The FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 is less than two years away, and with every milestone reached, excitement continues to build in the country and across the region.
Football’s showpiece event means many things to many people, especially those who have lifted the coveted trophy. And one player who has special memories of the tournament is former Brazil captain Cafu.
The 50-year-old won the World Cup on two occasions during a storied career that included trophy-laden spells with Sao Paulo, AS Roma and AC Milan. The former defender is also Brazil’s most capped player with 142 international appearances.
As a Global Ambassador for the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy, Cafu believes Qatar 2022 will deliver the kind of memories he was fortunate enough to experience as a player on multiple occasions.
As the most-capped player in Brazil’s history and a winner of the FIFA World Cup™ in 1994 and 2002, how important do you think it is for this tournament to come to the Middle East and Arab world for the first time?
The World Cup is a tournament for the entire world and so every country has the right to bid and play host to it. For passionate fans across the region, this must be very exciting. Having the tournament in your neighbourhood will offer millions the chance to attend it for the very first time. And knowing what Qatar is planning in terms of infrastructure and fan experience, this World Cup will be exciting for everyone.
Having been a part of so many World Cups, what legacy will Qatar 2022 have on the region and beyond?
The organisers behind this edition of the World Cup have made sure that its legacy will be felt around the world. Their commitment to sustainability is something that will have a positive impact on the environment and set the bar for how mega sporting events should be organised in the future. This includes plans to repurpose parts of stadiums after the final whistle to support sporting infrastructure in developing countries.
Qatar 2022 will take place in November and December. How will the timing of this tournament impact the quality of play?
The timing of the tournament means that many players will be in peak fitness, because they won’t be joining their national teams after a long club season. Combined with the perfect weather conditions that Qatar is known for at that time of year, we are set to see some exciting football on the pitch. There will be no excuses for the biggest stars not to shine.
This will also be the most compact World Cup in modern history, with all the stadiums in close proximity and teams able to stay in one place throughout the tournament. How will that be different from other World Cups?
For those that love watching football, whether it’s on TV or in person, Qatar 2022 will be a dream come true. Four group stage matches a day, all played at stadiums that are close to each other, means that potentially you can attend two matches in one day. That’s something that hasn’t happened in the modern era of the World Cup.
For the participating teams, they will be able to stay in one team base and avoid any long travel between matches. This will undoubtedly give players more time to train, rest and be better prepared for what matters most – the football!
Of all the tournaments you played in during your career, why is the World Cup so important to you?
It’s what every player dreams of – to be a world champion. You play with and against the best players in the world. It’s where you want to be as a player.
Culled from fifa.com