Al Rayyan striker Sebastian Soria in an Exclusive Interview with QSL Online
Sebastian Soria is a goal machine in Qatar football for long 13 seasons, be it for the clubs he has represented or the national team. The mere stats speak volumes for his scoring abilities and underline his status as an out-and-out striker.
The talismanic player of Al Rayyan has been among goals aplenty ever since he joined Al Gharafa in the 2004-05 season. He has also played for Qatar SC and erstwhile Lekhwiya, and won many titles, including the 2006 Doha Asian Games gold medal.
Soria has scored a whopping 38 goals from 119 matches for the Qatar national team as well.
This season, he has scored nine goals, in the process playing a key role in Al Rayyan’s creditable run that has seen them in the third position in QNB Stars League standings.
In an Exclusive Interview with QSL Online ahead of Al Rayyan’s Qatar Clasico against Al Sadd in Week 16 of the QNB Stars League on 8th February, Soria gives his takes on various topics. The excerpts.
How has your long journey in Qatar football been?
Looking back, I’m so happy to have been playing at the top level in Qatar, for clubs and the national team, for long 13 seasons. I’ve enjoyed many privileges and got much respect, and I’m indebted to all those who have supported me all along. Yet, I believe I’ve a lot of football left in me.
How do you rate Al Rayyan’s performance in the 2017-18 QNB Stars League season?
We’ve had an outstanding season so far even though there’s still a long way to the finish. We’re only four points behind the leaders (Al Duhail). While we won some important matches, we lost points in some games which we could’ve won.
We drew with Umm Salal and lost to Al Ahli in the last two rounds of first phase. Those points would’ve helped us further.
Al Rayyan did well to hold Al Duhail 3-3 in Week 14…
Yes. We could put up a better performance than we did against Al Duhail in the first-phase match, which we lost 3-5. In fact, we could’ve won the game had we been a bit more lucky in converting chances.
Where do you see Al Rayyan at the end of this season’s QNB Stars League?
I firmly believe that we can win the league as there’re many points to be won. I agree the games from now on will be tough with the AFC Champions League engagements too coming up, but we’ve the chance to emerge as victorious.
I wish we continue in the same way as we did in the first phase, but for the games against Umm Salal and Al Ahli. Yes, the league title is still in our hands.
What’s your personal target?
I would like to score as many goals as I can right till the end of the season and thus contribute to the team’s cause.
What’s your approach to the Qatar Clasico?
Well, it’s more important for us for the mere fact that we can’t afford to drop points. We had won in the first phase and we’ve the players to put it across Al Sadd this time too. We need to give off our best. A good performance by the referees will add to its value.
What makes Qatar Clasico so special in your view?
For me, it’s the competitive as well as festive spirit. I always like to play against strong opposition. Then, it’s a delight to watch thousands of fans come to the venue to cheer the teams on. The build-up to the event also generates excitement.
Al Rayyan have perhaps the best fan base in Qatar…
Yes. Our fans are a strong source of support for the players. They always spur us on to greater performances, the latest instance being our game against Al Duhail a couple of weeks ago.
What’s your view of playing under Michael Laudrup?
I’ve played under Laudrup in erstwhile Lekhwiya, so I knew his style of coaching. He was a great player. but the most important thing in football is results. And we’re getting them under him.
The most peculiar aspect of his coaching is that he wants us to keep the ball as much as we can.