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did they do it?

Remember the promises that our boys made, in the event that Spain would win the World Cup?  Well, I thought it would be fun to take a look back, and see who have been promise keepers and who have been promise breakers.

The real promise keepers.

Sergio Ramos – he promised to get a tattoo of the World Cup, and I predicted he would go through it.  And he has!  His tattoo artist Leo Millares posted these photos earlier this week.

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the luckiest object in the world

I was cleaning out my computer, and I came across a folder I created just after the World Cup in which I had gathered pictures of our players kissing the trophy with the thought of creating a collage.  Obviously, I then forgot about it because it’s been eight months since that magical night in Johannesburg, but better late than never, right?

The only player missing is David Silva, so if you have a picture of him kissing la copa and/or better ones of Carlos Marchena, Xabi Alonso and Pedrito, send them over to me and I’ll update the collage!

the numbers for the next two games

The players have chosen what numbers they’ll wear for the upcoming games against Lithuania and Scotland!

As only 21 players have been called up, two numbers are vacant, and those are the “10” most recently worn by Cesc and the “13” of Mata.

Nacho Monreal has chosen the “2,” while Borja Valero took the “8” and Aritz Aduriz will wear the “9.”  Pablo Hernández takes over the “18,” with Santi Cazorla in charge of “20” and Bruno Soriano opting for the “22.”  The rest of the players will wear the same numbers as in the World Cup.

they can convince me to do anything

This is one of the many, many talents of the players of La Roja – being able to pack so much fun and laughs into six seconds.  This video was made to support the Spain/Portugal bid to host the 2018 or 2022 World Cup.  I think it was shot back in March of this year (before the friendly against France on March 3), because that was the last time some of the players here (Marcos Senna, Álvaro Negredo, Dani Güiza, Diego López) made an appearance with La Roja.

Favorite moments: Dani jumping up and down to be seen, because he was behind the tall Pepe and the even taller Diego; Sergio supporting himself on Villa and Joan’s shoulders; Cesc’ gestures (the only one to make any); Torres’ blond hair (because I’m so used to seeing him with his natural hair color now) and how he sits there for one more beat after everyone else has already gotten up; how Albiol (who else?) is the last one to finish speaking; Marcos Senna’s half-hearted thumbs up; and the “vamos” and cheers once filming is completed.  And why are they sitting on a fountain?

See, I told you the players have a talent for making any moment, even the most mundane, fun!

I had to watch it several times before I could figure out what they were saying, because they weren’t very coordinated with their speech.  They say, “apoyamos la candidatura ibérica” (we support the Iberian bid).

And Álvaro Arbeloa tweeted about it, making fun of their inability to all speak at in unison…

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the tributes round-up

It’s been two and a half months since Spain won the World Cup, and the majority of the players (and the coach) have been honored by their hometowns, or towns to which they have a connection.  So, let’s take a look at what happened and what’s to come.

First, what’s to come.  The team as a whole has been nominated to receive the gold medal of the Comunidad de Madrid, and Vicente del Bosque the Gran Cruz del 2 de Mayo.  And in Sevilla on May 23 next year, the three from Andalucía (Marchena, Sergio and Navas) will be honored during the day of the province.  David Villa and Andrés Iniesta will join Iker and Torres in Madrid’s wax museum in about half a year, when their wax figures are completed, and there is public clamor for Vicente del Bosque to be honored in the same way.

And individually, the only ones that have not been honored so far are Torres, Carles and Xavi.

Torres: Fuenlabrada (Madrid) plans on paying tribute to him, once he has recovered from his injury.  A sports center will be named after him as well.  Fernando has already received the town’s gold medal.

Xavi: Terrassa is planning on a tribute, but does not know when it will occur.  Xavi received the gold medal of the town back in February.

Puyol: La Pobla de Segur is ready to throw a big party for him, and is talking with his family to determine the date.

And now, what has happened already.

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La Roja wins the Príncipe de Asturias del Deporte award

The Spanish national football will be awarded the Príncipe de Asturias award for sports this year, following its conquest of the world!  They were the unanimous winners, beating out mountain climbers and runners and handball players.

The award will be presented in Oviedo on Oct. 22.  I’m assuming that Iker and VDB will go pick it up, but it would be nice to have David Villa and Juanín Mata there too!

And looking back at this picture of Prince Felipe with the national team reminds me of how excited I was when that event took place, because Spain was just about to start its World Cup bid and I had such high hopes for them!

fun at La Bombonera

(Is the school dance about to start?)

I hesitate to call it “training” since the boys seemed to be really enjoy themselves yesterday!  And ok, I’ve only chosen pictures of them clowning around instead of training, but the training pictures were boring!  In the ones I’ve chosen, we get to see once again how much fun the team has together, how well they get along, and of course, their smiles!  El País characterized the session as “touristic training,” and even the RFEF described them like this: “parecían un grupo de amigos en el patio del colegio” (they seemed to be a group of friends out on the patio of the high school).  And, part of the training session consisted of them chasing each other around, as well as making groups of two, three, four.

The Spanish national team trained at La Bombonera, home of Boca Juniors, yesterday afternoon.  Iker Casillas received the most applause when he appeared, although the crowd gathered at the stadium welcomed each player with cheers.  This was the first time in 32 years that the Spanish national team had stepped foot in Argentina – the last time was the 1978 World Cup.

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the call-ups for Liechtenstein & Argentina

Vicente del Bosque has called up the following players for the Euro qualifier against Liechtenstein on Sept. 3, and the friendly against Argentina on Sept. 7.  It’s basically the World Cup squad, minus the injured Raúl Albiol, plus Santi Cazorla (yay!).

Javi Martínez and Juan Mata are also not on the list, because they both will be called up by Luis Milla for the U-21 team as they continue to try and qualify for the U-21 Euro and the Olympic Games, and Vicente del Bosque took this into consideration.  (I was quite surprised when I first saw that Mata was not on the list, but then I heard the míster explain why, and so then I was like, awwww….)

Can’t wait to have the boys back together again!

Goalkeepers: Iker, Pepe, Valdés

Defenders: Puyol, Piqué, Sergio Ramos, Arbeloa, Marchena, Capdevila

Midfielders: Navas, Silva, Xavi, Iniesta, Busquets, Cesc, Xabi Alonso, Cazorla

Forwards: Villa, Llorente, Pedro, Torres

The players are due at Las Rozas at 13h on Tuesday, Aug. 31.  On Thursday, the team will fly to Liechtenstein and play a game there on Friday.  On Saturday, they’ll fly to Zurich, and catch a flight from there to Buenos Aires, where they’ll take on Argentina on Tuesday.

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