Bogota: Luis Fernando Muriel said he was grateful for the opportunity to be part of the group of 23 players that Colombia is sending to next month’s FIFA World Cup in Russia.
The 27-year-old forward on Thursday said he felt “a lot of tension” prior to coach Jose Pekerman’s announcement of the list of selected players, as Muriel had not been selected to play in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, reports Efe.
“This time, achieving my dream to play in the World Cup will be very motivational. I don’t see this as a rematch, because I know 2014 was not my time. I see this as a new opportunity and hopefully this time it will be worth it,” Muriel said.
Muriel also spoke of the experience he has gained over the last four years playing professionally for Italian clubs Udinese and Sampdoria, as well as Spain’s Sevilla, where he scored nine goals during the 2017-2018 La Liga season.
“Four years after the 2014 World Cup, I am a much more complete player, more mature, with more experience,” he said.
Muriel said one of the strong suits that helped him be selected was his polyfunctionality, allowing him to “cover any forward position.”
The Colombian national team on Thursday had a training session open to journalists in El Campin stadium in Bogota, where a farewell concert will be held for the team on Friday as well as an intra-squad scrimmage.