, Beijing, November 30th. Question: Spend 220 billion US dollars to score 1 goal. Is it really a blood loss for Qatar to host the World Cup?

  Reporter Wang Yu

  In the winter of 2022, for the Qatari football World Cup, the sweetness of the first encounter is also mixed with bitterness.

  Ten days ago, the eyes of the world were unprecedentedly focused on the Qatar Peninsula on the south coast of the Persian Gulf, and a very special World Cup in the development of modern football began.

Ten days later, Qatar football, as the host, completely bid farewell to the stadium and became a spectator.

  With three defeats, one goal and no points scored, the Qatar team handed over a report card with few bright spots.

Labels such as "breaking the unbeaten record of the host's opening game" and "the worst host in history" will also become an embarrassing connection between them and the World Cup in the future and will be mentioned repeatedly.

On November 20, local time, the opening ceremony of the 2022 Qatar World Cup was held at the Gulf Stadium.

The picture shows fireworks blooming over the Gulf Stadium.

  Compared with the results, the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games, the prince of Qatar exploded out of the circle, and spent 220 billion US dollars for the event, demonstrating the soft power of the country... To some extent, I am afraid that not so many people pay attention to the performance of Qatar football .

But it is precisely under the seemingly "separated" scenes on and off the field, what have Qatar football and this country gained?

Unique "one" unique journey

  On December 2, 2010, FIFA announced that Qatar had won the right to host the 2022 World Cup.

Dubbed "the biggest decision in sporting history", it brought to an end the most contentious World Cup bid ever.

Hosts Qatar also automatically qualified for the World Cup finals.

  As the first World Cup host country that has not participated in the main match since 1934, the Qataris waited for 45 years from their first participation in the World Cup qualifiers in 1977 to their final seat in the main match.

Among the 32 teams that were shortlisted for the finals, only Qatar participated for the first time, which also continued the tradition of new players participating in each World Cup.

  Since the successful bid, Qatar has been considered very likely to become "the weakest host in history".

Facing strong opponents such as the Netherlands, Senegal and Ecuador in the group, "scoring one goal and scoring one point" is the most pragmatic goal of this new World Cup team.

In the game against Senegal, Muntari received a pass from his teammate and scored with a header, scoring Qatar's first goal in this World Cup. This is also the first World Cup goal in Qatar's history.

But unfortunately, they failed to achieve the goal of gaining points after all three battles.

On November 25, local time, in the second round of Group A of the World Cup group stage, the host team Qatar played against Senegal.

The picture shows the moment when Qatari player Mohamed Muntari scored.

Recognize the gap and clarify the direction

  From the opening game with several adjustments in the schedule, to the farewell to the loss to the Netherlands, the Qatar team's journey in this World Cup was finally fixed in 10 days.

10 days, compared to the development of Qatar football, it is just a drop in the ocean.

But as the saying goes, participating in the World Cup is a concentrated display of a country or region's football level, and being able to stand on the football temple will inevitably feed back the further development of national football.

  From a third-rate team in Asia to the top level in Asia, Qatari football has completed corner overtaking in less than 20 years.

Among them, they took the shortcut of "naturalization", and finally chose to take root in youth training and consolidate the foundation of football.

In 2019, among the 23-man lineup that won the Asian Cup in Qatar, 21 came from the national sports elite academy established in 2004-Asbel Academy.

  In order to prepare for the World Cup, the Qatari team entered Group A of the European preliminaries and got the chance to play against Serbia, Portugal, Ireland, Luxembourg and Azerbaijan; in 2019, they led the team to participate in the Copa America, but they were at the bottom with 1 draw and 2 losses; in 2021 , Qatar also participated in the North American Gold Cup into the semi-finals, next year, they will continue to participate.

A young fan of the Qatar team stood in the stands, looking frustrated.

  Only by seeing the splendor of the vast world and recognizing the gap with the world's top teams can we be more clear about the direction of struggle.

If it is said that the previous fights with European and American teams are still warm-up, the "real fight" with opponents in the World Cup will undoubtedly help the team.

Qatar World Cup, I believe it will not be the last time Qatar football appears in the top arena.

Run the competition to demonstrate the country's soft power

  Although the Qatar team was out of the game due to lack of strength, Nasser Carter, an official of the Qatar World Cup Delivery and Inheritance Supreme Committee responsible for the preparations for the Qatar World Cup, said in an interview with the media that the 2022 Qatar World Cup is expected to attract about 1.2 million fans from all over the world. In Qatar, the boost to the country's economy can reach 17 billion U.S. dollars.

  The 17 billion revenue is undoubtedly a drop in the bucket for Qatar’s overall investment of 220 billion US dollars, but Qataris regard hosting sports events as a brand-new business card to promote tourism, international trade development, economic transformation, and international image.

  The short 30-minute opening ceremony of the World Cup in Qatar brought shock to the football world no less than the fierce duel presented by strong teams.

It took a year of polishing and the scene was aimed at the Olympic Games. The Associated Press once pointed out in a report that the goal of Qatar's move is to show the desire and strength of the entire country for further hosting the Olympic Games.

In addition, they will also host the Asian Games, the highest comprehensive sports event in Asia, twice in 24 years.

  And the four-year greenery event has brought unprecedented attention to this country with an area of ​​only 11,521 square kilometers and a population of about 2.6 million.

The investment of 220 billion US dollars is not only the determination of the organizers to successfully host the competition, but the infrastructure projects and their development also demonstrate their hope to further enhance the country's soft power.