Brighton & Hove Albion left winger, Jose Izquierdo will be aiming to finally accomplish his childhood goals which will be done as Colombia takes their spot in the FIFA World Cup to be held in Russia this year.
The former Club Brugge winger claims his move to the Premier League played a major role in Jose Pekerman’s decision to announce him in the provisional 35 man team for the World Cup last week.
The 25-year-old said: “Since I was kid and ever since I could play football, the dream was to play at a World Cup.
“When I arrived at Brighton and in the Premier League, my expectations of being at the World Cup got much bigger.
“There is always pressure when you play football, especially when you are playing for your national team.
“As a player you have to be at the top level to deal with that pressure as well as possible. You need to keep your focus and do your best if you want to go to the World Cup.”
The Colombia national team have been drawn with Japan, Senegal and Poland in Group H, with the Brighton winger not willing to underestimate their opponents as they all got to the group stages of the World Cup deserved.
“All the national teams that qualified for this stage did so because they have the quality and important players that make a difference,” Jose Izquierdo continued.
“Obviously we will treat all three teams with respect, but it’s important for us to show off Colombian football and prove that it’s in good shape.
“Hopefully we can improve on what we did in the last World Cup, and you never know what can happen in football.
“We played against Japan in Brazil; we haven’t played Senegal yet, but they have a great player in Sadio Mane. They will all be hard games.”
Speaking on his firt season with the Seagulls, being pleased they were able to avoid relegation in the club first season in the Premier League and the teams effort.
We are happy that we secured survival in the Premier League with two games to go.
“It was a massive first season for me, and to score my first goal against West Ham was a great sensation.
“Now some of the players will have their holidays to rest, but I will hopefully have a World Cup to think about instead!”
Colombia 35-man provisional squad: David Ospina, Camilo Vargas, Ivan Arboleda, Jose Fernando Cuadrado, Santiago Arias, Frank Fabra, Davinson Sanchez, Cristian Zapata, Yerry Mina, Johan Mojica, Bernardo Espinosa, Oscar Murillo, Farid Diaz, Stefan Medina, William Tesillo, Abel Aguilar, Wilmar Barrios, James Rodriguez, Carlos Sanchez, Jefferson Lerma, Giovanni Moreno, Juan Fernando Quintero, Edwin Cardona, Juan Guillermo Cuadrado, Gustavo Cuellar, Sebastian Perez, Mateus Uribe, Radamel Falcao, Carlos Bacca, Duvan Zapata, Miguel Borja, Jose Izquierdo, Luis Muriel, Teofilo Gutierrez, Yimmi Chara.