HomeWorld NewsHervé Renard, Saudi Arabia coach, regrets disappointing his mother

Hervé Renard, Saudi Arabia coach, regrets disappointing his mother

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AL RAYYAN, Qatar (AP) — I’m sorry, Mom.

Saudi Arabia coach Hervé Renard felt he disappointed his mother when Poland beat his team in the World Cup on Saturday.

The French coach said before the game that it was going to be very special for her because her parents were Polish, “but she will wear the Saudi national team shirt. Don’t worry.”

it’s the first world cup which Renard’s mother has attended and who was at the Lusail Stadium to witness one of the biggest surprises when his team defeated Argentina 2-1 in their opening match.

“I think every week he watches maybe two or three games,” Renard said. “He loves football, so of course he was very happy.”

There was no repeat upset on Saturday when Robert Lewandowski scored one goal and assisted another in Poland’s 2-0 win..

“She won’t be happy with me tonight,” Renard said. “I’m sure she’s very sad. But I’ll tell him, you always tell me, ‘Never give up.’ She always works hard and the opportunity will come back.’”

Qualification for the second round is still possible for Saudi Arabia after their loss to Poland.

“As I said before, we are still alive,” Renard said.

The 54-year-old Renard was already highly regarded for his success with the Saudi Arabian national team since taking over in 2019 and his popularity has grown even more since the win over Argentina.

Renard was surrounded by fans after the news conference on Friday as local journalists lined up to take selfies with him. The suave Frenchman evidently smiled his wide smile, showing pristine teeth for photos and seemed in no rush to leave.

Renard has had great success internationally. Remarkably, he guided Zambia to their first Africa Cup of Nations title in 2012 and then repeated the feat with the Ivory Coast three years later.

The former Lille and Sochaux coach helped Morocco qualify for the 2018 World Cup. It was the first time in 20 years that Morocco had reached the tournament. However, his team managed just one point from three group stage matches, losing 1-0 to Iran and Portugal before drawing 2-2 with Spain.

This World Cup is already better.

Against Poland on Saturday, Saudi Arabia had twice as many shots on goal as Poland. Poland were boosted by goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny, who saved a penalty and several other vital blocks.

“We didn’t lose today’s match due to bad luck. We lost the game against them because we were not efficient,” said Renard, who praised Szczesny. “He did his job, fantastic job. But no one found out today, huh? He is a great goalkeeper ”.

Renard is proud of how his team has performed in the two World Cup games so far.

“I don’t think many people (thought) that Saudi Arabia was capable of playing this type of football,” he said. “This is the reason why I am proud of them.”

Renard referred to the vocal support the Green Falcons received at Education City Stadium, where enthusiastic Saudi fans turned the game home, and expects more of the same for the final group game against Mexico on November 30 in Lusail, where his team beat Argentina.

“I hope they don’t give up,” Renard said of the fans. “Because when you’re a fan, you need to root for your team when it’s a fantastic day, but you also need to root for your team to make history in Game 3.”

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AP World Cup coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/world-cup and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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