Xavi's predictions for the knockout stages of the Asian Cup were scarily accurate

Xavi Hernandez

Qatar have defied all the odds and have won their first Asian Cup.

The 2022 World Cup host nation went in to the tournament as 40/1 outsiders, but they emerged victorious, conceding just one goal all tournament.

Qatar beat heavy favourites Japan 3-1 in the final to claim their maiden win, with goals coming from Almoez Ali, Abdulaiziz Hatem and Akram Afif.

Ali finished the tournament with nine goals to his name, the most in a single Asian Cup campaign and a move to Europe for the 23-year-old looks inevitable in the near future.

The Al-Duhail striker scored a stunning overhead kick in the final and you can watch that goal here.

Qatar recorded some memorable results during their fantastic run, thrashing North Korea 6-0 and beating Iraq, South Korea and United Arab Emirates.

So who saw this coming? Well, Barcelona legend Xavi Hernandez certainly did, with the Spaniard spending the last three-and-a-half years in Qatar with Al-Sadd FC.

The 39-year-old tipped Qatar to win the tournament before a ball was kicked and his predictions for the knockout stages were eerily accurate.



That's right, Xavi correctly predicted seven of the eight quarter-finalists - Vietnam were the only nation to deceive his mystic mind.

For the semi-final stage, the midfield maestro recorded a 75% accuracy, with Australia the only side letting him down.

And just to top it all off, Xavi correctly predicted the final, while also stating that Qatar would beat Japan in the Zayed Sports City Stadium in Abu Dhabi.

Reckon it might be worth asking Xavi for the lottery numbers?

Xavi with Al Sadd

Qatar's success in their home continent will surely have alerted the rest of the globe ahead of their home World Cup.

While they're not going to be one of the favourites to claim the biggest prize of all, they've surely secured the titles of 'dark horses' and 'team to be avoided in the group stage'.

News Now - Sport News