"It's cutthroat" - World Cup bound Aaron Mooy feels the "hurt" for Celtic team-mates

Celtic’s Aaron Mooy may be about to play in the second World Cup of his career.

Celtic's Aaron Mooy is in no doubt his Champions League experiences can assist him in his bid to make an impression with Australia in the forthcoming  World Cup. (Photo by Alan Harvey / SNS Group)
Celtic's Aaron Mooy is in no doubt his Champions League experiences can assist him in his bid to make an impression with Australia in the forthcoming World Cup. (Photo by Alan Harvey / SNS Group)

But the Australian spares a thought for club team-mates Kyogo Furuhashi and Reo Hatate after their hopes of making the Japan squad for the Qatar finals were ended last week. The 32-year-old knows first-hand from Russia four years ago just how upsetting it can be to fail to make the pool named in the lead-up to the tournament.

“It is cutthroat, it is the way it is,” said Mooy. “I know from the last World Cup there were a few guys who played a lot for the [Australia] national team in qualifying who missed out. It hurt them a lot. I was lucky enough to be selected and play. They were guys who I was friends with.”

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Mooy, who played with Brighton in the English Premier League believes his recent Champions League experiences with Celtic – even if ultimately fruitless, the campaign last week ending with a 5-1 thumping by Real Madrid in the Bernabeu – can help prepare him for the World Cup. In the tournament, Australia are first up against holders France on November 22 - where he could face Real players Karim Benzema, Aurélien Tchouaméni and Eduardo Camavinga for a second time in three weeks – before encounters with Tunisia and Denmark in a tough Group D. “The Champions League is the best competition in club football. I am also at Celtic. It is a demanding club,” he said. “The supporters expect good play and wins in every game. It is a good place to be to improve and to be ready. I am just enjoying the experience, just soaking it all in, trying to play as much as I can.”

Mooy will head away to join up with the Australian squad in Qatar at the weekend. But with Ange Postecoglou’s men away to Motherwell on Wednesday before hosting Ross County on Saturday, he isn’t getting ahead of himself. “The World Cup is obviously always in the back of your mind, but I don’t think about it too much,” said the midfielder. “I have a job to do every three days with Celtic. So I try to think about every game and doing my best for the support.”

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