Spain has returned to Soccer City (now FNB Stadium) for the first time since winning the World Cup there on July 11, 2010. La Roja will play South Africa in a friendly tonight at 20h. Of the 23 players who were crowned champions with Spain on that unforgettable night, 15 have traveled with the team for this trip, and according to prognostics, VDB will try and play as many of them tonight as possible. There are six more (Puyol, Piqué, Xavi, Cesc, Torres, Silva) who could make the final list for Brazil. Only two (Capdevila, Marchena) no longer figure in VDB’s plans.
Just being back in South Africa brought back many memories for our team.
Spain takes on Finland tonight (20:30h) in its sixth (out of eight) qualifier for the 2014 World Cup. At present, Spain leads Group I with 11 points, followed closely by France with 10 points (France will play Georgia tonight).
Our opponent tonight in the semifinal of the Confecup (21h) is Italy, who is only in the tournament because we won the World Cup, and then beat them in the final of the Euro last year. Let’s do it again! At stake is a place in the final, where Brazil is waiting after having avoided a repeat of the “Maracanazo.”
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.
Well, I think Tahiti has become my favorite rival out of all those whom Spain has played. The reason is not because Spain managed to score 10 goals, but rather for what happened before the game and after the game. Plus, the Tahitians got many of our boys to remove their shirts, so how could we not love them?
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.
It was so fun seeing many of the players of La Roja like little kids when they attended what was for most of them their first ever NBA game! They talked about how excited they were, they posed for pictures with everything from trophies and rings to players, the stadium and each other, and they watched with rapt attention as the Spurs beat Miami 92-88 to go up 1-0 in the series. I think they had a good time, even the Heat fans!