Al Duhail’s Luiz Martin Junior & Al Gharafa’s Vladimir Weiss in an Exclusive Interview with QSL Online ahead of their Round 6 encounter
Even though the ‘Qatar Clasico’ between Al Sadd and Al Rayyan on Friday hogs much limelight of the QNB Stars League Round 6 action, Saturday’s Al Duhail vs Al Gharafa encounter will draw the attention of fans for more reasons than one.
Both teams have quality players in their ranks. Al Duhail midfielder Luiz Martin Junior and Al Gharafa attacker Vladimir Weiss are two players capable of producing strong performances. They spoke ahead of the game in an exclusive interview with QSL Online.
Luiz Martin said, “Our games against Al Gharafa are always strong and exciting. They’re a good team with reputed players. This time, we’re going into the game on the back of a five-match winning streak. We start as favourites, but Al Gharafa can prove a big block. We’ll respect our opponents and stay focused.”
Asked which Al Gharafa player grabbed his attention, Luiz Martin said, “Of course, Vladimir Weiss. He’s a prominent player. He represented us for two years and contributed to many titles that we clinched. I rate him as one of the best professionals in the QNB Stars League. His goals and good level of performance were eye-catching. He’s also a key player for the Slovakian national side.”
The player stressed that Al Duhail respect all teams, but go into each game with only victory in mind. He had this to say when asked about coaches Djamel Belmadi (Al Duhail) and Jean Fernandez (Al Gharafa).
“I can only speak about my coach who always helps us from the technical area. He gives his best at all training sessions and we’re so happy with that. I can’t speak about Al Gharafa’s coach,” he said.
Luis Martin said he had a good start to the season and was constantly striving to improve his performance. He concluded by saying, “Al Duhail have the ability to retain the league title. Definitely, we’re capable of defending the league title. We’ve managed to maintain the momentum since the start of this season. Al Sadd, Al Rayyan and Umm Salal are also doing well this time. We’re also looking forward to the AFC Champions League.”
Meanwhile, Weiss reflected on the game against Al Duhail.
“We’re facing the best team in the league. They’ve won all five games whereas we’ll have to make a strong comeback after our defeat to Al Kharaitiyat in the previous round. We’ll play this match with all our might. If we can bring the best out of us, we’ll surely get a positive result. Al Duhail are one of the toughest teams and strong contenders for the league title. They’re playing consistently well too. I just wish we would be the first team to beat them,” he said.
The Slovak said he knew fully well of Al Duhail’s intentions, having donned their colours for two seasons.
“Al Duhail always target titles and play to win. However, I’m now fully focused on the goals of my current team Al Gharafa. I’ll try to do my best and help them win matches,” said Weiss.
He rated Youssef Msakny as the best player in Al Duhail ranks.
“Msakny is a very talented player. He’s having an amazing season, with his club and country. He scores crucial goals. Al Duhail have other quality players too,” said the forward.
He spoke about their defeat to Al Kharaitiyat in the previous round.
“I can honestly say that the result doesn’t reflect the match in general. It’s true that Al Kharaitiyat had superiority over us in patches, but we could manage to score the equaliser. We would rather forget it and concentrate on the Al Duhail match,” said Weiss.
He expressed his strong desire to help Al Gharafa win a title this season and finish among the top four in the QNB Stars League.
“We’ve confidence in our abilities, but winning the league title would be a very difficult task for us. We can realistically aim at a top-four finish,” Weiss signed off.