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DOHA: Striker Nilmar is eyeing the Qatar Stars League (QSL) title with Al Rayyan, the Brazilian said yesterday.
“I want to win the QSL title with Al Rayyan. That’s my first goal with this side. I know Al Rayyan has not won a title in 17 years. That’s a long time for such a great side to be without a title win,” Nilmar said in an interview.
The former Villarreal forward joined QSL side Al Rayyan in June in a deal that would keep the Brazilian in Qatar until 2016.
At the time Nilmar said: “I am pleased to be in the ranks of Al Rayyan. I was given a warm reception at the airport and that made me feel welcome.”
The Brazilian had been linked with a host of clubs, including Internacional, following Villarreal’s relegation from La Liga last season but decided to come to Qatar.
Nilmar scored 26 goals in 85 Primera Division appearances during his time at Villarreal.
After just five starts with Al Rayyan, the 27-year-old has netted four goals including a hat-trick against Umm Salal in September.
Excerpts from an interview with Nilmar ahead of Al Rayyan’s round six clash against Al Sadd tomorrow:
Question: Tell us your experience with Al Rayyan so far.
Nilmar: For me, the experience of playing with Al Rayyan has been satisfactory on all fronts. Despite the short time I have spent here in Qatar, I am enjoying my time as a professional. The team atmosphere at Al Rayyan is just great. In fact, I would say it has exceeded my expectations I had at the start of the season.
Question: What are your opinions on QSL and the teams playing in the league?
Nilmar: I think QSL is a success story in a very short time of period. It is a very good league and the level of competition among the teams is pretty stiff. One cannot compare QSL with La Liga, for example, as the two leagues are different from one another. However, I have a positive opinion about QSL.
Question: You have a hat-trick against your name with Al Rayyan. Do you think you could be the highest scorer in QSL this season?
Nilmar: At the moment I am only looking at my team’s needs. I want to win the QSL title with Al Rayyan. That’s my first goal with this side. I know Al Rayyan has not won a title in 17 years. That’s a long time for such a great side to be without a title win. I am giving my best and yes, I do want to win the title with Al Rayyan. It is possible.
Question: What about your missed penalty (against Al Sailiyah on October 27)?
Nilmar: I am not to keen to talk about this match. This match is history. We missed a penalty so be it. We are now looking at our next match. We are playing Al Sadd, a very strong side. Our focus is on Al Sadd. It is going to be a difficult match for sure. They are playing really well this season. The attitudes of the two teams will be the key.
Question: What do you know about Al Sadd, the football team?
Nilmar: I do not have much information about the side. But I do know they are a strong side capable of winning the title. They are unbeaten in five games this season. So whatever information I get would be useless if we don’t play well on the pitch. The results matter and Al Sadd have the results.
Question: Is Al Rayyan affected by the loss against Al Sailiyah (they lost 1-4 last week)?
Nilmar: Of course such results always have some kind of effect on the players. But we don’t want to be negative. We are determined to put it (the loss) behind us and get moving. We want to make up for that loss by winning our next (QSL) match.
Question: What’s your attitude ahead of each game?
Nilmar: I try to score in every game. As a striker, that remains my focus. I try to score for the team. That also means I always try to help my team mates also. I wouldn’t mind if I score against Al Sadd (on November 1).
Question: What do you want to tell the Al Rayyan fans before the next clash?
Nilmar: I think the fans are sad after our loss to Al Sailiyah. I and my team mates pledge to give our best from here on. We will try to get maximum points from each match. That’s our larger goal. We want to win the title and to do that, we have to win matches. I hope the Al Rayyan fans keep supporting us. We need them against Al Sadd on Thursday and in the rest of the season. We need their strong support.THE PENINSULA