Roger Milla backs African teams to excel at Qatar 2022
FIFA World Cup

African football legend Roger Milla is confident that African countries can impress at the upcoming World Cup in Qatar as they have the talent, belief and confidence to challenge on all fronts this time around.

Cameroon, Ghana, Morocco and Tunisia will join reigning African champions Senegal at the tournament, which will take place for the first time in winter and in the Middle East as well.

The competition will begin on 20 November when host nation Qatar take on Ecuador, with the final on the 18th of December.

"Now is a good time to show that Africa has the best football players and the best teams in the world," Milla told BBC Sport Africa.

"We have to make our players understand that we can compete with the biggest teams. We have everything to compete with them.

"It's up to us to get to work. We struggled for a few years but I've seen African football develop a lot. Now it's time and we will see in Qatar."

In his playing days, former Cameroon striker Milla featured in three World Cups, and rose to global prominence at the 1990 finals in Italy when he scored four goals at the age of 38 to help his country become the first African side to reach the quarter-finals.

Ghana and Senegal matched that feat in the 2002 and 2010 World Cup tournaments respectively but no African side has gone any further.

The last eight is the highest point any African team has gone and Milla thinks that achievement can be bettered, even though he admits it would be a herculean side to go all the way in the tournament.  

He added: "We are a continent blessed with great footballers - we can go further than the quarter-finals. But I've always said that for an African country to win the World Cup, it's hard work first of all [that is needed].

"It's discipline and organisation. If we look at other countries today, we are at their level in football but we now have to be well-organised [too].

"I am very happy that Cameroon led the way and showed the world that Africa has teams that can compete with the greatest in the world.

"It's not just Cameroon, Senegal or Ghana - there are other countries that can represent our continent proudly."

Senegal will face hosts Qatar, the Netherlands and Ecuador in Group A while Tunisia will take on defending champions France, Australia and Denmark in Group D.

Morocco's Atlas Lions will compete against 2018 runners-up Croatia, Canada and Belgium while Cameroon will play five-time winners Brazil, Switzerland and Serbia.

Ghana will compete against Portugal, South Korea and Uruguay - the team that famously stopped them from being the first African side to progress to the World Cup semi-final stage at the 2010 edition in South Africa.