Sport-locker.net bring you an update from Day 5 at the global finals of Nike’s The Chance campaign…
Training drills and exercises were replaced on Day 5 with the real thing as the final 52 players in Barcelona were asked to play 11v11 games in order to impress the judges in a bid to make the Final 26.
Split into four teams, the 52 finalists took to one of the impressive pitches at FC Barcelona’s training ground in an attempt to show off their ability in real match situations and the coaches were not disappointed.
“The games were very good,” says Joan Marmol who coached one of the sides. “These guys have never played together but I felt they looked like they had been together for years. That is the sign of good players.”
The 52 players then had to wait until the evening when they heard whether they have done enough to be one of the 26 that plays in the final at FC Barcelona’s Mini Estadi.
“It’s a nervous wait,” says Jose Figura of the UK. “I just tried to do my best and more importantly be myself.”
Once again, the announcement was made after dinner, with half of today’s semi-finalists told they had done enough to carry on in the competition.
And Jose Figura did us proud by making it into the final 26!
For the other half it was hard to take but their mood was buoyed by a visit from former Inter Milan star Marco Materazzi. The Azzuri legend had these words of advice for the talented youngsters, who have one last chance to impress when they play in the final.
“The final 26 have done so well to make it to the final game. Now though they have to sleep well and arrive at the final with real hunger. It is the hungry ones that will succeed. On the pitch they must be themselves and do the simple things well. That is the secret.”