El World Cup Diario, Day 6: The view from on high
Thanks to the availability of cheap, invasive spy drones on the internet, El Diario is writing this instalment hovering high above Camp England, looking down on the action below. And what action there's been on Day 6, readers! What action...
The first thing we noticed from our vantage on high was Ross Barkley and Luke Shaw sneaking out through a back door of England's team's hotel, the Royal Tulip. Where might two moneyed young bucks be off to at this time of day? A strip joint probably, given they're footballers, but no. We surveilled them to a local newsagents on Sao Conrado beach. Really, this happened.
Now either the boredom's rising or Wayne Rooney is paying for people to fetch his Marlboro Golds again. Not that Wazza's got time to smoke his fags, because we also spotted the England striker – who's not scored in three World Cup finals – doing extra training with the stiffs!
Wazza decided not to join the gentle half-hour training session open to those who'd faced Italy on Saturday night/Sunday morning and instead threw himself into a session of self-flagellation that involved kicking balls, running in zig-zags and jumping energetically over stuff.
There's no suggestion Wayne will be dropped for the Uruguay game, we don't think, and he reacted very angrily to any suggestions via a stiff rebuke of the doubters on his official Faceache page, but if he is dropped then it would be a kick up the jacksie for poor Coleen. She was spotted – not by our drone but by some British tabloid paps – walking through Manchester airport, all set to fly out to Rio.
"Brazil bound! Coleen Rooney jets off to support husband Wayne at the World Cup," screamed the Daily Mail's rather excitable website. "Her travel outfit was smart yet casual, opting for a white blazer with black top, faded grey skinny jeans, and finished off with some coloured gem sandals." It also noted that she was "accompanied by 15 pieces of luggage", which is no way to refer to Wayne's family.
While this was happening, El Diario's drone was doing its best to avoid being hit by the England goalkeeper Joe Hart, firing footballs and Eff! bombs into the sky. We climbed out of range and zoomed back down on Camp England, and who should we spot strolling off out towards Rio seafront but coach Gary Neville and Adam Lallana.
As they strolled, Neville – the lesser-known brother of BBC pundit Phil – warned young Lallana of the perils of being a footballing superstar in a country of over-expectant idiots. "Our country love it, creating a drama around one player," said Gary. "This time it's Wayne Rooney but that comes with the territory of being an important player in a big nation." He mentioned Paul Gascoigne, David Beckham, Carlton Palmer and now Rooney.
"Unfortunately – or fortunately, because he is a big player – this time it's Wayne Rooney."
Sadly, what El Diario had neglected to notice while all of this was going on was that England are holed up at a military training base in Urca. A military training base with several drones of its own. Before we could record Gary Neville asking for two 99s with sprinkles and sauce, and before we could snap any images of England players lifting weights in the nude, our drone was cruelly shot from the skies. It fell as a furious fireball into the sea, never to be seen again.
Never mind, they're so cheap, we'll just buy another one tomorrow.
Other stuff we might have noticed had we not been hovering above Camp England in a drone all day
1. The reincarnation of Marouane Fellaini!
On the day a branch of Asda in Byker, somewhere near Newcastle, unveiled an employee who looks the spitting image of Marouane Fellaini (largely because he has a daft afro and dresses in a full Belgium kit), the real Marouane Fellaini began rebuilding his reputation by scoring the crucial equaliser in Belgium's win against Algeria: an expert header glanced adroitly off his fright-wig.
2. The reassessment of Brazil!
They're really not very good, are they? But more notable than the unconvincing point they took in last night's 0-0 draw with Mexico was the fact they brought on the least Brazilian-sounding Brazilian ever born: Bernard. Obviously that's Buh-NARD rather than BERR-nud, but even so, have they run out of proper names? How long before we get a Dave, or Keith?
3. The revisionism of Fabio Capello!
The mercenary old Italian, who you may recall once managed England, spent the build-up to Tuesday night's scrappy 1-1 draw between his new team Russia and South Korea lamenting that goal that wasn't given in 2010 and explaining why having goal-line technology would have probably helped him win the World Cup. "As you saw (on Sunday - in Honduras/France), the experts know what a great difference that is," he said. "We paid the price for the technology that's now out there." And paid the price for being totally hopeless, Don.
4. The ongoing vilification of Phil Neville!
A radiator salesman called Phil Neville has become the innocent victim of online abuse on Twitter as fans mistook him for the BBC's most tedious pundit. Phil Neville, 60, from Hadleigh, Suffolk, said his phone had gone into meltdown since The Real Phil Neville opened his mouth last Saturday. He'd even offered to swap jobs. "I don't know what will come of it but I know a bit about football so who knows, maybe I could do a decent job," he said. Lovely offer, Phil, but no.
5. The rehabilitation of Luis Suarez!
The Uruguayan has declared himself 100% fit to face England on Thursday. Kind of. "If I play [against England], it is because I am 100%," he said, from his seat on the fence. His manager Oscar Tabarez is more circumspect. "It is a possibility [he will play] but I will not say any more,” he said, but then did say more. Specifically: "The game against England will be more intense in terms of tactics. It will be more physical." More physical than their game against Costa Rica? Can somebody send Gary Lewin back over please?
6. The innocence of Raul Meireles!
Portugal's raging redneck has denied he gave referee Milorad Mazic a one-fingered gesture during his side's 4-0 defeat to Germany, insisting that he was merely gesturing a tactical switch. "He was passing on to team-mate Bruno Alves the instructions being relayed by coach Paulo Bento," said a Portuguese Football Federation statement. They didn't say why Bento was telling Bruno Alves to go f*ck himself.