MUMBAI, March 18: World Cup-winning ace Spanish footballer Xavi Hernandez sees the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar as a historic occasion for the entire Middle East.
He said the football scenario in the gas-rich Gulf nation has improved a lot over the years.
“It (Qatar) is a new county (as far as football is concerned) and they are really excited to organise the 2022 (FIFA) World Cup.
“And in my opinion, they are doing well and they have been organising since 2010. They had time and still have time to organise everything,” Hernandez said.
“So it will be a historic World Cup for the Middle East, and not just for Qatar,” the 39-year-old footballer told reporters here on Monday.
Hernandez is in Mumbai for a ‘Generation Amazing’ programme and ceremonially kick-started the construction of a new community pitch in Colaba in south Mumbai.
Qatar is all set to become the first country from the Middle East (West Asia) to host the FIFA World Cup in 2022.
Hernandez, who played for long for La Liga club Barcelona, now plays as a central midfielder for Qatari club Al Sadd Sc.
Qatar stunned Japan to win the AFC Asian Cup and Hernandez said the Gulf country had good players.
“Because I know them, I know that they have a very good generation (of players), especially the young generation are doing well.
“It started with the Aspire Academy in 2006. They have a project, which will not end in 2022, but the main objective is 2022,” he said. (PTI)