Alexandre Gallo will fly from Brazil to the UAE tomorrow to take charge of Al Ain after the club sacked Abdulhameed al Mishtiki, their Emirati coach.
"The club management decided to terminate Abdulhameed's contract and the new coach will arrive within the next 48 hours so he can at least watch the next match to have an idea of the players," Khalid Mohammed Abdulla, the club's chief executive, said at a press conference last night.
Al Ain, who play Al Shabab away on Thursday, have dropped to ninth place in the 12-team Pro League after two embarrassing defeats; 4-1 at home to bottom-side Kalba and 4-0 to league leaders Al Jazira on Sunday.
"The management decided to make the change after the poor results from the last two games," Abdulla added. "We are also in danger of being relegated and under such a situation, a change was indeed needed.
"We had some misfortunes as the foreign players we signed got injured and we couldn't sign a third foreigner as the transfer period was over. We can only hope the new coach can rebuild this team and take us into a better position in the league, and also try to win the two cups and prepare for the Asian Champions League [ACL]."
Gallo, 47, began his coaching career as assistant to Carlos Alberto Parreira at Corinthians in 2002 and then to Vanderlei Luxemburgo at Santos, where he became the head coach after Luxemburgo moved to Real Madrid in the second half of the 2004/05 season.
Since then, he has coached Portuguesa, Santos, Santo Andre and Internacional for 20 games. He also had a spell with FC Tokyo of Japan in 2006 and arrives in Abu Dhabi from the Brazilian club Nautico.
Al Mishtiki, appearing at the same press conference, admitted the team failed to achieve the desired results under him, and the club management had every right to demand a change.
"I am a son of this club and will remain faithful forever, whatever may come," al Mishtiki said.
"I thank the club management and the fans for providing me the opportunity to coach the first team. I fully understand the situation the team is in, but I did my job with passion, integrity and pride." Al Mishtiki was the club's Under 17 team coach when he was appointed as caretaker last season after Al Ain sacked two coaches, Winfried Schaefer, the German who led them to a President's and Etisalat Cup double the previous season, and his replacement, Toninho Cerezo, the Brazilian.
The Emirati was rewarded with a full-time contract after he led them to five matches without defeat, including a 2-0 win over Sepahan of Iran in the Asian Champions league. They also finished third in the league to earn an ACL play-off place.
But two key players, Jorge Valdivia, the Chile midfielder, and Marcio Emerson, the Brazilian forward, both left the club while Soufiane Alloudi, the Moroccan forward, was injured before the start of the season and his replacement, Ibrahima Keita, the Ivorian midfielder, was also injured in the very first game.