“This is a dream come true for me, the players and the country. For the first time in 36 years we feel the World Cup vibe and we have to enjoy it,” said national coach John Herdman during the press moment on Tuesday. “It’s a wonderful feeling. However, we have not seen much of Qatar, except for the training center. From my hotel room I have a view of Lusail, the World Cup stadium where the final will be played, and that alone gives you the necessary drive.”
Not only the Canadian players, but the entire technical staff has no World Cup experience. The press moment had to start half an hour later because they had miscalculated on the Qatari traffic.
“You wouldn’t want that at your first World Cup in a long time. The match against Belgium will therefore be a good test for us. As we see it, we don’t have too much to lose and we will make it a cup final. Belgium has a lot of qualities, especially in the front. There is experience, the group has been playing together for a long time. We also know that sometimes during the match they will take control, that they will adapt more quickly to match situations. However, we have nothing to fear. Our naivete can be both an advantage and a disadvantage. Our attack will test their defenses and vice versa.”
Star player Alphonso Davies is, as expected, completely fit after a hamstring injury and is expected in the starting line-up on Wednesday. “He is indeed ready to play. There were some injury concerns in recent weeks, but the sky has cleared up in the meantime. Our players are all fit.”