Football legend to drive around Qatar as he takes on new 'captaincy' role with Careem for Fifa World Cup

Over the past few weeks, the ride-hailing company offered famous footballers whose countries didn't qualify for this year's tournament one last chance to go to Doha as 'captains'

By Web Desk

Published: Thu 24 Nov 2022, 4:26 PM

What started off as a cheeky guerilla campaign by Careem turned into an unexpected job opportunity for an international footballer during the Fifa World Cup Qatar 2022.

Over the past few weeks Careem has offered famous footballers whose countries didn’t qualify for this year’s tournament one last chance to go to Qatar as captains. Here's the twist: they wouldn’t be captains of their football teams; they’ll be Careem Captains. Each tweet led the footballers to a ‘Special Captain’ job post on LinkedIn, written with their professional sportsman skill sets in mind.

Careem calls its over 2 million registered drivers Captains as a sign of respect, trust, and appreciation. Recognising that both football and Careem share the ‘Captain’ territory, Careem called up the leaders of the pitch to become the leaders of the streets.

Over the past few weeks, Careem tweeted at current and former professional players and Captains including Mo Salah, Luis Figo, Victor Lindelof, and Erling Haaland to offer them a tongue-in-cheek chance to visit Doha as ride-hailing Captains.

On November 11, Careem tweeted the job posting to legendary Dutch defensive midfielder Nigel De Jong.

When De Jong saw the tweet, he recognised the playful joke and instantly signed up for the challenge, announcing his new job as a Careem Captain: “Haha, it’s my chance to be a Captain again! I want this job #CaptainCallUp”

De Jong is a Dutch professional footballer who has played as a defensive midfielder for major European football clubs including Manchester City, AC Milan, Ajax and Hamburger SV. He has huge achievements to his name including being an FA Cup winner and World Cup runner-up in the 2010 Fifa World Cup tournament.

Now living in Qatar and playing for Al Shahaniya Sports Club, De Jong frequently appears as a guest commentator for beIN Sports covering Premier League, Champions League football, and international football tournaments.


Antonio Al Asmar, General Manager for UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, and Bahrain at Careem, commented: “We’re excited to welcome Nigel De Jong to Careem as a ride-hailing Captain! We call our ride-hailing drivers Captains as a symbol of respect as they are our everyday heroes, now more than ever as they help to make the first-ever Fifa World Cup in the Middle East a success by keeping fans moving across borders and cities. Through our ‘Special Captain’ job posting, we found a way to ensure that footballers don’t have to miss out on what’s happening in Qatar, even if they aren’t playing in World Cup matches!”

Careem has expanded its fleet size in Qatar by more than 50% ahead of the 2022 Fifa World Cup to cater to the influx of tourists from across the world into the GCC. Careem has also introduced inter-country rides to and from Dammam and Al-Ahsa to Doha to make it easier for Saudi customers to travel to matches by car.

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