London, 6 October 2017. At the opening of this year’s ASPIRE4SPORT Congress & Exhibition delegates from the world’s biggest football clubs were told about the huge progress being made by the Aspire Academy and the Qatar Football Association in the build up to the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar™.
Ivan Bravo, Director General of the Aspire Academy in Qatar, delivered a speech outlining Qatar’s football development programme and the journey Qatar’s young players are undertaking in order to compete with the best teams in the world in 2022.
Speaking at the ASPIRE4SPORT Congress & Exhibition, he said: “Despite some people being skeptical about whether Qatar can compete in 2022, we think very differently. We have no doubt that the team in 2022 can make things happen and compete with some of the best teams playing.”
He noted that the Qatari Football Association has worked with the Aspire Academy to identify a footballing philosophy that will define how the national team play at the World Cup, with players coached in those playing principles through all stages of their development.
He said: “We want to be an aggressive team that plays with depth and width. That has structure and solidarity. All of our coaches believe we are on a mission. But we want all our players to believe in the model so we can compete with the rest.”
He noted that central to Qatar’s football development model is instilling a belief in the players that “the kids from the neighborhoods in Doha can compete with the rest in the world.”
He added: “We want to create a sense of national pride in those that want to play for Qatar. We want to see a real passion for wearing the national jersey.”
The approach to player development has been to ensure that Qatar’s players are constantly facing new challenges so that they are prepared for what is to come at the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar™.
Bravo added: “All these guys are coming up very quickly. Feeling the jersey and feeling the pride.”
One strategy being implemented by Qatar Football Association is allowing its youth players to compete at tournaments against older players, in the belief that facing difficult challenges early in their career means that they are better prepared for the challenges that lie ahead. In what is a sign of the progress being made, players from Qatar recently been competing with players from Belgian’s Jupiler Pro League and Spain’s La Liga.