Pedro, previously Pedrito, and I guess for some time to come now Pedrito, has broken ranks. To the detriment of the jovial atmosphere of the national team he came out and said something to the effect that he is not in France to be a squad member. For that, Spain have Iker Casillas. But Pedrito, formerly Pedro, views the role as a stigma. He has only played 10 minutes of the tournament so far. Many of his fellow inmates have featured for less, among them Casillas, whose leadership by example I insist upon. But to Pedro, that is a bum deal. Being as he is, Del Bosque hasn’t sent him home, but I would have been happy if he had.
Gerard Piqué, who is morphing into an Álvaro Arbeloa, with a greater footballing range but the same ability to make a show of himself, has leapt to his teammate’s defence, pressing the blame for this mini-crisis onto the media. Florentino would approve. Has he come up with a solution? Should only 11 players, those that are going to start, go? With four or five more perhaps, for subs? Or is Pedro, Pedrito, Pedrete, so good that seeing what Nolito is doing from afar offends his sensibilities? I don’t know if many people are in agreement on this. Is Piqué? He’s a starter. Behind him are 12 players who are there to “make up the numbers.” He lacks the courage to stop Pedro in his tracks and the discretion to remain silent.
Anyway, if Pedro doesn’t want to make up the numbers, it’s better that he leave because it’s long been known that anybody who doesn’t want to be part of a squad, quickly drives a wedge in one. For now, Pedro has released a noxious aroma in an atmosphere that until now had appeared crisp, blown along on the pure Atlantic breeze that buffets Isla de Ré, scented by the side’s two previous victories. Now Spain need to win, or at least earn a draw, against Croatia. With Andrés Iniesta aglow, everything seemed to be ticking along nicely under a steady hand. But Pedrito has taken a dump on proceedings and Piqué added the cherry on top. It’s a shame.