FIFA World Cup 2022™ – Information – Natiq: Iraq want full solidarity to succeed in the World Cup
- Saad Natiq performed for Iraq on the FIFA U-20 World Cup 2013
- He additionally confronted a Brazilian aspect containing Neymar at Rio 2016
- His goal is now to assist Iraq return to the World Cup after a protracted absence
Thirty-five years have handed since Iraq debuted on the FIFA World Cup™. That staff was spearheaded by the late Ahmed Radi, who beat none apart from Belgium’s Jean-Marie Pfaff to attain the nation’s one and solely aim at soccer’s premier occasion.
Now, three-and-a-half many years on, a brand new era of Iraqis consider they will finish the staff’s lengthy hiatus. With two matchdays remaining within the second spherical of qualifying for the FIFA World Cup Qatar2022™, the Lions of Mesopotamia paved the way in Group C.
Srecko Katanec’s aspect face Hong Kong subsequent Friday then IR Iran on Tuesday 15 June in a captivating duel that can more than likely decide who tops the group and qualifies straight for the third and decisive qualifying spherical.
In addition to a potent assault headed by Mohanad Ali, the Slovenian coach shall be relying on his formidable rearguard for the subsequent two video games. With solely three targets conceded in six fixtures, Iraq unsurprisingly boast the meanest defence within the group.
Defender Saad Natiq, who performed the primary 5 group video games earlier than lacking the final one in opposition to Cambodia resulting from suspension, returns to the aspect. He discovered time to talk with FIFA.comabout Iraq’s goals of reaching the subsequent World Cup in Qatar.
“We’re prime of the group so have an excellent likelihood of securing qualification [for the next round] within the subsequent two matches,” he says of his staff’s probabilities.
“We had an excellent interval of preparation with the squad all collectively and contesting two friendlies. Proper now, the staff are in prime kind, so I hope we will carry out to an excellent stage in these two fixtures to make the Iraqi followers completely satisfied.
“The function of the coach has been key, as a result of he’s labored lots on how we arrange on the again, giving us the perfect defensive document within the group. This motivates us to proceed pushing ourselves to take care of that stage,” added the 27-year-old.
Man for the large event
Saad Natiq shone brightly in 2013 when, together with a lot of his present team-mates, he led Iraq to the semi-finals of the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Turkey. There they got here up quick in opposition to Uruguay and subsequently misplaced to Ghana within the third-place match.
Three years later, the commanding defender represented his nation on the Males’s Olympic Soccer Match at Rio 2016, enjoying two video games. In addition to buying invaluable expertise, Natiq had the excellence of serving to his aspect earn a deserved draw with Neymar’s Brazil through the group section.
“Getting fourth place with the U-20s at a World Cup was an impressive expertise that we received to get pleasure from with our coach Hakeem Shakir. We additionally carried out nicely on the Olympics however weren’t fortunate sufficient to get previous the group stage,” he recollects.
“It was an important journey that taught us lots. Participating in these two tournaments gave us plenty of expertise, so we’re hoping we will attain one other World Cup. We’ll be doing all we will to realize this aim,” the participant provides.
Natiq insists that Iraq’s high-quality outcomes lately are primarily as a result of nice understanding that exists between staff members who’ve been enjoying collectively since U-20 stage.
“Most of us have been enjoying collectively for a very long time, way back to 2013. We began with the U-20s, then we moved on to the Olympic staff for Rio de Janeiro, and now we’re within the senior aspect. The top result’s that there’s now an important rapport between the gamers, which has had a constructive impact on the staff,” he says.
“We hope to look once more at a significant worldwide match, such because the World Cup,” concluded Natiq, who would like to return to Qatar having performed there for Al Arabi. “Nonetheless, reaching Qatar 2022 would require full solidarity and help for the present era. Solely then will we obtain our aim and be capable of face the perfect groups on the planet.”