Doha, 12 October 2022 - Australian legend Tim Cahill is confident the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 will have a significant impact on the continent long after the dust settles on the global showpiece.
Qatar will host the tournament for only the second time in Asia and Cahill said it will pave the way for other countries to host more world class events.
“Asian nations have also made amazing progress on the field,” said Cahill, who is a Global Qatar Legacy Ambassador, in a recent interview with Yonhap News Agency.
“It is also important for them to go beyond just playing in the World Cup - laying foundation for the grassroots, for example.”
“In football, you need the visibility, but you also need to grow your own game in your own country. So the World Cup is the icing on the cake, but it’s what you do after. For Asia, I think we always hold great account of ourselves. I think we always perform well. And now it’s about trying to deliver in the hardest tournament on Earth.”
Cahill, who scored 50 goals for Australia in a career that saw him play in four FIFA World Cups, said he is excited about what Qatar 2022 has to offer. “I’m looking forward to welcoming everyone from around the world to share the hospitality of Qatar,” he said.
“It’s a World Cup that’s going to be compact. Eight stadiums roughly across 70 miles, air conditioned stadiums, state-of-the-art facilities ... but also the option to watch two or three games in a day, which for me is incredible.”
Cahill has been living in Qatar for over two years and he called himself “a local.”
In addition to being an ambassador for the World Cup, Cahill works as chief sports officer for Doha-based Aspire Academy, which recruits and develops local athletes. He is ready to serve as a gracious host.
Cahill is the first Australian to score at a World Cup and still owns the record for most goals by an Australian at the big tournament with five goals.
Cahill’s globe-trotting career took him through England, the United States, China, India and his native Australia. His best club years came with Everton from 2004 to 2012.
He netted 56 goals in 226 league matches for the Premier League club.