day 23 – the dress rehearsal
June 15, 2010.
It’s almost the big day! Spain trained for the first time in Durban yesterday, at the Moses Mabhida stadium where they’ll make their long-awaited debut against Switzerland today. I feel like it’s been forever since the World Cup started, and I am anxious to see how Spain plays! Let’s hope they will bring much more entertaining football than what we’ve seen thus far.
It was a gray and windy day in Durban, and temperatures did not exceed 12 degrees. Maybe our flying goalkeepers were buoyed by the wind?
The weather forecast for the game is cloudy skies, with a chance of rain, and temperatures around 19 degrees. Let’s hope it gets warmer, because the players complained about the lack of heating in the hotel (and the lack of Internet access as well). And when they return to Potch, temperatures will be below 0.
It’s still unknown whether Andrés Iniesta will be fit to play tonight, and Vicente del Bosque didn’t give us any clues. He limited himself to saying that they’re thinking about the game, but they are also looking beyond that, since they don’t want to rush him back and then have him re-injure himself. The coach did say that Spain has 23 players who are all perfectly available to play. Also unknown is the starting line-up. Meanwhile, Xabi Alonso added that the team is anxious to begin.
Meanwhile, the Spanish team is adjusting to the hours of play (for the first game, they’ll be playing at 16h local time) by changing their meal times and sleep times. With regards to the former, they’ve sort of combined breakfast and lunch, and are now eating at 11:30h. The buffet has both breakfast and lunch foods, including lots of carbohydrates and a second dish of something easily digestible. During the games, there will be energy bars and bananas available in the locker room for before the game or halftime.
Iker and Sergio Busquets were tasked with talking to the press before the first game. El capitán said that Spain has players with enormous talent, and they all are more a family than a team [I love this!]. He added that it’s a great pleasure and honor to be the captain, and that it was an important step in both his career and personal life, and that although he wears the armband, he also delegates a lot to the others who’ve been around for some time. And that he’s also honored to represent a team full of great players and great persons.
Most of the questions went to Iker, so I had to search for some Biscuits quotes. He said that it’s his first World Cup – until now, he had watched the games on TV – and so he has a strong urge to begin. And that on the way from the hotel to the stadium, he’ll start getting butterflies in his stomach, although things should go back to normal once they start warming up.
I couldn’t find any pictures, so here are Iker and Sergio Busquets from the training session.
And random: Joan Capdevila appeared in the locker room with a mustache a la German players in the ’80s as a joke. He said we shouldn’t expect to see him with it today. I want pictures!