all set for Japan/with La Rojita!

Spain takes on Benji, Oliver and Japan in its Olympics opener this afternoon at Hampden Park (15:45h Spain time, 14:45h local time).  The starting line-up is made up of David de Gea, Martín Montoya, Álvaro Domínguez, Iñigo Martínez, Jordi Alba, Javi Martínez, Koke, Isco, Juan Mata, Rodrigo and Adrián.

Training sessions and daily things.

On Tuesday, the boys met with young people taking part in the Street League project, which aims to “change lives through football” by helping young people from the ages of 16 to 25 integrate into society through sports.  Our boys chatted with the teenagers and young adults, and also signed shirts, balls and flags.  There was also an exchange of gifts.  The Street League group got a Spain shirt, while captain Javi Martínez accepted a Scottish flag on behalf of the team.

On Wednesday, Isco, Oriol and Cristian Tello debuted new looks.  Isco tweeted, “the two roommates with a new look, the war begins tomorrow,” while Cristian tweeted, “on the way to training to prepare for the game against Japan, with the new look that Martín Montoya did for me, it’s not bad, is it?”

Some of the other pictures tweeted by the boys…

I see the Playstation war between David and Jordi has begun!  And Javi’s English amuses me: for this picture of his ice bath, he wrote, “Omg that cold!”

The team held two training sessions, one in the morning and the other in the afternoon at Strathclyde University.  Jorge Guillén, the doctor of the team, revealed that Iker Muniain will not be playing against Japan: “the tests showed that he has improved slightly, and it’s more of a pain caused by his rest during the summer than an injury.  I recommended that he not play against Japan and for him to wait for the next game.”

Other things. 

Here’s PF Juan Mata speaking about the upcoming game and the team.  It’s worth watching just for the first few seconds, when Iker Muniain and Jordi Alba walk in front of him (you can see this because there’s a mirror behind Juanín) and try to distract him.  PF, however, is a complete pro and just gives a couple of little smiles without skipping a beat.

Here’s an adorable picture of the 1992 Generation, those players – Muniain, Koke and Isco – born in 1992, the year of Spain’s most recent gold medal in football.

Iker (Casillas) posted a very eloquent message on his FB about his Olympic football memories.

Navalacruz.  It’s getting dark.  Gooooolllllll!!!!!!!  I ran from one side of Batro’s (RIP) bar to the other.  Julia (the owner, and Barto’s widow) looked at me with surprise.  I jumped up and down.  Kiko had scored a goal and we were about to become the champions in football at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.  This was my first lasting memory of this sport and my first lasting memory of an Olympic Games.  The Olympics are going to start in a few days and I want to wish good luck to all those athletes who will be participating in London, and especially, of course, to the Spaniards.  Hopefully they will make us jump off the couch, I’m sure of it, and jump for joy for this effort in the last second that’s worth a medal.  I hope we’ll be able to get emotional when we hear the anthem after we finish first.  I hope we’ll be able to continue to show off Spanish sports.  Of course, there will be moments in which the limelight will be for others, but we will also know how to rise to the occasion and we’ll make those moments ours.  Good luck to everyone!  You’ll do a great job!  I’m convinced of that.

As for Adrián’s diary, in the July 24 entry, Adrián told us about the pocha games.  At first, it was just him, PF Juan Mata, Azpi and Diego Mariño playing.  But since it’s better to have five people, they recruited Javi Martínez to join.  They play for 10 euros a game and at the moment, things are equal.  Adrián prefers playing cards to two of the other pastimes popular with the boys, pool and ping pong.  Adrián also reveals that he’s one of those people who loves having lots to eat before training, so for breakfast, he had toast with butter, ham, yogurt and juice.  For lunch, he had pasta with meat and salad.

In the July 25 entry, Adrián talks about his boots and shinguards: Nike has personalized his Mercurial boots with his name and the flag of Spain, while the Asturian flag and the names of his brothers, Israel and José, adorn his shinguards.  Before going onto the field, he always thinks about his late grandparents, and he makes the sign of the cross twice, once for Gerardo and once for Enedina.   On Wednesday, Adrián also received the visit of his childhood friend Jorge Collar, who had played with him in the cantera of Oviedo and who is now doing Erasmus in Italy, so they don’t get to see each other too often.

Vicente del Bosque commented on each of the players on the team.  See what he had to say here.

And Ander did the COE”s Olympic test two months ago!

Being part of the 2012 Olympic Games is… fantastic.  An Olympic medal would be… a dream.  Who would you ask for a photo?  Pffff… Rafael Nadal.  A music group?  I don’t have a favorite group, I listen to popular music, all types, house, that type of music.  What mania do you have before going out to compete?  I knock on wood a lot, and I step onto the field using my right foot.  What historical photo comes to mind when you think about the Olympics?  There was an athlete who got injured, but whose dream was to finish the race, and his father came down from the stands to help him finish [Derek Redmond in 1992].  What are the colors of the Olympic rings?  There are three on top and two below, right?  I don’t remember what order they’re in, but yellow, red, green, blue and black.  Will Spain beat its national record of 22 medals?  I’m sure of it.  A promise if you win a medal?  I don’t know, I hope to get one and then we’ll see.     

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Posted on July 26, 2012, in la rojita and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Aww… Ander’s answer about his Olympic memory makes me very emotional. It was terrible to see Derek Redmond get hurt. And as his father came to help him cross the finish line, he was crying. I think there was a standing ovation. I don’t remember seeing it when it happened. I saw a clip of it on Youtube recently, and I remember the tears just flowing. I am trying not to cry right now, but it’s not working.

  2. Never ever shut this blog down!!
    Was Just Surfing and somehow landed up here and read some of your articles and My!
    This is one of the best blogs I have ever read!!
    KUDOS to your work!! Cheers!! :)

  3. sorry about the loss, una. it’s my first time to watch these young players and though you can clearly see that they have the skills and the fundamentals down pat, they do not seem to have each other’s back yet and do not seem to take advantage the triangle to get out of clogged situations. their defense does not have the speed it needs to keep up with counter attacks. they made a lot of mistakes in passing as well. this team needs a lot of work still. they are lucky that nagai is not a good finisher.

  4. Thanks for sharing Una. I still believe in los chavales. Much to improve!

  5. too bad it didn’t turn out as we wanted it to =( but I’m glad you decided to cover the Olympics!

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