Al Arabi’s Diego Jardel in an Exclusive Interview with QSL Online ahead of their QNB Stars League Round 8 match against Al Rayyan.

‘We want to put up a strong performance against Al Rayyan’

Al Arabi’s Brazilian attacking midfielder Diego Jardel has not had a very good start to his first season in Qatar. Nevertheless, he has been contributing to the team’s cause, and excels in both offence and defence.

Jardel spoke to QSL Online mainly about their high-profile match against Al Rayyan in Round 8 of the QNB Stars League, new coach Luka Bonacic, who replaced Qais Yaakoubi, and his ambition with Al Arabi.

How’re the preparations for the Al Rayyan game going with new coach Bonacic?

The mood in the team camp is good ever since his appointment. All players are doing their best with the aim of making a turnaround in our fortunes and also put up a strong performance against Al Rayyan.

What’s your expectation of the new technical staff?

We’ll work hard with the new coach and hope for the best.

How far can the team go with the new coach?

The team has quality players, who’ve the potential to put up far better performances. Luka is a good coach with considerable experience in Qatar football, so he can change the team’s fortunes.

Is he capable of improving Al Arabi’s position in the QNB Stars League?

All I can say is that we’ll work together with the new coach in order to achieve positive results and make the club’s fans happy.

How do you look at your upcoming match against Al Rayyan?

Al Rayyan, of course, are a strong team. However, Al Arabi are a tough opponent. We need to collect three points from this match to compensate for the previous defeats.

Which team has more chances to win?

It’s unpredictable. Both sides have players of calibre in all positions.

Al Rayyan are said to be the favourites, going by form and recent results. What do you think?

Indeed, Al Rayyan were superior than Al Arabi in the recent times. But I feel we’ll reverse the trend this time.

Are you under pressure because Al Rayyan are favourites?

Absolutely no. Rather, we see it as a big chance to prove a point.

Which Al Rayyan player will be feared the most by Al Arabi?

Al Rayyan have many reputed players. They perform very well as a team and (Rodrigo) Tabata is at the heart of it.

What should Al Arabi do to regain the lost ground in the league?

Al Arabi are capable of achieving many positive results. We just need to be more effective in front of the goal and also some luck. 

This is your first season in the QNB Stars League. What’s your impression of the competition?

Even when I was in Brazil, I used to follow Qatar league news. I’ve friends in Qatar. The competition is tough and requires a lot of efforts. Being a part of the QNB Stars League is a different experience. I happy to have joined Al Arabi and I do hope to add strength to the team.

Will you be able to fulfil your ambitions?

I truly look forward to help my team and leave a mark on the field. I’m very optimistic that Al Arabi will overcome the challenges in a better way as the season progresses.

What would you like to tell the club’s fans?

We wish to beat Al Rayyan. We won’t be motivated while playing in front of empty stands and we need fans’ support, which’ll have a big impact on the team’s performance.