The heavyweight encounter between Al Duhail and Al Sadd in Week 20 of the QNB Stars League on Saturday, 30th March, will also be noted for the Portuguese flavour on the technical front.
Al Sadd coach Jesualdo Ferreira and his Al Duhail counterpart Rui Faria both hail from Portugal. It is also going to be the first direct technical confrontation between the two.
Leaders Al Sadd will lift the coveted league shield for a record-extending 14th time with an unassailable lead if they beat Al Duhail.
Reigning champions Al Duhail (46 points) are presently trailing Al Sadd by four points.
Even though Al Sadd have made many achievements with Ferreira at the helm, they are targeting their first league victory under him.
On the other hand, Faria, who replaced Tunisian Nabil Maaloul in the winter break this season, will look for his first silverware in Qatar and Al Duhail’s hat-trick of league triumphs.
Ferreira, who took over Al Sadd in November, 2015, came closer to winning the QNB Stars League last season, but lost out to a marauding Al Duhail.
The 72-year-old has had more than 30 years’ experience in the game, and has managed a host of top European sides including the likes of Malaga in Spain and Panathinaikos in Greece.
He has also coached Portuguese giants Sporting, Braga and Benfica. His most successful period came in his native country, where he led Porto to three consecutive league titles between 2006 and 2009.
On the contrary, Faria is much younger. But the 43-year-old has good credentials as assistant to eminent coach and his compatriot Jose Mourinho at Europe’s biggest clubs such as Chelsea and Manchester United in England, Real Madrid in Spain and Inter Milan in Italy.
Al Duhail are expecting much from him as they look to keep dominating the domestic scene and also AFC Champions League.