For a long time now fans and spectators alike have always asked the question, do footballers really care when playing for their country? Compared to playing club football for either Manchester United, Liverpool, Real Madrid or Bayern Munich etc… These are all massive clubs that come with a huge following worldwide and big budgets to spend, but is there any greater honour than playing for your country and singing your national anthem?
Timothy Chandler the Eintracht Frankfurt and USA defender spoke with Betway Insider of the pride in playing for the United States of America. “It meant a lot to me,” he says. “I like the country and when we heard the national anthem, it was a great feeling. I had not so many things to do with the US in my family, but I like it a lot. I do have that bit from my father, as well.”
Chandler was born in Germany to a German mother and an American father and has lived there his entire life.”
So why then, did he declare for the stars and stripes ahead of Germany?
“It was the beginning of my career and USA was the first national team that asked me to play,” he says.
“At the time, Bob Bradley was the coach and he called me and asked if I wanted to play in some friendlies.
“I said yes, and even to this day I still follow the games on DAZN and follow the team on Instagram.”
Chandler’s USA debut came in a friendly against Argentina on March 26 2011 that was tied 1-1, although it wasn’t until the aforementioned defeat in Honduras – two years later – that he played in his first competitive match.
Even though they were beaten on that day, Chandler did help the USA to top the qualification group and, in turn, make it to the 2014 World Cup – an experience he will never forget.
“I think this was one of the biggest things in my career and meant a lot to me,” he says.
“That’s why I say it’s a big, big part of my career to play for a national team.
“I learned a lot in big games against big countries. We played against Portugal, Germany, Belgium and Ghana, so it was a great experience.”
Chandler also goes on to explain some of the great friendship he made while repressing the USA
“Jozy [Altidore] was a great guy from the first day,” he says.
“Dempsey was great too, but I think the most important one was Jozy. We still talk sometimes, like about how we are and how the family is.”