The World Cup seen from Italy – Andrea Stramaccioni: “Fining Qatari gamers is ineffective…”

That is the story of an Italian in Qatar. No, we’ll cease you proper there, this is not the beginning of a joke. However a real story. Sure, there’s a contact of Italy on the World Cup, regardless of the absence of Roberto Mancini’s Nazionale. To characterize the nation 4 instances world champion, Andrea Stramaccioni, whom Qatar obtained to know for a yr and a half, is current The previous coach of Inter Milan (2012-2013) and Udinese (2014- 2015), a real globe-trotter of the soccer planet after passing by Sparta Prague (Czech Republic) or Esteghlal Tehran (Iran), has certainly determined to affix the Al-Gharafa membership, based mostly in Doha, in July 2021.

If the story ended a short while in the past, “Strama”, the person who inflicted on Juventus their first defeat of their new stadium in 2012 after 49 matches of invincibility, has determined to remain somewhat longer on the Qatar. The reason being comprehensible: to attend the twenty second version of the Soccer World Cup. For the event, Rai determined to recruit him within the position of commentator and advisor. For a yr and a half, the Italian has certainly intently adopted the preparation of a whole nation for this historic second. For, he agreed to reply all our curiosities, from his opinion on the infrastructures to the reception of the supporters, whereas passing by the controversies on the human rights and the initiatives taken by sure groups to protest. . Upkeep.

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Andrea Stramaccioni: Sure… (smiles) However the disappointment of not seeing the Nazionale right here stays immense, the wound remains to be open. We deserved to be right here after our Euro title and our latest run within the Nations League. Sadly, this isn’t the case, in all probability as a consequence of a lower than very best post-Euro strategy. There was additionally a number of dangerous luck. The 2 missed penalties (by Jorginho in opposition to Switzerland, editor’s word), the possibilities in opposition to North Macedonia… Nonetheless, I proceed to imagine in Roberto Mancini and I’m positive that we are going to be there on the subsequent World Cup.

You latterly commented on Argentina’s loss to Saudi Arabia, have been you shocked?

AS: It shocked the entire world, sure! Hervé Renard ready the right match. I noticed a really quick group with an nearly infuriating offside that trapped Argentina the entire sport. Within the first ten minutes of the second half, I feel all of the magic of soccer was there, with all the joy of an inferior group on paper. However by placing all her values ​​on the pitch, from group to ardour to her coronary heart, she managed to attain two magnificent objectives. The second was signed by Salem Al-Dawsari, a terrific participant in Gulf soccer. He is without doubt one of the best skills on this a part of the world, a bit just like the native “Del Piero”.

The qualification was significantly sophisticated for the Albiceleste…

AS: Sure, however I feel she stays one of many favorites of the event. I hope, for the great of the World Cup, that Argentina will study from this defeat and react within the subsequent two matches. The draw between Mexico and Poland is a boon when it comes to qualification.

The World Cup began final Sunday. How did the nation put together for this World Cup?

AS: For them, it is one thing very large. It’s a nationwide occasion, which matches far past sport. It’s the identify of a whole nation despatched into the world, a preparation that lasted for years. In latest months, right here, it was an actual building web site. When completed, I noticed nice euphoria within the nation. The group is actually distinctive and loopy. Every part has been calculated and controlled to the final element.

However in your opinion, was the nation able to host such an occasion?

AS: For me, sure. Completely. Afterwards, I am curious to see these tons of of 1000’s of spectators right here on this large metropolis, which is smaller than “my” metropolis of Rome. All I can inform you is that the group was spectacular. Every part is geared in the direction of competitors, to the purpose that colleges are closed right here. Every exercise is regulated in line with the Mondial.

What are you able to inform us in regards to the infrastructures put in place?

AS: The stadiums are trendy and avant-garde. Seven stadiums have been constructed particularly for the World Cup, so they do not belong to any membership. It isn’t like San Siro for Milan and Inter, or the Olimpico for Roma and Lazio… I performed in a few of these stadiums with my group, I used to be left impressed by what I noticed . Spectators will uncover the newest applied sciences, with engineers from everywhere in the world.

They are going to even be capable to journey on a practice connecting the stadium of Al Khawr, which is within the far north, to that of Al Wakrah, which is on the alternative…

AS: I reside proper throughout from this railway line. It had been prepared for a number of months, and was inaugurated by the Emir himself with the captain of the choice. It’s a practice that connects the eight stadiums and means that you can go from Al Khawr to Al Wakrah in about 25 minutes, for a complete of about 70-80 kilometers. If a supporter needs, he can subsequently attend the 4 matches of the day. That is fully loopy.

Sport helped speed up a wanted change

There are a number of controversies about human rights in Qatar. What’s your feeling, you who additionally witnessed the revolt of girls throughout your keep in Iran?

AS: It has been a truth for just a few years now. That is regrettable, even when Qatar is consistently altering. Me, I’ve a private imaginative and prescient of all that. I feel we should not politicize sport. Greater than ever, sport has exactly made it attainable to make clear a collection of issues that aren’t essentially stunning, of rights that aren’t revered. To acquire this World Cup, Qatar additionally needed to adjust to a collection of elementary rights. Sport helped speed up a change that was wanted. It should proceed sooner or later.

Regardless of FIFA’s refusal to put on the “One Love” armbands, some groups proceed to convey messages in opposition to discrimination.

AS: I feel it is an excellent factor. It’s in the precise route and it promotes freedom of expression. We should all the time promote the values ​​during which we imagine.

You stayed put regardless of your separation from Al Gharafa. How do you are feeling in Qatar?

AS: These two years have been superb with my membership, I had a number of sporting satisfactions with a really younger group, together with reaching the ultimate of the Emir Cup. This additionally allowed me to know the Emir in individual, since he invited me to lunch the following day. This season, we began effectively within the league. After the World Cup, right here, there would be the Asian Cup and issues will change. We now have thus taken the frequent resolution to separate with none animosity, I nonetheless have a superb relationship with my former membership which I thank. I’ll return to Italy after the World Cup.

Are you able to inform us this story of the numerous fines imposed in your gamers?

AS: We Italians are all the time a bit inflexible with the techniques, the foundations (laughs). Right here, for instance the strategy was totally different. If you must be at coaching at 5 p.m., for instance, you must be there earlier than 5 p.m., not 5:01 p.m. Right here you possibly can arrive at 5:05 p.m. At first, I subsequently issued fines, together with deductions from participant salaries. However right here, it had no impact (laughs). Someday, an Iranian member of my employees mentioned to me: ‘Mister, sorry to inform you, however right here fines are ineffective. The typical situation of Qatari gamers is excellent and they’re fairly wealthy’. So we determined to vary the strategy. 5:01 p.m.: the participant was excluded from coaching. And even some matches. The Emir thanked me saying that I had ‘Europeanized’ Al-Gharafa. I inform this story with a smile as a result of I stay very near my former gamers, I simply wished to transmit a brand new mentality.

Qatar missed their opening match in opposition to Ecuador, what do you consider the extent of this choice?

AS: This stays the reigning Asian Champion. It’s a choice that has been making ready for this competitors for a number of months, for the reason that internationals have been referred to as to collect in mid-Could. They didn’t participate at first of the championship. Me, I didn’t have a few of my gamers out there, as a lot to say that it could shock … However right here, it’s the Federation which has the rights of the gamers, not the golf equipment. It’s reversed in comparison with Europe, the place the golf equipment make the gamers out there. It isn’t a variety that may compete with the massive groups, however it might probably get better.

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