ABU DHABI // Ibrahim Diaky, the Al Jazira captain, still harbours dreams of playing in a top European League.
The 30 year old from the Ivory Coast, who is now in his eighth year in the UAE league, said there have been bids made for him in previous seasons, but such is his importance to Jazira that every offer has been rebuffed.
Diaky does not believe he is too old and, as his form is as good as ever, it is feasible that European clubs could renew their interest in him.
"Everything has been great here and I really love the club, but I still have time to maybe play in Europe in a big league," said the player who also had a spell with Al Ain.
"My focus has 100 per cent been on winning the league for Al Jazira and, thank God, we did that last season.
"I know clubs have come in for me a few times in the past, but the board of directors have not allowed me to go. You have to respect the contract you signed and, also, it's nice to be wanted.
"However, it would be a great feeling for me to play in Europe and have one more great experience in football."
Diaky reckons being captain of Al Jazira is one of the easiest jobs in football. The playmaker might officially be the team leader but he says he works in a dressing room that is full of inspirational characters. Diaky is proud to have been the player who lifted the Pro League trophy and then the President's Cup for Al Jazira at the end of the last season.
He believes the stability and togetherness in the squad points to another successful campaign. "It is a real pleasure for me to captain this team, because my teammates are so special and they make it easy for me," said Diaky.
"Everyone helps me and that is why I respect every single one of them. For me, they are all captains and I don't feel like I am the leader because we are all in this together.
"There is a huge amount of respect in our dressing room and we help each other out.
"Everyone at Al Jazira wants to do their best for the club, and that is why we have been so successful."