The country is preparing for its first major international tournament and its 37-year-old captain believes he can survive the group stage
Goran Pandev says North Macedonia made history by qualifying for Euro 2020 and that their aim is to progress beyond the group stage.
North Macedonia secured a place in a major international tournament for the first time by beating Georgia in the play-offs.
Pandev says his country should be proud of reaching the final, but is confident he can put in a strong performance.
What was said?
“It means a lot, it is a huge source of pride for us, because until recently it was unthinkable that a national team like North Macedonia could participate in such an important competition,” he said. . Goal.
“On the other hand, we have always believed in it. This generation has made history. We have had other strong players in the past, but only we have managed to accomplish this feat. No one can ever take it away from us. . “
He added: “Our ambitions are high, we hope to do well and win a few games. The goal is to at least get through the group stage: we know it won’t be easy, but we are also aware of our strength so we’re going to try to do that too. “
Who will play North Macedonia?
Igor Angelovski’s team were drawn in Group C with Austria, the Netherlands and Ukraine.
They begin their campaign against Austria in Bucharest on Sunday, followed by a clash with Ukraine four days later. A meeting with Frank de Boer’s Netherlands will close the group stage in Amsterdam on June 21.
“They are three very strong teams, they are obviously favorites over us,” said Pandev. “We know that we start a little behind them, but we also know what we can give and what are our qualities.
“We have played against Austria in the qualifiers before and we don’t have positive experiences because they beat us twice, but now we have the opportunity to get our revenge.
“Overall, on paper Holland are still the group and team favorites to beat, but we’re not setting any limits.”