With the eagerly anticipated UEFA preliminary draw for the 2022 FIFA World Cup fast approaching, FIFA Legends Daniele De Rossi and Rafael van der Vaart have been named as assistants ahead of the ceremony, which is due to take place in Zurich on December 7 at 18:00 CET.
De Rossi, a member of Italy’s 2006 FIFA World Cup-winning squad, also featured at the 2010 and 2014 editions of the FIFA World Cup during a glittering career that saw him earn 117 caps for the Squadra Azzurra. At club level, he remains one of the most iconic players in AS Roma’s history, whilst he also turned out for Boca Juniors.
Former Dutch international Van der Vaart, who made 109 appearances for his country, played at the 2006 FIFA World Cup, whilst he was also part of the squad that reached the final in South Africa four years later. During a stellar career, Van der Vaart showcased his talents for a host of top clubs, including Ajax, Hamburger SV, Real Madrid, Real Betis and Tottenham Hotspur.
“Playing at the FIFA World Cup and lifting that iconic trophy is every footballer’s dream. On Monday, that dream will become a little more real as all 55 European teams learn their fate on the road to the 2022 FIFA World Cup,” commented De Rossi.
“I think that qualification for Qatar will be a tough task. As we have seen in recent years, the gaps between the teams at international level are becoming ever smaller.”
“I look forward to seeing an exciting race for the 13 European FIFA World Cup spots and, from my own experience, I know what it means when the most iconic tournament in world football begins to take shape,” declared Van der Vaart.
“The FIFA World Cup always offers something different. You’re representing your country and feel as if the whole world is watching. All you want to do is write your name into the history books.”
The two football legends will assist FIFA’s acting Director of Competitions Jaime Yarza in conducting the draw.