Western Sydney Wanderers FC players admit the fan inside them makes it hard not to think about the possibility of playing against Real Madrid at the Club World Cup in Morocco.
The tantalising prospect is just 90–minutes away for the Wanderers, who know a date with Cristiano Ronaldo and Co. will become a reality if they can beat Mexican side Cruz Azul on Sunday morning (AEDT).
“I’m a professional footballer but at the end of the day I’m a fan as well and I look up to the likes of Real Madrid and Cristiano Ronaldo,” defender Brendan Hamill told reporters in Morocco.
“To be in the same city and just to have the potential to play against them is huge.
“I love the game and to put yourself up against the best and playing them…it’s a once in a lifetime and everyone is going to cherish it.”
Wanderers playmaker Vitor Saba, echoed his team-mates sentiments, conceding he has allowed himself to visualize achieving a boyhood goal by pitting his skills against the Galacticos.
“It would be amazing, like a dream,” the Brazilian said.
“Of course first we have to think about Cruz Azul but it’s undeniable that you think a little bit how it would be if it happens.
“It would be a dream and an opportunity that when you were a kid you want to participate in that. But we win the first game then we can live the dream after.”
After easing their way into preparations as they recovered from the long-haul flight from Australia, the Wanderers stepped up preparations with an intense session on Tuesday.
While Tony Popovic’s side probably surprised many to win the ACL by beating Al Hilal last month, their Hyundai A-League form has suffered over the first two months of the season.
The Wanderers haven’t won any of their first nine league games to sit last and confidence has been jolted but Hamill said there’s no way they are in Morocco just to make up the numbers.
“Definitely not. We’ve got high standards here in the coaching staff and among the players and we’re going to be working hard not just to be a part of it but we want to win,” the no-nonsense defender said.
“The thought of playing against Real Madrid is massive and everyone is working as hard as we can together for that to happen.
“It’s a different stage (to the ACL), a different occasion and in our opinion it’s the next level and bigger.
“I’m not taking away from what we did in Riyadh but to be playing against the best in the world club-wise, the players are really excited and we’re looking forward to testing ourselves as a team and individually against the best.”