James Rodriguez’s transfer adds a new name to the list of footballers who have left for Qatar. He joined the host championship of the next World Cup.
Leaving Everton for Al Rayyan: James Rodriguez’s career takes a surprising turn. The Colombian, formerly Real Madrid owner Carlo Ancelotti, has chosen to join the Qatari club for an unknown amount. He will play there under the orders of a certain Laurent Blanc, the coach of the team which lost 3-0 on Wednesday night. His opponent? Al Sadd, the team coached by former Catalan international Xavi.
🇶🇦 The Qatari club of Al Rayyan, coached by Laurent Blanc, formalizes the arrival of James Rodriguez, who therefore leaves Everton after a mixed experience.
— RMC Sport (@RMCsport) September 22, 2021
A short stint at Everton
James Rodriguez draws a line on his career in Europe at the age of 30. He had put his bags in September 2020 in Everton to leave Real Madrid who had recruited him in 2014. Qatar thus wins a new recruit of choice to strengthen its championship, until then relatively unknown to the general public.
More and more famous players
One of the most famous footballers settled in Qatar is none other than Al Sadd’s coach, Xavi Hernández. The legendary FC Barcelona metronome joined the club in 2015. He played there for four years before becoming a coach. If he is tipped to return to Catalonia and help his club of heart regain its glory, he has always claimed to take pleasure in his new life. He is no longer the only one to have such a trajectory, since he has been able to see Santi Cazorla land in 2020. The Spaniard quickly established himself both in his squad and in his new league, since he was named player of the year.
🌟 Our player Santi Cazrolla wins the Qatar Football Association award as the best player for the 2020/2021 season 🔥
— 🏆 #75 Al Sadd SC | Al Sadd Club (@AlsaddSC) July 8, 2021
Javi Martínez and Gabriel Mercado are also part of the Spaniards who have come to seek a second wind in Qatar. Among the first: Pep Guardiola who joined Al Ahli Doha from 2003 to 2005 or Raul – from Real Madrid – had signed with Al Sadd in 2012. Since Xavi, the arrival of foreigners in the championship has only been a success. intensify. Especially since the Catalan has formed a largely Spanish technical team to support him.
Another football legend of its kind: Wesley Sneijder for his part wore the colors of Al Gharafa after leaving Nice. Almost ten years earlier, free-kick expert Juninho had also joined the club. There was also a small French wave with the arrival of Frank Leboeuf and Marcel Desailly, respectively at Al Sadd and Al Gharafa. The big summer transfer to Qatar was that of Toby Alderweireld. The Guardian and other media have estimated the transfer of the Belgian defender at 13 million euros, but other media dispute the sum. They estimate it at just three million.
— Toby Alderweireld (@AlderweireldTob) July 27, 2021
As for the Swiss, the most famous player to have played a season in Qatar is called Hakan Yakin. The Bâlois had played there fifteen matches between 2008 and 2009, before returning to the Super League within FC Lucerne.