Following an intense week of training at the various camps in Bulgaria, we then headed to the town of Troyan for the final day of our annual visit.
During a mild autumnal day, immersed in the lush and colourful nature of the Balkan mountains, our coaches Roberto Redaelli and Paolo Balconi teamed up with local coaches to find a pitch to work with 70 kids for the usual recreational tournament. Split up into teams, they started to face off in pitches split up by cones, all located next to a magnificent 11-a-side pitch.
It should have been a celebratory day like all others, however, at a certain point, the game came to a standstill. In one of the final games, Roberto had to decide if the ball had gone over the line or not. A classic VAR situation! At the time, the friendly encounter was 2-2.
All of the children on the small pitch surrounded the coach, and everyone awaited the inevitable decision… Yes or no! Roberto was at a crossroads, aware that he could either award victory to one team or leave the match as a draw.
Ultimately, he began to shake his head from side to side to indicate no, which unfortunately was the biggest mistake he could’ve made. The team pushing for the goal soon began to jump with joy! It then wasn’t easy for him to explain that the ball hadn’t crossed the line and the game would instead end as a draw.
In Bulgaria, shaking your head from low to high means no and from right to left means yes! Exactly the opposite to the rest of the world!
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