Former Arsenal Manager Arsène Wenger to coach Saudi super team
Arsène Wenger will coach a Saudi super team against Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) in the Riyadh Season Cup, according to reports.
The former Arsenal manager has been asked to manage a hybrid squad of the kingdom’s two biggest teams – Al-Hilal SFC and Al-Nassr FC – for a one-match tournament in January 2022, reported Arabic sports daily Arriyadiyah.
This is the first time French superstars PSG will play in Saudi Arabia and the first professional coaching gig for Wenger since he left Arsenal in 2018.
“The great international coach Arsene Wenger was signed to lead the stars of Al-Hilal and Al-Nassr against Paris Saint-Germain on the cup,” wrote Saudi Royal Court Advisor Turki Alsheikh on Twitter.
— TURKI ALALSHIKH (@Turki_alalshikh) October 10, 2021
Wenger, originally from Strasbourg in eastern France, managed the North London club for 22 years.
He is widely viewed as the most successful coach in Arsenal’s history, winning three Premier League titles and seven FA Cups.
News of Wegner’s signing follows the controversial Saudi takeover of Newcastle United, which was celebrated by fans but scorned by rights groups over the kingdom’s history of human rights abuses.
Some fans attacked the long-serving ex-Arsenal manager on Twitter, saying that Wenger should not be “associated with the Saudi regime” and that it goes “against Arsenal’s values”.
The Riyadh Season is a catalogue of events from October 2021 to March 2022 across the Saudi capital ranging from entertainment and cultural performances to sports fixtures.
The match between the Saudi team and PSG is expected to be one of the biggest events in the season, held in the third week of January.
A number of celebrity players including Lionel Messi and Neymar have featured in Riyadh Season’s promotional campaign.
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