Who is Qatar's coach? How Felix Sanchez went from Barcelona to the Middle East

Qatar makes their World Cup bow in 2022 after securing an automatic spot in the competition as the first ever Middle East hosts.

The buildup to the tournament has been dominated by off-field controversy,

with criticism directed at Qatari officials surrounding their treatment of migrant construction workers, and the country's LGBTQ+ laws.

However, as the big kickoff approaches, with Qatar set to open the competition against Ecuador on November 20, attention turns to matters on the pitch.

Qatar are completely unproven on the World Cup stage and their hopes of avoiding disaster rest on the shoulders of head coach Felix Sanchez.

Sanchez has spent the last 16 years of his coaching career in Qatar after making the bold choice to swap Barcelona's youth system for a job in Doha.

The Catalan-born coach joined the Aspire Academy in 2006 as part of Qatar's push to develop their sporting stars into international stars within a multi-million-dollar state investment.

The 46-year-old was placed in a string of development roles at Aspire before being promoted into the national team structure as U19 head coach in 2013.

His rise continued with roles in the U20 and U23 teams before replacing Jorge Fossati in the top job in May 2017.