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Laurent Blanc: "I am in Qatar and for the moment, that's what interests me"


In an interview with AFP, Laurent Blanc denied the rumors of an upcoming return to Europe, while he is seeking his first title on Friday on the bench of Al-Rayyan that he has been coaching since December 2020.

How do you see the final of the Emir's Cup, the Qatar Cup, on Friday against Al-Sadd, a club coached by Xavi?

We always hope to win the final, that's for sure.

We are aware of the difficulty of the task, since Al-Sadd is really a very, very good team from Qatar.

It has been a year and a half since they have lost matches.

They have good players, they have a good coach.

The challenge will be huge, very exciting, but we are always preparing to win.

Does the arrival of new players bring additional pressure?

Yes, we are going to be considered a better team. This is what we want. Last year, we had an excellent championship (3rd, editor's note). This year, we started badly. We had very good players with Steven (Nzonzi), James Rodriguez and Ahmed Yasser. But we took them very late, so they are more or less injured. It takes time. But I'm very happy to have good players, it doesn't put any pressure on me.

Rumors send you to Barcelona or Manchester United, what about?

This is not topical. I am here. I struggled to bring in good players. I enjoy training in Qatar. It will last what it will last, a year, a year and a half, two years, or two months ... I don't know. It is a human adventure (...) It is not a lack of ambition, but it is a reality. I'm in Qatar and so far that's what interests me.

How do you find the level of football in Qatar after a year?

There are very good foreign players, very good local players. The only problem is that the best local players are all at the same clubs. So I think that for the future, we have to make sure that the young players from Qatar, those from seven to eleven years old, come to the football fields. With the World Cup, the championship starting to get interesting, I hope that the young Qataris will start playing football.

Do you think Qatar has a chance to overtake the knockout stages of the Home World Cup in 2022?

The World Cup is a very high level.

(The Qataris) have prepared well, they have been preparing for it for a long time.

I also hope that they will have this freshness, it is important to have mental freshness.

I hope for them that they will have a very good World Cup.

What are your short and long term goals with Al-Rayyan?

It is first of all to win matches because at the moment we do not win much (7th in the championship with 6 points in five matches, editor's note), and to win the Emir's Cup (... ) And make the future better.

Source: lefigaro

All sports articles on 2021-10-20

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