Jose Clayton : I will encourage the Carthage Eagles against Brazil, and this is the truth of my conversion to Islam

Jose Clayton : I will encourage the Carthage Eagles against Brazil, and this is the truth of my conversion to Islam  Tunisia - Brazilian Jose Clayton was the first non-Tunisian player to wear the Carthage Eagles shirt, a few weeks after he obtained Tunisian citizenship in the spring of 1998, and a few months before the Carthage Eagles participated in the 1998 World Cup finals in France.  The player, who was then one of the pillars of Etoile du Sahel, quickly succeeded in imposing himself in the Tunisian national team to write a remarkable football career, despite the difference in language, customs and origins, and turns into one of the best Tunisian players, by participating in the World Cup and his contribution to the crowning of the Eagles in the African Nations Cup 2004, It is the only continental title in the coffers of Tunisia.  Before an expected friendly match between Tunisia and Brazil on Tuesday, in preparation for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, Clayton revealed - in an exclusive interview with Al Jazeera Net - that the match is of great importance to him, and that he will follow it with passion, as he talked about the chances of the Eagles and Samba stars in The World Cup, adding that Qatar has all the capabilities to make the 2022 edition the best in the history of the World Cup.  The following is the text of the interview:  Being a holder of Brazilian and Tunisian nationalities, what does the Parc des Princes match in Paris between Tunisia and Brazil represent for you next Tuesday? Without a doubt, the confrontation between the Carthage Eagles and the Samba stars is an important event for me. I will follow it with interest, even though I will not be on the field. Throughout my career with the Tunisian national team, I have always dreamed of facing my mother country, Brazil, but unfortunately I did not have the opportunity.  Now I had the opportunity to watch a match that is not like all the matches for me, because it brings together the national team of the country in which I was born and raised and the team of the country that has embraced me since 1994, then I obtained Tunisian citizenship in 1998, I have spent more than half my life in Tunisia so far. It's a special feeling I've never had before.  Which runway will you be in? Will you cheer for your home country, or will you cheer for the Tunisia national team, whose shirt you carried and defended its colors? I will support the Tunisian national team. I say this with pride and without shame. Tunisia gave me all the love and embraced me when I was 21 years old. Throughout those years, a close relationship developed between me and Tunisia and the Tunisians, which increased in strength over the years.  I really feel that I am more Tunisian than Brazilian. After I retired from football in 2007, I decided to stay here in Tunisia, and I did not feel that I was a stranger at all; Everyone treats me with respect, and therefore I think that Tunisia is my first country now, and then Brazil.  Away from emotion, what are your expectations for the Princes Garden match between the Eagles of Carthage and the Samba? The differences seem significant; We are talking about a Brazilian team that has recovered greatly in the past two years, and all its stars are at their best, such as Neymar, Junior Vinicius, Casemiro, Richardson and others.  I expect Wahbi Khazri's teammates to present a level worthy of them as a team that footballers rank among the best teams on the African continent.  The match will be difficult for the Carthage Eagles, but the most important thing is for the technical staff to come out of it with benefits and positive points before the start of the Qatar World Cup 2022.  How do you see the preparations of the Tunisian national team just two months before the start of the 2022 World Cup? The Tunisian national team is going through a good period now, and most of its players participate regularly with their clubs in Europe, or in the Arab leagues, such as Issa Al-Aidouni, who I consider one of the best elements of the team, Elias Sakhiri, Hannibal Al-Majbri, Muntaser Al-Talibi, Wahbi Al-Khazri, Youssef Msakni, Naim Al-Saliti and Ferjani Sassi.  I see that - with these players and a coach who knows the group well, Jalal Al-Qadri - it can be said that the Carthage Eagles are ready to defend their chances in the finals, provided that preparations continue with the same degree of seriousness, high spirit and determination, especially not to fear competitors, because playing under pressure will be greater Obstacle on the way to prominence in the World Cup.  In the Tunisia group, which two teams do you expect to cross into the second round? Without hesitation, I nominate the teams of France and Tunisia to pass together to the second round; The French team has all the capabilities and is armed with a selection of the best players in the European leagues, while our Tunisian team will be a pleasant surprise for the first round.  Do you think that Qatar's hosting of the World Cup - as the first Arab country to receive this honor - will enhance the chances of Arab football and support the chances of the teams of Qatar, Tunisia, Morocco and Saudi Arabia to go far in this edition? I hope so, but I think that this will not change much in my opinion. With the exception of the Qatari team, which will play the World Cup in its stadiums and will benefit from the workers of the land and the public, the other Arab teams will be in equal conditions with their competitors, especially since the draw placed them in difficult groups similar to the Moroccan team.  Overall, how do you view the Qatar World Cup 2022 organizationally and sportingly? I played in Qatar, at Al Sadd Club in particular, and I know the extent of the development of Qatari football in recent years, especially in terms of infrastructure, very advanced sports facilities and equipment with international standards. I am confident that the 2022 World Cup will be one of the best courses in the history of this competition, both organizationally and athletically. Qatar has all the capabilities to keep this copy stuck in memory.  In your opinion, which teams will bet on winning the Qatar 2022 World Cup? There is the Brazilian team, of course, which is witnessing a good period, and will defend its chances of winning the title, especially since it has not achieved good results since 2002, when it achieved its last global crown, and then there are the teams of France, England and Germany, which I see as having ample chances to play the first roles.  If we go back to 1998 and you obtained Tunisian citizenship, what were the circumstances behind that? Who encouraged you to make this choice? Between 1994 and 1998, I was one of the golden generation elements in the Tunisian Etoile du Sahel, and in 1998 Tunisia had qualified for the World Cup in France and lost one of the best players in the left defender position, the late Hadi with the cheap.  The Polish coach Henri Kasparjak, who was in charge of coaching the Carthage Eagles at the time, saw me in some league matches and then spoke to me and offered me to join the national team after I fulfilled the procedures for obtaining Tunisian citizenship and passport.  The idea was good and things happened quickly, especially as the team was preparing to participate in the World Cup, and on May 2, 1998, I played against Georgia my first match in the Carthage Eagles shirt.  You carried the colors of the Tunisian national team in 39 international matches, how do you evaluate this march and what are your most prominent achievements? I consider that my career with the Tunisian national team was very successful. I was the first non-Tunisian player to break into the team camp. It took a long time to integrate due to the difference in language, customs and other things, but I quickly imposed myself and participated in the 1998 World Cup in France, and then I was also present. In the 2002 World Cup in South Korea and Japan, and in the 2005 Confederations Cup, I participated in the entire stages of the 2006 World Cup Germany qualifiers, and contributed to qualifying the Eagles with a decisive goal against Morocco, but at the beginning of that year I suffered an injury that prevented me from participating in a third World Cup.  Of course, I do not forget that I was one of the players of the Tunisian national team that won the 2004 African Nations Cup, which is the best achievement in my football career.  At the club level, you played in Tunisia, France and Qatar, which stations do you consider the most established in your career? I came to Tunisia when I was 20 years old, and I played with Etoile du Sahel for 5 years and won with him at that time almost all titles, the Tunisian League, the Cup, the Confederation Cup, the African Cup of Cups, and others, then I moved to the French club Bastia for one year, and from there I returned to Tunisia to carry the colors of the stadium The Tunisian, before I had a successful career with Tunisia's Esperance, during which I won the Premier League title on 3 occasions.  I also played for Al Sadd for one season and in Turkey, but I think Etoile du Sahel and Esperance of Tunisia are the highlights of my career.  Who are the Tunisian players that you consider the best during your career with the Carthage Eagles? We were a brilliant generation, and we succeeded in imposing our control on African football in 2004 and 2005. There are many illustrious names, but I think that Zubair Bayah and Silva dos Santos, who is also Brazilian, played for the Tunisian national team, the best players I have been with in my sports life.  And if we asked you the best players in the history of Brazilian football, in your opinion, who are they? It will be difficult. The Brazilians breathe football, and there are dozens of star players in the world. I think that Pele, then Ronaldo and Ronaldinho are the best in the country of football.  Some sources circulated news about your conversion to Islam after these long years in Tunisia. What is the truth about that? Praise be to God, this is from the grace of my Lord. Yes, I converted to Islam in 2006, and that was with complete conviction. Because of my daily life with my friends, and because I decided to continue my life in Tunisia, embracing Islam was a natural result of that. Some of my friends liked it, and even encouraged me to do so. and thank God.

Tunisia - Brazilian Jose Clayton was the first non-Tunisian player to wear the Carthage Eagles shirt, a few weeks after he obtained Tunisian citizenship in the spring of 1998, and a few months before the Carthage Eagles participated in the 1998 World Cup finals in France.

The player, who was then one of the pillars of Etoile du Sahel, quickly succeeded in imposing himself in the Tunisian national team to write a remarkable football career, despite the difference in language, customs and origins, and turns into one of the best Tunisian players, by participating in the World Cup and his contribution to the crowning of the Eagles in the African Nations Cup 2004, It is the only continental title in the coffers of Tunisia.

Before an expected friendly match between Tunisia and Brazil on Tuesday, in preparation for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, Clayton revealed - in an exclusive interview with Al Jazeera Net - that the match is of great importance to him, and that he will follow it with passion, as he talked about the chances of the Eagles and Samba stars in The World Cup, adding that Qatar has all the capabilities to make the 2022 edition the best in the history of the World Cup.

The following is the text of the interview:

Being a holder of Brazilian and Tunisian nationalities, what does the Parc des Princes match in Paris between Tunisia and Brazil represent for you next Tuesday?
Without a doubt, the confrontation between the Carthage Eagles and the Samba stars is an important event for me. I will follow it with interest, even though I will not be on the field. Throughout my career with the Tunisian national team, I have always dreamed of facing my mother country, Brazil, but unfortunately I did not have the opportunity.

Now I had the opportunity to watch a match that is not like all the matches for me, because it brings together the national team of the country in which I was born and raised and the team of the country that has embraced me since 1994, then I obtained Tunisian citizenship in 1998, I have spent more than half my life in Tunisia so far. It's a special feeling I've never had before.

Which runway will you be in? Will you cheer for your home country, or will you cheer for the Tunisia national team, whose shirt you carried and defended its colors?
I will support the Tunisian national team. I say this with pride and without shame. Tunisia gave me all the love and embraced me when I was 21 years old. Throughout those years, a close relationship developed between me and Tunisia and the Tunisians, which increased in strength over the years.

I really feel that I am more Tunisian than Brazilian. After I retired from football in 2007, I decided to stay here in Tunisia, and I did not feel that I was a stranger at all; Everyone treats me with respect, and therefore I think that Tunisia is my first country now, and then Brazil.

Away from emotion, what are your expectations for the Princes Garden match between the Eagles of Carthage and the Samba?
The differences seem significant; We are talking about a Brazilian team that has recovered greatly in the past two years, and all its stars are at their best, such as Neymar, Junior Vinicius, Casemiro, Richardson and others.

I expect Wahbi Khazri's teammates to present a level worthy of them as a team that footballers rank among the best teams on the African continent.

The match will be difficult for the Carthage Eagles, but the most important thing is for the technical staff to come out of it with benefits and positive points before the start of the Qatar World Cup 2022.

How do you see the preparations of the Tunisian national team just two months before the start of the 2022 World Cup?
The Tunisian national team is going through a good period now, and most of its players participate regularly with their clubs in Europe, or in the Arab leagues, such as Issa Al-Aidouni, who I consider one of the best elements of the team, Elias Sakhiri, Hannibal Al-Majbri, Muntaser Al-Talibi, Wahbi Al-Khazri, Youssef Msakni, Naim Al-Saliti and Ferjani Sassi.

I see that - with these players and a coach who knows the group well, Jalal Al-Qadri - it can be said that the Carthage Eagles are ready to defend their chances in the finals, provided that preparations continue with the same degree of seriousness, high spirit and determination, especially not to fear competitors, because playing under pressure will be greater Obstacle on the way to prominence in the World Cup.

In the Tunisia group, which two teams do you expect to cross into the second round?
Without hesitation, I nominate the teams of France and Tunisia to pass together to the second round; The French team has all the capabilities and is armed with a selection of the best players in the European leagues, while our Tunisian team will be a pleasant surprise for the first round.

Do you think that Qatar's hosting of the World Cup - as the first Arab country to receive this honor - will enhance the chances of Arab football and support the chances of the teams of Qatar, Tunisia, Morocco and Saudi Arabia to go far in this edition?
I hope so, but I think that this will not change much in my opinion. With the exception of the Qatari team, which will play the World Cup in its stadiums and will benefit from the workers of the land and the public, the other Arab teams will be in equal conditions with their competitors, especially since the draw placed them in difficult groups similar to the Moroccan team.

Overall, how do you view the Qatar World Cup 2022 organizationally and sportingly?
I played in Qatar, at Al Sadd Club in particular, and I know the extent of the development of Qatari football in recent years, especially in terms of infrastructure, very advanced sports facilities and equipment with international standards. I am confident that the 2022 World Cup will be one of the best courses in the history of this competition, both organizationally and athletically. Qatar has all the capabilities to keep this copy stuck in memory.

In your opinion, which teams will bet on winning the Qatar 2022 World Cup?
There is the Brazilian team, of course, which is witnessing a good period, and will defend its chances of winning the title, especially since it has not achieved good results since 2002, when it achieved its last global crown, and then there are the teams of France, England and Germany, which I see as having ample chances to play the first roles.

If we go back to 1998 and you obtained Tunisian citizenship, what were the circumstances behind that? Who encouraged you to make this choice?
Between 1994 and 1998, I was one of the golden generation elements in the Tunisian Etoile du Sahel, and in 1998 Tunisia had qualified for the World Cup in France and lost one of the best players in the left defender position, the late Hadi with the cheap.

The Polish coach Henri Kasparjak, who was in charge of coaching the Carthage Eagles at the time, saw me in some league matches and then spoke to me and offered me to join the national team after I fulfilled the procedures for obtaining Tunisian citizenship and passport.

The idea was good and things happened quickly, especially as the team was preparing to participate in the World Cup, and on May 2, 1998, I played against Georgia my first match in the Carthage Eagles shirt.

You carried the colors of the Tunisian national team in 39 international matches, how do you evaluate this march and what are your most prominent achievements?
I consider that my career with the Tunisian national team was very successful. I was the first non-Tunisian player to break into the team camp. It took a long time to integrate due to the difference in language, customs and other things, but I quickly imposed myself and participated in the 1998 World Cup in France, and then I was also present. In the 2002 World Cup in South Korea and Japan, and in the 2005 Confederations Cup, I participated in the entire stages of the 2006 World Cup Germany qualifiers, and contributed to qualifying the Eagles with a decisive goal against Morocco, but at the beginning of that year I suffered an injury that prevented me from participating in a third World Cup.

Of course, I do not forget that I was one of the players of the Tunisian national team that won the 2004 African Nations Cup, which is the best achievement in my football career.

At the club level, you played in Tunisia, France and Qatar, which stations do you consider the most established in your career?
I came to Tunisia when I was 20 years old, and I played with Etoile du Sahel for 5 years and won with him at that time almost all titles, the Tunisian League, the Cup, the Confederation Cup, the African Cup of Cups, and others, then I moved to the French club Bastia for one year, and from there I returned to Tunisia to carry the colors of the stadium The Tunisian, before I had a successful career with Tunisia's Esperance, during which I won the Premier League title on 3 occasions.

I also played for Al Sadd for one season and in Turkey, but I think Etoile du Sahel and Esperance of Tunisia are the highlights of my career.

Who are the Tunisian players that you consider the best during your career with the Carthage Eagles?
We were a brilliant generation, and we succeeded in imposing our control on African football in 2004 and 2005. There are many illustrious names, but I think that Zubair Bayah and Silva dos Santos, who is also Brazilian, played for the Tunisian national team, the best players I have been with in my sports life.

And if we asked you the best players in the history of Brazilian football, in your opinion, who are they?
It will be difficult. The Brazilians breathe football, and there are dozens of star players in the world. I think that Pele, then Ronaldo and Ronaldinho are the best in the country of football.

Some sources circulated news about your conversion to Islam after these long years in Tunisia. What is the truth about that?
Praise be to God, this is from the grace of my Lord. Yes, I converted to Islam in 2006, and that was with complete conviction. Because of my daily life with my friends, and because I decided to continue my life in Tunisia, embracing Islam was a natural result of that. Some of my friends liked it, and even encouraged me to do so. and thank God.
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