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.
… some of these boys could have a promising career in another profession.
We are champions of Europe in the senior, U-21 and U-19 categories! In fact, in the last five years, we have won six European titles: the 2008 and 2012 Eurocopas, the 2011 and 2013 U-21 Eurocopas and the 2011 and 2012 U-19 Eurocopas. Can you say hegemony?
The cover story of this week’s edition of El Mundo Magazine speaks about how parents can help their children to become successful athletes while keeping the family intact. The message is that for every Arantxa Sánchez Vicario or Jorge Lorenzo, there is a Thiago Alcántara.
Mazinho, during his time at Valencia, feeding young Thiago in 1993.
A baby in diapers, playing in the waves, a sky full of stars and a ball all form part of the tattoo on his right arm. Thiago got this tattoo as soon as he turned 18. This drawing on his skin is an indelible tribute to an old photograph that his parents took of him on a beach in Italy when he was 14 months old. This image helps him remember where he comes from, as well as the warm and prudent environment that his family has achieved for him on his way to the elite. “The first thing we taught him was that everyone is equal: from the president of the club to the woman who cleans the restrooms of the stadium. And that if he wants something, he’ll have it with effort. He has suffered a lot. He left home at 14 to achieve his dream, and although he’s made it, he has a long road left to walk. We help him, but he has to carve out his own future,” explains Valeria Alcántara, mother of Thiago.
They’ve coincided in Real Madrid’s cantera, Valencia and now the Spanish national team! That’s the magic of La Roja, reuniting former teammates, or bringing our favorite bromances together! In this case, it was PF Juan Mata and Roberto Soldado.
Their reunion was one of many things that happened on Monday.
Roberto Soldado and Iker Muniain may be the “novedades” of this latest call-up, but they won’t be alone, as each has a very good friend on the current team.
In Soldado’s case, it’s Álvaro Arbeloa. They’ve been good friends since meeting in the cantera of Real Madrid back in 2001 (the likes of Rubén de la Red, Javi García, Javi Balboa or Borja Valero are also part of that pandilla). Álvaro says, “when I arrived in Madrid to play in the Real Madrid youth system, we met each other in the SEK complex. I also remember that we were promoted to Castilla in the same year. We’ve caused a lot of trouble together, but that was back then (laughs). We have a great relationship, it’s been many years together, and although later on we followed different roads, we stayed in touch. We’re very good friends, and our wives are even better friends. Mine is the godmother of his second son, Enzo. We have a great friendship. He attended my wedding, but I couldn’t go to his because he got married on the same day as the Eurocopa final, but we’re very good friends.”
La Roja hasn’t been much in the news recently, but things should start picking up next week (Feb. 24), when Vicente del Bosque announces the list of players called up for the friendly against Venezuela on Feb. 29 at La Rosaleda in Málaga, as our coach will use this game to test out players for the upcoming Eurocopa. One of these players will be Thiago, who was recently interviewed by DT. Here’s what they said about him, and what he had to say.
He’s 20 years old and he’s spent most of those years playing football. Before, he would imitate his father, a Brazilian who triumphed in the Liga in the 1990s. Now, he’s part of the elite and surpassing himself each day to earn a place for himself in the best club and best national team in the world.
Things are indeed beginning all over again, as La Roja started a new concentración on Thursday morning, their last of the year. And it was a complete day for them, as they had various acts to attend in the morning, followed by commitments with their sponsors, a training session, and finally, the trip to London. Meanwhile, the U-21 team was playing and dominating in Melilla.