I don’t have time for a proper post (sorry), so here’s a very brief one on tonight’s game against Ecuador (22h). This is only the second time that Spain has faced Ecuador – the first time was a friendly back in 2003 in Madrid. Spain won that game 4-0 behind one goal from Javier de Pedro and a hat trick from Fernando Morientes (“Morientres”). Iker is the only player called up for tonight’s game that also played a decade ago.
The concentración for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Finland and France began on Tuesday morning. Surprisingly, as the players began arriving, there were no major fashion failures (emphasis on the word “major” since some of the players, in the simple act of choosing their own clothes, commit fashion crimes).
Spain took on Uruguay in a friendly in Doha, Qatar on Feb. 6, winning 3-1 behind two goals from Pedro and one from Cesc. This game was also Carles Puyol’s 100th, making him the seventh Spaniard to reach that magic number. As for Vicente del Bosque, he tied Ladislao Kubala as the coach with the most number of games under his belt, 68, since taking charge four and a half years ago.
Spain takes on Uruguay tonight in Doha, Qatar (19h)! This game will most likely be Carles Puyol’s 100th, which will come 12 years after his debut on Nov. 15, 2000, and which will make him the seventh Spaniard to reach that number (after Iker, Zubi, Xavi, Xabi, Raúl and Fernando Torres).
Spain takes on Uruguay in a friendly on Feb. 6 in Doha, Qatar. Today, Vicente del Bosque revealed the list of players called up for the game.
Goalkeepers: Víctor Valdés, Pepe Reina.
Defenders: Sergio Ramos, Gerard Piqué, Carles Puyol, César Azpilicueta, Jordi Alba, Álvaro Arbeloa, Nacho Monreal.
Midfielders: Andrés Iniesta, Cesc Fàbregas, Sergio Busquets, Santi Cazorla,
Xavi, Isco, Xabi Alonso, Mario Suárez.*
Forwards: David Villa, David Silva, Álvaro Negredo, Pedro Rodríguez, Juan Mata.
Isco and Azpi (Dave) are the relatively new faces; I love it when U-21 players “graduate” to the first team! Carles Puyol also returns after a long absence; the last time he played with the team was one year ago, for the friendly on Feb. 29 against Venezuela. This could be his 100th game! VDB said, “we’re pleased with his return. He has always been an example for everyone both on and off the field, and the other day he showed that once again with a gesture that has been appreciated in Madrid, which makes me very happy. He isn’t only appreciated by his club, but also by Madrid, which is good.”
With respect to the last call-up, this time around, Raúl Albiol, Beñat Etxebarria, Martín Montoya, Markel Susaeta, Javi Martínez, Jesús Navas and Roberto Soldado did not make it. And of course, neither did the injured Iker Casillas.
* Xabi finished the Liga game with pain in his pubis, so Mario Suárez has been called up to replace him; this is Mario’s first ever call-up. Then, Xavi finished his game with pain in his right leg and was subsequently removed from the list. [After Xabi’s injury was announced, he became a trending topic on twitter with very much hatred directed towards him (mostly from Barcelona supporters/press), questioning his commitment to Spain, saying that he had deliberately done this so he wouldn’t have to play, etc. Then when Xavi found himself in the same situation, his was reported as an injury. Come on people, can’t we be better than this?]
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.
May 24, 2012.
Several media outlets have reported that the boys won’t be allowed to use social networks during the Eurocopa, and the lack of tweets and posts and photos from them in recent days had me wondering if this was true and/or if it also applied to this “pre” Eurocopa period. Luckily, yesterday, Álvaro Arbeloa came through for us when he posted this photo of “Il Capitano.” I’d like to think that Xabi tied the shirt around Iker’s neck.
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…