Monday, March 30, 2020

Barcelona news conference delayed as team bus gets lost in Jeddah

SoccerNews in La Liga 8 Jan 2020

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Barcelona’s preparations for their Supercopa de Espana semi-final with Atletico Madrid hit an unfortunate snag on Wednesday when their team bus was lost in Jeddah.

Head coach Ernesto Valverde and midfielder Sergio Busquets were due to speak to the media at 1745 local time (1445 GMT) at Al-Ittihad Sport City.

Barca, like Atletico, decided to hold training there because of concerns about the pitches at the Al Ahli complex.

To confuse matters further, the team bus driver set off on Wednesday for the King Abdullah Sports City Stadium, where the two semi-finals are to be played, rather than the Al-Ittihad facilities.

The bus then became lost in a maze of traffic in the 40 miles between the two venues. Suffice it to say that Barca were forced to delay the news conference until after training.

“We certainly know the city a bit better now,” said Valverde a little later. “There was a little mistake. We went to the stadium where Real Madrid and Valencia play tonight. He realised before we arrived but then there was some traffic, so we were late.”

With concern over a lack of tickets sold and players such as Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Ousmane Dembele, Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale all absent, the inaugural expanded Supercopa could do without any further problems.

The first semi-final between Valencia and Real Madrid takes place on Wednesday, with Barca and Atleti meeting a day later.

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