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Argentina spurs on Canberra Royals halfback Pedro Rolando

Canberra Royals players "have no idea" about football of the round-ball variety, their Argentinian teammate Pedro Rolando says, but it hasn’t stopped them jumping on the German World Cup bandwagon this week.

Instead of joining Rolando in his weeks of late nights and early mornings watching the World Cup, the Royals have chosen to rile up their halfback before their must-win game against Easts on Saturday.

"They really don’t care much about soccer," Rolando said. "They have really no idea how to play … so they don’t care about the World Cup.

"They hope Germany win just to tease me, so it’s not very good."

The 25-year-old Argentinian is playing his second season with the Royals, but admits to feeling a little homesick at the moment.

"Everyone in Argentina is celebrating and here I’m alone," he said. "I have no other Argentinians to celebrate with, but at least I have a few people at work who love soccer, which is good.


"I woke up for every game, so [I’m] pretty excited for Monday morning – hopefully we can have a win. It’s going to be my first World Cup that I see Argentina win if we get the game."

Argentina last won the World Cup three years before Rolando was born, and he was just a baby when they lost the 1990 final to Germany.

Royals coach Russell Ingram thinks the rest of his team will come around by Monday.

"Everyone’s on Germany’s side just to annoy him ... I think quietly we’ll all be supporting the Argentinians," he said.

"[Rolando] is a great character in the team, really well-liked, a quality footballer, quality guy."

The Royals have lost their past three games and currently sit five points outside the top four, with two games to play in the John I Dent Cup.

The team needs a win over lowly Easts, potentially with a bonus point, to keep its finals hopes alive, and a difficult fixture looms against Gungahlin next week.

"We’ve really put ourselves in a position that we shouldn’t be in," Ingram said.

"We probably need [to win] both games – at least six points out of the next two games, maybe even two wins to be there."

Rolando believes he will have a winning weekend. 

"We’re pretty confident for this game," he said. "Last game we lost to Queanbeyan but anyway we [played] a good game. We lost by a few mistakes so if we can sort out those little mistakes, I think the game is going to go our way." 

There is some extra motivation for the Royals to get behind their teammate by Monday, too.

"If we win the World Cup, the next World Cup I will try to come back to Australia so we win again," Rolando said.


Saturday: Easts v Royals, Griffith Oval; Queanbeyan v Gungahlin, Campese Oval; Wests v Tuggeranong, O’Connor Enclosed. All games at 3.05pm.