Emirates NBD has a passion for football!
Interviewing Christian Karembeu
Earlier, I wrote about the Dubai Indoor Football Championship by Dubai Sports World that is taking place in Dubai, UAE, between 2 and 6 July, 2013. I was thrilled when I knew about the event as the lineup and the names participating brought some football memories.
Dubai in specific – and UAE in general – always offer similar chances that we are lucky to be witnessing. This event with these stars may not be the best to ever take place but it is a good opportunity for football fanatics that should be seized.
I checked the names sponsoring the event for an idea on whom will be able to provide a meet and greet. Then I thought it is not a possibility and I will just go and enjoy watching them playing.
The Emirates NBD card for the fans to get the autographs of the players
Yet, on 2 July, 2013, I got a call from an Emirates NBD – a leading bank in Dubai and the main sponsor of the event – representative asking me if I am interested in meeting some of them. I directly said yes without even knowing who will be present on the day.
I received the invite from the bank and got to know that it is a public one but with a special treat in it for me: Interviewing Christian Karembeu.
I went to where the public was taking autographs and pictures with Santi Ezquerro, Aldair, Rui Barros, Fernando Gomes, and Christian Karembeu. I was accompanied by my friend Wael and we took as many photos as we could while waiting for my interview time.
The interview was swift and held a surprising piece of information. I asked Karembeu about the current status of the French National Team and what is needed to go back to the successes of the Zidane era.
Interviewing Christian Karembeu
His reply was about patience and giving Didier Deschamps time to test until he finds his best eleven as it is not easy after the 2010 incidents. He said that France is not that far from where it should be and the quarter-finals stage exit in Euro 2012 is a proof on that. He also hoped that the young players currently representing the first team gain the mental maturity that will enable them develop and prosper. On his current employment status with Greek club Olympiacos, he explained that he is now the special advisor for the team and for the owner Evangelos Marinakis. He offers advice and helps creating development plans for the football academy, while also representing the team as its ambassador in competitions worldwide.
The last part of the interview was about Karembeu’s favorite players. He mentioned Platini, Maradona, Pele and Zico as the ones he likes but his all-time favorite was Socrates. The surprise came when I asked him about his current favorite player. Apparently he is holding high hopes and excited about the Real Madrid youngster Jese Rodríguez. He believes that with Ancelotti, Jese will develop into a great player.
There are more stories on some of the incidents while meeting the players and I will leave that for a later post.
This event has many sponsors but I haven’t seen or heard anyone but Emirates NBD reaching out to the fans, and for that I want to thank them.
I wish every company in UAE sponsoring similar events would do the same great gesture of Emirates NBD. Away from my side interview, meeting football players is one bonding element between the fans and who present them the chance.
Wael with Santi Ezquerro, Aldair, Rui Barros, Fernando Gomes, and Christian Karembeu