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| 10/8/2009 12:00:00 AM

Cordoba: We believe we can do it

Oct 8--When Ivan Ramiro Cordoba talks, people listen. An established first-teamer at Inter Milan, he is an influential figure in a young Colombia side still in the hunt for a place at the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™. For the 33-year-old, however, this is not just another qualifying campaign, as it will most likely be the central defender’s last chance to dine at world football’s top table.

As he prepares to take the field this weekend against Chile, Cordoba spoke exclusively to FIFA.com about Colombia’s qualification chances, what the upcoming matches mean to him personally, and his promise to "keep battling until the last second of our final two games".

FIFA.com: Ivan, there are two qualifying matches left and Colombia are still fighting for a place in the finals. Can any comparisons be drawn between this and previous campaigns?
Ivan Cordoba: First of all, it is vital that we remain in contention this time. Comparing our current campaign with that of 2005, at the moment we’re in eighth position while back then were in sixth at the same stage. Last time round we were relying on one other result to go our way, but now it’s even more complicated as there are many permutations. We’ll see what happens.
 
What must the team do to avoid missing out like the last time?
We know that it’s not easy. I think that our most realistic objective is to aim for fifth to secure a place in the play-off. However, since our rivals are playing each other, we could even finish fourth if results go our way. The main thing is that we win our remaining matches and then see how our rivals have fared. We need to have the physical and mental strength to show that we want to go to South Africa.

You are one of the most experienced players in the squad. Is the future of Colombian football at stake?
I don’t even want to think about that now. Judgements like that are for after the game. At the moment I just want to do the Colombian fans and shirt proud by securing two wins. One thing is for sure: we’re still in the running and we’ll give our all to qualify.
 
Read more here.
 
Semana International delivers news about Colombia in English. Find more in our home.
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