Del Bosque still upbeat about Spain’s Euro 2016 chances
Madrid, June 24 (IANS) Spain’s coach, Vicente del Bosque, is looking ahead to his side’ s European Championship last 16 tie against Italy, warning his side would face a rival that was complete in both defense and attack.
Spain’ s surprise defeat to Croatia in their last group match means their route to the final has become more complicated, with 2012’s beaten finalists their rivals for Monday night and a possible quarter-final tie against 2014 World Cup winners Germany if they beat the Italians, reports Xinhua.
Speaking to sports newspaper Diario AS on Thursday, Del Bosque refused to take it for granted Spain would face the Germans, who have to play Slovakia commenting that “no result was assured”.
He then warned that Italy would be a complicated rival. “They are very good in defence, but they are also powerful in attack. They have great wingers and two good strikers,” he said, adding that Italy was perhaps “more direct than in 2012”, when Spain defeated them 4-0 in the final.
“There are changes over four years and some new faces have come in: it is the law of life,” he said, although he admitted he was “moderately optimistic, as always”.
When asked over his future as national team coach after the tournament, Del Bosque highlighted that after any major competition there were always changes in the dugouts of many national sides.
“We will see how many coaches who are currently at the Euros will be with their teams afterwards,” said Del Bosque, who said he was satisfied with his side’ s progress to date.
“We have won 9 out of 10 of our last competitive games, we qualified comfortably and we are in great condition. Just because we have lost a game (against Croatia) doesn’ t mean we have to look for people to blame. We have to be responsible and discreet and I think I am able to ensure that happens,” he concluded.
Rio unveils Olympic village to media
Rio de Janeiro, June 24 (IANS) The athletes’ village for Rio 2016 has been unveiled to the international media as the city ramped up final preparations for this year’s Olympic Games.
The milestone coincided with Olympic Day on Thursday — the official anniversary of the International Olympic Committee — and marked one month almost to the day until the first athletes are expected to arrive at the complex, reports Xinhua.
The village will be home to more than 17,000 athletes and officials during the Olympics and 6,000 people during the Paralympics.
It includes a 24-hour gym, multi-faith center, florist, convenience stores, bank, post office, hairdresser and beauty salon. A vast food hall will serve more than 60,000 meals a day during the Games period.
According to village director Mario Cilenti, a training program for village volunteers will be held next week.
“Having a well-prepared team is fundamental to the success of the village,” Cilenti told Rio2016.com.
Brazilian basketball great Janeth Arcain has been named mayor of the village. Among her task will be to welcome athletes and officials to the village and ensure all their needs are catered for.
“For me, taking on this role is like winning a medal,” Arcain said.
The now retired 47-year-old holds the record for the most Olympic points scored. She was a member of the Brazil team that won the 2004 world championship and picked up silver and bronze medals for Brazil at the Atlanta 1996 and Sydney 2000 Olympics respectively.
The Olympics will be held from August 5-21 and the Paralympics from September 7-18.