- El Salvador dreaming of a return to the World Cup
- Firm favourites to succeed in third spherical after emphatic first-leg win over St. Kitts and Nevis
- “We have that dream, and nothing is impossible”
Anyone following El Salvador’s current video games cannot have failed to note one identify cropping up once more and once more on the scoresheet: that of David Antonio “Tony” Rugamas. Whether within the beginning XI or coming off the bench, the 31-yr-outdated striker has been discovering the web with such regularity that followers of La Selecta are rising in pleasure and hope throughout the Concacaf qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™.
“Undoubtedly, I’m enjoying the best spell of my career. Performing like this for the national team is something you always dream about as a professional player. Everything about it is very different: when you play for your national team you have the entire country watching you. It’s something I’m enjoying immensely,” he reveals in an unique chat with FIFA.com.
But whereas Rugamas can’t cease scoring at current, he has needed to present quite a lot of endurance to get himself on this place.
“I started the first two games of the qualifying campaign and scored in each of them. Then we had a change of coach and the new boss, Hugo Perez, left me on the bench. Through it all, though, I stayed mentally strong and told myself I had to make the most of any playing time I got, even if it was only 15 or 20 minutes. You don’t need to start a game to score in it.”
In the tip, the participant’s endurance was rewarded, as his spectacular stats attest. He has discovered the goal in every of the final 5 qualifying video games (racking up eight targets in complete) and now finds himself again within the beginning line-up.
Of course, Rugamas’ wealthy vein of type can also be a mirrored image of El Salvador’s positive current type.
“I think the togetherness we have as a group has been transcendental for all of this. As a team, we’re also very tactically disciplined and organised; we all work together in defence and attack. No one thinks they’re special or not required to run their socks off; we all work equally hard. I think it’s a combination of all those things that has really helped us, because everyone’s performance has improved considerably.”
The outcomes this enchancment led to now sees them strongly positioned to advance from Round 2 of Concacaf qualifying for the Qatar 2022™ and take their place within the eight-workforce last group section.
After dropping 4-0 at dwelling within the first leg on Saturday, St. Kitts and Nevis can have their work lower out if they’re to finish the Salvadorans’ 9-match unbeaten run once they meet for the return leg this Tuesday. On prime of that, in eight of these 9 fixtures, La Selecta saved clear sheets.
That mentioned, Rugamas and his workforce-mates are taking nothing without any consideration, realizing full effectively that overconfidence might thwart their ambition. “We don’t have that kind of mindset. The coach has already mentioned it a few times, so we’ll be treating this match like any other and not thinking about our sizable first-leg advantage. We want to go out and conclude the tie definitively.”
World Cup nostalgia
Next yr, when Qatar 2022™ takes place, it will likely be the fortieth anniversary of El Salvador’s final look on the world stage. Nothing would please the Central Americans greater than ending that drought.
“Our collective ambition is to reach the World Cup again. We share a desire to make history and have our names associated with a return to the World Cup. We have that dream, and nothing is impossible. We’re going to fight and give everything we’ve got to achieve it.”
In their quest to stop the nation’s World Cup hiatus going past 4 many years, Rugamas has no downside assuming duty for scoring the targets, whatever the stress that this entails.
“It suddenly feels like the pressure has eased considerably thanks to the games we’ve recently come through. I’m not going to say that we’re already in the octagonal, but practically speaking we’ve taken a big step in that direction. So I don’t feel under pressure; on the contrary, I’m really enjoying this period and my team-mates share that sentiment,” he concludes.