Talk to us in 2026: Team Canada’s Steven Vitoria says his side ‘has a big future’ after losing 4-1 to Croatia and being eliminated from the World Cup
GD Chaves defender Steven Vitoria has started both of Canada’s defeats during the Maple Leafs’ World Cup campaign, and has seen enough on the pitch to be encouraged at what the future holds for this young side.
‘This group has a big future,’ Vitoria said following Sunday’s 4-1 loss to Croatia, which eliminated Team Canada from the 2022 World Cup with one match left to play. ‘We pushed forward, but the scoreline didn’t go the way we wanted.
‘We played another world class side and showed a lot of positive things. We always wanted this, we weren’t afraid.
GD Chaves defender Steven Vitoria has started both of Canada’s defeats during the Maple Leafs’ World Cup campaign, and has seen enough on the pitch to be encouraged at what the future holds for this young side
‘No matter the scoreboard we kept pushing forward and I’m proud of that… We’re working hard to close the gaps.’
John Herdman’s side surprised fans and pundits alike with their brilliant performance against second in the world Belgium, and again flew out the blocks against Croatia, Alphonso Davies scoring inside seventy seconds.
The goal was Team Canada’s first in World Cup history.
Despite both games ending in defeat, 35-year-old Vitoria is adamant his team’s performances have made their country proud.
‘We felt the energy of a country, I know they’re proud. All that was asked was that we left everything out on the pitch.
‘We were clear that we didn’t want to just come here to participate, and we wanted to show the world. We got tested and we’re going to keep pushing.
‘We’re going to keep pushing and growing.’
Canada finishes its World Cup campaign against Morocco on December 1.
The good news for the Canucks is that Canada is one of three North American hosts for the 2026 World Cup, guaranteeing they will be back in the tournament in four years.
Alistair Johnston (L) and Steven Vitoria of Canada react after the 1-4 loss during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group F match between Croatia and Canada at Khalifa International Stadium