Laudrup pens deal in Qatar

Sport360 staff 22:53 03/10/2016
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Champions’ welcome: Laudrup.

Michael Laudrup revealed he had turned down job offers from China and the United States as he was officially unveiled as the new coach of Qatar Stars League champions Al Rayyan on Monday.

Laudrup also said he had no desire to return to La Liga — where he has managed Getafe and Mallorca — nor the English Premier League where he coached Swansea City.

Instead, after a 15-month break from football, the Dane has returned to Qatar on a two-year contract, taking over the post left vacant by Jorge Fossati, who was recently appointed Qatar’s national coach.

“I don’t want to go into names but I had calls from other countries including China and the U.S.,” he told a Doha press conference.

“I chose this club (Al Rayyan) because I know the league and I know Al Rayyan.”

Asked if he wanted to return to Spain or England, Laudrup said no.

“I wasn’t tempted to go back to La Liga or the Premier League. I have managed on three occasions in Spain and England, I had fabulous times with them, I want to leave it like that.”

He added that he wanted his return to Qatar to be “a success”.

The former Barcelona and Real Madrid star was formerly the coach with rival QSL side Lekhwiya, where he won the league and cup double in 2015.

That was his last job in football before today’s appointment. Al Rayyan currently sit fourth in the QSL table, but only two games have been played.

Last season they coasted to the title under Fossati, winning their first championship in more than 20 years, and finished 14 points clear of nearest rivals El Jaish.

As well as trying to retain the title, Laudrup, 52, will also oversee Al Rayyan’s bid for the AFC Champions league.

His predecessor Fossati faces his first test as national coach on October 6 when Qatar play against South Korea in a World Cup qualifier.

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