Last week most of the european snowboarders met in Biarritz for the We’ve Got Balls soccer tournament. We are talking about a football World Cup for Snowboarders. The winners received €1000 to give to a charity of their choice. The concept is really fun: each country builds a team of snowboarders and they all play against each other. Switzerland, France, Spain, England, Austria and Locals all came to play in the south west of France.
I was part of the swiss team with my fellow countrymen Romain De Marchi, David Pitschi, Thierry Kunst, Fredi Kalbermatten, Stephan Maurer, Moritz Frey, Stephan Probst, Alessandro Boyens and team Captain Nicolas Mueller. Each team had to have a girl on the field at all times... Which meant I had no other choice than run all the time. Exhausting! Luckily Hana Beaman accepted to run some for me on the last couple days... That’s after loosing my big toe nail, getting major cramps in both thigh, suffering from an eye infection and several crashs at tackling attempts
We played against the Spanish team at first and I was quite frightened by them as their players were all strong and good at soccer. Luckily we made it through with a first victory. Then we got smashed by the Austrian Team... It was pretty fun to play against Lisa Filzmoser and Aline Bock.
I say play against when really on the girls side of the field, most of the action happened right before the game in a fun dance warm up session. And we lost our last game against the frenchies, whom only got lucky the game didn’t last a couple extra minutes. On the french side, Margot was running all over the place super into it... So I decided to take advantage of L’Arrogs smoother running skills and who was actually quite easy to dribble.
The next day was a day off, with perfect surf off shore all day, so Vanessa, Margot, David and I, spend the day surfing. 3 sessions of 2.5 hours really didn’t give us much rest.
We started the second day playing against the English team which had won all their games until then. Everyone had warned us of their angry way of playing. But somehow against all expectations, we won. We had a pretty good tactic on that game. Romain was in defense blocking anything or anyone who could go through, most guys stayed in defense all the time, but Nicolas and Freddy were always ready to run to the adverse cage and strike.
We played the last game against the locals and my good friend Vanessa was playing in there team after leaving the french team as they never let her play because she was a girl. Well those guys were really fun to play against! They were playing for the fun of it. We won.
After all games, we ended up in second place after the English team. At that point I wasn’t even able to walk anymore.
The finals were hold on the last day. We played against the Austrians again, I almost decapitated one of their players by lifting my foot over head trying the reach for the ball when the guy on the other side went for a header. Anyways we won there again and we were up against England in the finals.
That was a very long game. Tie at the end of the game, tie at the end of the extra time. I hated that game, I ran everywhere and spend the whole time in front of the English’s cage, and every time the guys would try to strike, they always chose to kick the ball way off field but never gave me the ball. I had spent the whole week running and hurting my self, and on the last game I was suddenly not worthy of touching the ball anymore. I got really angry and didn’t participate to the penalties.
Tie at the end of penalties, and England won at sudden death penalties. Well good on them because they did include both of their female players in the game Jenny Jones and Laura Berry which both did really good. We ended 2nd with lots of sour muscles.
The whole week was really fun, even if no one could walk anymore after the overdose of soccer. I suggest we choose a less violent sport for next year... Who’s up for beach volley ball? Because meeting all the snowboarders at the beach is super fun, plus it was for a good cause.
Vanessa was still around for a couple of extra days which we spend surfing at the beach. That was definitely easier on the body than soccer!
Thanks to all the soccer girls for being such good sports mates, Vanessa, Lisa, Hana, Margot, Aline, Jenny, Laura, Alex, I’ll see you all next year! Thanks to,Lisa Filzmoser, Yoann Hamonic and Vanessa Andireux for the photos.