Dutch legend Ronald de Boer has been named as a Qatar Legacy Ambassador for the 2022 World Cup by the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC), the organisation delivering the infrastructure and legacy programmes for the marquee event.
De Boer, who represented Netherlands 67 times in an illustrious career, joins an array of former superstars as an ambassador for the World Cup. De Boer will share the global ambassador duties with Xavi, Cafu, Tim Cahill and Samuel Eto’o, as well as 11 other local and regional ambassadors.
The Qatar Legacy Ambassador programme sees global superstars like De Boer highlight local and global legacy projects initiated around the 2022 World Cup projects. The programme also seeks to use the opportunities provided by Qatar 2022 to create positive social change across the region and around the world.
De Boer, who has played for the likes of Ajax and Barcelona among other clubs during a stellar career, is no stranger to Qatar. He finished his playing career in Qatar, having moved to the Middle-East nation in 2004 before playing for Al Rayyan and Al Shamal. After retiring in 2008, he continued to live in Qatar for another three years.
Speaking about his new role as a Qatar Legacy Ambassador, De Boer said: “I lived in Qatar for seven years, so it is a country that has played a big part in my life. I have a great feeling about Qatar and its future. I regularly visit Qatar and often speak to my friends living there and they are full of ambition and want to improve everything for the next generation, so I feel privileged to get the opportunity to become a Qatar Legacy Ambassador and help to play a role in achieving this.”
“The World Cup is being used as a way to deliver important social changes in the country – and for me, this is the most important aspect of this project – improving the country and leaving behind a better place for the next generation.”
De Boer, a midfielder during his playing days, has won the UEFA Champions League in 1994-95 with Ajax and was named the Dutch Player of the Year twice (1994, 1996). He had also featured in two World Cups for Netherlands in 1994 and 1998 (nine appearances and two goals).
“It will be the most compact World Cup in modern history – creating an amazing atmosphere and benefiting both fans and players. Fans will easily be able to attend more than one game in a single day, which is very exciting, and players will enjoy more rest time between matches, meaning better action on the pitch,” he said.
Commenting on the announcement, H.E. Hassan Al Thawadi, SC Secretary General, said: “We are delighted to welcome Ronald to our expanding family of Qatar Legacy Ambassadors. In many ways, Ronald has been with us from the start of our FIFA World Cup journey and I’m delighted to be able to officially welcome him to the project.”