Qatar’s upcoming winter FIFA World Cup will deliver a higher level of football compared with previous World Cups, according to former England captain and Qatar 2022 ambassador, David Beckham.
Beckham, one of the most decorated English players ever to play the game, believes the timing of the World Cup tournament will invite players to compete in their best shape.
“Players are coming into this World Cup after playing 25 games. So they will be arriving fresh and excited. Their energy is going to be at the top level, so I think what you’re going to see on the pitch is probably like no other World Cup,” said Beckham in an interview with Al Jazeera.
Qatar’s harsh desert climate forced FIFA to shift the global tournament from its traditional summer schedule to winter for the first time in its history.
The decision triggered several waves of criticism from Europe’s football fanbase as ongoing tournaments worldwide need to break to accommodate this year’s World Cup.
Still, Beckham believes the shifts in league schedules because of Qatar’s World Cup will benefit footballers, resulting in high-intensity competition for fans worldwide.
In the interview with Al Jazeera, Beckham recalls playing up to 60 games in the season before performing in the World Cup, which led to fatigue playing on the field.
Beckham also sees the small country of Qatar as an advantage for players since traveling between stadiums will be relevantly short.
“It’s the dream for players. In previous World Cups, we’ve had to travel, and it’s not easy to recover after games. “I would have loved to have played at this World Cup,” said Beckham.
The Qatar 2022 ambassador fell short of calling any favorites to win the tournament but wished well to England and congratulated Qatar’s Al-Annabi for their World Cup debut.
“It’s always great to see the host nation do well. Qatar have got a very good young team that have been together for a long time. So it would be good for the hosts to do well for the country and for the region,” the football legend said.
In less than two months, millions of fans will travel to Qatar to witness the world’s largest football event.