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Juan Mata, César Azpilicueta and David de Gea at XL Semanal

And I also have some PF Juan Mata, César “Dave” Azpilicueta and David (not Dave) de Gea for you, from their appearance in today’s XL Semanal.  They’re looking good, no?

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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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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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Juan Mata at Fuera de Serie

El Mundo’s Fuera de Serie magazine had Xabi Alonso on the cover for its inaugural issue, and several weeks later it has followed that stellar appearance with Juan Mata!  The piece is very much along the lines of every other interview of Juanín in recent years (at least the ones you can find here; I think the journalists need to come up with a new angle), but more PF is always welcome, no?

Juan Mata is an atypical footballer: he’s studying two subjects (physical education and marketing) while playing for his club and country; he reads Murakami and Enrique Vila-Matas; he writes during his free time; he’s a gourmand and a cinephile; and he’s decided to learn how to play the guitar this year (he would like to have been a musician if he weren’t a footballer).  He tells us all this during an interview in London, a few days before his transfer to Manchester United was confirmed.

Chelsea’s fans have shown you how much they love you…

Yes, that’s what they show me, both on the street and via social networks.  I feel very fortunate to receive this affection, which really is difficult to describe with words.  From the first day, they’ve shown me their appreciation, and they even chose me as the best player for two years in a row.  They are really fantastic fans.

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all set for Brazil!

Spain will be taking on Brazil in the final of the Confecup (Monday, 00h) after beating Italy following an agonizing penalty shootout that luckily had a happy ending.

Hopefully we’ll be able to pull off another Maracanazo and add to our trophy collection the only one that has resisted us so far!

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all set for Italy!

Our opponent tonight in the semifinal of the Confecup (21h) is Italy, who is only in the tournament because we won the World Cup, and then beat them in the final of the Euro last year.  Let’s do it again!  At stake is a place in the final, where Brazil is waiting after having avoided a repeat of the “Maracanazo.”

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César Azpilicueta – El País Confecup Q&A

My new favorite, the adorable César Azpilicueta (that smile, those dimples!), was the latest player to take the El País Q&A and Marca’s “En cinco toques” test.  He seems to be a bit more reserved than some of the others…

Cesar Azpilicueta advises when he shows up, “I’m sure I won’t know any of the answers to what you’re going to ask.”  He laughs a lot and his blue eyes light up before each answer.

What is Pelé called?  Pelé, what else would he be called… Pelé!  

What is a folha seca?  A way to strike the ball so that it goes up and down very quickly.    

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Nacho Monreal – El País Confecup Q&A

“I have no idea” is still the most popular answer to several of these questions (El Canto del Loco ranks second), and Nacho Monreal was no exception!

He’s from Esquiroz, learned how to play football at Tajonar and now lives in London and plays for Arsenal.  At noon on July 6, he’ll be in Pamplona tying a red kerchief around his neck.

What is Pelé called?  Pelé is called… Pelé!    

What is a folha seca?  A way to strike the ball so that it drops very quickly.    

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