A press-conference was held today in one of the most beautiful hotels in the center of Dubai on the first football tournament in which Zenit`s main side will play this year: the Dubai Cup, officially named MatchWorldCup. We`ve already written about the rules for this tournament. This time, the press conference focused on why this tournament is very important to the United Arab Emirates, and how the organizers want to develop the tournament in the future.
- We plan that other teams will follow after the six leaders of European and Asian football taking part this year, - believes March Biolly, the tournament director. – Our current tournament is the first ever, and in the future we plan not only to catch up to and exceed the popularity of the World Club Cup held by FIFA, but to make MatchWorldCup more prestigious as well.
That said, the coaches of the various teams this year, all of which can be potential opponents of Zenit (either in the group, or in the play-off), have different goals.
- There are really famous teams playing in this tournament, and matches with them are a great experience for my players, - says Gabriel Calderon, head coach of Al Hilal. – This tournament features teams that won their national leagues, who`ve won the UEFA Cup. The level is very high.
The coach of Persipolis, Zenit`s opponent in the group stage, and the most popular team in Asia (club representatives say that 35-40 million people support the team) Ali Dael, wants to compare the levels of the teams in the tournament.
- Asian teams don`t have so many opportunities to play in international tournaments at this level and class, - underlined one of the most famous Iranian footballers, currently training the Persian club. We`ll compare the levels of our teams, and we`ll see what we can hope for in competition against them.
Dubai journalists seem to have already decided who will be in the final – all of them were interested to know how things are in Zenit and Shakhter, and forecasted a Russian-Ukrainian final.
- It`s always good to have strong practice, - explained Igor Korneev, Zenit`s sports director. – We can get excellent experience playing against strong teams, which well help us prepare for the start of the season. After all, everybody knows we`ve just started our pre-season preparations.
The head of the sports board of Dubai and the tournament curator, Rashid Al Kamal, finished the press conference by noting that making a tournament for such teams like Zenit is a great honor to him, and that his colleagues will do everything possible for the comfort of the tournament participants. Probably no less, than for the comfort of the fans, to whom DubaiSports, one of the partners of the games, will give television broadcasts of the games.