Thursday was Thanksgiving and even in Qatar meaning turkey. The issue for Giulio Caccamo, the brand new supervisor of the USA World Cup workforce, was the place to search out him.

It seems you may’t, at the least not within the amount or high quality that Caccamo needs. So he needed to fly the birds in from the US ( turkeys cannot fly, proper?)

“Tonight we’re going to eat turkey, mashed candy potatoes with marshmallow. So we stored the custom,” Caccamo mentioned on the eve of the essential group stage showdown between the Individuals and England on Friday.

This meal was one in every of dozens that Caccamo will put together for the nationwide workforce and its workers throughout their keep in Qatar. But cooking is the least of her challenges as a result of it does not matter how good the meals is that if nobody eats it. Whenever you’re coping with 26 younger males, together with two youngsters, getting them to eat their greens is not straightforward.

That is the place the artist from Caccamo is available in.

“It is about being inventive and wholesome on the identical time,” he mentioned. “You must give them a nutritious diet. [so] that they’re good at operating for 90 minutes. Nonetheless, it must be enjoyable and must be inventive. I imagine the emotional half is necessary relating to meals, so it’s a must to contact them. They need to really feel glad after they stroll into the eating room and see what they will eat. What’s new?

“The thrill half is essential.”

Caccamo loves meals. He lives it, breathes it, and… nicely, eats it. Which makes him the type of man you need in command of feeding your World Cup workforce as a result of whereas a military can stroll on its stomach a soccer workforce performs on theirs which makes for an excellent chief nearly as necessary as an excellent goalkeeper.

“I take it very critically,” Caccamo mentioned of his work.

Gamers say it exhibits.

“Our boss,” mentioned midfielder Kellyn Acosta, “did an distinctive job.”

The job was not one Caccamo was on the lookout for – and even existed – simply over a 12 months in the past when the US flew to El Salvador for the beginning of World Cup qualifying.

In contrast to Mexico, which has traveled with a workforce chief prior to now, the US most popular to work with workers from no matter resort the workforce resides in. On the San Salvador Intercontinental, it was Caccamo, who shortly received over American coach – and famend foodie – Gregg Berhalter, not solely together with his cooking but additionally together with his work ethic and meticulousness.

With the World Cup confined to 1 metropolis and the US workforce holding the match in a single resort this 12 months, the thought of ​​bringing a chef to Qatar appeared like an excellent one. After months of dialogue, Berhalter supplied the job to Caccamo, who, at 39, thought his World Cup days had handed him.

“You already know, soccer is sort of a faith for us,” mentioned the Italian-born chef. “Because you had been younger, you at all times dreamed of taking part in in a World Cup. So, sure, even when Italy just isn’t there, at the least we carry an Italian to the World Cup.

⚽ Qatar 2022 World Cup

“I am privileged and blessed to be right here. It is a as soon as in a lifetime expertise,” he continued. “I am very grateful. Not solely to stay the expertise of being right here however of being with them as a result of as quickly as you enter the group, you are feeling the ambiance. It is like a household. »

Caccamo, his sous chef and a neighborhood workforce of 11 different individuals put together three every day buffet meals for as much as 70 individuals and, other than the turkey, little or no of what they put together is imported. As a substitute, they scour native markets for recent components. Menus are deliberate with the assistance of workforce nutritionists and a calendar since what goes into every dish – protein or carbs, for instance – is influenced by how shut the following sport is.

“We do not cook dinner so much forward of time,” Caccamo mentioned. “We do not waste meals. It is a essential query for me.

A private chef is simply one of many perks supplied to American gamers on the Marsa Malaz Kempinski Lodge, the workforce’s sprawling five-star house at The Pearl, a 1½-mile man-made island constructed within the western bay of Doha. The resort, in truth, is a bonus in itself.

“It seems to be such as you’ve hit the jackpot so you may safe these websites, as a result of it is necessary to attempt to get it proper,” Berhalter mentioned. “We have put numerous effort into making it accommodating, creating the type of setting gamers are used to, understanding that we wish to be right here for a very long time.”

Creating this setting concerned bringing in 15 tons of apparatus and different help supplies and establishing a gamers’ lounge on the resort that features pool tables, big-screen TVs and a placing inexperienced.

“All 9 yards,” Acosta mentioned. US Soccer even introduced a barber.

Perks aren’t new to the World Cup. For the 2010 match in South Africa, the late Diego Maradona, then Argentina coach, demanded that his suite be transformed so as to add an costly bathroom, a throne match for a soccer king. The Brazilians insisted that the water of their resort pool be heated to precisely 90 levels and the New Zealanders requested for golf classes.

All of those requests have been granted – and a few sports activities psychologists say the expense is price it. Creating a snug setting that avid gamers are used to may end up in higher efficiency, they are saying.

Defender DeAndre Yedlin, the only survivor of America’s final World Cup squad in 2014, mentioned the truth that gamers slept in the identical mattress all through that match has already made a distinction. In Brazil, Group USA traveled practically 13,000 miles to play 4 video games; his longest journey in Qatar would be the 52-mile bus experience to the sting of the Qatari desert for the sport in opposition to England.

“The primary day we bought right here, Gregg mentioned to us, ‘Unpack your issues. Put your books on the shelf, put your garments within the drawers, make your self comfy right here,” Yedlin mentioned. “It has a somewhat constructive impact as a result of you may actually settle in and really feel at house.”

On Thursday, they even had a standard Thanksgiving dinner.

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