Defender Emilio Izaguirre (white jersey) has appeared in 38 all-time World Cup qualifiers for Honduras. (Photo: Mexsport)
TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras – After a long trip from Saudi Arabia, where he plays for Al-Fayha, Honduras defender Emilio Izaguirre arrived back arrived in the country late Thursday night.
At the Toncontin International Airport, despite the possible effects of fatigue, the 31-year-old took time to speak with reporters about the upcoming intercontinental playoff against Australia for a berth in the 2018 FIFA World Cup. The two-legged series opens in San Pedro Sula on November 10.
“I come in motivated and trusting in God,” said Izaguirre. “I have always had respect for my country because it has given me a lot and I come in ready to give it my all.”
The former Celtic standout has been a stalwart for the Catrachos during their campaign for Russia 2018, appearing in 12 games -- including seven during the CONCACAF Hexagonal – and scoring a goal in the 3-1 victory over Trinidad & Tobago on November 15, 2016.
With a third straight trip to the World Cup at stake, Izaguirre is eager to start working with his teammates at the Comayagua training camp.
“First is the preparation we have with coach [Jorge Luis] Pinto, trusting in God that everything goes well on the 10th and (second leg on) the 15th,” he commented on the task ahead. “I’m here to battle and I have faith in God that we are going to qualify. We are going for a good result in San Pedro Sula and confirm it on the 15th in Sydney.”
Izaguirre has competed in four career World Cup games – two in each of the last two editions.