Category Archives: el mundo en nuestras manos
I just wanted to finish this book, so I could put it away, never look at it again, and only take it out again when I’m feeling sadistic, so here’s the rest of El mundo en nuestras manos!
In the spirit of hoping that all these incidents involving Madrid and Barcelona’s players won’t affect the national team, here is more from Pepe’s book. As you know, reading and translating his book gives me a headache like the one Pepe himself had during the World Cup celebrations, so I’ve decided to translate just the fun anecdotes from the rest of the book, and leave the other non-related stuff (i.e. Pepe’s musings) out.
Are you ready for another chapter of EMENM? This one is not as bad as the others (though I still do some editing for Pepe), as Pepe does start talking a bit – but just a bit – about the fun, behind the scenes anecdotes that we were expecting, and because he stays mostly on topic. It’s about time!
Chapter 8: Watching the rivals
“With the 11, the owner of the left touchline, the incombustible one, the phenomenon, he’s extremely ugly… Joan Capdevila!”
Joan is one of a kind. I always say the same thing about Joan. And when you’ve played so many games, when you’ve scored so many goals as a leftback, the numbers speak for themselves. Capdevila is a player who is never a 10, but he’s never less than a 7 either. With this consistency and with this commitment, he ends up always playing.
We played last in South Africa, and by then, people were betting not only on which teams were the favorites, but who would play on each team. In Spain, some people don’t care who plays as leftback. But both Aragonés and Del Bosque had only one person in mind, Joan Capdevila.
Another chapter of EMENM, another off on a tangent adventure with Pepe Reina.
I’m sorry Pepe, but the attempts to draw parallels between your own life while keeping the chapter focus on one of your teammates are at best laughable. And don’t even get me started on how you transition between the subjects…
Chapter 7: Poch
“With the 21, from the Canary Islands, with his sambita, with his jokes, with his art. Over here, over there, the feint, now yes, now no… I’ll put it in for you, take it back. The poni, he’s 1.40m tall… David Silva!”
He was mentioned as a possible starter. In fact, David Silva started the first game. And people ended up believing that he had paid the price for the defeat to Switzerland. That’s as far from the truth as you can get. It was already difficult enough to play on a team filled with so many great players, but David also had to assume that he wasn’t going to be used. Despite that, in the training sessions, no one could tell that he had lost his status as a starter. He continued fighting.
We were in South Africa one year ago. The Confederations Cup had allowed us to get to know the stadiums and the atmosphere, as well as the weather that we would face. It was the winter, and it was then that we understood the problems the South American players have with the change of seasons when they leave behind their European teams to play with their national teams on the other side of the Atlantic. We were confident that we would have the longest period of adaptation possible: a month…
Xabi Alonso fans, be prepared to be disappointed with this alleged chapter on Xabi Alonso. While Pepe does say some very nice things about Xabi, he doesn’t go in depth or really give any examples or anecdotes, which is really frustrating! And, he also manages to torture us further by touching upon the team’s leisure-time activities, but once again without explaining anything. Plus, it wouldn’t be a chapter of EMENM without going off on tangents, and this chapter is replete with them!
Chapter 6: A hope-filled plane
“With the 14, the lung, the lung. Look, war wounds, for his country, for Spain… Xabi Alonso!
The most intelligent person on the team, and the one that is the most cultured outside of football. He also has a great intelligence on the field. I’ve had the opportunity to learn a lot from him in these five years. In Liverpool, he taught me how to become a better person, to become a more complete person and to understand football better. He understands me very well and we have a very good relationship. He is without a doubt a very intelligent footballer. He’s above all the others.
It might seem a little presumptuous of us to say that we packed our suitcases with the goal of spending one month in South Africa. It was clear to us. And even if this suitcase with enough clothes for one month didn’t mean anything, it made us feel good. We knew that fourth place in Brazil 1950 was the best-ever finish for Spain in a World Cup. This meant that the majority of Spaniards hadn’t even see their team dispute the semifinals. Only those that were older than 70 years old had a memory of his accomplishment.
Here’s the next chapter of El mundo en nuestras manos, and this one focuses on Pepe’s “niño,” Fernando Torres. You can really feel the affection that Pepe has for Fernando in every word that he wrote (except when he went off on tangents and got off the subject of Fernando, of course), which I hope I was able to convey in the translation.
Chapter 5: Hard work is rewarded
“With the 9… everything began two years and 13 days, and 13 days, ago, when he scored a goal against Germany. He made us dream, he made us believe, and that’s how we have won this cup… Fernando Torres!”
A great friend. A person who is very close to me. I was with him during the toughest moments of his recovery process. He spent so many hours in the gym and on the trainer’s table, just so that the country could count on him. This effort was not in vain. In the end, his hard work was rewarded. Fernando deserves to be a world champion. He really made us believe that this national team could win something important with his goal in the Eurocopa final against Germany, that this title could be the first on an important list.
Pedro scored in the last friendly we played before leaving for South Africa. But all the attention was on Fernando Torres and his recovery process. At last, we could see that all his effort and hard work had been rewarded. [On June 8 in Murcia, Spain beat Poland 6-0, with Torres coming in as a substitute in the 66th minute, and scoring a goal 10 minutes later.]
On the bus [Pepe’s mental celebration bus], I look at Fernando with his Atlético de Madrid flag and all the hours and days he spent working hard at Melwood so that our dream would become a reality come to mind. All of us deserve this title. But I believe The Kid deserves it a bit more. What am I saying? It’s actually a lot more!
It was he who told us with his goal in the Eurocopa final that we should feel like champions because we were champions.
Chapter 4: Pedro scores and scores
“With the 18, he sprints to the bathroom. He sprints to eat. He goes to bed and runs in bed. The authentic and incomparable… Pedrito!”
A pleasant surprise of the World Cup. He won the confidence of the coach, so much so that he started the semifinal and final games. He won his spot on the team due to his own merits in the training sessions and when he had to play. He displayed exemplary behavior.
The words of Víctor Valdés affirming that the right of Iker Casillas to start was not a matter of discussion had effectively closed out that debate. Valdés spoke those words after we had played the first of three friendlies, a game against Saudi Arabia, and before the coach had decided that both Víctor and I would play in the second game against South Korea. It was good that the plan of who was to be in goal had already been decided beforehand. Perhaps it wasn’t important at all in hindsight, but it was in that moment. This once again shows that when you don’t know something, it’s better to shut up than to speak and look bad once all the facts are out.
We started preparing for those friendlies. Our stay in Europe was prolonged by the fact that we would be the last team to start playing in South Africa. We were to play two games in Austria and one in Murcia before flying to South Africa.
A lot of you are asking which chapter corresponds to your favorite player, so here is the list (I’d rather be surprised, but I guess you all would rather know). And be forewarned, in future chapter translations, I’m going to do some editing for Pepe, so that the finished product in English makes sense, since at times it does not in Spanish.