The Shoes of Fame - the spy game
By Edu Coimbra em 16/02/09
As Zico´s assistant coach, one of my tasks is observing our opponents, a spy work to be clearer. Because of it I traveled from Moscow to Birmingham, in England, to watch an Aston Villa match - in its imposing and magnificent stadium. The English team will be Zico´s first official game as CSKA coach. The stadium is a QUEEN´S JEWEL, by the way.
A curious fact happened and it could turn my planning in a failure. The British elegance is quite famous and I was taking care of all details to not make any mistakes. I was trying to avoid unpleasant experiences. But I wasn´t lucky enough.
Aston Villa´s match was going to begin at 3 p.m. and, just before go to the stadium, I had another commitment: visit hotel facilities where CSKA staff and squad would arrive four days before the Uefa Cup game. In fact, a sports complex that was perfect to our goals.
The only was the period of time between visiting the facilities and going to the stadium, that it is 30 km away. A 40 minutes trip at least. I´m going to add some suspense, Hitchcock style, and say the responsible for the facilities visitation advised that he was going to spend 30 minutes showing me everything. I was getting more worry about the time of the game.
When I was expecting the start of the visit I decided to walk around the hotel, admiring the beautiful view and enjoying the mountain´s air. I was not wearing appropriate clothes for this kind of exercise: English tropical pants, social shirt, big cover and black shoes. The shoes were worn despite of matching with the rest of the clothes. Anyway, I moved on until the visit guide appeared in a beautiful Mercedes before I completed my planned rout.
Trying to spend less time in the hotel, I quickly approved the facilities. Then I was in time to get to the stadium. When I was in the car, I realized that my shoes did not resist to the walk. I could see my socks in torn shoes and feel the cold between my toes. I had no time to go downtown and buy new shoes, so I had to wear the tennis in my hand baggage.
I was wearing social dark clothes and a white, blue and red tennis, CSKA colors by the way. Which kind of spy delivers his intentions in the main entrance? I was hoping to be installed in a place where the complete social clothes were not necessary. When I gave the invitation, I really froze. A gold invitation, in yellow letters, with the stadium location, gave me the right to dinner in a fancy stadium restaurant after the game.
I went to the main entrance and I realized that I was being sent to the honor tribune. And my tennis was down there, shining between Italian, English, Australian and even Brazilian shoes... The most honorable guest was by my side: Fabio Capelo, the English national team coach with British shoes. I was never constrained because I needed to do my spy work.
I can´t deny that people was looking down amazed and, when I noticed, I´ve try to cover the tennis. I´m probably the first man to wear shinning tennis in the most important gallery in Aston Villa´s stadium. The Shoes of Fame in reality.
An interesting detail: the journalists in the field were turned in my way - I thought so - with their cameras and flashes. Fabio Capello was the target, but I swear that, for a few moments, I thought they were taking pictures of my tennis in a prohibited place. Or maybe they discovered that I was the spy that came from the cold, Russia naturally.
Mission accomplished, however curious and full of tension.
I had a bigger surprise in Turkey, back to the pre-season, with Aston Villa´s spy arrival in our friendly match. He was shameless than me. The man was wearing Aston Villa´s clothes, he chatted with our president, asked for the team formation, and talked to Zico about a player of ours that could not play. Nobody was rude with him as it happens to me in England.
There are no more spies as in the past, even less with shinning Adidas shoes in the Queen´s land. And that´s it...
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