Socceroos begin plan to make Cup ‘special’
WATCH out, we’re ready to do something special.
That’s the message from Socceroos stars Tim Cahill and Maty Ryan as they eye an opening match-up against tournament favourites France at Russia 2018.
Australia rounded out Group C at the World Cup Draw, held at the State Kremlin Palace in Moscow, joining France, Denmark and Peru.
Though tricky, it’s one of the more favourable groups the Socceroos have found themselves in and Cahill hopes they can do “something special” next year.
Cahill, who turns 38 this month, is preparing to make it to his fourth World Cup where he is one goal away from joining Pele and German greats Uwe Seeler and Miroslav Klose as the only players to score in four World Cups.
“(I’m) excited that the draw is complete and now we can learn more about our competition,” Cahill said.
“The standout for me is France – their quality is exceptional. It’s a group that will be difficult, but at the same time we have a lot to look forward to and we’ll prepare to hopefully do something special in this next World Cup.”
The Socceroos play their opening match against France on June 16 in Kazan, before meeting Denmark on June 21 in Samara, followed by Peru on June 26 in Sochi.
Ryan said that they could cause a few surprises.
“Very exciting now that we know the draw,” he said. “We get to play against one of the favourites of the tournament in the opening match and then two other teams who qualified through the knockout stages of qualifying and not directly from the group.
“As a group it’s been drilled into us not to fear any opposition we come against, so if we continue improving all the way up until the start of the tournament and if we play to the levels we know we can then we fancy ourselves against anyone.”
The draw took place at the historic Kremlin State Palace, with guests and football royalty first having to make their way through Red Square in the snow.
After the red carpet arrivals, Russian President Vladimir Putin made the opening address before formal proceedings got under way.
Former England player Gary Lineker hosted the draw, and he was assisted by former World Cup winners and Diego Forlan, representing the Uruguayan champions of 1930 and 1950.
Anticipation built in the hall as the audience waited for the “Group of Death”, but that never really eventuated. Most of the big guns, aside from Spain and Portugal in Group B, managed to avoid each other.