Canada has qualified for the men’s World Cup for the first time in thirty-six years.
Back after such a lengthy absence, head coach John Herdman believes they can now call themselves a “legit football country”.
Herdman spoke of Canada’s rise over the four years he has been in charge.
“We’ve got [Alphonso] Davies playing Champions League finals, we’ve got players playing all over Europe,” he said. “We’ve got kids coming through the youth system and we’ve just qualified for a World Cup.
“I told these boys right at the beginning, we’ve got to give this country something to believe in. They lost hope, they lost faith, but we’re a football country now and they all know it.”
Canada now ranks 33rd in the world, the team’s highest-ever position.
Their status as a footballing country has not only risen on the men’s side but is helped by the presence of the women’s side at the top of their game too.
Just last year, Bev Priestman led them to Olympic glory as they beat Sweden to win gold.
“The sky’s the limit,” said midfielder Atiba Hutchinson. “I think we’re going to just continue to get better and better and we’re going to continue to improve.”
“We’re going to be ready to go there at the World Cup and put ourselves really on the map. We’ve got a lot of confidence and we believe that we can do well.”