Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
Formula One 2014: Complete schedule, standings, driver info
Mariano Donda spent four months with Bruno Metsu, enough to ‘bring value’ at Al Wasl. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National
Mariano Donda spent four months with Bruno Metsu, enough to ‘bring value’ at Al Wasl. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National

Bruno Metsu on the mind as Al Wasl take on Al Shabab

Coach Laurent Banide concedes audience will be less with the Fifa Under 17 World Cup in town.

DUBAI // Mariano Donda, the Al Wasl captain, says his side will be inspired by the memory of Bruno Metsu as they attempt to get their season back on track against Al Shabab on Saturday.

The former UAE and Senegal manager had only recently taken over as the full-time successor to Diego Maradona when the Frenchman was diagnosed with cancer last year.

Metsu lost his battle with the disease earlier this week; he died at a clinic in Coudekerque-Village, his hometown in northern France.

Donda said Metsu remained in close contact with his final club until as recently as two weeks ago, and the Argentine midfielder says his side want to return to winning ways for him.

“We have lost a big man,” Donda said. “He was my coach for only four months but he still brought so much value.

“He was near the team until two weeks ago. We want to try to win for him and his family, and we know he will be watching from up there.”

According to Laurent Banide, the current Wasl coach, sadness has pervaded the Dubai club since news of Metsu’s passing reached them this week.

“Everybody has been very sad, the people that did deal with him last year and even those who didn’t,” Banide said.

“We were all his colleagues, I had a good relationship with him and we all miss him so much.

“It is not just the players, but the whole staff, from the coaches to the medical staff and the administration. Everyone is feeling sad at Al Wasl.”

Over the course of the international break, Banide has been tasked with trying to raise a misfiring side whom he accused of lacking spirit after consecutive League Cup defeats.

They are still handily placed in the Arabian Gulf League, though, lying in third after three matches, and Banide hopes their supporters will turn out to help rally the side against Shabab.

Their Arabian Gulf League fixture kicks off at the same time (5pm) as Canada and Austria meet across the city at Al Ahli’s home ground. That Under 17 World Cup encounter is followed immediately by Iran against Argentina.

Banide acknowledges the clash in schedules is less than ideal, but accepts the situation as part of putting on a World Cup.

“It is a problem,” the Frenchman said. “I would prefer it if the matches weren’t at the same time but this is a World Cup and we can’t do anything about it.

“It is an important event and an honour that the matches are in the UAE. If there was more of a gap more people could come to watch the football.”


Follow us on twitter at @SprtNationalUAE

Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

 Al Rayyan's Yakubu Ayegbeni, left, tries to escape the attention of Jazira's Khamis Ismail. Karim Jaafar / AFP Photo

Late strike puts Al Jazira on verge of qualifying for the last 16 of Asian Champions League

All to play for across East Asia during final round of group phase.

 Manchester City's Vincent Kompany reacts after being sent off by referee Lee Mason during their English Premier League soccer match against Hull City at the KC stadium in Hull, northern England March 15, 2014. REUTERS/Nigel Roddis

Man City’s Manuel Pellegrini says Vincent Kompany is an important player

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini defends team captain and talks about team's injuries ahead of clash with Sunderland at home on Wednesday night.

 Supporters of China during the Asian Cup Qualifier match between Iraq vs China at Sharjah football stadium in Sharjah. Iraq won the match by 3-1. Pawan Singh / The National

Asian Cup expanding to 24 football teams in 2019

As part of a regional shake-up, the 2019 Asian Cup will climb to 24 teams but next month’s Challenge Cup in the Maldives will be the last, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) announced.

 Latifa Ali Al Shamsi of UAE fights compatriot Boshra Ghanem Al Zadjali in their 38.5kg match at the Junior World Jiu-Jitsu Championship. Christopher Pike / The National

Competitors at Abu Dhabi Junior World Jiu-Jitsu Championship target world domination

All of Wednesday’s winners at the tournament, being held in the UAE capital, are ambitious enough to target a black belt and reach the pinnacle of the sport, Amith Passela reports.

 Jacques Kallis top-scored with 72 for Kolkata Knight Riders against Mumbai Indians at Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday. Pawan Singh / The National

Kallis kicks off IPL 7 with fifty as Kolkata thrash Mumbai

South African legend shows class is permanent as Knight Riders beat defending champions by 41 runs. Osman Samiuddin reports from Abu Dhabi.

 Amir Khan, during a workout at the Gloves Community Centre on March 24, 2014 in Bolton, England, says his fight will be the real main event in Las Vegas on May 3. Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Amir Khan says bout with Luis Collazo ‘will steal the show’ in Las Vegas on May 3

British-Pakistani boxer Amir Khan says his fight with Luis Collazo will be the main attraction on same fight card led by Floyd Mayweather Jr and Marcos Maidana, writes Omar Al Raisi.


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National