Iker Casillas

Next up is Spain captain and goalkeeper, Iker Casillas.

He was born May 20, 1981, in Móstoles, Madrid.  He started early with Real Madrid, joining their junior squad for the 90-91 season.  It wasn’t until 98-99 that he was called up to the senior squad.

During the 01-02 season, he lost his spot as starting goalie to backup César Sánchez, but managed to regain it when Sánchez was injured in the final game.

He won the La Liga title in 07-08, and won the Zamora trophy.

In 2008, he and captain Rául were awarded new contracts.  Casilla’s contract will keep him with Real until 2017, with an automatic extension if he plays 30 league games in his last season.  There is also a buy-out clause of £113 million.

He has stated that he has no intention of leaving his boyhood club.

Internationally, he debuted at the U-17 games at the 1007 FIFA U-17 World Championship, and was later made captain.  Two years later, he went on to win the FIFA World Youth Championship and the UEFA-CAF Meridian Cup.

He made his senior debut in a match against Sweden when he was 19.  He was an unused sub in Euro 2000.  For the World Cup 2002, he was on the roster as a back-up, but was moved ahead when starting goalie Santiago Cañizares had to withdraw due to injury.

He was the first choice goalie in 2006. When captain Rául was excluded from Euro 2008, Casillas was made captain.  He became the first goalie-captain to lift the world cup trophy as a winner when they won the 2008 UEFA European Championship.

Updated Hot Guys list

So I promised a new list of players, and I’ve finally come up with it.  There’s still 15, but there’s been some changes.  Four are gone, which means there are four new players on the list.

I’m not gonna do much more than name the players and their country.  The profiles will start going up soon.

So here it is, in alphabetical order:

  • Michael Bradley, USA
  • Fabio Cannavaro, Italy
  • Iker Casillas, Spain
  • Landon Donovan, USA
  • Cesc Fàbregas, Spain
  • Steven Gerrard, England
  • Thierry Henry, France
  • Kaká, Brazil
  • Frank Lampard, England
  • Mata, Spain
  • Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal
  • Dejan Stankovic, Serbia
  • Fernando Torres, Spain
  • Robin van Persie, Netherlands
  • David Villa, Spain

The first profile should be up later tonight.  I hope you enjoy them!!

~Suz

Injuries pile up for Spain

Spain coach Vicente del Bosque faces the possibility of picking a national team that does not include two of the biggest names: Fernando Torres and Cesc Fàbregas.

Both are injured and out for six weeks.

Torres, a Liverpool striker and starting striker for the Spanish national team, underwent knee surgery this past Sunday.  This is the second time he’s had surgery for a torn cartilage on his right knee.  The first time was back in January, which kept him off the field for a month.

He hopes to be up and ready in time for the World Cup.

“The World Cup is the most important thing right now. It has been four years of waiting and, if the timelines for my recovery go according to plan, I do not plan to miss it,” the 26-year-old wrote on his official website on Monday.

Fàbregas is also out with an injury.

The 22-year-old Arsenal midfielder cracked his right fibula when he collided with Barca centre Carles Puyol in a 2-2 Champions League draw against Barcelona.

Del Bosque is confident that he’ll have the best team possible.

“There’s still a month and a half to go before we get to work and I think there is time for pretty much everyone to be fine,” said the former Real Madrid coach, who added that injuries were “part and parcel of things for this stage of the season. I think almost everyone will get there in good shape.”

Also injured is Andres Iniesta, who may be returning for o finish his season with Barcelona.

Since Spain is the team I’m cheering for, I really hope that both players will be ready to go for in time for South Africa.  I guess we’ll have to wait until the team is announced on May 19th to find out.

Susana

Groups and match schedules

So as I’ve mentioned before, the groups stage is the first part of the World Cup competition. Teams are divided into eight groups of four teams each, and two teams from each group go on to the knockout stage.

Now, there is a method to how they pick the teams for each group, but I’m seriously lost on it. No matter where I read it, it just seems to not make sense.

Here’s what Wikipedia says about it: “Eight teams are seeded, including the hosts, with the other seeded teams selected using a formula based on the FIFA World Rankings and/or performances in recent World Cups, and drawn to separate groups. The other teams are assigned to different “pots”, usually based on geographical criteria, and teams in each pot are drawn at random to the eight groups. Since 1998, constraints have been applied to the draw to ensure that no group contains more than two European teams or more than one team from any other confederation.”

If that helps you, congratulations. You are officially smarter than me.

Anyways, I’m just gonna give you the list of groups. Each one links back the the FIFA profile on that country. Feel free to check them out.

Group A:  South Africa, Mexico, Uruguay, France

Group B: Argentina, Nigeria, Korea Republic (South Korea), Greece

Group C: England, USA, Algeria, Slovenia

Group D: Germany, Australia, Serbia, Ghana

Group E: Netherlands, Denmark, Japan, Cameroon

Group F: Italy, Paraguay, New Zealand, Slovakia

Group G: Brazil, Korea DPR (North Korea), Côte d’Ivoire, Portugal

Group H: Spain, Switzerland, Honduras, Chile

Th matches start June 11, and will run for a month.  A list of matches can be found here on the FIFA website.

-Suz