Iker Casillas and Xavi Hernandez, probably the biggest icons of the Spanish national team, jointly received the “Principe de Asturias” prize as the most distinguished sportsmen of 2012 on Friday morning in Oviedo.
The jury obviously chose the couple because of their key role in the national team’s success since 2008, but bearing in mind the current political situation in Spain, the symbolic and not very subtle message of the prize being granted to a proud Madridista and an emblematic Catalan can’t be ignored.
I can even imagine the jury’s president considering the possibility of introducing the award winners by quoting Rocky and his ‘If I can change and you can change, everybody can change’ speech – which probably ended the Cold War and led to the demolition of the Berlin Wall. It’s a pity that politicians have no sense of humour.
On the other hand Barcelona Coach Tito Vilanova salutes the decision as he stated the given award as respect for the work the two have done for Spain and for the peace they bought in Spanish team. “Awards? They deserve it,” he stated.
“They’ve brought some peace to the Clasicos, which was needed. They’re examples. ” Iker Casillas and Xavi Hernandez were in the spotlight since Spain won 2010 South Africa World Cup and later the Euro Cup this year .
They are said to be the backbone of the Spanish team unity which was mainly affected by the arch-rivalry of Barcelona and Real Madrid .