The Calm Before the Storm
The English football team will lock horns with Croatia in a bid to book the last finals ticket in this year’s FIFA World Cup.
With a heavyweight match expected to loom, both teams will surely leave no stones unturned in preparing for the semi-finals.
But instead of grinding ahead of the match, England decided to train with a rubber chicken.
Strange, isn’t it?
But for England manager Gareth Southgate, a rubber chicken is just what he is asking for.
Talking to the press corps, Southgate explained the rationale behind the fun training they had ahead of a very serious semifinal clash against Croatia.
“Our physical performance coaches try to keep refreshing the warm-ups for the players and keep them stimulated, using a bit of fun to get them moving. Just some mobility exercises.”
Fun has been an essential part of England’s campaign in this year’s World Cup.
The team has utilized inflatable unicorns, Fortnite competitions, 10-pin bowling, and darts, as part of their pre-game preparations. With this approach, England has survived curcial matches en route to its first semifinal appearance in more than two decades.
To this, Southgate stressed:
“Our country has had a long time of suffering in terms of football. The enthusiasm they have for these players, not only because of the way they’ve played but how they’ve conducted themselves, we can feel the energy and support from home, and that’s a privilege for us.”
England Faces Croatia in the Semifinals of FIFA World Cup 2018
With a big prize at stake – a finals showdown against France – Southgate claimed that his team will mean business in the upcoming semifinals match.
“We feel we’re in a good place playing well, but football is a low scoring game with random events that can happen. I’m certain our team will play well, and I have complete trust they’ll go and play in the way they have throughout this tournament.”
But Croatia is not an easy opponent.
The team has shown its resilience against powerhouse squads like Denmark and Russia. It also boasts some marquee names in its line up such as Modric and Ivan Rakitic.
England’s defensive specialist Jordan Henderson said:
“I’ve played against Modric a few times: he’s a world-class player, one of the best I’ve played against. Hopefully, he has a quiet night [on Wednesday] and we’ll try our best to make sure that happens.”
Watch England’s training in the video below:
Now that the team has set a relax mode, can they translate it to an important victory today? Can they march back to the World Cup finals?
It’s now or never.