World Cup: in 1998, Moissy

Between May 28 and June 30, 1998, the Saudis delighted the Moissy-Cramayel public with two training sessions a day. Players quickly eliminated from the World Cup, but who played the game of proximity with their Seine-et-Marnais supporters ©Archives/RSM77

“The Brazilians of the Desert”. This is how it was nicknamed Saudi Arabia team during the 1998 World Cup. And for good reason. In addition to training in Seine et Marne, like the Brazilians“the Green Falcons” were managed by Carlos Alberto Parreirathe coach auriverde who led Brasil to the title of world champion four years earlier, in the United States.

If the arrival of Mexicans in Nangis took a while to decidethe coming of the Saudis to Moissy Cramayel was quickly closed. From February 1998, coach Parreira came to visit the André-Trémet stadiumwhere his team will prepare before their three group matches against Denmarkto the Franceet al’South Africa. ” Flawless… first-class ! We will be very happy here, ”he confided, two days after discovering the Stade de France, where his team will face the Blues.

With around fifty people, the Saudi delegation took up residence from May 28 to June 30, not far from the Moisséen sports complex, in Novotel Greenparc of Saint-Pierre-du-Perret (Essonne) which privatized for the occasion two of its three floors.

One would have thought that Saudi Arabia would opt for luxury during its stay in France. Worn clichés. The Saudi Federation officials wanted to stay in a quiet and simple establishment, but they also negotiated the prices very fiercely. For petrodollars, limousines, generous emirs, we will come back…

Archives The Republic of Seine-et-Marne (June 1998)

Admiring glances and guard of honor

On the infrastructure side, the city of Moissy and the agglomeration of Sénart (SAN, editor’s note) put the small dishes in the big ones: “Signs indicate the direction of the stadium, welcome signs in Arabic, and large banners ‘Sénart celebrates the World Cup’ have been placed around the lawn, a flower bed representing the SAN logo was set up in record time at the entrance to the sports complex and the gymnasium was transformed into a superb press centre. Difficult to do more…”, recognizes The Rep.

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” The technique ? Carlos Alberto Parreira does not make his players work too much”, noted La Rep, in June 1998 ©Archives/RSM77

About fifteen job seekers have also been hired for a month, in order to ensure the reception of the public, authorized to attend the two weekly sessions.

Opposition, strikes, games and physical work make up the bulk of the training. The technique ? Carlos Alberto Parreira does not make it work too much on his players.

Archives The Republic of Seine-et-Marne (June 1998)

Despite the honor of receiving the visit of the Prince Sultan Bin Fahd Bin Abdelazizson of king fahadthe latter will not repeat the feat of the 1994 World Cup where, for their first participation in the biggest competition, they climbed to 8are of final. In France, Sami Al Jaber and his teammates will experience an expeditious World Cup: a setback against Denmark (0-1), a heavy defeat against the Blues (0-4), synonymous with elimination, and a painful draw against South Africa (2-2) won thanks to two goals scored… from the penalty spot.

A painful competition, therefore, but which the Seine-et-Marnais public will undoubtedly have made more bearable: “Autographs, admiring glances and applause with each gesture of the Saudis, the young people set the mood”, describes The Repfrom the first training of the players of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, whose acronym “KSA” adorns the tracksuits.

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Flawless support until the day before their departure: “All those who have been working around this event since the end of May have made a guard of honor for the young ‘Brazilians of the desert’. Visibly moved, the Saudis posed for a family photo after their training session (below, editor’s note), and offered some green and white jerseys to their Seine-et-Marnais supporters. »

Moissy challenges the Saudis in front of 3,000 spectators

It was a promise from the Saudi coach, it will have been kept. During his visit to Moissy, 4 months before the start of the 1998 World Cup, Carlos Alberto Parreira undertook to organize a friendly match between Saudi Arabia and the local club Sénart-Moissy.
As the last preparation match for the “Green Falcons”, the Moisséens therefore played the sparring partner in a packed André-Trémet stadium. If the locals put on a show for the first twenty minutes, even offering themselves the luxury of opening the scoring through Daniel Héréson (1-0, 13′), they were quickly taken over by their opponents who ended up increasing their pace. “Al-Oweiran, star of the 1994 World Cup, after two failed attempts, gave the equalizer to the Saudis (28′), before the referee, Mr. Lhermitte, offered a generous penalty that Al-Jaber converted (32 ′)”, says La Rep.
“This atmosphere cannot be forgotten…”
In the second half, the unfortunate Moisséens Tramoni and Leblond scored against their side, before the same Tramoni redeemed himself by reducing the mark on the penalty spot. “Result: 5-2 and the feeling that the Moisséens could stand up to this team”, concludes La Rep, collecting the reactions of the Moisséens players. “It was a nice match to play, confided Franck Renard, local midfielder. You can’t forget it, especially this atmosphere…”
A Marseillaise intoned at the top of your lungs by 3,000 people, that marks you as a man. A record attendance which, by the way, has still not been beaten in Moissy.

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During the 1998 World Cup, the selection of Saudi Arabia was celebrated as it should be by the city of Moissy-Cramayel ©Archives/RSM77

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World Cup: in 1998, Moissy-Cramayel celebrated Saudi Arabia, the “Brazil of the desert”