Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al Faisal: ‘I’m waiting to be woken up’ says Saudi sports minister after outstanding victory over Argentina



CNN

Day later Historic victory for Saudi Arabia against Argentina At the World Cup in Qatar, Kingdom Sports Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al Faisal says he is “waiting for someone to wake me up.”

“It was an incredible result. The team played very well, they have been preparing for this day for three years, the coach (Herve Renard) has done an amazing job,” Prince Abdulaziz Becky Anderson said Wednesday in Doha, reflecting on Saudi Arabia’s 2-1 win . is considered the biggest disappointment in the history of the world championships.

“There is harmony in the team and a really good mood… they fought with all their hearts to get something done.”

The celebration of the outstanding victory continued until Tuesday evening and early Wednesday.

The fan zone was dyed green as people proudly waved the Saudi flag. Saudi and Arab fans chanted, sang and danced in euphoria. One fan called it “a huge event for the Arab world”.

“I feel absolutely amazing,” a fan from Saudi Arabia told CNN. “It was a beautiful game. We beat them with Messi! Argentina is actually one of the favorites to win the game, they haven’t lost, 36 games. But guess who beat them? Saudi Arabia!”

Asem Al Rajihi, another Saudi fan, said: “This tournament is taking place in Qatar, a neighboring country, a country we love. I think that many fans come from close countries, so I think the atmosphere is very close to us. The culture exists, so we are motivated to do our best.”

This sentiment was echoed by Prince Abdulaziz, who told CNN that the celebration was not just for Saudi Arabia, but for the entire Arab and Muslim world.

Saudi Arabia's victory is the most famous in the Arab world, along with Algeria's victory over West Germany in 1982.

This victory for Saudi Arabia is much more than the victory of David over Goliath.

An image of the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, made the rounds on social media Tuesday, along with a photo of him smiling next to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, scenes that would have been unthinkable just 18 months ago.

In 2017, Riyadh, along with three other Arab countries, severed diplomatic and trade ties, closed its borders and airspace, accusing Doha of supporting extremist groups, which it still denies.

Today, that rift has truly ended, with Saudi Arabia scoring its biggest ever football victory on Qatari soil, which is a testament to that.

Prince Abdulaziz said that ahead of the World Cup, many teams, including Saudi Arabia, usually get a lot of criticism for their performances and training, but after Tuesday’s success, “no one can say anything” about the Green Falcons.

These Green Falcons lined up against Argentina with 11 players based in the Saudi Pro League and even a replacement, Haytham Asiri, who plays in the Saudi second division.

Along with host Qatar, Saudi Arabia is the only team to feature exclusively domestic players.

Salem Al-Dawsari from Saudi Arabia plays club football for the Asian champions Al-Hilal.

“We have invested a lot in sports over the past couple of years and this is showing results… we are really restructuring sports in the Kingdom as an ecosystem and how to make it as professional as anywhere else in the world because we know the Saudis are passionate about sports,” said Prince Abdulaziz.

“When I started at the Olympic Committee, we had 30 federations. Today we have 97 federations in different sports … which indicates the active activity of the country.

“We are doing all this for the people of the country, and it brings us great social and economic benefits at all levels,” added Prince Abdulaziz.

Saudi Arabia has been criticized. sports wash as an attempt to soften the image of the country. Asked if he thought the remarks were racist, the minister agreed.

“A little, and maybe even ignorance. People who don’t know Saudi Arabia, have never been to Saudi Arabia, come out and talk about it like they’ve lived there for 30, 40 years. That’s why I always tell people, come to Saudi Arabia. Come and see Saudi Arabia.

“Look what it is, look at people, meet people. Look at what the country is doing for the future of the people in Saudi Arabia, and then you can criticize as much as you like,” he said.

In honor of the team’s historic victory, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia declared a national public holiday on Wednesday.

Cristiano Ronaldo has left Manchester United and is now looking for a new club.

Manchester United announced that on Tuesday Cristiano Ronaldo leave the club immediately by mutual agreement.

Asked by CNN if the 37-year-old football legend would play in Saudi Arabia next season, the minister replied: “I don’t know.”

“I read the same thing you read in the news and we see a lot of Saudi Arabia in the news, especially when there’s a lot of money around, but I don’t know anything about his plans for the future,” he continued.

Becky Anderson then asked Prince Abdulaziz if he would like to see Ronaldo play in Saudi Arabia and he replied, “Why not?”

“We have a strong league. We have seven foreign players in each team and one on the bench, and we are trying to increase their number. Our teams are playing at the highest level in Asia and football is strong in Saudi Arabia.”

Manchester United owners also announced their intention to explore the possibility of selling the legendary club. Asked if Saudi Arabia would file a bid similar to its takeover Newcastle United last year, Prince Abdulaziz neither confirmed nor denied.

“Anything is possible these days, but I honestly don’t know the facts of these reports. We consider all opportunities like everything else, and we think we believe that these opportunities come once in a lifetime, and we should use that in everything we do.”