ABU DHABI // Ricardo Oliveira, the Pro League's most expensive signing, has left Al Jazira to join the Brazilian side Sao Paulo on loan, the Abu Dhabi club announced on their website yesterday. Jazira spent Dh85 million in the summer of 2009 on the former AC Milan, Real Zaragoza and Real Betis forward to add to their shopping spree of the previous year, when they splashed out Dh62m on Rafael Sobis - the previous record signing - also from the Spanish Primera Liga side Betis.
Yet they failed to win any major trophies and did not progress beyond the group stage in the Asian Champions League. Club management decided that their high-profile foreign contingent had not made the desired contribution, and announced plans to offload Sobis, Oliveira and Marcio Rozario, the Brazilian defender, keeping only Tony, their Ivorian striker. "We decided to replace all three foreign players after careful evaluation of their performances, which was not to our satisfaction," Mohammed Thani al Rumaithi, the president of the club's board of directors, said at the end of the season in May.
Oliveira did not impress in his debut season. He scored eight goals before suffering a foot injury that needed surgery and kept him out of action for more than three months. Sobis had suffered a knee ligament injury towards the end of the 2008/09 season and only returned in the second half of 2009/10. He was loaned to Internacional in Brazil three weeks ago. Jazira ended the season by winning the Etisalat Cup, but the league, and qualification for the Club World Cup in Abu Dhabi, were their main goal.
Jazira signed Bare, another Brazilian who scored 22 goals in 37 league games for Al Ahli, on a free transfer in June, and will be looking to bring in at least one more foreign player. @Email:firstname.lastname@example.org