Machin: "Looking at things in perspective, you realize that we are very lucky to have been born in Spain"

Pablo Machín has been training in Saudi Arabia since this July, when he signed for Al-Raed, from Al-Ain of the Arab Emirates. It was his first eastern stop after leaving Spanish football at the hands of Deportivo Alavés. Happy with his experience, he answered the call from SER Deportivos on the day that the second Spanish Super Cup begins in Saudi territory.

What is the most striking thing about Saudi Arabia?

Probably what is most striking is that the country is seen in black and white. The men wear white clothing, the women wear completely black, most with their faces covered, always with their hair covered. The country is changing a lot, it is modernizing. It is another culture and, looking at things with perspective, we also realize that we are very lucky even if only because we were born in Spain.

What is the pull of football in Saudi Arabia?

Much. In almost all countries it is the king of sports, but here it is everyone’s sport, because there is very little sport of the level. They are very fanatical. There is a lot of national repercussion.

Is it so hot?

It is the true reality, when you watch the games you think that it is played at a different speed, but when you are here you realize that it is impossible to keep up with this temperature. A somewhat different football is styled, but as in all places in the end what determines quality is.

What do you expect from Barça – Madrid?

It can be quite similar to what can be seen in Spain because there are not very high temperatures yet. In a semifinal, and more in a Classic, anything can happen. It is sure to see a good show.

Do you miss Spain?

Man, he always misses. It can be said that it is the first time that I have been away for so long and it is missed. Here we are seven Spaniards in the coaching staff, we have our moments ‘made in Spain’, and there is a very good thing in this calendar and that is that between the FIFA breaks and other stops such as the Asian Cup or competitions in Arabia, practically once a month we can go five or six days and this oxygenates a lot and the truth that helps to carry it much better.

Is it true that you rejected an offer from Elche for your coaching staff?

That is in the past, you have to make decisions. Not everything has to be looked at through your own navel, we are responsible for other people and football does not end in Spain. Everything enriches and the world of football is very wide.

Tell us a result.

More than a result, I want it to be a good show, a win-win situation for everyone.

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