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'Fans have enjoyed Qatar' - Former Iran international Mehdi Mahdavikia hails 2022 World Cup; salutes Asian teams' performances

10:37 EAT 15/12/2022
Mehdi Mahdavikia Iran
Mehdi Mahdavikia hailed the performances of Asian teams at the Qatar World Cup and felt the tournament has brought together fans.
  • Mahdavikia hails Asian teams
  • Stadium 974 favourite venue
  • Loved stadium atmosphere in Qatar

WHAT HAPPENED? Teams like Japan, South Korea, Australia and Saudi Arabia had a memorable experience at the Qatar World Cup as they beat the giants of world football and former Iran international Mehdi Mahdavikia was elated to see the progress of the Asian continent.

WHAT THEY SAID: Speaking to Goal, Mahdavikia said, "There have been many good results for the Asian teams. For Qatar, it was a very tough group to play against Holland and Ecuador. Saudi Arabia played very well against Argentina. Overall, I see the Asian teams are doing well and going ahead they will do better."

He also pointed out how people across the globe have come to Qatar and are experiencing the local culture. "World Cup is one of the most important events in the world and it brings together the whole world and it is good when the fans are enjoying themselves when they come together from different parts of the world and they are in an Islamic country, they are experiencing the Islamic culture and it is good for them to know this culture. This is one of the most important things."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: While the Iran legend did not watch the World Cup matches live from the beginning, he did find, Morocco and Argentina fans turning up in numbers to back their teams in Qatar, fascinating.

He said, "Unfortunately, I only arrived yesterday and so I did not experience anything live yet but I was watching them on TV and Morocco, for example, the team looked fantastic, and the fact they had 80,000 spectators in stadiums. Also with the Argentinean fans, they have about 40 to 50,000 fans and what I heard is that the atmosphere in the stadiums are really great."

When asked about his favourite stadium in Qatar, Mahdavikia replied, "I visited Qatar last year and the most interesting stadium was the one with the containers, Stadium 974."

He added, "The fact that it is being played for the second time in Asia, it has a lot of advantages because for the players and the teams from the first day to the last day they are staying in the hotel and the fact that they do not have to go to cities and not just for the players but also for the fans. From the point of view of players’ recovery that is very positive and for the fans, they could watch more than one game on the same day. They could watch two or three games depending on how many tickets they have."

IN THREE PHOTOS:

WHAT NEXT? Lionel Messi's Argentina take on reigning world champions France in the final at the iconic Lusail Stadium on December 18.