Date: 12th October 2008 at 6:33pm
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Blackburn Rovers skipper Ryan Nelsen is close to fulfilling a dream, playing at the World Cup Finals with New Zealand.

New Zealand topped their Oceania Qualifying Group so now just have a two-legged play-off against the team that finished fifth in the Asia section for the right to play in South Africa, and Nelsen knows that this will be some achievement for the Kiwi’s.

Nelsen told Sky Sports: “We are 180 minutes away from the World Cup and in better position that most countries.

“We are an all right team and if we got there it would the equivalent of Brighton beating Manchester City (in the Carling Cup).


In order to play for (and skipper) his county God has to endure 60-hours of flying (as he did for the match against New Caledonia) but he doesn’t mind that!

He added: “The more you worry about something like that, the more it affects you.

“Being captain was really good as I had not played in a long time. It was a good experience and so much fun.

“The guys were brilliant and made everything really enjoyable.



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3 Replies to “Nelsen Hopes For World Cup Place”

  • New Zealand have always lived in the shadow of Australia and any chance they had of qualifying was almost nonexistent with the Aussies in the same section. However, with the Aussies now in the Asian section they have a chance as they should make the play-off most times. So good luck to them for Gods sake!

  • Not quite, Walker, we did make it in 1982, lol…scored a couple of good goals vs Scotland too…I’ll be delighted if we do make it, but even the 5th placed team in Asia is likely to be a massive test. The finals would be a great stage for some of our lesser known players (ie all of them except Nelsen) to make a claim for spots in European teams. Can’t see too many stars emerging though…They might have to bring back Wynton Rufer (Who? I hear you ask…)

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