An exclusive interview with the superstar of Al Ain and one of the best players in the Saudi League this season
Philip Bradarich, the star of central Saudi Al-Ain, confirmed his happiness to be in the Prince Muhammad Bin Salman Professional Cup League, explaining that the club president’s insistence on including him played a role in his acceptance of playing in the Arab region, despite his previous refusal to do so.
The Croatian star indicated in his private interview with Gul the Arabic version that Al-Nasr is the strongest team that he faced in the Saudi League this season, but Al-Shabab is a candidate for the title for reasons he explained in the following dialogue:
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How would you describe the atmosphere in Saudi Arabia, specifically in Al-Baha, after spending 6 months in it?
Before my arrival, I did not know anything about Saudi Arabia, what is the mentality? What is the nature of life here ?, The most important thing for me is that the people here are very kind and very friendly and want to help with all their strength, at that time everything became easy, for me everything became easy.
What are the things that impressed you in Saudi Arabia?
The most important thing for me is the people, their special mentality and the drive for help they always have, they want to give everything.
I applied to the Saudi League in the third round almost, how did you take the step of coming to a club that is competing for the first time in the Saudi Premier League?
For me, the most important thing that happens in the world of football is change, during the preparation period I was in Cagliari, but unfortunately four weeks before the start of the league, I was infected with the Corona virus, and when I recovered, I was not able to enter the group again, and I found that the offer I received from Saudi Arabia Good, and I had rejected it, but the president’s insistence on contracting me was what prompted me to go through the experience, and after I arrived here, I found things going well and I am happy with this experience.
Have you received any Arab offers other than Al Ain before coming to the Saudi League?
I have already received offers during the past years, but I did not discuss them seriously at the time, but due to the interest and insistence of the President of Al Ain Club, I agreed to the offer of Al Ain.
How did you see the competition in Saudi football? Did you expect the competition to be this strong?
Europeans have a general view that the football competence present here is not at a high level, but when you come on the ground, you will find that you are fighting against very high-qualified teams and players in all teams were playing in very big clubs.
Al Ain dominated most of the matches, but the result was the opposite. Did coach Skippa’s method affect this result?
I do not like to talk about a former or current coach or any coach in general, this is not my job, and I am currently present on the field and performing my best, in order to develop and benefit the team, it is possible to say that the reality of our ranking does not reflect the level of our team and we have the competence that makes us in A better place, but unfortunately many matches we were the better team and in the end the result did not serve us, and the simplest example of the last match I thought we were the best, but the result did not serve us and some small details and focus is what differentiates these matches.
Al Ain is in last place despite the impressive levels it offers. Can Al Ain survive this season in the Professional League?
If I did not trust that we would be able to stay in the league, I would be the first player to leave and return to his home, I trust that we can survive, I know that the task is not easy and the next matches are very difficult, and you must have faith in yourself and your colleagues that this project will succeed, In order to achieve this, it must work and work and work until the goal of survival is achieved.
Has arbitration affected the team’s results this season? What is the match in which you feel that the team was wronged?
I do not like to talk about referees either, in the first and last I know that they strive to give their maximum, although there are certain times there are definitely decisions that I was not happy or satisfied with, and what I can say is that I am a football player, and I have to respect the referees and their specialization And the last game did not score us a 100% correct goal, but it is not my specialty to object at all, I must give my utmost effort and present my best, I should not care about the opinions of others, we must win with our hands, and I am confident that we got our right before Referees during the upcoming matches.
What is the toughest opponent he has faced so far in the Saudi League? What is the most prominent team so far this season?
I have not faced Al-Hilal, but I know that it is a great team, and it is possible to say that the strongest team I have faced so far is Al-Nasr, a very organized team, and the team that is able to achieve the title this season is Al-Shabab, a very organized team with a strong attacking force, and it attracted stars Foreigners of a very high standard.
Who caught your attention in terms of the Saudi players? Can you name the top 3 players, as well as the top 3 foreign players?
As for me, I do not know names in other teams. I know that there are many distinguished Saudi players, but I do not know names, and I can say names from my team.
If you were selected to play for a team of the Big Five, “Hilal – Ittihad – Youth – Ahli – Nasr”, who would you choose?
What I can say is that the five teams are the biggest in Saudi Arabia, but since I am in Al Ain, I have to defend the Al Ain logo.
Did coach Zlatko have a role in your coming here? Who convinced you to come to Saudi Arabia?
Sure, I have contacted any Croatian who has been here before, but what I see is that the situation here has changed dramatically, I am not talking about football only, but about the situation as a whole, at the moment the country is open, which helped me to live here, which for me was something Very positive.
Which is the strongest Saudi league or Croatian? Why?
For me it is close to 50% 50% in terms of strength, there are very good teams in the Croatian League, for example the Dynamo Zagreb team, which is in the European League, and in the Saudi League there are 4 or 5 teams who have very strong players at a high level, which is what made football Here at a high level, but for me I see it equal 50% against 50%, the only difference is the mentality and lifestyle of the Saudi player, who if he changes some habits and traditions such as eating, sleeping and staying up late, I can say at the time that the level of the Saudi League will move to another level and it will be Reach the highest professional levels.
What does Al Ain experience differ from your previous experiences in technical terms?
For me, the level of professionalism is the difference between here and there, the topic is related to eating and sleeping schedules, things that you drink or types of food, exercise planning, travel and everything, and I do not know if this is commonplace in all teams, or is it related to the fact that the eye is newly emerging from first degree.
Did the presence of the quality of professionals like you, Banega, Giovinco, Jomis and Amrabat contribute to the development of the Saudi League in terms of marketing?
Of course, it was a strong motive and enough motivation that there are big names within the league and the level they offer and their statistics, meaning that the clubs have great competence, which formed a motivation for me to come here, and motivated me to join the Saudi League and that the level will be high and there will be great competition.
Having Ambassador Tider, Bastos and Juanbe in addition to you, would it have made it easier for you to have players coming in the summer period of the same quality as you as international players?
For me, when you contract with names and they are at a high level, it will be a very big help to attract other distinguished players, because the names on the team will give you the motivation and motivation to join the team.
Your experience in Spain, does it give you the impression that the top teams Barcelona and Real Madrid have special treatment?
The topic was not strange. I was playing in Cagliari and I met big teams like Juventus, Inter Milan and Milan, and it was for me a natural thing, and my first major match in the Spanish League with Celta Vigo was at the Bernabeu in front of Real Madrid, the stadium is full of fans, and sure there was awe, But when the game starts you start having fun, you start playing and doing your best.
The best player in the world, from your point of view? Is it Cristiano, Messi, or Modric?
For me it is difficult to determine the best player in the world and I respect them all, but my preferences will be for my friend in the national team and the citizens of Luka Modric.
Finally … a Saudi player / club who can play in the Spanish and Italian League, who is he?
I repeat what I said, a lot of players can play there, but for me the problem I have is mentality and professionalism, the difference between here and there is the level of professionalism, it is completely different between the Saudi League and the European leagues, and this is the only difference.