Confederations Cup Diary: Broos bristles at holiday topic, Low turns ball boy and it takes all saw-ts in Moscow
Cameroon are probably heading out of the Confederations Cup but that did not stop Hugo Broos from becoming a bit miffed at a certain line of questioning on day eight of the tournament.
Elsewhere, Germany boss Joachim Low has been showing off a wide array of (somewhat disrupting) skills and Russia boss Stanislav Cherchesov might just have been asked his favourite ever question.
There's also a musician (of saw-ts) in Moscow and a trip to Ivan the Terrible's old island fortress, stuck out in the middle of a vast river.
CAMEROON ON THE BEACH?
Thing might not have gone entirely to plan for Cameroon at the Confederations Cup but Hugo Broos' men have far from disgraced themselves in their matches against Chile and Australia.
Nevertheless, a return of one point from two games means they must beat world champions Germany by two clear goals in Sochi on Sunday to stay in the tournament.
Still, it seemed a little mean for a reporter to ask Broos' at his pre-match briefing whether his players had already booked their holidays.
"I think I can say that the players are ready to wait a little bit longer until they decide on their holiday," the veteran tactician huffed. "They will decide after tomorrow's match."
IVAN'S OLD FORTRESS IS FAR FROM TERRIBLE
One real positive of FIFA's Confederations Cup plans has been the excursions that allow visiting and local media to visit key attractions around the host cities.
Friday's trip took us out of Kazan and into Tatarstan country proper, before we crossed the man-made road bridge to Sviyazhsk Island, a tiny community stuck out in the vast Volga river.
Sviyazhsk was built by Ivan the Terrible's army in the 16th century. The fearsome Russian warlord constructed a flat-pack fortress that could be floated down the river and erected on the island, giving the army a stronghold from which they could lay siege to Kazan and the lands further south.
These days, it's home to impressive cathedrals – including Ivan's original wooden one – as well as a monastery, plus a small community comprising a little over 250 people.
The architecture, local cuisine and fearsome thunderstorms gave a real insight into more traditional Tatarstan life. Plus, it was nice to get soaking wet somewhere other than at Kazan Arena.
Cathedral/monastery on Sviyazhsk Island. It's home to 252 people and at least three cats. pic.twitter.com/czNbRQzXLn
— Joe Wright (@JoeWright004) June 23, 2017
DEVIOUS QUESTION CHARMS CHERCHESOV
It's not always easy to get in the key questions at a news conference, especially when the host nation of a tournament are in attendance and the room is getting busy.
Time is of the essence when the microphone passes and it's not always easy to get your points across in the most salient way.
One intrepid Russian reporter did his best to work several queries into one 20-second spell, asking Stanislav Cherchesov about Russia's recent struggles in tournaments, the quality of the latest team and the difference in the current set-up without taking a breath.
He left the Russia boss suitably impressed. "This is not one question, it's 10 wrapped into one!" he said. "It's masterful. You certainly know how to ask questions."
JOGI LOW: MASTER TACTICIAN, BELLIGERENT BALL BOY, NEWS CONFERENCE NUISANCE
Head coach Joachim Low leads Germany for the 150th time on Sunday and will pick up his 100th win if the world champions overcome Cameroon in Sochi – a feat of phenomenal achievement, longevity and numerical neatness.
However, no job is too small for the meticulous Low, who could be seen retrieving balls from one of the goals at training on Saturday morning as his youthful squad made merry in the sunshine.
Comeuppance of sorts arrived for Schalke midfielder Leon Goretzka as he addressed the media afterwards, when a beaming Low burst through a side door to herald an abrupt end to his player's news conference.
The 57-year-old was duly amused and certainly does not look like a man at all weighed down by stresses or strains in one of world football's most prestigious jobs.
— Dom Farrell (@DomFarrell1986) June 24, 2017
Standing in the environs of Moscow's Red Square is an opportunity to take in the sheer majesty of the Russian capital.
The architecture is jaw-dropping with every building, most notably the one standing behind the imposing red walls surrounding the Kremlin, steeped in history and with its own tale to tell.
It's an awe-inspiring place where you can stroll for hours on end and not get bored of the sights and sounds you come across.
And then you bump into this fella!
Quite how he discovered his hidden 'talent' for playing the saw is a mystery.
The fact he still possesses 10 fingers was impressive, his version of 'The Great Pretender' less so.
At what stage in life do you realise you can use a saw as a 'musical' instrument? pic.twitter.com/P93acs1saj
— Jon Fisher (@fisherjon10) June 24, 2017