The Qatar Football Association (QFA) announced on Friday Marquez Lopez will be the head coach of the national team until 2026. The Spaniard, who led Qatar to a second Asian Cup title earlier this month at home, signed the contract at Al Bidaa Tower, with QFA General Secretary Mansoor al-Ansari.
QFA said in a statement: “The Qatar Football Association expresses gratitude and appreciation to Al Wakrah Sports Club for their co-operation and consent in facilitating coach Marquez Lopez’s appointment as the national team head coach.”
Lopez was named as Qatar’s interim coach on December 6 after QFA parted ways with Carlos Queiroz with little more than a month until the nation hosted the Asian Cup. Queiroz was less than a year into his four-year contract, but had to depart after differences over his playing style.
However, Lopez’s appointed for short-term turned out to be a masterstroke as Qatar successfully defended their Asian title with a 3-1 victory over Jordan on February 10
That Qatar emerged champions is testament to Lopez’s ability to get the best out of his players despite having taken over as head coach slightly more than a month before the continental showpiece kicked off. When the 62-year-old was given the task many sceptics believed that Qatar would struggle to defend the title they won in emphatic fashion for the first time in 2019.
Lopez, however, had other ideas and had no problem fitting in, having already had vast experience of Qatar football. Lopez left Al Wakrah – having been in charge of the Qatar Stars League side since 2018 – to take charge of the national team and his calm approach undoubtedly helped to defend the Asian Cup title on home soil.
The former midfielder shielded his squad throughout the tournament, insisting that Qatar would only look as far as their next match.
It is an approach that worked tremendously well with Qatar easily cruising past the group stage with three wins.
Even when the challenges got tougher in the knockout stage, former Espanyol and Sint-Truiden manager Lopez coaxed the maximum out of his players and his approach brought the best out of Almoez Ali, the MVP of the Asian Cup.
Lopez’s next assignment is when Qatar take on Kuwait on March 21 in the FIFA World Cup 2026 and AFC Asian Cup Saudi Arabia 2027 joint qualifiers.
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