The world has nicknamed the Socceroos ‘Invincible Underdogs’ and now coach Graham Arnold said that backs-to-the-wall mentality was set to land the Aussie their biggest World Cup scalp yet
The world has dubbed Graham Arnold’s Socceroos the ‘invincible underdogs’ following their exploits in Qatar – and it is a moniker they have adopted with gusto.
And while many believe La Albiceleste will emerge comfortable winners – Arnold and imposing centre back Harry Souttar are daring to dream big.
‘I think the universe is paying us back for all the hard work we’ve done,’ a relaxed Arnold told reporters in the Middle East.
‘We’ve been named the ‘invincible underdogs’ around the world. Everyone is an underdog until you have success.
‘Nearly everyone in the world, at some stage in their life, has been an underdog. It’s not until you have success that you’re seen as a success.
Scottish born Harry Souttar has been immense for the Socceroos at the World Cup in Qatar
Coach Graham Arnold is relishing the underdog tag and loves the fact ‘no one is giving us a chance’ versus Argentina
‘Australia’s the underdogs. We love that. We love our backs to the wall and no one giving us a chance, going out there and fighting the Aussie spirit way.
‘That’s our strength.’
Written off following their 4-1 defeat at the hands of a rampant France in their Group D opener, Australia’s response has been nothing short of sensational.
Two gritty 1-0 wins over the more fancied Tunisia and Denmark shocked the world – but not Souttar and company.
‘I think the last two results have showed when everyone’s on the same page what can happen,’ the towering defender said.
‘If you’d told me that four years ago [that] I’d be in this position, I’d probably believe you, because we have so much belief in ourselves and we knew what we could do as a squad and as a team.
Superstar Lionel Messi looms as a significant obstacle for the Socceroos to contain in the round of 16
‘For us, we’re not surprised where we are at the moment. I know we’ve surprised a few people. And hopefully we can do that again.’
And while world number three ranked Argentina aren’t exactly rattled, coach Lionel Scaloni is wary of an opposition with nothing to lose.
Scaloni – who will be able to call on the services of superstar Lionel Messi at the Ahmad bin Ali Stadium – labelled Australia ‘a national team with players who know what they want.’
‘They have good players in the right wing, the forwards, the midfielders with experience. They are playing at a high level,’ he said.
‘Anyone who thinks the match against Australia will be easy is wrong.’