Fabio Soria: “Almost all Saudi Arabia goes with Real Madrid”

May 14, 2020

first_imgHow does one pass from the subsidiary of Betis to Al Hilal?Well, one Sunday I was on the bench of Betis Deportivo and on Wednesday I was in Riyadh. It was very fast. The head of the medical services of Al Hilal called me, who had heard from me thanks to a Polish colleague who handed him my resume. I did the Skype interview and it’s been four months in this adventure.And what is it like to win an Asian Champions League?We had little time to celebrate it in Tokyo, because we were returning the next morning of the game. He did not fall asleep. The next day was crazy. Photos, flower necklaces, flares … It was amazing.The final seemed easier than the semifinal against Xavi’s Al Sadd didn’t it?Totally. In the return of the semifinal we had a very, very bad time. We knew that after that tie it was difficult for us to escape the title.Did you talk to him?Xavi greeted us and wished us luck, as did Gabi. Logically they were noticed that they were somewhat annoyed, but when they saw me and knew that I was Spanish, they wished me luck to win the final.What attitude do your team cracks have like Giovinco, Gomis and Carrillo?There is a wrong idea with that because the most professional of the squad are the players that come from playing in Europe. They work in the morning apart from the club with a physical trainer just for them. They are treated daily, they take good care of themselves. Have you talked a lot about the Super Cup over there in recent days?It has not had much impact in the country yet because it has not been promoted too much, but knowing how they live football and how they follow LaLiga, they will have it and it is surely a success.Are you aware of the controversy generated in Spain?Being there you see that the idea we have of how your society works is not quite like that. In our stadium, for example, women can go to games. There is an area that women and men call “family”. If you consider that two years ago women could not even drive, I think they are taking steps.And do you think football can really help?I think that the help that such a tournament can be for the opening of the country is more useful than the punishment of depriving them of the Super Cup. The celebration of our title, with men and women on the street celebrating it, is the best example.Which team is the favorite of the Arab fans?They are very Real Madrid. Almost all of Arabia goes with them. In fact, they ask me in the interview if I am from Real Madrid or Barcelona. When I told them that neither of them, who was from Betis, looked at me very strangely. Then they insisted a lot about whether I didn’t like Real Madrid and I told them that I was the one they wanted (laughs).Since you mentioned it, how are you seeing your Betis in the distance?Well, the first thing I think is that I hope I reach 38 years old half as well as Joaquin. It is a sight to see it. The truth is that the start of LaLiga was difficult, but the team has changed the dynamics and now we have to improve in the second round to reach Europe.last_img

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