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  • Ahmed Saleh

Coach Mancini introduces fresh players for Saudi national football team

ALAHSA — In a strategic move aimed at rejuvenating the Saudi national football team, head coach Roberto Mancini has opted to introduce new players to the roster for the upcoming official matches in the qualifiers for the 2026 World Cup. The announcement, made during a press conference to discuss preparations for the Green Falcons' match against Pakistan in the second round of the Asian qualifiers for the 2026 World Cup and the 2027 Asian Cup, signifies a departure from the inclusion of seasoned players.

During the press conference held on Wednesday evening, Mancini expressed gratitude for the warm welcome extended by the residents of Al-Ahsa over the past few days, where the team has been preparing. Addressing the decision to call up new players, Mancini emphasized that the past three months have been dedicated to observing and evaluating various athletes. He asserted, "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."

Discussing the readiness of the Green Falcons for their upcoming match against Pakistan, Mancini acknowledged the inherent challenges of beginnings but emphasized the team's commitment to delivering a strong performance and securing crucial points. He commented on the strength of the opposing teams in the group, stating, "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 gratitude to the Al-Ahsa fans for their warm reception and acknowledged the upcoming match's challenges, emphasizing the team's determination to showcase their best performance. Al-Ghamdi also highlighted the valuable contribution of assistant coach Yaya Touré, noting, "Yaya Touré is one of the best midfielders in football, and I will undoubtedly benefit a lot from him." The inclusion of Touré on the coaching staff adds a wealth of experience and knowledge to the team, further enhancing its prospects in the competitive qualifiers.

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