By Sports Reporter/Doha
Chamber of Commerce of Spain to Qatar honoured Qatar’s handball and football coaches – Valero Rivera and Felix Sanchez.
On Wednesday evening, the Spaniards were felicitated by ambassador of Spain to Qatar, Belen Alfaro in the presence of chairman of the Chamber of Commerce of Spain to Qatar, Jose Vicente. Speaking on the occasion Vicente said: “Valero Rivera and Felix Sanchez were instrumental in the Qatar’s historical moments in sport.”
Rivera coached Qatar team to silver medal in the 2015 World Handball Championship and gold medal at the Asian Championships in 2016. Rivera as a coach has an unrivalled record of winning 75 titles at European and national level. He won six European Cups, five European Super Cups and one EHF Cup as Barcelona coach. He is considered the most successful handball coach in the game’s history.
While paying tributes to Sanchez, Vicente said: “Sanchez is the toast of the nation. He has played a great role in developing the young Qatar boys into international stars.”
Qatar won the AFC Asian Cup title earlier this year under the guidance of Sanchez. He was at La Liga giants FC Barcelona for 10 years, and throughout this long period he was coach of the Escola and, later, in the youth sections of the club. With roots at FC Barcelona, Sanchez instilled the Barca DNA in Sergio Roberto, Marc Muniesa, Gerard Deulofeu and Martin Montoya amongst others before he left Barcelona in 2006 to work at Aspire Academy.
After years of work as coach at Aspire, he also led the Qatar team to glory for the first time, as champion of the 2014 AFC U-19 Asian Cup in Myanmar, a milestone in the history of the country. After coaching Qatar’s team at the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup in New Zealand, he was put in charge of Qatar’s U-23 team, before taking over the country’s senior national team in July 2017. “It is always nice when you get awards for the work you have done. I am very happy to receive the ward,” Sanchez said.
Before the felicitation ceremony, Business Development & Intelligence Director from Aspire, Kamel Badawyalso talked about Qatar SportsTech, the first acceleration programme of its kind in Qatar that aims to attract the most promising SportsTech startups from the world and help them grow their product and business. Nizar Bakhat, delegate of the LIGA Global Network in Qatar also talked about La Liga and its presence in Qatar and Xavi Pedrero, founder of Padel Qatar explained the challenges of introducing a new sport such as padel in the country.
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