O Clássico: Pre Match
I sat in my seat in front of the large advertising board with the logos of the league and all its sponsors. Bright lights shone in my face and the flashes of cameras didn't make it any easier. I was also sitting in front of a big bunch of journalists which could make the happiest of person miserable.
They fired questions at me and I answered, usually with the shortest response possible so they couldn't fiddle with my word choice and make me out as something I wasn't to the rest of Portugal.
After answering a few questions the press conference ended and I left quickly.
As I walked down the tunnel into the Estádio do Dragão I could hear the roar of the Dragões already. It was an atmosphere that could only mean one thing: O Clássico. A derby of this magnitude for my managerial debut was quite nerveracking. This was my chance to win over the fans. I came in with little managerial experience and I don't think that pleased them but I was confident in my own abilities and would never give in to the media or fans alike.
"Excuse me," I heard a man yell behind me. He had an American accent and was in a polo shirt with biege pants. I think he was a journalist but I wasn't sure. I wasn't particularly fond with the media, they tended to twist my words.
"Hi, I'm Alexander Opisov, from ESPNFC.com - I've got one quick question for you," he said quickly and professionally. He was obviously looking for one last bite from me before the big game. I'd been to the pre match press conference and not liked one bit of it. The lights, the cameras, the scrutiny on me.
Now I was being interviewed in the tunnel. This was something new, how'd he even get in here?! I turned around to face the reporter. He was short, had brown hair swiped to one side. His polo shirt was navy blue and his pants were biege. He was obviously fashionable, part of the trendy new reporting generation.
"You can talk to my assistant manager, thanks," I nodded and continued on down the tunnel.
"Oh come on! Your decision to-"
"My assistant manager, he'll be here soon," I interrupted, continuing down the tunnel and into the fire.
I emerged and took my place in the dugout. Scanning the stadium, all I could see was a sea of blue and white. Flags were waving behind the goal and the crowd was jumping up and down in synchronization. Someone was beating drums and the noise that was being made made your hairs on the back of your spine tingle.
I was finally here.
Credit to: Tallery for the graphic.