- Al Duhail won the Qatari Stars League last season
- The Red Knights set to compete in FIFA Club World Cup Qatar 2020 ™
- The former French international talks about his team’s ambitions
Reigning Qatari champion Al Duhail is preparing to take part in the FIFA Club World Cup Qatar 2020 ™. This competition will be an opportunity for this tenor of the national scene to measure himself against continental champions from all over the planet.
The Red Knights however, experienced a difficult period in terms of results, a situation that convinced the leaders to call on Sabri Lamouchi in October. Since then, the Frenchman has been trying to revive his team on the path to success.
FIFA.com met him to discuss with him the prospect of competing in a competition of this scope. “It’s a great opportunity, even if I was not there when the club won the title which has earned them this year. So first of all we have to congratulate my predecessor. This tournament will give the opportunity to my players to show what they are capable of against very high level opponents. “
From the outset, Lamouchi prefers to be realistic, so as not to arouse false hopes among supporters. “If I was called in, it was because the team had problems last year. The leaders asked me to make changes. Our goal is to be competitive. We want to honor in Qatar and the Qatar Championship. “
“Now we have to face it. If we are here it is because Qatar is hosting this tournament and we won the championship last year,” he continued. “There is therefore no question of talking about the title. We will take the matches one after the other. We are already very lucky to be present at this level. It is a big challenge and above all we must not not give in to euphoria. “
A highly anticipated start
In opening, Al Duhail will face Auckland City, which celebrates its ninth appearance this year. “We will see what it will give”, loose Lamouchi. “I arrived two months ago and the situation was not ideal. I am not a magician and I do not want to tell stories to our supporters. I can promise you that my assistants and I, we will do our best, but it will not be easy. “
“We have not recruited any player, foreign or Qatari. We have only two expatriates in the group, while our team could accommodate up to seven,” he said. “We have seven matches in January. We will use them to prepare well for this tournament. For that, we have to start by winning league games. We have to improve at the organizational level if we are to avoid a bad surprise against Auckland City. . “
Lamouchi knows Qatar well. He has already played there, but also trained. “I worked in Qatar as a player in 2006 and then as a coach in 2015 and today, I’m back,” says a Lamouchi, enthusiastic about the big events that the country is preparing to experience. The country has changed a lot in terms of equipment, infrastructure, roads and its airport. There are other notable advances, starting with the new stages. The clubs are more professional and the championship has become more competitive.
“In addition, Qatar recently won the Asian Cup,” he adds. “I can’t wait to experience the World Cup in Qatar. No one would have imagined seeing a country like Qatar host a competition of this magnitude, but work is progressing well. Transportation has improved over the past 15 years. Life in Qatar is much better now. “
“The country is developing rapidly. I am really curious to attend this first World Cup in a Muslim country in the Middle East. I am sure it will be a great success,” said Lamouchi. But before this big meeting, there is this year 2021 which promises to be exciting after these complicated months. “After such a year, we all wonder when life will return to its normal course. We look forward to traveling and seeing our families again. Regardless of my personal goals, this is what I wish all of us for the year ahead. begins “.