Israel lived in war for many days. A conflict that has deeply affected the sport and that can paralyze all activities in the country. Josep María Berrocal is the assistant coach of Maccabi Tel Aviv and offered in ‘Bookmark’ his startling and heartbreaking testimony of Israel’s plight.
“I’m waiting to fly abroad with the family. The idea is that all the foreigners in the team will be together these weeks. All the big houses have a sheltered and protected room of refuge, where we sleep. When the alarm goes off you have a minute and a half to get into the room. It was shocking to hear the missiles. Everything is so animalistic. There are more people on the streets, more shops open, people with family celebrations… I went to training and I didn’t feel dangerous, but anxious. But this time you know it’s something very different, there’s a lot of sadness,” he explained from Tel Aviv.
The conflict has already forced the suspension of Eurocup and Euroleague matches this coming week and the situation looks complicated in the coming weeks. “I can’t imagine the weather being outside all year. What I told the club is that basketball is not the most important thing, it is my job, but what is important to me is that we are safe and that the country can return to normal as soon as possible. This year’s success could play out again at some point this year at home.that is the answer to the fact that things have been resolved,” he said.
Josep María Berrocal’s career has taken him to Kiev, Belfast, Greece, Turkey and Bahrain in recent years and the coach does not remember any similar situation he has experienced in his entire life. “The life of a coach is lived day by day, I will not explain what I will do tomorrow. I think we will return to Israel and that in weeks it will be resolved. It is difficult to explain the war to my children. They asked me, Dad, are there more shots today? Where are we going, there’s a war too?”he noted sadly.
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