'Successful World Cup for Jamaica would be greatest achievement - Leverkusen winger Bailey hopes to take country to new heights

By Sports Desk April 03, 2021

Jamaica international, Leon Bailey, believes a strong performance at the FIFA World Cup would be the highlight of his career and expressed belief in the current squad’s ability to get to the next edition of the tournament in 2022.

The 23-year-old Bayer Leverkusen winger has been in splendid form for the Bundesliga club so far this season, scoring 12 goals and getting 8 assists in all competitions.  The player is, however, yet to really kick his international career into gear, scoring once in only eight appearances.

Bailey is expected to feature prominently for the team in the coming months, with Jamaica scheduled to take part in the CONCACAF Gold Cup, before beginning the CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers in September.  With potentially four teams able to qualify for the 2022 World Cup, from the region, Jamaica are currently CONCACAF’s 6th best team according to the latest rankings.  The Caribbean team is, however, already in the final round and could have a good chance to qualify.  Several members of the Jamaican national team are, however, embroiled in a protracted dispute with the country’s football federation, which could have an impact on their campaign.

“I think we have a good team. We can really keep up. Go to the World Cup and keep up there. The most important thing is that it would give Jamaica a lot of attention,” Bailey told OneFootball.

Bailey, who hopes to be an inspiration to young players from Jamaica, does not want to simply make up numbers at the tournament, should the team qualify.

“Not just playing at a World Cup for Jamaica, but also asserting yourself at a World Cup with Jamaica. Don't just play the group stage. Keep up. Quarterfinals, semi-finals, even a final. That would be the greatest achievement of all time for me. "

Related items

  • Nagelsmann warns Kimmich there are 'easier interview topics' after midfielder's COVID-19 vaccination admission Nagelsmann warns Kimmich there are 'easier interview topics' after midfielder's COVID-19 vaccination admission

    Julian Nagelsmann revealed he contacted Joshua Kimmich after the Germany midfielder hit the headlines as he admitted he had not been vaccinated for COVID-19.

    Bayern Munich, who are preparing to face Borussia Monchengladbach in the DFB-Pokal second round, have been without Nagelsmann after the former RB Leipzig head coach tested positive for coronavirus.

    However, it was Kimmich who was the main point of interest after Bayern defeated Hoffenheim 4-0 as the 26-year-old explained he had not been vaccinated because he wanted further research to be conducted first.

    Former Bayern president Karl-Heinz Rummenigge was quick to assure Kimmich should do the responsible thing and get vaccinated, though Nagelsmann attempted to put an end to the saga at Tuesday's pre-match news conference.

    "A lot of topics are often chewed through," Nagelsmann told reporters from his home during his virtual conference. "It is important that there is an exchange of views. Everyone then has to decide for themselves whether they have to give their mustard to everything.

    "There are experts, they should express their opinion. Whether the federal government has to do that now, it has to know for itself. I am happy when everyone can concentrate on their job again."

    Nagelsmann, who has been operating from his homemade "data centre", then revealed he had contacted Kimmich to discuss the interview while admitting it was up to the individual whether they should get vaccinated or not.

    "I wrote to him after the interview," he continued. "I told him that there are certainly easier interview topics. That is the price you pay when you are in public.

    "Enough has been said about it now. I also gave my opinion of what I thought about the vaccination – I now know how the symptoms progress.

    "From this and in exchange with doctors I also noticed that the disease behaves differently after the vaccination. Nevertheless, it is up to you to decide whether he can be vaccinated."

    Nagelsmann will not be fit enough to return for the visit to Gladbach, though he could return against Union Berlin on Saturday.

    His side have won all three games in his absence, dispatching Leverkusen, Benfica and Hoffenheim by an aggregate score of 13-1.

    However, the 34-year-old revealed he finds comments that Bayern do not need a coach in his absence disrespectful, pointing towards the crucial interventions that are sometimes required on the touchline.

    "The team is very good, no question about it," he added.

    "I also have a very well-functioning coaching team. They are a tight-knit bunch, and we know each other very well.

    "But I don't lie around at home and don't work on anything. I think it is sometimes a bit disrespectful when you claim that the team doesn't need a coach. There are always moments when you should intervene."

  • If I day comes where I don't enjoy it, I'll go and play golf – Koeman reaffirms commitment to Barcelona If I day comes where I don't enjoy it, I'll go and play golf – Koeman reaffirms commitment to Barcelona

    Ronald Koeman says he has no intention of stepping down as Barcelona head coach.

    Koeman has endured a difficult start to the new season, with Barca ninth in LaLiga and suffering back-to-back Champions League group stage defeats for the first time since 2000-01.

    The Catalan side went down 2-1 to Real Madrid on Sunday, Koeman becoming just the second manager to lose all three of his opening El Clasico meetings.

    Koeman's car was mobbed by fans as he left Camp Nou following that defeat to Barca's fierce rivals.

    However, the former Netherlands boss assured that he remains committed to his role as he prepares to take on Rayo Vallecano, who Barca have won their last 13 LaLiga games against.

    "I am older in this, I want to enjoy the atmosphere that there was the other day on the field [for El Clasico]," Koeman told reporters at Tuesday's pre-match news conference.

    "I accept the results. I want to enjoy [my time here], if it is eight years, if it is one year and yes if it's three months.

    "There are things as a coach that you don't like, but I like being with the players, preparing the games, analysing and having to decide is what I like.

    "The other day I loved the game, Not the result because it was a Clasico, but the atmosphere. We made merits for another result, we need a little luck.

    "These things are the ones I like, and if a day comes when I don't enjoy it, I'll go and dedicate myself to playing golf five days a week. I understand that it is a delicate situation, but there is a future in this club."

    Barca are winless in three LaLiga away games, failing to score in their last two trips. They have not gone three consecutive games on the road without scoring since February 2003.

    The Blaugrana, however, have won on their past two visits to newly-promoted top-flight teams without conceding a goal and Koeman appreciates the importance of a reaction on Wednesday.

    "There is always a need to win, especially after the defeat the other day," he continued. "The team is able to react well."

    Asked whether he was not enjoying his time with Barca and whether a new coach would withstand the pressure he is under, Koeman responded: "It depends, if the results are good or bad and the team you are in.

    "[Madrid boss Carlo] Ancelotti encouraged me, he knows perfectly well about the situation because he has been in great teams.

    "I don't know, it is important to know the situation, be a former player from here and have character if the wind comes against. I am like that and I want to see how far I can go."

  • Koeman: Car mobbing incident after Barca El Clasico defeat reflects social issues Koeman: Car mobbing incident after Barca El Clasico defeat reflects social issues

    Ronald Koeman claimed the unsavoury scenes as he left Camp Nou after the defeat against Real Madrid reflect greater social issues.

    Barcelona sit ninth in LaLiga after a 2-1 loss to Real Madrid on Sunday, Koeman becoming just the second coach to suffer defeat in his first three Clasico meetings.

    The Blaugrana also made it five wins without a LaLiga Clasico victory, their longest winless run against any team in the Spanish top flight since May 2008.

    After the game at Camp Nou at the weekend, under-fire Barca boss Koeman had his car mobbed by a crowd of fans as he attempted to depart the stadium.

    The Catalan club released a statement to condemn those actions and Koeman suggested the incident reflected wider problems as he prepares to face Rayo Vallecano on Wednesday.

    "I don't think there is a solution," Koeman told reporters at Tuesday's pre-match news conference.

    "For me, it is more a social problem, it is not a matter of them being Catalans. It is more a matter of education, they have no values. 

    "We don't have to pay much attention, and it seems that it was only with me, but it has been with many players, with their families.

    "It may be that with me it has been more exaggerated, but even Carles Puyol had to suffer.

    "The club knows that this cannot be repeated and has to find another formula. It should not be given more attention, it is a social problem that happens all over the world, not just here."

    Koeman, who has seen his side go winless in his three top-flight away trips, then echoed a similar sentiment as he reaffirmed the social issues causing the unnerving scenes.

    "I have the images because there were two people in the back [of the car] filming for a documentary, my wife next door," he continued.

    Koeman added: "When you go out there are many cameras, many telephones, a lot on TikTok for their followers ... it is a social problem that we have and it is better to put energy in other things."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.