Al Kharaitiyat winger Valentin Lazar in an Exclusive Interview with QSL Online
Valentin Lazar is one of the key players of Al Kharaitiyat (on loan from Al Sailiya) who are staring at relegation in the 2018-19 QNB Stars League, which has taken a break.
The 29-year-old Romanian left winger is aware that the task that Al Kharaitiyat have on hand is not easy. They are up against Al Ahli in the first kick-off in Week 16 when the QNB Stars League resumes on 3rd February after the Asian Cup in the UAE.
Al Kharaitiyat are lying last in the table with just three points. In an Exclusive Interview with QSL Online, Valentin sheds light on a variety of topics. Excerpts:
First of all, how do you find playing in Qatar?
I came to Qatar after getting a very positive feedback about Qatar football from my ex-Romania national team-mate Dragos Grigore, who was playing for Al Sailiya. That’s how I joined them in January, 2017. I had also consulted my family before taking the decision. I enjoy playing here.
How do you assess the QNB Stars League?
The level is high in the QNB Stars League. Many teams have attacking players with speed and good technique. And many are highly-experienced players as well. I try to play as best as possible in every game.
What’re your takes on Al Kharaitiyat’s dismal performance this season?
I can’t pinpoint any reason. Things didn’t go well for us right from the beginning. A string of negative results didn’t help the cause either.
What’s Al Kharaitiyat’s target?
I hope we’ll stay in the QNB Stars League this season and play well in the Emir Cup. Personally, I want to finish the season well and help my team as best as I can.
Al Kharaitiyat just about managed to escape relegation last season. Don’t you think there should’ve been an overhaul in the team this season?
In most cases, it is also the fault of the players. I don’t think there’s time to change now. The last two QSL Cup games (Al Kharaitiyat beat Umm Salal 2-0 in Round 5 and then defeated Al Rayyan 3-2 in the quarterfinal) give me hope that we can save the season.
Do you have a realistic chance of avoiding relegation this season?
I think we’ve a realistic chance of getting ahead of Al Khor. The difference between us is six points and we’ve a direct face-off in Week 20.
First, it was Nassif Al Bayawi. Then Abdelaziz El Amri and now another coach… Has the change of coaches affected the team’s performance?
Of course, it has adversely affected our performance because each coach has his own style of functioning and players have to adapt to it very quickly.
Do you think the selection of players failed the team?
At Al Kharaitiyat, 80 per cent of the players are from the previous season. I don’t think player selection is the root cause of bad results.
Who’re the players and teams who impressed you the most in Qatar?
There’re young players like Almoez Ali and Akram Afif, who can play in Europe at big clubs. Then, there’re experienced players such as Xavi (Hernandez), Gabi (Fernandez), Wesley Sneijder, Samuel Eto’o…
As far as teams are concerned, Al Sadd and Al Duhail have impressed me the most.
How do you look forward to your QSL Cup semifinal against Al Gharafa?
I think we can win this match on Saturday if we display the same spirit with which we played our last two matches in the QSL Cup. We were good tactically too.
How was your experience with the Romanian national team?
It was such a short stint. I played only two matches for the Romanian national team.