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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 18 November 2018

Al Jazira confirm return of Abel Braga on two-year deal as replacement for Eric Gerets

Abel Braga’s return to his old club Al Jazira was confirmed by the Abu Dhabi club on their Twitter account on Tuesday.
Abel Braga is the most successful coach in Al Jazira's history and will return to the club on a two-year deal. Rich-Joseph Facun / The National
Abel Braga is the most successful coach in Al Jazira's history and will return to the club on a two-year deal. Rich-Joseph Facun / The National

Abel Braga’s return to his old club Al Jazira was confirmed by the Abu Dhabi club on their Twitter account on Tuesday.

The Brazilian’s imminent arrival had been considered the Arabian Gulf League’s worst-kept secret. Braga will be on a two-season deal and replaces Eric Gerets, the Belgian who was dismissed with one year of his contract still left after a trophy-less season.

“Al Jazira Football Company announces the Brazilian manager Abel Braga has officially signed a contract to coach the first football team as replacement of the Belgian Eric Gerets,” tweeted the club.

“He will be presented to the media and the fans later at a press conference.”

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Braga is the most successful coach at the Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium, concluding his three-year spell from 2008 to 2011 with a historic first league championship and President’s Cup title, in the 2010/11 season.

Ali Mabkhout, the UAE national and Jazira forward, was pleased Braga is returning to Abu Dhabi.

“He is a great a coach and I hope he can make good things for Jazira,” Mabkhout said after the UAE’s 1-0 victory over East Timor in Malaysia. “I know him very well. We worked very well together before and hopefully he will be successful again.

“He has a lot of charisma, is a strong man and is very good with the players. That’s very important.”

After his Jazira contract was up, Braga, 62, returned to his native Fluminense, leading them to third place in the Campeonato Brasileiro Serie A and qualification to the Copa Libertadores.

In the following year he led the club to the Serie A title and was awarded as the best coach of the league.

His tenure at Fluminense ended on a sour note after five consecutive defeats in 2013 Brazilian League that kept the club in relegation zone. Braga was dismissed.

He became the manager of Internacional, returning to the club seven years after winning the Copa Libertadores and the 2006 Fifa Club World Cup. He quit the job in December and was unemployed until his return to Jazira.

apassela@thenational.ae

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