"It was difficult to obtain Lopez's permission, I didn't even have time to go to Andijan" or do you know what FC Al-Khor demanded of Bakhtiyor Kasimov?
The number of Uzbek legionnaires increased by one more. One of the leaders of FC Surkhon Bakhtiyor Kasimov accepted an offer from Qatar's Al-Khor club. The player from Andijan opened a new page in his career. For the first time, he plays abroad as a legionnaire. Bakhtiyar spoke about how the events unfolded.
- We met on July 15. The next day, Jahangir, the president of FC Surkhon called and told me that the Qatar club is interested in you, if everything is like that, would you go, - Kasimov began. - Two days after we discussed everything, the Qataris sent a contract. I signed the contract and we sent it to them. The next day they prepared a visa and sent a ticket. I didn't even have time to go home to Andijan. It was resolved in two days. The head coach of FC Al-Khor has three options. In addition to me, Iranian and Brazilian players also applied for the center position. In the end, the coach chose me. I came to the club, and they welcomed me well and put me in a hotel. I passed the medical examination. They conducted an in-depth medical examination. It is very different from ours. I did my first training. We signed a one-year contract.
- How did FC Surkhon head coach Angel Lopez react to your leaving?
- It was difficult to persuade Lopez. He spoke to the owner of the club and explained the situation. I talked to the coach. It was hard to agree. Thinking about my career, he said that you should take this decision yourself. You know, Lopez is very good not only as a coach but also as a person. Of course, the head coach laughed and said that he was happy that I had such an offer, but that he would be even happier if I stayed.
- In any case, the role of the Spanish expert was great in your becoming a legionnaire. Because you have made a lot of progress under him. Tell me, what did Lopez change first?
- Thank you very much to Angel Lopez. A very strong coach. In his hands, not only me, but the rest of the players and the whole FC Surkhon team grew. Angel is very professional in his work. It demands the same from us. Under his guidance, we started playing free and aggressive football. He used to tell us one thing over and over again: every match changes life. Thanks to the coach for everything.
- For the first time in your career, you will play as a legionnaire. New mentality, new championship... Are you ready for it all?
- Of course, this is a big turning point in my career. Naturally, playing football as a legionnaire is also very interesting for me. I am ready for everything. There is no excitement. I think the decision I made is a great opportunity for me to grow.
- Which number did you choose in FC Al-Khor and what does the club demand from you?
- I chose the number 10. The club provided me with a house, a car, and everything to bring my family. The request placed on me is to help the maximum team and return to the All-Star League.
- How was the conversation with the new head coach?
- The head coach and his assistants are also Brazilian. Of course, I talked. He said that he trusts me and I will try to live up to this trust.
- Who else did you consult with regarding the FC Al-Khor offer?
- It was God's reward for me. Thank God. This is a great offer for me. You just have to use it. I consulted with my family, club leader and close people. After listening to everyone's advice, I made the final decision. At this point, I would like to thank everyone who supported me. I would like to thank the fans of FC Andijan and FC Surkhon clubs. Because such fans are not always isolated.