Confederations Cup Diary: A lengthy supermarket trip, Sochi mimes and pouting Portuguese


The morning after Claudio Bravo's brick-wall act the night before, attention at the Confederations Cup turned towards which of Germany or Mexico will join Chile in Sunday's final.

Following part of El Tri's journey to the semi-final saw one fan being particularly economical with the truth.

Meanwhile, Portugal - now without proud father of twins Cristiano Ronaldo - were in no mood for smiling just yet after their penalty shoot-out heartache.



Mexico supporter Arturo Garcia took sneaking off to the match to a whole new level when he told his wife he was going to the supermarket to buy cigarettes and scarpered to Kazan for the Confederations Cup group stage.

Garcia, who hails from Puebla in the Central American country, grabbed a small bag of essentials, rented a car and flew to Russia via Wolfsburg.

"I told my wife that I would go to the supermarket to buy cigarettes. But I did not specify which one. Although the wife eventually learned that I had gone to Russia for the Confederations Cup," he said, as quoted by

Mrs Garcia's response has not been documented but it feels safe to assume it's the wrong side of fuming.


Bravo's penalty heroics on Wednesday booked Chile's place in Sunday's final in St Petersburg.

Their opponents will be either Germany or Mexico. That is, either the world champions or the nation they unceremoniously larruped 7-0 in the quarter-finals of last year's Copa America Centenario.

A straightforward choice, right? Well, maybe not if you're looking at the bigger picture like Chilean newspaper Emol.

Their scribes are keen for La Roja to take on Germany, pointing out that theoretical victory would strengthen the chances of Juan Antonio Pizzi's men being seeded at next year's World Cup by lifting them from seventh to sixth in the FIFA rankings. Crafty, eh?


Portugal will also keep an eye on events in Sochi to find out their next opponents, but with nowhere near as much anticipation.

The European champions are taking part in the game no one wants to play in on Saturday - the folly that is the third-placed play-off.

On the team's official Twitter feed, we were treated to pictures of Fernando Santos' men boarding their flight to Moscow from Kazan. Predictably, they looked delighted.


The second semi-final sees the tournament bid farewell to Sochi and its stunning Fisht Stadium.

How World Cup matches will feel at the 42,000 capacity arena remains a bit of a guessing game, with all games here lacking the hosts this time around and featuring a fair number of empty seats.

The vast, gleaming expanse of the surrounding Olympic Park has also felt a bit too clinical to foster much pre-match camaraderie but tucked away over the road, off Olympic Avenue, is the path through Zheltaya Dorozhka Olimpiyskiy Park.

Joining the beach to the main road, this pedestrianised stretch is packed with street food stalls, pop-up bars and shops selling all your favourite beach tat. When greater number of fans descend on Sochi in 12 months' time, it could be a brilliantly lively area to spend those anticipatory hours before kick-off.


Despite often lacking enthusiasm coming back in the other direction, an array of zany street performers have done all they can to bring the fun outside Fisht Stadium.

A chap striding around on stilts can be seen swapping one-twos with fans (good touch for a big man), big red foam fingers are volunteers favoured method of signalling where the turnstiles are, while there are a small troupe of mime artists.

Whether Sochi has an affinity with would-be Marcel Marceaus is unclear, but it was nice to see one of them break from character to offer a couple of children verbal directions.