Archive for June, 2010

Our Spanish referee makes his mark!

June 20th, 2010

We are making a lot of new friends here in Swaziland, and with them we watch today’s games. What we didn’t realize though is that the referee who caused all the paklava in the Germany Serbia match a couple of days ago was our old friend Undiano Mallenco! Sorry for our readers, but the main headline in the Swaziland Times is “Gospel star strips virgin for sex”, and there is not a lot of news on the “el Mundial”! Undiano though (one of the more moderate Spanish referees!) showed nine yellow cards and a red for Klose, the highest so far in the World Cup by a mile, and that might be it for him! Same as always, we suppose! More »

We watch Capello’s England in Swaziland!

June 19th, 2010

Swaziland is an amazing country! King Mswati III has 14 wives and 23 children, but that is nothing compared to his well known father King Sobuhza II (what a great name!) who had 70 wives and over 1,000 grandchildren! As a result everybody you meet is Prince or Princess somebody or other! The king though reigns together with his mother, who is known as the “She Elephant”, and when a king dies it is up to a council of elderberries to choose the “She Elephant”, who can only have one child, a son, who is then king! Mswati’s mother was chosen after Sobuhza died in 1982 when he was only 14, and he went to school in England (Sherborne School) before coming back to rule at 18. Imagine that happening in Spain, the Queen would be furious if the King started marrying other wives, not to mention if you called her a she-elephant! More »

Watch out for the Latin Americanos!

June 18th, 2010

So, no use spilling over cried milk, we lost and that’s it. But a win against Honduras on Monday and everything is back on track. There are five days to go to that match though, so we decide to take a trip somewhere to take our minds off the football. Goran wants to go back to the Zulu village to make things up with the goat, he was drunk and didn’t know she was there, but I say let it go, two ships passing in the night and all that! Sometimes Goran can be a bit strange! But we decide anyway to head back up in to Kwa-Zulu land, taking in the famous beer route before going on to Swaziland and then back to Jo’berg. More »

Nightmare in the Moses Mabhida stadium!

June 17th, 2010

Oh no, what has just happened! This must be a nightmare, pinch me Goran and I will wake up! Ouch, on the arm I meant! So it’s real then! We lost to Switzerland! Throw away all the jokes we had about the Swiss defence being like their cheese, full of holes, they stopped us from scoring for the first time since Crown Prince Vicente took over from King Luis two years ago! OK, so 23 shots at goal and they had three, the English referee Howard (“Heidi?”) Webb (perfidious albion!) doesn’t give a penalty on David Silva and allows the goal when it was offside, Jesús Navas puts in more crosses in half an hour (19 to be precise) than anyone else in all the other 15 games, and Xabi Alonso hits the crossbar so hard that a Tsunami strikes the coast of Madagascar two hours later! But we lost! More »

A night in a Kwa-Zulu village…

June 16th, 2010

Hello everybody, back again, and sorry for the late report. It’s just that we couldn’t find a way to send it. We got to Durban, but every hotel was full, and there was nowhere to stay. So we drive Traba up in to the mountains (she didn’t like it a lot, lot’s of wheezing noises!), and we finally find a traditional Zulu village which is offering huts to rent for the night. Great, we say, but does it have Wi-Fi? We must have a hut with Wi-Fi, as we are famous reporters on the World Cup and we have to send our daily reports. The man at the entrance gives us a funny look, but he says “you want hut with wiffy, are you sure?” Yes, we say, for sure we are sure. So he takes us to a hut at the end of the village and leaves us there. More »

Thieves break in to our motel room!

June 15th, 2010

Some bad news! While we were watching the football in the bar of our luxury one-star motel, thieves have broken in to our room! The door has been forced open (not that it was difficult, I think it is made of play-wood), and our suitcases have been emptied on to the floor. Luckily we have so little with us that they didn’t take anything, and they even left us a 100 Rand bill with a nice note saying sorry they bothered us, and wishing us good luck! Even the thieves are friendly here in South Africa! More »

On our way to Durban…

June 14th, 2010

So, here we are, and how to get down to Durban from Joe-burger? Our problem is solved by a man who comes up to us in the street. “Mi Amabuza” he says to us. “We are too” we reply, but he looks confused. “No, I am Mr. Mi Amabuza from Mi Amabuza Vehicle Hire, Inc., reputable car rental company! Do you need a car to hire?” After a brief negotiation we agree on a “state-of-the-arts (his phrase) Trabant”, which has all the latest extras like a steering wheel and a jack-in-the-box thingy for changing tyres, which can happen a lot on the roads around here. We are not too convinced but it is cheap and he doesn’t ask too many questions about Goran’s out of date Yugoslavian state drivers licence, so we leave a deposit and get on our way. We get as far as Harrismith though (remind me to tell you a story about that place) when the smoke from the burning oil starts to become overpowering, so we find a small motel and settle down in the bar to watch today’s games. More »

Anyone want a goalkeeper?

June 13th, 2010

Anyone want a goalkeeper? We’ve got lots! Capello must be regretting now that Almunia didn’t apply for the British passport after what happened last night. The Arsenal keeper is about number seven or eight in Spain after Casillas, Reina, Valdés, Diego López, Palop, De Gea, Asenjo and who knows else, but he is better than anything England can produce right now. How many times have goalies let England down in the last few years? Calamity James, Robinson, Carson and now Robert Green’s big mistake against USA, gone forever are the great days of Gordon Banks, Peter Shilton and Ray Clemence! Oh well, one less for Spain to worry about! More »

Our first day in South Africa.

June 12th, 2010

Well, here we are back in South Africa! It was not an easy journey we have to say, stowing ourselves away on Spain’s flight from the Barajas airport maybe was not the best idea, and nobody told us that the luggage hold was not going to be heated. My colleague-in-arms Goran Arsic says that maybe he will never have children again, but in his case maybe that is a good thing! Deciding to jump off before the plane landed to avoid the men from “aduanas” was also, in the sight from my behind, not so clever, not just because our “Caprabo supermarket bag” parachutes didn’t really help the fall, but also because we landed in the Transvaal game reserve! I had three lions on my shirt, and I was wearing my Spain kit! More »

Este torneo, vamos a ganar!

June 8th, 2010

So, we finally came good in the warm up games! Six goals against Poland – that’s better mis hijos! The game against South Korea was another worry after Saudi Arabia, and only thanks to Jesús Navas we won that one. What a good thing he got over his problems with his nervous attacks, and what a talent he will be in South Africa! OK, so Del Bosque did play his second team, and we must say congratulations to Víctor Valdés for his first cap! He is almost the same age as Iker Casillas, who actually made his debut exactly ten years ago, and has been living in his shadow ever since. Casillas must be first choice for the finals though, even though he has not been at his best with Real Madrid recently and was “picking grapes” for the Saudi’s first goal (loses a bit in the translation, that one does, I think!). More »