Pedro Miguel Marques da Costa Filipe (12-14-1980, Torres Novas), better known for paperare the coaches of al tai of Saudi Arab, Portuguese with past as a player Benfica or Pacos FerreiraStarted his career on the bench as an assistant at Tondela and later became coach of Benfica’s subsidiary and already Sanjoanense, Fairense, Morerense, Tondela, Pacos Ferreira and Vitória Guimarães before jumping Saudi Pro League In 2022. With the possible arrival of Cristiano at Al Nassr, despite publicly denying it, the coach analyzes it as Competition that will get the crack of Madeira.
How is football in Saudi Arabia?
I am very surprised because I did not expect this kind of quality, the organization of the league, of the matches, of the fans, and the games are different from Europe because they are much more vertical. The game breaks a bit, but it has a lot of quality. Saudi players are in development with foreign players so that they have good availability. It seems that they never get tired.
Does it change much with European football?
I found the biggest difference in the tactical aspects because here in the game, if you’re not careful, it becomes a bit divided and creates a gap between the defensive and offensive lines. Keeping the team organized on the field is a big challenge. The Saudis have a lot of depth and they get a lot of involvement in the game. I see the potential for improvement. When you find teams organized like in Europe, there are very competitive matches.
Which league will Cristiano join?
If Cristiano comes here it will be a national holiday. His age doesn’t matter, his past, his mindset and his curriculum is for the Saudis as if he is a god. If he comes to Al Nasr, one of the biggest Arab clubs, he has everything to play and score goals.
How is Al Nasr?
It’s a team like it’s Real Madrid or Barcelona here. A club that doesn’t need much defending as they are the best in the league. Cristiano will do well with Al Nasr’s game as they spend 70% of the game in attack and he is one of the best goalscorers in the world.
There is talk of Ospina, Alvaro Gonzalez, Luiz Gustavo, Gonzalo Martinez, Talisca, Aboubakar and Cristiano. Is Al Nassr the opponent to beat?
Al Hilal, Al Shabaab, Al Ittihad and Al Nassr are the four strongest. Al Nassr has great players, but Al Hilal has almost the entire Saudi Arabian squad. These four are the ones who usually play the championship.
How many goals do you think Cristiano can score in Arabia?
It is difficult, his first match is against us (Al-Tai). If he stays for 15-16 days, he can score more than 20 goals. If he comes, it will be great for the players and the league. Here, the king is doing everything to keep the league on top in the world, making a huge effort financially so that in five or ten years it is one of the best in the world.
What will Cristiano bring to the Saudi league?
Above all visibility, many more newspapers, fans, sponsors will set their eyes on the Saudi Arabian League. If Cristiano comes here it will be like Pele went to America. Sometimes it takes an effort to bring out the best in the world with a unique resume so that others can see that they can come. Saudi league not only have money but also have a plan which will lead to a very good league in future. China has dropped after 4-5 very strong years. He started here ten years ago and every season he improves without taking a step back. Foreign players come, competition improves, stadiums, fans, television coverage… They always try to take a step ahead. It is the best league in the Middle East but the government wants to try and even though it is impossible with European leagues but with Brazil or Mexico.
How do you expect it to affect the country? What does Cristiano have to keep in mind about Saudi Arabia as a country?
A national holiday has to be made to celebrate them. The culture and habits are very different from those of Europe. We have to adapt to some rules. Rest and food should be understood and respected. Training doesn’t happen in the morning because if there’s prayer at 5, you can’t train at 8 or 9, and the hot hours are also taken care of. This is impossible in periods of extreme heat.
On 5 January they will play against Al-Nassr. A forecast for the day when Cristiano arrives?
This is football. I hope to win and then hug Cristiano.
What made you leave Portugal and go to Arabia?
Leaving Portugal for the Saudi League was an opportunity I had been looking for for a long time. I thought I would go to the Middle East when I was 50, spend a little more time in Europe. Got the opportunity and I’m here to continue doing the good work and opening up the market.
What are your goals with Al Tai?
The team cannot opt for the title as it fights for salvation. We want to empower players and be among the top eight in the standings.
Would you train in Europe again?
Yes, it was surprising for me to leave Europe at such a young age, but I am very happy here and I am always up for traveling and learning new experiences.
How do you see Portugal in the World Cup?
Very good. It was one of the best games in recent years against Switzerland because the kids had fun and play better when they are happy. I believe we can reach the final and everything can happen. With all due respect to Morocco, but on paper it is theoretically different to find Morocco or Spain. Moroccans play as a team and they have given us a very serious warning. We have to respect the name of the opponent ie play our football and try to reach the goal.