Shaun Goater will be taking part in the CONCACAF Preliminary Draw for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, as a FIFA Legend and as someone who changed the game in Bermuda forever.
With the draw on the horizon, FIFA.com caught up with Goater to talk about the landscape of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying and to relive some of his unforgettable memories.
FIFA.com: You will be taking part in the CONCACAF Preliminary Draw for World Cup qualifying. How excited are you for that and for some milestones being met on the road to Qatar 2022?
Shaun Goater: Iím absolutely stoked about it. Even though there wonít be an audience physically there, the audience is there watching from home on TV and different platforms. Iím really excited about it.
As a player for Bermuda, what was it like during the World Cup qualifying process?
At that time the national squad didnít quite have the knowledge and education that they have today in terms of meals and nutrition. Professionally at my club we started eating right in terms of pasta and meals like that before games. When I went back to Bermuda to play a game the meal that was prepared was cheeseburgers, which was quite amusing! I grew up with most of the guys in the team, either playing with or against, so we all know each other very well because Bermudaís a very small country. I wasnít going to dare question them, because they would have told me, ĎAll of a sudden youíve gotten all big time on us now!í I ended up ordering a chicken sandwich because I thought it would be a bit better than a cheeseburger. Guys were getting cheeseburgers with the works and a side order of chips! (laughs) It was a brilliant experience and we went on to win the game, so if anything, the coach wouldíve said we need to have more cheeseburgers for pre-match (laughs)!
What are your best memories from playing in World Cup qualifiers?
I remember playing El Salvador. It was so hot and humid. I was the one everyone looked at to pick everyone else up. I was playing a game in 95-degree heat like I was in England and you just canít play at that same tempo. I was absolutely dead at half-time! The fitness coach Nick Jones had cold-washed some clothes to cool us down. We actually went on to lose that game. A shadow came on to the pitch in the second half and I had a strong half. But at half-time I didnít think I could go back out there. I literally could have gone to sleep at half-time.
I remember playing in Haiti and seeing people watching the match from trees and all sorts, and there were 20,000 spectators there and we won that one 1-0; another really tough, humid game. Playing in Canada was cold for us Bermudians. We coped with it okay but lost 4-2 having been 2-0 down. For me what was really funny and strange is, for an island of 60,000, we packed a mighty punch!
Click Here to see the Full FIFA.com Interview with Shaun Goater