Canada coach John Herdman has joked that he hopes Belgian maestro Kevin De Bruyne will be ill when they face Roberto Martinez’s men at the World Cup.
The Canadians are taking part in the tournament for the first time in 36 years and England’s Herdman admits they will need a bit of luck after being drawn in the same group as Belgium and Croatia.
The finals are due to start on November 21, with Canada starting their campaign two days later against the world’s No. 2 ranked team, Belgium.
It’s undoubtedly a tall order for Herdman and his players, but they will enter the draw with nothing to lose as underdogs.
And while Belgium is full of star players such as De Bruyne, Romelu Lukaku and Eden Hazard, miracles are possible in football.
Additionally, the North American squad will be hoping Bayern Munich star Alphonso Davies and Lille ace Jonathan David can show what they can do on football’s biggest stage.
But speaking on Hawksbee and Jacobs on talkSPORT, the Canada boss is hoping for some luck ahead of the draw against De Bruyne and co.
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“I just hope De Bruyne is a bit sick that day,” the 46-year-old joked, adding that he really enjoys playing against the best in the world.
Herdman, also spoke of the pride of guiding Canada to their first World Cup since 1986, while revealing what his ambitions are in this tournament, as well as in 2026, where he will co-host alongside the United States. and Mexico.
“Just an incredible experience, the euphoria of qualifying, the country hasn’t been to a World Cup for about 30 years and there hasn’t been much to celebrate on the men’s side of the game for a long time. “, he added. .
“Just to feel that emotion with the whole country, it’s something we dreamed of and it happened in Toronto, in our home stadium, we qualified there and then against Jamaica, and it was a priceless feeling.
“Everything is an opportunity in this World Cup, we said to ourselves that we wanted to qualify, to create the foundations because we have a World Cup at home in 2026.
“That’s where we really expect the pressure and the expectation from our fans, but this one, we’re going to enjoy it and hopefully be that Cinderella story.”
Despite the tough draw, Herdman is still very happy with the opposition as it takes the pressure off them to win the game.
“That was what we wanted, as a band, you don’t want to be in bands where you have teams where people expect you to get results,” he said.
“It’s Canadian history, it’s been a real underdog story all the way through to qualifying, we had to go through a 20-game qualifying journey to get to Qatar, more than any other team, it was a mad dash.
“If we hadn’t had Belgium or Croatia it just wouldn’t have been the script, so for us it’s just pure motivation.”
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