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Still basking in glory

THE winning moment is so fresh in his memory that Bilal Mohammed cannot believe 10 years have passed since Qatar clinched the coveted football gold at the Doha Asian Games.

“I can’t believe that 10 years have passed since we won the gold medal. As with all nice feelings, the memories resurface in our minds time and again. It was nice to see smiles on the faces of our leaders and our people. It’s one achievement all Qataris have cherished over the years,” Bilal told Doha Stadium Plus.

The gold is even more precious for the Al Gharafa captain as it was he who scored the winner against Iraq in the final at the Al Sadd Stadium.

“It was the sweetest triumph for me because I scored the winning goal against Iraq. I still remember how the whole stadium erupted in joy. It was nice to see ourselves at once becoming heroes of our nation and it’s the best you want when you represent your nation,” said the 30-year-old.

“I want to thank my team-mates, without whom it wouldn’t have been possible. Football is a team game and we fought as a unit. It still remains our best achievement on home soil.

“We’re happy that our performance inspired the future generation of players,” said Bilal, who had taken oath on host athletes’ behalf at the event.

Bilal remembered it as one of the best Games in history.

“I strongly believe that it was one of the best Games ever. Everybody congratulated Qatar for the exceptional manner in which we organised the event. It transformed our country into a sports hub as we built a lot of facilities. We achieved a lot from then onwards. It left a legacy behind. We’re sure we’ll host a grand FIFA World Cup in 2022 as well,” signed off Bilal.

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