So at last we get back from Goran’s “Gold Coast” – what a wasted journey that was! Next time I will trust the travel arrangements to the that guy I know who turned up for a skiing holiday in Switzerland with us once with Swedish Kröner (confused by the SWI and SWE) – he can’t be worse than Goran! Anyway, cut the losses, and we go to a pub in the Costa Brava (that’s in Spain Goran, not the Wild coast in Mexico!) to watch the game against Costa Rica, even though there are not a lot of people here at this time of year.
Our boys have had to travel a lot recently, one of the down sides of being Champions of the Universe, and there are some tired faces in the team after the long flight out West. San Iker is making a record 127th appearance, one better than the mythical and unforgettable Zubi wotsisname, but what is going on, half an hour on the reloj and the biggest mistake of his life! Plenty of time to clear, but he misses his kick and Brenes is gifted an easy goal! Are we hallucinating (Goran has indeed managed to procure some impressive looking “setas” from the nearby “bosque”!), or are we really behind? But it gets worse after that, and Campbell (come on there, is that a Costa Rican name?), gets a pass from Bryan (doesn’t sound Spanish either) Ruíz to score a second. Could it be that we are playing against a team of Scottish exiles?
Don Vicente makes four changes at half time, including Valdés for Casillas, who is surely in a state of shock? Villa is frantic, he has to prove to Guardiola that he can score goals after losing his place at Barcelona to Spanish champion ball-juggler Isaac Cuenca and failing to score against second division B team L’Hospitalet in the cup, and (has he bribed our coach to let him play 90 minutes in all the games?) he keeps on shooting at the goal of Keylor Navas (Levante reserve keeper) every chance he gets.
Lots of changes otherwise from both teams though, and with the Costa Rica bus driver and gate fifteen ticket collector on the pitch we finally score, who else but Mancunian David Silver! Iniesta did it once again! So everything forward and trust in the Señor, and with the game in injury time Villa gets his golito at last from Cazorlita’s free kick – number 51 for those that are counting! That must be a relief for him! A draw has been saved, but after four defeats and two draws in the ten friendly games since we won the World Cup, are we really showing the form of World Champions? Could it just be though a deliberate ploy by the manager to lull the opposition in to a false sense of security? We hope so! Anyway, enough of that as it’s time to go back to Barcelona. Goran, I’m driving! With your sense of direction we would probably find ourselves halfway to Iraq if you take the wheel!