Posted on September 4, 2012
By Michael Lewis
So, if you were a player who never played in the World Cup or your country had never reached soccer’s promised land, what would you do?
Antigua & Barbuda captain George Dublin says that he would streak. Cuba defender Yenier Marquez says that he would die.
It doesn’t matter which country they’re from — Antigua & Barbuda, Cuba, Canada or Panama — they all have one thing in common: becoming one of the 32 teams on the planet to play in Brazil in June and July in 2014.
Over the past year, TropiGol.com has asked players from various teams that have never qualified for the World Cup what their reaction would be.
In alphabetical order of countries, here is how coaches and players are saying about their dreams of qualifying for the Greatest Show on Earth:
ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA
Team captain and veteran defender George Dublin:
“I would give my life to see Antigua qualify for the world cup. It would be definitely something whatever I can to give all my effort as a player and play more years than I wanted to play to try to get the World Cup. It is an opportunity for plenty of young players to get to the World Cup. . . . We are getting there. We’re working at it.
Dublin’s reaction if Antigua qualified:
“I’ll streak. Definitely I would streak.”
Dublin on the nation’s reaction:
“We definitely would be out of it for quite a while. I don’t know for how long, but definitely for quite a while.”
Midfielder Dwayne De Rosario (the Canadians have qualified only once in 1986):
“It would be my ultimate goal, my ultimate dream. That’s something that I definitely wanted since I was a kid. It truly would be a dream come true and an honor to represent my country. That would be the highlight of my career, for sure.”
Long-time defender Yenier Marquez on how much he would like getting to the World Cup:
“I would be able to die if I play in a World Cup.”
Marquez on Cuba’s reaction:
“It would be a very big success for Cuba. This time the world knows Cuba for baseball. Maybe if Cuba qualifies for a World Cup, it will change the way the world sees Cuba.”
Veteran defender Odelin Marquez on if his country reached the World Cup:
“It would change the minds of the people in Cuba and maybe the people in the world about Cuba football. It would be a huge achievement for Cuba.”
Coach Julio Cesar Dely Valdes on what qualifying for the World Cup would mean to him:
“Of course, it is every player’s dream to play in the World Cup. Of course, I would have loved to have done that. At this point it is not over and hopefully I will be there as a coach.”
Dely Valdes’ reaction if Panama reached Brazil:
“Obviously, I would be ecstatic. If I couldn’t do it as a player, I would complete my dream doing it as a coach.”
Dely Valdes on the country’s reaction:
“All the Panamanians are waiting for that. It would be quite a spectacle.”
Striker Blas Perez on how much he would like to play in a World Cup:
“It’s my dream to go to the World Cup. The team at this point is strong enough to get there. I am very focused and looking forward in seeing our qualification for the Wrold Cup. Panaama and all of the other players are waiting for this moment. It’s going to happen this time.”
Your reaction if Panama qualifies:
“It’s obviously everything that we would wish for. The Panamanians, they would just be embracing the whole team. The team that we have now and what’s coming in the next few years, we’ll have a good chance of making it in 2014.”
Midfielder-striker Luis Tejeda:
“It is every child’s dream, every soccer players’ dream to be in the World Cup. To be in the cup as a player would be a dream that would come true. I’d never forget it. It’s something you would tell your children. Also for the country, for Panama, the Panamanians, there would be a party every day. They would never believe the fact they actually made it.”
“After the World Cup, I’m done, I would retire. If we made it, I would retire.”
Striker-midfielder Gabriel Gomez on if Panama would qualify:
“I would be extremely proud if I were to be part of the first national team that makes it to a World Cup. It’s something we hope to deliver to the Panamanian people, and will make us go down in the history of Panamanian soccer.
Gomez on Panama’s reaction:
“It would be crazy. With just winning a Central American Cup, losing a Gold Cup final, and getting to the championship game of that tournament, everyone in Panama has been very emotional and very supportive; we really hope to deliver the people of Panama another source of pride.”
Photo: Cuba’s Yenier Marquez: “I would be able to die if I play in a World Cup.” Keith Furman/First Row Photos
Categories: Antigua and Barbuda, Canada, Caribbean, Central America, Cuba, North America, Panama, World Cup Qualifying
Tags: Blas Perez, Dwayne De Rosario, Gabriel Gomez, George Dublin, Julio Dely Valdes, Luis Tejeda, World Cup qualifying, Yenier Marquez