His 30-year career has taken him to five different countries, four World Cup finals, three Olympics and, now, his dream club
As the world continues to wrestle with the coronavirus pandemic, it feels like age since football was kicked.
In Europe, The pandemic has caused the suspension of sports as the season reaches its climax, with the final race and cup competition all postponed, with health and safety paramount.
A sense of uncertainty and caring mixed with a feeling of pride TottenhamRia Percival.
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The last time the 30-year-old took to the field, with a 2-1 defeat to Norway on March 10, that would make it an extraordinary 150th cap for New Zealand.
“This is very special for me and my career,” he said Aim. “With everything that’s happening right now, it’s clearly just something to sit and think about and reflect on the extent to which I really came.
“You always dream when you are a young girl representing your country and get the first hat, but to get 150 is just a milestone that I feel honored to have achieved in earnest.”
This is an award that makes Percival the most closed player in the history of his country, with four World Cup finals and three Olympic Games under his belt since his debut was 16 in 2006.
Although representing New Zealand, Percival was born in the city of Basildon, an hour’s drive from London.
It entered English where he was first seen for his soccer abilities, picked up by the Colchester United academy, before he moved to New Zealand with his family at the age of 14.
“When you come from England, this is a football-crazy country,” he added. “Then, you go to New Zealand and this is a very different change in sports and what is its main focus.
“[In] at the academy, I went up through age groups, then went to New Zealand, there was no arrangement and support at the time.
“I was stuck with the men’s team, but they said I was too good for them, so they transferred me to the women’s team at the age of 14 or 15.
“I played in the women’s league in New Zealand at the time. You played in a team full of older players and many of them, at the time, played for New Zealand. “
Since 2018, Percival has returned to England. It was the circle that brought him to the United States, German and Switzerland along the way, but now sees him playing for the club he supports as a young girl: Tottenham.
“My family – grandfather, uncle, father, everyone – supported them, so I have supported them all my life,” he said. “To be able to play for the club I have supported my whole life … when I have the opportunity, I will not really reject it.
“With [Spurs] being a big club and a big name in itself, it is one thing for every player to come here, but they are trying to build as a club [too].
“I think with the experience we have this season in the league and how we play, it puts us in a good position to advance in the next few years to really go further.”
While football is being held, the club sits sixth in the standings and are not only impressed by their results, but also in their performances.
“I am quite critical of myself and the team so I say, personally, we can sit higher in the league with some performances and the results we have received so far,” he added.
“Overall, we sit at the center of the table and we are a team that was just promoted last season.
“I can’t say that we did a bad thing.”
When Spurs has a veteran leader with 150 international caps like Percival in the dressing room, it is not surprising.