Canada has qualified for the World Cup for the first time in 36 years and reached the World Cup final for the second time since 1986. Canada will qualify for the 2022 World Cup and the future looks promising for their players.
Canadian players rejoice at successful 2022 World Cup qualification
Hutchinson is the only player who was around when Canada qualified for the 1985 World Cup in Mexico a year later, beating Honduras 2-1 at home. But at the time, it was of little interest to the world’s second-largest country.
On the contrary. As then national team coach Tony Waters once complained in a documentary, “the team was often chased off the training field because someone came in and said we couldn’t go there.”
Now Hutchinson called qualifying “the best feeling in life” and said he had been “waiting for this moment for a very long time”. After that his teammates poured champagne on his bald head during the interview.
Some professionals played mini-football
There were a few players in Canada at the time who played mostly indoor football because there was no longer a professional league in North America after the North American Soccer League (NASL) ceased operations in 1984.
And because Mexico’s group rivals were European champions France, the Soviet Union and Hungary, the question most often asked before the tournament began was not whether the World Cup newcomers could win the match, but whether they would score a goal at all.
Some bookmakers were offering odds of 300:1 to bet on football, and, as it turned out, quite reasonably. Canada came away with three defeats and 0-5 in goals.
What was left? “Nothing,” recalls Bob Lenarduzzi, a leading performer at the time. “There was no significant effect of the World Cup. Because we didn’t qualify for the World Cup for decades,” says Lenarduzzi.
Smaller countries like Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago or Panama have made their way onto the biggest football stage. Canada, by contrast, often failed to qualify in the early stages.
Team as a reflection of Canada and the key to success at the championship
The World Cup is “the most important sporting event in the world”. Interest in sport betting Vulkan Bet on football in Canada has never been greater. It also has to do with the make-up of this team or rather a reflection of Canada as a country of immigration.
The fact is that the players’ families once came to Canada from Haiti, Portugal, England, Colombia, Serbia or, as in the case of Alfonso Davies, Liberia, devastated by civil war.
Their sons, among others, have made “football the national sport” by qualifying for the World Cup, writes Canada’s second-largest newspaper, the Globe and Mail. With the exception of captain Hutchinson and goalkeeper Borjan, all the key players are still young. Led by Davies, they could form the basis for the 2026 World Cup. Canada has already qualified as hosts, along with Mexico and the US.