Qatar 2022 World Cup will be amazing, says Sousa


Former Juventus and Borussia Dortmund player Paulo Sousa


Two-time UEFA Champions League winner Paulo Sousa has given support to the 2022 World Cup that will take place in Qatar.
“I had the privilege to visit Doha weeks ago and I saw all the efforts being put into this event. I think it will be amazing in terms of infrastructure, management and capacity. The conditions of the infrastructure will be fantastic, and it will be an opportunity for the Qatari team to compete with the best countries in the world,” the Portuguese, who won the Champions League with Juventus in 1996 and Borussia Dortmund in 1997, said at the Aspire4Sport Congress and Exhibition yesterday.

Sousa also praised Aspire Academy for the great work being done to promote football in Qatar and in other countries around the world.
“Congratulations to Aspire Academy not only for what they are doing for Qatar, but for the game of football. Events like this are great for football and help bring positive change, so it is an honour to share my experiences,” he said at the two-day event, which came to a close at Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge stadium yesterday.

Designed to shape the future of the sports industry and spread best practice in athlete development, delegates at yesterday’s event also heard from Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson, and Chelsea and Real Madrid legend Claude Makelele.

Speaking at the Global Summit on Football Performance and Science, which runs in parallel to the Aspire4Sport Congress and Exhibition, Makelele emphasised the importance of such events in providing opportunities for people from all over the globe to learn from each other.
“Football is for sharing. This Global Summit is a great idea as it presents an opportunity for a lot of people from a lot of countries to share ideas. Football is different in different countries. At this Aspire Academy event we learnt a lot about football, different people and different nationalities, so it’s a good idea,” he said.

During two Star Chats hosted by BT Sport Presenter Lynsey Hipgrave, Hodgson, Makelele and Sousa shared their perspectives on a wide range of topics with football coaches and industry professionals. Drawing on their stellar careers, the stars passed on advice based on their experiences from years working at the highest level of world football.

Discussing the challenges faced by players and managers when they move to a new country to further their career, Hodgson, who has managed in Sweden, Switzerland and Italy, said, “You need to be prepared to immerse yourself in the country and attempt to learn the language. The fact that you’re trying gives people encouragement and shows that you want to be there.”

Taking place over the last two days, Aspire4Sport is an exclusive networking session that offers European and Qatari sports industry professionals the chance to engage with key decision-makers that are shaping the landscape of the Gulf region’s sports business industry, paving the way for future partnerships.

Speaking at the networking event, Andrew Burke, Account Manager for the UK Market at Stats LLC said, “We’ve been involved before with this event. We truly value the event as a key partner in what we’re trying to do with Qatar and Aspire Academy overall.”
Stats LLC is a sports data, technology, statistics, and content company that works closely with the Qatar Stars League and the Qatar Football Association.

Burke went on to say: “Getting access to speak to those top level people in their field is superb. We’ve had several meetings at the Aspire4Sport Congress & Exhibition – there are a lot of people here who could really benefit from our services and we’re going to get equal value from them, so it’s really a win-win situation.”