Spain: The Inside Story of la Roja's Historic Treble
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This is the story of the greatest achievement in the history of international football. After decades of failure, Spain won the European Championship in 2008 and then the World Cup in 2010.
At Euro 2012 they became the first team to win three consecutive tournament titles. Graham Hunter was inside the dressing room as the players celebrated after the finals of the World Cup and Euro 2012. His access-all-areas pass at all three tournaments has resulted in remarkable eyewitness accounts and new interviews with star players and the men behind the scenes. Across every day of La Roja’s treble, the author takes you on to the training ground; on the team bus; into the canteen; inside the hotels and on to the pitch. You’ll hear the team talks that inspired Spain to victory plus the inside stories from Fernando Torres, Xavi, Iker Casillas, David Villa, Cesc Fàbregas, Andrés Iniesta, Gerard Piqué, and the others behind an unprecedented era.
Graham Hunter is a journalist of international reputation and covers Spanish football for Sky Sports, the BBC and newspapers and magazines across the world. He writes and interviews for UEFA.COM and has been a TV producer for FIFA.
are put under moderate but repeated pressure then, sooner or later, you may get a break on a 50/50 decision. The Clásico issue is dropped like a stone as soon as an issue which might affect La Roja is raised by an outsider. These 23 are now not Madrid, Barcelona, Athletic, Chelsea or Sevilla. They are Spain. At night they train behind closed doors. Before they begin, they stand, lined up across the centre circle. Most of them played against teams coached by Preciado, one or two played for him.
for most of the season. This time he insisted that I was suffering the jinx of the number and although I stopped and thought about it, I made a point of not giving in to some sort of made-up hoodoo. So when I scored against Buffon in Vienna there’s this lovely shot of one of the best keepers ever diving the wrong way, my penalty hitting the net and you can see the number 19 clear as day on the back of my Spain shirt. At the end of the tournament I went back to the same guy at Villarreal and said:
all day.” Aragonés really only has one concern – that the 4–1 victory over Russia in the group stage may have fostered complacency. The red Spanish caravan pulls out of its tiny Tyrolean hideaway – destination Vienna once more. A thousand kids with their parents turn up and Aragonés gives the local cops permission to let all of them stream forward in search of autographs. One of the cops’ Alsatian dogs gets over-excited and bites our cameraman, Jürgen. Bad dog. And we are told an interesting
president who not only was an international quality footballer – and a former team-mate of Aragonés – but who has been in post since 1988 give enviable advantages. Ángel María Villar is a football man through and through – not a former TV executive, chartered accountant or sharp-suited future conglomerate director. He has allowed countless youth and senior coaches liberty to work innovatively (and to be shielded from gargantuan pressure in the case of Aragonés) if he believes progress is being
five minutes in the Russian capital during a 0–0 draw and then the first half of what became a 2–0 home win. The nervous Bernabéu crowd were not generous with their former hero. He departed at half-time. In El País the match reporter, Julian García Cancau, wrote: “The Bernabéu fans are going to push Del Bosque out long before his time. They have converted him into the scapegoat every single time the team around him is not functioning well.” Vicente del Bosque : “Fans need to realise that