In yesterdays blog I finished with the following – ……..Little did I know, this day was just about to get one million times better. I would go on to get into the England team hotel and meet most of the England players……
(cont.) As soon as the Netherlands team left on their bus me and Luca rushed off to avoid the crowds and find the nearest bus stop along the beach, to head back to the England hotel and chance it one more time. We jumped onto a packed bus on it’s way to São Conrado, as it crashed around the sharp corners of the coast, we held on for dear life, we recapped the previous events of Dirk and outside the England hotel the day before. A local woman chuckled to herself listening to us, me with an England shirt on and Liverpool shirt in hand, Luca with his bright red Liverpool jacket, on the way to the England hotel – not standing out at all of course -on the bus, packed to the rafters!
I didn’t have much to do yesterday, the sun was shining and i’d seen the pictures the day before of newspapers around the world showing a few England players -Sturridge, Henderson, Welbeck as well as manager Roy Hodgson – venture outside their hotel and onto the beach, without security and take photos with fans without problem. I wanted to get involved in the action. After cycling along the most popular beaches Copacabana and Ipanema (where the Dutch team are staying) and not seeing anybody, I took my chances and headed off to the much quieter São Canrado where the England team are staying, check out the pics as I arrived ….
Outside the Royal Tulip, England hotel
Part of Englands security as Sturridge and others arrived back to the hotel
Sturridge and others arrive back from their favela trip
Me and my new pal Luka, fellow LFC fans looking to find some players outside the hotel
Military boat patrolling outside the hotel
Extremely calm and relaxed São Canrado beach right outside the England hotel
…Not long after arriving I got chatting to Luka, a cool dude born in Brazil but living in New York. Big LFC fan as well. He soon became my partner in crime as we tried to hunt for players. There was a surprisingly small crowd of around 20 fans and journalists outside the England hotel, the Royal Tulip. An hour or so after arriving a local guy walked past and casually said – “All the team are training in the gym, you can see through the window! ” We rushed down the other end and got to see most the team training only about 25 foot away. Even got a wave from England and Liverpool captain Stevie Gerrard and 2 from Jordan Henderson much to our amusement as me and a couple of others sang the Steve Gerrard Gerrard song. At times I felt like a 12 year old Just Bieber fan but f*** it, when am I going to be in Brazil for a World Cup again?! photos below of the training session …
Welbeck and others
The Ox fighting his way back to fitness
Chris Smalling and others
Liverpools new signing Rickie Lambert
The Ox loving a chicken dance
Stevie G and Hendo
ENGLAND CAPTAIN STEVIE GERRARD
Stevie on the weights
…As it got dark we decided to head off back to Ipanema where a friend had told me Stan Collymore was knocking about. We couldn’t find Stan in the end but we did walk past the Netherlands hotel and see Dutch legend Patrick Kluivert come out, just about managed to stop him for a photo. We hung about and saw a few lesser known Dutch players coming out to a car, Ron Vlaar of Aston Villa was one. We met one Brazilian kid who had been waiting 6 hours for Robin Van Persie to arrive back and get his autograph, this kid spoke barely a word of English but knew every word to most the English football chants, hope he got the autograph in the end but it was enough for me for one day.
In all it was a successful day, we had a good laugh and didn’t wait around too much. Might give it another go today and try get a snap with one of the England players. We did end up with our photo on a Brazilian website, got interviewed by Chinese journalists and had a article wrote about the player and us fans, particularly referencing us in the most famous Brazilian newspaper. ( Not bad for a random wander out!