Soccer greats discuss various issues at 17th edition of DISC


Dignitaries attend 17th Dubai International Soccer Conference.

Mohammad Abdullah, Senior Sports Reporter

A number of issues related to the football were discussed at the 17th Dubai International Soccer Conference held at the Dubai Sports Council headquarters on Thursday.

The spotlight was on scouting the new talent and harnessing them to make a professional football player.

Who is who of the football fraternity were present at the conference to share their experience and throw light on their modus operandi of the teams.

Unai Emery, head coach of the Premier League club; Rui Costa, President of Benfica; and Fabio Capello, who has coached the teams like England national team, AC Milan and Real Madrid were the main speakers. The session was moderated by Mohammad Sami of Dubai Sports Council.

“You have to be scout to watch a lot young players. First you have to make 25-30 good selections. Then you need to curtail the list and have plan for them to bring them on the top level,” said Emery. 

“You have to make plans to train them physically, technically and mentally. It is easy to teach young players because they arrive at big clubs and using the opportunity. But they don’t improve mentally.  You have to scout the players who will stay. They have to learn how paly with the opposition. Then they also have to fight for a place in the team as well,” added Villa coach.

“It is impossible to try to find a young players with talent. You can sign players with the experience. But with the young talent, you have to take them in confidence and try to do a lot of training session and help them grow,” he added.

Initially, you have to spend two three years with them. And in these years, you have to give them 10-15 minutes of match practice in big games to nurture them,” apprised the former AC Milan boss.

“When I gave Saka opportunity against Fulham  for the first time in the last 10 minutes he could not even touch the ball. I told him you have to improve a lot.

“When you are making a plan with the players and when they are training so we have to keep a watch on them how we can improve them. You have to help them,” he concluded.

“We don’t have any real budget allocated for the scouting. It is just a part of system. We have ten people working in this department. They are doing extra ordinary job,” said Costa.

“In Benfica, we have a lot of responsibility in our department. We have to pick from juvenile team from the academy. I can say with great proud that our reputation is very important. Only our name attracts the overseas players.

“Players like Morato, David Lewis, Alex Sanchez are not Portugal players but we nurtured them. The success of these players attract the new talent. When we pick up a boy, we have a history to tell. Players see Benfica as a great career as they know that we have produced a lot of stars.

“I think it is not every year we find the same generation of players. There are some generation which are better than the others. Now players do more exercise. 

You can sign a professional contract with only an 18-year-old, not before that. But if you leave them, they can go anywhere. We sell to the big five to maintain our team. I want players who want to win. If a player thinks about money then he is not ready on sporting part,” he added.



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