Al Sadd & El Jaish’s captains will certainly be no strangers when they face-off on Saturday evening with Qatar Cup glory on the line.
Both Xavi of Al Sadd and Seydou Keita of El Jaish enjoyed four seasons together at Barcelona during one of the most successful periods of the club's history. Now starring for their new sides, they will be targeting their first piece of silverware in Qatar.
Xavi joined Al Sadd to much fan-fare in the summer of 2015. Since then the European Champion & World Cup winner has been putting on impressive performances in the center of midfield after being immediately handed the captain’s armband. The 37-year-old has been leading by example in this relatively young Al Sadd side.
This season in particular the former Spanish international has flourished in his role as the Wolves' playmaker, registering the most assists in the Qatar Stars League for his side. His tally of 10 goals this season is his highest ever league total in his 14-year career. In January, Xavi signed a one-year contact extension which will see him stay put until the end of the 2017-2018 season.
During his time in Qatar, the midfield maestro has aided Al Sadd to third and second place finishes in the QSL, whilst missing out in the semi-finals of both the Qatar Cup and Emir Cup competitions. Now in the final of the Qatar Cup, Xavi will be hoping to add to impressive haul of 31 winner’s medals during his club and international career.
Keita, on the other hand, was recruited by El Jaish in the summer of 2017 as a last minute replacement for long term injury Abdulrazak Hamdullah. At his first press conference, Jaish boss Sabri Lamouchi admitted that he has been looking to sign the former Malian international for the last few seasons.
The midfielder’s appearances has been reduced due to injuries and suspension, however a return of six goals in sixteen outings represents an impressive haul from the 37-year-old.
The Malian opened the scoring as El Jaish got the better of their local rivals Lekhwiya with a 3-2 win to progress to this year’s Qatar Cup final.
With no word yet on Keita’s future, the Qatar Cup final could be his last chance to win a trophy for El Jaish.