Earlier last month, Qatar sacked their men’s national team head coach, Carlos Queiroz, less than a year into his tenure ahead of the 2023 AFC Asian Cup.
Marques Lopez named his first Qatar national team squad for the country’s upcoming international friendlies after becoming the national team coach earlier this month.
The Spaniard is preparing for his first international friendly that is set to prepare Qatar for its 2023 AFC Asian Cup campaign, which is set to kick off on January 12 against Lebanon.
Before the defending champions compete in the region’s biggest football tournament, Qatar will take on Cambodia on December 31 and Jordan on January 5.
A few changes have been made to the squad as players Karim Boudiaf and Assim Madibo will be absent from the friendly.
Al Rayyan youngsters Ahmed Al Rawi and Tameem Mansour, featured in the previous roster, are also absent, as is Al Arabi goalkeeper Jassim Al Hail.
Fan favorites Almoez Ali, Akram Afif, Yusuf Abdurisag, Khalid Muneer, Bassam Al Rawi, and Hassan Al Haydos are present in the Lopez roster.
Lopez was appointed head coach after Qatar sacked their men’s national team head coach, Carlos Queiroz, less than a year into his tenure and a month ahead of the 2023 AFC Asian Cup.
The Qatar Football Association made the announcement earlier this month, stating they parted ways “amicably by mutual agreement” with the Portuguese coach.
“The QFA expresses its sincere gratitude to coach Queiroz for his unwavering dedication, leadership, and contributions during his tenure as the head coach of the national team. We wish him success in his future endeavours,” the QFA statement said.
In his short campaign as coach, Queiroz managed 11 matches, winning four, drawing three, and losing four with the Qatari team.
In July of this year, after suffering a 4-0 loss against Panama in the quarter-finals at the Gold Cup, the Qatar national team dropped to 58th in FIFA ranking.
Despite high expectations ahead of the tournament, Qatar’s team only managed one goal in the match.
Qatar hired the now-departed Queiroz in February to replace Spaniard Felix Sanchez, who led the national team to their first Asian Cup triumph in 2019.
Despite holding his position since 2017, Sanchez would bow out as coach after an early exit from the FIFA World Cup 2022 – its first appearance at the tournament as host nation.
Qatar lost all three matches, playing against Ecuador, Senegal, and Netherlands. The team became the first host nation to become the first team to exit the tournament.
Queiroz previously led the Iran National Team to three consecutive World Cups.
Despite performing adequately, Queiroz resigned after Iran’s exit at the World Cup, leaving him as the longest-serving manager in the history of the Iran national team.
Also serving roles as Real Madrid and Manchester United assistant coach, Queiroz was expected to be positioned as Qatar coach until the 2026 World Cup.