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These Anglia Ruskin students will be cheering on England rivals Panama at the World Cup

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Panamanian supporters at Anglia Ruskin University. Picture: Keith Heppell
Panamanian supporters at Anglia Ruskin University. Picture: Keith Heppell

It's the first time their country has qualified to play in the tournament.

World Cup 2018 is upon us and a group of Anglia Ruskin University students are delighted to be cheering on their nation at the finals for the first time.

Panama has joined England in Group G, and students of ARU’s Panama bilingue programme have high hopes for ‘Los Canaleros’.

Anglia Ruskin is providing a room for the programme’s students to support Panama in the group stage. Student Jose Alberto Vargas Cruz, 19, said: “I love football – it’s our passion. In Panama we have two passions. Baseball is the other.”

Jose said he likes Panama’s chances in the group, which also includes Tunisia and Belgium, but thinks they will have a tough time against England on June 24.

“I want Panama to win but I know that England is one of the best teams in the World Cup,” he said. “I think Panama can score one goal, but I think England could win the game. I think we can get to the quarter final.”

Derrick Alexander Barrier Stephenson, 18, said: “You can walk through the streets in Panama and see kids playing football – everybody has passion for the game.”

Alberto Quintero, striker Luis Tejada and defender Roman Torres are the players to look out for, he said.

“We have been waiting for this for a long, long time,” Derrick said. “This is the first World Cup Panama has played in so our game will improve as we go. We’re planning to watch the game with all our friends and relax and eat snacks. We have good vibes and England should be worried!”

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