Qatar Will Be at Their Best at FIFA World Cup 2022: Sanchez

Published October 3rd, 2022 - 11:35 GMT
Qatar's Spanish coach Felix Sanchez leads a training session for the Qatar National Team at the Jassim bin Hamad stadium in the capital Doha on October 2, 2022. (Photo by KARIM JAAFAR / AFP)
Qatar's Spanish coach Felix Sanchez leads a training session for the Qatar National Team at the Jassim bin Hamad stadium in the capital Doha on October 2, 2022. (Photo by KARIM JAAFAR / AFP)

Qatar’s national football team coach Felix Sanchez says the FIFA World Cup 2022 host nation will be at their best when they face Ecuador in the opening Group A match of the 22nd edition of football’s showpiece at the Al Bayt Stadium on November 20th.

The Asian champions, back home after four-month long overseas camps, had an open training session at Al Sadd’s Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium with over 5,000 fans in attendance.

Al Annabi are again scheduled to leave on Wednesday for the Spanish city of Marbella where they will start a new camp which will be an extension of their camps that began in June in Spain and then Austria and ended late last month.

Qatar played three friendly matches in the Austrian capital Vienna in September during which coach Sanchez tried out new combination of players including younger members of the squad before choosing the final team that will compete in the World Cup and includes 26 players, to be submitted no later than November 13.

Speaking at the training session on Sunday following the team’s low-key performance in the friendlies, Sanchez said, “The friendly games were put to the test for us, and not every game allows you to perform at the level you wished. We showed some improvements in the second game. We are confident that we will perform at our best level during the World Cup. We will continue to work in the final phase, and it will be our final touch before the world cup, which everyone is looking forward to.

“We will try to improve the things we analyse that aren’t working as well as we would like or that we believe can be improved as we have time before November 20. We played top teams that are either in the World Cup or have previously participated, and we know that when we play at our best, we can compete, but when we make tactical or individual mistakes, we pay a very high price, so we must be prepared to face this type of situation in every game.”

Sanchez who has been with the senior team since 2017 said he’s proud to be leading Qatar to an historic World Cup on home soil. “I am proud to be part of this as coach and including the players, all the staff and those involved and looking forward to represent Qatar in the best way,” he said.

The former Barcelona youth coach said the World Cup is a big moment for the country and he hopes everyone enjoys it because it is the first time Qatar will host it, which is unique. He went on to say that people should enjoy the moment and that he hopes they will cheer on the team and support the players who will compete for glory.

Some of the players were overwhelmed by the fan support, describing it as “amazing.”

“This is the first time fans are coming to watch in training to give us support, and I am very proud and excited,” said Pedro Miguel, who made his debut with the national team in 2016.

“I want to assure them that we will do our best and that we will need their full support,” he added.

Karim Boudiaf said, “It is amazing to have the fans support us here and we thank them. The preparations are good and we are working very hard and making sacrifices to be in best shape for the World Cup.”

The 24-year-old Tarek Salman, said, “It’s very nice to see people watching us, especially children, and to show them that dreams do come true; we were like them many years ago, dreaming of being in the Qatar national team and playing in a world cup, so it is also a good motivation for them to learn and dream.”

By IKOLI VICTOR


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