Deng insists Socceroos won't fear France

While Thomas Deng is expecting an extremely difficult match first up against France in the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™, he knows the match is not won on paper.

The Socceroos take on the reigning world champions to open their campaign, but Deng insists they will not be fearing Didier Deschamps’ men.


READ MORE: How to watch: France vs Australia 
READ MORE: Degenek looking to be one of the leaders in Doha

“Definitely it's going to be a tough game, playing the defending champions,” Deng told the media at a press conference.

“But for us as long as we focus on what we do best, we have full confidence in ourselves and we believe in our game plan, I think anything's possible.”

The 25-year-old is at his first major tournament for Australia and is relishing the challenge of competing against players he has watched on television over the years.

The centre-back, who is adept at also operating as a right-back, said facing the best footballers in the world offers an accurate indication of his own level.

“We always dream of playing against these guys,” he explained.

“Watching the Champions League and watching the European leagues, you always wonder, how it'd be to come up against them.

“And to have the opportunity now, I'm just excited to see, what will happen.”

Deng also reserved praise for 18-year-old prodigy Garang Kuol, who is the youngest player included in Graham Arnold’s 26-man squad.

He revealed himself and Awer Mabil have helped him settle into camp life with the national team since his first call-up in September.

Kuol is yet to start a professional game but has made an impact off the bench for the Central Coast Mariners in virtually every single game this season – registering two goals and two assists.

“Just a wonderful kid, full of confidence,” claimed Degenek, who plays his club football in Japan with Albirex Niigata.

“He's come in here and everyone loves him, everyone gets along with him, and for me and Awer we've just tried to look after him and make his transition, a lot easier.

“I'm just so happy that he's got this opportunity to experience a World Cup at 18 years old.

“It's definitely going to better his career, and I think he has a really bright future.”