Former Arsenal and Spain midfielder Santi Cazorla is loving life in Qatar where he is currently playing for Al Sadd. The 36-year-old is fresh off a victorious Amir Cup campaign, with his side beating Al Rayyan in the final.
Cazorla scored a goal in the final which was then decided on penalties. Interestingly, the venue – Al Thumama stadium – was inaugurated with the Amir Cup final and became the sixth tournament-ready stadium for the World Cup in Qatar next year.
And the 36-year-old midfielder feels that the Middle-East nation is the best place to host the global showpiece event, given the world class facilities and passion the fans in the country have for the sport.
Cazorla, having experienced what football in Qatar is like first hand, also brushed off suggestions that the weather in the country might not be conducive for football. It must be noted that the temperatures in November and December in Qatar are quite low and in addition to it, seven out of the eight-planned stadiums have Advanced Cooling Tech.
“I think it was the best place to bet (hold) on the World Cup. We have amazing stadiums, good weather and good supporters. So I think we will enjoy the World Cup here in Qatar,” he spoke to an international publication.
Two more fully completed stadiums are set to be launched by the end of the year and even the Covid-19 pandemic has not impacted the work progress. The country has also mitigated the pandemic well and vaccinated most of their population.
Cazorla doesn’t think Covid-19 will impact the World Cup and fans will be able to attend and enjoy the games.
“It’s a difficult time for everyone (pandemic). But I think now it’s improving step by step, for sure the World Cup will be better,” he said.
Cazorla, who incidentally scored in normal time in the final, has been a breath of fresh air for Al Sadd who are currently coached by Xavi Hernandez. In fact, he has scored 14 league goals in 22 appearances for Al Sadd after moving to Qatar.
Cazorla was quick to praise his boss and compatriot, backing him to take the Barcelona job in the future.
“He’s ready. but I don’t know when, because in football you never know what can happen. But for sure he is ready to be the coach of Barcelona, and I think it’s his dream also.
Cazorla also had words of praise for Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah who is currently in the form of his life and has been touted as a possible Ballon d’Or winner.
“It’s crazy. This guy is a top player, he is in a very good moment. He’s one of the best in the world, Liverpool are lucky to have him.
“He’s one of the top three (players in the world), maybe top because every game scores goals and makes assists, at the moment he is one of the best for sure.”