FORMER Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Warren Archibald has tipped Trinidad and Tobago to win the FIFA World Cup in Germany.
“I am telling you, we are going to win the World Cup,” Archibald emphasised yesterday at the Piarco International Airport, as members of the 1973 and 1989 national teams prepared to fly out on a chartered flight to Frankfurt, Germany.
“I hope they’re not going there to play,” Archibald noted, “we’re going to win the World Cup.”
He continued, “they have a ticket and they have a chance.
Referring to the 1973 team’s controversial qualifying campaign in Haiti, for the 1974 World Cup in West Germany, Archibald commented, “it’s just like us in ’73 against Mexico (with TT winning 4-0).
“Nobody knew about us,” he added. “So they could pull some surprises. I hope they do.”
Archibald made his boast despite Trinidad and Tobago’s trio of international defeats - 2-1 against Wales, 3-1 against Slovenia and 3-0 against Czech Republic.
“In soccer, you have to gel, you have to come together,” he stated. “Speaking from a personal point of view, they came together at the right time.
“Regardless if they lost some or if they win some (warm-up matches), they came together at the right time,” continued Archibald. “That’s the main purpose, qualifying for the World Cup.”
Members of the 1973 and 1989 teams were flown to Germany courtesy of a travel agency called Mykon Limited, who decided to honour the national squads who came within touching distances of the respective 1974 and 1990 World Cups.
“It’s a great honour because we were not forgotten,” Archibald said. “As a kid, I always looked forward to representing my country and my aim, in playing soccer, other than (playing) professionally, (was) going to the World Cup with Trinidad and Tobago.
“So, I think the accomplishment of the guys is the accomplishment in my heart, and I accomplished something too,” he added. “More power to the guys and I wish them all the best.” Archibald’s teammate and another high-profile player, Everard “Gally” Cummings, was more modest in his opinion of the team.
“My expectations are (that) they would go and do Trinidad and Tobago proud,” said the ex-TT striker. “It’s no way that team could improve at this stage and if there’s anyway they can improve is in the camaraderie and we want to say that we’ve finally qualified.
Cummings continued, “I just want to wish them all the best but I know that it’s going to be very difficult because we’re going up against world competition. And I don’t think that we are at that level as yet.”
Pertaining the gesture extended by Mykon, Cummings said, “to be quite honest, I don’t feel I’m going as a spectator.
“I always felt a part of the team and whatever national team it had since I started as a national player, I feel connected to that team,” he added. “I always looked at it as a connection. I feel I’m going there as a part of the team. So, I’ll like to rule out being a spectator.”
Cummings, who was also the coach of the 1989 Strike Squad, declared that it would be an emotional moment for him to witness TT’s participation in Germany.
“I’m always reaching close and I want to feel that, (for) the 1973 team who really did qualify and were robbed, and the 1989 team who came close, I want to say on behalf of all those players, it’s a job well done and I know that the fellas, the Soca Warriors, who is an extension of us, they’re going to do their best and whatever their best is, we have to accept.
“And I want to just say thanks for Mykon and the business community for making it possible for us to go, because I know this was something the Football Association was supposed to do,” he ended.