x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Arabian Gulf League round-up: Al Shaab acquire Thiago Quirino on loan

Al Dhafra also add Sami Rabea and Bandar Al Hababi before training camp starts in Germany, reports Ahmed Rizvi.

Al Shaab have acquired Thiago Quirino, left, on loan from the Japanese club Shonan Bellmare. Getty Images
Al Shaab have acquired Thiago Quirino, left, on loan from the Japanese club Shonan Bellmare. Getty Images

DUBAI // Al Shaab have completed their quartet of foreign players for the season with a loan deal for Brazilian striker Thiago Quirino.

Quirino, a bronze-medal winner at the 2005 Youth World Cup in Netherlands, arrives on a season-long loan from Japanese club Shonan Bellmare, where he scored nine goals in 32 appearances across two seasons. Having starting his career at Atletico Mineiro in 2003, he moved to Swedish club Djurgardens following his Youth World Cup appearance and then to Japanese club Consadole Sapporo in 2008.

At Shaab, he will link up with another 2005 Youth World Cup participant, Australia's Billy Celeski, Sierra Leonean international Julius Wobay and French striker Michael N'dri, the only remaining member of last season's foreign quartet.

"The negotiations with Quirino began a long time ago and we are glad our efforts have finally been successful," said Walid Al Hussan, a member of Shaab's board of directors. "He has played for the Brazilian youth team and we are confident he will have a positive influence on the team in the season.

"Our focus has been on getting players with experience, in full coordination with the technical committee and the coaching staff, and we picked the best players available according to the needs of the team.

"We now hope this group of players will meet the hopes and aspirations of the club and our fans, who want to see the team do better than last season and not get bogged down in the relegation zone."

Just a day after signing the deal, Quirino, 28, left along with coach Marius Sumudica for Shaab's camp in Austria, where they will play six friendly matches against Austrian and Hungarian club teams.

Al Dhafra also made a couple of new additions to their squad before flying to Germany for their preparatory camp. The club have brought in defender Sami Rabea, who was a free agent following the end of his contract with Al Jazira, and striker Bandar Al Hababi on a one-year loan deal from Al Ain.

Al Hababi had spent the last season on loan at Dhafra and several clubs were interested in his service.

But Dhafra succeeded in bringing the striker back and he is looking forward to another successful season with the team.

"I believe my presence in the ranks of Dhafra after the successful experience of last season will be an incentive to perform even better," he said. "I hope I can keep pace with the ambitions of the club and help in achieving the team's targets.

"The appreciation I have received from the fans, on social networking sites and at the stadium, will be a motivating factor when I don the Dhafra shirt again."

arizvi@thenational.ae

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