After Australia’s heroic performance against Denmark to reach the last 16 of the World Cup for just the second time in their history, Sunderland defender Bailey Wright revealed the personal difficulties he’s playing through for his country.
Wright, who joined Sunderland from Bristol City in 2019, and recently played his 100th game for the club, told the Sydney Morning Herald after the game:
I’ve just come in from a message from my wife. I just want to dedicate this to my wife, bless her, and her mum. I’ll be honest, I’m not sure if she’s still with us.
It was, for them, a really tough time back home, but ultimately, it made this possible for me to be here and live one of my dreams so I dedicate that to Tammy. I hope she’s still with us.
No one [in the team] knows. That’s something I’ve kept to myself; we’ve all got a lot going on. Job to do, isn’t it? You’ve got to be professional all the time.
Wright came on for the Socceroos for the final 16 minutes, making his first appearance in World Cup football, in what is his second tournament as a member of the Australia squad – he was also in the Australia squad for the 2014 World Cup.
Wright told the Sydney Morning Herald:
It’s pretty special. This is my second World Cup and to get on is special, but had I not gone on, achieving what we’ve achieved [would have been just as special] — a lot of that performance and the rewards you see now has been an effort over four years of not just people that are here, lads, staff, there’s a lot that have been on this journey.
Australia’s victory over Denmark sets up a last-16 game against Argentina on Saturday night, after Sunderland take on Millwall at the Stadium of Light.
Everyone at Roker Report wishes Bailey the very best – both on the field and off it.