30 June 2014

Belgian Training: Bicycle Kicks

OK, I have to take back what I said in a couple of earlier posts.

In them, I noted an interesting paradox:  The countries that have dominated the worlds of cycling and football (what Americans call soccer) are roughly the same.  Yet, even within those countries, the ball and the wheel almost never cross paths, so to speak.  Almost no one from one sport can be found in the other.

But it seems that in Brazil, the Belgian team that will face off against the Americans tomorrow has made cycling part of their training regimen:

Axel Witsel and Laurent Ciman riding in Sao Paolo

USA Today reporter Nick Schwartz describes their, and their teammates', rides as "casual".  It's hard to imagine a bunch of world-class athletes on their sport's greatest stage being "casual" about anything!

I mean, look at Axel Witsel in this shot.  He's ready to take on the world!

Here, Dries Mertens gives new meaning to the term "bicycle kick".  He seems to be giving a clinic to his teammate and Red Devils' star Eden Hazard:

Somehow it makes sense that these players would come from the same country that gave us Eddy Mercx.