Wednesday, February 6, 2008

From Russia Without Vodka

The Russian National Team does not have a friendly scheduled during this international week, but its pre-season training camp will certainly provide a stern test for the team. Guus Hiddink, the team manager, is holding the camp at a five-star luxury resort in Turkey. The resort has free drinks for all of its guests but the Russian team is not allowed to take advantage of the benefits. Hiddink's decision has the Russians talking and setting back any progress on Russian stereotypes at least 15 years.

"It certainly wouldn't have been possible under Hiddink's predecessors in the national team, and in the old Soviet days, it would be unthinkable to do such a thing," a source within the Russian FA, who asked to remain anonymous, told Reuters.

"Then we would lose a few of the players for sure. Also some of the coaches would find themselves incapable of holding any kind of training."
Hiddink, thankfully, doesn't buy into these stereotypes. But, curiously, still insists on the rules, not even bending them for Yuri Zhirkov, who took time off from training to get married. Although, Hiddink apparently isn't forbidding the horizontal mambo.

"I got to spend one day with Inna before she went back to Moscow," the 24-year-old said with a deep sigh.

"It's pre-season training, so everything else must wait. Inna knew beforehand she was marrying a football player."

Ah, yes, the life of a professional footballer. They never have sex with hot women.

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