Al Jazira, always the bridesmaid but never the bride, hope Bare, the Brazilian, can fire them to title glory, Amith Passela reports.
Bare: Missing piece of Jazira's jigsaw
Having narrowly failed to win the Pro League after signing two high-profile South American forwards in the past two seasons, Al Jazira, have put their trust in the tried-and-tested Bare. The Brazilian forward, a summer recruit on a free transfer from Al Ahli, of Dubai, is the name by which Jader Volonei Spindler is usually known. He is powerfully built footballer who stands six foot two inches and played in his native Brazil, Uruguay and Japan before moving to the UAE.
His first season in the Pro League, with Al Ahli in 2008/09, was a winning one. The Dubai club won the championship in the league's first completely professional campaign. "I have come to Al Jazira in the best condition," Bare said. "I have never felt better than what I am now, both mentally and physically. I had a great camp with my new teammates in Austria, and I am ready to win for my new club.
"I say this because I have spent two years in the Pro League and have a better idea of the players and the competitions. "It is a new and fresh start for me at Jazira. I am very fortunate to get an offer from them and I know how good they are as a team and as one of the leading clubs in the country. I am aware of my task ahead and I will do my best to win all the trophies for them." Bare was spotted in Japan before his move to Dubai. He helped Ventforet Kofu to gain promotion to the J-League for the first time, in 2005. He was transferred to Gamba Osaka two years later, receiving the J-League Best Eleven award for his 20 goals in 31 games.
Bare then accepted an offer from Ahli and enjoyed instant success. "It was great to start by winning the league on my first visit to the region," he said. "The following year at Ahli didn't go well for us with a lot of injuries to some of the key players. But the experience I have gained over the two years will surely help me and Jazira." Bare had established his name. It was his goal that inflicted a first defeat on Jazira (1-0) in 2008/09 and he was on target again in the 4-2 home victory against the Abu Dhabi club in his second season, which ended their chances of winning the league for the first time in their history.
"I hope I can help Jazira end their wait for a league championship this season," he said. Jazira had limited success with their previous two high-profile Brazilians. They signed Rafael Sobis, the midfielder from the Spanish club Real Betis, for a record ?13.2 million (Dh62m), then surpassed that deal a year later by adding Ricardo Oliveira, the former AC Milan, Real Zaragoza and Betis forward, for Dh85m.
Sobis established a superb partnership with Fernando Baiano, the Brazilian striker from another Spanish club, Real Murcia. Baiano was on loan and topped the scoring charts with 35 league goals in all competitions. But that partnership was broken when Jazira failed to renew Baiano's contract after he finished his loan period. They offered him a Dh25.8m two-year contract but the player wanted a three-year deal for Dh45.5m.
Baiano moved to Jazira's capital rivals, Al Wahda, where he became their top scorer and helped them to win the league last season, ahead of Jazira. Jazira had signed Oliveira but they did not have the same success as they had with Baiano. Sobis, meanwhile, suffered an injury towards the end of his first season and did not impress on his return in the second half of 2009/10. The Jazira management decided not to keep them for the new season, and both were loaned to Brazilian clubs, Sobis to Internacional and Oliveira to Sao Paulo.
Matias Delgado from Besiktas of Turkey, and the Ivorian striker Toni, complete Jazira's three foreign signings. Bare missed the club's opening game as he was serving a one-match ban from his previous club, and Delgado arrived only two days before the first game. They are both expected to make their debut when Jazira travel to Sharjah tomorrow in the second round of fixtures. Abel Braga, the coach, said Bare fills the void left by Baiano.
"This was something that was missing from our team last season with a player like Bare or Baiano as we had in my first year," he said. "We can now play in the same way again." firstname.lastname@example.org