Qatar Football Team to Focus on Fit Players Than Experienced Ones

Qatar Football Team to Focus on Fit Players Than Experienced Ones
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Published September 13th, 2018 - 12:38 GMT via

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Qatar national football team
Qatar national football team

Qatar coach Felix Sanchez said he will only select players who can help the national team with or without experience as he confirmed a shift in focus to younger players in preparation for the FIFA 2022 World Cup.

Qatar are preparing for the Asian Cup 2019 in January and Copa America next June. It is noteworthy that a whopping 12/25 players that played against China and Palestine in the recent friendlies were a part of Qatar's squad at the AFC U23 Championship earlier this year.

Commenting on his choice of younger players after Qatar's win against Palestine, Sanchez said:"We call up players to the national team based on their physical shape and conditions to help the team.

"We try to make a balance because we have players that are very young with lots of experience like our captain (Hassan al Haydos), with over a hundred caps and he's quite young still.

"So players can only get experience when they play and if they don't, they will never get experience. So we look at their level of performance and at the moment we are happy with what we have.

"We'll continue to select the players that will help the team with or without experience as long as we strike a balance," Sanchez added.

Sanchez's statement may end the future for some of Qatar's established stars over the years. while trusting the likes of Boualem Khoukhi, Abdulaziz Hatem and Pedro Miguel. Notably among them may be country's record goalscorer Sebastian Soria, Rodrigo Tabata, Luiz Martin, Qasem Burhan, Khalfan Ibrahim, and Mohammed Kasola.

In attack, Sanchez has kept faith with Al Duhail striker Almoez Ali and Akram Afif of Al Sadd. Both have not disappointed with an impressive goal ratio for both club and country. Qatar's safest hands seem to be shifting towards Al Gharafa's Youssef Hassan, who was impressive in both games against China and Palestine.

Meanwhile, recuperating Ismail Mohammed reassured Qatari soccer fans that he was recovering well and eyes a return for Qatar's campaign in next summer's Copa America 2019 in Brazil. The 25-year-old was at the Khalifa International Stadium on Tuesday to cheer his teammates.

Ismail suffered a double fracture in his left leg during Al Duhail's Week 1 victory over promoted Al Shahania in a QNB Stars League match in August. The injury ruled out the winger for the rest of the season and the hardworking winger will miss Qatar's Asian Cup campaign in the UAE in January and Al Duhail's AFC Champions League matches.

Speaking to Qatar Tribune, Ismail said:"I am gradually getting back and I am fine with my legs now.

"I won't be available for the Asian Cup but hopefully I will be fit for the Copa America Championship in June," he said.

"The boys played well and are improving with every match. I am confident they can perform well in the Asian Cup and exceed our expectations," Ismail added.

Qatar and Japan were invited to the 12-nation tournament because of friendly relations between South America body CONMEBOL and the Asian Football Confederation.

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