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Forza Futbol

A Better Lens at Spanish Football

Soldado - in the heat of the moment



Many of us have wondered why Roberto Soldado, the most in-form Spanish striker has been overlooked by Vicente del Bosque for the National Team.

Couldn’t possibly be his performance, because his numbers in the last seasons or so have been very good for a forward that doesn’t play for the big two: 29 goals in 60 matches for Getafe (seasons 08-09, 09-10) and so far 26 goals in 44 matches for Valencia.

He has scored 8 goals this season, including one against Barcelona and a brace against Real Madrid.

Probably, any player who has those numbers would be a fixture in his NT but not in Soldado’s case for Spain.

Talking in Twitter with a friend of mine (@chrislagu) I told him that I found unfair that Soldado was overlooked by Torres (hasn’t been in good form for the last couple of seasons, also has the second worst goalscoring % of forwards in la Roja’s story) or even Manu del Moral (granted he has only been called once but still he doesn’t have the same numbers).

Chris told me it was mainly a problem of behavior.

Vicente del Bosque is a rarity these days: a true gentleman in the world of football and he values group cohesion and good behavior of his players more than actual form (that’s why people like Torres and Navas have found their way into the team even if they aren”t at their best).

Soldado has always been a wild child, very temperamental and allows that temper to get the worst out of him,  he’s the kind of player you wonder doesn’t get sent off more often because he’s usually trying to pick up fights with the rival players or even with his own fans.

You think I’m exaggerating?

I know the fan was the one who started but Soldado shouldn’t have gone at him like that, that’s not good behavior from a professional.


Aitor tried to apologize to him but Soldado answered in a bad way, it wasn’t as if the defender tried to pull a DeJong on him! it was a pretty standard defending foul, maybe the hit in the face was what enraged him more but he has to learn to live with these things, doesn’t have to go fuming all the time and think that no one can touch him.

Against Real Madrid, he was trying to pick up fights (along with Albelda, another headcase) with about 4 or 5 different merengue players.

I believe VDB has seen the same behavior from him and that’s why he doesn’t call him for the National Team, he wants someone who can keep their cool most of the time (Ramos, Arbeloa, Busquets, Iniesta lose it at times but you know they blow off steam pretty quickly and don’t actually pick fights in every match they are at), a “9″ has to live with being fouled and learn to let the referee call the shots, people like Torres or Llorente get fouled and grabbed out of their minds in every match but you never actually see them picking fights or fouling people back, much less shouting at doubting fans.

I think it has never been about form, it’s about how Soldado carries himself, his way of dealing with pressure and how he competes.

I know that this can be a controversial issue, but I’m merely stating what my friend and I discussed about this topic, if anyone has different theories about why isn’t Soldado called, you are welcome to share them.

Arkulari On November - 20 - 2011
  • Jafar

    Firstly Let me say this RM started to provoke him and Albelda and others, not saying they are bad but that’s just Mourinho’s game to disrupt them and getting them distracted.
    Secondly Aduriz a player like him who I think never lost his temper, lost it badly this season against Sevilla.
    Thirdly yes Soldado has a bad temper but like you said many others have it as well and also he improved a lot in comparison to what he used to be, he still falls backs sometimes like today but overall he improved a lot. And it’s also a certain passion he has, it’s kind of asking someone with a wandering eye to not do that. He improved a lot IMO and should be praised for that, I mean it’s not easy to change something like that but he is trying and it’s improving(I have said that many times now so it should be clear by now).

    Also it looks like when he gets temperamental he scores, so I can’t see why it’s a bad thing.
    In some ways I agree but I still think he should have made at least one appearance and it’s not like he is fighting with his own teammates.
    This debate has been ongoing for way too long and it seems unjustified as well. I think we heard every single possibility by now except what the really season is.
    Just to comfit it I already discussed his temper as a probability for not getting called up. I think he(if he doesn’t already it) and we should know the reason. I mean it’s not like the old Torres was that great, the current Soldado is almost as good but plays a different game of course and tbh Torres’s game doesn’t really suit tiki-taka so I don’t really get why is is still getting called up even without his form(not hating on him at all) well to be fair Spain need some variety as well but his game just totally doesn’t fit it, unless it changes slightly to make it more suitable for him.

    Also his game is kind of similar to Negredo maybe I’m biased as a Valencia fan but I would prefer Soldado over Negredo not that he a bad player, I actually think highly of Nergedo but I just think his overall game is better but they are pretty equal. That could be a reason or a mixed of his behaviour and the similarity in his and Negredo’s game. But it still doesn’t justify for me.
    Despite this and many other possible reasons I still think he should get a call-up.

    • Jafar

      And common how can you not love this face.

    • natalia

      I believe that VdB is very set on his ways of what he expects his players to behave, specially if the “9″ guys are as pacific as Torres or Llorente (hell, if I was grabbed, gotten my shirt ripped off every single match I’d lose it sooner than later), so it is as if he has a high standard of behavior for that and Soldado doesn’t match it.

      He’s improved leaps and bounds yes, at Getafe he was absolutely crazy but still has a long way to go.

      And I agree with you in the friendly call up, he deserves it if only because of his form.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

      BTW: wasn’t Albelda the one making waves with Lass and Marcelo at one point? I remember him riling up Xabi very badly as well ;)

      • Jafar

        Yes he did but tbh what some Madrid players did was worse in my book.
        The game got very tense and these things happen, but he still got provoked first.

      • Anonymous

        I too am perplexed by his non inclusion, but it has got to be something in his personality as you stated. VDB should know him well as he was with RM and the cantera for a bit. That said, I hope he earns a call up and shows all the haters his quality.

    • Guest

      “Firstly Let me say this RM started to provoke him and Albelda and others, not saying they are bad but that’s just Mourinho’s game to disrupt them and getting them distracted.”

      That’s ridiculous. Marcelo fouled him, like any other player gets fouled, he lost his cool and was all over Marcelo. Ramos tried to calm him down and he started pushing Ramos. Then the incident with Alonso. The ball went out, Alonso was trying to give the ball back to Casillas but Soldado decided he wants to pull Alonso’s shirt. He wouldn’t let go. Alonso is a classy player and didn’t want to push him away, but when Pepe came in to break it, he pushed Pepe too (fortunately, Pepe didn’t push back or anything). So you can’t say RM tried to provoke him (don’t even get me started on Albelda and his disgraceful diving), and trust me, that isn’t Mourinho’s game plan, it was Valencia’s.

  • Justine

    you make a very good point. never thought of it that way…

    • natalia

      I’m grasping at straws here, trying to find out why someone who’s doing so well hasn’t even been called for friendlies ;)

      • Justine

        but it makes all the sense in the world once you sit back and look at the whole picture.

  • kweyork

    Dont think his temper is an issue if that were the case Ramos wouldn’t be in the national setup

    • natalia

      Ramos is nowhere as temperamental as Soldado is and he’s actually grown a lot.

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