Aldair and Finnish journalists

Well, the press conference was an interesting affair. Being a typical lazy Brit, I turned up expecting that a San Marinese team playing in Finland would do the decent, European thing, and speak in English.

Not so. Tim Rowe is a very efficient organiser of these things, and he had unearthed a Finnish-Italian translator, thus rendering the SS Murata press officer’s well enunciated English redundant. She was a little put out, and the translator misdirected a couple of questions (I think he liked Agostini), but all in all things went quite well.

Things going well in this context meant that Aldair was quizzed on everything from the 1994 world cup final (‘why were some brazilian players crying after that game?’ apparently because they knew the team would be broken up after the tournament) through Ronaldo’s non-appearance at the 1998 final (he was sick. next question) to his future career plans (a job with Roma’s primavera team is in the offing, and hopefully he’ll be moving to Italy next year).

The Murata guys were a little miffed to not even be asked about their team for the first ten minutes, but I don’t suppose many World Cup winners have been to Tampere. Aldair’s been twice – once with AS Roma – although he doesn’t remember anything from his previous visit.

Murata will be without their goalscorer from last week, Protti, and Marani. Protti is injured and Marani is with the national team. The Murata guys think they will get hammered, and that the cool weather (last week it was 38 degrees in San Marino) will widen the gap between the teams. I would have liked to ask them something about how special it is to represent San Marino in the Champions League, and to discover what Agostini thinks of Forli’s current position, but unfortunately it wasn’t to be.

It’s Honka-Haka tomorrow, and HJK-MyPa on Thursday. TamU must be very pleased to see all their rivals taking points from each other while they have a nice little European adventure. Vikkausliiga looks uninteresting as a competition to some people, but for me it is improving-beating TamU is getting to be a bit like winning a cup for other teams.

In my view this is good for the league, as a pre-eminent team to beat makes everyone else raise their game. It’s not like they are battering everyone with their budget, it’s just that other teams aren’t as well managed.

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