For Qatar, the World Cup is just a stop (

Rafael Capote (again) and Qatar lose to Sweden in the quarter-finals of the final World Cup in 2021.

Photo: Imago/Slavko Midzor

The Qatari head of state instantly appeared. Accompanied by bodyguards and surrounded by his entourage, Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani walked via the press space of ​​the Lusail multipurpose corridor and disappeared for a jiffy into the Qatari host’s cabin. There the Emir gave a quick speech, later recounted by witnesses of this memorable efficiency. Al Thani mentioned that he is very happy with them and that they are going to be suitably rewarded for his or her achievements.

This was preceded by a sensational victory for the Qatari handball workforce in the quarter-finals of the 2015 World Cup in Doha. With a 26:24 aim, Valero Rivera’s workforce defeated three-time world champions Germany – and in the subsequent semi-final in addition they beat Poland, who have been stronger at the time. Only the French stopped the hosts’ run in the closing, which was marred by unhealthy rumours, given the definitely good refereeing efficiency.

There was additionally debate at the time as to how sustainable the large state funding in the World Cup can be. The match is mentioned to have value the Emirates round US$200 million – in comparison with the billions spent by Qatar on the 2022 World Cup, which seems like a weary down cost. But the sheikhs made the match the costliest Handball World Cup ever. The handball venture was positively value it from the perspective of sports activities coverage. Because a 12 months later the workforce additionally purchased tickets for the Olympic match to be held in Rio de Janeiro in 2016 and reached the quarterfinals there. A coveted success that appeared utopian in 2013, when Emirates signed Spanish star coach Rivera.

Rivera, who grew to become world champion with Spain in January 2013, has since achieved his process of constructing a formidable workforce. At that point he was efficiently trying to find captains who have been prepared to play for the Emirates. A key participant was Rafael Capote, a Cuban native who fled the 2007 Pan American Games in Rio and made his strategy to Spain by way of Italy.

Capote, a bodily exceedingly robust left winger, was developed tactically by Rivera each in protection and assault. The right-handed batsman not solely harm the Germans in the quarter-finals of the 2015 World Cup. Even in the spherical of 16 of the 2017 World Cup in France, when the DHB choice, as European champions, was one in every of the favorites and performed in good kind, that 21:20 victory over the outsider One of the finest professionals. ,

Capote is now 35 years previous and nonetheless performs for Al-Duhail SC. “It was a affirmation that with work and dedication it is doable to realize the highest,” he mentioned. The different Qatari Cuban in the left backcourt, Francis Carroll, who now performs in Kuwait and shone as the prime scorer at the 2021 World Cup, is additionally 35. Katowice. Carroll was absent from the final coaching session and likewise from the final Test towards Montenegro. Capote was unfortunate with the ball in the final sport and left the area injured. Even with out these skilled backcourt gamers, the DHB choice is not going to underestimate this opponent.

The workforce underlined how effectively the Asian champions labored collectively in a 30-30 draw towards fourth-ranked Egypt in the Olympics in December. And Coach Rivera did not even have one other assist like pivot Yousuf Ben Ali to fall again on. The native Tunisian, who gained the Champions League with FC Barcelona final 12 months, now performs for French first division membership Pays d’Auxerre. He is additionally 35 years previous, however, like Capote and Carroll, nonetheless desires to complete the Olympic cycle. He hopes for the subsequent Olympic alternative in 2024 in Paris.

By then Rivera had additionally signed the Spanish star coach. Now the 70-year-old doesn’t conceal his pleasure that Qatar-born gamers are actually a part of the World Cup squad, aside from different pure execs corresponding to Syrian playmaker Kamaleddin Mallash. “We are actually a function mannequin for different groups in Asia,” says Rivera. The 2023 World Cup in Poland and Sweden is just a stepping stone for that. Apart from the princely wage he receives, Rivera’s largest motivation is to make up for his heaviest defeat with Qatar: lacking out on an Olympic ticket to Tokyo 2021. For Bahrain at the moment, which is recognized for glorious youth work.

Financially, the determination to play for the Emirates was worthwhile even for professionals corresponding to Capote. Because Amir had spoken after the 2015 World Cup. After the match, he granted full Qatari citizenship to gamers who had raised the desert state’s status in the eyes of the head of state. It is not just a bureaucratic act in the Emirates there are monumental privileges connected to it. Because at the moment each citizen acquired about 200,000 {dollars} a 12 months. Tax-free, after all.


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