Former Trinidad and Tobago 2006 World Cup team head coach Leo Beenhakker has extended well wishes to this country as it approaches its 50th year of Independence anniversary date.
Beenhakker's 2006 World Cup players are among a prestige list of athletes who will be honoured at the Hilton Trinidad tonight and the Holland-born mastermind again recognised the tremendous efforts made by the players in qualifying for Germany 2006. T&T still holds the record as the smallest ever nation to qualify for a senior FIFA World Cup Finals.
"Congratulations and say hello to all the boys for me. It remains a pleasure for me to have worked with them and to have been part of the whole occasion in 2006. Good luck to your country in the future," Beenhakker said in a note to TTFF Media.
Dwight Yorke, one of Beenhakker's biggest troopers, who captained the team in 2006, also spoke of his top moment representing T&T.
"It has to be when we defeated Bahrain. Going there, needing to get a result and achieving it was a great accomplishment not just for me personally but for us as a country," Yorke said.
"Of course I've had some very big moments while playing for Manchester United but getting to the World Cup and then getting a draw in our first game against Sweden has to be up there with the best of them.
November 19th, 1989 is also very memorable for me even though it was a sad time because we didn't make it through to Italy. I would like to see our football get back to that stage again where we are actually competing well against the rest of the region and giving ourselves a good chance of achieving success like we did before."
Another stalwart in T&T football, Russell Latapy said the victory over Bahrain stands out for him but he also had a couple other huge moments.
"The victory in Bahrain stands out for me because of what it meant to the country and football in general for us. I didn't think I would have the chance to be part of such an achievement but it happened.
And it's more than just what it meant for me personally. I think as a country with the talent that we have, it was important for us to get to a World Cup at some point," Latapy said.
"Some of the other moments that stand out for me is the winner versus Mexico (in 2000 at the Hasely Crawford Stadium) and taking the field against Paraguay in our last game at the World Cup."
Current ESPN analyst Shaka Hislop, who stood tall in two of T&T's World Cup matches against Sweden and England, placed the playing of the national anthem at the top of his list.
"That's quite easy," Hislop said. "Hearing our National Anthem played in Dortmund before the Sweden game is definitely number one. I had my doubts as to whether I'd ever witness such a thing. I never thought in my wildest dreams that I'd be on the pitch as it was being played."
And as to what Hislop's hope is for T&T's football in the next fifty years, his response was " My hope for Trinidad and Tobago football is to see the local game be self sufficient and producing players as it did 30 or 40 years ago."