Teams /  Brazil  / Brazil 
Brazil have 7,410 Fans
Carlos Alberto says Qatar is place for World Cup and Neymar the player
Louise Taylor in Doha - 3 years ago

Carlos Alberto sits in a quiet corner of a futuristic congress centre in Doha, explaining why Qatar deserves the 2022 World Cup and a leading Premier League club should snap up Brazil's teenage striker Neymar before he blossoms into the world's best player.

Only a few years ago the first part of that conversation might have seemed entirely incongruous but this tiny desert peninsula is now home to a modern, wealthy, efficient and, above all, geopolitically ambitious nation. Suddenly the game's leading lights are starting to take Qatar extremely seriously. Scores of football's most famous faces have convened in the Arabian Gulf this week. They are here not only for Argentina's friendly with Brazil at the Khalifa Stadium tomorrow night but to endorse Qatar's increasingly convincing endeavours to bring football's international showpiece to the Middle East.

Carlos Alberto is rubbing shoulders with the likes of Sir Alex Ferguson, Ossie Ardiles and Niall Quinn but, more than 40 years on from his "moment", the 1970 World Cup winner – and scorer of one of the most iconic goals in the tournament's history – he turns more heads than most as he spreads the message that Doha is an ideal place to play and watch football. "Qatar have all the right conditions to host a World Cup," Carlos Alberto says. "They have a good airport, good roads, good stadiums, good hotels and good weather. I like this region, 10 years ago I was national coach to Oman, which is also a very nice place, so I know a bit about the area."

A decade ago the idea of a World Cup played in a Qatari June in temperatures in excess of 40C (104F) would have been laughable but the country's carbon‑neutral, fully air‑conditioned stadiums and training arenas are proving criticism confounding. The country's geopolitical strategic standing as both a hub offering easy links to east and west and a proudly Muslim country in which numerous nationalities and religions happily coexist suggests that the latest cooling technologies and a close to nonexistent crime rate are far from the only reasons why it should win the 2022 vote in Zurich on 2 December.

As locals celebrated the Muslim feast of Eid al Adha, the bid's organisers explained that the fan‑friendly proximity of the Doha‑centric stadia would turn their mooted tournament into a true football festival. Unlike most venues it is an "all in one destination" liberating visiting supporters from costly and tiring internal travel.

Neymar, expected to start alongside Ronaldinho here against Lionel Messi et al, will still be only 30 in 2022. Carlos Alberto believes the Santos forward, whom Chelsea are monitoring, should have, by then, long since established himself as the globe's foremost player. "Neymar is the best Brazilian player in the last five years," he says. "He's already ready to be a big star in Europe. "Sometimes he can be a bit crazy but Neymar can be the best in the world, in two or three years time he can be there."

While Ferguson and Quinn will surely cast interested eyes in the 18-year-old's direction tomorrow night, South American interest may be focused on the dug-outs where both Brazil and Argentina have changed coaches since the World Cup. While, in the latter's case, Sergio Batista has replaced Diego Maradona, Mano Menezes occupies Dunga's old shoes. Football's international guard is changing and, like Batista and Menezes, Qatar aims to be a big part of the game's new world order.

Carlos Alberto was speaking at the 2010 Aspire4Sport Conference and Expo in Doha

This is not a news report and may contain views expressed by the author which are not supported by GNM.

Share your thoughts
Sign in to comment

Latest News, Blogs & Podcasts

The Guardian - 1 week ago
Neymar, Oscar and David Luiz all survived, while the newcomers include Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho, Atlético Madrid's Miranda and the Brazilian league's leading scorer Ricardo Goulart. Players returning who were starters at the World Cup, including ...
Bleacher Report - 1 week ago
Recent weeks have seen two of Brazil's best of the late noughties, Kaka and Robinho, move back to boyhood clubs Sao Paulo and Santos respectively. The former returns after over a decade away. Whilst his initial years in Europe were flooded with success ...
The Guardian - 2 weeks ago
As he begins the rebuilding job required following last month's debacle, the Brazil manager, Dunga, must be relieved that Fernando is available for selection. For the newly signed Manchester City midfielder could have easily become another case of a ...
Football Espana - 1 day ago
Barca's general director Antoni Rossich, director of football Raul Sanllehí and Brazilian representative André Cury landed overnight to complete the deal. The 24-year-old is set to sign a contract with the Camp Nout outfit that will keep him with the ...
Brazil Div 4 football team Gremio Barueri refuses to play August 6, 2014, in protest at unpaid wages. Opponents Operario lie down on the pitch in solidarity Facebook logoSAO PAULO, Aug 16 — Brazilian fourth division team Gremio Barueri failed to turn ...
Bleacher Report - 3 weeks ago
At a time when Brazilian football could feasibly be described as being in a slump, Neymar remains the team's craque, their go-to guy in times of trouble. He as good as carried the team on his slim shoulders throughout a floundering World Cup campaign.
Football Italia - 1 week ago
New Brazil Coach Carlos Dunga called Napoli goalkeeper Rafael and Roma right-back Douglas Maicon. The first friendly games after the World Cup debacle has only 10 players remaining from that squad. New entries include Napoli goalkeeper Rafael ...
Football Italia - 1 week ago
“Naturally, if I am then called up I would be very happy. The national team is one of my targets and the primary objective of every Brazilian.” Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's ...
Channel News Asia - 2 weeks ago
"This shows that Singapore is increasingly becoming an attractive venue for world-class sporting events," said Mr Gerard Wong, Director of Marketing and Communications of the Football Association of Singapore. "We are sure football fans in Singapore ...
The Guardian - 4 weeks ago
He had returned for a second spell as Brazil's coach in November 2012, saying his team had “a duty” to win a sixth World Cup on home soil. But, despite reaching the semi-finals, they did not cope with the pressure and capitulated to an astonishing 7-1 ...

Latest Photo Galleries

World Cup 2010: Holland v Brazil
4 years ago
We bring you all the action from Port Elizabeth as Holland battle Brazil for a place in the semi-finals
World Cup 2010: Holland v Slovakia and Brazil v Chile in pictures
4 years ago
All the best images of Holland v Slovakia and Brazil v Chile in the last 16 of the World Cup
World Cup 2010: Images of the decisive games in Groups G and H
4 years ago
The best images of the decisive game in Groups G and H today, featuring the likes of Spain, Brazil and Portugal
Kick4Life - changing lives through football