Canada is upside down: And right in the middle of World Cup celebrations is Liam Miller from FC Baselia
With a 4–0 win over Jamaica in Toronto on the final day of the CONCACAF World Cup Qualifier, Canada secured their ticket to the World Cup in Qatar, sending the entire nation into a frenzy.
The voice of a commentator accompanying the national team’s game against Jamaica on Canadian TV on Sunday evening trembles before kick-off. “I’ve never seen anything so beautiful in my life,” he says, closing in on 29,000 fans in Toronto and singing the “Oh Canada” anthem with the team.
The fact that there is snow and minus 5 degrees of snow feels ten degrees colder due to the wind, doesn’t stop Canadian fans from cheering. On the contrary, they take pride in the fact that their pleasant day also has Canada’s typical weather.
The starting point is simple. With a points win against Jamaica, Canada, known as a hockey nation but long ridiculed as a football nation, won the Football World Cup for the first time since 1986 and only for the second time. travels. A quote from England coach John Herdman, who has been in charge of Canada’s men’s national team since 2018, shows how the image of football in Canada has changed:
“When I started here, nobody believed in us because we didn’t give anyone a clue to believe in us.”
When Harderman claimed before the start of the qualifying campaign that he would qualify with Canada for the World Cup in Qatar, hardly anyone believed him. But a lot has happened in this regard in recent years. The main reason is the sporting success of Hardemann’s team, which managed to inspire people.
The grandstands that were previously occupied by little when the national team played are now already sold out. Canadian FCB wing Liam Miller saw development for the first time. He says: “You really see how football has changed in Canada. We built a promotion. I’m incredibly proud to be a part of this team.”
Miller has played 15 matches for Canada. In World Cup qualifiers, the dribbling and fast 23-year-old was always on the team from day four, but he played only four possible games out of ten and never played the full 90 minutes. And yet Miller is an integral part of the team that has brought joy to all of Canada, as shown from stadium views or sports bars in big cities.
After the final whistle, the player from Basel stands directly behind captain Jonathan Osorio as teammates and fans encourage collective clapping with drums – as the Iceland national team celebrated at the 2016 European Championship. And Miller is also one of the first to share his pride on Instagram. “World Cup ready,” he writes under a team photo.
Colleague Osorio, one of the few regulars who still earns his money in Major League Soccer at Toronto FC, not like many other current Canadian international players in Europe, shivered with chills and joy after the game. Says: “It’s unbelievable how those people now believe in us and root for us. It inspires us to be even better. We’ll make a statement at the World Cup too.”
Men have always been dominated by women
Until that time, football in Canada was a women’s affair. The Canadian (world No. 6) regularly plays in major tournaments and won Olympic gold in Tokyo in 2021. The men (world number 33), on the other hand, only qualified for the 1986 World Cup, but were eliminated without a goal or a point after three games in Mexico (0–1 against France, 0–0 against Hungary). 2 and 0 -2 against the Soviet Union) as the bottom of the group.
Coach Herdman was also initially responsible for the Canadian women’s team from 2010 to 2017, before she worked on getting the men in shape as well. After the victory against Jamaica, he enthusiastically declared: “We are now a football nation.”
It should do better before the domestic World Cup
In fact, Canada even have a Champions League winner in Bayern Munich’s Alfonso Davies, who is currently on a break due to heart problems. Jonathan David (Lille) and Stefan Eustaquio (Porto) also play well in the top European teams. It should remain that way, as Canadians are looking forward to not only participating in the World Cup in Qatar, but also participating in the 2026 edition. This will be the domestic World Cup, which will be organized in association with USA and Mexico.
Canada stunned home fans and thousands in front of TV in Toronto on Sunday evening with several beautiful strikes and four goals against overwhelmed Jamaica and clear World Cup qualification 4-0, commentator on Canadian TV said in a final. Begins the Song of Praise: “Not in the wildest dreams you would have thought this was possible. From dark to unforgettable. The country has been waiting for this moment. The kings of the north did. Canada goes to the World Cup!”
Three FCB players in Qatar
Liam Miller could be one of three FC Basel players to participate in the World Cup in Qatar along with Fabian Frey (Switzerland) and Strahinja Pavlovich (Serbia), if called upon. Heinz Lindner failed with Austria in the playoff against Wales on Thursday. Adam Szalai (Hungary) and Nasser Ziga (Burkina Faso) both failed to qualify first. And other FCB internationals are at least still on the road with youth teams.
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