Wednesday, 24 July 2019 03:38 GMT
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Qatar- Ready to take on Paraguay: Boudiaf




(MENAFN - The Peninsula) The Peninsula


Qatari midfielder Karim Boudiaf says his young team-mates are ‘ready' for their Copa America debut today when they take on Paraguay in a Group B clash.-

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'The team is ready as far as our preparations go or as far as fitness is concerned, Boudiaf said in an interview yesterday.-

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'We are glad that (defender) Bassam (Al Rawi) is also back in training and hopefully we will deliver a strong performance, he added.-

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Qatar,with feared strikers like Almoez Ali and Akram Afif in their ranks, are Asian Cup champions while Paraguay are two-time winners of the hugely popular tournament.-

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Boudiaf refused to be drawn that all South American teams remained tough opponents against their Asian rivals like Qatar or Japan.-

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'This is an open tournament. All sides are tough. There are no weak sides. The key is to play with confidence and according to the plans set by the coach, Boudiaf said.-

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'Yes, there is no doubt that our first match will be difficult but we will deal with the situation carefully. We hope to keep our concentration from the first minute and continue in that fashion, he said.-

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'We know that the world is watching us but let me tell you a very important point - there are no easy games these days. You have to arrive prepared and for all possibilities. The pressure is there, on and off the field, Boudiaf said.-

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'We have the will to give our best. We are the Asian Cup champions. Winning that title has given us all the confidence we need. It is an honour to be Asian champions and we intend to do our country proud, he said.-

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Boudiaf said featuring at Copa America would help the side prepare a strong side for the 2022 World Cup.-

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'No doubt, the tournament is the best preparation for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. We have played a friendly against Brazil. We are playing against sides that have a different school of thought as far as their style of play concerned. That's the long-term plan, Boudiaf said.-

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'Playing against Brazil was very good for our experience. Such matches take away the fear you may have of top sides. We were able to push them and play to our strengths, Boudiaf said of the 2-0 loss last week.-

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'Overall we were very organized and for some minor mistakes, we did well. Hopefully we won't make those mistakes.-

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'There is no doubt that the players have shown great commitment in the training camps we have had recently. The players have a great understanding and the backroom staff is also very professional in their approach.-

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There is great harmony among the side, Boudiaf said in an interview to a local Arabic daily.-

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'My relationship with all the players is more than wonderful. My team-mates Abdul Aziz Hatem, Ahmed Fathi, Ahmed Moin, Assem Madibo and Abdullah Abdul Salam, we all have great understanding, he said.-

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Boudiaf said the team's arrival in Brazil two weeks before the event ‘helped the squad immensely'.-

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'I think the camp in Brazil was very important for us. It helped us get into the right mood and we have kept ourselves busy the right way, Boudiaf said.-

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Qatar- Ready to take on Paraguay: Boudiaf

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