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Saturday, May 12, 2012

Al Gharrafa are the 2012 Emir Cup champions


Al Gharrafa won their seventh Emir Cup title after a dramatic 4-3 Penalty shootout victory over their bitter-rivals Al Sadd in the final on Saturday.

HH Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Emir of the State of Qatar, presented the trophy to the champions in front of a 50,000 crowd in Khalifa International Stadium in Doha.

After a goalless 90 minutes that saw few real chances for both teams, Qassim Burhan made crucial saves from Hassan Al Haydos and Nadir Belhadj in the penalty shootout to give the Leopards’ fans something to cheer about after a difficult season in which they finished sixth in the league.

Al Gharrafa will now focus on their upcoming AFC Champions league crucial clash against Al Hilal of Saudi Arabia in Riyadh. The match is scheduled for Tuesday and only a win will guarantee the “Leopards” a spot in the second round.

Transfer Gossip - Raul to Al Rayyan

ALL THE ROADS LEAD TO AL RAYYAN

There have been a lot of rumors recently on the next destination for former Real Madrid legend Raul González, who did not renew his contract with German Club Schalke after two successful seasons with the club.

The Spanish legend did not announce his next destination, there have been reports linking him with clubs in Qatar, UAE, USA and even China.

Some reports linked him with a move to Al Ahli club in Qatar, but it was obvious that the former Spain International who won six "La LIGA" and three UEFA Champions League titles with "Los Merengues" will not join the oldest club in Qatar, as they were relegated to the second division.

The obvious and most likely destination for Raul is Al Rayyan, why? Former Real Madrid star Fernando Hierro played for Al Rayyan in the 2003-2004 and led the club to the Emir Cup title. Hierro is now the director of football in Malaga CF.

Malaga CF has already strong links to Qatar, and also to Al Rayyan, the president and owner of the Andalucian club is Sheikh Abdulah Bin Nasser Al Thani, is a keen sponsor of Al Rayyan and has strong links with the club.


THE LEGEND

Al Rayyan is the most popular club in Qatar, their fans celebrations in Doha after winning the Heir Apparent Cup title last month tells it all. A club that makes a perfect destination for "El gran capitán".

Many reports are suggesting that other clubs in Qatar might compete for the Spanih legend's services, but for all the right reasons, all the roads lead to Al Rayyan.