Xavi: It will be difficult to play against Umm Salal

Al-Sadd head coach Xavi Hernandez stressed on the difficulty of his side’s upcoming game against Umm Salal, which will see the Wolves be crowned as champions if they win.

Speaking at the pre-match press conference, Xavi said: “Our next game is against Umm Salal on Sunday and we can be champions. Of course, this is our target.”

“We are depending on ourselves to achieve that. We are very happy to be in this position. We are playing in our stadium and of course, we are favourites but everybody knows that Umm Salal is one of the best teams defensively in this competition.

“The coach Ben Askar works really well in defence. They are very aggressive, they’re a block. They haven’t conceded many goals in the league, and we suffered a lot in the first phase game against them.”

He added: “So it will be really difficult because they need points, as they are in a lower position.”

“Of course, we expect a lot of difficulty in the game because they close the spaces in defence, and they are aggressive, so it will be really tough.”

As for his side’s ambition for the upcoming games, Xavi replied: “As I told you, we are in the best position now, depending on ourselves, with five games left in the competition. But we want to win the league unbeaten. If we win three points in the next game, we are champions. It’s impossible to get more motivation than this.”

“The players are enjoying, and we are in a good moment. We recently won the Qatar Cup, and we are in the semifinals of the Amir Cup.”

“So we are in a very good moment and we have to take benefit of it.”

The coach also indicated his respect for Umm Salal, saying: “We respect Umm Salal a lot; they have a good coach and good foreigner players, especially in defence with the two centre-backs, and then up front they have Hammoudan and Kayke, two top players.”

“It will be really tough to score goals against this team.”

Regarding his side’s mentality, Xavi said: “We are a winning team. We are a big club in Qatar, and in my opinion, we are the best team in the country at the moment.”

“Our target is to win titles and to enjoy playing football. When we started the season, I told you that this is our main objective: to win titles. We are here to win. We are Al Sadd and we are a big club.”

“So we are reaching our goal, we have won many titles but we have to keep going and continue like that.”

“The most important thing is to continue winning. The most difficult thing in football is to win one game after the other. We have to be focused. We need to concentrate and we need to have the same ambition, intensity and rhythm in the game.”

“And for sure, we have a bigger group of players to win this league title and inshaAllah the Amir Cup.”

Xavi also had a special message for the team’s fans, saying: “In the end, we play for the fans. We are happy because now we have many supporters in the stadium.”

“We are playing at home and I hope the tickets will be sold out, and everybody can enjoy with the team. InshaAllah we will get three points because of course, we need to win. We need to play and show our level.”

“I would like to have many many supporters at the stadium while we play at home.”