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‘Warrior’ Mandzukic wants to win titles with Al Duhail SC

Doha, Qatar: At 6'3, Mario Manzukic is a tall player no doubt, and chances are Al Duhail SC's new star recruit will be a towering presence in the Qatar Stars League for the next couple of seasons.

The Croatian striker is also a versatile attacker as he proved at Juventus where he even played on the left wing, but his main responsibility at Al Duhail SC will be to score goals.

And given his unmistakable talent, clinical finishing,  aerial ability, strength and fighting attitude, it looks like defenders in Qatar are in for a really hard time.

The 33-year-old World Cup runner up, who joined Duhail last week after leaving Italian champions Juventus, said he was ready to work hard and win matches and titles for his new side.

"I am a warrior," said Manzukic during his official presentation at the club on Thursday. "I keep working hard.

"For me, in every club I play, my aim is the same. I am working hard to make fans happy and win championships, and now I'm at a club who have won many championships and my aim will not change. It will not be easy, but if we work hard during training and show the desire, we can certainly win tournaments," said the Champions League winner with Bayern Munich.

Mandzukic, who have rubbed shoulders with the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo at Juventus and played against some of the meanest defenders in Europe, including in Italian Serie A, won't have to face too many tough opponents but said he was always motivated.

"I am always motivated and enthusiastic. I have the passion for playing football, winning matches and championships and I will show my best level with the club in the coming period, and help the team win titles.

The former Atletico Madrid player was strongly linked with a move to Manchester United in England, but he said he had Duhail in his thoughts for a while.

"I had enough time to reflect on all the offers that I received. I had a long career in Europe and have won almost everything there, so I was thinking about a different challenge and another place to continue working. Duhail wanted me for a long time.

"Their officials sat with me and their vision was convincing, as was my conversation with the club president. Their president understands football and loves football. Then I spoke with Medhi Benatia – who played with Mandzukic at Juve- and coach who both praised the club and the experience.

"In the end, it was not a hard decision to make.

With reigning champions Al Sadd losing again on Thursday to Al Wakrah, Duhail just need to avoid a major slip up to regain the QSL title and it's just a matter of time before their real focus shift to the AFC Champions League.

Mandzukic said he would like to take it step by step.

"Everyone wants the Asian title, and I know it is a strong championship. But now I prefer to deal with it step by step, match by match.

"I need time to adjust to the conditions and playing style here.

"Through continuous work and fighting spirit, we will reach the desired Asian title."


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