DURBAN (Reuters) - Switzerland defender Philippe Senderos must hope his team’s performance in their opening World Cup match against his father’s country Spain will be as fluent as his news conference display on Tuesday.
Introduced as the “language professor”, Senderos confidently reeled off answers in English, French, Spanish, Italian and German ahead of the Wednesday’s Group H opener in Durban, which his father is coming to watch.
“Yes, this is a very important game for me as my father is Spanish and I grew up with all my cousins in Spain where I spent all my summer holidays, so I have a very close relationship with this country,” said Senderos.
“It is the first time in my career I have played against Spain,” he said. “I wish strength to Spain but of course I am Swiss, I was born in Switzerland and I‘m very proud to wear its colours.”
Senderos may also face his club captain and former house mate Cesc Fabregas at the spectacular 62,760-seater Moses Mabhida stadium, but was unable shed any light on the Spaniard’s future plans following speculation he was moving clubs.
“He’s the captain of Arsenal, he still has a contract with Arsenal, he’s an Arsenal player for the time being,” said Senderos.
“Cesc will be a champion wherever he goes. If he goes to Real Madrid or Barcelona, I wish him luck,” he said.
But despite his close friendship with Fabregas and his Spanish heritage, Senderos said he was hoping to give them a day to forget.
“We are going to be very compact and aggressive tomorrow,” Senderos said.
“We don’t have much to lose tomorrow but Spain’s got a lot to lose. They want to start this competition well and hopefully we can cause them problems.” (Editing by Jon Bramley)