A look at the country’s demographics, football history and its squad status prior to the Qatar World Cup 2022.
Number of inhabitants: approx. 2.8 million.
National Football Association: QFA
Number of members: approx. 5,000 (0.17% of total population)
International trophies won: 1x Asian Cup
Best World Cup result: Qualified as hosts in 2022.
In the past: Sebastian Soria, Bilal Mohammed, Mubarak Mustafa, Ibrahim Majid, Mansour Muftah.
Key current players: Almoez Ali, Hasan Al-Haydos, Akram Afif, Abdelkarim Hassan.
Coach, formation and possible lineup
Coach: Felix Sanchez. (since 2017)
Typical formation: 3-5-2
- GK: Saad Al-Sheeb (Al-Sadd)
- LCB: Abdelkarim Hassan (Al-Sadd)
- RCB: Pedro Miguel (Al-Sadd)
- CB: Boualem Khouki (Al-Sadd)
- LM: Homam Ahmed (Al-Gharafa)
- RM: Ismaeel Mohammed (Al-Duhail)
- CM: Karim Boudiaf (Al-Duhail)
- CM: Abdulaziz Hatem (Al-Rayyan)
- ACM: Hasan Al-Haydos (Al-Sadd)
- ST: Akram Afif (Al-Sadd)
- ST: Almoez Ali (Al-Duhail)
Players aged 25 or under in the current lineup: 2
Players aged 32 or over in the current lineup: 5
There are 5 players in this lineup that will (most likely) be playing their last World Cup this year: Al-Sheeb, Miguel, Khouki, Mohammed, Boudiaf.
There are 2 players in this lineup that can play (at least) two more: Afif and Ahmed.
The remaining 4 players could play in one (or two in Ali’s case) more World Cups: Hassan, Hatem, Al-Haydos and Ali.
Youngest player: Homam Ahmed, born 25 August 1999 (23)
Oldest player: Saad Al-Sheeb, born 19 February 1990 (32)
Average squad age: 29.5
World Cup Qatar – Group A
Sunday 20 November Qatar vs Ecuador
Friday 25 November Qatar vs Senegal
Tuesday 29 November Netherlands vs Qatar
This Qatar squad consists of a lot of players that play together for their club teams day in day out, which is a huge benefit. What can be seen as a downside however, is the fact that none of their players play in a highly rated league abroad. Or in any league abroad, for that matter. We will see what performance Qatar can put on the pitch in their home World Cup, but I’m afraid they won’t get past the group stage, with Netherlands and Senegal the favorites to progress.
Prediction: Group stage exit
Image by 3D Animation Production Company through Pixabay