Sun 27-10-2019 22:32 PM
ABU DHABI, 27th October, 2019 (WAM) -- The true origin of football remains disputed, but the one thing that almost everyone can agree on is that Brazil perfected the game- a fact that the UAE football decision makers assimilated from the very beginning.
Therefore, sports seemed to play a key role in building up a successful partnership between the two countries that has now spanned 35 years.
In 1984, Emirati football began its initial phase of development under the management of veteran Brazilian coach Carlos Alberto Gomes who led the country at the 1988 AFC Asian Cup and left his position after the tournament. He was succeeded by yet another prominent Brazilian coach, Mário Zagallo. The World Cup winning coach Zagallo guided the country to the 1990 FIFA World Cup in Italy for the first time in history. However, Zagallo resigned before the tournament and Parreira returned as head coach to lead the UAE at the much coveted tournament.
It's thus a discretionary insistence by UAE officials on the 'Beautiful Game', a Brazilian characteristic in which UAE always believed.
The Brazilian football managers did not engrave their names at the national level merely, but Emirati clubs also vied for the beautiful game or "O jogo bonito" as it is commonly known in Portuguese, which was widely popularised by Brazilian legends, like Pele, Zico and Socrates.
Most notable of these coaches was Abel Braga, who managed the Al Jazeerah Club. He earned Al Jazeerah three tournaments from 2008 to 2011. Other Brazilian coaches also accomplished significant achievements, particularly Toninho Cerezo, and the late Caio Junior, who managed Al Shabab and Al Jazeerah clubs.
Adenor Leonardo Bacchi or Tete, will never forget the support of the Al Wahda when the Club approved his request to return to Brazil to coach the Brazilian National Team.
Jiu-jitsu also beefed up the partnership between the two countries, with over 600 Brazilian coaches currently working in Emirati jiu-jitsu academies, companies and clubs, and contributing to the sport’s local development that has made Abu Dhabi the world’s jiu-jitsu capital since 2015.
Ibrahim Salem Al Alawi, UAE Consul General in Sao Paulo, stated that the overall relations between the UAE and Brazil are a model to follow, especially in the area of sports.
He highlighted the keenness of Jair Bolsonaro, President of Brazil, to attend the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam Jiu-Jitsu World Tour in Rio de Janeiro, as a sign of the Brazilian leadership's determination to grow bilateral relations to higher levels.