Former Malta and Birkirkara midfielder Gareth Sciberras opened up on his experiences as a football player with Ben Camille in this week’s edition of GAME ON.
Sciberras has enjoyed a very successful playing career which saw him with several domestic honours with Marsaxlokk and Birkirkara as well as establishing himself as a key member of the Malta national team.
Looking back at his career, Sciberras said that every trophy he won with his club was a huge limelight in his career and singles out his decision to join Pietà Hotpurs at a young age as the best decision of his career.
“Football has given some of my best experiences,” Sciberras said.
“I was never the kind of player that I would be in the limelight for my technical abilities. My main strength as a player was that I worked really hard for the team and that is also very important to have that kind of players in football.”
Asked on his major highlights in his career, Sciberras said: “Every time I won a domestic honour has to go down as a memorable occasion. The leagues I won with Marsaxlokk and Birkirkara were a major highlight and every time I donned the national team shirt was a dream come true for me.”
Sciberras then went on to summarise his journey as a player.
“I started with San Ġwann as a 13-year-old and then I had the opportunity to join Pietà Hotspurs and for me that was the best decision I could have made as they gave me the chance to make my debut in the Premier League when I was 17-year-old.
“Then I finally had the honour to join Birkirkara and I was lucky to be named as captain for almost the majority of my time there.”
Brazil and Argentina face off in South America qualifiers
Ben Camille and Gareth Sciberras then predicted the results of three World Cup qualifiers scheduled for this weekend.
South American rivals Brazil and Argentina go head-to-head in this weekend’s round of fixtures and Gareth Sciberras thinks that the Brazilians will prevail while Camille picked the Leo Messi’s Argentina to triumph.
Brazil come into the match in high spirits after wrapping up their qualification to next year’s World Cup finals in Qatar with a 1-0 win over Colombia on Thursday.
The Brazilians are showing great form in the qualifying campaign, winning 11 of 12 matches, their only blemish a goalless draw in Colombia last month – to qualify for the finals with six games to spare.
Second-placed Argentina, on the other hand, still have work to do to book their place in the finals and will be banking on the artistry of their star player Leo Messi to bag a crucial win that would push them closer to Qatar 2022.
Spain, Sweden battle for top spot
With just one point separating Group B leaders Spain and Sweden, top spot and automatic qualification will be up for grabs in Sunday’s showdown in Seville.
Gareth Sciberras and Ben Camille both tipped Spain to win and the Spanish Armada will be re-energised after seizing top spot in the group with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Greece in midweek.
Coach Luis Enrique will hope his players show the same grit and determination that saw them prevail in Greece on Thursday to fend off a Sweden side who will be desperate to bounce back after their shock 2-0 defeat in Georgia.
Needing a win to secure top spot in the group, the Swedes will be banking on their veteran forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic to inspire them towards a second win over the Spaniards after their 2-1 victory in Solna last September.
Malta face Slovakia in final qualifier
Gareth Sciberras and Ben Camille tipped Malta to beat Slovakia in their final World Cup qualifier on Sunday.
Devis Mangia’s team suffered a shock in their system this week after suffering a 7-1 thrashing to Croatia at the National Stadium.
However, the Maltese players have still a lot to play for on Sunday as if they avoid defeat against the Slovakians they will not only manage to avoid the bottom spot in a qualifying group since the 1994 World Cup qualifiers but also set a new record of points collected in a group phase, eclipsing the five-point haul in the Euro 2008 qualifiers.
Slovakia have little to play for as they are out of the running for a top-two finish in Group H and they are likely to give space to their fringe players as they look to end their campaign on a high.
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