Xavi backs Lionel Messi to play at the 2022 World Cup

 

Barcelona legend Xavi Hernandez has described Lionel Messi as an ‘animal’ and believes the Argentine will play at the 2022 World Cup. The 33-year-old has won numerous accolades at the club level, but he has yet to win any major trophy on the international stage. Messi suffered World Cup heartbreak in 2014 when Germany beat Argentina in the final and he has since been the runner-up in the Copa America on two occasions.


Speaking to Marca, Xavi said that he has no doubts regarding the fitness of the Barcelona star and the Argentine should represent his country in the next World Cup in Qatar, he told: “I see Leo playing until he wants to. On a physical level, he is fast, strong, he is a competitive beast, physically an animal. I have no doubt that he will play in Qatar 2022.”
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David James understands the constant pressure on Jordan Pickford

 

Former England star David James has said that he understands the constant pressure on Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford. The 26-year-old has been the Three Lions’ regular choice in goal for the past three years, but they have been calls for him to be replaced amid his inconsistent displays at the club level.

The likes of Nick Pope and Dean Henderson are waiting in the wings to take any opportunity which arises, and James has acknowledged that it is very difficult to remain the country’s number one over a long period of time. Still he spoke in the support of Pickford saying: “I look at Pickford and there’s tremendous qualities he’s got. I think being the number one is very, very difficult. For one, people want to shoot you down, of course, because that’s the nature of the game. And secondly, to actually be at your best is difficult and to maintain that standard in any sporting context your performances are going to ebb and flow. To be the best or the number one for a long period of time is very difficult and let’s be right, Jordan’s not playing for one of the best sides in the country.”
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XAVI PREPARES QATAR FOR WORLD CUP 2022

 

Former Barcelona captain Xavi Hernandez has praised the work done by Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) after the Education City Stadium, the third host venue of World Cup 2022 to be completed, was opened on schedule despite the Coronavirus pandemic.


The Spanish retireesays the completion of the venue is a sign of the better times to come. He felt the feat showcased the progress that Qatar have made in spite of being impacted by Covid-19. The midfielder also expressed his gratitude to the health workers who are spearheading the fight against the dangerous virus.
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Qatar promises carbon-neutral World Cup 2022

 

The Gulf Organisation for Research and Development (GORD) has confirmed that the World Cup 2022 will be made carbon neutral in a bid to help the environment. Qatar won the rights to host the World Cup a few years ago. This turned out to be a major controversy for nations around the world due to the difficult climatic conditions that are well known to this part of the world. However, this was a pride for Qatar and other Middle East countries, who are still supporting the nation, since this would be the first time such a major event is being held in this region of the world.

In order to make the event a massive success – at least in terms of infrastructure, Qatar has been spending a huge sum of its oil wealth in building stadiums, roads, public transport, and more. Yet, there has been a criticism that the huge expenditure from Qatar will result in a significant explosion of carbon emissions, butYoussel Al-Hur, who is the chairman of GORD, confirmed that the nation is committed to making sure that emissions do not spike as a result of all the construction activity. The carbon neutral aim is being done with the help of 25 other projects, which are reducing emissions. Apart from building stadiums and an underground transport facility in Doha, Qatar is also building museums and much more.
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Blatter Recommends USA for Hosting 2022 World Cup

Former FIFA president Sepp Blatter claims that the United States has the potential to host the World Cup 2022 if it was snatched from the hands of Qatar at the last moment. The Middle East outfit is facing fresh charges of corruption and bribery. Furthermore, a fixture congestion is starting to look likely due to the coronavirus pandemic suspending all leagues across the world. As a result, the Euro 2020 has already been moved to the next year. It may not be easy for the World Cup to be switched, as this World Cup will be held as a winter event in order to overcome the heat of Qatar.


Qatar has already invested huge amount of money in order to develop several new stadiums, which have been air-conditioned in order to prevent the heat from getting to the players and fans. Yet, the nation may not be able to hold the event if it was postponed, as the postponement would clash with several other events across the world. Hence, there is a possibility that the event could be moved to a different location – especially with Qatar facing bribery charges. This World Cup in Middle East will be the last to include 32 teams, as it will expand to 48 for the 2026 World Cup, which will be held jointly by the United States and Mexico.
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NO ANNOUNCEMENT ON POSTPONEMENT OF WC 2022 YET

With the Euro 2020 moved to 2021 and the Tokyo Olympics moved to 2021 as well, there were certain calls to move the World Cup from 2022 by a year as well. However, as at press time FIFA was yet to give such announcement.


Corona Virus has pretty much disrupted major plans for 2020 and already impacting the year after. There are concerns the leagues that need to be completed would have a different timeline, then the next league season, the 2021 plans being made which might impact 2022 in a number of ways including funding and availability.
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Bob Bradley expects USA to qualify for the 2022 World Cup

Los Angeles FC manager Bob Bradley has backed the United States to comfortably qualify for the next World Cup in Qatar. The North American giants were not present during the previous edition of the global tournament and that was certainly a shock, given they had failed to reach the group stage for the first time since 1986.

In an interview covered by ESPN, Bradley, who managed USA between 2006 and 2011, said that he is confident about the country’s prospects of qualifying for the next World Cup. He added that there needs to be a settled environment during the qualifying phase and stated that the dismissal of Jurgen Klinsmann contributed to the nation’s failure to make the previous edition of the World Cup.

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Didier Deschamps urges World Cup winner to part ways with Chelsea

France head coach Didier Deschamps has urged Olivier Giroud to part ways with Chelsea in January. The former Arsenal man has been limited to just seven appearances for the Blues this term and reports have recently emerged that the marksman could push for a fresh challenge during the winter transfer window.

Speaking to ESPN, Deschamps revealed that he had a private chat with Giroud back in November and he has advised him to secure another club where he can be guaranteed with regular minutes on the field, he told: “I spoke with Olivier during the last international camp [November]. Even during the one before, he already knew what is best for him. Olivier is not happy at this moment, based on the little playing time he is getting. It is not his fault; he is suffering through the situation. It is up to him to decide in order to have the best sporting conditions on a daily basis at club level.”

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India Confident of Putting Strong Fight against Oman

India’s national team coach Igor Stimac has claimed that the path taken by India in the recent World Cup qualification remains good despite only managing a 1-1 draw with Afghanistan in the latest game. India have been unable to win any of the qualification matches so far. After starting the campaign with a defeat against Oman, they have gone on to draw the recent encounters against Qatar, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan. Even though these have been stalemates, there has not been a huge fight from India in recent games. As India prepares to play against Oman for the second leg,Stimac has had to fend off questions about complacency within the team.

At this rate, India will be able to make it to the next round of qualification. Only the top team qualifies to the next round automatically, while the second placed team in the group may or may not reach the third round. At present, Qatar occupies the top spot with 10 points whereas Oman are just behind with nine points. India are at risk of being cut off from these teams as a result of dropping seven points behind leaders. The game against Oman is the last for India in 2019 and they take on Qatar in March 2020.

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Marc Wilmots insists Iran have plenty of work to do after Cambodia rout

Iran head coach Marc Wilmots has said that the country have plenty of work to do in order to progress to the third round of the Asian World Cup qualifiers. Team Melli have started off their qualifying with back-to-back wins and their most recent came against Cambodia, who were beaten by a staggering 14-0 scoreline.

 

 

Speaking after the game, Wilmots said that he was pleased with the intent shown from the players but stressed that the team are still in a transition phase. He added that the squad need to retain their concentration, given they have an important match against Bahrain which could be crucial to deciding their qualification fate.

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