It’s a great day for Bahrain football, says coach Sousa
December 09 2019 11:41 PM

By Sports Reporter/ Doha

As Helio Sousa prepared to answer the journalists’ questions after their historic win in the 24th Arabian Gulf Cup win against Saudi Arabia on Sunday, Bahrain players stormed into the conference hall and began chanting the Portuguese coach’s name for his efforts that saw them lift the title in nearly half a century.
It was a moment of achievement, celebration and appreciation. And Sousa knew it.
After the players left the hall, the 50-year-old said, “It is a great day in the history of Bahraini football that deserved to be celebrated. This day is the culmination of the tremendous work that we started – to create a team that can compete for titles, a work we started about five months ago. We have fighter players in every match. It is a unique moment that we deserve to be proud of. We turn our sights to March, when the Asian qualifiers confrontation awaits us.”
He added: “We worked inside an integrated system. So far we have won two championships – in West Asia in Iraq and Gulf Cup 24 in Qatar. The Saudi team that we faced in the final started modestly in its first meetings, but it was elected with high quality in subsequent confrontations. We succeeded today in fighting it because we believed in the capabilities of our players, and we gave them full confidence to present their best. I came from Portugal to take on such challenges. We worked to compete for the championships. This vision was not trusted by those around us. We played against a group of the most prominent teams on the continent and achieved two important titles. I think everyone is a believer in this team and the players who made history.”
Many described Sousa’s tinkering with the team ahead of its matches as “gambling”, but Sousa was quick to counter. “It is not gambling; gambling is in the casino,” Sousa said jokingly. “I believe in all the 23 players. Each of them was able to perform as they should, and this is what we have proven. We spent a lot of time building this team. I have players who are no less important than those who are here and the conditions did not help them to participate.”
He concluded: “I congratulate the Bahraini people on this achievement. I congratulate our players on this heroic performance. Our goal is to continue to achieve good results and to find our way in the double qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup and Asia 2023.”

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