Australia stars thought news of Tunisia leading France was a JOKE as Denmark win sealed World Cup last 16 spot


MILOS DEGENEK has revealed his Australia team-mates thought he was just trying to psych them up by telling them Tunisia were beating France.

The defender is known in the squad as the motivator and his teammates thought he was up to his old tricks in their crucial World Cup group game against Denmark.


Milos Degenek was the first player to be told about the Tunisia goal[/caption]


Jackson Irvine did not believe Degenek when he told them about the goal[/caption]

Australia went into the game needing to match or better Tunisia’s result against reigning World cup winners France in order to qualify for the round of 16.

The goal had put the African side ahead of Australia in the group meant they would qualify instead.

Fortunately, Mathew Leckie opened the scoring for Australia three minutes later, putting them back into second place.

However, during the celebrations, Degenek was called to the sidelines of Al Janoub Stadium in Doha by the team’s support staff and was told about Wahbi Khazri‘s goal that had given Tunisia a shock lead.

The assistant coach Rene Meulensteen was told of the goal by another assistant, Tony Vidmar.

Meulensteen said: “It was just a quiet word from Tony Vidmar in my ear – no more information, no reason to jump at it and panic.

“Funny thing is, about a minute later we scored.

“That is when I told Arnie [head coach Graham Arnold] to say: ‘Listen, Tunisia is winning 1-0’.


“And I grabbed Milos Degenek to say: ‘Get in a huddle and tell the players to make them sure they know where we are […] we have to win, we have to keep a clean sheet’.”

Degenek then grabbed his teammates and said: “If we don’t win, the Tunisians will sneak through to the round of 16 on goal difference.

“The boys thought it was my psyching them up so we won’t lose. But it was actually me being serious.”

Meulensteen admitted that the idea to tell say Tunisia were winning would have been Degenek’s motivational idea, even if they weren’t.

He added: “That’s the type of guy he is, that’s unfortunate for him.

“So he had to pull out everything to make sure that it was real.”

However, some of the players did not believe him, as Jackson Irvine said: “In the back of my mind I was actually like: ‘Well done, Milos, that’s a good idea, tell the boys that we need a win, absolutely’.

“And then you find out later on [he was right].”

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