hopefully, this will never end

I hope you’re not tired of winning yet, because we have just added another trophy to our collection!  In this post: La Rojita’s grand achievement, plus the latest on the Olympic team and all the leftovers from La Roja following the conclusion of its Eurocopa.

La Rojita – the U-19 team.

Following in the footsteps of the senior team, the U-19 team became champions of Europe on Sunday night in Tallinn.  Jesé scored the decisive goal as Spain beat Greece 1-0 in the final of the 2012 U-19 Euro and successfully defended the title.  Jesé ended up as the pichichi of the tournament after scoring five goals (including a hat trick against Portugal) and was named the MVP as well.

Previously, Spain had beat France in penalties in the semifinal game (3-3, 4-2) with Kepa emulating Iker and stopping two.  In the group stage, Spain beat Greece 2-1, tied Portugal 3-3 and beat Estonia 2-0.

This victory was Spain’s sixth U-19 Eurocopa title out of the 11 editions played.  The other wins were in 2002, 2004, 2006, 2007 and 2011, with some familiar names contributing to the tally.  Fernando Torres scored the decisive goal as Spain beat Germany 1-0 in 2002.  Borja Valero was responsible for the game-winning goal when Spain beat Turkey 1-0 in 2004, and Alberto Bueno’s two goals helped Spain beat Scotland 2-1 in 2006.  In 2007, it was Dani Parejo who scored to beat Greece 1-0, while Paco Alcácer scored twice in extra time to help Spain beat the Czech Republic 3-2 in overtime last year.

This year’s champions are Kepa Arrizabalega, Javier Manquillo, Alejandro Grimaldo, Jonás Ramalho, Derik Osede, José Campaña, Juanmi Jiménez, Suso, Paco Alcácer, Jesé, Juan Bernat, Joni, Adrián Ortolá, Pablo Insúa, Saúl Ñíguez, Oliver Torres, Gerard Deulofeu, Denis Súarez, Salva Ruiz and Nono.  The last two were called up as replacements for Javier Manquillo and Saúl Ñíguez, respectively, who got injured during the tournament.

Congratulations La Rojita on a job well done!

La Rojita – the Olympic team.

The members of the Olympic team got together on July 6 to begin their concentración.

Over the course of the next 10 days, the team trained in Madrid; lost Mikel San José due to chicken pox (he was forced to leave because some of his teammates haven’t had it yet and doctors didn’t want to risk him infecting the rest); lost to Senegal – who will also play in the Olympics – 0-2 in a friendly in Maspalomas, Gran Canaria; had the three European champions – Javi Martínez, Juan Mata and Jordi Alba – join them (Jordi got a manteo to welcome him, while these three J’s also had to walk through a “corridor of pain,” and I’m surprised Javi let someone else drive the golf cart after what we saw in Gniewino)…

… and traveled to Jerez de la Frontera, where they are now preparing for the next friendly against Mexico on July 18 in Cádiz.

They also took a group photo together!  Watch that video here.

The final list of Olympians was also announced.  They are: De Gea, Azpilicueta, Domínguez, Javi Martínez, Iñigo Martínez, Jordi Alba, Adrián, Muniain, Rodrigo, Mata, Koke, Montoya, Botía, Oriol Romeu, Isco, Tello, Ander Herrera and Mariño.  The list of jersey numbers follows this list of players, with David wearing the 1, César the 2 and so on until we get to Diego with the 18.

The four players not making the cut were Álvaro Vázquez, Joel González, Víctor Ruiz (who had been Mikel’s replacement, although he hadn’t joined the team) and Asier Illarramendi (who had been Thiago’s replacement).  They will be the alternatives, meaning that if any of the 18 Olympians is unable to play for some reason, they can be called up.

Some fun videos: watch Cuatro’s “intern” Iker Muniain interviewing David de Gea here.  He asks questions where he knows the answers will make him look good, and I love his reaction when De Gea mentions Argentina as their rival in the Olympics (Argentina didn’t qualify).  See how little Ander and Adrián know about each other here; I love Ander sniffing Adrián to find out what cologne he wears, and answering his favorite food (seafood) because he didn’t know what Adrián’s was.  Álvaro Domínguez talks about his expectations and shows off his knowledge about the Games here; he says he might get a tattoo if Spain wins or invite everyone to a barbecue in Germany.  He also shows off a bit of the German he’s learned!  Alberto Botía was only three when Spain won the gold medal in football in 1992, but he remembers a couple of details, and he would like to meet Usain Bolt, Rafa Nadal and basketball players from Spain and the U.S. in London.  See what else he has to say here.  Find out more about Koke here; do you believe that he doesn’t get many compliments and instead is just called ugly? I don’t.  The best part of the video is when his teammates refuse to help him out when he can’t name the other teams in the Olympics!  Oriol Romeu talks about his bromance with PF Juan Mata, among other things, here.  And Iker Muniain reveals things about his teammates here!  The most serious one is Illarramendi, the one who eats the most is Koke, the one who likes to sleep the most is Ander, the most stylish one is himself, the one who is the slowest is De Gea, the one most concerned about his appearance is Botía, the one who tells the most jokes is Isco, the DJ is Domínguez, the best dancer is Montoya, he has no idea who reads the most, the one who is most attached to his mobile phone is everyone and the best Play player is… Iker Muniain.  Plus, Punto Pelota interviews Iñigo and Isco here.

La Roja news.

One day after the celebrations in Madrid, Jesús Navas received a hero’s welcome in his hometown of Los Palacios y Villafranca.  Neighbors and friends joined Jesús’ pregnant wife Alejandra (she had not traveled to Poland or Ukraine to watch her husband play due to her advanced pregnancy) and his grandmother to hear Jesús’ little speech given on the town hall balcony.  Jesús also received his weight in tomatoes, although the organizers decided to give him 70 kilograms, instead of the 63 that the scale said, “to make gazpacho.”  Over in Córdoba, Pepe Reina was given a rousing welcome as he arrived in the AVE station with his family, as he’s an adopted son of the city.  He told the press that he didn’t expect so many people to gather at the station to welcome him, and joked about whether he’d become a presenter: “we’ll see what happens, I still have many more years as a footballer.”  Iker’s neighbors, meanwhile, decorated his house to show their appreciation.

Jordi Alba returned home to L’Hospitalet de Llobregat, which honored him for winning the Eurocopa.  Jordi appeared on the balcony of the town hall on Wednesday evening, to speak to the 2,000 people who had gathered to welcome him back.  Jordi said, “I want to thank you all for being here, with my family (Jordi’s parents Miguel and María José, his brother David and his grandmothers Dolores and Marta were all there).  I’m very happy to share this day with all of you and I hope to see you all again soon.  I know that L’Hospitalet has always been with me.”  Over in Valencia, Raúl Albiol, Juanfran Torres and José Manuel Ochotorena were received at the community government.  Both Raúl and Juanfran said they were honored with this tribute, and were very proud of being Valencian and Spanish.  Later on, Raúl would be honored by his hometown of Villamarxant.  In Gran Canaria, David Silva was received by local authorities, and in Ayegui, residents were busy welcoming Javi Martínez back.  Javi gave a speech at the town hall, thanking everyone for being there and saying he hopes this type of occurrence will happen many more times.  The mayor of Ayegui presented Javi with the insignia of the town and a painting of the town crest.  Later on that evening, Javi inaugurated his new restaurant, called Durban, named after the South African city.

Vicente del Bosque received a warm reception in his hometown of Salamanca on July 12, with thousands of salmantinos filling the emblematic Plaza Mayor to welcome their native son back.  During his little speech, VDB spoke about his years growing up in the city, and thanked everyone for their support during the Eurocopa.

Many of the players also showed up at their campuses, or ones held by their former clubs or other entities, including Álvaro Arbeloa, Pepe Reina, Cesc, Javi Martínez, David Villa, PF Juan Mata and Iker Casillas (in Houston).  David and Santi Cazorla also made time to visit miners in Asturias, to show their support for the miners in their protests against government cuts, and for those miners who are staging a strike underground.  Both of them asked for the desires of the miners to be heard.

David Silva also joined twitter!  This is the first photo he posted, of him and his brother Nando.  More pictures like these, porfa!

As for weddings, Andrés Iniesta married longtime girlfriend and mother of Valeria Anna Ortiz at the Castell de Tamarit in Tarragona on July 8.  Apparently, Andrés chose to get married at six p.m. on July 8 for his numbers with Barcelona and the national team.  Andrés entered into the castle to the strains of the soundtrack of Gladiator, while the bride chose Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You.”  She wore a dress inspired by Ibiza and the 1920s created by Spanish designer Teresa Helbig.

At the dinner following the ceremony, guests were served rosé from Iniesta’s vineyard.  It was called “Corazón Loco” and on the bottles it reads, “passion comes from the inside.”

On hand for the ceremony were Pedro, Carles Puyol, Gerard Piqué (who recently teamed up with Elmo to promote the habit of eating a healthy breakfast; the breakfast there is my favorite kind!), Cesc, Víctor Valdés, Xavi and Sergio Busquets.  Several days after that, Andrés and Anna arrived in Cancun.  According to local tourism officials, they were there on vacation and to renew their vows in a Mayan ceremony.  However, Andrés denied that and said they were just on their honeymoon.  And in a chat before the wedding, Andrés had joked about his bathing suit for this year: “I’m thinking about getting a new explosive image… but I haven’t decided anything yet.”  I’m still waiting for this year’s model!  (Since I wrote that, he’s been snapped in Mexico wearing boring black bathing trunks, not even Speedos.)

Speaking of weddings, Sergio Ramos’ sister Miriam got married in Sevilla on July 14.  The brother of the bride looked very handsome, as did Pepe Reina, who attended with wife Yolanda.  Prior to the wedding, Sergio had worn some questionable outfits and made his future brother-in-law Carlos wear some questionable outfits too during his bachelor party.

The boys have also been enjoying their vacations, with many choosing to head to beach resorts – the Baleares was once again the most popular choice – for some relaxation in the sun.

Looking ahead.

During the rest of this year, Spain will have several friendlies, as well as begin qualifying for the 2014 World Cup.  Next year, they’ll also play in the Confederations Cup, which will begin on June 15, 2013.  Spain’s upcoming games are a friendly in Puerto Rico on Aug. 15, a friendly against Saudi Arabia on Sept. 7 in Pontevedra and then World Cup qualifiers, against Georgia on Sept. 11, Belarus on Oct. 12 and France on Oct. 16 in the Vicente Calderón.

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Posted on July 16, 2012, in campeones, la rojita, players and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. I don’t think la roja is tired of winning.congrats to iniesta and his wife wish them a happy married life.wow the RAMOS looks elegant. Thanks una.Pls Una can you post me a link to the euro 2008 celebrations. Viva espana

  2. Thanks for the update on the boys! BTW, didn’t Sergio’s sister get married on July 14th and not June 14th? I also like how Andres took time out of his honeymoon to acknowledge the great achievement on July 11th two years ago.

    Wow does that mean La Roja (the senior team), the U-21 and U-19 all hold the Eurocup now? Looks like La Roja is in good hands!

  3. Lovely post Una. Thanks for the update and can’t wait to hear your take on the Olympics as well. Gotta love to see our absoluta boys enjoy their vacay too.

  4. Fantastic post. I love getting to know las Olympicas Rojitas! Keep the cuatro and punto pelota videos coming!!

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