Arsene Wenger: Qatar's Asian Cup win a remarkable achievement

The former Arsenal manager hailed Qatar's Asian Cup win as a remarkable lesson for countries that love the beautiful game...

Former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was left impressed with the level of planning and execution that Qatar has shown with respect to developing the infrastructure for the 2022 World Cup.

During a recent visit to the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC), the organisation which is responsible for the infrastructure development for the 2022 extravaganza, Wenger praised the preparations and the nation's commitment to football development.

"I am impressed with the quality of the planning for the World Cup, including the thinking behind it," said Wenger, who was shown the plans to repurpose some of the modular stadiums and transform them into sporting facilities after the tournament.

He continued, "This World Cup is integrated in the community and there are a lot of plans to make sure it is not wasted after the tournament. The project for the event is fantastic. But the community will take advantage of it after the World Cup, which is a great idea."

Qatar are set to be the smallest country to host the World Cup. This means, the longest distance between stadiums in 2022 will be just 55 kilometres. It will also mean the fans, players and officials can cut down on travel which is a positive, feels Wenger.

"When I think back to the many World Cups I've been to, you always plan your flights. It will be a new experience for supporters here – once you're in Qatar you just have to move from one stadium to another without taking a flight. The national teams can stay at one place during the whole World Cup and that will be a much more comfortable experience than before," the former AS Monaco manager remarked.

The 69-year-old is no stranger to Asian football as he spent a considerable time at Japanese club Nagoya Grampus before his move to the Gunners many years ago.

Arsene Wenger visits Lusail Stadium 2022 Qatar World Cup

Wenger congratulated Qatar for their recent triumph at the 2019 Asian Cup where the country beat several Asian powerhouses like South Korea, Saudi Arabia and Japan on their way to the title. Seven of Qatar's starting XI for the final included graduates from the Aspire Academy. It was founded in 2004 with the goal to find and develop the best Qatari athletes.

In recent years, youth football has flourished in Qatar, with the country winning the 2014 AFC U-19 Championship before tasting success in the senior version of the tournament in the United Arab Emirates. Wenger paid tribute to the detailed planning that has gone into making Qatar a competitive team.

"It's a good lesson for every country. If you start with quality education, quality planning and quality coaching, you get results," said Wenger.

"The most important thing is that Qatar has won the Asian Cup. Nobody, even in Qatar, could have planned that when Aspire was opened. The most positive aspect, apart from the pride of everyone in the country after winning such a huge competition, is that it encourages education and coaching for young players. It's a remarkable lesson for all the countries that love football," he concluded.