(MENAFN- Gulf Times)
Organising the historic FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 represents an ideal opportunity to highlight the capabilities and traditions of Qatar and the Arab world.
Qatar, as a representative of the Arab world and the region as a whole, looks forward to holding the global event for the first time in the Middle East and aims to invest the popularity of football for good, not only at the sporting level, but at various levels that would benefit the country, the Arab region, and the whole world.
To accomplish this objective, the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (SC), responsible for implementing the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 infrastructure projects, has chosen a number of stars of game in Qatar, the Arab region and the world as ambassadors of the committee, to participate in spreading the vision and ambitions of Qatar in organising the event, along with other efforts taking place to promote the global championship.
The committee has split the ambassadors into a group of Qatari and Arab ambassadors, and international ones.
They are: Qatari players Khalid Salman, Mubarak Mustafa, Ibrahim Khalfan, Adel Khamis, Ahmed Khalil and Mohamed Saadoun al-Kuwari, Oman's Ali al-Habsi, Egypt's Mohamed Aboutrika and Wael Jumaa, and Iraq's Younis Mahmoud.
Five stars were chosen as global ambassadors. They are: Xavi Hernandez, Brazil's Cafu, The Netherlands' Ronald de Boer, Cameroon's Samuel Eto'o, and Australia's Tim Cahill.
The selection of ambassadors of the Qatar World Cup was very meticulous, as these legends with a history of achievements in the world of football, will help support the preparations for hosting an exceptional and unprecedented edition of the World Cup (21 editions) since its launch in 1930.
The ambassadors' will contribute to the success of the event by playing their role in building bridges of communication between Qatar, the Arab region and the world as a whole and spreading the vision about the championship.
Qatar has achieved great success in its ability to set up the infrastructure for the tournament in record time, equipping eight World Cup stadiums as per special specifications and standards and providing a transport network that will help move and transport fans during the tournament in an efficient manner.
The Netherlands' Ronald de Boer
Some of the ambassadors have recently participated in promotional campaigns for the stadiums with fan leaders of the qualified teams. Some of also participated in promotional tours of the tournament locally and abroad, the last of which was in Lebanon. They are set to tour 54 countries carrying the World Cup trophy, which weighs 6.175kg in gold.
The ambassadors will add more success to the preparations for the the historic tournament, being held for the first time in the Arab world and the Middle East. The ambassadors will invest their experience, achievements and stardom in playing their role in order to bring about the positive change, which will be beneficial in terms of introducing everything related to the culture, legacy and history of the Qatari and Arab society as a whole and its dealing with global events.
Cameroon's Samuel Eto'o
The bio for each of the 15 players can be summarised as follows:
Khalid Salman is one of the stars of Qatar who excelled in various tournaments locally and abroad with his Al Sadd team and Qatari national team. He was honoured with many titles, the most important of which was his leadership of the Al Sadd team helping to win the AFC Champions League title in 1989, the first Arab team to win the title. He also contributed to the qualification of the Qatar's national team to the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles.
Australia's Tim Cahill
One of the most prominent tournaments he played for was the Qatar youth national team, which qualified for the 1981 Youth World Cup finals in Australia. He excelled in the tournament, especially against the Brazilian national team in the quarterfinals, where he scored three goals and contributed to the Qatari team reaching the final of the tournament. The team came close to being crowned with the world title had it not been for losing to the German national team in a difficult confrontation marred by heavy rains.
Mubarak Mustafa was one of the best former stars of Qatar. He stood out at the Arab Club for his contributions to the team and was in the national team that lifted the Gulf Cup twice. He was honoured with the title of top scorer and the best player in the 1992 Gulf edition, and finished his career, scoring 34 goals for the Qatari national team. He was one of the few stars who distinguished himself by scoring goals in various competitions.
Ibrahim Khalfan is one of the greatest players of Qatar and Al Arabi Club. He is a leader of the game who contributed to the many achievements of his team locally and for the Qatar national team. He has represented the Qatari national team in 90 international matches. One of his most notable achievements was leading the Qatar national team to qualify for the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles.
Adil Khamis is one of the few Qatari football players throughout the history of the game who can be described as a star. He played in the defensive centre and defensive midfield, and starred with the Qatari national team and his club Al Ittihad (Al Gharafa) later. He distinguished himself internationally with 'Qatari Annabi' in many international tournaments, most notably in the 1992 Gulf Cup.
Ahmed Khalil is one of the best Qatari goalkeepers and was with the Al Arabi Club. He stood out among the stars of the Qatar national team during the early nineties and contributed to the winning of the 1992 Gulf Cup title. He was one of the most prominent stars of the tournament, and he won the title of 'best goalkeeper'.
Mohamed Saadoun al-Kuwari is one of the most famous Qatari figures in the field of media and sports. Al-Kuwari is a prominent media personality and presenter of football programmes specifically at 'BEINsports', the most popular sports channel in the Arab world and the Middle East. Besides his work in the media, he is a professional Padel player and has represented Qatar at foreign events and achieved remarkable success.
Ali al-Habsi is the best and most famous football player and even an athlete in his country, Oman. He has played professionally in Europe, and is described as a goalkeeping legend in Oman, and the Arabian Gulf. In a career spanning more than 18 years he was the most prominent goalkeeper in the Gulf Cup tournaments. He was honoured with the title of 'the best goalkeeper' five times, and has been playing professionally for many European clubs, and contributed to Wigan winning the 2012 FA Cup. In 2013, he played for Saudi Al-Hilal FC. He has participated in 350 matches at the club level, and 100 international matches with the Oman national team.
Mohamed Aboutrika is one of the most popular football stars in the Arab world and Africa. He is a legend of the Egyptian national team and Al-Ahly Club, and is famed for his skills, achievements, high morals . He emerged as top scorer, and helped his Al-Ahly team win the Egyptian league title seven times and three cup championships, the African Champions League title five times and four Super Cup.
Wael Gomaa is one of the best players Egyptian, Arab and African football has seen. He has won titles locally and abroad. He contributed to Al-Ahly winning the league title eight times and the Cup championship three times. He also contributed to his country's national team winning three titles at the African Cup of Nations, and the African Champions League and the Super Cup six times.
Younis Mahmoud is one of the stars of Iraqi football. He excelled as an attacking player locally and abroad, He played for many clubs in Qatar, and excelled with the Al Gharafa team, where he contributed to the team holding the league title thrice. He won the title of 'top scorer' of the Qatari league three times as well, played 148 international matches for his national team, and contributed to it being crowned the AFC Asian Cup title holder of 2007. He won the best player award in the tournament.
Xavi Hernandez is one of the legends of world football. He is one of the best midfielders throughout the history of the game. The Barcelona player and coach, and former Qatari Al Sadd player and coach, has a great relationship with Qatari football. His most outstanding achievements in his career with Barcelona was winning the Spanish league title eight times, the Champions League three times, the Club World Cup twice, and contributing to the Spanish national team winning World Cup 2010 title, and the European Nations title twice.
Cafu is a former captain of the Brazilian national team and one of the legends of Brazilian football. He is one of the most prominent players who carried the badge of the Brazilian national team, stood out in the right-back position. He numerous achievements during his long career in football include more than 20 titles, most notably the World Cup twice, and the league title.
Ronald de Boer, is a legendary player who played for the Netherlands national team and the AjAx Amsterdam club, besides the Spanish Barcelona and Scottish Rangers. He has a strong connection with Qatari football, as moved to Qatar, where he played for Al Rayyan and Al Shamal clubs.
Samuel Eto'o is considered one of the greatest players of Cameroon and Africa and one of the most outstanding football strikers. He represented Cameroon at the World Cup, won the title of the best player in Africa four times, contributed to his national team winning the African Cup of Nations title twice. He moved to play with a Qatar club at the end of his football career. He currently heads the Cameroonian Football Federation.
Tim Cahill is the best player in the history of Australia, a legend of Australian football and top scorer in the history of the Australian national team. He has played 108 international matches during which he scored 50 goals, contributed to the qualification of his national team four times to the World Cup. He has played outside Australia and stood out with the English team Everton 2004-2012 playing 268 matches in various tournaments during which he scored 68 goals. He currently works as director of sports affairs at Aspire Academy in Qatar.
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