(RIGA, from our correspondent) The Latvian national team celebrates the biggest success in its history, eliminated Sweden and will play for medals at the World Championship.
“This is history for us. For all of Latvia. We haven’t been in such a situation before, in the semi-finals,” described Ralfs Freibergs immediately after the match, in Czech(!).
“The main thing is that now we know that we can win every game. It doesn’t matter to us anymore. We didn’t have any stress before this match. We used to say: Why not? And we’re going to Tampere!” rejoices the Litvín defender.
The Latvians celebrated advancing to the semi-finals as if they had won the title. They waved to the fans for tens of minutes on the ice, and took a photo together. “You know, this is for us… Once in a lifetime. I’m already 32 years old and the World Championship will be in Riga again, I don’t know, maybe in ten years.”
“We didn’t have any stress before this match. We used to say: Why not? And we’re going to Tampere!”
“You also have a difficult economic situation in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. It’s bad for us too. People need something positive right now. And in Latvia it’s actually just a sport that can make people happy,” he says.
Now the small country, which does not have a total of two million citizens, will experience a stormy night. And who knows, maybe an even stormier weekend. “Hey, we already see a gold medal in front of us,” smiles Freibergs.
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Only in the mixing zone with journalists did he find out that Latvia will challenge Canada in Saturday’s semi-finals. “Canada? Hmm… So that’s better for us than America. I do not know, we will see. The stronger team will win,” Freibergs is looking forward to the matches of his life. “We will definitely be more motivated. We have nothing left to lose.”
It’s just a shame that the tournament will end in Tampere and not directly in Riga. “We’re flying there tomorrow. But I no longer have… How do you say it in Czech? socks? Socks! My socks are no longer clean. I don’t know what I’m going to do there,” he made the journalist laugh.
And then he went to celebrate with his teammates in the cabin…
Proving it in front of our fans is incredible, Čukste rejoices
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