“These are the type of games you dream of...” says Chipolina after Gibraltar drawn in same group as Netherlands
The excitement of being drawn against the Netherlands for the qualifier group matches to try and reach Qatar 2020 was met with cautious optimism by head coach Julio Ribas. Describing the group Gibraltar had been drawn of as a “tough group” Ribas cautioned against taking Gibraltar’s past result against Latvia as a forecast for the future.
Head Coach Julio Ribas, believed “Group G is definitely a tough group for us, a difficult one, but one that will no doubt prove great for us as we keep growing and developing as a National Team."
Although there was optimism around the fact Gibraltar had also drawn Latvia Mr Ribas was cautiously optimistic only, “they have changed a lot since then, we take it match by match now,” he commented as he sat down at Victoria Stadium to watch the next domestic league match that same evening, less than an hour after the draw.
Gibraltar have been drawn against the Netherlands, Turkey, Norway, Montenegro and Latvia. One of the toughest groups drawn.
The Netherlands hold the record for playing the most World Cup finals without winning it. They finished second in 1974, 1978 and 2010. They lost the finals to West Germany, Argentina and Spain.
The UEFA Qualifying Draw for the 2022 FIFA World Cup was held in Switzerland this evening.
Following the draw Gibraltar Captain Roy Chipolina said; “A great draw for Gibraltar. Some massive footballing nations in our group. Netherlands being the obvious stand out, not to mention some of the world class players we shall be facing. Naturaly we are massive underdogs, but these are the kind of games you dream about as a boy. I can only say that we will continue to work as hard as possible with the aim to continue to progress in our own way."
Speaking immediately after the draw, Gibraltar FA General Secretary Ivan Robba commented:
"We have been drawn in a group with some historic International teams such as the Netherlands, Turkey and Norway who will provide some of the toughest tests out there for us. Montenegro will no doubt be a very tough away assignment and then Latvia who we have played twice in international friendlies already, winning one and losing one.”
“The hard work starts immediately to prepare for Group G to ensure everything is ready for March and we look forward to the actual fixture announcements which UEFA will make in due course.”