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Tiehe: Al Jazira is my Home and my Second Family

Abu Dhabi: 4 March 2014
The former striker and top scorer of Al Jazira and the Ivorian football legend Joel Tiehe has been interviewed by about his return to UAE after 13 years, and about his memories in Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium, his most memorable matches and best goals and more:
How do you describe your return to Al Jazira?
Sensational and emotional, I came back to this amazing country after 13 years and for the first time since I left in the year 2003, I enjoyed an exceptional and warm welcoming in the club and found out that many of my old friends still working here, and am so happy I decided to make this visit in this specific time.
How did you found the club?
A lot of things changed to the better, when I was playing here things were good but now it’s even better and the work methods became more professional in every aspect. In my time the team was good and the players were fantastic but there was something missing, now am so happy to see this evolution in the club and the team.
What do you think about the team now?
I watched the last match against Al Rayyan, and Al Jazira now is playing with more tactical awareness and discipline and applying all the modern football methods. Back then we used to run with ball and score from individual situations but now the team is playing easy and collective football and the players are giving 100% all the time.
Which players caught your eyes in that match?
The playmaker no. 10 (Abdulaziz Barrada), he enjoys a great talent in receiving the ball and controls it and passes it, and I knew later that he is the top scorer of the team and their best assistant and would like to congratulate the management for signing this talented player.
I also admire the youngster who scored the third once he entered the pitch from the bench (Ahmed Al Ghilani), I knew that he is still very young and he is getting a lot of playing chances and scoring goals, which is good for him and for the team.
What are your best memories as a player with Al Jazira?
I had a lot of good and happy memories here, I still remember that match against Al Wahda when I get passed of all the defenders until I reached the penalty area and scored. There is another match and it was against Al Ain and won it with 3 goals, I scored twice and I still remember every detail because it was very important for the team rank in the league table and our only option was to win it. 

How do you see the competition in the league now? And how was it?
Al Jazira matches against Al Ain, Al Wahda, Al Ahli and Al Wasl was popular and crowded and has more importance for the players and the club, and I guess its still the same until now. The audiences number are increasing I guess but it didn’t reached the required ratios yet; in the last match against Al Rayyan the atmosphere was great in the stadium and I hope the fans comes always with this big number in all the matches.
How did you join Al Jazira?
I played for 13 years in France before I move to UAE, when Al Jazira officials contacted me I told I need to study the situation and see everything on the ground, and when I came to Abu Dhabi I found the work going well in the club and the stadium is amazing. I spoke with my coach in France and told him about my desire to join Al Jazira and he told me go ahead. The two clubs agreed the deal and I played my first match with Al Jazira in 1997 and left after 4 years; after this I played for Al Ain for two years then quit football and headed to my home country.
Why did you left the club?
Leaving Al Jazira was a very tough decision for me, but I want to experience new adventure before quitting football.  The matches I played against Al Jazira were very complicated and emotional for me but the crowds in Mohammed bin Zayed stadium were always friendly with me.
I played 2 years for Al Ain but my heart and mind were always in Al Jazira because this club was and will always be my second home and my big family and I have a lot of friends and brothers here and it will be impossible for me to forget all this.
Did you keep following the team?
All the time for all the last years, and I was watching the matches whenever I had the chance; I felt very much happy when I knew Al Jazira won the league and the cup double in 2011, I watched the celebrations and I wished I was here to share those historical moments with my friends here.
Can we see you coming back again?
I wish I can come back in the near future to Al Jazira to offer my coaching experience in the academy in youth teams. I studied and had several high level coaching certificates and am looking forward to transfer my experiences to the new generation in Al Jazira.