CanMNT

Jonathan Osorio relishing 'dream' World Cup clashes with Modric & De Bruyne

Chris Smith
Osorio will be a key figure for Canada in Qatar
Osorio will be a key figure for Canada in Qatar / Vaughn Ridley/GettyImages
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Toronto FC's Jonathan Osorio is relishing the prospect of 'dream' midfield match-ups against Kevin De Bruyne and Luka Modric at this year's World Cup.

Osorio played a key role in Canada returning to world soccer's most coveted competition for the first time since 1986, featuring in 13 of their 14 Octagonal matches and scoring a vital goal in a 1-1 draw away in Mexico.

The CanMNT have been handed a tough draw in Group F. They're joined by 2018 semi-finalists Belgium, 2018 finalists Croatia, and Morocco, who qualified for this tournament with a 100% record, 20 goals scored and just one allowed.

Osorio will come up against some of the best midfielders the game has seen over the best decade when he lines up in Qatar, but the 29-year-old is certainly not fazed by the task ahead.

“Two midfielders that I admire, the two midfielders I admire the most in fact in the whole world,” Osorio said following Friday's draw.

“I was a fan of Real Madrid growing up as a kid and so to play against Luka Modric is a dream and to play against so many good midfielders on each team and even in Morocco, this is what you dream of as a player, as a person. As a footballer, you want to play against the best.”

Canada had a more gruelling task than most to reach the World Cup, with their qualification path starting all the way back in March 2021. John Herdman's team played 18 matches, starting with tests against the likes of Suriname and Bermuda before heading into the Octagonal.

There, the Canucks lost just twice and finished top of the group ahead of Mexico and the United States. Naturally, belief is now sky-high among the players.

“Now, looking forward, it just gives us belief that we can achieve whatever we set our minds to,” Osorio said. “Going into this World Cup, I know people from the outside see our group and don’t give us the best of chances. But with us within, within the team and the group, we know we can accomplish anything we set our minds to.”

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