‘You eat, or you get eaten’: Socceroos defender lays it on the line

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Asked erstwhile astir however helium dealt with the unit of a Test match, legendary Australian cricketer and WW2 combatant aviator Keith Miller replied: “That’s not pressure. Real unit is flying a Mosquito with a Messerschmitt up your arse.”

Socceroos defender Milos Degenek unwittingly invoked Miller connected Thursday up of Australia’s must-win World Cup lucifer against Tunisia, for which helium whitethorn beryllium brought successful arsenic stiffening.

Milos Degenek successful  enactment   successful  a World Cup qualifying crippled  against Vietnam.

Milos Degenek successful enactment successful a World Cup qualifying crippled against Vietnam.Credit:Getty Images

“You accidental must-win game. You deliberation it’s pressure,” Degenek said. “I said to the boys the different day, that’s not pressure. Pressure is maine arsenic an 18-month-old babe fleeing a war. Pressure is maine arsenic a six-year-old successful the mediate of a war.

“Pressure is not a must-win crippled of football. You tin triumph oregon lose, but I don’t deliberation anyone is going to die.”

Degenek was calved into a Serbian household successful Croatia who became refugees erstwhile the Balkans exploded successful 1995, and yet fetched up successful Australia. Milos was six.

His position connected shot arsenic thing and everything deepened erstwhile arsenic 16-year-old helium moved to Germany to play for Stuttgart juniors. He remembers having to question an hour-and-a-half to grooming and backmost successful minus 8 degrees, wearing 2 pairs of way suit pants and 4 jumpers, but nary jacket.

Milos Degenek connected  the ball.

Milos Degenek connected the ball.Credit:Getty Images

“I didn’t person capable wealth to bargain a jacket,” helium said, “until I was fixed 1 by my agent.

“My archetypal nonrecreational declaration was $1000 a month. That’s wherever I learned to struggle, and that’s wherever I developed the mentality wherever I thought to myself, I’m grooming with different 20 guys, but I privation to beryllium the 1 that goes connected to marque it.

“I tin say, fortunately enough, I was one. There were others. One was a feline called Kimmich, who’s not bad.” Joshua Kimmich has played much than 70 times for Germany and 200 for Bayern Munich.

Degenek has had a peripatetic career, including a stint with Red Star Belgrade and is present with Columbus Crew successful the US. His ngo is resolutely unchanged. He articulated it earlier the Socceroos’ celebrated play-off punishment shots triumph implicit Peru successful Doha successful June. “You either eat, oregon you get eaten. That’s the simplest I tin enactment it,” helium said.

Red Star Belgrade aft  beating Liverpool successful  2018.

Red Star Belgrade aft beating Liverpool successful 2018.Credit:AP

“I said to the boys, there’s breadstuff connected the table. Either we devour tonight, my kids, my wife, my household eats tonight, oregon they devour and my kids spell hungry. I don’t privation that to happen.”

Keeping the wolf from the doorway is exhausting. Degenek said helium had ne'er enjoyed a crippled successful its moment, adjacent erstwhile Red Star bushed Liverpool successful the Champions League successful 2018. “That’s conscionable me,” helium said. “I wasn’t happy. The full squad went retired for a bully evening and I stayed location with my member and watched the crippled backmost and I don’t deliberation I enjoyed it.

“I won’t prevarication to you. I’m not a robot. I enjoyed the feeling of winning, obviously. It deed maine erstwhile we got knocked retired of the Champions League and Liverpool won it. That’s erstwhile it deed me: we bushed those guys.”

Degenek watched Tunisia play retired a high-intensity gully with Denmark connected Tuesday and they struck him arsenic his benignant of shot team.

Tunisia and Denmark drew 0-0 successful  the archetypal  circular  of matches.

Tunisia and Denmark drew 0-0 successful the archetypal circular of matches.Credit:AP

“I haven’t seen a squad successful the World Cup yet with this overmuch bosom and passionateness and tendency and emotion for their country,” helium said. “I deliberation they’re phenomenal. I deliberation the guys emotion each different and person this occurrence successful their eyes and are precise beardown successful the mode they spell astir it and they made monolithic problems for Denmark and successful the extremity they should person won.

“It’s 1 of those games you truly privation to play due to the fact that it’s 1 of the uncommon games successful satellite shot wherever it’s much astir bosom and combat alternatively than method ability. It’s much astir tendency to win.

“I emotion those games. I’m not a technician. I’m not a feline who’s going to dribble 10 players. I don’t person that quality successful me, but I’ve got that bosom and tendency that no-one other tin match. I unrecorded for these games.”

Then determination are the Tunisian fans, plentiful and loud. Though they volition outnumber the Australians 4 oregon 5 to one, the ambiance they make excites Degenek.

Australia concede from a transverse  again arsenic  France’s Olivier Giroud heads home.

Australia concede from a transverse again arsenic France’s Olivier Giroud heads home.Credit:AP

It’s immaterial to him that the bulk of the fans volition beryllium against him. It matters lone that they are there, hyper-stimulating each his senses. He’d emotion to beryllium capable to person spoils to instrumentality to the Australian country astatine match’s end.

“That’s the champion portion astir football. That’s what you play for,” helium said. “You don’t play for the large bucks. You get paid, but you play to marque those radical happy. It’s to spot the enjoyment successful these radical aft a game, the emotions, that’s what I play for anyway.”

Degenek made his World Cup debut against France, coming connected arsenic a sub. He is apt to get his accidental to commencement against Tunisia, changing up a defence that was susceptible to wide players and pinpoint crosses against France.

Fire successful his belly and growl successful his dependable notwithstanding, Degenek describes himself arsenic laid-back successful the squad environment. He informally mentors younger defenders, consenting them to win present and by establishing themselves successful the large leagues successful Europe. He thinks they’re each capable.

The prize.

The prize.Credit:AP

He’s arrogant to person appeared successful the World Cup, but won’t congratulate himself until it’s implicit and helium gets home. “(Now) it’s conscionable the joyousness of wanting to get better, wanting to person thing to accidental to your grandkids backmost home, to your friends erstwhile you person a coffee,” helium said.

“To say, we won a crippled astatine the World Cup, we got retired of our group. I deliberation we person it successful our squad if we lucifer them successful presumption of strength and tendency to win, I deliberation we volition win.”

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