Denmark are going to incredible lengths to ensure they have the best possible chance of making a statement at next month’s FIFA World Cup.
Meanwhile, there could be another twist in Paolo Guerrero’s hopes of playing for Peru in Russia, while a French star gives an update on his fitness.
It's all in the latest installment of Opponent Watch.
Denmark are leaving no stone unturned in ensuring their players will have everything they need when they get to their base in Russia ahead of the FIFA World Cup.
While the Danes don’t fly out to their base in Anapa until June 11, the new team manager Christian Nørkjær has been to the Beton Brut Resort numerous times to ensure the conditions are perfect for the arrival of the players.
Some of the measures the Danes have employed to maximise their hopes of a strong World Cup include:
- The establishment of their own specialised gym;
- A Player’s Lounge with excellent WIFI and Playstation’s so they can enjoy their downtime;
- The Danish Federation have also appointed extra scouts, additional therapists and more team chefs to ensure good food in the camp;
- They will also provide their own high-quality Tempur mattresses.
"The World Cup final is the biggest for the Herrelands team for several years, and of course we want to get the best possible preparations for country, coach Åge Hareide, and the players,” Nørkjær told https://www.dbu.dk.
“That is why we have invested extra in, among other things, additional therapists, extra scouts and a range of extra equipment that will make preparations and time in the camp even better.
"It is important for us all - both for DBU and for the players - that we get the best possible preparations. We must have the best possible World Cup - both on and off the track.”
Denmark opens their World Cup campaign against Peru on Sunday morning of June 17 (AEST).
There could yet be another twist in the saga surrounding Peru skipper Paolo Guerrero’s hopes of playing at the FIFA World Cup in Russia after World footballers' union FIFPro contacted FIFA over his drugs ban.
Guerrero tested positive for cocaine metabolite benzoylecgonine after Peru's World Cup qualifier against Argentina in October 2017, with the Court of Arbitration for Sport upholding WADA’s appeal to extend his suspension to 14 months – and ultimately be ruled out of the World Cup.
It was an outcome FIFPro previously described as "unfair and disproportionate" and they have now contacted FIFA in a bid to have Guerrero's ban overturned, so he can go to the World Cup with Peru.
"We are hoping for a breakthrough in the next 24-48 hours," FIFPro said in a brief statement posted on social media.
Guerrero, 34, had an initial one-year ban reduced to six months by FIFA.
He returned to action for Brazilian club Flamengo before being named in his country's provisional squad for their first appearance at a World Cup since 1982.
French defender Benjamin Mendy insists he’ll be ready to go for the FIFA World Cup and the opening game against the Caltex Socceroos, despite an injury-disrupted season with Manchester City.
The 23-year-old missed the majority of the EPL campaign with a knee injury, playing just 62 minutes of football since his return in April.
Mendy was last week included in Didier Deschamps’ squad for the tournament in Russia and declared he’d be ready to go right now if needed.
“People can ask questions, I respect that. After me or my entourage know all the efforts that I have provided, the sacrifices that I have been able to make because it is not easy to be hurt like that,” the defender told Canal +.
“We can deviate, do some things...I stayed serious. With all the work I've done, and the bonus I've given myself, I'm ready right now and I'll be ready for the World Cup.
"I was told to follow a program, I did more. The staffs have always been connected, whether those of the team of France, Manchester or (hospital) Barcelona.
“Everything has been perfected for my return and everything will be fine.”
The Caltex Socceroos meet France on June 16 (8pm AEST) in Kazan.
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