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 Posted by Graham Hunter
Jun 6, 2014

Inside Las Rozas

ESPN FC's Graham Hunter walks us through Spain's football facilities in Las Rozas, Madrid.

The purpose of this video was pretty simple. Most of us in the media don't lose sight of what a privilege it is to get the access we do, to follow the career we dreamed of and to be able to chronicle the sport that obsesses millions.

But it can be hard to retain an understanding that millions of people who adore this club or that club, this national side or that individual star, really crave any kind of "star dust" that's shaken off these greats.

We work in locations that, to us, become either our offices or just a familiar, functional spot. When in actual fact they are the training grounds or the press rooms or the changing rooms or the offices of some of the greatest football people of this or any other era.

When I was a young journalist it was still typical that, after a match you'd been reporting on, the home manager would invite you into his office for a beer or a whiskey and an off-the-record chat about what had just happened or what was to come in the next week.

It was good, it was usually friendly and it was damn useful. But from the first moment, it became practical rather than something you felt awed about.

So what I mean is that you try telling people who love football -- but have no contact with the media lifestyle -- that you were sitting in the office of their favourite club's manager, or that you've been in the dressing room of the World Cup final just after Spain brought the trophy in off the pitch and, naturally, they are envious. It's how I feel about the lives of my colleagues who cover rock music or cinema.

Thus it was that we wanted to use the camera to take you within the Las Rozas sports compound.

It is on these fields that endlessly repeated and refined training sessions ensure that the production line of world class talent is kept going It is here that the teams stay when they are playing a friendly or preparing for a vital qualification game - here that the world's media can meet Xavi, Alonso, Ramos, Iker, Andrés Iniesta. And the world's media do, now, come flocking.

Sometimes the facilities can seem cramped, as if Spain's World Cup holder status has left not enough room for all the competing media organizations who 'want a piece of Spain'.

We show where the interviews take place, where Vicente Del Bosque has his press conferences and we document the fact that the great and the good of Spanish international football are all enshrined on the walls there.

It's a short introduction to the 'football laboratory' where the most dominant era in the entire history of organized football has been planned and executed.

Enjoy.

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