On Monday, the Al Annabi national team kicked off a three-day training camp at Aspire Academy for the CONCACAF Gold Cup.
Qatar’s Tariq Salman is expecting Al Annabi to put behind its disappointing World Cup performance by flourishing at the upcoming CONCACAF Gold Cup in June.
Salman is one of the few players who survived the dumping of the Qatar World Cup members for the tournament, which has rargeted star players like Hassan Al Haydos, Akram Afif, goalkeeper Saad Al Sheeb, Boualem Khoukhi, and Karim Boudiaf.
“We are focused on our training for the Gold Cup. All the players are looking forward to proving themselves, particularly the new players,” Salman said before the team departs to Austria for the second phase of their training.
“We reached the semi-finals when we competed in the Gold Cup for the first time. We are returning to the tournament with high ambitions. It is an important tournament as it is a first challenge for us under a new coach before the World Cup Qualifiers and the Asian Cup,” the 25-year-old added.
In addition, Jassem Jaber voiced that the team is keen on being coached by Carlos Queiroz for the Gold Cup.
“We are trying to learn the coach’s ideas and will give our best to implement them on the field. We know the task is difficult in the presence of strong sides, but we are determined to do well at the Gold Cup,” the left-back said.
Goalkeeper Jassim al-Hail, who is replacing Saad Al Sheeb, voiced his preparation for his debut with the national team as something he looks forward to.
“Every one of us is aiming to do well and contribute for the team with the best effort. We are working hard in the training camp to enter the tournament well-prepared,” al-Hail said.
Similar to their Qatar World Cup training, the Maroons will play three friendly matches against a Croatian side made up of local players on 8 June before facing Jamaica on the 15 June.
On the 19th, Qatar will also confront New Zealand before hitting the international pitch in the United States for the Gold Cup.
The 2022 World Cup hosts were invited as a guest team and will face off against teams from North America, South America, and the Caribbean for the second time at the competition.
Strong contenders Mexico, Honduras, and one-time winners Haiti will go against Qatar’s 24-player squad, consisting of some familiars like Almoez Ali, Mohamed Muntari, and Bassam al-Rawi.