Sadly, the privacy of the pantsless pool party at their Praia do Forte base was compromised by two Croatian photographers, who hid in the bushes and took pictures that were published online.
Southampton defender Dejan Lovren and former Manchester City star Vedran Corluka feature prominently in the al fresco hot tub snaps, which can be viewed here if you are so inclined (warning: NSFW link).
Coach Niko Kovac was furious about the press intrusion on his players' personal naked reflection time, and has announced that none of them will be available to comment to the press for the foreseeable future. The Guardian reports:
“I can’t force them to be at your disposal after what you have done to them and their families,” an angry Kovac told reporters in the team’s Praia do Forte training base.
“How would you feel if someone took naked pictures of you? They are adamant that they won’t speak to you lot any more and I don’t know whether the silence will end tomorrow or last until the end of our World Cup campaign.
“I respect my players’ opinion and I also know that you have done a very professional job so far but you blew it with this one. The whole world has seen the photos.”
The pool scandal is vaguely reminiscent of the paparazzi sting set up by German tabloid Bild in the lead up to the 1974 World Cup Final. The scurrilous newspaper sent many "ladies of disrepute" to the hotel pool where the Netherlands team was relaxing before facing West Germany. As the ladies began removing clothing around the Dutch stars, a photographer caught the action and a premeditated scandal was born.
The difference is the Dutch were set up. No one asked Croatia to go out in broad daylight in their birthday suits, so they probably should have seen this coming.
More World Cup coverage:
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- Sports & Recreation
- Dejan Lovren