Al Rayyan defender Ahmed Yasser in an Exclusive Interview with QSL Online
Ahmed Yasser is a defender with proven credentials. He moved to Al Rayyan, the third-placed team in this season’s QNB Stars League, from Spanish club Cultural Leonesa, along with Abdulrahman Al Harazi and Hossam Kamal as their winter signings.
The presence of Ahmed, on loan from Al Duhail, has no doubt strengthened The Lions’ defence. He is the youngest and more famous among the Yasser brothers, the others being former Qatar internationals Hussein and Mohammed.
In an exclusive interview ahead of Al Rayyan’s Qatar Cup semifinal against Al Sadd, Qatar international Ahmed spoke to QSL Online about a wide variety of topics.
How has your time been in this season’s QNB Stars League?
It has only been a half season for me since I joined Al Rayyan from Cultural Leonesa in the January transfer period for six months. I came back from a knee injury, so played only two matches.
How do you look forward to Al Rayyan’s Qatar Cup semifinal against Al Sadd?
It’s a special feeling when you represent Al Rayyan against Al Sadd. It has all ingredients of a derby. It’s an important game and, for sure, it’s going to be tough. We all are eagerly looking forward to it.
How do you see the semifinal from the competition point of view?
Al Sadd are a strong side and are in good shape at the moment. Obviously, we want to give our everything especially since it’s a knockout game. We want to reach the final by beating them.
Do you think Al Rayyan can win the match?
We’ve already played Al Sadd twice this season, in the Qatar Clasico, and honours were shared. We won in the first phase and even while losing the second game, we had many chances. So I believe we’ve a good chance of beating them.
How do you analyse Al Rayyan’s 2017-18 QNB Stars League campaign?
I can’t say much about the first phase, which was better for Al Rayyan compared to the second half, because I joined them only in the second and played a part role. Al Duhail were formidable and didn’t lose a single game and Al Sadd overtook us as the league progressed. We still have two more competitions.
How was your experience at Cultural Leonesa?
It was an amazing experience. Spain’s second division is really tough, in all aspects of the game such as training, competition… It gave me a good feeling, a different life, but it’s one of the hardest places to play football.
What all aspects make the Spanish second division different?
I would say playing in the Spanish second division is more difficult than that in the La Liga itself. While La Liga has only five or maximum six strong teams, the battles in the second division are keenly fought. Teams try to kill each other to earn promotion, so La Liga sides don’t want to get relegated.
How is it playing under Michael Laudrup at Al Rayyan?
He’s one of the best coaches. I’ve played under him at (erstwhile) Lekhwiya. And he’s one of the reasons I came to Al Rayyan. He’s a legend, an amazing person and a gentleman.
Al Rayyan had bad luck in this year’s AFC Champions League…
Yes. We were expecting to put it across Al Ain and qualify for the Round of 16 in the last group match on Monday. And we never expected to lose by a big margin. Luck wasn’t on our side. But that’s football. You need to keep going. We’ll do our best in the cup tournaments.
What’s your message to Al Rayyan’s passionate fans?
Without fans, there’s no football. I wish our fans, as always, throng the venue for this important game. They’re a source of strength for us.