Spain's next door, will it be in the Cup finals?

Spain’s Cesc Fabregas, right, is asked: “So, are they finally going to start you against Germany?” He didn’t answer.


(Editor’s note: Chris Ziemer, Sonoma Academy athletic director and head girls soccer coach, is blogging for The Press Democrat at the World Cup in South Africa).

July 5, 2010

DURBAN, South Africa –

Spain is staying next door…

I was pulling for Germany to be staying at the hotel next door as my German is better than my Spanish, but no complaints here.

There were hoards of media and fans outside the hotel, but I managed to get into the Spain hotel (don’t ask, but I’ve been here for over a month …) and got a few nice photos of the guys.

I got most of their attention with a few English comments. All clean comments, but attention grabbers nonetheless – like Fernando Torres, when are you coming to play in America? Or Cesc Fabregas, is he finally going to let you start this game?

Old news, this morning’s headline in the Mercury…I think they are reading our blog

It read “Germany counting on coach Loew’s blue sweater”… this is the purple one I’ve been referring to for weeks, but he said although he isn’t superstitious, the coaching staff wants him to wear it because they scored four goals each time he wore it.

Argentina, Brazil & Co. wishing they had something to cheer about…

Our hotel has a group of approximately 100 Brazilian fans who arrived two days ago. They had planned to spend a few days in Durban before heading to their semifinal game.

I met two Argentineans today and with a combination of hand and face signals, some broken English and Spanish, I managed to get a sense of the disappointment they are feeling. Devastation, embarrassment and I was surprised to hear first-hand the feelings they expressed about Messi not caring about his country.

I’ve read that before and tried to defend him, but judging by their reactions, I wasn’t very convincing. I think Messi will have to convince them on his own.