By FOCUS REPORTER
SOUTH Africa finished 28th on the Danone Nations Cup World Final log after being beaten by the Czech Republic 4 – 0 in their final play-off game.
For the Barkerville Junior Secondary School Under 12 teams the experience in Spain was pretty overwhelming considering from where they come. However, they have all admitted that the week in Spain has been a life changing experience.
While they overwhelmingly agreed that being in a position to watch children of their own age playing football and how they approached the game was the highlight of the trip, Zinedine Zidane suddenly appearing in their change room after their final game came a very close second..
The youngsters played their final game at the Bernabeu Stadium, the home of Real Madrid, today thanks to an agreement that was concluded by non other than the great Zidane himself: “I wish to thank the Club sincerely for allowing us to play the Danone Nations Cup in their stadium. I know this is normally not allowed due to setting of a precedent and ruining the grass, and I am proud to have been instrumental in making this tournament happen here in Spain this year,” said Zidane at a press conference.
Being a world cup for kids it was the kids reporters from the various countries that opened the press conference and South Africa’s Marvelous Nelwando was the first to pose a question to the great man, who opened by saying: “By the way, I want you all to know I never scored in Bernabeu!”
His message to the kids focused on them being too young to dream of being professional footballers: “I insist on Fair Play. Just playing in this stadium is a dream come true. I know that many of the players will be tempted to take it seriously, but this is wrong. I further know that the kids can’t help but feel a little nervous playing in the stadium, but I cannot stress more how important Fair Play and having fun at this age is.”
Zidane, who works at Real Madrid, admitted that being here today he was wearing three hats: First as a father, second as a Real Madrid scout as he said that some of the kids had skills that were ‘breathtaking’ and thirdly as the Danone Nations Cup God Father, which he has been for the past 10 years: “I am so proud of how the tournament has evolved – from 4 to now 40 participating countries. I am involved in many project but this one is close to my heart.”
Brazil beat Thailand 3 – 1 to be crowned the 2011 Danone Nations Cup winners!
The boys from Barkerville Junior Secondary School will go back to Mount Frere on Wednesday having experienced an opportunity that most children only dream of. Their aim is to take their lessons back home and make a difference in their communities.