Natal: United States coach Jurgen Klinsmann pointed out Greece’s shock Euro 2004 victory as a reason for optimism at this World Cup.
The Stars and Stripes have been placed in a tough group alongside Ghana, Portugal and three-time champions Germany, but Klinsmann refused to rule out the possibility of his side going all the way in the competition.
“Talking about winning a World Cup is just not realistic,” said the former Germany coach. “But nobody said Greece would win the European Cup in 2004. Yet they did. Football is not predictable. If we get through this group, the sky is the limit.”
After their opening game against Ghana on Monday, the United States face Portugal before their final group tie with Klinsmann’s homeland.
The 49-year-old, though, rejects the ‘outsiders’ tag, which is being labelled at his side.
“You have to be realistic,” claimed the former striker. “We are making every year another step forward. We don’t look at ourselves as an underdog, even if a lot of the others do.”
Despite his optimism, Klinsmann, however, is aware of the quality of the other sides in the group, including their first opponents in the competition, Ghana, who had beaten the United States at the last two World Cups.