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Boualem Khoukhi is one of the most prominent defenders on the domestic and Asian football circuit. He plays vital roles vital with Al Sadd and the Qatar national team, and has contributed to many successes with the teams he has represented.

Boualem was also a member of the Qatar squad that won the 2019 AFC Asian Cup.

He continues to have huge impact on Al Sadd in their QNB Stars League matches and is a towering presence at the rear when he is in his best form.

Boualem spoke to in an Exclusive Interview ahead of their 2021 Qatar Cup final against Al Duhail on Friday, 26th February.

How do you see the Qatar Cup 2021 in its seventh edition?

It’s a strong and important tournament for us. The best four teams from last season are part of it. We thank God for our recent victory over Al Rayyan in the semifinal.

Describe the atmosphere you faced in the semifinal against Al Rayyan.

It was a tough game and strong like all cup matches. Al Rayyan were a side that we faced with ferocity. But we succeeded in the last minute to score the winning goal through Santi Cazorla.

You beat Al Rayyan 1-0 in the semifinal. How was the match for the players?

It was a tough semifinal befitting the name of the two teams in addition to the presence of fans, who added to the excitement levels at the venue.

How do you see the final against Al Duhail?

We’re expecting a strong match as the two teams include most of the first-team players of Qatar. So, it’ll be a great summit and we’ve to do our best to win and defend the title.

What’re your aspirations for this game?

I’m looking forward to winning the tournament.

How difficult will be this match, which is different from league matches?

As I said before, cup matches are different from league matches. It’s possible to play and not win, so we must be careful and play with great balance between defence and attack to get the win.

Do Al Sadd have the ability to retain the trophy?

Of course. Our first goal is to win and retain the cup at Al Sadd’s trophy cabinet.

Who’s the most likely team to win the cup?

God-willing, Al Sadd will be the champions of this edition of Qatar Cup.

Al Duhail have a strong offensive line capable of disturbing Al Sadd’s defence. How do you see this battle between their attack and your defence?

We know Al Duhail players very well. We had beaten them in the league this season in both legs and our weapon will be to remain focused in the final in order to win.

Who’s the Al Duhail player you fear the most?

We don’t fear anyone. The Al Duhail team includes many outstanding players and they play as one unit, so we’ll face them as one team as well.

There’re those who say Al Sadd will win the cup considering the results of the two teams in the league this season as well as the final of last edition (2020). Do you agree with them?

Football doesn’t reason with pre-match predictions. We’ve to work and prepare well for the match. And then, we’ve to play hard and fight on the field to win the cup.

What’re your goals this season and your ambition with Al Sadd?

We won four championships last season and we’re seeking to repeat the same achievement this season by also winning the QNB Stars League, Qatar Cup and Amir Cup. We also want to compete strongly in the AFC Champions League.

Your message to Al Sadd fans?

Our fans are always with us and they never leave us. I wish them to be with us more strongly in this final, as they always do when the situation demands so.

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