Today’s advent treat!
In part two of the chapter on the porra (part one can be found here), we get to see some of the results! Were they what you expected?
In Austria [2008 Eurocopa], Iker and Pepe both played individually, and teamed up as a duo, although their predictions as a duo were a complete failure. Sergio García won the first prize that summer, attributing his win to his head, and a bit of luck. He had predicted that Spain would win all their games and that Villa would be the pichichi. All in all, that summer was quite the success for Sergio García, because he won the porra (pocketing €1,050), he won money playing pocha and Spain won the Eurocopa. Rubén de la Red was second (winning €630) and Pedro Cortés came in third (taking home €420).
In South Africa for the Confederations Cup, Vicente del Bosque & Paco Jiménez jointly shared the first prize of €1,150, while Antonio Limones was second, winning €690 and Xavi came in third for €460.
For the World Cup porra, the winners were Piqué and Mata (tied for first) and Capdevila (third).
And now, some anecdotes about the porra:
We’re already on Chapter 6 – “The cyber café of room 422”! I’m fully expecting another book to be released about our boys and their 2010 adventures in South Africa, so let’s see how fast we can finish this one!
This chapter is another favorite, because we really get to see how close the guys are.
– Room 422 refers to the room of Joan Capdevila. It was their first day at the hotel in Neustift, Austria: “when I entered the room for the first time, I thought they had given me the wrong one. I thought it was Iker’s room, and since my last name begins with the same letter as his, they got confused.” (The captains usually get the biggest rooms during the camps.) So he went back down to reception, and it was confirmed that 422 was indeed his room.
– After that, he went to find Santi Cazorla to see if all the rooms were like his. He saw that Santi’s room was much smaller. And Santi stared open-mouthed at Joan’s room and declared, “we’re going to play pochita here at night!”
– The room was the size of an apartment: it had an enormous salon, three bedrooms and two bathrooms. There were a total of six beds.
– Joan’s room became known as “el Cíber” and became the place to be for the components of the team. A visit was practically mandatory after every game, where the guys would analyze and re-analyze the games. They also talked about life, cars, girls…
– It started with the guys playing pocha, and then others joined in to take advantage of the wi-fi connection: Silva, Navarro, Sergio, Juanito. They would use the connection to surf the Internet, chat, talk with friends and families. Silva said he was one of the regulars.
– Sergio: “we could be there just hanging out until two or three in the morning. Without realizing it, at least 10 of the players would get together. I brought my laptop with music to add to the ambiance.”
The second part of the chapter “Mofeta, Pelopo y Virus.” Here, we find out what the “Mesa de Triana” is, who loves Actimel and who left their suitcase in a taxi cab! But the best part is probably hearing the guys talk about each other in such glowing terms. You really get the sense that this is a team.
– Xavi, Puyol, Iniesta, Cesc, Fernando Navarro and Sergio García made up one of the tables in the hotel in Austria. Because Cesc loved strawberry Actimel (a yogurt-type drink) so much, the other guys would conspire to make sure that he couldn’t get one. But in the end, they felt bad and would give him one, according to Puyol. Puyol also founded the group “Sushi-Team” during the Eurocopa for those who loved Japanese food. At times, Xavi, Cesc, Iniesta and Xabi would join. Xabi: “I like Japanese food, but Puyol is obsessed with it. Once in a while, I’ll tell him, let’s have pork chops but there was no way of changing his mind… it was agony.”
And we continue with Los secretos de la roja! We’ve already done the first chapter, and the second chapter deals with how Spain got to the Eurocopa competition, so I’m not going to cover it here. The third chapter is one of the best in the book, since it talks about the nicknames the guys have given to each other. The chapter is entitled “Mofeta, Pelopo y Virus.”
The nicknames seem to have come about in three ways: from the actions of the person being nicknamed, from the physical appearance of the person being nicknamed, and from general immaturity on the part of the nicknamer.
Keep reading to see what cartoon character Dani Güiza was named after, what animal Iker apparently resembles, and what body part inspired Xavi and Albiol’s names. And did you know that Xabi is nicknamed after a TV character and Fernando Llorente after a playing card?
Everyone has one!
The continuation of Chapter 1: Wallas Se Va A Querer Suicidar.
The rest of the chapter deals with Spain celebrating their Euro 2008 triumph in Madrid, first at Colón with the españolitos, and then the day after with the government.
On the plane
– as the plane entered Spanish territory, the players began to chant some of the phrases and sayings that Aragonés had told them thousands of times. Reina remembers that moment as the purest one showing the connection between player and coach. He said that remembering it almost makes him cry, because it was the best moment of the Eurocopa for him. Aragonés was very touched, and surprised that they had actually been paying attention all that time. Reina remembers him laughing at the players, and saying “what sons of a bitch. You remember everything…”