Xavi Hernandez perfectly predicted how the Asian Cup would pan out
From the knockout stages onwards, Xavi called every result, bar one
Qatar won their first ever Asian Cup on Friday afternoon, beating Japan 3-1. Almoez Ali opened the scoring with this absolutely stunning overhead kick.
Their run to the final was not foreseen by many, given their lack of footballing heritage and complete absence of past success. But former Barcelona midfielder Xavi, who has spent the past few years playing for Qatari club Al Sadd, saw it coming.
Working as a pundit ahead of the knockout stages of this year's Asian Cup, the Spanish midfielder made his predictions for how every tie would pan out. His assertion that Qatar would meet Japan in the final raised a few eyebrows, but it was he who had the last laugh, as proven by today's result.
Xavi Hernandez predicts that Qatar will win the Asian Cup pic.twitter.com/jEe9UvJjlK
— Gol Bezan (@GolBezan) December 30, 2018
Xavi correctly predicted Iraq, Japan, China and Iran to make it through to the quarter-finals on one side of the draw, as well as South Korea, Australia, the United Arab Emirates, and Vietnam from the other side.
The most surprising result of the quarters was Qatar's win over South Korea, which was a massive relief to Tottenham Hotspur fans everywhere, albeit a huge surprise.
Xavi then correctly predicted his current home of Qatar to proceed to the final, swatting the UAE to the side, while Japan beat Iran 3-0.
And Friday's final was the icing on the cake for Xavi, who made everyone who laughed at his prediction look very silly, as his adopted nation lifted the trophy.
So, there you have it. Qatar have got very good at football, very quickly, and will probably go much further than expected when they host the World Cup in 2022, with absolutely no outside factors at play.