The 2022 World Cup in Qatar will be an amazing experience for players and fans, thanks to some absolutely wonderful stadiums and facilities, feels South Korean midfielder Jung Woo-young.
Jung, who plies his trade with Qatar Stars League (QSL) outfit Al Sadd, has experienced the facilities being developed for the global footballing extravaganza by the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (SC) first hand and feels they are top-notch.
Three of the eight planned venues for the World Cup have already been inaugurated - Khalifa International Stadium, Al Janoub stadium and the Education City stadium. Jung joined Al Sadd in 2018 and has been an important part of the squad coached by Barcelona legend Xavi Hernandez.
"It’s wonderful to drive by the stadiums. Right away, you feel a desire to play in them. We had several games at the Khalifa International Stadium and Al Janoub Stadium in Al Wakrah," Jung told FIFA.com .
Jung, who is a part of the South Korean team vying to qualify for the 2022 edition, will be hoping he gets to experience his second World Cup in a country where he is currently based.
"It’s amazing. I can imagine how the players who will be coming to the World Cup in two years’ time are going to feel. I hope I’ll be in top form then so that I can keep my spot in the national team and take part in this big tournament."
Korea are currently second in their qualification group and stand a very good chance of making it into the final qualification round.
"Yes, we have a long tradition at the World Cup and we want to maintain this legacy. The qualifiers have been very difficult, and opponents want to deny us a place in the final round. It’s true we’re in second position in our group, but we’ve played one game less. Moreover, we’ll be playing three games [Turkmenistan, Lebanon and Korea DPR] on home soil, which gives us the advantage to finish top of the group and make the final qualifying round."
The 30-year-old is no stranger to great World Cup moments, having been a part of the Korea side that beat defending champions Germany in the 2018 World Cup in Russia. He started the game against Joachim Low's side as they won 2-0.
“We were very happy to beat the defending world champions and prove we could compete with big teams. We wanted to progress to the last 16, but luck wasn’t on our side in the first two fixtures. We certainly weren’t happy with our group-stage exit and expected a lukewarm reception at home, but the moment we came out of the airport, we found thousands of fans waiting for us. They thanked us for our good performance. It was great to feel that appreciation from them,” he said.
Jung is loving life in Qatar and he hopes to be a part of the tournament which will bring the entire footballing world to the Middle-Eastern country.
"I never thought I’d love life here," he said. "Everyone is friendly and that has helped me adapt to this new lifestyle. In fact, I was delighted to find some Korean restaurants in Qatar. That said, I still share traditional Qatari meals with club-mates when we have our training camps. I love eating lamb."