Eric de Oliveira, friend of Al Shehri who defeated Argentina in the World Cup


Saudi Arabia’s first scorer in the match against Argentina, Saleh Al-Shehri, was a colleague of Eric de Oliveira at Al Hilal.

The Brazilian enjoyed Argentina’s defeat and is hoping to get a shirt from the man he befriended when he played in Saudi Arabia and caused one of the biggest upsets in World Cup history.

The Brazilian also played in Qatar and talks about the fact that the world was not at all interested in football there, local players did not always come to training and booze was everywhere.

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ProSport: Are you friends with Saleh Al-Shehri, what can you tell us about him?

Eric de Oliveira: We played together at Al Ahli. Five minutes before the second half started I was praising him on Twitter and writing about the very good half played by Saudi Arabia. The half started and his goal came out. Nice that Argentina loses and that a country where I was won.

Were you happy because Argentina lost?

Yes. But I was more happy for Saudi Arabia.

About Saleh…

We were actually hanging out together and talking a lot in the locker room. He was in Portugal and spoke Portuguese. A very sensitive boy. In the last five years it has been on the rise. He became the champion of Asia with Al Hilal. A very good player. Very technical.

Are Arabs talented?

Yes. Among Qatar, UAE and Saudi Arabia, the Saudi Arabian championship is the strongest. They are very picky players. They really take football very seriously.

Have you messaged Saleh Al Shehri?

I’m looking for his number and I’m going to ask him for a shirt.

“A colleague came in a Ferrari and it rained a lot and it flooded”

Are Arabs professional players?

Not all of them, but on the field they give everything. Saleh was very professional. Non-playing players are more extras. Those who play are serious.

Do Arabs earn a lot?

They were making about a million dollars a year. Everyone takes money there. There is no work like in Qatar. There, football comes first. There are also good coaches from Europe. When a coach comes, everything changes.

Saudi Arabia or Qatar? Where were the richest footballers? Where were more expensive cars in practice?

Everyone has expensive cars. He was a Kuwaiti player, he was a kind of Kuwaiti Ronaldinho. He came in a Ferrari and it rained a lot and his car got flooded. It’s broken. He lost it.

“I also played at 60 degrees. No more than 100 spectators came to the matches”

How were the players in Qatar?

Most of them were working. Not at the big clubs. There were good Qataris there. Most of them worked in the Police.

How much does a Qatari player earn?

They were paid but they didn’t have salaries like that. It was more amateur. On the days when we went to the gym, there were only about 5 of us. No one came. Some were at work, some did not come. After the meal, everyone came. Only us foreigners were supposed to be professionals.

Were there spectators at the matches?

They didn’t really come. They weren’t interested. Whatever you said on the field was heard on TV. I don’t think I’ve ever played with more than 100 people in the stands.

Now they are air-conditioned stadiums. You didn’t catch anything like that. was it hot

I got 60 degrees once. When you left the house it was like hell. When I was going down to the supermarket, the water was running on me. We were playing more at night, but we played a friendly at 10 o’clock and it was 60 degrees. I walked 3 minutes from the locker room to the field and I was soaking wet.

“I don’t understand why they banned the drink now”

What was life like there?

Very good, quite a free life. Arabs are like vampires. By 5 am everyone is out and they sleep during the day. I also caught when matches were stopped for prayer, but I respected all their customs. In Saudi Arabia, one man is not allowed to stand naked next to another. We each showered with the cabin closed.

But isn’t that the case in Qatar?

There are not so many restrictions there. There were discos, there was booze everywhere in the bars. I don’t understand why they banned the drink now. It was everywhere.

Was life expensive?

Not. The food had prices like in Romania.


Source: Prosport by www.prosport.ro.

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