By Angu Lesley
Football Writer,kick442.com in Doha
The money has started to come in for the African champions and Sadio Mane’s Senegal to tick at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
Anyone who has not yet had an outright bet on the tournament should contemplate a saver on Aliou Cisse’s squad, currently top-priced in their group heading into the tournament as Africa’s most oil force.
In a conversation this Wednesday, September 7 at the Al Janoub stadium Stadium in Al Wakrah, one of the competition’s Ambassadors Tim Cahill revealed he expects surprises at the tournament.
According to Cahill, Africa’s champions, Senegal are favorite to finish above Ecuador, the Netherlands who are making their long awaited return to the World Cup after missing it in 2018 and host Qatar who should have no pressure.
“I expect Senegal to be the surprised team and the top side in Group A. Yes the Netherlands, the host Qatar should have a similar aspiration but Senegal has the quality to win the group,” Cahill who played with some top African players and has kept his eyes on African football since retiring explained.
The reigning African champions exited the tournament in the group stage in 2018 but this time around they have the momentum to eclipse or better the quarter final height achieved in 2002.
For Cahill, five African teams bringing their own coaches was a sign of the development of the game on the continent which has thousands of its players abroad. “It’s also good to see former players in senior positions trying to develop the game,” he said, referring to Samuel Eto’o at the helm of the Cameroon Football federation. “He wants to develop a system that is more bottom-up,”Cahill, 42, who is based in Doha as the chief sports officer for the Aspire Academy told reporters.
“Africa has a good problem, it grooms talents everywhere and greats like George Weah, Samuel Eto’o, Khalidou Fadigha serve as an inspiration to many generations.”
The man who featured at four FIFA World cup tournaments descriped the timing of the tournament as a special one when the conversation veered to the kind of World cup he expects, “It is a special tournament, in reality, players are now playing, it’s the start of the (European) season… Now it’s just about them getting as many minutes to be able to compete.”
The fact that there will be no inter-city movements, makes Cahill believe it is going to be a “high performance tactical World Cup where there will be a lot of upsets and the hardest thing for the top teams will be to go through the group.”
Cahill, who retired from international football in 2018 after scoring 50 goals in 108 games for Australia, has been based in Qatar since April 2021 and is inviting the World to the country.
The 32 Nation 2022 FIFA World Cup in November-December this year promises to be a unique experience.
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