Muhammad Al-Kharashi, one of the most prominent coaches in the history of Saudi football, considered that the State of Qatar provided all the success factors for the 2022 World Cup in order to present an exceptional and unique version, noting that organizing an event the size of the World Cup is an honor for Qatar and all the Gulf and Arab countries.

Al-Kharashi said - in an interview with Al-Jazeera Net - that the achievement of the Saudi team's qualification for the second round of the 1994 World Cup is not far away, but that Al-Akhdar fell into an iron group and its task will be difficult, and it requires the players to believe in their ability and themselves in order to achieve the dream.

He explained that the State of Qatar was a milestone in his training career, as he participated in many training courses organized by the Qatar Federation under the supervision of the AFC, and his first title as a coach, which he achieved in the Asian Junior Championships, was in Qatar in 1985.

Al-Kharashi, 66, is one of the most prominent coaches in Saudi Arabia, as he won the Asian title twice with the junior team, and led Al-Akhdar to win the first Gulf Cup title, which eluded him throughout 11 copies, and was the owner of the achievement of leading the Kingdom for the first time to the 1994 World Cup Finals America. After leading the national team to victory over Iran (4-3) in the famous match held at Khalifa International Stadium in Doha.

The following is the text of the interview:

Al-Kharashi’s most notable achievement is leading the green team to the World Cup for the first time in 1994 (Saudi Press)

  • Tell us about your journey in the stadiums, whether as a player or coach?

My career in the stadiums as a player was short, and I started coaching immediately after retiring, where I worked in the age groups at Al Hilal Club as an assistant coach, and then took over the training of the youth and junior teams in the club.

After my success with Al Hilal, the Saudi Federation hired me to work as an assistant coach in the junior team in 1980, and 3 years later I took charge of the team, to lead the green to achieve the Asian Junior Championship title in Qatar in 1985, and qualify for the World Cup in the same year in China.

I managed again to lead Al-Akhdar to achieve the Asian Cup title in 1988 in Thailand and to qualify for the Junior World Cup in Scotland in 1989, which the Kingdom achieved its title, but at the time I worked as an assistant coach for Brazilian coach Terman Ivo.

  • When did you move to coach the first Saudi national team?

I worked in the first team in 1993 as an assistant coach with the Brazilian Jose Candinho, and I had the honor to take over the task of coaching Al-Akhdar after the dismissal of Candino, as I managed at that time to lead the team and qualify for the 1994 World Cup America for the first time, after winning over Iran (4-3). The play-off match was held at Khalifa International Stadium in Qatar.

  • What was the atmosphere of the match between Saudi Arabia and Iran and the joy of qualifying for the World Cup for the first time?

The match was a comma and is not divisible by two, and there must be a winner, and it was very important for the country and achieving the Kingdom’s dream of qualifying for the World Cup for the first time, which put me under intense pressure and focus, but thanks to the great players and my work on strengthening the psychological and moral side of the players, in addition to a surprise The competitor with a new plan and a different formation that includes 3 attackers, we were able to achieve the victory and achieve the dream. The Saudi joys will prevail in the stands of Hamad Bin Khalifa Stadium and spread from Doha to Riyadh.

After this match, Qatar became a distinctive mark in my training career, as I started my first steps in training through the training courses organized by the Qatar Federation, led by the late referee Ali Qandil and under the supervision of the AFC, in addition to the Asian Junior Cup title in 1985 I achieved in Qatar, and I almost repeated the same The achievement the following year in Qatar as well, but Al-Akhdar ranked third, and the dream of qualifying for the World Cup achieved from Doha.

  • What about the memories of the Saudi national team’s qualification for the second round of the 1994 World Cup?

After qualifying for the World Cup in America in 1994, I worked in the national team as an assistant coach for Argentine coach Jorge Solari during the preparation period, but unfortunately I was not with the team in the World Cup finals, as a family circumstance happened that prompted me to return to Saudi Arabia, but the team presented good levels and qualified for the second round after its superiority over other teams Big in the world of football.

  • What is the most significant achievement in your coaching career?

Far from leading the Saudi team for the 1994 World Cup, he was very proud of Al-Akhdar’s leadership in winning the tenth Gulf Championship title in 1994 in the UAE, where I took over the team’s coaching after Solari refused to renew his contract, to be able to achieve the title that eluded the team in 11 previous editions, despite the presence of Distinguished generations won the Asian Cup in 1984 and 1988, but they did not achieve the Gulf title.

Besides that, he also led the Olympic team to the Olympics in Atlanta in 1996, and was in the 1998 World Cup in France as an assistant coach to Brazilian coach Carlos Alberto Pereira.

  • What are the reasons for the failure of the Saudi national team, whether in the World Cup in France or the tournaments for which it qualified after that?

It is difficult to have an Asian or African team in the World Cup finals in two successive versions with the same image, and for the Saudi team, there are very many reasons for not succeeding, most notably that all the teams - which participated in the world championships after the 1994 World Cup - witnessed a disparity in level and did not appear in the same image, This is due to the different names, styles and methods of playing, as well as the fact that the team falls into difficult groups.

  • What is your assessment of the Saudi team in the World Cup Qatar?

The Saudi team has fallen into an iron group that includes Argentina, Mexico and Poland, which are great teams, whether at the world level or at the level of their continents, and the task of Al-Akhdar will be difficult, but it needs the players to believe in their ability and themselves in order to achieve the dream.

I think that football logic and realism may not be in the interest of the Saudi team, and therefore more effort must be made to change this image.

  • Will holding the World Cup in Qatar enhance the chances of Saudi Arabia and the participating Arab countries?

Certainly, the establishment of the World Cup in the State of Qatar would support all participating Arab teams, led by Saudi Arabia by virtue of its neighborliness, where Al-Akhdar will have a large public backer to support the team in all its matches.

  • How do you see Qatar hosting the World Cup and what are your expectations for this global event?

We are pleased that Qatar is hosting this international football event, as it is a sisterly Gulf and Arab country, and we have deep-rooted relations with it at various levels. Through our participation in this event, we will seek to make the tournament a success and appear in the best picture.

  • What do you think about questioning Qatar's ability to host the World Cup?

The FIFA cannot compliment one country over another, no matter what, and Qatar chose to organize this event because it provided all the factors for success, as well as it presented an integrated file and promised to fulfill all FIFA requirements, and we are now watching on the ground the distinctive preparations, huge facilities and unique stadiums. And everyone praises the extent of Qatar's capabilities in organizational operations, after it excelled in organizing many international sporting events during the last period, and we in Saudi Arabia are the best supporter of Qatar, wholeheartedly.

  • What do you think about the level of the Saudi League, and what is the reason for the relegation of a team the size of Al-Ahly Jeddah?

The unprecedented support for all the clubs in the Saudi League made the levels of the clubs converge greatly, in light of the ability of each team to buy the best foreign professionals, which eventually led to the relegation of an ancient team such as Al-Ahly Jeddah, but it is able to return quickly and restore its position.

The Saudi League is living its best technical period, especially with the presence of large numbers of foreign players, which contributed to the development of the technical level of the competition, in light of the increased competitiveness and friction with senior players with experience in the largest European leagues.

  • Was the Saudi national team affected by the increase in the number of foreign players in the local league?

Certainly, Al-Munthab was affected by this, especially in some centers, including the outright striker position, where there is no striker in the current generation of the team at the same level as previous generations, in light of the teams’ dependence on foreign attackers, as well as the goalkeeping center, but the presence of foreigners in the league is a necessity, as They are directly working to raise the level of the local player, in light of his contact with the expertise and high technical levels belonging to different football schools.