As he prepares for Friday’s Workers Cup showpiece, the captain
of one of the finalists is hoping to cap a memorable fortnight by lifting the
trophy – and says doing so would rank alongside the moment he got to meet the
man at the very top of the world game.
Mohammed Jamal, star striker at Taleb Group, will lead his team out against Gulf Construction Company at Al Ahli Stadium on Friday 6 May with his eyes fixed firmly on the prize – and he will do so with FIFA President Gianni Infantino’s words ringing in his ears.
President Infantino was present at the semi-final stage of the
annual tournament, which is sponsored by the Supreme Committee for Delivery
& Legacy (SC), and met with many of the players, including Jamal.
The FIFA President, who was on a two-day official visit to Qatar, made his way to the pitch to talk to both the sides after the first semi-final.
“He told my team after our semi-final win that trying to do one’s best on the pitch is the ultimate goal,” Jamal told www.sc.qa.
“He said hard work has taken him to where he is today and that we will also be able to realise our goals if we work hard.”
He continued: “Winning the final is of utmost importance. Meeting the FIFA President was unreal no doubt, but our mission will be incomplete if we fail at the final hurdle.”
Jamal’s side are undefeated en route to the final of the 2016 Workers Cup, and his coach Mohammed Saad, echoed his captain’s sentiments: “My team will go all out to win the final,” he insisted.
“It has been a memorable journey so far, especially meeting the FIFA President. But we cannot afford to falter at the last hurdle. The team has trained hard and we have been very committed and disciplined.”
He continued: “Hopefully, we can win the final to crown a memorable couple of months. I thank the organisers of the tournament – it has been a wonderful platform for workers to express themselves and has given them a lot of confidence and self-esteem.”
The Taleb group management representative, Awad Nagmeldin, is
also thrilled with his company’s progress in this year’s tournament.
He said that the organisation was proud of the players – who have recorded four wins and two draws – and that financial incentives will be awarded.
“We are proud of them even if they were to finish runners up and will make sure they are rewarded,” Nagmeldin said.
But for their captain, success on the field will be the only thing that matters come Friday night.
“By winning the final we will be engraving our name into the football culture of Qatar,” said Jamal, who is an office assistant in his day job. “This will give us an even stronger connection with the biggest sporting event in the world.”
And regardless of the outcome on Friday, Jamal is already looking forward to next year’s edition of the tournament. “I want to meet the FIFA President again during next year’s Workers Cup,” he said with a smile.
The final of the 2016 Workers Cup takes place on Friday 6 May at 18:45 at Al Ahli Stadium in Doha.