Moroccan midfielder Nabil El Zhar has been captaining QNB Stars League side Al Ahli admirably well in the 2019-20 season.
El Zhar, who joined The Brigadiers at the start of this season, speaks to qsl.qa in an Exclusive Interview.
How do you utilise the current stoppage period due to the preventive measures against the spread of Coronavirus?
I’m making the best use of my time by staying positive and safe. This is the time we must reflect a positive energy. These’re tough times and I’m trying to remain as motivated as I can, and follow the club’s remote training programme. At the same time, I’m able to spend much time with my family.
How special are your distance training sessions?
We’re focusing mainly on individual training sessions at our homes. It’s more important to be responsible now and stay safe. We’ll have plenty of time to return to full-fledged action once all this dies down.
Which aspect are you focusing more on now? Fitness or technique?
Personally, I’m against training in groups given the peculiar situation. My club is also following that policy. So our focus is mainly on fitness. As far as technique is concerned, you never lose it. We’ve distance training sessions, revised on a daily basis.
Have you been doing any stay-at-home games to keep yourself mentally and physically fit?
I don’t play any stay-at-home electronic games. I only play casually with my three kids. They love it and that gives me mental satisfaction.
Don’t you think the long break is affecting the players’ competitive edge and skills?
Of course, it’s affecting and it’s never the same. It’s tough to keep the same level without routine training schedule and workouts. Football isn’t about individual training. Yet, we try to maintain the level as high as possible.
How do you rate Al Ahli’s performance so far this season?
We could’ve done better. We’ve the resources and quality. We’re improving. We lost some games due to lack of focus.
Al Ahli are currently eighth in the QNB Stars League table with 19 points. You won five matches, but lost eight times…
Yes. There’s no balance between our performance and results. We lost some matches from winning positions. When we play with 11 other teams in the league, every point counts.
How well have you instilled your vast experience in Al Ahli, having played in many European leagues, such as England, Spain and Greece?
I feel I’ve adapted well in Al Ahli in my first season. I give off my best on the field and tries to motivate team-mates to the best of my ability. I could score some goals in the QNB Stars League and Ooredoo Cup so far. We’ve still five games to go in the league.