QNB Stars League 2018-19: Roller-coaster ride sees Al Rayyan finish fourth
After the end of 2018-19 season, all QNB Stars League clubs are looking at ways to avoid the drawbacks and rectify the mistakes ahead of the new season.
As part of coverage of the league championship that went by, the Qatar Stars League website analyses all 12 teams’ performance in the 2018-19 QNB Stars League, in the order of their final standings.
Al Rayyan finished fourth in the 2018-19 QNB Stars League with 37 points, behind Al Sadd (57), Al Duhail (50) and Al Sailiya (38).
The Lions won 10 matches, drew seven and lost five. They had a goal difference of three, having scored 34 goals and conceded 31.
They began the season by signing Argentinian coach Rodolfo Arraubarrena, replacing Denmark’s Michael Laudrup, before embarking on an overseas camp in Austria.
Al Rayyan fired Rodolfo following their 0-1 loss to Al Khor in Week 8 of the QNB Stars League and handed over the reins to Gilson de Souza.
The Brazilian was no stranger to the senior team of Al Rayyan, where he had been coaching the Under-23 side. De Souza was at the helm before the appointment of Turk Bulent Uygun, who had earlier managed Umm Salal and Al Gharafa in Qatar.
However, following the decision of the Board of Directors of Al Rayyan to relieve Bulent of the duties, De Souza was again assigned to lead the first team.
As far as foreign professional players were concerned, Al Rayyan started the season with Uruguayan Gonzalo Vieira, South Korean Koh Myong-Jin, Brazilian Lucca Borges and Argentinian Jonathan Menendez.
They replaced Jonathan with Venezuelan striker Gelmin Rivas from Saudi Arabia’s Al Hilal in the winter transfer period.
At the beginning of the season, the Al Rayyan team management was keen to strengthen the squad with Qatari players and thus came the recruitment of Khalfan Ibrahim, Dame Traore and Mohammed Badr Sayyar.
During the season, a number of players excelled with Al Rayyan. Among them were young goalkeeper Fahd Younis, who grabbed the opportunity with both hands, right-back Mohammed Alaa, captain Rodrigo Tabata, Rivas and Koh.
The team had a roller-coaster ride, which saw them drop many points and eventually end up in the fourth position.