Brazil's legendary 2002 FIFA World Cup winning captain Cafu has officially joined Qatar's journey on the road to 2022 after being unveiled as a Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (SC) Ambassador.
Established by the SC, the organisation responsible for delivering tournament infrastructure for the FIFA World Cup 2022, the ambassador programme works alongside some of the games most iconic stars to help deliver and promote the numerous legacy programmes and infrastructure projects associated with the Arab world's first FIFA World Cup.
One of the games most respected and iconic stars, in 2002 Cafu joined an elite group of just five men to have captained Brazil to FIFA World Cup glory when he lifted the famous trophy in Japan following his nations 2-0 victory over Germany. With 148 international appearances, he is also the most capped player in Brazil's illustrious football history.
At a special unveiling ceremony in his home city of So Paulo, hosted by SC Secretary General Hassan Al Thawadi, Cafu officially joined Xavi Hernndez, Samuel Etoo and Mohammed Saadon Al Kuwari as an official SC Ambassador.
Reflecting on the announcement, Cafu said: "It is an honour and a privilege to officially become part of the team helping to deliver the World Cup in Qatar. The World Cup has played a dominant role in my life, some may say even from birth.
"As many know, I was born during the famous 1970 World Cup game between Brazil and England, so you could say it would be my destiny to have a lifelong affiliation with the sport. From dreams of playing as a small child, to getting the chance to represent my nation, to the ultimate honour winning the World Cup it has always been my passion.
"During my time as a player and since then in retirement I have also witnessed the games unique power to educate, inspire and provide outlets for underprivileged people, no matter where you are from in the world." He continued: "Through its legacy programmes, such as the Josoor Institute, Generation Amazing and Challenge 22, I have witnessed the SC's commitment to ensuring Qatar's World Cup looks beyond the 28 days of football to inspire and help people far away and for generations to come.
It is for these reasons that I did not hesitate to join the organisation and help it continue to deliver its work." Although his remit will cover a wide range of SC programmes, projects and initiatives, Cafu will work closely with the Josoor Institute to help deliver its groundbreaking academic and vocational courses and qualifications to the next generation of sports and events professionals.
Josoor Institute was launched in December 2013 with the purpose of building the capabilities of the sports and events industries in Qatar and the MENA region through education, training, professional certification, consultancy and research.
Education through sport is a subject close to Cafu's heart. He has played an active role in helping to deliver educational and vocational courses to underprivileged children in Jardim Irene, the area of So Paulo in which he grew up.
"There are a great deal of parallels between this and the work that the SC is doing, through Josoor and also other programmes such as Generation Amazing. So to combine this kind of work with the next World Cup in Qatar, and the work I have done in the past, it really does feel a perfect fit for me."
Adding his own words of welcome, Al Thawadi added: "We are delighted to welcome Cafu to our team. His legendary status and the legacy he leaves behind from his on-field activities are clear for all to see. But what is equally impressive to us is the work, commitment and dedication he has shown towards using his profile to deliver genuine hope and opportunity to the underprivileged.
"That he joins us with a commitment to helping ensure that the next generation receives the opportunities and avenues to succeed whether it be on or off the pitch makes him a perfect fit for our organisation. I look forward to working alongside him up to and beyond Qatar 2022."
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