The 2022 World Cup, set to be held in Qatar, could well go down in history as one of the greatest editions ever, according to Brazilian legend Cafu.
The former right-back is one of Brazil’s most decorated players and has won the World Cup twice, in 1994 and in 2002 when he was the captain.
Cafu, having experienced Asia’s first-ever World Cup in South Korea/Japan in 2002 as a player, feels the continent’s second World Cup next year will be historic. He specifically praised the hosts Qatar and pointed out the advancements they have made in terms of stadium construction and facilities for the World Cup.
“Qatar has changed a lot since my last visit before the pandemic. Every year the country progresses at such a fast rate that it is like visiting a new city or country. The infrastructure (for the World Cup) is now 95 per cent complete so they are almost ready for next year’s World Cup that I believe will be one of the greatest in history,” the Qatar Legacy Ambassador told Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy.
“I am very impressed by the way Qatar has dedicated themselves to ensuring this is an amazing tournament.”
The 51-year-old was not just impressed by the facilities but also the fact that all eight venues for the 2022 World Cup will be within an hour’s distance of each other. Cafu feels this will be a game-changer for both players and fans alike.
“At Qatar 2022 you will have an entire World Cup compacted into a small area. You will have all the venues, fan zones and facilities in one place with just a short distance to travel between any two venues. For example, the longest distance between stadiums is just 75km so fans will be able to watch two or maybe even three live games in a single day.
“This is wonderful for the fans, but it is also great for the players. With less travel the players won’t be as tired as they can get more rest between games which should hopefully result in better performances on the pitch and less injuries.”
The former AS Roma and AC Milan star went on to highlight how he travelled between two of the World Cup venues and the sights that mesmerised him earlier this year.
“We travelled the longest distance possible between two World Cup stadiums – from Al Janoub to Al Bayt – taking in all the beautiful sights along the way. The journey took us just over one hour in total which really highlighted to me just how compact this World Cup will be. All the fans and everyone in Qatar for the World Cup will be part of the action from start to finish and it should help create a special atmosphere.”
Cafu also felt that Brazil can shine at Qatar and with a talented team led by Neymar, have the ability to win the World Cup 20 years after they last won it under his own leadership.
“Brazil will always be a very competitive team on the world stage because as a country we love football and always produce talented players. What the current Brazil team needs is a long streak of great games and great results and I think this will lead to great achievements once again.”