German Football Legend Matthaus Expects a Great Football Celebration During World Cup in Qatar
04 July 2022

German Football Legend Matthaus Expects a Great Football Celebration During World Cup in Qatar

Doha, July 04 (QNA) - Lothar Matthaus expressed his confidence that Qatar will witness a great football celebration when it hosts the World Cup later this year, highlighting the importance of the tournament's compactness for the players' performance and having the Middle-East host the tournament for the first time ever. Speaking to the Qatar2022.qa website ahead of the next ticket sales period for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, on Tuesday July 5, he said that "with less travel, the players can concentrate fully on football. This might help get that extra 1% or more from the players. It will be a different experience for many players, although these days, they are always so well prepared and looked after." He stressed that having different areas around the world host the World Cup was something very important. "I was at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, which was the first World Cup on the African continent. We also had a World Cup in Japan and South Korea in 2002. I think every continent has the right to host a World Cup at some point. I know there is a lot of enthusiasm for football in Qatar and people are looking forward to this World Cup. I am sure it will be a great football celebration in Qatar later this year," he said. He said that lifting the World Cup in 1990 as Germany's captain was the highlight of his career that spanned two decades and saw him play 25 World Cup matches. "It is a moment I will never forget. It was not only the success, but also the togetherness and how we worked as a team. It was also how the fans supported us and the atmosphere we experienced in the stadiums and in the country. Everything was at a standstill and the only thing that mattered was football. It was also something very special to achieve in a football country like Italy because I was also playing for Inter Milan at the time. To be awarded the trophy as captain – it is something I will never forget," he said. On his participation in five consecutive World Cups, one of only three players to do so, he said that each one was different given he was at a different stage of his career. His first participation in 1982 saw him make only two appearances, given he was a youngster at the time. The following two editions in 1986 and 1990 saw him become an integral part of the team given he was at the peak of his career. It came full circle in 1994 and 1998, when Matthaus was one of the team's veteran players. On his expectations for Germany's performance in the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, he said that Germany is always among the favorites. "However, in the last two major tournaments, we did not perform well. I hope we have learned from these bad results. I believe we have a team that is capable of doing well against big nations like Argentina, Brazil, England and France. We have huge potential, a good team spirit, and a good mix of experienced and young players. I think the team has also realized that it has to act as a unit again – which is something that always makes playing against Germany very difficult," he noted. On Qatar's first-ever participation in the World Cup, he said that "Qatar are not among the favorites but you can see they have improved in recent years. If they have luck on their side, they could create a surprise. I don’t expect them to make it to the final but I think they can pick up points against other teams and – with a little bit of luck – make it through to the second round." In concluding his remarks, his stressed on the importance the success of the team is in creating any star. "Every player benefits from the team's success, and that's why it's very important for the team to function – like it did for Germany in 1990. We saw that with Diego Maradona in 1986, perhaps myself in 1990 and Ronaldo from Brazil in 2002. You always have a connection to a special player for each World Cup. In 2018 in Russia, it was perhaps Kylian Mbappe, who became a world champion with France, or Luka Modrić, who reached the final with Croatia," he said. (QNA)