Team Namibia loving celebrity status in Wanzhou

Team Namibia .jpg

Chinese hospitality and celebrity status for the Namibia U23s are motivating the visitors to take the game to their host China when the two sides meet on Thursday morning in their second and final game of the China Football Association (CFA) Team China International Match in Wanzhou, Chongqing.

According to Life Fighters’ marauding right back Hubert Mingeri who started against the Chinese U23s on Monday, his experience of the journey will be something he cherish forever.

“The journey to come here was long and very eventful as we bonded more as a group. It is good to be here, really worth the about 15 hours in the air. The buildings in the area are super beautiful and the landscapes are breathtaking indeed. It is an experience I will share with friends upon return and also to my kids one day”, the 19 years old Mingeri says.

Describing the weather conditions in Wanzhou, Mingeri likened it to Accra, Ghana and explains how: “It is very dull as times. Hot and humid and I have experienced this in Ghana”.

Mingeri , who played in the Namibian Newspaper Cup edition of 2016 and won the Cup in 2017, also talks about the about 20 000 people in the stands for their comeback 4-2 defeat to China and was truly amazed.

“The first time I played in front of a big number was on the International Friendly match we played against Lesotho in April for the Brave Warriors and on Monday, when we came out for line-ups, it was incredible, the noise; the number of people, still filling up the stands, it was unbelievable and it also motivated us to do well; it got our adrenaline pumping even more”, Mingeri recounts.

About the game, Mingeri states that the conditions at first were not ideal and they will have to give a better performance on Thursday, 10h00 local time, 04h00 Namibian time.

“The noise was so that we couldn’t hear ourselves on the pitch and that made it hard to defend. The water sprinklers on the pitch before kickoff, something we never experienced as well and so we started poorly as we failed to control the ball and they took advantage of that. Second half, we came back better and our pressing in the last 10 minutes paid off, we scored two goals. We have to start that way, knowing who we facing and the conditions better”, Mingeri candidly states.

Finally, on the dishes of Wanzhou, Mingeri says: The food is surely different from what we used to. We are eating and in this game, you can go you around the world and you need to adapt to become the best. And the love we getting form the locals; taking selfies with us and just all the attention on us; we celebrities and we loving it”, he giggles.

Local press on Tuesday morning denounced their team for giving away two goals against a “team that travelled long hours and had only 24 hours in town before the game”. So Thursday will surely be a defining moment for Marcelo Lippi’s assistant Massimiliano Maddoloni and Team Namibia coach Timo Tjongarero.