Al Arabi midfielder Victor Vazquez in an Exclusive Interview with QSL Online
Victor Vazquez has been lending stability to the Al Arabi midfield ever since he joined the QNB Stars League team in the winter transfer window early this year.
The 32-year-old Spaniard, who has vast experience having represented Barcelona ‘B’ team in Spain, Club Brugge in Belgium, Toronto FC in Canada and Cruz Azul in Mexico, shed light on a wide range of topics in an Exclusive Interview with QSL Online.
What’re your first impressions of Qatar and football in this country?
Right from the first day, I found Qatar as amazing place to live with family. The weather is amazing, a lot of things to do and also a lot of Spanish people are around. Football is improving a lot even though it’s still far from Europe, of course.
However, the young talents that’re coming up are doing so well and that’s why a lot of European players are coming over here, to also help youngsters improve and make the league better. My first impression of Qatar is awesome.
This is your first stint in the Middle East. How do you find the transition to Qatar?
The transition to Qatar was easier than I had expected. I was lucky because the weather was good too.
How fast are you adapting to the conditions in a new country?
I’m adapting really fast to the conditions. I’ve many friends working here. They’re helping me and my family a lot. That’s amazing.
Are you proud of representing Al Arabi who have a rich tradition in Qatar football and produced many outstanding footballers in the past?
Of course, I’m proud to represent one of the biggest clubs in Qatar. I know that, in the past years, Al Arabi weren’t doing so well, but we’re changing this and, in the near future, will be much better. We’ve lots of talent and lots of positive mentality.
How do you rate Al Arabi’s performance in the QNB Stars League?
Honestly, I think we could’ve been in a better spot, but this (sixth place) isn’t that bad. In my opinion, we should be at least one position above and be closer to the third and fourth. We’ll try to finish as better as possible.
Al Arabi have a strong chance of finishing among the top four this season. Do you believe you’ll make it?
Yes, of course we can finish in the third or fourth position, but we also need luck when the opponents lose games and we win all three of them. We’ll see what the future holds for us, but we’re going to do our best as always.
What’re the strengths and weaknesses of the Al Arabi team?
Our strengths are for sure the way we want to play football. We want to be dominant and aggressive when we lose the ball. One of our weaknesses is defence and we also need to score more goals. We create a lot of chances, but we don’t get it right in the last steps.
How do you rate Al Arabi’s loss to Al Gharafa after two successive wins?
It was really disappointing. If you look at the stats, we weren’t bad. Football is such that you dominate and create 20 chances. But if you can’t score, then the opponents with one or two chances will score and the game is over.
How do you look forward to your game against Al Ahli in Week 20 of the QNB Stars League?
I look forward to it like all games. I’ll try to perform as better as possible and with the winning mentality to help the team. We’ve to give our best, as always.
You’ve played under many coaches. How is it under Heimir Hallgrimsson?
Yes, I’ve. I found Heimir as a real observer and tactically-sound coach. He likes to work hard while cracking jokes with players at the same time. That’s really good for the atmosphere in the team camp. Also, the rest of the staff are doing everything for us. I felt so good with all of them. I’m lucky as we’ve some staff who speak Spanish.
Al Arabi have a large fan base. Do you count on the fan factor? What’s your message to the club’s fans?
Yes. Having a strong fan base is very important for clubs and the players. We count on their support. To be honest, it’ll be amazing if they play a more proactive role.
How supportive are your new team-mates at Al Arabi?
The guys are amazing. There’re lots of young people around. That makes you feel older! But I’m happy working with them. I try to help them become better players because lots of them have talent.
Which team, in your opinion, will win the QNB Stars League this time?
In my opinion, Al Saad are the best team in the league. Al Duhail are close behind. They’re facing against each other and we’ll soon know who’ll be the champions.
How do you look forward to the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, the first to be held in the Arab world?
I would love to still play in Qatar then. For Qatar, it’ll be amazing to hold a World Cup. For sure, it’ll be amazing for all kids who love football to have star players coming here.
Did you have any role model in football?
When I was 12 or 13 years old, I had a special liking for Michael Laudrup. When I was growing up, I was lucky to see (Andres) Iniesta and Xavi (Hernandez) almost every day. They’re my role models.