Anilava Chatterjee, Sochi: There are a series of aquariums on the sea beach of Sochi. Whoever comes here, do visit these aquariums. Mainly, there are fishes from the Black Sea and other marine animals in the tank. The most famous among them is Matsi Aqua zoo. Aqua zoo is in fact the aquarium. From the varieties of fish, turtle, snake, you would get to see everything over here. But the most famous one from Matsi is a Otter.
His name is Gary. He was brought into this aquarium five years back. But surprised everyone during the Sochi Winter Olympics in 2014. The aquarium authority use Gary as a ‘predictor’. Astonishingly he has a success rate of 75%. Even he predicted how many medals Russia would end up winning. He was busy in running from one corner to another. The aquarium authority too has begun the predictions of this World Cup by him from today onwards.
On the first day he predicted the scoreline of the opening match between Russia and Saudi Arabia. Two footballs with name of the two teams were thrown into the water. Gary chose Russia. Aquarium authority too seemed very much pleased. At least Gary chose the right team on the opening day. In the opening match, Russia is expected to beat Saudi Arabia. But the attention of the football lovers are not in Luzniki Stadium, but in the Fist Stadium in Sochi, where Portugal to face Spain. Spain is among the favourites of this World Cup as well. Paulinho too stated in today’s press meet that Argentina, Belgium, Spain and France are his favourites. Then Brazil? Paulinho’s answer was very much confident. Brazil will always remain favourites in FIFA World Cups.
The Production Head of Brazil’s Globo TV, George too was saying the same thing. If you would have asked a couple of years back, we could have hardly said anything about this Brazil team. But Tite had produced this bunch really well. They didn’t concede any goal in the warm-ups. The Brazil team has the perfect mixture of senior and junior players. Globo TV has come in Russia with a crew of almost 300. One can assume the number at the Brazilian base camp in Sochi. Like the way we see the interest of the media here in India for cricket, the same happens with football in Brazil. Nope, no country has this much support for the home team. The team is full of top footballing talents. Even Paulinho seemed excited about young Philippe Coutinho in today’s press meet.
Brazil players had a training session in the afternoon. Only the first 20 minutes were allowed for the media. But today, there was no more an open session. So, the fans too could see the training. Mainly a warm-up session with the ball. Every moment was caught in the camera. At least a team of fifty support staff was found. During the training, I saw the ground was divided in different zones. Coach Tite was found in a very serious mode. Though Neymar and his teammates were in a fine mood. Their love and bonding with the ball is a treat to watch. As if a touch of love in their every touch with the ball.
Brazil was training in the second ground. Two grounds on two sides on the entrance of their base camp. Brazil started training on the other ground yesterday. Today they trained in the other ground. One can find hotels and houses from there. The Brazilian media seemed worried about the privacy of the training.
Significantly, the colour of the gallery in the practice pitch is of Argentine colours. But Neymar and co. is least bothered about these. Around the media room one slogan has been written in Portuguese – “The team whose footballers and fans are like devils in nature.” Yes, you are right! This Brazil is looking very much desperate.