Classy Santiago Solari full of praise for valiant Al-Ain after Real Madrid victory

Having celebrated his team lifting the FIFA Club World Cup trophy, Real Madrid’s Santiago Solari was as classy as ever afterwards as he lauded the valiant efforts of their vanquished Emirati opponents Al-Ain. (AFP)
Updated 23 December 2018

Classy Santiago Solari full of praise for valiant Al-Ain after Real Madrid victory

  • The European champions cruised to a third straight Club World Cup title over UAE side
  • Solari was full of praise for the UAE side

LONDON: Having celebrated his team lifting the FIFA Club World Cup trophy, Real Madrid’s Santiago Solari was as classy as ever afterwards as he lauded the valiant efforts of their vanquished Emirati opponents Al-Ain in Saturday’s final.
The European champions cruised to a third straight Club World Cup title with Luka Modric and Sergio Ramos on target in a 4-1 victory.
Solari, who continues to deal with rumors surrounding his future after former Los Blancos coach Jose Mourinho was sacked by Manchester United, named a strong side including Modric, Toni Kroos and Gareth Bale.
And despite the one-sided affair, Solari was full of praise for the UAE side.
“Al-Ain’s performances were fantastic all through the tournament.
“Al-Ain was the only team that was not a continental champion, but they eliminated the Oceania champions, the African champions and River Plate to be here — they deserved to play the final.
“They fought hard and put in a lot of effort, so after the game I was congratulating them for the effort they put into the competition,” the Argentine said.
Solari was also pleased with the commitment and focus shown by his own players in winning the tournament.
“This title closes the season with gold, to be able to win three Champions Leagues in a row and now three FIFA Club World Cup titles in a row is history.
“It is something very difficult to do and it will be very difficult to equal this. This team has made history,” he said.
“We are all happy, we expected to win the match and we were focused, and we brought our energy and we are very happy to have achieved this goal. The next step is going on vacation, we deserve it.
“After losing two finals and winning one as a player, now I have this title as a coach. It’s a wonderful tournament, more beautiful than before, and I leave this competition with a lot of happiness,” Solari said.

“The team is used to repeated success. The more you win, the more difficult it gets. I enjoy seeing the players enjoy it and the value they give to it. We were very serious about the tournament,” he added.

However, his counterpart Zoran Mamic was pragmatic about the result, noting how playing four high-intensity matches in 10 days took its toll when it mattered most.
“Congratulations to Real Madrid, they deserved to win the trophy. We played good football with lots of quality and, in the end, we played a good tournament. It was very hard for us because this was our fourth game in ten days.

“We just didn’t have enough power to make life difficult for Real Madrid. We had some good chances and good situations, especially in the first half, but if you want to make life difficult for a team like Real Madrid you have to take your chances and we didn’t. We have to learn how to play with the big guys,” he said.

“We should be proud of what we have achieved. Before the tournament, no-one thought Al Ain would get to the final, so we should be proud.

“The biggest plus for me is that the team believed they could get a good result in this tournament and achieved it. 

“As a coach, I’m happy the team followed our instructions and tried to do what we prepared them for in the final. It’s a great thing that my players know they can play at a higher level and good for me to know I have lots of quality in the team,” Mamic said.

When pressed about his future in the UAE and with Al-Ain, the Croatian said he was happy to be with the Abu Dhabi club and was focused on his job at hand.

“It’s no secret that my dream is to be a manager or coach in Europe, but I am here, in Al-Ain and I am happy here.

“This club has given me the chance to be part of this great competition, and take part with Al-Ain, a great club and biggest team in this area. In the future, we never know. 

“For every coach and player, it’s always a dream to go to a bigger league. I played in Germany for nine years, I speak German. Maybe on day something comes, but you never know.

“I am concentrated on my job, will do it properly and we’ll see what comes along.”


UAE Tour canceled after Italian cyclists have coronavirus diagnosed

Updated 37 min 36 sec ago

UAE Tour canceled after Italian cyclists have coronavirus diagnosed

  • The hotel hosting the riders, the Crowne Plaza Abu Dhabi Yas Island, was sealed off
  • Riders, organizers and administrators will undergo medical check-ups

ABU DHABI: Sports officials in the Emirates have canceled the final two stages of UAE Tour cycling event after two Italian competitors had coronavirus diagnosed. 

The Abu Dhabi Sports Council announced the cancelation late Thursday.

The council also said the decision had been made to ensure the safety of all the cyclists and teams, which it described as a priority.

The Health Ministry said that all participants, organizers and administrators will undergo medical check-ups. 

 

 

It also said all precautionary measures related to quarantine were taken to prevent the spread of the virus.

The hotel hosting the riders, the Crowne Plaza Abu Dhabi Yas Island, was sealed off on Thursday evening with riders, staff and members of the media not allowed to leave pending their check-ups.

Italian media reported on Twitter the arrival of medical units at the team hotel.

Multiple Tour de France winner Chris Froome tweeted his disappointment at the news, but wished all those affected a "speedy recovery."

 

 

The new coronavirus COVID-19 has infected more than 80,000 people worldwide - including dozens in the Middle East - and killed more than 2,800, mostly in China.