Informe Robinson: Campeones del Mundo IV

Álvaro Arbeloa: Fifty days is a lot of time to spend together, but we had a great time.

Raúl Martínez: Andrés was always teasing me about my music choices. “What great music!” (Iniesta laughs) “This one’s good!” (Iniesta giggles) “Hey, play this one again”

Xavi Hernández: Yes, there were lots of jokes and pranks, and Piqué is always involved.

Sergio Ramos: We played bingo, and with Jesús… let’s just say we had some tricks.

Joan Capdevila: Why don’t you ask Albiol and Arbeloa if they [Sergio and Jesús] cheated or not! (laughs)

AA: (laughing) They told you that?

Raúl Albiol: (smiling) I can’t stand that…

Jesús Navas: Uh, why don’t you ask Sergio…

RA: They always won! If we played eight games, they would win eight times and I thought madre mía, it’s impossible for them to win 100% of the time!

JN: Well, I don’t know… I guess I’m lucky (laughs)

RA: And, of course, in the end, it turned out they were changing the numbers!

JN: … we did a bit of everything.

RA: They’d have a four, and a 14 would be called, so they’d add a one…

SR: (laughing)… yes, that’s true.

Carlos Marchena: I think that those of us who had been part of the national team the longest are responsible reminding the newcomers to give this opportunity the value it deserves. Things haven’t always been as good as they are now. But, on the other hand, we can also help take some of the pressure off of them, so that they can feel free to just be themselves.

Miguel Gutiérrez: These boys are normal… It’s just that the media makes them out to be different from who they really are, but that’s not the case. They are all great guys… Some of them are even shy and, in a way try to hide from the media frenzy that surrounds them. They’re young, they just want to go out and live their lives, but instead they have to remain cooped up, like older people.

Narrator: For the fifth time in history, Spain reaches the quarterfinals of the a World Cup.

Michael Robinson: You kept your faith in Torres as a starter against Paraguay, even though many people didn’t really think he was good enough…

Vicente del Bosque: Yes, because he’s one of those rare players who may go a long time without touching the ball, but who can produce flashes of brilliance at any moment, and we stuck with him for as long as we thought we could.

XH: Paraguay had a great defensive strategy. This didn’t work, that didn’t work…we just felt like we couldn’t break through. The penalty kick was the turning point.

Gerard Piqué: A defender’s job is to keep an eye on the ball and on the player.  But I found myself one-on-one (with Cardozo) and there was a moment where he feinted and got away from me and I saw the ball coming toward us, and he was about to get on the end of it, and… I made a split-second decision, which in hindsight, clearly wasn’t the right one.

XH: If he scores, we’re practically out.

Iker Casillas: Pepe has a sickness in analyzing how an opponent takes a penalty.

Pepe Reina: I had a very good feeling for Cardozo, because I’d seen him take many penalties in high-stake situations, and I sensed that he was going to go to the side he usually favors, which is the goalkeeper’s left.  He scored two penalties against me. The thing is that Cardozo didn’t see that we were about to serve him a nice, cold dish of revenge.

IC: Between Pepe’s advice and my own intuition, I already knew he was going to shoot to my left.

XH: Iker just has it, no? He has that star factor or his ability to keep cool, but we always know that, hey, we’ve still got Iker.

GP: The Virgin Mary appeared.

XH: It was good for Iker, after all the criticism he’d received.

IC: After that, it was like night and day. Things started changing quickly.

[David Villa is fouled in the box and Spain is awarded a penalty]

Xabi Alonso: The first time I took the penalty, I had a very clear sense of where to kick it…  But the second time, you start questioning yourself… Should I repeat what I just did, or kick it more toward the middle or…? Well…

[The referee makes Xabi retake the penalty and this time, the goalkeeper is able to block it. Spain appeals for another penalty as Cesc Fábregas is fouled by the goalkeeper, but they are instead awarded a corner kick]

IC: How is it possible that the linesman – who was three meters away – didn’t call for another penalty? Honestly, it was shameless.

Andrés Iniesta: It was a very quick play.

Cesc Fábregas: Xavi got the first touch and passed it to Andrés…

AI:  I was able to break through between two defenders…

CF: I saw that Pedro was all alone and I said, goal!

David Villa: I was already celebrating the goal, when I saw that the ball hit the post and it fell at my feet.

CF: I was behind el Guaje, and I said, goal! The ball hits one post, then it hits the other post, and then it went it! It was scandalous! (smiling)

XA: For me, it was a huge sense of relief, because if we had let them go through after missing a penalty kick… well… I would have carried that burden for the rest of my career.

PR: I’ve known Iker a long time, and I think that the month and a half that we were in the World Cup training camp was possibly the most serene and most introverted I’d ever seen him. His mental strength is really admirable. And with everything that came his way, with his girlfriend, with Sara and all of that – you have to be so strong and well balanced to be able to handle it the way he did.

Fernando Torres: The day of the match against Paraguay, I already knew, or at least suspected, that I wasn’t going to be playing, based on the things that I had seeing in the training sessions and everything that was being talked about, but for me, it was never a problem.

Juan Cota: We needed him to be playing at his best level, and it was obvious that he wasn’t quite there yet at that point in time.

FT: The knee kept getting worse, and we were spending more time on it that ever just trying to make it better… but I could see in all the training sessions that it just wasn’t working out.

DV: At the World Cup there are a thousand cameras and spotlights on you, and when you’re not prepared, it’s very difficult to compete. He made a great effort… The vast majority of the goals that I’ve scored for Spain have been thanks to, among other things, his efforts.

FT: I knew that the most important thing was the team. I knew that I could be dropped at any moment, but that was never going to be a problem. I’d already made it there.



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