The England World Cup team are terrified of ordering room service due to poisoning scares
We're well aware athletes have certain rituals they execute before a big game.
Olympians tend to eat a controlled portion of carbs to get them through their heat or final, LeBron James goes really lean with his food for big games and through the playoffs (that still can't help him carry a whole team against the Golden State Warriors). Superstar football player Cristiano Ronaldo apparently eats whatever he likes (within reason) for big games.
Speaking of the Beautiful Game, the stakes are pretty high at the World Cup right now. 32 men's national teams have convened on Russia to see who is the best of the best at kicking a ball around. But some teams are more cautious than others; in particular, the English national team.
After the March nerve agent attack on ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury, the English soccer team now faces a food ban while they stay in Russia for the games. National paper the Sun reports that security around kitchens is on “high alert”, with the team “under strict orders to reject any food not approved by their expert chefs.”
Nutritionists and chefs have also been flown to their hotel.
Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling, Jessie Lingard and the rest of the are not allowed to grab anything from the mini-bar or room service. The hope is that they’re still eating something to get them to peak performance for their many matchups, just not from anything they perceive to be Russian made - which is a shame, because a lot of the media seems to report a very welcoming hospitality from the Russians during their stay at the many locations for the tournament.
The Sun reported: “Players are snacking on items such as sushi and oatcakes with cream cheese. Only drinks such as herbal teas made by the nutritionists are allowed." The players have to eat about 5,000 calories at five meals during the tournament, which may consist of “tiny pieces of dark and white chocolate, small dishes of apple or brownies.
Breakfast will include up to five eggs, cooked how each player prefers. Guess victory requires a lot of protein. So far, the team has defeated Tunisia 2-1 and faces Panama on Sunday, June 24. This is before their third and final group match against a potential European juggernaut in Belgium on Thursday, June 28.
As England's prospects in the tournament go, they are pretty decent. It's a cliché to state that game one of the groups is a must-win, but it's never been truer for this crop of aspiring World Cup winners.
With a new manager, a focus on young potential and a new system, there were bound to be nerves going into the first game. Against a Tunisia side that is difficult to break down, the England captain Harry Kane led by example, scoring two goals to take the team to the top of the group.
As invigorating as it was to see England's main man do what he does best, it will fall to other rising stars and even the exuberant youth to take England beyond the quarter finals. Let's hope their diet and potential poisoning doesn't get in the way.