December 6, 2022

519 Magazine

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“We’re going to Croatia”


Canada returns to the World Cup after 36 years, making its debut against Belgium in Qatar 2022 this Wednesday. Although the North Americans narrowly lost against the Belgians, the performance on the green grass was encouraging and their coach John Herdmann was optimistic about their next game against Croatia.

However, the British-born strategist was at the center of various criticisms for a damning statement about it. “We’re going to catch Croatia,” he announced.

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His words have an impact. No doubt. Not only because of its sexist tone, but also because of his own cultural and personal baggage, the British-born coach has spent his entire career in women’s football: from 2006 to 2011 he tactically directed the New Zealand women’s team, while from 2011 to 2018 he did it in Canada, where his best He was invited to lead the men’s team because of his achievements.

The harangue, of course, caused a sensation within the Canadian press. Above all, because of his past stints as technical director of that country’s and New Zealand’s women’s football teams at various stages.

Precisely, with the women of the North American country, she won the bronze medals of the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Olympic Games, which earned her the Canadian Confederation and led the men in the CONCACAF qualifiers. Ranked first and qualified for this competition.

Of the decision, she noted what it was like to lead a female team alongside a male team: “Looking at it, I thought, ‘How is this possible?’ There may be older men who think that. I don’t think there is much difference between men and women. Training is the same. Besides, I promised myself that I would not change a thing and continue to be myself.

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By the time his team was consulted on a missed penalty kick. “We wanted to score that first goal. I’m proud of Alphonsa; it was a huge moment. We have the weight of a nation waiting for 36 years. I’m so proud to see him catch that ball because you have to be so brave.

John Herdman is satisfied with his first match defeat. “We have shown that we deserve to be here. Our fans have also tried to win the battle; we can leave proud of what we have done. We are a football nation. We had goals that we could not achieve. After the result between Morocco and Croatia, the group stage was completely open.

He later highlighted: “After a game like this, I’ve said I’m very proud of what my players have done. We must be together.”