“Korea’s strengths have not changed.
We have to deal with Korea as a team, with many good attackers.”
Saudi Arabia national football team Coach Roberto Mancini took a cautious attitude at a press conference held at the main media center (MMC) in Doha, Qatar on the 29th (Korean time), a day before the 2023 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Qatar Asian Cup round of 16 match against Korea.
Coach Roberto Mancini
Looking at the value of the players’ names alone, Korea appears to be stronger than Saudi Arabia with stars who play in the European big leagues, such as Son Heung-min (Tottenham), Lee Kang-in (Paris Saint-Germain), and Kim Min-jae (Munich).
However, Korea repeatedly performed poorly in the group stage. 바카라사이트
While Saudi Arabia advanced to the round of 16 in second place in the group (1 win, 2 draws), Saudi Arabia advanced to the tournament in first place in the group (2 wins, 1 draw) with more complete soccer.
In particular, Saudi Arabia boasted a solid defense, conceding only one goal through penalty kicks in three group stage games.
There is an assessment that Coach Mancini, who has lifted numerous trophies on the European professional stage and gave Italy the title of Euro (European Football Championship) champion for the first time in 53 years, is upgrading Saudi football to the next level.
However, Coach Mancini was cautious, evaluating Korea as “the most threatening team in this tournament.”
He said, “Although Korea gave up six goals in the group stage, our strength has not changed,” and “We will create chances through counterattacks.”
He continued, “We have improved as a team over the past four months, and I think we can achieve results if we fight as a team even when playing against Korea.”
Director Mancini is the same age as Korean director Jurgen Klinsmann, born in 1964.
The two have competed against each other in Serie A as strikers during their active years.
Coach Mancini smiled and said, “Klinsmann was a good striker when he was a player.
We played together on the Italian stage and scored a lot of goals,” and added, “Now he is also a good coach.”
Saudi captain Ali Razami, who also attended the press conference, said, “Tens of thousands of Saudi fans will visit the stadium tomorrow to support us, and it will help us play better.”
The round of 16 match between Korea and Saudi Arabia will kick off at Al Rayyan’s Education City Stadium at 1 a.m. on the 31st, Korean time.