¡A Venezuela se ha dicho!

For starters. After a four and half hour flight from Boston*, our boys and the rest of the Spanish delegation arrived in the (steamy) city of Barcelona in Venezuela.  They then hopped on a bus to Puerto La Cruz, where the friendly against ‘La Vinotint0’ (the Venezuelan national team) was played…

Upon their arrival to the hotel, our boys were greeted by hundreds of fans (some of whom had been waiting for hours!)**

Para empezar. La selección española y el resto de la delegación llegaron a la (calorísima) ciudad de Barcelona en Venezuela después de un largo viaje de 4 horas y media* desde Boston.  Al llegar se montaron en un autobús a la ciudad de Puerto La Cruz, en donde se disputó el amistoso contra La Vinotinto…

A su llegada al hotel de concentración, nuestros muchachos fueron recibidos por cientos de aficionados (algunos de los cuales habían estado esperando durante varias horas!)**…

Best buds (and the inseparable) Álvaro Arbeloa and Raúl Albiol… Fernando Llorente and ‘el pony’ David Silva…

Los inseparables Álvaro Arbeloa y Raúl Albiol… Fernando Llorente y ‘el pony’ David Silva…

El Míster Vicente del Bosque, Álvaro Negredo and Borja Valero… Fernando Hierro and Sergio Ramos (holding tightly to his Louis Vuitton luggage)…

El Míster Vicente del Bosque, Álvaro Negredo y Borja Valero… Fernando Hierro y Sergio Ramos (viajando con su maleta de Louis Vuitton)…

Gerard Piqué (who, along with David Villa, caused the most screams from the awaiting fans) and Xabi Alonso (look at that smile!)…

Gerard Piqué (que, junto con David Villa, provocó la mayoría de los gritos de los aficionados) y Xabi Alonso (¡mira esa sonrisota!)…

Second. It was Fernando Llorente’s and Joan Capdevila’s turn to speak to the  press*** yesterday afternoon at the Gran Hotel de Puerto La Cruz…

Segundo. Fernando Llorente y Joan Capdevila comparecieron en rueda de prensa ante los medios en el Gran Hotel de Puerto La Cruz…

Third. The team carried out the final training session at the Estadio José Antonio Anzoátegui in Puerto La Cruz…

Tercero. La selección llevó a cabo el último entrenamiento en el Estadio José Antonio Anzoátegue en Puerto La Cruz…

They did their usual stretching…

Se estiraron…

A special thank you to the RFEF for this pic!

They also did some sprints…

Corrieron…

They then did some rondos…

Hicieron unos rondos…

A special thanks to the RFEF for this pic!

And then they adorably trained with a few children (as part of a collaboration with several foundations dedicated to helping low-income children)…

Y antes de retirarse a los vestuarios, compartieron unos minutos en el terreno de juego con niños (parte de una iniciativa con varias fundaciones dedicadas a la ayuda de niños de bajos recursos)…

Ok, let’s talk ah-dorable: 1) How adorable is Villa with that kid? 2) How cute is it that the kids are almost the same size as Iniesta? and 3) How much fun would it be to hang out with Pepe?

Tomemos un momento para lo adorable: 1) ¿Qué adorable es Villa con ese niñito? 2)Los niños son casi del mismo tamaño que Iniesta! y 3) ¿Qué divertido sería entrenar con Pepe?


Fourth. Have I mentioned how much I am loving Iker’s Facebook updates? He uploaded the following picture with Pepe Reina and said: “Hi everyone! It’s been awhile since I last uploaded anything, so here goes: here’s a picture with Pepe Reina on the pitch we’ll be playing on tomorrow. The stadium will be packed for the game. Hopefully people enjoy it. Thank you to Venezuela for such a warm welcome and continuing to show us your affection!”

Cuarto. ¿He mencionado lo mucho que me gusta que Iker esta enganchado con Facebook? Iker colgó esta foto que se tomo con Pepe Reina:

During a break from training, he posed for a picture (which was taken by Dr. Cota!)…

Durante un momento de descanso, Iker posó para una foto (tomada por el ‘fotógrafo’ Doctor Cota!)…

~~~

*According to Piqué, the plane they used to fly to Venezuela was the same plane that the Miami Heat fly to Dallas:

Según Piqué:

** Iker was very touched by the welcome: “Hi Venezuelaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!!! I’m here with La Roja. It’s a huge temperature change from Boston, but I’m happy all the same. I send you a big hug and thank you for the great welcome!”

Iker estuvo muy conmovido por la bienvenida:

***Here are a few highlights from the press conference:

How do you see your last game before your holiday and what do you know about Venezuela?

Fernando Llorente: We will enjoy playing this game and try to do our best. There are very interesting players from Venezuela that are playing in the European leagues.  I think it will be a tough game, because Venezuela is strong and will have home field advantage.

What did you think of the welcome you received when you arrived in Venezuela and what did you think of the game against the U.S. in Boston?

Joan Capdevila: It was a great welcome; we have truly felt the affection and energy from our fans (even outside of Spain) and we will hopefully be able to repay them with a great game tomorrow. As for the game against the U.S., I think it was one of the best games the team has played in  recent times. Tomorrow, we will try to stay along the same lines and go on vacation with a great result.

Will you go full speed against Venezuela?

FL: We always do. We went full speed against the U.S., the ball movement was exquisite, but what makes the difference is scoring goals, and in that game, we were very successful.

What has changed after the World Cup?
JC: In regards to the sporting side, we work and train just as hard.  Winning the World Cup has made people very happy; so other teams are more motivated and that motivation has made every game more difficult.



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