Saudi Gazette report
ALAHSA — The head coach of the Saudi national team, Roberto Mancini, said that it’s the right time to call up new players after observing several players over the past three months.
The new roster, announced by Mancini for the first official matches of the Saudi national team in the qualifiers for the 2026 World Cup, includes the inclusion of several young players and the absence of experienced ones.
Speaking at the press conference held on Wednesday evening to discuss the Green Falcons’ preparations for the upcoming match against Pakistan in the second round of the Asian qualifiers for the 2026 World Cup and the 2027 Asian Cup, Mancini stated: “I would like to express my gratitude to the residents of Al-Ahsa for the warm welcome we have received in the past few days.”
Addressing the call-up of new players for the first time, he responded: “I believe it is the right time to call up new players after observing several athletes in the past three months. I am confident that we have talented emerging players who deserve the opportunity.”
Regarding the readiness of the Green Falcons, he said “Tomorrow’s match represents our first official match, and of course, beginnings are challenging as we seek to perform well and secure the points for the match.”
Commenting on the strength of the opposing teams in the Green Falcons’ group, he said: “Our goal is to give our 100% effort in all matches, but now we must focus on facing Pakistan, where we aim to appear well and earn all three points.”
Player Faisal Al-Ghamdi expressed his gratitude to the Al-Ahsa fans for their warm reception throughout the past period.
Regarding the upcoming match, he said, “It won’t be an easy match, especially as it comes at the beginning of the qualifiers. We aim to showcase our best performance.”
Regarding the benefit of having assistant coach Yaya Touré on the coaching staff, he said, “Yaya Touré is one of the best midfielders in football, and I will undoubtedly benefit a lot from him.”