FilGoal | News | The president of the Saudi Federation on Ronaldo, “Rolls Royce” and the joint file of the World Cup with Egypt

Yasser Al-Mishal, president of the Saudi Football Association, denied that the Al-Akhdar players received huge cash prizes and a Rolls-Royce for each of them after the victory over Argentina.

In a lengthy interview with the Spanish newspaper “Marca”, Al-Mishal spoke about his country’s participation in the World Cup, with the possibility of hosting the 2030 edition in partnership with Egypt.

Al-Mishal also discussed the possibility of Cristiano Ronaldo joining the Saudi victory and the financial consequences that could fall on the global treasury.

Below is the full text of the interview:

How do you rate Saudi Arabia’s participation in the World Cup?

“We played well, especially with the historic win in the first game against Argentina. The opponents were strong and we are satisfied with what we did. We were also affected by injuries to several important players. Now we are looking forward to improving.”

Was that the first step in the development you were aiming for?

“We have a plan that has been in place for years. Our goal is to be among the top 20 teams in the FIFA rankings by 2034. Three years ago we were in 70th position and now we are in 49th position. It’s a big jump. We have a lot plans for the development and promotion of football in Saudi Arabia.” .

Is the interest in women’s football real or fake?

“The development of women is part of the 2030 plan for the whole country. We want to help our girls develop the desire to play football. The demand is high, 5 months ago a historic derby between Al-Ahly and Al-Ittihad was played, and the stadium was full 5000 fans. We give women the opportunity they deserve. Our Women’s team has already played 5 friendly matches, and since January we have entered the FIFA international ranking list.

Is it true that the Saudi players received half a million dollars and a Rolls Royce after the victory over Argentina?

“No, no, no. They play for the pride of their country. They had the honor of playing a historic match against Argentina. The rumors are not true. Of course they got material rewards, but that was normal according to the rules. They don’t play for money, but to would write their own history.” Many of them became very famous athletes after this game.”

In January, the Spanish Super Cup will be held in Saudi Arabia for the third time. What are you waiting for?

“We are very happy to host the Spanish Super Cup. It is one of the goals of our long-term plan: to organize major sporting events. In the final of the 2022 edition, 60,000 fans attended the match. We want to inspire our youth”.

There is a lot of criticism in Spain for the decision to hold the Super Cup in Saudi Arabia, how do you respond to them?

“I tell them that football has become a global game. The Super Cup has been held in Spain many times in the past, and the Spanish have many La Liga and Champions League matches held there. For us, hosting this tournament is a golden opportunity. But of course, not everyone will be happy to host Saudi Arabia. For this tournament, we Saudis really enjoy seeing so many great players up close.”

Would you like to host the El Clasico of the Spanish league in Saudi Arabia?

“We welcome any big game that attracts our young people. Of course we would be happy, but it has not been touched. Of course we are open to talk about it one day”.

What do you think of Pique as a businessman?

“Our contract to host the Spanish Super Cup for several years does not depend on the presence of Luis Rubiales as president of the Spanish confederation. It is related to the RFEF itself. It is a secret and long-term contract. If you want to host this type of tournament you have to pay what you are worth, and this way you can bring sponsors.”

Will you bring Cristiano Ronaldo to the Saudi League?

“You are the ones who have the news (laughs). I will be very open. In the Football Association we cannot interfere between the club and the player. But of course we would like to have this player in our league. We would be very happy in the Federation to have great players in our league.”

Is this really possible?

“Yes, it is possible (to bring Ronaldo). We are a magnet for many stars and I think there is a good chance, but I am not sure. You media have your sources, I will follow your news (laughs).”

Are the numbers circulating correct? Will he get 200 million euros a year?

“Each club has to adhere to the financial restrictions in the league. I don’t think that Al-Nasr – if it was a club negotiating to join – would put this amount on the table without covering its costs well. If it did, then without financial coverage it would fall into problems with the Club League.”

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will bid to host the 2030 FIFA World Cup. It’s not official yet, but how about it?

Until FIFA makes an announcement, we won’t say anything. There are requirements related to stadiums and so on. We have a good relationship with Spain, who will also apply to host. But otherwise we tend to host football tournaments. Nothing official yet and I can’t say more than that. There are many expectations from the possibility of submitting a joint dossier with Egypt, Greece or Italy. But it is too early to say whether we will apply for hosting or whether we will do it with other countries. Infantino said it would be difficult to organize future World Cups in one country. Right now, frankly, our focus is on hosting the 2026 AFC Asian Cup for women and the 2027 AFC Asian Cup for men.

Who do you want to win the World Cup?

“Before the tournament I was hoping that Brazil or Argentina would win it. But now I hope to see Messi win it because it’s his last World Cup. I hope to see him crowned.”

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