Ancelotti: Qatar the perfect place for football
After first witnessing Qatar when he visited with AC Milan in 2009, Qatar’s passion for football and world-class sports facilities have again impressed the veteran Bundesliga, Premier League and Serie A coach Carlo Ancelotti.
“I’ve visited Doha a number of times and every year there are new things to see and the country has changed again. It’s very impressive,” the boss of Bundesliga champions and current league leaders FC Bayern Munich told www.sc.qa immediately after the first day of the club’s winter training camp in Doha.
On Qatar’s sporting infrastructure specifically and looking ahead to the 2022 FIFA World CupTM, Ancelotti added: “Of course, for us the most important thing is the football and we are never disappointed. The facilities are fantastic. The weather is great. This is why I come back. It really is the perfect situation to play football.”
Doha’s sports facilities have drawn FC Bayern back for the seventh consecutive year for the club’s mid-season training camp, further demonstrating the impression Qatar’s sports facilities leave on the elite professionals who visit them. FC Bayern is one of many European clubs to train at Doha’s illustrious Aspire Zone, with other recent visitors including Serie A rivals Juventus and AC Milan, and rising Chinese Super League stars Shanghai International Port Group (SIPG) FC.
As part of Bayern’s training programme, the club will also take on newly-promoted Belgian top flight side KAS Eupen in a friendly on Tuesday 10 January. Aspire-owned Eupen isalso in Doha for a training camp and, despite its non-competitive nature, Ancelotti said the upcoming match would be a useful test ofhis team.
“It is a friendly game but it is an important game. I will be watching carefully because it is good to check who has grown after a week of training. Whoever plays has to play well.”
Bayern Munich will be training at the Aspire Zone for the next seven days, and, according to the club coach, won’t be resting during while they are in Doha, with Ancelotti eyeinga treble of Champions League, Bundesliga and DFB-Pokal trophies in his first season with the club. The team fliesback to Germany the day after their friendly against KAS Eupen on January 10.