ICYMI – Spain vs. Uruguay

Spain took on Uruguay in a friendly in Doha, Qatar on Feb. 6, winning 3-1 behind two goals from Pedro and one from Cesc.  This game was also Carles Puyol’s 100th, making him the seventh Spaniard to reach that magic number.  As for Vicente del Bosque, he tied Ladislao Kubala as the coach with the most number of games under his belt, 68, since taking charge four and a half years ago.

ONE.  Prior to the game, we had Carles and Sergio – Puyi would be the captain for the first half, while Sergio took over the armband for the second – doling out hugs and high fives as they motivated their teammates (or distracted them from hearing the coach’s last-minute advice).

TWO.  As mentioned previously, Cesc and Pedro scored for Spain.

Cesc celebrated by making the shape of the letter “L” with his right hand; I assume it’s an “L” for Lia?

THREE.  Three new players debuted with Spain on Wednesday: César Azpilicueta, Isco and Mario Suárez.  That brings the total of players to debut under Vicente del Bosque to 31.  “Dave” started the game (maybe it’s a Navarran thing, but he has “morros” to rival Javi Martínez’), while Isco and Mario were substitutes, coming in for Iniesta and Cazorla, respectively.  As he waited to check in, Mario hugged his former club teammate Diego Forlán.  After the game, all three said they were “contento.”  Mario said he would keep one of his shirts, with the other to go to his parents, and that he had enjoyed this experience (his girlfriend Malena posted this photo of her kissing his image; I wonder what she did when she saw Puyol?).  Isco, meanwhile, said he would also keep his shirt and would frame it and display it in his room.

Mario also posted on his twitter this photo of him and Isco on the way back to Madrid.

FOUR.  During the halftime of the game, Carles Puyol was honored for reaching 100 games.  A short video showing highlights of his national team career was played, and then he was presented with a little figurine of an Arabian oryx, which is the national animal of Qatar, while his teammates clapped.

I love how impatient Puyi was for the game to continue.  He asked, “this is it, no?”

FIVE.  In the stands were Míchel Salgado, Fernando Hierro, Raúl (with his kids in their new shirts) and Fernando Morientes.  Though four of the six players who had previously reached 100 caps are active players, none of them were present at the game, either due to injury (Iker, Xavi, Xabi) or not being called up (Torres).  Therefore, Raúl was the only other player with over 100 games at this game.  And earlier in the day, Raúl had played host as the team toured the Aspire Academy.

Also earlier in the day, Míchel had visited the team hotel and had chatted with Sergio.

SIX.  Several more moments: the hug between Jordi and Pedro before the game, and a little tribute to Carles’ hair.

After the game, journalists asked Sergio to show off the tattoo of the World Cup that he has on his right calf, and he obliged.

SEVEN.  Everyone wanted to take a photo with the man of the hour.

Puyi went home with a shirt signed by all of his teammates.

EIGHT.  Cuatro had VDB do a little test, where he was asked to describe some of his players.  This is what he had to say; watch the video here.

Iker: a noble boy, I’ve known him since he was 10, and I appreciate very much everything he has done from the time he was a kid to get to where he is now.

Iniesta: he’s not very expressive, but he is good-hearted.

Xabi: he’s a coach on the field.

Xavi: he directs the play, he has a lot of influence on how Spain plays.

Silva: a great player, he’s one of those players who influences the style of the national team.

Piqué: very intelligent, cultured, and as a centerback, marvelous, one of the best in the world.

Puyol: he’s an example in all ways, for how he behaves on and off the field.

Cazorla: a quality player, and also a great guy who is loved by the group.

Torres: one of the players in the Club of 100, and that’s very important.

Mata: he has so much quality, a great vision of play, and playing abroad has made him better.

Posted on February 8, 2013, in games, players and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. Thanks Una for the ICYMI post!

  2. I’m sorry, but who exactly is “lia”?

  3. Jorge looks exactly like Raul now, no?

  4. i would agree with almost all those assessments. our coach is a wise man. :)

    this was the first match i was able to watch in a long time (i curse GolTV not being available in canada any more!), and though i’m delighted they won, it was weird to *not* see so many faces, if you know what i mean!

    i am delighted for puyi, though. i think he’s terrific and am so pleased he reached this milestone. i hope he doesn’t retire now, though!

  5. The only REALLY bad thing of this match was the commentator we heard here in the States..called Sergio Ramos – Pique..and said he made the mistake as they have the same haircut..I’ve never in my life, heard of better reasoning to have Sergio grow his hair back!!! :D

  6. If I had a dollar for every thumbs up photo of a Spain NT player I see!!.

    And, am I the only one who prefers Cesc without the beard? Okay, that ‘prefers’ didnt come out right, sounds like I won him or have a say in how he looks… but I have a say in how he looks, I think…

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