TOP TIP – When attending FIFA Press Conferences, never ever wear a Shrewsbury Town T-shirt with SALOP emblazed across it!
Salope in French means whore or slut. I felt very uncomfortable with Jermone Valcke the FIFA Secretary General staring at me during the proceedings!
According to the Real Madrid snappers, when they have a game of huge importance that they take very seriously, they train as far away from the photographers and TV as they can.
And so to the final, but first it was the Third Place play off. I was too wrapped up in following the English scores on the internet that there were only 10 minutes until kick off when I entered the pitch.
In the first half the internet worked fine. Its a pity that the football was so bad that I had immense difficulty supplying my Mexico people with images to flood their homeland with.
In typical fashion, I then got some nice action…
I should write more about the mighty Auckland City finishing third in the FIFA Club World Cup but I was more startled at Cruz Azul…
And so to the final. Real Madrid v San Lorenzo.
This time despite more info from my friend Margarita in Argentina who earlier in the week informed me that The Pope was almost a family friend, I now learn her Grand Uncle was the President of San Lorenzo Football Club.
Perhaps because I had just photographed the game from hell where nothing happened – for pictures anyway – the first 10-20 minutes of this contest was enthralling. I thought the referee was going to send off so many players that we would be back again tomorrow for a re-match. Not because he was bad, but because both teams were trying every trick in the book to hold players back, cheat, pull shirts, push whilst running around so fast I thought some of them may have a heart attack with their epic man marking.
Ramos scored the opening goal – blocked for me and then he ran in the opposite direction.
At half time I swapped ends so to do Real Madrid again in the second half. I could not see The Pope in the crowd and my gut feeling was that San Lorenzo could not beat the European Champions.
Not one bit.
The Crown Prince’s security men standing ridiculously close to the heir of the Moroccan throne which resulted in the ever helpful (said in a sincere way) Alain our friendly FIFA media officer literally push him out of the way. At one moment I thought he was going to close-line him like a wrestler.
It resulted in being blocked for THE moment of THE end of the tournament – one could argue THE end moment to the end of the 2013-2014 season. All those matches in all the world leagues, all the subsequent matches in all the global continents with the six winners traveling from all four corners of the world to participate in this wonderful tournament.
but then… WOO HOO a clean view..