Football players around the world are considered demi-gods. And they expect to be treated like one too - especially during the 'holy ceremony' called FIFA World Cup. It shouldn't be surprising then that several teams have made special - and mostly bizarre - demands ahead of the tournament in Brazil. (Adjoining is an image from Portugal's team hotel)
Hoteliers across Brazil, according to a report in the Independent, have been given a list by several participating teams. The list outlines the special needs of players - crucial for determining the success in the marquee football event. So while Ecuador want their local banana varieties to be delivered daily, the Bosnian side has called for sound-proofed screens in their rooms to provide complete isolation to players.
Attention to the minutest of details is not new in football but most teams this year are giving cranky and hoity toity celebrities a run for their money - no pun intended. The French team for instance, reserved the JP Hotel in Sao Paulo and asked the management to provide identical rooms to every player - down to the paint colour. The team has even reportedly asked for two varieties of liquid soap - one for bathing and one especially for their hands!
Just as the French are known for their 'style', Germans are known for their love for football. Joachim Loew's side has taken the 'affair' with the sport to the next level however. The side has apparently constructed its own training center in a place called Bahia while the team is based in a gated community with 13 residential build-ups, 65 rooms, a football field and a press room.
The Aussies, unlike the Germans, look like they want to eat their way to footballing glory. After all, a diet of Brazilian red meat, fish and chicken - cooked in a healthy manner, will be the primary need of the Socceroos. Their chef may well then turn out to be the man of the tournament, at least Down Under.
While Australians may love their food, it was the English cricket team that came up with an exhaustive list of culinary delights. Their football team though has emerged as one of the least demanding sides in Brazil. Their need? One of the three restaurants in their hotel to be reserved exclusively.
Two floors having 64 rooms have also been reserved for Roy Hodgson's men at the Royal Tulip in Rio de Janeiro. With England WAGS barred from accompanying their heroes, the significance attached to the need for privacy appears solely to help the players.
In all, Brazil hotels will host 736 superstars across 27 cities through the course of a month. With the World Cup starting from June 12, the 'fortunes' of these hotels would be as much on their hospitality skills as on their ability to fulfill the demands of the teams.