Al Sadd head coach Xavi Hernandez spoke about the difficulty of the upcoming 2021-22 QNB Stars League season, ahead of the team’s opening game against Al Sailiya. The match is set to be played on Sunday at the Thani bin Jassim Stadium.
Speaking at the pre-match press conference, Xavi said: “At the start of the season, we are really excited and happy to resume competing in the QSL. It’s an honour for me to coach Al-Sadd again.”
He added: “I have to say this season will be really tough because from my experience in football, the most difficult thing is to keep winning.
“We won everything in the country last season, and this new season will be really difficult. But we will try to do our best to make all the supporters happy.”
On his team, Xavi remarked: “We have a good team. We signed good players like Andre Ayew and youth players from the reserve team.”
“We are really excited for the start, we will try to do our best to win all the domestic titles again.”
As for their first opponents, the coach said: “Al-Sailiya is a very good team. We have to remember that they won two competitions last season. Their coach Sami Trabelsi has been at the club for many years. This is the reason Al-Sailiya work really well and it will be tough to face them.”
“They changed some of their foreigner players. We know them very well, but it’s always very difficult to play against Al-Sailiya. They play with intensity, and sometimes mark players man-to-man. They are in a good condition physically.”
He added: “The first game is always difficult to win but inshaAllah we can. We are favourites in this game and we have to show our level.”
Asked about the absence of Qatari internationals and its effect on the team, Xavi said: “It’s difficult to work without the international players who are in the training camp with the national team. But there is no excuse. Everybody knows our game model and our way to play.”
“Only Andre Ayew is the new addition, and he was there with us in the preseason training camp. There is no excuse. We need to win, we need to compete and resume the competition in the best way.”
He added: “Let’s see the condition of the national team players when they come back. In my opinion, there is no excuse. We need to compete again.”
Finally, Xavi also spoke of his message for the team: “The message is very simple: we need to win and we need to continue competing.”
“We are excited and we have dreams to win the title again. Of course it’s difficult to repeat a victory, but this is the main target. We are Al-Sadd, we are the biggest club in the country and we must show our level against everybody.”