Technical clash between Belmadi & Bulent
The technical confrontation between coaches Djamel Belmadi (Al Duhail) and Bulent Uygun (Al Gharafa) will also hog the limelight when they clash in the Qatar Cup semifinal on Sunday, 22nd April.
Both Belmadi and Bulent are young by coaches’ age standards, and have underlined their potential by helping their teams to outstanding performances.
Belmadi has achieved a lot in Qatar football, at both club and country levels. He is a shrewd tactician, who has consistently been producing excellent results.
The Algerian 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.
Belmadi 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.
And Belmadi was named as the QNB Stars League’s best coach for the months of February, March and April, 2018.
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.
Bulent took over the reins of Al Gharafa before the start of second phase of the 2017-18 season QNB Stars League, replacing Frenchman Jean Fernandez.
He had a good time with Umm Salal during his stint with The Orange Fortress from 2013 to 2016.
The 46-year-old assumed charge of The Cheetahs when they were placed seventh in the standings halfway through the league campaign and after they lifted the QSL Cup for a second time. All of a sudden, they made a remarkable turnaround and finished a creditable fourth in the standings.
It goes without saying that Bulent succeeded in moulding the Al Gharafa players into a fighting unit.
They have another thing in common. They both were great players.
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.
Bulent too had made it big at the club and country levels as an attacking midfielder. He had captained Fenerbahce, where he spent most of his club career, apart from playing for the Turkey national team 18 times and scoring seven goals.
They both had prior experience coaching in Qatar. Belmadi had a long stint with Lekhwiya, while Bulent was in charge of Umm Salal.