Doha, 8 January 2024 - Qatari Legend and former footballer of the national football team Khalid Salman emphasized that the Qatari team are in front of a historic opportunity to win the second title in the AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2023 tournament.
The Qatari team will embark on competing in the first confrontations by facing their Lebanese counterpart on Jan. 12 within Group A that includes China and Tajikistan.
In an interview with Qatar News Agency (QNA), Salman said the Qatari football team will garner a massive crowd of fans in this mission after the team preserved the title, they won in 2019.
Salman, who played in the team during 1981-1991 and participated in numerous Gulf tournaments, as well as regional, Arab and global contests, said Qatar acquired global reputation after organizing a series of major sports events, primarily the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 tournament which underscores a massive expertise at all levels in providing the tools of success in this continental saga, offering an opportunity to shine a spotlight on the aptitude and capability of Qatar, he underlined.
Hosting the AFC Asian Cup at the tournament stadiums will give the competition a special dimension, since the same stadiums witnessed a considerable shining of global football stars in the past world cup, Salman noted.
He stressed that the Qatari team must be fully ready whether psychologically, mentally, or physically as they enter these contests while holding the previous title and play in front of their fans at the same stadiums that hosted them during the world cup, affirming that the Qatari team internalized the expertise in contending with major teams as the saga represents a great honor for all players.
The adjustments made at the scope of the team are in favor of them, he confirmed, especially after hiring the Spanish coach Marquez Lopez who succeeded the Portuguese Carlos Queiroz. He highlighted that the former coach Queiroz solely focused on the defensive aspects which is something difficult for the Qatari footballers who played 10 games under his leadership culminating in winning 5 matches and losing another five games.
The Qatari Legend Khalid Salman called for supporting Marquez Lopez who shortly resumed his duties, adding that he is definitely impressed of the ingenuity and capability of Lopez to lead the team to the hopeful milestone, indicating that there are many teams that are nominated to win the title, such as Japan, South Korea and Saudi Arabia, but all odds are possible for the emergence of teams that might strikingly shine in this tournament, he said.