Date: 16th June 2010 at 9:21am
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Ryan Nelsen was a proud man yesterday after leading New Zealand to a shock draw with Slovakia in their opening World Cup game.

Nelsen, a proud Rover and New Zealander, said that belief and team spirit made the difference as the equalising goal came only 30 seconds from the end of the match.

Ryan spoke to fifa.com and said – “It was just an unbelievable feeling, we never stopped believing. Even though they had most of the play, we knew that a chance could come our way. Even when we missed one late on (Shane Smeltz, unmarked at the back post, sent a close-range header wide in the 84th minute), we knew that in football it`s not over until the final whistle.

“The atmosphere in the dressing room was really something. We`re obviously really pleased. There was a lot of signing, some traditional songs from back home, and the TV crew caught us dancing around. Great times.”

Nelsen was almost in tears as he belted out the New Zealand national anthem and revealed that playing yesterday was a life long ambition.

Nelly continued – “I was very, very emotional, I`m always emotional when I play for my country, but this is the World Cup. It doesn`t get any bigger. It`s something I`ve dreamt about for a long time.”

As a spectator watching yesterday, I must say that Ryan was a hero and an inspiration to everyone. The passion, dedication and never say die attitude would put much more talented players to shame.

Well done Ryan, fully deserved.

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9 Replies to “Emotional Nelsen delighted with draw”

  • I wish the England players showed the same passion, I’d love to see them belting out the national anthem rather than just flapping their lips like a line of goldfish. I’m teaching my kids the first verse just in case they ever get called up 😀

  • Absolute legend. I love to see such pride and passion. He just comes accross as the nicest person you could possibly meet.

  • Watched the game in NZ and I can’t begin to express how excited Kiwis are over the result. The Admiral was excellent all game and held the line. Between he and Elliot, their presence buoyed the All Whites during a lackluster 2nd half. Cheers to you, Ryan Nelsen!

  • Nelsen is such a top bloke and pro. You could see the pride on his face at the start and at the end. Well done Ryan and NZ.

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