Trent Sainsbury says he won’t be changing his approach to the game if he is given the captain’s armband to skipper the Socceroos in their World Cup opener against France.
Sainsbury has led Australia in their past two friendly matches, victories over Czech Republic and Hungary, with normal captain Mile Jedinak on the bench.
The 4-0 win over the Czechs was the first time the central defender had captained his country. The Socceroos start their tournament in Kazan against Les Bleus on Saturday.
Sainsbury said the added rare honour, if he is given it by coach Bert van Marwijk this weekend, won’t alter his mindset.
“The last few games I’ve had the honour and the privilege to lead the boys out,” he said.
“Honestly, I don’t think its going to change the way I’m going to think about the game at all. I’ve got it ticked off the bucket list I guess you could say now, so it’s just going to be another opportunity to do it if I get the honour and privilege again.”
Australia will line up against France, ranked seventh in the world, and the likes of Paul Pogba and Antoine Griezmann, at the Kazan Arena on June 16.
Sainsbury is expected to faced with marking Aletico Madrid marksman Griezmann, but the 26-year-old isn’t fazed.
“Everyone’s talking about him, he’s a great player,” he said.
“At the same time it’s a team sport, I’ve got teammates around me who can help me deal with that.
“France have got a great squad, the players they’ve got in every position – they’ve probably got five or six who could make a few more teams and compete at the World Cup and be successful.
“So we have to be on our best behavior, do everything that we’ve been taught in training and pull it off and be successful in this match.”
In 2014 Sainsbury was set to join the Socceroos in Brazil for his first World Cup, before a freak encounter with a sprinkler while playing for PEC Zwolle in Holland ruined his tournament dream.
Four years on and now the defender is a mere days away from a career highlight.
“It wasn’t pleasant four years ago, but at the same time I always try to be positive and look at the upside,” he admitted.
“It gave me a chance to work on other aspects of my life and my game that I definitely needed at the time. Coming here now I’m closer to realizing the dream. So it’s a nice thought but I’m not there yet.”