best plan, Mamá!!!” (yes, he did use three exclamation marks!!!). And since Fortu is his mother, she’s more than worthy of it!!!
Iker and Sara went out to the Baltic Sea and gave us this photo. Sergio tweeted this photo of several of the players enjoying an afternoon of bowling. He said Jordi had a bad day, while Cesc tweeted that he was beating Andrés and Jordi. Love VV’s pose with the ball!
Several of the players, including Santi Cazorla, Pedrito, Fernando Torres, Álvaro Arbeloa (in an awful shirt) and Pepe Reina, plus their families, were seen in Sopot.
Love the tutus on the Reina girls!
PF Juan Mata was also in the city. I love seeing the boys in street clothes again, even though I don’t always agree with their choices!
The press conferences.
Vicente del Bosque and Andrés Iniesta also spoke to the press. Andrés sent everyone a message of tranquility: “I would tell people to be tranquil and to have confidence in the team, independently of who plays.” I agree! He also downplayed his role and that of Iker on the team when asked if he, Silva and Iker are playing at a higher level than the rest: “I don’t agree that my teammates are playing at a lower level. When we win, we all win and when we lose, we all lose. I see the team doing well, I don’t see this lack of level from some players. I see them with strength, I see that we’re playing well in each game. I don’t have the sensation that these victories are only due to two particular players. It’s true that Iker has been sensational in some key moments, as usual, but I like the attitude of the team.”
Andresito was also asked about the “Oliver” photo: “I have seen the photo where I was surrounded by five players and today I received a similar one. I was told that it circulated a lot on the Internet. These are curious moments that can occur during a game, and the comparisons are amusing. It’s also a reason to be satisfied, because it means that the rival is watching you and keeping you in mind.”
At his press conference, Vicente del Bosque had some important things to say, things that I liked very much. Regarding the game, he revealed, “when I watched the game again, I realized that we didn’t do things that poorly. I have a distinct vision. We lacked depth, but in general terms, we did things quite well against a difficult rival.” He also responded to the criticism: “all of those who doubt do not have firm criteria. We’ve been a balanced team. This sensation of pessimism, it appears that all the teams experience this when there are such high expectations of them. We’ve gone from being poor to rich very quickly and now nothing is enough. We don’t know how to value what we have.”
Santi Cazorla was the latest player in the Adidas series (it took place before the Croatia game), and he impressed me from the beginning, because he was asked to name three of the Greek players from winning 2004 Eurocopa team, and he managed to name two! He said to let him keep thinking about the third and he’d tell us later. Santi also once again affirmed that his brother is a great football player, and revealed that after games, what they’re doing is hanging out in each other’s rooms watching TV shows or movies, or getting together to play cards or ping pong, and that he gets together a lot with David to play PSP. Santi confesses that he did play cards, but not anymore since he’s not at the same level as the others! His smile and laugh are incredibly adorable and infectious!
Liga BBVA/Sportyou interviewed four of the players and got them to reveal their favorite books, videogames, songs and movies.
A book. Alba: The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas. Pepe: El Mundo en Nuestras Manos? [Bad, bad memories resurfacing]. Valdés: I don’t usually read books. VDB: A book? I liked Los Secretos de La Roja.
A videogame. Alba: FIFA 12, FIFA, FIFA. Pepe: I don’t really like videogames, but one of golf or tennis. Valdés: The last one I received, Unit 13, I think it’s called. VDB: My son plays every day. Something related to football.
A song. Alba: “El Barrio.” Pepe: “A mi manera,” by Siempre Así. Valdés: “Rock n’Roll Damnation,” by AC/DC. VDB: Any song by Joan Manuel Serrat.
A movie. Alba: I prefer TV series, eh? La Que Se Avecina. Pepe: The Green Mile. Valdés: Murder in the First. VDB: The Midnight Express.
And check out this video of Lech Walesa receiving TVE in his office in Gdansk. They give him a Spain shirt, and he tells them he loves football, and although he was rooting for Italy in the first game, Spain played better. He also says he’s sure Spain will be in the final, because they have played very well. And showing just how charismatic he is, he asked to take a picture with the TVE team with his iPad, and immediately uploaded it onto his web site. Inspiring, inspiring man.