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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all set for Nigeria!
Spain takes on Nigeria today (21h) in Fortaleza in its third and final game of the first round of the Confecup. The players who started the first game against Uruguay will most likely return (or stay on in the case of Sergio Ramos), while Víctor Valdés will take over the goal. To finish atop Group B (and face Italy), Spain needs at least a tie.
all set for Tahiti!
I won’t get around to La Rojita’s campeones post until later this week, so in the meantime, here’s one on La Roja, who takes on Tahiti today (21h) at the legendary Maracanã in Rio in their second game of the Confederations Cup.
Sergio Ramos at El Partido de las 12
Sergio Ramos was the special guest at COPE’s “El Partido de las 12” program on Tuesday night. He spoke with them for one hour on a variety of topics.
on reaching 100 games: perhaps the first thing that comes to mind is how fast it all went, so you don’t have time to stop and think about it. I’m tremendously proud of it, because previously, Carles Puyol, a great footballer, reached it at the age of 34, if I’m not mistaken, and I’m lucky to be able to reach it 26, during a very good stage in my life. If God wants and I take care of myself, the number will go up. I have to thank Luis Aragonés for taking a chance with me, considering that I had a very great competitor, Míchel Salgado, in front of me. I didn’t have a lot of experience in the World Cup, in the Champions League, since it was my first year in Real Madrid, and using a 19-year-old kid in World Cup qualifiers is not something all coaches would do.
ICYMI – Spain vs. Uruguay
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.
Here’s a little post in honor of Carles Puyol and his 100 caps!
all set for Uruguay!
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).
the list for Uruguay
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?]