I arrived in Kimberley on Friday night. Already, I have been shown immense hospitality. Folks here are proud to be hosting Uruguay.
Kimberley is proving a wise choice for La Celeste. The place resembles the character of provincial Uruguay. You could be in a Fray Bentos, Paysandu or Salto. It's a low key, simpatico place. It's dead central South Africa, yet completely off the radar screens. There are no World Cup games here. It's perfect for training and tightening up your game.
I was the only character with a camera sniffing around Uruguay's training ground yesterday. It's the home of local Rugby team, the Griquas. It does not feel very "World Cup". The ground is set in the middle of a dusty clay car park. There's a lad selling bags of oranges on the side of the road. That's it. Not much else going on, except the ground staff working on the pitch. Uruguay stay in a standard 4 Star Hotel in the City, then jump on the bus to training. It's as it should be.
I grabbed a few words with Diego Forlan. He was super friendly and spoke like a Mancunian. Álvaro Pereira, the other goal scorer, was also agreeable. I interviewed Álvaro, but I have decided against uploading the video. The team is in a great space right now. I do not need to be messing with it. Diego Pérez was gracious. And a big thanks to Loco Abreu and Walter Gargano for posing for photographs. Edinson Carvani has a bit of Beatles about him.
There was a special moment also yesterday. The great Alcides Ghiggia pitched up to training. Uruguay's connection to the World Cup remains fundamental.