Ferreira & Belmadi: Battle on the sidelines
The technical duel between Jesualdo Ferreira and Djamel Belmadi will once again catch the attention when Al Sadd take on Al Duhail in the Qatar Cup final on Friday, 27th April.
This is the fourth encounter where Ferreira and Belmadi are going head-to-head this season. While Al Sadd won the season-opening Sheikh Jassim Cup, they lost to Al Duhail in both phases of the QNB Stars League.
A depleted Al Sadd lost the first-phase league game by a 2-4 margin, but they came up with a much-improved show in the second phase and almost won the match after leading 3-2, but for the two last-minute goals scored by Al Duhail. That defeat effectively dashed The Wolves’ hopes of winning the coveted shield for a 14th time.
Both Ferreira and Belmadi are master tacticians who are result-oriented. They are arguably the best coaches around. Veteran Ferreira is more experienced, having been in the profession since 1981 and coached teams in Spain, Greece and Egypt besides his native Portugal.
His most successful period came when he guided Porto to three consecutive Portuguese league titles between 2006 and 2009.
The 71-year-old took over Al Sadd in November, 2015, and has brought them much success. He is like a father and philosopher to the players, and has succeeded in making many youngsters come through the ranks. Many players have acknowledged this fact.
There had been a remarkable improvement in their game technically under the Portuguese.
Belmadi is much younger than Ferreira, but the former has achieved a lot in Qatar football — at both club and country levels.
The Algerian is a shrewd tactician, who has consistently been producing excellent results.
Belmadi guided Al Duhail to the 2017-18 season QNB Stars League title with an unbeaten record, the only team to do so. They finished with 60 points from 19 victories and three draws.
He was at the helm when erstwhile Lekhwiya, who were relaunched as Al Duhail after the merger with El Jaish, won league titles in 2010-11, 2011-12 and 2016-17 seasons as well.
The 42-year-old has achieved a lot in Qatar football — at both club and country levels. Belmadi made it big at the regional level when he guided Qatar to the Gulf Cup triumph in 2014, beating Saudi Arabia in the final.
Belmadi had made his mark as a midfielder. He represented top teams such as Paris Saint-Germain, Olympique Marseille, Manchester City and Southampton besides donning the Algeria colours 20 times, scoring five goals.