We may have taken a step backwards towards our medal aspirations with the loss to Japan on Thursday, but I have complete confidence that our boys will go into Sunday’s game with even more hunger, desire and determination. Meanwhile, on Friday, the entire Spanish delegation was looking quite sharp (surprising given the other clothes that Bosco designed for us, which we’ve already seen) at the opening ceremony. I like the hat, the belt and the shoes.
In case you missed it – Spain vs. Chile [2011-09-02, friendly, 3-2].
Andrés Iniesta and Cesc came to the rescue as Spain had to make a comeback to beat Chile 3-2 in Switzerland on Friday. Spain, extending its streak of poor performances in friendlies, looked quite awful during the first half, especially the defense (I’m sorry to say, because Javi (!!!) was back there) and Chile took full advantage, scoring twice in the first 20 minutes. Some changes were made at the half, allowing Spain to mount a comeback. As Javi (!!!) said, “I enjoyed myself in the second half watching Andrés.” And I enjoyed watching Iker and Javi (!!!).
Interviews, the training session, tweeted pics and more!
The RFEF interviewed the six U-21 Euro champions currently on the senior team yesterday, and since Javi Martínez (!!!) is involved, I have to write about it.
Javi Martínez (!!!) and Juan Mata were already members of the senior team when they returned to the U-21 team to lend a hand in the 2011 U-21 Euro, where a berth in next year’s Olympic Games was also up for grabs. They accomplished both those goals in a total team effort, and today, four of their teammates from that team have joined them on the senior team: Thiago, who debuted against Italy last month in his first ever call-up, and three of the four starting defenders: Álvaro Domínguez, Alberto Botía and Martín Montoya. Anyway, here are their thoughts on this situation.
The international players called up by VDB for La Roja’s next two games arrived at Las Rozas this morning, starting at 09h (Iker was one of the earliest). As usual, there was a lot of press waiting there for them, ready to get some statements.
Sergio Ramos told the journalists that there is a “good atmosphere” in the national team, despite the tension from the Real Madrid-Barcelona derbis, and that “we know Iker very well. He’s the captain of Real Madrid just like he’s the captain of the Spanish national team, so it’s normal that footballers and teammates speak. His gesture was a good one.” Meanwhile, Santi Cazorla said there’s no danger of this good atmosphere disappearing, as “there has always been a great atmosphere and there will continue to be one.” Santi also praised Iker for being a true captain and taking the initiative by calling Xavi and Puyol: “it’s clear that if Iker decided to speak with them, it’s because they have good relationships. What happens on the field should not affect anything off of it.”
Vicente del Bosque has called up the following players for La Roja’s next two games, the friendly against Chile on Sept. 2 (20:45h) in St. Gallen, Switzerland, and the Euro 2012 qualifier against Liechtenstein on Sept. 6 (22h) in Logroño. Out of the 24 players that make up this list, six are from the Euro-winning U-21 team, including three of their four starting defenders (Dídac Vilà is the missing one, though VDB said he is following him) and of course Javi Martínez (!!!). Now that he’s “graduated” from that team, I expect to see him get called up regularly with the senior team! The majority of the new players are defenders, due to the injuries to Puyol, Piqué, Monreal and Iraola (VDB called up six this time, since last time’s five didn’t work out so well). There are also three Álvaros, two Davids, two Sergios, and two Fernandos on the list, and of course, three variations of the name Javier.