A bold prediction of victory made by Socceroos coach Graham Arnold on Australian TV has made headlines in Argentina ahead of Sunday’s World Cup showdown in Qatar.
In a mostly light-hearted interview on Channel 10’s The Project on Thursday night, Arnold was asked by host Peter Helliar to “convince us” Australia will beat the South American powerhouse led by legend Lionel Messi.
“That we’re going to win? Of course,” Arnold replied.
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“I coached the Olympic team, Tokyo only last year and we beat Argentina 2-0 . It’s yellow shirts against blue and white striped shirts and it’s 11 v 11.”
The vision was picked up and broadcast on ESPN in Argentina, along with some of the nation’s leading newspapers.
Argentine tabloid Perfil ran an article headlined “Spicy message from the Australian coach before the match against Argentina’.
“Already with the view to the duel against Albiceleste, Graham Arnold, coach of the Oceania team, was too confident,” the story read.
Newspaper Ole ran the story with the headline “Australian coach: Of course we are going to beat Argentina”.
Arnold was also asked in the interview which team he wanted to play if the Socceroos went all the way to the final, replying: “Brazil”.
“We want to play the best … we’re here, best 32 to teams in the world and we’re now down to the last 16. We want to play against the best and test ourselves to the max and we want to show the world what our culture and our way is.”
While Arnold was in a jestful mood during the interview his belief in his Australian team is serious, constantly reminding his team and the nation that that the job is not done despite being on the second Socceroos team to reach the knockouts.
“I don’t think anyone expected us to even win a game and then to win two in one World Cup, it’s amazing,” Arnold said.
“But as I said to the boys this morning, you don’t get these opportunities often in life. So what are you going to do about it? Are you just going to let it ride or are you going to do something more and special?
“This is when you go home, you have got time to think about things and remember those things but now, this is real. And let’s give it our best shot.”
Originally published as Graham Arnold’s ‘spicy’ quip creates headlines in Argentina