With the first week of the FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017 behind us, here's a look at the juiciest tidbits from the left flank to the right, and the stands too.
"We are a very emotional people," said Brazil coach Carlos Amadeu after their win over North Korea. "When we win, we're really happy, we celebrate a lot, and when we're sad, we cry a lot," he added.
So far, there have only been reasons to laugh and celebrate for Brazil at the U-17 World Cup. But their celebrations seemed to have angered the North Korean coach Yun Jong Su, who lamented during the post-match press conference that the South Americans took too much time celebrating.
Paraguay's charm offensive
Brazil played football with kids from a local academy in Kochi. Chile watched Bollywood blockbuster Chak De! India. Germany tried their hands at yoga and visited a children's institution in Goa. But no team has gone on a charm offensive quite like Paraguay. The support staff of the South American nation was spotted throwing phrases like "Namaste, kaise ho?" and "Sab accha?" at their hotel staff recently.
With smiles wider than the streets of Asuncion, the men with sunny disposition have also been handing out keychains of the Paraguayan national football federation to journalists after interviews. What's more, even the support staff seem to be carrying around these keychains and are not shy of doling them out, as a couple of journalists found out when they approached the support staff members to ask who the Paraguayan team's media manager was.
There has been a lot of interest from journalists to know more about the North Koreans given that there is little information about them on the internet. However, the team has kept to themselves, not indulging journalists with interviews or venturing out too much, except for practice sessions, which, as expected, are closed-door affairs.
But what really ruffled the feathers of the Korean coach was a question during a press conference on whether the country's 'Supreme Leader' Kim Jong-un had any message for the young team. The coach refused to answer the question and seemed flustered by the query. Luckily for him, the question was the last one in the conference anyway.
Football, not volleyball
Niger coach Ismaila Tiemoko's side made history against North Korea by winning their first ever FIFA World Cup match at any level. But the way the victory was achieved has come under question, with people asking him about their physical style of play. To this, Tiemoko had the perfect response: "Football is a contact sport. It is not like volleyball played across a net where the two teams can't cross the line."
Need for improvement
Spain coach Santi Denia appears to be a very serious man. Maybe he is. Maybe he isn't. But one thing that he has made crystal clear: his team need to improve.
"I'm happy that we played as a team," Denia said through a translator whilst not looking happy at all. "I'm happy that we got all three points," he continued before adding: "At the same time we know we need to improve."
For the record, his side had just beaten Niger 4-0.
At 167 cms, Niger goalkeeper Khaled Lawali is the shortest shot-stopper at the World Cup. However, his height proved to be no detriment to him pulling off some spectacular saves against Spain on Tuesday evening. His acrobatic jumps to palm off shots from Spain forwards had the Kochi crowd rooting for him.
By the 35th minute of their match against New Zealand, Paraguay's Alexis Duarte was on a hat-trick. But he didn't seem too happy about it. How could he? He had turned the ball into his own net twice to hand New Zealand a 2-1 lead. Luckily for the captain of the Paraguayan team, his side managed to score two second-half goals to hand them victory.
Lost in translation
The mixed zone is usually where journalists can interact with players or coaches after a match. But scribes in Navi Mumbai were surprised to see the Mali media manager, who usually translates, himself, interviewing the national team coach Jonas Komla in rapid French after their 3-0 win over Turkey. Before the journalists could get a couple of questions in, a couple of the support staff members standing in the mixed zone got into a disagreement amongst themselves which led to all of them fuming out, leaving the befuddled journalists waiting.
Change of shirt, but not in fortunes
Praveen Kannoly seemed too lost for words. His son, Rahul KP, had just slammed his shot into the post and then minutes later had headed wide in India's match against Colombia. Sitting in his living room, there wasn't much that Praveen could do to change what was happening on the pitch. It was then that he decided that it was time for a final roll of the dice. He changed his shirt, off went the yellow and on came the light blue. Unfortunately, it didn't help as India lost 1-2 to Colombia.
Published Date: Oct 12, 2017 05:02 pm | Updated Date: Oct 12, 2017 05:02 pm