Al Sadd star Xavi Hernandez (right) said he was was glad to have been part of last week’s Qatar Classico between his team and Al Rayyan. PICTURES: Othman Iraqi
By Joe Koraith/Doha
Last week’s Qatar Classico between Al Sadd and Al Rayyan lived up to its hype with nearly 11,000 spectators watching the high-voltage encounter at the Jassim bin Hamad Stadium. Both sets of fans cheered themselves hoarse, using their vocal chords to inspire their team to do better. In the end it was the home side that emerged victorious. Rayyan were the slight favourites going into the match but Sadd turned the tables and stopped their unbeaten run this season.
Sadd star Xavi Hernandez, donning his famous midfield magician’s hat here too, was glad to have been part of such an important match, thanking the home team fans for turning up in such large numbers.
“I was very happy to participate in this Qatar Classico, especially because of the presence of such a huge crowd. I was very happy to see Sadd fans coming to the stadium to support us,” said Xavi during a press conference yesterday.
Sadd have had a bit of stop-start season but the result against Rayyan has helped lift the players, and Xavi credited their new coach Jesualdo Ferreira for bring about the change.
“I am happy to work under this famous coach. The coach is well experienced and as players we are very happy to work with him. We are happy with the changes done by the coach,” said Xavi.
The Barcelona legend also believes that his team will do better under their new Portuguese manager. “The result of the new coach’s effect on the team is being seen. Progressively, the coach will understand the players and their role better. And we believe that we will see the fruits of those changes in the matches to come,” said the Spaniard.
Sadd will take on El Jaish today in another high voltage encounter and Xavi wants his team to continue the winning run and reduce the gap with Rayyan at the top. “Now we have to forget about the Rayyan match. We have to focus on winning the next game. The gap between us and Rayyan is nine points and we have to work on reducing that,” said the Sadd No. 6.
To have an experienced player like Xavi in your team is a huge asset for the coach and Ferreira acknowledged that. “I am very happy to be accompanied by Xavi today. I am happy to be working with this great star every day,” the Portuguese manager said yesterday.
This ‘great star’ is definitely pulling in the crowds and while Xavi is happy to see such large number of fans turn up for the Qatar Classico, the fans must be even more happy to get a chance to see him conjure his magic.
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