Santi Cazorla: “Qatar Is an Amazing Host Nation For The World Cup”

Santi Cazorla holding his number 18 jersey

World Cup, Qatar, and the Reunion with Xavi

Santi Cazorla is one of the most experienced soccer players in the Qatar Stars League, given the fact that he has been in the national team of Spain and soccer clubs like Villareal, Arsenal, and Malaga. After his journey in the Spanish La Liga, the midfielder got off to a flying start at Al Sadd, where he teamed up with Xavi Hernandez. The latter is behind the club’s decision to sign Santi from LaLiga at the start of the current season.

In an interview with Qatari broadcaster Al Kass, Santi Cazorla spoke for the first time about his ongoing preparations for the 2022 World Cup, and his first impressions of the country, as well as the subject of when Xavi could return to Spain to become the manager of FC Barcelona. He also spoke about the negative impact on LaLiga of Neymar moving to PSG and Cristiano Ronaldo leaving Real Madrid.

Santi Cazorla

He stated that coming to the Qatari league was a great experience for him, above all the amazing chance to work with his former teammate from the Spanish national team, Xavi Hernandez. He settled easily and quickly and came there to win titles with a distinctive side, under the management of a coach who was always a very special player for him, as they have played together for Spain and against each other in several Liga games. In the interview, he also shared that he was sure that Xavi would go on to be a great manager. One day, he believes he will take over at Barcelona, where he spent his entire career as a soccer player.

About The World Cup

Santi also shared that it’s very difficult for him to talk about Neymar and Ronaldo leaving LaLiga, in the same way, that it was to talk about the problems that Leo Messi, one of the greatest soccer players in history, had when trying to decide whether he should stay or leave. Santi Cazorla also thinks that Qatar is an amazing host nation for the 2022 World Cup. He hopes that everything would be back to normal before the start of the tournament, given the current world events.

He doesn’t want to think about the future as he is currently thinking about doing his best for Al Sadd.

Behind the Scenes of Niele Ivey’s Historic First Season at Notre Dame

Niele Ivey holding a backetball ball

In April 2020, the world of US women’s basketball welcomed its well-known college star Niele Ivey as the new head coach at Notre Dame. The 19th pick in the 2001 WNBA draft and a former All-America guard for the Fighting Irish, Ivey was more than qualified for the job. However, even she couldn’t have predicted what challenges she’d have to manage in the face of a worldwide pandemic. Here’s a look back at Ivey’s historic first season at Notre Dame.

Niele Ivey and Muffet McGraw’s Long-Term Coaching Relationship

Just minutes after the announcement that Muffet McGraw is retiring as head coach after 33 years, Notre Dame named none other than Niele Ivey as McGraw’s successor. The two ladies go way back.

Ivey (right) with Notre Dame head coach Muffet McGraw McGraw is the one who first discovered Ivey’s talent in college and welcomed her to Notre Dame, where she played from 1997 until 2001. It is then that their player-coach relationship was first established. After Ivey stopped playing basketball professionally, she spent a whopping 12 seasons as McGraw’s assistant coach.

A Season of Challenges

Ivey’s first season as head coach of the Fighting Irish was far from easy. She coached in gloves and a mask and was constantly worrying about her players’ health amid the pandemic. If their 105-69 win over Ohio University for their first 2021-22 game is anything to go by, fans are in for a treat. Despite the challenges of the job and the world health crisis, Niele Ivey is making it work. What’s more, she’s making it look easy.

Ivey during a coaching session The First Female African American Coach in Notre Dame History

In addition to Ivey’s historic first season, that’s not all the history the new head coach is making. By taking on the position, she became the first female African American in Notre Dame’s coaching history. Despite the pressures of representing African American women, to Ivey, this “felt like it was a blessing” rather than a burden.