We’re strong, we can win QNB Stars League: Bounedjah
Baghdad Bounedjah is in the form of his life. The 2018-19 QNB Stars League season is only two rounds old. Yet, at the moment, the competition is mainly talked about because of the Algerian striker’s exploits.
Bounedjah started off with a bang by netting a hat-trick in Al Sadd’s 6-0 win over Al Kharaitiyat in Week 1. He started from where he left as he hammered seven goals past Al Arabi in the Qatar Derby last Sunday.
The wily player is the QNB Stars League’s top scorer and has already 10 goals to his credit. Bounedjah was the second-best scorer in the 2016-17 season and fourth-best goal-getter in 2017-18.
When QSL Online caught up with him in an exclusive interview soon after his magical spell against Al Arabi that enabled them to a 10-1 victory, Bounedjah was his usual self. As if nothing great had happened and it was only his duty to score goals dime a dozen. Excerpts:
What’s your feeling about the season so far?
It has been a great season. So far so good. We had a good camp, so our preparations went off smoothly. As they say, well begun is half done.
Do you expect to be the QNB Stars League’s top scorer, finally?
I had come close to becoming the top scorer in the season before last, losing out to Al Duhail’s Yousef El Arabi by just one goal. Last season, I missed some matches due to an injury and wasn’t in the race.
My priority is to help the team become champions by scoring as many goals as possible. Personal goals are secondary.
Have you recovered fully from the injury? How do you feel now?
I’m fully fit now. It took some time for me to recover from it as I missed the first three league matches due to the injury I sustained during our Sheikh Jassim Cup victory over Al Duhail. Thank God, I’m now as strong as ever.
How great are Al Sadd’s chances of winning the QNB Stars League?
Our squad is strong and we’re improving fast. We can win the league title if we give our 100 per cent on the field.
How different is the Al Sadd squad this season?
We had Spanish star Gabi and South Korean Jung Woo-Young joining us. They definitely add power to an already-impressive line-up that also includes Qatari stars such as Hassan Al Haydous, Akram Afif and Ali Asad.
How do you rate the support you get from team-mates?
I’ve always had it abundantly and I’m thankful for that. In a way, my performance for Al Sadd is also helping me cement my spot in the Algerian team as competition to get into our national squad is fierce. I’ve to be on top of my game if I’ve to represent my country.