Spain U20 Forced to Train With Cows in Columbia

2 Aug

Manizales is the epicenter of Columbian coffee production and home to CD Once Caldas, two-time defending champions of the Columbian Primera A and winner of the 2004 Copa Libertadores. It is also one of eight host cities for the FIFA U20 World Cup, currently underway. So one would surmise that sufficient resources and infrastructure were in place for the four teams (Spain, Australia, Costa Rica, and Ecuador) to comfortably prepare for their group stage matches. Think again..

Unfortunately for Spain’s squad, they found that out the hard way. Taking to the ‘back country’ for training, the Spaniards found themselves surrounded by farms and a rather dense forest which snacked on errant balls.  An assistant coach succeeded in finding one of the balls amidst the barbed wire, knee high tick-infested grass, and the putrid smell of cow dung. However, not even the help of local security could reveal the hiding place of the other one lost in the thicket.

It was later revealed that the cows hid the ball for their own 5v5 scrimmage scheduled to take place after the Spaniards finished their training. The game lasted only five minutes after one of the steers mistimed his jump on a corner kick and thrust his horn through the ball. Their request to the Spanish delegation for a replacement was promptly rejected.

(Photos courtesy of Marca)


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