Doha: David Trezeguet has scored some important goals for France, perhaps most notably the golden goal that handed his country the extra-time win over Italy in the final of the UEFA Euro 2000.
He was also part of the golden generation of French players that lifted the FIFA World Cup on home soil two years earlier. Now the former Juventus and Monaco striker believes it is time for a new football region to step up and take the spotlight.
“The organisation I’ve seen in Qatar has been excellent, and it will be something spectacular here in 2022, not just for Qatar but for the whole Arab world,” Trezeguet told sc.qa on a visit to the offices of the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) in Doha.
He continued: “The projects under way here in a country under constant development are something extraordinary. That’s why it is important for me to be here and give my support to a project which will be unique.”
The Les Bleus legend has already seen some of the world’s best youngsters in action this week at the Al Kass International Cup; a tournament that features some of the top U-17 teams from across the world, and pointed out that Aspire Academy was creating a pool of talented Qatari players to compete against the best in the world.
“We already have a preview for what the World Cup will look like with the young players in the Al Kass U-17 tournament here in Doha. The important thing for Qatar will be to showcase Qatari talents who will be able to demonstrate their footballing qualities.
“The Aspire Academy is showing that they’re up to any football challenge. This tournament has welcomed teams of a great level for many years, and this helps Qatari football grow as well. They are doing extraordinary work at the Aspire Academy, but there is still room for improvement as the country’s football continues to develop.”
Having also taken part in the FIFA World Cup Germany 2006, Trezeguet said he’s looking forward to a tournament beginning in Qatar on November 21, 2022: “Players will be fresher in the middle of the season, and the football will be more spectacular as a result. We also have to remember that the World Cup brings together teams from around the world, and the edition in Qatar will be a new concept that will be an important change for the world.”
Trezeguet, who retired in 2015 after spending the final season of his career at Indian side FC Pune City, added that Asian football will continue to grow over the next six years. He said: “Asian football is the future of football. In China they are investing a lot in big players to create football growth, and they will be an example for young players and the next generation.”
He added: “It is an interesting development, and time will tell how well they achieve this objective. Indian football in relation to others is still behind, and football is not yet the most popular sport in India. But they have a big margin of growth. China is mobilising in a great way in football, and I think the future in India can be in the same direction.”
After a Juventus career in which he became the fourth leading goal-scorer in the club’s history with 171 goals, Trezeguet believes now is the time for the Old Lady to return to the top of European football with Argentine striker Gonzalo Higuaín leading the line. “Juventus have been the top team in Italy for five years,” he explained. “They have shown that they are the most important team, and are working hard to make the club a top European side with titles to accompany this.
“Higuaín has been added to the team to give it a new level of quality, and he is doing this very well. Juventus has made big buys, to get national and international titles, and the Champions League is the biggest trophy in Europe. Italian football needs these titles, and I think Juventus is showing that it is a step above the rest.”