It seems that England isn't the only team bored out of its tiny little minds between games in South Africa. Germany is the latest side to reveal its antipodean tedium, stuck as it is at The Velmore, an isolated luxury five-star spa and resort in Pretoria, miles from the nearest town or shops. If the players didn't have computer games, recreation rooms and Mesut Özil’s rapping skills, they'd probably start trying to eat their trousers or attempt that thing that Michael Hutchence did.
"Manager" Oliver Bierhoff — whose spurious public relations-esque position within the German camp was made up by Jürgen Klinsmann when he was in charge — explained to the media how delighted the squad was to go out for dinner on Saturday night. It was the first time the players have been allowed out in non-official clothing since their arrival. From Reuters:
Manager Oliver Bierhoff told reporters on Sunday they had let the players out of their World Cup base the previous day for the first time for a social occasion.
"Some of us went for a meal in a restaurant," he said. "It's nice to dress in your civvies and go to another place."
Bierhoff added that the players have been so bored with their mundane routine, that many actually chose to ignore the super-fun leisure activities organized by the DFB to go for an extra session with the physio. Even Larry David wouldn't consider being that antisocial.
To the casual observer, it seems a little odd that an entire team would be holed up in a hotel with little freedom to explore its surroundings, but if there were giant bone-breaking lizards roaming outside, you'd probably stay inside too:
Even a walk close to the swamp-like Hennops river, which runs through the camp, is out of the question.
"Normally nothing should happen walking there but if you go too close to the river then the iguanas, and they are quite big, can swing their tails and have been known to break several bones. Luckily nothing of that sort has happened yet."
With all the off-the-pitch drama that's been happening in this World Cup so far, I'd say a giant bone-breaking iguana attack can't be far off. At least that would be a proper reason to be sent home from the tournament (we're looking at you, Nicolas "I can't apologize for gross misconduct" Anelka).
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- Oliver Bierhoff
- Michael Hutchence