Facing one of the favourites for the FIFA World Cup in the opening game of the tournament is a monumental task which some might shy away from, but Josh Risdon isn't one of them.
Australia's first opponents France boast some of the world’s undisputed superstars, including the likes of Paul Pogba, Antoine Greizmann and Olivier Giroud.
But the Caltex Socceroos are embracing the challenge ahead, with right back and Western Sydney Wanderers star Josh Risdon keen to test himself against some of the world’s best.
“It will be a tough test, they’ve got a lot of good players, world-class players so no better test in the first game than them,” said Risdon, who is hopeful of making Bert van Marwijk's final 23-man squad.
“It will be really hard, they can throw anyone in that squad, in the forward line and it will be unreal so a massive test for us but getting them first game is a real positive, adrenaline will be flowing and hopefully we can get a good result.”
If Risdon gets the nod and makes an appearance against France on June 16, he’s likely to be directly faced with the huge task of keeping Atletico Madrid winger Antoine Greizmann quiet.
“For me personally, I just go about it the same as I’m playing any player and obviously you do a bit of background homework on the player,” said Risdon.
“In terms of mentality you go out and play like it’s anyone else, if you decide to let it get in your mind that this player is a world class player and that sort of stuff it plays on you a bit so I’ll just go out and play my normal game and hopefully I can do well.”
Should Australia perform well and secure a positive result against France, Risdon believes it would lay the foundations for further success.
“Adrenaline will be flowing and nerves will kick in and first game, anything can happen really,” said Risdon.
“Getting them first game is a positive, hopefully we can get a good result and confidence will be up going into those next two games (against Denmark and Peru) and hopefully it can progress us out of the group stage.”
It’s been a roller-coaster ride for the right-back, who married his partner Ebony just last Saturday and then jumped on a plane just 24-hours later to link up with the squad in Turkey.
“It’s not ideal timing, but full credit to my wife she’s supportive and she knows what kind of an opportunity this is for my career,” said Risdon.
“[I'm on] honeymoon minus the wife over here, at the moment… if all goes to plan she’ll be coming over here to watch the World Cup.”
This article was originally at: www.a-league.com.au/news/risdon-looking-forward-france-test