On December 26th the Portuguese website flashscore had an exclusive interview with the director of victory in Riyadh and former Portuguese five-a-side football star Marcelo Salazar.
I started out as a sports coach and came to Saudi Arabia in 2018 as a teaching assistant for P é ricles Chamusca. Then Riyadh triumphantly invited Mano Menezes, but things didn’t go well and we went through a difficult period with several coaches.
Last year, in January 2022, when Miguel Russell arrived, the chairman decided to adjust the structure of the team and accept the advice of Pedro Emanuel, the outgoing Portuguese coach.
After Rui left, we also went through a period of instability (2020 on 21). We have a lot of coaches, Alan Howath, Mano Menezes, Pedro Emanuel, Miguel Russell, and I have also been on the bench in six games (we won four games).
Now we have successfully brought in Rudy Garcia, a great coach who will give us the conditions to be champions again and win all the games we play. This is our lofty ambition.
So, does your plan include Ronaldo?
All I can say is that Ronaldo is one of the best players in the history of football. As an athlete, he has always been my role model because he has shown the will to win. Then, as a Portuguese citizen, I always support him. But the future will be revealed.
It was a heart-touching transfer and produced a different reaction. For example, Carlo Ancelotti said that this is not an ideal champion for Cristiano Ronaldo, he said it is not competitive. What do you think of these criticisms?
It is easy to criticize things that have been neglected. I have been here for five years and all the players I have talked to are very surprised when they come here, especially for the Saudi league.
Even living in Riyadh and being with our family is a surprise for the players, as well as the school here and everything we have. In addition, we have also raised the level of sports.