Vieira’s inside knowledge of Iraq may help Kuwait

Vieira’s inside knowledge of Iraq may help Kuwait

Vieira indeed guided Iraq to Asian Cup glory seven years ago and maintains good relations with certain players from that time to this day.



By Alex Leach (Senior Reporter)

Published: Fri 14 Nov 2014, 2:14 PM

Last updated: Fri 3 Apr 2015, 5:38 PM

Riyadh — Jorvan Vieira insists there will be no divided loyalties on his part when he leads his current team Kuwait against an old employer in Iraq on Friday evening (Kick-off: 9:15pm). The 61-year-old Brazilian boss had two spells with the Iraqi national team between 2007 and 2009, either side of a short-lived stint with Iranian outfit Sepahan.

Vieira indeed guided Iraq to Asian Cup glory seven years ago and maintains good relations with certain players from that time to this day. However, with very few of them still involved in the current set-up, he is adamant his past association will have little bearing on the outcome of their first Group B outing overall. “I was with Iraq, but — first and foremost — I’m professional and I have to defend the trust invested in my service and my work,” the former Ittihad Kalba, Sharjah and Bani Yas coach said. “It’s always a pleasure to meet all of them, but friends are friends and work is work. We cannot mix the two. This is my work.

“Only three players in the current Iraqi national team were working with me and they brought 23 players here. There are 20 more players. There is a new generation of Iraqi players. “I know them of course; I obviously know how they play and I know how they work. But, this kind of pressure isn’t coming inside our door.” Nonetheless, Iraq’s assistant coach Abdulkareem Salman Al Anni clearly feels Vieira’s prior knowledge of the Iraq team gives Kuwait a slight advantage ahead of the clash.

“Vieira is someone coaches look to emulate and follow in Iraq and he certainly accomplished a great feat,” Al Anni explained. “He knows the levels of some of our players and has a clear blueprint, but it’s a sensitive subject. There is a brother and a friend to our players and coaching staff. He just happens to be the coach of our opponents and his knowledge of the Iraqi team may pose problems.”


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