Doha, Qatar: Holders Al Duhail SC will start as underdogs in the Amir Cup final at Al Wakrah Stadium on Thursday, but it did not stop their captain Luiz Martin from lavishing praise on his opposition skipper Xavi Hernandez, whom he said was his idol.
Xavi would be weaving his midfield magic one last time before he hangs up his boots to try his luck in coaching and Martin said playing against the former Barcelona captain, who is a role model in every sense, is huge for him.
“It’s a big pleasure playing against Xavi. For me, he is the best midfielder ever and he is my idol,” said Martin opting not to hold back his admiration.
“He gives a lot for the club and an inspiration for young players. He is a phenomenal player and also a phenomenal person,” said the Duhail captain.
Duhail coach Rui Faria said Xavi was a complete midfield player
“When he was in Barcelona and I was with Real, we had featured against each other. No doubt, a very complete midfielder. Qatar will miss him,” said Faria who was an assistant to Jose Mourinho at a number of top clubs in Europe including Real Madrid.
Sadd player Gabi, said his midfield partner Xavi was a role model for young players.
“He is an example to follow for all players around the world. And hope we can win for him. He is committed and dedicated always on time. Always smiling. We are going to miss him a lot.”