We caught up with Nikolai Topor-Stanley to chat about the World Cup and all things Wanderers in 2014/15
With Western Sydney Wanderers 2013/14 season done and dusted and pre-season ahead of our blockbuster new campaign already started we caught up for a chat with Red & Black defender and last season-s Grand Final captain Nikolai Topor-Stanley.
As one of the lucky Australian football fans who travelled to Brazil for the World Cup Topor-Stanley shared his tip to win the tournament, his standout player at the Cup and what international star he-d pick as a teammate at the Wanderers.
As well as the 29-year-old giving us insight into his special World Cup experience and thoughts on the Socceroos- courageous performances under Ange Postecoglou.
Ahead of an exciting 2014/15 season we also grabbed his take on the Club-s blockbuster season and incredible success so far.
Q and A:
Q: You spent the off-season at the World Cup, who are you tipping to win?
A: My head is saying Brazil as the host nation but from watching the cup and being there I would like Argentina to win. It is time for Messi to win it, he has won everything else but it-s the one thing missing and winning the World Cup would confirm him as one of the greatest.
Q: Thomas Muller, James Rodriquez, Neymar and Lionel Messi are all contenders for the golden boot, if you could have one of these players as a teammate at the Western Sydney Wanderers who would you pick?
A: I guess I would choose Messi. To have that talent in my team would be incredible; we could almost just close our eyes give the ball to him and that would win us the game. That said the Colombian James Rodriguez has been a standout player. He has announced himself on the world scene with unbelievable goals and with freakishly good attacking talent.
Q: Can you talk us through what it was like to attend a World Cup?
A: It was truly incredible, something that I find very hard to put into words. I woke up every day and there was just football mad people everywhere and it didn-t stop till I went to bed. It was just good to see people from different cultures getting together to celebrate and the common denominator was football. It was very touching seeing that happen.
Q: Heading into the World Cup the Socceroos weren-t even tipped to contest their matches, what are your thoughts on all three of Australia-s performances.
A: The Socceroos definitely did themselves proud and did Australia proud. They went out with no fear, tried to play an attacking game as best they could and left everything out on the field. Obviously it was a bit disappointing that we didn-t get points at the end of any of the games but the effort was definitely there, the style of play was exciting and the Socceroos were very brave.
Q: As a player you wouldn-t often experience being a fan, can you share with us what it was like to be sitting in the stand instead of being on the pitch?
A: It is the biggest stage of football that you can get so it was insane. Seeing so many people from different backgrounds and countries all united by football was touching. The spectacle itself was great and the atmosphere inside the stadium was electric I felt very fortunate to be there… I will remember the experience forever.
Q: This season for the Wanderers is probably the busiest schedule of any A-League club so far, you are carrying an injury at the moment, can you talk us through how that impacts on you as a player?
A: It is tough carrying an injury because you don-t want to start behind the eight ball. In terms of the schedule the more games the better. Playing these games means we are doing something right so I guess it is very exciting for the Club and gives us a chance to put the A-League and the Wanderers on the world map.
Q: Adelaide City won the NSL several times and are coached by an Australian legend in Damien Mori, share with us what sort of competition you think they will offer?
A: I am sure they will be more than competitive and we won-t be underestimating them or treating it lightly. I have played in the state leagues and I know there is talent there and they will be hungry to prove a point so we will have to be on our feet.
Q: Can you share with us what your thoughts are on the Club-s success so far?
A: As a player it is very rewarding especially because of the hard work we all put in. Not just the players but the coaches, the staff and of course the fans. We all work hard to put together what happens on the pitch and it is very gratifying. I want to see the game grow here with new people getting on board and people filling the stands at Parramatta stadium. What is happening at the Club brings me great satisfaction, especially because people are talking about the game and the Wanderers especially.