May 25, 2012.
On Friday, Spain wrapped up preparations for its first friendly ahead of the Eurocopa, which will be played tonight at 18h against Serbia, with a training session and the trip to the site of the game, St. Gallen. Will we see any debuts tonight?
Hopefully, these men will not only debut, but also score an early goal, because did you know that in all games since Sept. 6, 2006, when Northern Ireland made a comeback against Spain, our team has always won when it opens up the scoring? That’s a 77-game streak of scoring first and winning.
It’s really been forever since my last post, not counting the one yesterday about the Eurocopa preliminary list. I’m sorry I haven’t had time to post, but I had been collecting bits and pieces from here and there over the last several months in anticipation of a post that I didn’t get around to, until today. Will you accept Xabi Alonso modeling for Hugo Boss Fragrances as an apology?
More Xabi here. By the way, my second post of this blog two years ago (this one is post #912!) was dedicated to Xabi and Hugo Boss (plus Cesc and David Villa). Anyway, more perfect people inside the post…
The latest trip is over, and it’s time to say hasta luego to our boys as a team for two months. However, we do get to say hola to La Rojita!
The national team – with the exception of Iker, Fernando Llorente and David Silva, who stayed behind in Venezuela – returned to Madrid yesterday afternoon from Caracas, after an eight-hour flight (before that, they had a 30-minute Barcelona-Caracas flight). We got to see most of the players in street clothes again (there were some exceptions, such as Sergio, Carlos, Joan, Bruno…), which is not necessarily a good thing…
Xabi was his usual boss self, while striding through the airport, Macbook in hand, and David and Pedro repeated parts of the outfits they showed up at Las Rozas wearing. Meanwhile, Joan and Carlos settled some money issues, Gerard wore his Steve McQueen shirt (unfortunately, Álvaro didn’t wear his matching one) and Víctor looked like he’d rather be anywhere else than the airport – that’s quite a David Villa expression he has on!
After the game on Saturday, several of the boys enjoyed themselves at the Roxy club in Providence. Borja Valero, Álvaro Negredo, Andoni Iraola, Manu del Moral, David Villa, Fernando Llorente, Pepe Reina, Pedro Rodríguez, David Silva, Bruno Soriano, Dr. Celada, and fisios Fernando Galán and Raúl Martínez were all spotted at the club. The pictures posted by Roxy on their Facebook are (perhaps inadvertently) funny to me, some for the outfits (it’s great to see the boys in normal clothes) and others for the posing, and you know I always have a lot to say about those things, so…
To start off with, Marca is promoting a La Roja polo, and they got two very, very fantastic models to show it off: Fernando Llorente and Javi Martínez (!!!). Okay, I’m convinced. Genius marketing move by Marca, because I’d buy anything these two are selling. But what is with that bump on Javi’s (!!!) head, and what happened to Fer’s lion mane?
And you just know that Javi (!!!) is itching to fiddle with the sleeves of the shirt!
The Spanish national team will meet U.S. President Barack Obama on June 2 (unless the president’s schedule changes) in the White House, during their Americas tour. Spain will leave Madrid on June 1 to head to Washington, meet the president on June 2, and either that day or the next fly to Boston, where they will play the United States in a friendly on June 4. After that, it will be on to Venezuela to play that country on June 7.
I don’t know if it’s good (that I’m such a big fan of La Roja) or bad (that I’m old enough to have done this) that I recognized the majority of the Spanish internationals (well, the ones that can walk without assistance and still have most of their hair) in these pictures from the RFEF of the players mingling. And I might have squealed a little bit each time I saw someone that added to the nostalgia that I’m feeling!
Here is my selection from the gallery; as you can see, for you all I’ve chosen the players you should recognize, even if you’re just a casual La Roja fan.
My favorite is the first one – Pepe and his dad Miguel!!! How cute are they??? My second favorite is the one of players that play in the province of Valencia, especially for Bruno’s shiny suit and Marcos Senna! Plus, Aritz is looking quite hot back there!
I do a “Xabi Alonso pose section™” over on the game recap (aka ICYMI) posts over on the Madrid blog, and this picture of Xabi is PERFECT for it. Look how great he looks, and how at ease he is. That’s hard. Plus, I’m liking the sweater vest. It makes me think of Xabi as a professor, and there are one or two things that I have in mind that I’d like him to teach me.
Some La Roja news that I hadn’t seen until now.
While the team was in Salamanca to take on Lithuania, the RFEF handed out commemorative diplomas to several players (Iniesta, Capdevila, Cazorla, Piqué), who had reached a certain number of games with the national team, and insignias to those players (Bruno) who had just played their first game with La Roja. Meanwhile, all the players received a replica of the World Cup, which was handed “in good faith” to David Silva.
Note: all of the players on the World Cup-winning squad each received a replica. Since they were not all present at the ceremony, David Silva received his on their behalf. No clue on whether he got to hand out the rest to his teammates though.
The team held two training sessions yesterday, with Vicente del Bosque still not revealing who the starting 11 against Lithuania will be, although most of us will probably be able to predict it correctly.
There’s not anything too exciting to report on about the training sessions, but it did leave us with these photos. Again, it seems a bit of a stretch to call those moments “training,” no?
Carlos Marchena and Fernando Llorente spoke to the press, where Marchena said that Spain didn’t suffer from “Xavidependencia” (dependence on Xavi), despite his importance to the team, because there are other players on this team that can take over for him when needed.
The team will leave for Salamanca this morning via bus, and train this afternoon at El Helmántico, where the game will be played on Friday.
Meanwhile, over on the U-21 side, La Rojita completed their last training session at Las Rozas. They’ll leave this morning for Burgos, where they’ll face Croatia in the first leg of the Euro 2011 qualifying playoff on Saturday at El Plantío. Everyone hopes that David de Gea (cold) and Diego Capel (muscle problems) will recover in time to play.
Castilla y León will be the province to be in this weekend!
Now, onto the fun news!