The team boasts familiar faces from the 2019 squad, with key players like Hassan Al Haydos, Boualem Khoukhi, Almoez Ali, Bassam Al Rawi, and Akram Afif playing.
Newly-appointed Qatar head coach Marquez Lopez unveiled his 26-man squad ahead of the upcoming AFC Asian Cup, set to kick off on January 12.
The defending champions face a setback as players Osama Al Tairi and Mohamed Muntari will miss the tournament due to injuries sustained in the ongoing training camp at the Aspire Academy.
Stepping into their boots are Al Duhail duo Khaled Mohamed and Ismail Mohamed, adding a new dimension to Qatar’s line-up.
Goalkeeper Saoud Al Khater, who previously played under Lopez at Al Wakrah, has been left out of the squad.
Qatar, drawn in Group A alongside China, Tajikistan, and Lebanon, will begin their title defence against Lebanon on January 12 at the Golden Lusail Stadium.
Their competition continues with clashes against Tajikistan at Al Bayt Stadium on January 17 and a final group stage match against China on January 22 at the Khalifa International Stadium.
In this tournament, Qatar faces a significant challenge in proving its capability to vie for the title, shouldering the extra burden of meeting the high expectations as hosts.
The team boasts familiar faces from the 2019 squad, with key players such as captain Hassan Al Haydos, Boualem Khoukhi, Almoez Ali, Bassam Al Rawi, and Akram Afif forming the backbone of the team.
Almoez Ali, the Most Valuable Player in 2019, and Afif, who recorded a tournament record 10 assists four years ago, bring experience and skill to the forefront.
Expressing his satisfaction with the team’s readiness, Lopez said: “I am happy with the determination players are showing during the training sessions. I am very happy with the way the preparations are going at this moment.
“I have great confidence in everyone, and although time is limited before the tournament, we will work with all our strength and try to have the best preparation”.
Qatar team for the AFC
The Qatar squad for the upcoming AFC Asian Cup includes three goalkeepers: Saad Al Sheeb, Meshal Barsham from Al Sadd, and Salah Zakaria from Al Duhail.
Defenders selected for the team are Ali Al Mahdi, Lucas Mendes from Al Wakrah, Boualem Khokhi, Pedro Miguel, and Tarek Salman from Al Sadd, Sultan Al Beraik from Al Duhail, Homam Al Amin from Al Gharafa, and Bassam Al Rawi from Al Rayyan.
In the midfield, the Qatar squad will be represented by Ahmed Fathi, Jassim Gaber from Al Arabi, Abdelaziz Hatem from Al Rayyan, Hassan Al Haydos, Ali Asad, Mohammed Waad, and Mustafa Meshal from Al Sadd, along with Khaled Mohammed from Al Duhail.
The forward line features Ahmed Al Janhi, Ahmed Alaa from Al Gharafa, Akram Afif, Yousif Abdurazaq from Al Sadd, Almoez Ali, Ismail Mohammed from Al Duhail, and Khalid Muneer from Al Wakrah.