May 15, 2021

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FIFA World Cup 2022 – News – Hadzibegic: Montenegro is at the start of something amazing

6 min read
FIFA World Cup 2022™ - News - Hadzibegic: Montenegro is at the start of something amazing
  • Faruk Hadzibegic has been in cost of Montenegro since July 2019
  • Coach has remodeled a struggling facet
  • Discusses his job, the draw for Qatar 2022 and his taking part in days

When Faruk Hadzibegic was appointed Montenegro coach in July 2019, he inherited a facet that was very a lot down on its luck. Bottom of their UEFA EURO 2020 qualifying group – a place they remained in – the disaster-stricken Brave Falcons wanted all the 63-12 months-previous Bosnian’s endurance and human contact to get again on observe. And get again on observe they did, stringing collectively some tremendous leads to the previous few months and reaping the rewards of his diligent work.

Such has been Montenegro’s restoration, in reality, that Hadzibegic believes they’ve what it takes to achieve the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™, the UEFA preliminary draw for which takes place on Monday 7 December. In an interview with FIFA.com, the former Yugoslavia worldwide discusses his present job, his ambitions for the future and his expertise of taking part in at Italy 1990.

FIFA.com: What was going by your head if you have been appointed Montenegro coach in July 2019?

Faruk Hadzibegic: I had blended feelings. I used to be returning to a component of former Yugoslavia the place political tensions had by no means actually gone away and the place the plight of the nationwide group was inflicting loads of stress, concern and unhappiness. It was a difficult scenario and I needed to assume it by. In the finish, although, my love for soccer and my need to return to my roots gained out.

The group was in poor kind. What was the temper like if you began?

All these dangerous outcomes had knocked the group off track however my feeling was that the gamers needed to show issues round. We wanted to spend time collectively, to speak issues by and get out on the pitch. The entire teaching workers rallied round the group, and the temper and the ambiance couldn’t be higher now.

The outcomes have taken a short time to come back.

I’ve bought loads of expertise so I knew there have been going to be some robust occasions at the start and some temper swings concerned. Everyone wanted to take trip from the scenario, on each a soccer and psychological degree. We additionally had accidents to the likes of Stevan Jovetic, who’s our most technically gifted participant. Everything occurred at as soon as: morale was low, the outcomes have been dangerous and we had accidents too.

What targets have been you set by Dejan Savicevic, the head of the nationwide FA since 2006?

He didn’t give me any particular goal apart from getting the group again on a steady footing and restoring confidence and a way of dedication to the nationwide group. I performed with him and towards him in [former] Yugoslavia. He was identified all through his profession for his qualities as an individual and a participant. He’s the finest president I’ve ever had in my profession, at membership and nationwide group degree. He is aware of the recreation inside out and talks about nothing else. He runs the nationwide affiliation like a household, as if it have been his dwelling.

Montenegro's forward Stevan Jovetic (L) vies with England's midfielder Steven Gerrard (R)

© AFP

The inhabitants of Montenegro is solely 600,000. Does that restrict your possibilities of success?

It goes with out saying that if you solely have 100,000 registered gamers you’re going to have a a lot smaller participant pool than Spain, France or Germany, who’ve bought tens of millions. We get by, although. It’s a disadvantage however it’s not an issue for me. When we’re at full energy, which hasn’t occurred since I’ve been right here, we’ve bought an opportunity towards any group.

What are your views forward of the UEFA preliminary draw for Qatar 2022, which is arising on Monday 7 December?

My solely hope for the qualifiers is to have the ability to go into them in the very best form, with none damage issues or something like that. We’re in a great place proper now. We’ll have to attend and see what the draw has bought in retailer for us, however I’m hoping we get an thrilling group with groups from the world’s prime ten and a few fixtures that can excite the gamers and the entire nation. Montenegro is a sporting nation with a successful tradition.

Do you assume Montenegro are able to play in the World Cup?

Yes, with out a shadow of a doubt.

Your dwelling nation, Bosnia and Herzegovina certified for Brazil 2014, of course. Is {that a} supply of inspiration for you?

I helped out with the reconstruction of the nation and the nationwide group after the warfare [the Bosnian War of 1992-95]. They have been very clever and courageous in doing the work they did. We are wanting at what our neighbours are doing and we’re taking it slowly. You must be bold however you possibly can’t get forward of your self. If you ask me, although, Montenegro is at the start of something amazing.

Are you the kind to speak about your taking part in profession to your gamers?

Oh that! Never. I don’t enable myself to try this. It was one other time. What’s the use in me saying I performed with the likes of [Diego] Maradona, [Michel] Platini, [Lothar] Matthaus and [Emilio] Butragueno? They’re good reminiscences and I cherish them however I don’t use these experiences to get on the identical degree as my gamers.

What reminiscences do you might have of your run with Yugoslavia at Italy 1990?

It was an amazing expertise, a extremely thrilling journey for us. It offers me goose bumps simply fascinated with it. I used to be at the peak of my powers, each mentally and bodily. It was a World Cup of artists. You had [Roberto] Baggio with Italy, [Rene] Higuita with Colombia, and Butragueno with Spain, to call however three. There was loads of ability on present at that World Cup.

What influence did your performances have in former Yugoslavia, which was on the brink of warfare at the time?

We at all times bought loads of help from the followers. When we beat Spain in the final 16 it was fully regular for us, and I’m not being conceited once I say that. We believed in ourselves. We revered the opposition however we had the high quality to beat them.

You then performed Argentina in the quarter-finals. As a defender, what goes by your head if you’re about to face Diego Maradona?

Diego was an excellent participant. It’s a pleasure to tackle one of the finest gamers in the world, however that’s something you concentrate on after the match. During the recreation you don’t have time to assume. We have been taking part in the reigning world champions, so we have been simply wanting at ourselves. I might see, although, that Maradona had an amazing perspective. He performed for the group, was actually up for it, and had loads of respect for us. I admired him however I used to be centered.

That was Yugoslavia’s final worldwide match and also you missed the final penalty. Does it nonetheless damage?

It’s only one of these issues. I are likely to put issues into context. There are regrets as a result of I’d have most well-liked to attain. But everybody jogs my memory about that penalty and talks to me about it. There was even a guide about it and a movie, which asks if my penalty began the warfare (laughs). I take all of it with a pinch of salt. I performed for 20 years and that’s the solely factor individuals keep in mind. But I chuckle about it and I see the humorous facet. I went down in World Cup and in historical past full cease due to that penalty (laughs).

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