Tuesday 28 January 2020
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business-standard - 2 month ago

Xavi backs Qatar to compete at World Cup after Akram award

Barcelona legend and Al Sadd coach Xavi backed hosts Qatar to make an impression at the next World Cup after exciting forward Akram Afif was named Asian player of the year on Monday. Doha-based Xavi, who collected the award on Afif s behalf at the Asian Football Confederation awards in Hong Kong, said the Qataris would be competitive in 2022 for sure . Japan s Saki Kumagai was rewarded for a glittering career for club and country as she was named women s player of the year at the ceremony in protest-hit Hong Kong. Afif, 23, made a record 10 assists as Qatar stormed to their first Asian Cup title in February, reaping the rewards of heavy investment in their national set-up as the World Cup looms. Afif also helped Xavi s Al Sadd reach the AFC Champions League semi-finals, where they lost to Saudi eventual winners Al Hilal 6-5 on aggregate. I think they are working very well, they are competing against very big countries, Xavi, who won the 2010 World Cup with Spain, said of Qatar. I .

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