Ruud Gullit: 2022 FIFA World Cup™ an ‘amazing opportunity’ for players and fans

Dutch legend Ruud Gullit is amazed at the rapid infrastructure progress being made in Qatar and has praised the country’s compact tournament plans for the 2022 FIFA World Cup™.

The former AC Milan star, who was in Doha working as a pundit for beIN SPORTS, recently met executives from the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC), the organisation responsible for delivering the infrastructure required for the 2022 FIFA World Cup™.

And after taking a tour of the SC’s Legacy Pavilion at Al Bidda Tower, the former Netherlands captain said he was amazed at the work being done to deliver the Arab world’s first FIFA World Cup™.
“Every time I visit Qatar I find something new,” said Gullit, who led the Netherlands to success at the 1988 UEFA European Championship.

“Even though I visit Doha on a regular basis, I see obvious progress every time. Look at the airport, hotels and Lusail City. It’s really amazing.”

Gullit, who represented the Netherlands at the 1990 FIFA World Cup™, also praised Qatar’s compact tournament plans. The maximum distance between stadiums will be just 55km in 2022, while fans will have the chance to attend more than one match per day during the early stages of the tournament.

“It will be a lot easier for the players as they will hardly have to travel at all,” said Gullit, who is now assistant manager of the Netherlands national team. “Also, the tournament being held in November and December means players will be at their physical best. 
I think a lot of stars will emerge.”
1987 Ballon d’Or winner Gullit continued: “The fans will also benefit from not having the hassle of moving a lot. From the hotel, to the metro, to the stadium, in half an hour. They will then be able to catch the metro at the end of the game to watch another match. This is a major strength and different to previous tournaments.”

Through regular visits to Qatar, Gullit understands the passion for football in the country and region.

“People love the game in this part of the world. I have met a lot of Arabs and I always feel their passion and love for football.”
Looking ahead to this summer’s tournament in Russia, Gullit is disappointed his home nation won’t be represented after failing to qualify for the finals for the first time since 2002. In their absence, Gullit is backing four nations to be among the contenders for the trophy.

“France and Germany both have a great chance, while Brazil will be seeking revenge after the embarrassment of 2014 when they lost heavily to Germany in the semi-finals. Spain also has the quality and ability to go far in the tournament.”