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Qatar FIFA World Cup will be Memorable, says Former Qatar International

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By Martin Graham | 12th Apr 2022

Khalid Salman, who played for the Qatar national team between 1981 and 1998 says that the 22nd edition of the World Cup hosted by his country will be memorable for the players of the Qatar national team.

Qatar has never been to the World Cup and will be making their debut in this edition, which they have the privilege to host.

The 2022 FIFA World Cup is a lot of things for people, controversial included. However, it will not only be the most expensive World Cup in history (a $222 billion budget) and the smallest World Cup in history, it will also be a trendsetter.

The host nation’s preparation for both players and fans is top notch and is currently being fine-tuned to ensure utmost quality of experience for the World who will be stepping foot on Qatari soil in November.

For these reasons, Salman believes that his country has already achieved success at the FIFA World Cup long before the first kickoff of the tournament. Salman also believes that Qatar’s privilege of playing host in the first World Cup in the Arab world is a victory regardless of how they perform at the tournament.

“When the Maroons [Qatar national team] take to the pitch, they will not only be representing Qatar, but the entire Arab world,” Salman says.

“This will be the moment of a lifetime for the players, and for fans as well. It’s a dream come true for all of us.

“For me personally, I tried twice, albeit unsuccessfully, to qualify to the World Cup, but now the big tournament is coming right to our front door,” Salman, a Legacy Ambassador with the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (SC) of the World Cup local organising committee, emotionally reminisced.

Salman also spoke about Qatar’s group which has African champions Senegal, three-time World Cup runners-up Netherlands, and Ecuador.

“For me, the Ecuador match is the most important one, because a win there opens up so many possibilities for us in the next two games,” he said.

“We have played them before, and I know that we will be very prepared coming into that match, and I hope that the symbolism that the stadium holds will bring us good luck on what will be a historic day.

“Senegal boasts some of the world’s best players, but in football, everything comes down to those 90 minutes on the pitch, and we have seen so many unexpected results over the years.

“On paper, Senegal are a much better team than Qatar, but everything is possible.

“We all grew up watching Dutch football legends like Johan Cruyff. It’s a school of football that has taught us so much over the years, and I think that the differences between Qatar and the Dutch will be too much.

“Of course, I hope that Qatar wins and replicates the success they had during the 2019 Asian Cup, but I think this will be a very difficult match,” Salman said, rounding up his thoughts on Group A where Qatar have been drawn as hosts.

Martin Graham is an MFF sports writer

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