Al Arabi’s Spanish defender and ex-Barcelona player Marc Muniesa Martinez in an exclusive interview with qsl.qa
Marc Muniesa Martinez is holding the Al Arabi defence together. The Spaniard, who has plied his trade at Barcelona, joined The Dream Team at the start of this season from Spanish club Girona.
Muniesa, who has been instrumental in Al Arabi’s good run that has seen them occupy the second position in the QNB Stars League table with a game in hand, spoke to qsl.qa in an exclusive interview ahead of their Week 7 match against Al Gharafa on Sunday, 20th October.
What do you feel unique about the QNB Stars League?
What makes it special is that any team can beat any team. All 12 sides get crazy on the field, so it’s interesting for the fans as well. The players may feel that we’re losing a game, but everything can change in a matter of five minutes.
Did you face any difficulty in getting acclimatised when you joined Al Arabi?
In the first days of training, it was hot and humid. But it was good to play at air-conditioned stadiums. Now that the weather is changing, I think the game’s level will also rise further.
Al Arabi is a traditional force in Qatar football. How do you feel representing The Dream Team?
I’m really proud to don the colours of Al Arabi, one of the teams with rich history and tradition in Qatar football. We haven’t won any trophy for around a decade now, so our supporters are a bit sad about it. We want to make them happy and we’ll fight for them.
Al Arabi are having a good run in the QNB Stars League this season…
At the moment, we’re having good results in the league even though we struggled against Al Shahania and Al Khor in our last two league games. The league is very tough. We’ve tough games coming up and we should be ready for them.
How do you see your game against Al Gharafa in Week 7 of the QNB Stars League?
It’ll be an important test for us. It’ll show our real level and quality, and whether we’re ready to fight against the top teams in the league, such as Al Sadd, Al Rayyan, Al Duhail, Al Gharafa…
What result are you expecting from the game against Al Gharafa?
I can’t predict that. We’ll fight for a good win, as we do in all games. During the game, many things can happen, like injuries, red card, mistakes, goals… You never know. Let’s see what happens on the field.
Do you think Al Arabi’s passionate fans at the stadium will influence the result against Al Gharafa?
Our supporters are coming to the venues more often and that’s important. We’ve benefited from their support in our past games. I hope they’ll do the same coming Sunday also to help us beat Al Gharafa.
How do you expect to contribute to the team’s cause?
I want to perform my role as a defender well. We haven’t got a clean sheet yet in the five games we played. I want to keep a keen eye on the corner kicks, free-kicks and set-pieces, and supply the ball to our strikers. We’ve got big guys to score goals and I want to help them with deliveries.
What’re the positive things about Al Arabi this season?
We’ve good results and the team is improving after every game. Five of our players were selected to do duty for the Qatar national team this week. All players are doing well. We’ve got a compact team. The only sad thing is that we’ve lost the services of injured midfielder Aron (Gunnarsson) for quite some time. But then, it’s a chance for another player to prove his mettle.
Which team do you think has more chances of winning the league title this season?
It’s too early to speak about our chances of winning the league. But I feel it’s very difficult for us to win the league. Al Sadd and Al Duhail are the favourites. But as you saw, Al Rayyan beat Al Sadd. Al Duhail drew a couple of games and Al Gharafa lost a game. So it’s a tricky situation. We’re in a good position now and we’ve to keep the momentum going.