It was the one word that immediately spanned the language divide at today’s Spanish-English press conference ahead of Brisbane Roar’s LFP World Challenge match again Villarreal CF at Suncorp Stadium tomorrow night.
And it left the visitors wondering if it was just an amusing nickname or whether they were in for far more than they expected.
“Roarcelona,” one reporter said referring to the nickname fans gave the Roar during their glory seasons of recent years.
Did Villarreal have any view on what that might mean for tomorrow night’s game, the reporter queried as he explained the Aussie deference to Villarreal’s powerful and all-conquering rivals Barcelona?
There were chuckles all round, particularly from Villarreal Head Coach Marcelino García Toral, but in Spanish football any reference to the four-time European Champions is seldom a laughing matter.
After nearly three days of build-up in the Sunshine State, Marcelino is confident his team will be ready for the Roar after shaking off any jet lag with a 3-2 come from behind victory over Adelaide United on Friday night.
Despite trailing 2-0, the Spaniards blew Adelaide away with three goals in the final half hour of play, including an injury time winner.
Speaking through a translator, Marcelino said the Yellow Submarine would be better prepared after the Adelaide hit out thanks to two days of recovery on the Gold Coast.
Jaume Costa, Villarreal’s left back who played the full 90 minutes against Adelaide, said he was excited to see more of Australian club football.
“We never dreamed we would be able to travel and play in Australia and are thankful for the chance to test out the level of football in Australia,” Costa said through a translator at today’s official pre-match press conference.
The talented defender was also intrigued by the “Roarcelona” tag given to Brisbane during its recent Hyundai A-League championship-winning seasons.
“Adelaide had good midfielders. Now I am starting get worried about this Roarcelona name,” Costa said.
The Roar’s experienced and skilled midfield, including Socceroo Matt McKay and two-time Johnny Warren medallist Thomas Broich will be out to prove their potency against the Spanish giants – and show fans that despite this year’s challenging season, the ‘Roarcelona’ tag may still yet apply.
Tickets to the match, which is not televised in Australia, start from just $16 for children and $28 for adults (plus credit card and transaction fees). For more information or to book your seats, click here.