Qatar’s national coach, Marquez Lopez, lauds his team’s victory in the Asian Cup final before expressing plans to return to local club Al Wakrah.
Qatar’s national coach, Marquez Lopez, praised his squad as they defeated Jordan in the Asian Cup final on Saturday night to become back-to-back winners of the tournament, but expressed that he planned to return to local team Al Wakrah.
The Spaniard was appointed to the Gulf state’s manager 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.
Before his appointment, Lopez was head coach of Al Wakrah, a Qatari local team based in the city of Al Wakrah.
The team regularly competes in the Qatar Stars League.
Lopez addressed his future on Saturday evening after Qatar successfully defended their Asian Cup crown after beating Jordan 3-1, where Akram Afif converted three penalties to become the tournament’s top scorer as the hosts won their continental second title.
“I have been working in Qatar, and I know the players well,” a visibly drained Lopez said in the postgame conference.
“It was easy to work with them, and they effectively implemented our ideas on the pitch. In some matches, we didn’t deliver our best, but in others, we were better and exceeded expectations,” he added.
On remaining with the national team, Lopez voiced: “What will happen is I’ll go back to Al Wakrah. I haven’t talked about the future. I’m not sure what will happen, but we will enjoy the moment for now.”
Having been in charge of the Qatar Stars League side since 2018, Lopez’s approach in the tournament has been applauded by his players, including captain Hassan Al-Haydos.
Speaking to Al-Kass TV after the semi-final match against Iran, Al-Haydos said, ” I am proud to be a part of this golden generation, even if it’s just a small part.”
“I have to be honest, we had gotten used to the Spanish school of coaching. The friendly tournament in Jordan was like a warning for us that things were not working out. After Marquez took over, everyone came together, and we have been enjoying a positive atmosphere. We got back our rhythm, our desire, and our fighting spirit,” Al-Haydos added.
Qatar Football Association has yet to express any official comments on the departure of Marquez.