Tuesday, August 11

Kosovo's dream team is ready to inspire a more hopeful future | Nick Ames

Exciting team that has grown up quickly has more than just possible Euro 2020 qualification as motivation

During Kosovo’s first World Cup qualifying campaign, a feeling spread through their squad and delegation that they were not being treated with enough respect. They could sense it, sometimes, through little things in an opponent’s body language before a game or a disparaging comment during it. Although they took a single point from their attempt to reach Russia 2018, their performances against teams such as Croatia, Iceland, Ukraine and Turkey had merited more; the belief inside the dressing room was that they were not far off and if outsiders wanted to patronise them they had been through enough not to care.

They were right. Kosovo arrive in Southampton unbeaten in 15 games, fresh from a pulsating 2-1 win over the Czech Republic and with genuine hopes of reaching the European Championship at the first time of asking. It is the most exciting story on the continent’s international scene; a tale of how a nation that declared independence in 2008, and did not join Uefa or Fifa until May 2016, has been able to express itself through a team whose possibilities currently appear limitless.

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Source: Football News
Link : Kosovo’s dream team is ready to inspire a more hopeful future | Nick Ames

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