Al Gharafa present Sneijder


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QNB Stars League side Al Gharafa unveiled their star signing Wesley Sneijder at a Press conference on Monday evening. The Cheetahs’ contract with the Dutch star is for 18 months.

Al Gharafa Sports Club President Sheikh Jassim bin Thamer Al Thani, Saad Al Rumaihi, Football Head Mahmoud Al Ghazal, Dutch Ambassador to Qatar Dr Bahia Tahzib-Lie, and a number of past and present players as well as the club’s fans were present on the occasion.

A video about Al Gharafa and their achievements was shown. That was followed by another video featuring key moments in Sneijder’s career and his famous goals.

Former Al Gharafa stars Mahmoud Sofi and Adel Khamis handed Schneider the No.10 shirt which he will be wearing.

Al Ghazal expressed the club’s delight over the signing of Sneijder.

“We’re very happy that today we’ve among us a great player. We tried to sign him four years ago, but couldn’t. But we’re glad we finally signed him. He’ll be a great asset to our team and inspire youngsters. He’ll be the team captain,” he said.

Sneijder thanked the club management for the gesture and said he was very pleased to have chosen Al Gharafa and looked forward to helping the team.

“I feel very welcomed here. I can’t wait to start training and help the team, to bring my experience and quality to the team. Especially to also help the young guys improve their skills and qualities. Because I’ve heard the team has a lot of quality and young players,” said Sneijder, a three-time World Cupper and UEFA Champions League winner with Inter Milan.

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“My aim is to help them and improve the team. I’m very happy to be here and I hope we’ve a great season. I’ve a friend (Anwar Diba) who has been playing in the Qatar league for long. So he told me all about the league and the club.

“I know that Xavi (Hernandez) plays here in Qatar (with Al Sadd) and many other stars have been in the Qatar league. A player such as Xavi is a great person and has tremendous capabilities,” he added.

The 33-year-old, who has also represented Ajax Amsterdam, Real Madrid and Galatasaray, said he was glad to be in the Middle East after having a disappointing time at French Ligue 1 side Nice.

“To be honest, my choice to come here was to play football. There was speculation about me going to the US, about going to China or others, but I never read about ‘he’ll go to Qatar’,” said Sneijder.

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