key dates on the road to Brazil

Four years, one world title and 1,109 (!) posts ago, I started this blog with a post titled “Key dates on the road to South Africa.”  I can’t believe four years have already gone by, and now we’re about to start defending our world title in Brazil.

May 31 – Vicente del Bosque announces the list of 23 players chosen to represent Spain for the 2014 World Cup.

June 2 – start of concentración.   Team trains at Las Rozas, is sent off by President Mariano Rajoy and travels to Washington D.C.

June 3 – arrival in the United States, beginning of four training sessions at the Catholic University of America RFK Memorial Stadium in Washington (the venue was changed due to the bad lighting and poor condition of the grounds at the school).  According to AS, the team will make time to meet American President Barack Obama at the White House.  The team will stay at the Mandarin Oriental hotel.

Information on the stay in Washington can be found here.

June 7 – Spain plays El Salvador in a friendly at FedEx Field (22h, 16h local time).

June 8 – La Roja travels to Curitiba, our headquarters for the tournament, will stay and train at Atlético Paranaense’s Caju Training Center.

June 13 – Spain plays the Netherlands in Salvador in the first game of the group stage.

June 18 – Spain plays Chile in Rio de Janeiro in the second game of the group stage.

June 23 – Spain plays Australia in Curitiba in the third game of the group stage.

Let’s go La Roja!

the list for Brazil

Spain’s World Cup list was announced today.

Goalkeepers: Iker Casillas, Pepe Reina, David de Gea.

Defenders: César Azpilicueta, Gerard Piqué, Sergio Ramos, Jordi Alba, Javi Martínez, Raúl Albiol, Juanfran Torres.

Midfielders: Sergio Busquets, Xabi Alonso, Koke Resurrección, Xavi Hernández, David Silva, Cesc Fàbregas, Juan Mata, Santi Cazorla, Andrés Iniesta.

Forwards: Pedro Rodríguez, Diego Costa, David Villa, Fernando Torres.

There are 16 players remaining from the team that won the World Cup four years ago (Iker, Pepe, Piqué, Sergio, Javi, Albiol, Busquets, Xabi, Xavi, Silva, Cesc, Mata, Iniesta, Pedro, Villa, Torres).

the list for Bolivia

Instead of announcing the list for Brazil today, as was expected, Vicente del Bosque announced the list for the upcoming friendly against Bolivia, given that the final list does not have to be submitted until June 2, several players are still nursing injuries and eight players [Iker Casillas, Sergio Ramos, Dani Carvajal, Xabi Alonso, Juanfran Torres, Diego Costa, Koke Resurrección and David Villa] took part in last night’s Champions League final and cannot return to action until after they get some vacation time.  As such, the list for Brazil won’t be announced until after this game (May 30).

Goalkeepers: Pepe Reina, David de Gea.

Defenders: César Azpilicueta, Gerard Piqué, Jordi Alba, Alberto Moreno, Javi Martínez, Raúl Albiol.

Midfielders: Sergio Busquets, Ander Iturraspe, Xavi Hernández, David Silva, Cesc Fàbregas, Juan Mata, Santi Cazorla, Andrés Iniesta, Gerard Deulofeu.

Forwards: Pedro Rodríguez, Fernando Torres.

Deulofeu is the new addition to the list, as he did not appear on the provisional list.  As for the players on the provisional list who didn’t make this call-up, they still have a chance to make the final call-up, according to the míster.  The concentración begins on May 26 at 10:30h.

the provisional list of 30 for Brazil

Vicente del Bosque announced today the provisional list of 30 players for the upcoming World Cup.  The final list of 23 players will be announced on May 25.

Goalkeepers: Iker Casillas, Pepe Reina, David de Gea.

Defenders: César Azpilicueta, Gerard Piqué, Sergio Ramos, Jordi Alba, Alberto Moreno, Javi Martínez, Raúl Albiol, Juanfran Torres, Dani Carvajal.

Midfielders: Sergio Busquets, Xabi Alonso, Koke Resurrección, Ander Iturraspe, Xavi Hernández, Thiago Alcántara, Jesús Navas, David Silva, Cesc Fàbregas, Juan Mata, Santi Cazorla, Andrés Iniesta.

Forwards: Pedro Rodríguez, Diego Costa, David Villa, Fernando Torres, Álvaro Negredo, Fernando Llorente.

Thoughts on the list?  Any surprises, notable absences or sighs of relief for you?

of effort, hearts and disguises

Here are two more new spots starring our boys, courtesy of Movistar and Cruzcampo.

In the Movistar spot, which is titled “We will make as much as an effort as all of you,” the question “How to motivate stars who have already won everything?” is posed.  Therefore, Xabi Alonso, Pepe Reina, Andrés Iniesta, Juanfran Torres and Santi Cazorla are sent undercover, in disguise, to get up close and personal with the fans.

They get wigs, mustaches or beards, and in some cases glasses.  Santi ends up looking exactly like Mario of Super Mario (were they inspired by his Arsenal Christmas party outfit?), while Juanfran bears more than a passing resemblance to Luigi, complete with green hat and all.

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yo te seguiré…

The video for Maldita Nerea’s song “Buena energía” featuring (I use that word lightly) Xavi Hernández on the drums, Diego Costa on the bongo and Iker Casillas, Jordi Alba and César Azpilicueta on the tambourine is out!

And of course, the boys are adorable, and the song is catchy!  I expect we’ll be hearing it a lot in the coming months (the song comes out today).

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94 days to go!

Spain beat Italy behind a goal from Pedro on Wednesday at the Calderón.  This was La Roja’s last game before the concentración for the World Cup begins at the end of May.

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all set for Italy!

Spain takes on Italy tonight in a friendly at the Vicente Calderón (Madrid) at 22h.  There are several things of note about this game.  It is the last time La Roja is together before the concentración for the World Cup begins on May 26, the game will serve as a tribute to the late and great Luis Aragonés and as the stage for the debut of the new black jerseys, and of course this will be the first time we see Diego Costa in the shirt of Spain.  All eyes have been on him the entire week, although I have to admit mine were focused on Azpi’s dimples instead!

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