day 38 – to the final (II)!

June 27, 2012.

ELEVEN.   The first thing Cesc did after scoring the decisive penalty was run over to Iker and jump into his arms.  It was reminiscent of David Villa four years ago, no?  Although this time around no one ended up on the ground with their shirts off, it was still a pretty fantastic celebration.

The players on the field and Pepe Reina from the bench reached Iker and Cesc around the same time, and the other players followed suit, forming a giant ball of players.

More scenes from the celebration…

TWELVE.  Iker took the time out while the rest of the team was celebrating to ensure that the fans knew how grateful the team was for their presence, even though he was basically the only one who had thanked the fans in a previous game.  Iker gave away his gloves, boots and captain’s armband.  What a captain we have, no?  The next day, the man who caught Iker’s gloves said, “the hands of a saint touched this, the hands of God.  Four years ago, they brought us to the final.  And now we’re in our third.  The hands of God, not the hands of a saint, the hands of God.”

THIRTEEN.  Everyone wanted to hug Iker!  Fernando Llorente was lucky that his very enthusiastic embrace did not end up hurting Iker!

FOURTEEN.  More hugs!

FIFTEEN.  Many of the players’ families had made the trip to Donetsk.  Here, we have Álvaro holding his daughter Alba and his nephew Yago (son of his brother Raúl) and kissing his wife Carlota, as well as Xabi kissing Jon and Jon giving his papá a big hug.

Xabi said later on that only Nagore and Jon made the trip, but that Periko would attend the final.  He also said he doesn’t think Jon understands anything about football yet.

Meanwhile, Gerard Piqué, Iker Casillas and Sergio Ramos were busy hugging their mothers.  In the last gif, we can also see Pepe Reina with his girls and Juanfran with his son.

SIXTEEN.  I love locker room photos!  The boys don’t post enough of them, no?  Stupid towels…

I love how Xavi decided to stop texting and posed for a photo, while the others didn’t move at all.

SEVENTEEN.  In a post-game interview with Telecinco, Cesc said, “the truth is I played horribly, but the team worked very hard.  I don’t know, but I had this intuition, this afternoon I had been thinking about it, Toni told me to take the second one and I told him no, put me down for fifth, since I had this – I don’t know – feeling.  Life gave me another opportunity like this one, it’s incredible.”  He went on to say, “I’d like to dedicate it to many people, to my family, who didn’t come, now I regret telling them not to come.”  He concluded with, “it’s very emotional to get to our third final in four years.  It’s amazing.  Now I can win the porra, because I put down Spain-Germany.”

Meanwhile, during a post-game interview and the press conference where he received the man of the match award, Sergio said, “I’m super proud to be Spanish, and put this sport on the world level.”  Regarding his penalty kick, he revealed, “I had the desire to take a penalty kick, because I was feeling good and I wanted to show that.”  At the press conference, Sergio said, “my pride was hurt after Champions League match, when it was said I wasn’t prepared to assume this type of responsibility.  Today, I wanted to take on this responsibility again, since I was feeling confident, although the important thing is that the team won.  I can tell this to my children one day.  Del Bosque knows me well, and he knows that deep down I’m a bit crazy.”  Yay for crazy Sergio!

Álvaro Arbeloa also spoke about Sergio Ramos’ penalty.  He said, “I’m not surprised that Sergio Ramos took it like that, because he’s been saying he would do that for a long time.  I didn’t believe him, but he did it.”  In any case, he wasn’t worried because “we had Iker and we had confidence in the teammates that were going to take them.”  Iker, meanwhile, lauded Sergio’s cold blood and guts, while Jordi praised Iker, saying, “Iker is a fantastic goalkeeper, we knew that he was going to appear like he always does and we knew that that would give us confidence.”  He added that Sergio “shut up many people, it was a great penalty and he’s very happy.”

EIGHTEEN.  In his post-game press conference, it was clear that VDB was proud of his boys, especially his defenders: “we’re content, our players made an extraordinary effort after competing for 90 minutes.  We were better in the overtime, a bit better.  They didn’t have many opportunities.  It wasn’t a great game, but we were always in control.  This group of players is fantastic.  I want to extend my congratulations to the Portuguese national team, they competed very well and played a great tournament.”

As for the defense, “we were extraordinary in our defense.  All of the players almost reached their physical limit, and everyone contributed to control Ronaldo.  We had Arbeloa, who had the most contact with him, but he had great help from Piqué and Sergio Ramos.  Arbeloa came through, like he has all year long.”  With regards to the penalty shootout, VDB said, “when I saw that it was going to happen, I started thinking about which players I have the most confidence in, but all of those who took the penalties offered to do so.  Cesc asked to be the fifth one.  Toni had assigned him the second slot, but he wanted to be last.  And I thought, ‘we’re not going to have an argument about this.'”  He also said he didn’t think it was bad that Sergio chose to take a penalty a la Panenka, since the goalkeeper was diving to the sides.

NINETEEN.  Game things.  Prior to the game, Iker Casillas and Cristiano Ronaldo, in their capacities as team captains, read statements in favor of diversity and against discrimination.

The team wore black armbands for Miki Roqué, although there was no minute of silence, since according to UEFA, the RFEF had not sent over a formal request for this gesture.  Ángel Villar, who should have kept his mouth shut, told the press that “we thought the best tribute to him was the moment of silence the players observed before the training session.  It was our way to express our pain and sadness.”  WHAT????  Meanwhile, over on the Portugal bench, Miguel Lopes, who had played with Betis, had prepared his own tribute.  He wore a shirt with Miki’s name and his number, 26, under his jersey, and was prepared to celebrate with it, and even to pay a fine if UEFA decided to punish him.  However, he didn’t get to show the shirt, since Portugal lost.  But what a grand gesture.

A little more than 19 million people in Spain tuned in to the penalty shootout, making it the most watched moment in television history.

TWENTY.  Other things.  Tweets: Javi Martínez (!!!) tweeted, “what (pictures of two eggs, huevos in Spanish, which also means balls) Sergio Ramos has,” while Rafa Nadal’s tweet simply read, “go to the finaaaaaaaaaaaaal!” (well, he used a lot more a’s, but you get the picture).  Iker Muniain tweeted that “Ramos is shutting up mouths!!  Grandeee!” and Jesé Rodríguez, currently on duty with the U-19 team preparing for the U-19 Euro, tweeted, “we’re in the final now, thanks in part to Sergio Ramos, who used his class to show that he’s a crack and to shut people up.”

And Víctor Valdés tweeted this photo from the morning!

I apologize that it took me a while to finish these posts, but real life takes priority!

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Posted on June 30, 2012, in daily, games and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. Don’t worry, Una.

    These posts have been great! We’re all very thankful

  2. I love all the pics of the WAGs & BBs with their Papas. VDB’s pictures are hilarious, almost cartoon like. LOL Piqué nearly has a heart attack when Fer ‘el Gordo’ takes a horse ride. And VV (!!) a red bull for breakfast? LMAO. Una you have been amazing!!

  3. Thanks for this great post, I was waiting for it:D

    Xabi with Jon is the most adorable thing ever! And I hate that towel on Iker….

  4. thank you for the update, I really appreciate all the work and effort you put into it!

  5. Thank you so much. I don’t write each time, but I certainly enjoy each post.

  6. Yay boys! Let’s win this one! And so I never have to read a sad una post!

  7. I am so excited for tomorrow! Regardless of the outcome, these boys have a lot to be proud of! However, I am certainly hoping for a champion celebration :) Thanks as always for your great posts!!!

  8. 1. This was such a tough game for us Madridistas because we had to see our players play against each other :'(
    2. Why is it that the Barcelona players only take pictures with Barcelona players. It’s like they don’t like being social. You see Ramos, Casillas, Arbeloa, and el Chori all take pictures with teammates outside of their club. Just think they need to be able to socialize with the whole team and not just their club…

  9. all the hugging of iker after the penalties makes me so, so happy. he looked incredibly tense (and focused) in the lead up to it, and my heart was aching for him. it’s a lonely path, carrying the weight of an entire nation (and fans around the world) on your shoulders alone. but he bore it like a champ, like a boss, as always!!! not to mention giving away almost all of his gear and thanking the fans so graciously (we should be thanking him, no?) LOVE HIM!

    i LOVE the mami hugs and kidlet hugs, too. :) :) :) :) this is a GREAT post una, thank you, it put such a smile on my face!

  10. Una, some of the players posted that Sergio is a “toqueristia”, what does that word mean? Thanks for posting =D!

  11. I hate penalties!! but thank god Spain were the luckiest :D When Xabi missed the first one, I couldn’t handle it anymore, but hoorah for Iker to bring back the confidence!
    I love those pictures of VdB, we don’t often see him react that way ;)

  12. Thank you, Una, eres grande también!
    Viva la Roja!

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