U.S. Men’s National Team star Christian Pulisic knows the Americans are a long shot to win the 2022 World Cup this winter in Qatar.

That doesn’t mean he thinks it’s impossible.

“We’re by no means favorites going into the tournament, but we’re a confident team, and we’re a hungry team,” Pulisic, training in Los Angeles this week with club team Chelsea ahead of the new English Premier League season, told FOX Sports in an interview Thursday. “We’re going to go in with the mentality and mindset of wanting to win the World Cup. That’s exactly where our heads are going to be at, and we’re going to go in and believe it. Because if you believe, I think you can do it.”

Is that realistic? Probably not. According to FOX Bet, the odds of the U.S. (+10000) becoming the ninth nation to lift the World Cup on Dec. 18 in Doha are minuscule. Still, it’s easy to understand why nothing short of glory is the USMNT’s goal. If the Americans — who will field arguably their most talented team ever and who occupy a manageable first-round group that includes England, Iran and Wales — head into the competition convinced that they can’t take the title after failing to qualify in 2018, why even go?

Pulisic has always dreamed big. He has always chased his dreams with singular determination and focus. It’s how a skinny kid from Hershey, Pennsylvania, became the youngest player to score multiple times in the German Bundesliga. It’s how he moved from Borussia Dortmund to Chelsea in 2019 for more than $70 million, still the richest transfer fee ever paid for an American player. And it’s how he won the UEFA Champions League in just his second season with the Blues, becoming the first U.S. player to appear in the final.

Now that he’s about to begin his seventh professional season and fourth in London, it’s easy to forget that Pulisic is still just 23. And while the World Cup is already on his mind four months before the planet’s greatest sporting event kicks off in late November, his long-term personal ambitions are every bit as lofty.

“I want to grow the sport in his country to a level that no one could even believe by the time I’m done playing,” he said. “I want to continue to inspire the youth, especially in America, and I want to have a team that’s going to grow and compete with the best in the world. Those are my main goals.”

Right now, though, he’s happy where he is, both figuratively and literally. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, this is the first time Pulisic has experienced a preseason with Chelsea in his home country. The Blues will face Mexico’s Club America in Las Vegas on Saturday before heading to North Carolina next week to take on MLS expansion side Charlotte FC.

The club will conclude its U.S. tour with a game against London rival Arsenal in Florida before opening the 2022-23 Premier League campaign at Everton on Aug. 6. “I love just spending more time in the States,” Pulisic said. He loves living in London, too. And unless and until he’s told otherwise, he’s expecting to remain with Chelsea this season, despite being linked to a move away from the club this summer.

“I really don’t read into it at all. It really doesn’t cross my mind too much,” he said of the transfer rumors. “There’s obviously conversations that need to be had when they need to be had, but right now I’m just focused on having a very strong season at Chelsea. And then in the back of the head is obviously the World Cup.”

After missing out on sports’ grandest stage four years ago, Pulisic is counting the days until Qatar 2022. He remembers watching the USMNT play in World Cups as a kid. He still thinks about Landon Donovan’s late winner against Algeria in 2010. “It was a big celebration — I was running around my house,” he said. “That’s the moment that sticks in your head.”

Donovan’s goal that day helped the U.S. top their group, forcing heavily favored England to settle for second place. It’s a reminder that things don’t always play out the way most think they will.

Pulisic and the U.S. will have a chance to repeat the feat later this year. When the U.S. meet the Three Lions on Black Friday, Pulisic will likely line up against several current Chelsea teammates. They’ve been talking about that marquee matchup since April’s draw. “We obviously joke around and stuff,” Pulisic said.

The U.S. will be the underdog again, but Pulisic is unfazed. He’s still hoping to have the last laugh.

“When it comes down to it,” he said, “We’re going to battle it out.”

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