Experience will be key for Qatar in 2022 FIFA World Cup: Ali Asad

 22 Mar 2017 - 22:15

Experience will be key for Qatar in 2022 FIFA World Cup: Ali Asad

The Peninsula

Qatar midfielder Ali Asad (pictured) believes that experience and an inventory of skills will be his assets as he aspires to be an ‘Al Anabi’ mainstay during the 2022 FIFA World Cup on home soil.  

Speaking to www.sc.qa ahead their 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Iran today, the 24-year-old Al Sadd player called the game at the home of his club “one of the most important in my career” and added that he is prepared for even bigger occasions that will beckon in the future.

“The 2018 FIFA World Cup could be the last for some of my teammates if we qualify, but I have age on my side and can play in front of my countrymen in the dream-come-true tournament in 2022,” said Asad, who has scored 10 international goals in 40 appearances.   

“Everyone in the QFA and Aspire Academy are doing their best to prepare a good team for 2022 – which should contain a mixture of youth and experience. I will be 28 then, which is when midfielders peak. As one of the experienced players in the squad, I will take on more responsibility and guide the youngsters.”

“Iran might be the highest-ranked team in Asia, but this bunch is not as good as their side that came here for the 2014 qualifiers and drew. Iran and South Korea have more experience playing in these big-match situations, but we can surprise them.”

The attacking midfielder shed some light on Qatar’s tactics ahead of the game. “We will attack, as we need at least four points from the next two games to remain in contention for World Cup qualification. A win at home is easier to achieve, even if the opponents are Iran, than claiming three points in Tashkent,” he said.  

“I am happy to have contributed significantly in the win against Syria in October,” said the man who is equally comfortable manning the central midfield and the left wing.

“Even more satisfying was that the performance came after I had not started against Uzbekistan in Doha in September, and then I missed out totally against South Korea, both due to tactical reasons. External circumstances affected our performance during the draw in China in November, but I am now focused for the immediate challenges ahead.”

The bigger challenge, Asad recognises, lies in surprising the world’s best teams in five years’ time in Qatar. And he says he has given some thought to the nature of his preparations.

“I would like to play in the English Premier League after 2018,” said the man noted for his ball control and passing.