Nairobi News


Cahill backs Mane, Mbappe to shine at Qatar World Cup

By David Kwalimwa December 10th, 2020 2 min read

Tim Cahill has tipped Senegal star Saidio Mane, Brazil’s Neymar, and France forward Kylian Mbappe to light up the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

The Ex-Everton star also vouched for the Asian country’s readiness to stage this sporting showpiece.

“Qatar 2022 has the potential to set a new precedent for major sporting tournaments, both on and off the pitch and leave behind a legacy long after the last ball is kicked,” said Cahill, who also enjoyed stints in China and the USA, in a journal shared with journalists.

“In particular, it will be special for the Qatari kids – and kids from all over the world – to see their national teams compete with modern-day superstars like Messi, Neymar, Mane, Ronaldo, and Mbappe.”

Mane has been one of the standout forwards in modern football, thanks to his goalscoring exploits for English side Liverpool and his country in the past three seasons. Mbappe has already won the World Cup and French league title with PSG at the tender age of 21 will be seeking to help France retain the tournament.

But the immediate task for these players is to help their countries to qualify for the 32-nation tournament with the qualification matches set to commence in 2021.

Cahill who scored 68 times in 278 appearances for the English Premier League side, also shared his experiences of playing at the World Cup, suggesting it is the best career moment for any professional footballer.

Qatar recently announced it is 90% ready to host the world’s best talents, teams, and football fans totaling 1 million during the tournament.

“Sport can be a hugely powerful vehicle for change and improving people’s lives. I’ve seen first hand the impact that hosting a major sporting event can have on a city and country. The 2000 OIympics was hosted in my home city of Sydney and transformed the place, for the better, in many ways. It can also put a country in a position to host other world-class events like the 2003 Rugby World Cup. Both events were amazing for Australia, which is a country with a proud sporting tradition.”

Kenya’s Harambee Stars are eyeing the first-ever qualification to the World Cup.

Currently coached by Jacob ‘Ghost’ Mulee, Stars are pooled alongside Uganda, Rwanda, and Mali in the opening phase of the qualification matches and Football Kenya Federation (FKF) president Nick Mwendwa has repeatedly promised that he will ensure Stars qualify to play at this tournament.