Mahdi wants top coaches to lend UAE advice

Kenny Laurie 11:49 30/12/2013
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Honoured: Mahdi Ali collects his GCC Coach of the Year award from Fabio Capello (l) .

UAE national team coach Mahdi Ali believes the likes of Pep Guardiola and Antonio Conte should pass on their knowledge to local football coaches to help grow football in the region.

Some of world football’s biggest names were in the country this week at the eighth Dubai International Sports Conference and last night’s Globe Soccer Awards.

But while names such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Xavi and Franck Ribery have spoken to a select audience in Dubai, Ali believes more should be done to make better use of their time in the UAE.

Speaking at the Global Soccer Awards where he was awarded the GCC Coach of the Year, Mahdi said: “It’s very important to see the big coaches and hear them answer questions. I was speaking with an organiser and I hope they make training sessions for coaches while they are here.

“At the end of the day, they are coaches and we want to know what is going on. They are at the highest level with a lot of experiences and we want to learn from them.

“I hope that in the future they make it part of the event that the coaches have sessions with local coaches to pass on their wisdom and to help them learn.”

Mahdi went onto praise the event that saw Guardiola and Ribery recognised, among others, but as a passionate football man, the UAE coach believes that extending knowledge is more important than anything else.

Mahdi said: “I think the Global Soccer Awards a successful event especially now that is a recognised event and gives global recognition of the UAE and for Dubai.

“It’s great for all the sports people who are here. The coaches of the UAE can come here and gain experience. New things that they are implementing now at the top level of football, they can pass that onto the coaches here.

“We can see what the updates are globally. It’s a good opportunity to gain this experience.”

While the UAE coach may have hoped for more input from the esteemed guests at the event, Guardiola and Ribery did give some insight into their success and philosophies.

Awarded with the Media Attraction in Football and Most Successful Coach prizes, Guardiola spoke about the importance of playing entertaining as well as winning football.

“I focus only on the game, but it is a global sport,” said the Spaniard. “In England, Spain and Germany every game goes into all the homes and it is global so we try to entertain.

“We are not doing anything innovative in coaching, it is the talent that provides the best innovation. The best players give the best innovations in the sport.”

Guardiola’s superstar winger at Bayern Munich Franck Ribery expanded on his and his coach’s ideas of the way football is played and believes that the Spaniard is the best man to take his club forward.

“The Bundesliga is a strong league and it is our philosophy and culture to attack, we score many goals and we put on a show.

“I’m happy at the moment because Pep won everything at Barca, he knows how to win the Champions League and the league and we can win things with this kind of coach.”

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