This interview first appeared on OneSoccer Today, and on OneSoccer's YouTube channel.
Budding Canadian men's national team star Theo Corbeanu joined OneSoccer's Gareth Wheeler on Thursday for an exclusive interview ahead of Canada's FIFA World Cup qualifying match against Aruba on Saturday (8 pm ET/5 pm PT, on OneSoccer). The 19-year-old Corbeanu has had a remarkable season for both club and country, making his first-team debut in the past few months for Canada and English Premier League side Wolverhampton Wanderers. "This is something that I’ve always wanted to do, to make my debut in a top five league in Europe and to be able to play for my nation," Corbeanu told Wheeler. "It’s been a bit of a whirlwind but I’m really excited to embark on this journey now."
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The Hamilton native made his first appearance in the English top-flight in Wolves' match against Tottenham Hotspur a few weeks ago, just under two months after he appeared for John Herdman's Canada squad against Bermuda and the Cayman Islands. Corbeanu certainly turned heads in his international debut, scoring a goal in his 13 minutes of action against Bermuda. Prompted by Wheeler, he reflected on the moment. "That whole day I was so ready to play, and it was just so special. I didn’t really realize what it meant until the day after," he said. "When I scored my goal I was ecstatic, I just went and hugged Liam Millar because it was a great assist. Just celebrating with everyone, with Atiba [Hutchinson], Alphonso [Davies], Cyle Larin, it was so special honestly and I’m so proud of that moment. I felt free that game when I was on the pitch." Of course, Corbeanu wasn't always certain to pull on the red jersey: he represented Romania at several youth competitions before switching to Canada. "I always wanted to play for Canada, that’s the truth," he revealed. "To be able to get my call-up for Romania when I was 15 years old, I got it at under-16 level, of course it was something I was very proud about at that moment but I’m born and raised in Canada, and this is the country I’ve always wanted to play for." Corbeanu added: "It’s an amazing time to be a Canadian right now. Seeing [Alphonso Davies and Jonathan David], it inspired me and it’s continuing to inspire many young Canadians out there. That’s the goal, we need more of these. I’m trying to be one of those, I’m trying to be like Alphonso and Jonathan, make a name for myself in Europe." Corbeanu went on to discuss a myriad of topics, including the possibility of earning more first-team football with Wolves or going out on loan next season, as well as what it was like for him to leave Canada as a teenager to play in England. Plus, the versatile wide attacker shared some insight on what his best position might be moving forward: "I think it’s important to have versatility in the team as well, so I want to become equally as comfortable on the left as I am on the right," he said. "Earlier this season I started off on the right but after [the Canada camp] my coach swapped me on the left; ever since I came back from the national team I’ve been playing there for Wolves. I came on and made my Premier League debut on the left-hand side. "Now, I'm not too sure what I want to play, but I want to work on playing anywhere on the pitch, I want to become versatile." To see Corbeanu's interview with OneSoccer in full, head to their YouTube channel or click here. Corbeanu and the rest of the Canadian men's national team will return to action this Saturday with a FIFA World Cup qualifying match against Aruba (8 pm ET/5 pm PT), and again next Tuesday, June 8 against Suriname (9 pm ET/6 pm PT), both on OneSoccer.