- Christian Pulisic outlines USA's targets for Qatar 2022
- He discusses the hunger of this young squad
- Pulisic praises the American suppoters
Don’t count Christian Pulisic among the masses expectation-shrinking. Pressure, after all, is something this kid from Hershey relishes. As an 11-year-old, he had a trial at Chelsea. He moved to Germany at 15. He made his USA debut at 17. He captained his country at just 20. He has welcomed comparisons to Luis Figo and Eden Hazard, and being tipped to outrank Landon Donovan and become the greatest American player of all time. Being called ‘Captain America’ and ‘The Lebron James of Soccer’ is something that makes him swell with pride rather than tremble with fear. Naturally then, Pulisic is shooting for the stars at the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™. He chats to FIFA+ about USA’s targets, the coaching of Gregg Berhalter and the supporters.
FIFA: Christian, after missing out on Russia 2018, how motivated were you to make it to Qatar 2022?
Christian Pulisic: I was motivated the first time around (for 2018). But missing that World Cup gave me a little bit of an extra push, remembering that moment, just missing out, being so close. It definitely gave me some motivation to make sure we did the job this time round. We got the job done, it was a big accomplishment. Now we’re really excited for the World Cup.
So too are the US supporters. What are the American Outlaws and the other fans like?
The American Outlaws and all the other US supporters have been fantastic. Especially the ones who travel… they want to be with us throughout this whole process, they trust us. They mean a lot and they help the sport grow in America as well.
What’s Gregg Berhalter like as a coach?
Gregg is a really good player-coach. The guys really want to play for him, push for him, work hard and play hard as a team. I think he does a really good job of motivating the players. In that sense I think he does a great job. He creates a really good environment for us to want to go out to compete and win together.
How much of an advantage is it to have so many players based at big European clubs such as Arsenal, Borussia Dortmund, Chelsea, Juventus and Milan?
It's great to have so many guys playing at the highest level in Europe. Look at where we’re at as a country now. You compare that to a couple of years ago. We have a bunch of players at top clubs. That’s only going to make us better and make our team stronger.
USA have one of the youngest squads at Qatar 2022. What do you think of this?
I think it’s a positive. We have a lot of hungry players who really just want to push and get better. Most of us have grown up together and played in the youth national teams. We know each other well. I think it’s a really good balance.
What is USA’s aim at Qatar 2022?
The team’s aims are to go and compete with the best teams in the world and to fight to win the tournament. It’s never going to be easy of course, but I think if we play the way we know we’re capable of, and with a lot of confidence and fight in us, once you get to those knockout stages anything can happen. We’re going to really fight. We want to be a big part of this World Cup