Former Atletico Madrid captain Gabi Fernandez is ‘convinced Qatar will host a successful World Cup’ after joining Al Sadd on a free transfer.
The 34-year-old has joined the Middle East club after penning a three-year deal which will net him a reported €6m in wages to end the second spell of his career at Atleti.
“I have seen the sights of Doha and I also watched the preparations for the 2022 FIFA World Cup,” Gabi is cited as saying by La Jugada Financiera.
“I have seen the excellent facilities at the Khalifa International Stadium. I am convinced that Qatar will host a successful World Cup.
“I made the decision to play in Qatar after a lot of reflection, especially because I spent many years playing in Spain. Now I look forward to this new experience in a new club, which I'm sure will be a great experience.”
Having come through the youth system at the Madrid-based club, Gabi spent four years at Real Zaragoza between 2007 and 2011 before returning to Diego Simeone’s side.
The central midfielder has amassed a total of 414 first-team appearances for the Europa League winners but has never been capped by Spain.
Al Sadd are the club of former Barcelona captain Xavi Hernandez.