The 22nd edition of the Football World Cup will be hosted this year in Qatar in the period between 20 November to 18 December. Since the World Cup in South Korea and Japan in 2002, this will be the second World Cup held in Asia and the first to be held in the Arab world.
“I expect surprises, but there were always surprises at the World Cup. Look, I remember that before the World Cup in the United States, the great Pele, who I think is very good at football, told Colombia that he had the best team and would get up in the final. And Colombia came out of from the first phase. There will be surprises in Qatar for sure. Even so, I think a strong team, maybe Germany, France, England, South America, Argentina or Brazil, will win the trophy.”Miodrag Belodedici, Director of Youth Centers of the Romanian Football Federation
Belodedici is a former professional Romanian footballer, winning the European Champions Cup twice for his country. He knows how it is to be in the shoes of the football athletes and get adjusted to new conditions somewhere completely unfamiliar in terms of environment, schedule, pitch and many more, which is why he believes that the coming edition of the World Cup will be completely different than the ones before. Moreover, the competition will occur in the middle and not at the end of the season as usual.
“It will be an unusual World Cup for everyone, for the footballers, and for the spectators… because it’s playing in the middle of the season, not at the end of the season as before. And footballers have to adapt to the new conditions, with the new time zone, weather conditions and so on. So it was at the World Cup in America, I went through this… players have to go there at least 10 days before they train there, to get used to it. But even so, it’s a different edition.”Miodrag Belodedici
Romania participated in seven World Cup editions respectively in 1930, ’34, ’38, ’70, ’90, ’94, and ’98, reaching the best score in the 1994 edition in the US. Unfortunately, the Romanian Team did not qualify for this year’s edition. Due to this reason, the previous Ambassador of the European UEFA League, Belodedici, will be the supporting representative of Serbia at the World Cup. He considered the Serbian Team to have a strong game strategy, with valuable players playing for powerful European football clubs, and he hopes it will raise as high up in the cup as possible.
Although Miodrag Belodedici is not overly certain that Romania will make it to the World Cup, he asserts that participation in EURO 2024 would improve the team’s chances of making it to The World Cup in 2026.
“We will see Romania again at the World Cup when it qualifies. And I don’t think God knows when that will happen. But we try. Considering the results of recent times and why it is happening in Romanian football, I am not very optimistic. But if we manage to go to The Euro, we might start the World preliminary with a different moral, with a different confidence, and we would have a better chance. We hope we succeed.”
Lastly, Miodrag stated his opinion about Argentina and Portugal, saying that the teams will advance further without players like Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, for whom this may be the final World Cup match.
Look at the recently opened Museum of Football in Bucharest that we previously published about. The 1st museum of its kind in eastern Europe.