Former England footballer David Beckham has praised the quality of the visitor experience at the FIFA World Cup in Qatar for uniting fans from across the globe. Beckham played in three World Cup tournaments for the England team.
“Seeing the fans come together and the level of football, it’s been amazing,” he told Qatar2022.qa. “It’s been a privilege to see the excitement and the fun the fans are having.”
Qatar has succeeded in organising the most physically compact World Cup tournament in recent times, with all eight stadiums used for matches within an hour’s journey time of central Doha. This allowed fans to attend more than one match a day in the group stages.
Beckham was also full of praise for the standard of the football played. “The standard of play has been incredible,” he explained. “I was always a supporter of playing the World Cup in the middle of the season because I knew the players would be fresh and the fitness and energy levels would be higher.” World Cup tournaments are usually played in the northern hemisphere summer, but that would have made it impossible to be held in Qatar.
According to the former Manchester United, Real Madrid and LA Galaxy player, his favourite game was Argentina vs Netherlands. “For me as a football fan, that game had everything. It had the drama, the penalties, and the level of play from both teams was exceptional”. His favourite goal was Brazilian Richarlison’s overhead kick in the game against Serbia. Luis Chavez’s free-kick for Mexico against Saudi Arabia also stood out.
Beckham added that he enjoyed the wonderful performance of the Moroccan midfield players, and the “positive” play by the England team, especially Bukayo Saka and Jude Bellingham. He added that France’s Kylian Mbappe had a great tournament, while Argentinian captain Lionel Messi is a special player and a special individual, both on and off the field.