¡todos con La Rojita!
Spain will defend its U-21 Euro title this afternoon at Teddy Stadium in Jerusalem (18h) in the final of the 2013 U-21 Euro against Italy. La Rojita has notched up a 25-game non-losing streak, including 22 victories. We haven’t lost an official game since 2009. Can we make it 26? It’s time to cheer on La Rojita!
Some names to watch our for: David de Gea will be playing in his 27th game in this category, tying current assistant coach and U-17 head coach Santi Denia for most number of caps at the U-21 level. None of these 26 games have been a loss. By the way, Iker Muniain, with 20 caps so far, has a chance to break this record, as he still has one more cycle at the U-21 level.
Isco’s dominance in this tournament makes him one of the strongest candidates to win the best player award.
And Álvaro Morata could end up as the pichichi, as he has four goals, one in each of the games up to this point. Isco and Álvaro have been rooming together in this tournament, in room 223. Curiously enough, during 2011, it was Juan Mata and Adrián López rooming together in room 223 in Denmark, and they ended up winning the best player and top goalscorer awards, respectively.
Rodrigo, meanwhile, holds the record for most goals scored in the history of the U-21 team, with 15 goals in 15 games, and can add to that today.
Other things from the last several days. The team trained at the beach on Sunday, leading to these delightful scenes.
Spain has a bright future, no?
In more ways than one…
Here’s Dani Carvajal’s Marca test.
How many WhatsApp groups do you have? Three. What has been the strangest or most useless app you’ve downloaded on your phone? Perhaps one that makes your face fat when you take a photo. Have you used social networks to meet girls? No. What TV series have you become hooked on recently? “Game of Thrones.” Which famous person, historical or current, would you like to meet? Rafa Nadal. Who has given you the best advice? My father. What are your first memories of football? When I played for my neighborhood team, during the prebenjamín and benjamín years. We won three league titles and thanks to that I went to Real Madrid. Peter Crouch said that if he weren’t a footballer, he’d still be a virgin. How about you? I don’t believe so. When was the first time you ever got nervous? I don’t usually get nervous, but perhaps when I got to Germany. During the first two days, I was quite nervous. What place would you like to visit that you haven’t yet? New York.
It was goalkeeper Joel Robles’ 23rd birthday on June 17, and the team surprised him with birthday cake (pastries, actually) and serenaded him with “Happy Birthday” during lunch. He also received a watch from the RFEF, and made a little speech: “here we are, tomorrow I want to win and for us to enjoy ourselves, no matter who plays. It’s going to be me and 10 of you, since I’m sure the míster will play me” [Iker Muniain found this extremely funny].
All those moments, plus his teammates chanting “Joel, Joel, Joel” can be found in this video!
AS also did a special birthday edition of its test, though Joel comes across as extremely boring with his (non) answers.
We’re going to do a special birthday test, because you’re turning 23 during the concentración. What is the strangest place at which you’ve celebrated your birthday? No, nowhere strange. The best birthday present you’ve received. Any gift that got me excited. Have you ever had to play a game on the day of your birthday? That has never happened to me. Have you gone out to drink for your birthday? Always. But never too much. Never. What gift have you always wanted to receive, but never have? I will love and accept any gift that my family gives me. What would be your ideal birthday? Spending it with my family and my loved ones. Where did you celebrate your last birthday? At home. What birthday message from someone in the world of football surprised you the most? Well, my birthday is always when we’re on vacation. No one, a teammate, a coach, has ever sent you a message? They just wish me good health and hope there’s many more. Whose birthday party would you like to go to and who will you bring? I would bring my girlfriend and my friends, and I would like to celebrate it with my teammates and family, I don’t have anyone in mind. No famous person that you want to meet? I don’t know, Julio Iglesias.
Vicente del Bosque, Xavi, Iker and Fernando Torres also taped this message for La Rojita to wish them good luck in the final!
Xavi: good luck to the team, to my Barça teammates and to everyone in general. We have confidence in all of you, and we wish you the best from Brazil.
Iker: we heard that the U-21 team is doing phenomenally in the tournament, and we, the senior national team, are convinced that you all will win the U-21 Euro title and that we will enjoy it with you. Best of luck, and let’s win the final.
Fernando: from us three and the entire team, we are keeping up with all of you, following the results of the games, all of us are proud of you for reaching the final, and we’re going to enjoy it, finals are to play, to win and to enjoy, and with this experience, we, all of us, are sure that you all will return with the trophy and we are very proud of you and we’ll be watching you from here.
VDB: enjoy the final, do your part, play the best that you can, and if you can win, that will be great and make us all happy, and Spain also needs your level.
Let’s go La Rojita!