Qatar World Cup

October 19, 2022

Countdown To 2022 FIFA World Cup: Team Profile – Qatar

By Efosa Taiwo

Qatar senior national team also known as the Al-Annabi will be making their first ever appearance at the FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

Al-Annabi automatically qualified for the competition by virtue of being the host nation.

They are drawn in Group A alongside Senegal, Ecuador and Netherlands with many pundits terming them the whipping boys of the group.

While they are the lowest-ranked team going into the tournament, and on account of that, might be an easy prey for other teams in the group, history has taught us that host nations, having the home advantage to count on, are no easy opponent to face and any team underrating them do that at their own peril.

Key Players to Watch

Saad Al Sheeb

Saad Al Sheeb
Position: Goalkeeper
Age: 32

Saad Al Sheeb is one of the best goalkeepers in Qatar football history.

One of the heroic moments of his career was conceding only one goal at the 2019 Asian Cup which got him awarded the honour of the Best Goalkeeper at the tournament.

The Al-Sadd SC goalstopper is expected to play a pivotal role as the Al-Annabi get set to make a statement at their first FIFA World Cup outing.

Akram Afif

Akram Afif
Position: Forward
Age: 25

Akram Afif is a versatile attacker who can play on both wings of the attack and also act as the point man.

The 25-year-old forward has had stints playing in Belgium and Spain but currently plies his trade for Al-Sadd.

His prolific goalscoring ability has seen him shortlisted as AFC best player three times, winning the coveted award in 2019.

Since then, he has been a key member of the Al Annabi team and indispensable even after his recent dip in form, featuring in all Qatar’s latest friendlies.

Almoez Ali

Almoez Ali
Position: Striker
Age: 25

Qatar will have their hopes on Almoez Ali to lead them to glory at the FIFA World Cup with his proven track record of being a consistent goal poacher for the Al-Annabi.

The Al-Duhali SC striker was the top scorer in both the 2021 Gold Cup and the 2019 Asian Cup, registering nine goals and four goals respectively.

He js also currently Qatar’s third highest all-time goal scorer, having registered 39 goals to date – close on the heels of all-time top scorer Mansour Muftah, who has 44 goals to his name.

Teams facing Qatar would have to be wary of the lanky forward as his deft movement and quick intelligence inside the box are his biggest weapons to break down defences.

Felix Sanchez

Coach

Felix Sanchez

The Spaniard took over the as the head coach of the senior national team of Qatar in 2017, having had stints with the cadet national teams in the past.

Sanchez’s coaching career with Qatar national teams has seen him scooped two titles; first coming in the 2014 AFC U-19 Championship and then with the first team in the 2019 AFC Asian Cup.

He is a graduate of the famous Aspire Academy, a renowned sporting institution in Qatar.

World Cup fixtures

Nov 20: Qatar vs Ecuador

Nov 25: Qatar vs Senegal

Nov 29: Netherlands vs Qatar