Sanchez thanks lucky charm Xavi as Qatar triumph

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The former Barcelona star correctly predicted the 2022 World Cup hosts would win the Asian Cup to the delight of the national team manager

Felix Sanchez wants midfield great Xavi to predict all of Qatar's results after the former Barcelona maestro successfully foretold their Asian Cup triumph.

Qatar claimed their first major honour on Friday with a 3-1 final win over Japan, as Almoez Ali, Abdelaziz Hatim and Akram Hassan Afif scored in a stunning victory.

Sanchez's men consequently delivered on the forecast from his fellow Spaniard Xavi, who plays in the country for Al Sadd.

The Qatar head coach responded at full-time by suggesting the 39-year-old could become a lucky charm.

"I'm going to call [Xavi] and tell him to predict all the next games just to make sure that we know what's going to happen in the future," former Barca youth coach Sanchez said.

"With regards to Xavi, he is a great person and he is supporting us a lot. I'm very happy also for him."

Sanchez was delighted with both sides of Qatar's game as they excelled in attack in the opening period before standing firm after Takumi Minamino breached their defence for the first time in the tournament.

"I have no words. We beat an outstanding, outstanding team," he said.

"In the first half, we played very well. In the second half, we had to defend a lot because obviously they want to win the title as well. It was a very tough game. We suffered and we know how to suffer.

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"I'm very happy for the players and all of the people in Qatar who have supported us from the beginning. It's very well deserved. I'm very happy. I have no words."

Qatar will look to follow up their success in the Asian Cup when they travel to Brazil as a guest nation for the 2019 Copa America this summer.

There they will face off in Group B against the likes of Paraguay, Colombia and Argentina, with the latter likely featuring Xavi's old Barcelona team-mate Lionel Messi.